September 27, 2017

Sumac Ridge Golf & Country Club
Summerland, BC

Branch Executive in Attendance:

Ken Antao, President; Witold Wince, Vice President; Phillip Mantler, Member at Large; April Ingraham, Member at Large


Gail Swintak, Secretary; Jose Jimenez, Treasurer; Scott Smith, Member at Large

Guest Speakers:

Debbie Daviau, PIPSC President; Rob Macdonald, Director, BC/Yukon


38 Members & 9 Spouses

5:30 - 6:15pm  : Registration and Networking

6:16 - 7:00pm  : Dinner

7:01pm:  Meeting called to order by Ken Antao

Printed agenda was distributed; Roll Call of the Okanagan Branch Executive was taken

Approval of the Agenda:

Motion to Approve: Simon Zobatar; Seconded: Phillip Mantler; Approved

Adoption of 2016 Minutes:

Motion to Approve: Witold Wince; Seconded: Greg Cooper; Approved

Report of the President by Ken Antao:

Motion to receive the report as presented: Philip Mantler; Seconded: Witold Wince; Carried

Annual Financial Report: Year 2016 Actuals. Phillip Mantler presented the treasurer’s financial report.

Motion to Approve Treasurer’s Report: Simone Zobatar; Seconded: Carolyn Martin; Approved

Budget Presentation: Years 2017 & 2018. Phillip Mantler presented the treasurer’s budget report.

Motion to Approve Treasurer’s Report: Simone Zobatar; Seconded: Norine Storry; Approved

Elections & Nominations:

The election process was conducted by Ken Antao. Simone Zobatar & Moira Dolan volunteered to be the elections committee. The positions of Vice President, Secretary, and three Members at Large, were up for election. There were no nominations from the AGM invitation notice. There were no nominations from the floor for each position during the AGM.

Results as follows:

  • Vice President: Phillip Mantler (Acclaimed)
  • Secretary: Gail Swintak (Acclaimed)
  • Member at Large for One year: Witold Wince (Acclaimed)
  • Member at Large for Two years: Zoran Ljusic (acclaimed)
  • Member at Large for Two years: April Ingraham (Acclaimed)

7:15pm: Guest speaker Robert Macdonald, Regional Director, BC/Yukon Region, PIPSC, spoke about:

Concerning Unions:

Robert said that the Union is about its’ members and he invited all to contact him/to talk to him about any union issues. Unions stand up to bullies and need to find creative ways to deal with bullies; the union needs to develop more tools to support its’ stewards. Being a steward is tough, but it is important and if you are interested, PIPSC welcomes new stewards. In the region, we are trying to promote “better together” initiatives; we need to change the conversation; Union values are Canadian values; Professional unions are well positioned to send that message


PIPSC is offering Executive training in December and will be providing Occupational Health and Safety training next year. There is on-line training on the PIPSC website.

Government relationship:

There is regional improvement to government relationships. There are information packages available for you to speak to your MP’s. Become the face of a good public service. We are seeing some very positive changes to recent collective agreements. Wages and benefits are important but we are making headway with scientific integrity. PIPSC is evolving and trying to do things better.

7:25pm: Guest speaker Debbie Daviau, President & CEO, PIPSC, spoke about:

Meeting some stewards before the AGM and invites the membership to reach out to her if you have any concerns; we are continuing to building Government relationships

Collective Agreements:

The AFS group just signed an agreement; the union is committed to getting a better deal for its members. The NRC-ROCO group is still trying to get government to the table with a mandate, however, negotiations are not moving forward fast. We have however gained good language on scientific integrity; Good policies have been developed on evidenced based decision making and collaboration with peers.

For the CS group, key gains include adjustment for 2016, gaining ground on contracting out, skills development, and tech change training; for the SP’s, RE’s and PC’s groups, gains include the areas of scientific integrity, alignment salary top levels, and time for professional development; for AFS’s we got strong monetary gains and there were classification gains with an agreement to conduct a classification review.

Sick leave:

The employer agreed to talk about improvements to sick leave, with a chance to vote on the options once they have been developed with limits on carry-over. Tentatively, there will be a full 26 weeks; 9 days/yr./ 3 days for carry over; banks over 26 weeks will be kept; however any deal struck has to be good for 100% of our members.


This issue is taking 50% of the PIPSC office time and 50% of PIPSC steward time. We are at the table to make sure that our members that are in need get preferential treatment, including negotiating settlements for those who have damages; PIPSC is very active on this file. PIPSC wants a commitment that the maintenance for Phoenix will not be contracted out. Asked that gov’t bring on more CSs’ to deal with Phoenix (not only to support the fixes but also maintenance). We are looking for the same commitments with respect to various gov’t initiatives: e-mail, website amalgamation, and are gaining ground in several areas regarding contracting out. Debbie thanked the executives, Rob Macdonald, all the members for coming this evening.

8:00pm: Question Period:

  • Q1: Are there Phoenix Improvements?

A1: Fixes are causing more problems. Many departments are actually re-building capacity with comp. advisers. We are not seeing the results yet but these should be coming. There is a new permanent office opening to help with compensation issues. The hope is that this will improve results for members. If you need help with Phoenix, please reach out to PIPSC. We are advocating for you at the table. The progress is slow and the results are not evident yet. There is no quick fix. Solutions will take years.

  • Q2 Thank you for maintaining a high profile in Ottawa. We can’t rest on our laurels. Is there more effort being put into improving the profile of civil servants?

A2. Canadians support public servants. We do have positive news to share: there is a UK study that reports that we have the best public service in the world. This has inspired the “Best in the World” campaign. This campaign highlights the profiles of six members. We want to promote this. We are framing the message in our communications to promote our message.

  • Q3. Do you feel that the government is realising that centralisation is not working?

A3. We are really concentrating on fighting contracting out.

  • Q4. AAFC is fighting back on who is being asked by management to sit at the table for union consultations. Can you speak to this issue?

A4. Management does not get to choose who to consult with. It is the union that gets to appoint who is going to consult on behalf of the union.


Philip Mantler spoke on the branch executives need to reach out to members in the Okanagan branch area. He said that in September 2017, two executives went to White Lake to meet with 18 members at their work place (not IN their work place). More outreaches are planned for, and Kamloops is next on the list.

Changing AGM meeting:

Ken Antao indicated the possibility of changing the Okanagan branch AGM to June 30 of next year to align with PIPSC’s new fiscal year-end of June 30. This will be discussed by the branch executive and brought up at the next AGM. Members were asked to provide feedback to the branch executive.

Round table:

Members reaching retirement can maintain their membership with PIPSC by joining the PIPSC retired member’s guild within one month of their retirement date. Annual dues are about 8% of the normal annual dues. Information is available on the PIPSC website.

Presentation of Speakers gifts:

Ken Antao presented gifts to the two speakers on behalf on the Okanagan branch.

Door Prizes:

April Ingraham & Witold Wince presented door prizes to each member in order of tickets being



Motion to Adjourn was made by Simone Zobatar, and seconded by Moira Dolan: Approved

Meeting Adjourned @ 9:00pm