Minutes of RVAC Meeting – 17 February 2011

17 February 2011

In attendance:                                                                                                                     

PauletteBarker                                     Marie-Françoise Bertrand                    

Zelma Buckley                                     Michael Clement                                  

Carl Laguerre                                       Victor Laing

Effie McLeod                                       Eugene Omboli

Larry Rousseau                                    Debbie Thomas                                                           

Ginette Thony                                       Agnes Uwamariya

J I Veneranda



Imma Adonice                                      Sandra Griffiths-Bonaparte

Gabe Nicholas                         


Resource Person                                  Hassan Husseini


Meeting called to order by Brother Carl Laguerre. 


Adoption of the Agenda was motioned and seconded by Larry Rousseau/Michael Clement.


Adoption of the Minutes, the minutes will be reviewed at the next AGM.


Brother Eugene indicated that the minutes should be sent at least 3 days before the meeting so that time wouldn’t have to be spent on reviewing them at the meeting.  The Chair explained that there is time built in the Agenda for reviewing the minutes and that all of us have a full time job to do along with our other union duties.


A Round table introduction was done.


Business arising from the Minutes:

Ranking of Delegates to the Racially Visible Members Conference Report

At the last meeting a request was made to ensure that RVAC was included in the process; three members from the committee, Sister Debbie, Brother Larry and Brother Carl plus the REVP made up the committee.  There were 61 names from the region; 23 were selected.  It is believed that we got a good representation from RVAC.  At this time all delegates would have received their notification.


A Reminder was given for the PSAC NCRTriennial Convention; deadline for registration and submission of resolutions is April 1st.


The Afroculture – Le Festival des Cultures was not attended because we were not able to get the funds in time for purchase of the tickets; instead a suggestion to buy 4 tickets to the Jamaica Night at the Races fund-raiser was entertained.  A motion was made and carried to buy the 4 tickets at a cost of $130.00 by Paulette Barker/Carl Laguerre.  One member expressed concern with the motion explaining that it supports gambling.  The point was well taken and it was explained that although there would be opportunities to gamble, the event itself was for fund raising to a worthwhile cause.  Sister Ginette Thony asked to be recorded against.


The request to separate the expenses for the HR Event from the regular RVAC expenses was made to Amélie; they were reflected on the statements of the January AGM.  The request to enquire if all the entries were correct was also made; the explanation from Amélie is that the receipts all came in at the same time and that is why it appears as if the meetings were held at the same time.


RVAC By-Laws

Recently, questions were asked about the By-Laws that are posted on the NCR Web site and some questions have been raised in terms of the Committee’s mandate.  The latest version was located and sent out to the membership.  Brother Laguerre gave a brief explanation of the mandate and suggested that we all read the By-Laws and come back prepared to revise and update at this month’s meeting. 


Questions are:  What members expect from RVAC?  What can we do for them?

Paulette explained that initially we started out as a support group; and that we can’t just go into locals if members come to us and ask for help; we have to get the component’s permission to go in.  Brother Larry also explained that for a member to come to RVAC for representation would be violating the Constitution; also, managers may not want to speak with a union rep from outside the department.


Brother Michael expressed that although he has been on the committee for a while there are certain things that he did not take notice of.  Most agreed that the By-Laws is a sound document to work from and does not need much changing.  Brother Michael also responded to the question of what is a component.


One member said that they submitted a resolution for Human Rights training; it was passed and is going forward to the CEIU National Convention.  There was a suggestion to submit a resolution to have the Constitution amended to give RVAC the authority to represent members when they come to us and are not satisfied with the assistance from their locals.  Larry advised that he was speaking with Johanne Labine and there will be a specific Module for RVs and Aboriginals to identify what the issues are.  There are many problems in the workplace for Racially Visible Members and they just don’t seem to be getting the representation they need.  Clarification was made that the course would be for people who are handling the grievances.




Discussion on the By-Laws

3.2 Commence with identification of RVAC members who are in good standing in attendance to a meeting shall have a right to vote.

 There was a motion to remove 3.3 which reads:  A member should attend six (6) out of twelve (12) regular meeting per year to be eligible to have certain privileges or to vote at the Annual General Meeting.  The motion was made by Eugene and seconded by Ginette.  The motion was defeated.


3.3 now reads:  A RVAC member should attend six (6) out of twelve (12) regular meetings per year to be eligible to run for office.


A second motion to strengthen 3.3 by removing should and replacing with shall was made by Michael and seconded by Ginette.  The motion was defeated.


The Executive Committee now comprise:

Two Co Chairs (with gender balance)

Vice Chairperson/Communications Officer



Previous Co Chairs


A third motion was also made to change 5.1 to read: The Executive Committee should meet two weeks prior to the monthly meeting.  The motion was made by Michael and seconded by Effie; the motion was carried.


There are also minor changes to:  4.2, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, 5.2, 5.3, and 6.1




Eugene reminded all about the Youth Conference and encouraged locals to inform their youth members.


There are still quite a few Black History Month events on in the NCR and members are encouraged to participate whenever they can.


With no further business to discuss the meeting was adjourned; the motion was made by Carl Laguerre and seconded Paulette Barker.