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CEP Atlantic Communications Council

Membership Bulletin
March, 2009

Bullying/Harassment Workshop

On Dec 2/08, the Council executive attended a one day session on bullying & harassment in the workplace. Facilitator by Lee Nicholas-Pattillo from the HR Group, explained how, as the Corporate Conciliation Manager, she handles different types of complaints of bullying &/or harassment. It was very useful in that it gave us a better understanding of what would constitute bullying or harassment and it helped us determine the union’s role in any complaint. But it also raised other questions about when would you file a grievance and be respectful about time limits. We need to be conscious of our time limits or mutually agree to extend them to ensure member’s rights are protected.

Biennial Council Locals Meeting

The Notice of the Biennial Council meeting has been issued. This meeting will take place in Liverpool, NS on May 29 & 30, 2009. The purpose of this meeting is to vote on resolutions that propose changes to the CEPACC By-laws and elect the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Recording Secretary and Treasurer of the Council. Please consult the CEPACC Bylaws, which can be found on the Council Website ( as well as your Local’s Bylaws, for information on this meeting. Your Local will be posting the deadline date and process for resolutions to be sent to your Local Executive for approval. Any questions should be directed to your Local officers.

Young Workers Education Conference

A National Young Workers Education Conference will be held at the Algonquin College, Ottawa from June 4-7/09. A Young Worker is defined as a person 29 years of age or younger. The conference theme is “Raise a Little Hell!” There are four workshops offered; Raise a Little Hell… against Harassment; at the Bargaining Table; with Fight-back Campaigns and on the Environment and the Economy. The conference in 2007 was cancelled due to lack of registrations. All locals are encouraged to send as many Young Workers as possible to make this conference a success. Remember, Young Workers are the future of our union.

2008 CEP Convention

The 2008 Convention was held at the Palais des Congrès in Montreal in October. Guest speakers included Ken Georgetti of the CLC, Riccardo Petrella , l’Universite Suisse Italienne in Switzerland, Laura Penny, University of King’s College, Halifax and John Cartwright, Toronto and York Labour Council. There were also guest appearances from Gilles Duceppe, Bloc Quebecois and Jack Layton, NDP. There was a rally held at the Petro Canada refinery in Montreal where 260 employees were locked-out, at that time, for almost a year. The company was trying to break the energy bargaining pattern but the workers were determined to not let that happen. Over 1000 convention delegates boarded buses which took them to the site of the refinery and the picket line. It was a great morale booster for the strikers. A tentative agreement was reached just before Christmas which upheld the terms of the energy bargaining pattern. The workers voted 94.6% in favour of the new agreement and returned to work on Jan 12/09. They had been on strike for a total of 13 months! A fine show of solidarity!!! We are also pleased that 3 of our members were elected to National positions. Mary Croke (Local 410) and Penny Fawcett (Local 2289) were elected as Rank & File Executive Board Members and Karen White (Local 410) was elected to the National Women’s Committee. Also, elected were Lisa Martin (Local 506) as 1st alternate and Noel Pauley (Local 401) as 2nd alternate Rank & File Board Members.

Bargaining Unit Work

There are non-bargaining unit jobs being posted which we think can arguably be considered bargaining unit work. The 6 of us who sit on the Council Executive can’t know the details of each and every job in the company. It appears that new technology being introduced is being kept out of the bargaining unit. Over time, the legacy work will diminish and the union and its members will realize that the jobs associated with new technology are non-bargaining unit. New technology is the future of our industry and therefore, the future of our union. We need to fight NOW to stop this bleed. We ask all union members to contact us when any piece of your work is being advanced technologically and you are not being trained on the new technology. Instead the work will be done by someone outside the bargaining unit. It is only through YOUR help can we fight to protect jobs within our union.

Work Sharing for Students

The Common Interest Forum has worked for several months on improving employee’s access to time off, especially during the summer months. As a result we have agreed to allow students to share a part time job which better attracts a student workforce who can work throughout the year. For details on this new agreement, please visit our website at

National Women’s Conference

The 2009 National Women’s Conference is being held in Ottawa from Nov 8 – 10. Each Local will appoint or elect delegates as per their individual by-laws. More details will be posted early in the fall.


It is with great sadness that we honour four members who recently passed away.

Earl Allen from Yarmouth, NS was tragically killed in a snowmobile accident on Jan 16, 2009. He worked as a Cable Technician and had almost 30 years service with the company. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to his wife Shelley, two daughters, Amy and Cara, his extended family and friends.

Morris Hobbs and his wife Mildred from Baie Verte, NL were also killed tragically in a snowmobile accident at Southern Arm, NL on Jan 25, 2009. Morris was a union member since 1986 and was working a Network Technician. Our deepest sympathy is extended to their two sons, Michael and Kevin, the Hobbs & Perry families and friends.

Roger Roy from Holyrood, NL died suddenly on Feb 1, 2009. Roger last worked as a Network Equipment Technician in St. John’s but had been off work for the past several years due to health issues. Roger was an active member in Local 410, serving on several committees. Roger had 36 years service with Aliant. Our condolences are sent to his wife Judy, his extended family and friends.

Chantale Doiron (Benoit) from Saumarez, NB died on Feb 10, 2009, age 40. Chantale worked as a CSR in Bathurst and had 9 years service with the company. Many of you are familiar with Chantale and her story through the cookbook fundraiser held in late 2008. Sincere condolences are extended to her husband Stephane, daughter Marie-Pier, family and friends.

In solidarity

Penny Fawcett
Noel Pauley
Joyclin Coates
Phil Briffett
Chuck Rouse
Mary Croke