Saturday, September 4, 2010

Credit Union headed to arbitration

Nelson Star Updated: September 03, 2010 12:39 PM
More than four months after the strike at the Nelson and District Credit Union ended, an arbitration hearing has been scheduled over the proposed elimination of three positions.

“We’re extremely disappointed with this employer,” says Doug Singer, financial secretary of United Steelworkers Local 1-405. “We hoped after the strike we could work on improving our relationship.”

Instead, Singer says following the signing of the new collective agreement, they were notified the positions would be lost.

“They hadn’t indicated in any way previously that it was going to happen, so we filed some grievances.”

He says the positions include one in accounting, one in financial services at the East Shore branch, and one in operations dealing with point-of-sale machines.

The latter is “a contracting out issue, contrary to what we felt the employer indicated during bargaining... We asked if any restructuring was taking place, and understood there wasn’t. We made a lot of decisions based on that, and then found out after the fact they were looking at doing the exact opposite.”

Singer says it “goes to the issues of credibility, relationship, and trust. It’s contrary to the best interest of the credit union, employees, members, and community at large.”

Credit union general manager Doug Stoddart wasn’t willing to talk about the arbitration process or specifics of the changes, but said staffing is “dictated by member demand for products and services. The more members we have, the more products and services we have, the more staff we need.”

Stoddart says the changes haven’t yet taken effect, but are expected to soon.

“As per the collective agreement, we had to provide notice to the union, and there’s a period of time we have to discuss it with them. We’ve been going through that process all summer.”

He says they’re required to introduce chip technology in member cards to process transactions and prevent fraud.

“All our merchant terminals have to be brought up to speed to handle it,” he says. “It’s not something the credit union can do. The technology is beyond us.”

Meanwhile, they “see an opportunity to expand support to the business community, especially during these difficult economic times... It’s disappointing the Steelworkers don’t talk about the opportunities we’re creating. They just want to talk about changes that impact positions.”

The Steelworkers want to meet again with credit union management before the matter heads to arbitration, but Singer doesn’t hold out much hope for a resolution.

The hearing has been scheduled for November 8, 9, and 10 in Nelson. Lawyers for both sides will come from Vancouver to argue the case, and then the arbitrator is expected to take a few months to issue a decision.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The unionized staff of Nelson & District Credit Union would like to thank the members of Nelson, Rossland and the East Shore for their patience during the recent strike. We appreciated the support we received from the members, our families, friends, fellow union brothers and sisters and the community as they waved, honked, shouted encouragement and/or assisted us by donating so generously. The list below hopefully recognizes most of our supporters. We, no doubt have missed some and apologize for that, but we are no less grateful for everything we received.

Thank YOU!

Alan Brown, Alex Atamanenko, Annie’s Boutique, Barry O’Sullivan, Bean Here Now Consciousness Cafe, BCGEU, BC Nurses Union, Betty de Montigny, Burl Colins, Eddie-Jay, Ray Keen, IBEW Local 1003, Bill King, B & L Security, Bonnie Loeppky, Cam Jones, Canadian 2 For 1 Pizza, Canadian Postal Workers Union, Carpenters Union Local 2300, CMAW, Celeste Culpepper, Chace Kabatoff, Colleen Driscoll, Connie Crowder, Cottonwood Kitchens, CUPE Locals 339 & 748, Daija Currie, Photon Foods, Dan O’Bradovich, Dave & Tina Coletti, David Healey, David Livingston, Dean Renzie, Deb Weiland, Della McLeod, Dennis Munro & Frisco’s Steak & Fish House, Dollar Store - Fred, Dominique Huchet, Don Whitaker, Don Wilson & the UFCW, Doug Singer - USW Local 1-405, East Kootenay Labour Council, El Taco, Gil Gerhard Mayrhofer, Otter Transport, Glendale Tire- Pat, Grounded, Gwen Cavanaugh, Heritage Credit Union, Hospital Employees Union, Hume Hotel - Ryan, Dave & Sheila Martin, Jack Robertson, Jane Leeming, Jeff Mock - Silver King Soy, Jennifer Vecchio, Jesse Phillips, Jigsaws, Jon Meyer, Judy Fredericksen, Kathy Perlstrom, Ken & Jean Anderson, KIS staff, Klaus & Debby Offermann, Kootenay Coffee, Laura Spears, Leo’s Pizza, Lisa Markevich, Lois Nazaroff - AM Cedar, Mallards Sports - Dale Donaldson, Melissa Woodward, Michael Brewster, Michael Chapman, Michelle Bennett, Miriam & Greg Keyes, Mohan Bhabra, Nelson Civic Employees Union, Nelson Firefighters, Nelson Kootenay Electric - John, Niko Bekker, Oso Negro Coffee, Pam Guille, Pam St. Thomas, Paul Nedelec Jr. & Sr., Penny Aylward - UFCW, Phil Machnik, Rich Nelson - Frito Lay, Richard & Lauretta Wilsonn, Rick Bonderud, Regina Day, Robin Cherbo, Rod Sturtevant, Rose Nielsen, Selkirk College Faculty Association, Selkirk Student Union - David Lubbers, Sheila Haegedorn, Telecommunications Workers Union Local #4, Teresa Segstro, Twisted Tomato Pizza, United Steelworkers Union Local 9705, Vivi Lindsay, Waits News, West Kootenay Labour Council, West Kootenay Women’s Association -Marcia Braundy, Workers Compensation Board Employees Union - David Farrell

Sunday, May 2, 2010

showing support by honking the horn in the sidebar

During the strike the horn in the sidebar was honked 1374 times in March and another 1164 honks in April - more than 2500 times since the creation of this weblog. It says something about the cause when an individual sitting at a computer far from the picket line still tries to do something positive by playing an audio file to express support. I honked it a few times over the weeks; initially out of curiosity, later sometimes in frustration but mostly as a cheer of encouragement for the workers on the line - you must have also. The 4000 visits says something as well. Your support was always appreciated. Thanks.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Moving forward...

Well, the strike is over, and we're all trying to return to "normal" as quickly as we can. We can start to put the past couple of months behind us, and look forward to the future. What that looks like is hard to say. We're having a bumpy start.

In a perfect world, this whole situation could become a learning experience for both sides (of the table.) Something we'd all like to prevent from happening again.

Wouldn't it be something, if we could set an example to our Community, by all pulling together and make the NDCU's 60th year a positive memory... for everyone? With open, HONEST communications and respect? Happy staff, Members and Management? All working together to make our Credit Union a model, of how to take a bad situation, and turn it into something much better than it ever was? A lovely rainbow, after the storm.

Yah, I'm dreaming. There's a lot of work to do, and I sure don't have any easy answers.

I had hopes of this blog evolving into something more positive than just a reminder of where we ended up, (as a part of the history at the NDCU,). But there's many that would rather pretend it never happened. Is that the solution? Just sweep it under the rug, only to have the same problems creep up again?

I'm hoping there will be many positive posts to come, showing that changes have happened and that we are all moving forward.
Perhaps we should acknowledge the strike and keep it as a reminder of where we were, and where we hope not to end up again? Hmmm, only time will tell.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Gratitude and thank yous....

There are so many people who deserve to be acknowledged and praised, for helping us in so many ways, throughout this strike. It would be difficult to to list them all, (and there may be some who do not want their names publicized. )

We would like to say a heartfelt "Thank you!" to each person, business and group, that brought us: food, drinks, words of support, ideas, understanding, letters, donations, love, cheer, wisdom, patience, information, etc, etc, etc.

To everyone that helped us during the strike, (you know who you are,) please accept our sincerest gratitude - we thank you all!

To our negotiating team (Rick, Katie, Karol, and Robert) and our Union Financial Secretary (our leader) Doug Singer, each one deserves a hearty round of applause and a standing ovation for their hard work, on our behalf. Their unfailing dedication, tenacity, and efforts before, and during the strike, will be remembered for a long time. "Thank you" says so little, yet what else can we say?

Overall, we have proven ourselves to be a vibrant, professional and unified group. Working together we will continue to strengthen our ties.

We've also seen the true colours of our employer and are keenly aware that we will need to remain vigilant…

Progress was made, and for that we are grateful. We are proud of our team's efforts, unity and passion.

Our gratitude to our Members, friends, neighbours, businesses and groups is humbling, and we hope that your support will continue, at the AGM next week (April 27-7pm) and beyond.

In solidarity- The United Steel Magnolias.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Beyond the picket line...

As we've started to return to work, 6 staff (tellers & reception)-the 1st day -Thurs), most of the rest on Friday, and by Monday I think just about everyone should be back to work.
I hope our members will continue to show patience as we try to get things back to normal.
There's many things that have been left undone, piled up over the past 2 months, to be dealt with by returning staff.
(Also there were some needless things like certificates and personal photos removed from the wall, and boxes of files in another, while the reception area was in total disarray…just a couple of examples of our return to work conditions. ) Anyhow, there was no need for many things, (including the strike) and some things done were just mean.

I'm not saying we were angels (on the picket line). But we helped many people, even while we were outside on the street.
We didn't discourage or prevent people from doing their banking, and answered what questions we could, offered suggestions and options, to help our members during the difficult time.

Meanwhile, our employer was barricading themselves in the bank, posting our wages on the windows and allowing only one member in at a time for service (for most of the strike) and for very limited hours as their
"doorman", screened members before allowing them inside.

I was one of the "lucky" 6 that returned that 1st day back.
It was the 15th - a busy, stressful and long day.
I wasn't the only one with a pounding headache at the end of that day.

Our Employer neglected to advise the Newspaper that there was limited staff returning to work.
Many Members were so happy to be able to finally come in, and not have to cross a picket line.
Numerous people just stopped in to welcome us back, others were surprised to see our familiar faces, and for the whole day too!

However the long line-ups, with only 6 staff trying to serve them all was totally uncalled for and an unpleasant surprise.
(BTW-Management were in the Boardroom having a meeting MOST of the day... AFTER they'd done some work that should've been done by the staff they didn't call back in!)
Already breaking our agreement and continuing to divide us.
Still our members had to wait much longer than they should have.

I hope our members will remember this Strike , when they come to our AGM April 27 at 7pm at the Nelson Prestige.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Last blog from the picket line...

Our Employer has had MANY opportunities to show a little grace and goodwill towards their staff in the past 682 days. Even now, as we make arrangements to return to work, they refuse to be flexible.

We wanted/expected, to all return to work together. But NO. They won't budge on that either.

Note: Rather than prolong the situation, our team has (again) conceded to our Employer's demands.

Our employer wants only 6 staff from Nelson, 2 on the East shore, and 3 in Rossland. We've been trying to reason with our employer while they continue refusing to negotiate, dragging us through the media, keeping us waiting - endlessly, and always demanding, their way or the highway. Delaying progress at every opportunity, as well as deceiving us and the Members repeatedly.

Even today their Press Release is misleading. It says "… the employees are being asked to return to work starting Thursday."

They didn't say "the 6 employees" in Nelson, "the 2 employees" in Crawford Bay, nor "the 3 employees" in Rossland...

Our staff have shown ourselves to be professional, courteous and reasonable even under these most difficult of situations. Of this we can be proud. Yet they continue to build resentment, even now, in the final hours before we return to work.

Instead of trying to close the gaps between us, they're setting a poor atmosphere for us to return to.

NDCU strike officially ends after nearly two months

read the April 15 article by Colin Payne, Nelson Daily News:
The deal has been sealed and Nelson and District Credit Union (NDCU) staff will likely be heading back to work Thursday, after nearly two months on the picket line.

In a special board meeting on Monday night the NDCU board of directors unanimously agreed to approve an agreement with the United Steelworkers Union Local 1-405 that will send the employees it represents back to work.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

We are - The United Steel Magnolias

Brenda, her picket sign, and the button it inspired.
This photo was taken purposefully in front of the apparently contradictory NDCU slogan "Logically Locally".

letter to editor that NDN did not publish

The strike at the Nelson District Credit Union has given rise to a number of serious questions.
 • Does the strike have some overriding gender issues? The majority of the individuals walking the picket line are female. Conversely, the management working inside during the strike are mainly male. One wonders how many of the female workers are single mothers whose ability to withstand a lengthy strike are limited? Is the avoidance of the negotiating table a strategy to wear down the employees?
 • Why is the member elected board silent on the issues of the strike? The main spokesperson appears to be the manager who is an employee of the membership. As a member, I would like to hear from the elected Board which has a fiduciary responsibility to the membership.
 • What has happened to the mission statement which in part states:
” Through careful and ethical stewardship of our members’ resources, financial success is shared by members and communities that we so strongly support.
Realizing that change is constant, our ability is to manage, adapt and innovate is critical to achieving these goals”.
Change is constant and, therefore, one wonders why the Board is so hesitant to come to the table to discuss the outstanding issues. Is there resistance to change? How many Board members actually sit at the negotiating table? Who is driving the bus?
 • Research notes that highly successful and productive businesses have exemplary records in maintaining trust and respect for their employees. A good employee/employer relationship displays itself in loyalty and productivity. Leaving employees outside week after week without facilitating a resumption of the negotiating table gives an impression of a lack of trust and respect. What is the outcome that the Board and management hopes to achieve with a lengthy strike?
It is absolutely crucial that the parties come to the table and approach the contract discussions in a serious and mutually beneficial manner.
R.H. Day

It's all about control...

Yet another "last day" on the picket line.
We shouldn't be surprised.
Our Employer STILL feels the need to prove they have full control over us... now it's about the "back to work agreement."

(Remember our 1st day of strike? our employer wanted us to wear "Corporate wear"...ON THE PICKET LINE! They were very unhappy to learn that they cannot tell us what to wear... because we're on strike!)

For their last kick at the employees, they are insisting that only tellers and receptionists will report to work first, then the following day, the rest of the staff are to return to work.

It is important to us, as a group, to return to a group, and they know that.

It's not enough that they forced us into this strike, refused to talk to us for 2 months, dragged us through the media... they are still pushing us around, by determining how/when we come back to work. We could have been back to work on April 9/10.

Certainly not the way a co-operative behaves,
and NOT the way towards healing the damage this
strike has caused.

So, here we are... still waiting.

NDCU staff continue strike as agreement is finalized

read full April 14 report by Colin Payne at Nelson Daily News
The picket signs are still up in front of the Nelson and District Credit Union (NDCU), as employees are waiting for the final details of their contract to be ironed out.

Workers voted by a margin of 60 per cent to accept a contract last week, after talks between United Steelworkers Local 1-405 representatives and NDCU management were called off because a final agreement could not be reached.

Picket lines were expected to be pulled down as early as Thursday after management had signed onto the contract.

But as of Tuesday NDCU staff were still walking the sidewalk in front of the Vernon Street building.

Credit Union staff vote to accept deal

read full April 13 article at Trail Rossland News
On Monday and Tuesday picketers continued to rally in front of the Nelson & District Credit Union, fully thinking they would have been back to work already.

“We voted, they should do the same,” says union representative Katie Kabatoff. “We were expecting to be back to work already, and here we are.”


also at Trail Rossland News NDCU needs long-term fix from strike

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

management continues to dither...

even though we are ALL ready to work!

Monday, April 12, 2010

NDCU keeps Members and staff waiting...

While we're waiting for the CEO to finally get together with his team, ( the Board of Directors), should we hold our collective breath, in the hopes that they will approve their own proposal promptly?

Our members need to attend the AGM on Tues. April 27, 2010 at 7pm at the Nelson Prestige Inn.
Once a year our Membership is able to voice their concerns and ask questions openly... you need to be there!

While we wait, this is a good time to reflect... I wonder how apparent it is, that this strike is the final result of poor communication and complacency towards staff - from our Employer.
There are many examples of our Leaders' lack of communication with staff and/or Members where we should have been advised or (dare I say?) involved with changes being made.
Here's just a couple of examples that pop into my mind.

- Card limits...
the Credit Union reduced the access of all Members's cards
without advising them...
Several months ago, ALL card limits were reduced substantially, without a head's up to Members, or staff. Ie: ATM cash limits were reduced from $500.00 to $300.00 and Direct purchase limits (at the store), reduced from $5,000.00 to $1,500.00
As we (the staff) fielded numerous calls, & complaints, from upset Members (being unable to access their money,) the new ATM system came in and a new onslaught of complaints and calls, blended into it.
If staff had been included in any of the initial stages, perhaps we could've foreseen and/or at least been aware of, the impacts to our Members. We could have smoothed the transitions, instead of being swept away in the wake of problems.

Note: Apparently there was a brief notice on Member's monthly statements, after the fact, but it must have been quite small, 'cause I missed it, as did many other people.
(Think they'll improve communications with the new e-statements...?)

- Patronage payments/dividends (money)
In the past (until the year 2000), Members used to get money back - annually.
It was added to their Shares, (ie: Patronage payment like most other Credit Unions & Co-ops.)
It seems the NDCU made some changes and decided it was better to pool the money and contribute it to selected events/groups/etc. ... great idea and it's been very successful, since its inception in 2000, they've contributed "over $1.5 million back into its communities "... but where's the input from the Members? There was no Member vote on it.
While on the picket line, I've heard many complaints, from members, saying they could use that money themselves, and/or prefer to make donations to groups of their choice and get
the tax receipt for it, etc.

Personally, I think all Members should have a choice as to how their patronage/share money is dispersed :
1) add the money to our shares (so we can donate/save/use, as we choose).
2) allow the NDCU to donate that money...( as they choose).
3) have an option review our choice (annually/periodically).

Anyhow, in an effort to keep this short, I'll stop here.
I hope this gives you food for thought and encourages you to participate in our upcoming AGM.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Biding their time...

Well, here we are, waiting... yet again.

Still showing a lack of regard to the employees and our Membership,
by dragging their feet, and slowing things down as they've been doing for
almost 2 years.

Our Employer knows that we voted Thursday &
are prepared to accept their latest package
(that they offered us Tuesday night.)
They just need to accept & sign it, to get it finalized.

Why then, does the Management Team seem to be totally unaware of this
(on Friday)?
Our members are telling us Mgnt doesn't know what's going on...
Meanwhile, the CEO is continuing to be slow- just to get his own offer signed.

If we are able to keep 52 employees informed (and arrange a vote
between 3 branches in 24 hours) surely our CEO can advise his Mgnt. team,
and arrange to meet his Board of Directors in an equally, timely manner?

Is this just another show of authority, and lack of regard
(at staff & Members' expense?)
Yes, they've saved a lot of money by not paying staff, and I'm just as
sure that they've benefited (or will benefit) themselves "sufficiently" because of it.

By dragging their heels at this time, it only increases the level of distrust.
( At this point, we should be starting to close the wounds created by the strike...
not tearing them further.)

We will still need to make "back to work arrangements" once everything's signed,
and that shouldn't be very difficult either... unless they make it so.

Friday, April 9, 2010

NDCU workers vote to accept contract by slim margin

read the full article by Colin Payne, Nelson Daily News
The strike is not over just yet, however, as Singer said NDCU management have to formally agree to the contract on the table before the picket line will come down.

“If we get that answer tomorrow [Friday], we’ll pull the picket lines down tomorrow [Friday],” he said."

we did our part - just waiting for management to do theirs

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The votes are in...

After a lot of serious consideration and discussions, we prepare to vote on the proposal.

The final votes were cast early this afternoon.
We voted to accept the offer.
Now it needs to get approved by our Employer, but we should be back to work sometime (early) next week.

NDCU employees approve contract...

from Mountain FM







Workers voting on package despite disagreement

read full article by Colin Payne, Nelson Daily News:
NDCU shop steward, Rick Loewen said on Tuesday that he can’t say which way today’s vote might go.

“It’s not a bad deal and it’s not a great deal. It’s somewhere in the middle” Loewen said. “We’ll just have to wait on the membership to see what the outcome of all this is.”

When asked how he and the other staff would about the idea of spending several more weeks on the picket line, Loewen said that will definitely factor into their decision.

“We have to weigh that carefully and understand what the ramifications of ‘no’ vote would be,” he said. “At this point it’s not something we’d relish. This has been longer than we thought it would take.

“But it that’s ultimately where we end up then we would all consider that and know what the consequences of that would be.”

NDCU branches in Rossland and the East Shore voted on the package on Wednesday, but the results are not yet known.

with a little help from our friends

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Nelson Star - reporting on yesterday's Negotiations....

After reviewing the revised contract today, I'm sure we all have lots of questions to ask before we vote tomorrow...
I'm surprised to see that the Nelson Star has already reported it...
see the Nelson Star for details.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Week 8 begins...

Today (April 6/10), we started week 8 of the strike at the Nelson & District Credit Union (NDCU).

It was cold, wet & windy most of the day on the picket lines, with a
few rays of sunshine later in the day. Kind of like our moods... up, down,
dreary, hopeful.
(Wonder if it snowed in Rossland?)

We're all pretty anxious today because there's finally some "talking" going on-at the table!
We're trying to be optimistic and hope that they can sort things out in one day, because our Mediator won't be available for 2-3 weeks, after this!

As I write this, I'm waiting for some news... hoping we have something to vote on tomorrow.

Oh yeah, another one of the Management team, is gone (... this one to Mexico),
so the Mgt's Representative is needed at the branch, meaning that the CEO will be at the table today. ( That should save a lot of negotiating time.)

Also their Board of Directors' Representative is away in Scotland, so someone else (from the BOD) is "filling-in," at the meeting today.

Glad to see there's been no impact to their holiday plans during this "Labour Dispute".
I'm gonna sign off on that note...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Weekend....

Easter is a time of hope, faith and rebirth.
We all want to enjoy the optimism and renewing energy of the season, celebrating however we choose, with our families, friends, selves, indoors or out.

Hopefully, this Easter weekend will give most of us some badly needed time-off from the picket line, the stress of being on strike and all that it entails.
I'd love to hear that you took the a little time to do something you enjoy: gardening, hiking, egg-hunting, cleaning, playing, biking, skiing, painting, meditating, etc.
(Please add your comment at the bottom of this page, with your suggestions!)
While many of us "do our thing", there's probably a lot of work being done on- our behalf.
The negotiations on Tuesday (April 6) have been way too long in coming, and will be limited to one day, as our Mediator will not be available for a couple of weeks afterwards.
I know that Doug Singer (our Steelworkers Negotiator) and our negotiating team has been working valiantly to get us to this turning point and I'm trusting that our Employer has been doing the same.
I believe there will be a lot of behind-the-scenes activity this weekend, to get concepts and wording lined-up, so that Tuesday's work will be more about signing than refining.
I think I'm speaking for EVERYONE involved, by saying that we're all hoping to end this strike... SOON.
We've all put forth an amazing amount of energy, time, commitment and teamwork.

It's been such a struggle to get to the Negotiating table, but the bottom line is: we all want the same thing - a Collective Agreement that provides clear and reasonable guidelines for the Union employees and Employer a-like, to follow.
It needs to be a win/win situation. Isn't that what it's all about?
There needs to be give and take - equally, so both sides of the table can feel good about the final agreement.
P.S. Our members, friends, families, and Community have all been so supportive and we're extremely grateful for that. We hope it continues through to include our Annual General Meeting (AGM) April 27-7pm Nelson (Prestige Inn).

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Credit union, workers to resume contract talks

read full article at Trail Daily Times
If a deal is reached when negotiations resume on Saturday, workers could vote on the proposal and be back on the job as early as next week, he said.
Among the outstanding issues include wages, benefits and contract language covering part-time work, benefit protection and job security.

The credit union branch in Rossland has been serving members by appointment only since the strike began.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

NDCU set to meet union for bargining

read the full article at Trail Rossland News
Doug Singer from the United Steelworkers Union Local 1-405 is hopeful a deal will be struck.

“The media coverage has helped and now that we will both be at the table I hope we can come to a collective agreement,” he said.

“There are a few doors open and I am hopeful, but there is quite a bit of work to do. We are trying to stay positive.”

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Glad we're part of Central 1.... 275% gain in Net Income!!...

March 19, 2010
Vancouver and Mississauga – Central 1 Credit Union’s net income jumped 275 per cent last year to $99.9 million from $26.6 million in 2008.

The central financial facility and trade association for the B.C. and Ontario credit union systems saw its assets rise 29.2 per cent to $11.1 billion at year-end from $8.6 billion in 2008. Asset gains reflected significant growth in the liquidity of Central 1's member credit unions. Return on equity was 19.6 per cent, compared with 7.7 per cent in 2008.........

...The year’s strong results enabled Central 1 to pay an extraordinary dividend of 10 per cent on top of regular dividends of two per cent...

(As part of Central 1, where's our share of the dividends??)






Mountain FM
Posted on: March 30, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010






Mountain FM
Posted on: March 29, 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

As week 6 comes to an end

This 6th week has been a long one.
One week seems to blend into another and at times it seems there'll be no end. It's getting harder to be cheerful as the bills mount with our frustration. Some good news on Friday night though, so the week ends on a much more positive note.
Some of our families are getting tired of this strike, they want it to be over too, but they are as powerless as we are.
Tension builds as we struggle with our swinging emotions...anger, fear, hopelessness, anxiety, respect, encouragement, power, sadness, hope, frustration, etc.
As a group, we are creating strong bonds and gaining strength from each other.
We're weathering this storm, together...and we all know that things will never be the same.
But he longer this strike continues, the greater the divide becomes, between "us" and "them"... can that ever become "we", I wonder?

Our negotiating team has been keeping us informed and working hard for us all.
We trust them and have full confidence that they are representing us and doing their best.
We know this and are very proud of them.
Here's a couple of highlights from this week...

March 23/10
Rick Loewen served the NDCU Management team with papers to have Bradley Roulston, NDCU Certified Financial Planner (as opposed to Wealth Management Financial Planner), removed from the premises as he was 'hired' after our contract expired, and is CLEARLY doing Bargaining Unit work, which he has never done before. There is a Hearing set for Friday for the two to present their sides.

March 26/10
NEWS! They're going to meet at the bargaining table on April 6!
There'll be a lot of work to do that day, but it sounds like the basic framework has been built and now the details need to be filled in.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Good news, there's some progress being made...

About NDCU - Our History

Our History - East Shore Community Branch:
Back in 1954, a bitter strike at the Bluebell Mine in Riondel coupled with an uncaring response from the banks led to discussions regarding credit unions by local residents.

Heinz Carl quickly signed up 10 members and on November 22, 1954, Riondel Credit Union opened for business. Over the years, the credit union operated out of a community hall, a union office and a house at the junction of Riondel Road and Highway 3A. In 1984, the credit union amalgamated with Nelson & District.

April 27/10 AGM- Mark your calendar now!

Our smiling faces and friendly attitudes are waning under the strain of STILL walking the picket line.

We're well into our 6th week of this strike, and we're STILL trying to persuade NDCU to come to the bargaining table to negotiate our contract.

It's hard to be optimistic, but there must be a light at the end of this tunnel.

By now, our members have each received a letter sent to them by NDCU.

I'm pleased to see that many are annoyed at this unsolicited, one-sided view, and are asking us to present our side of the items listed.

Unfortunately there are a lot of folks that do not have computers, so they don't have access to our blog, but they are usually willing to take the time to listen and ask questions.

Most are surprised at how long this is taking, and want to know when it will end. Of course we don't have an answer for that. We can't do any negotiating, if our employer isn't at the table.

In spite of numerous letters, e-mails, phone calls, it seems that all is falling on deaf ears. Our employer is in no hurry to meet and resolve this strike. They aren't listening to us (staff) nor the members.

Our elections and Annual General Meeting (AGM) are coming up next month and we need you, and many other members, to come and participate.

The AGM is held once a year and it is your time to be heard as a membership.
To exercise your voting rights and have your voice heard, come out to the AGM.
Mark your calendar now, it is Tues. April 27th 2010, 7:00pm at the Prestige Inn in Nelson

NDCU strike continues

KBS Radio: NDCU strike continues
Wed, 2010-03-24 09:47.
Local News

The 6th week of strike action at the Nelson and District Credit Union has the spokesperson representing workers pleading for an end to games.

Doug Singer with Local 1-405 says he's looking for a committment from both sides to end the dispute.

A 4 page notice sent to credit union members from management earlier this week raised his ire...

Singer adds he's been concerned about relying on the media to get messages out because he believes it only takes the sides farther from the bargaining table.

Nedia Vanderelst - KBS News
KBS Radio: Strike continues at NDCU
Fri, 2010-03-19 09:40.
Local News

Workers at the 3 Nelson and District Credit Union Branches are finishing their 5th week of strike action with still no end in sight.

Credit Union CEO Doug Stoddart says both sides are still too far apart, but he's hoping for some movement in the next week.

Stoddart adds the sides have continued communications through a mediator, despite last Monday's rejection of management's most recent offer.

Nedia Vanderelst - KBS News

NDCU newspaper ads draw fire from employees

Trail Rossland News March 9
Dear Doug Stoddart:

It was with great interest that I read your half-page advertisement in the Trail Rossland News, March 4, 2010. I was surprised to read that your employees, represented by the Steelworkers Local 1-405 discontinued bargaining in favor of a strike.

Perhaps they discontinued bargaining because after sitting at the table with you for two years they were not making any progress on their issues. Your subsequent bargaining tactics seem to indicate that there may be good reason to doubt your commitment to finding an agreeable resolution.

I find it particularly offensive that you have posted your employees salaries on the window of the Credit Union, and are taking out ads in the local papers to discredit your Employees and their Union. As manager of the Credit Union, I’m certain you have negotiated numerous contracts; have you ever successfully negotiated a contract with your customer left standing on the street while you discredit them in the press?

There is only one way to resolve your differences Mr. Stoddart; that’s at the bargaining table with the mediator. The other two parties are waiting for you.

Chuck Macklon

President USW 9705

USW Canada article from 12 March 2010

Photo courtesy LU 1-405
click for full article: Steelworkers in Fourth Week of Strike Action at Nelson and District Credit Union Branches
Nearly 50 United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1-405 members are in their fourth week of strike action at 3 branches of the Nelson and District Credit Union (NDCU). Those branches are in Nelson, Rossland and Crawford Bay.

The strike, which began on February 16, was taken after union members rejected the company’s final offer, which fell far short of the workers’ demands and was rejected by 96 per cent. Both sides met on February 15 in a final attempt to reach an agreement before the strike.

The workers have been without a contract since May 31, 2008.

welcome to our pet friendly picket line

"ndcu steel magnolias" is now showing up in Google Search

ndcu steel magnolias - Google Search

also try searching Google for "proudly serving 2 members at a time" with and without the quotes

a hat tip to Angie for using those terms and labels

Thursday, March 25, 2010

push button for teller service

fyi: sidebar horn honk stats

according to the stats at the netidea server, the horn audio file in the sidebar has been "honked" 1041 times as of 7:15 AM March 25
5 10410.16% /Media/ani/honk3.wav

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

comments on post #3

East Kootenay District Labour Council has left a new comment on your post Support the striking workers at the NDCU:

"Keep up the good work ladies and you have the full support of the East Kootenay District Labour Council"

also: "keep the faith, what comes around goes around and this employer's day is comming. Kevin Staneland Chair Local 1008 BCGEU"

Our retort to NDCU's letter- in a nutshell

In a nutshell- this is our retort to NDCU's Letters to Members, March 22, 2010

It appears that the credit union is keenly interested in negotiating with the members and the media so we encourage the members and the media to settle this management labour dispute.

The NDCU's recent "letter to the members" forces us to respond to their comments.

1st paragraph:
They say they are responding to members' requests for information - so why don't they send the information to those that have requested it rather than to everyone? We have had several members respond to management by saying - "we don't care what the issues are, get your employees back to work".

If the credit union is so concerned about the number of sheets of paper they send to the members every year - (see page 2 of their letter )- why would they send this two page double-sided wonder to thousands of members who didn't ask for it?

They also say they have "continually had discussions" with the Steelworker's Union during this dispute.
Really? When? Where? Which Local?
Had the credit union been in those discussions with the union, they might realize that some of the items they raise in the letter -under the heading of "About The Monetary Differences", have changed, been reduced or been removed.

About the monetary differences: (some items have been changed, reduced or removed.)
Perhaps the credit union is using a timeline that's on a sliding scale of time when addressing these issues with the members, because the signing bonuses the union was "demanding" as of Feb. 16, 2010 was $2700 and not the $2500 that the letter stipulates.
As of Feb. 16, 2010 the in charge premium "demand" by the union had already been dropped but then the credit union failed to mention the "demands" the union had for the employer paying the lost time and wages for employees on the bargaining committee or the "demand" for a training premium or that the "demand" for paid-out banked sick time had also been removed at some point and that we are no longer looking to get discounts on mortgages below member rates, etc. etc. etc
Unfortunately it is these sorts of things that are discovered during "negotiations" with the parties the credit union should be negotiating with, rather than with the members and the media, who, by the way, we must look to, to settle this dispute.
And another nice touch is the credit union again displaying some of "our" wages in this wonderful e-friendly, paper saving, letter but for some unknown reason, again they chose not to display their own wages, benefits, incentives, bonuses, perks and whether during 2008 and 2009 they would have received an increase of any kind while the rest of the credit union world looked on.

The credit union did not want to do any "collective" bargaining because of items the union wanted addressed at the table and which the credit union agreed to, but then changed their mind on, and wanted the union to remove those issues and try to determine what the union could or could not discuss at the table.

About Contracting out:
The section on contracting out is an interesting one and we again congratulate the credit union for their approach on this matter. Perhaps it can best be summed up in their statement about e statements which indicates that there is not a banking platform available that will allow your credit union to provide statements to their members as they have in the past.
In what sounds like an attempt to embarrass the union, the letter also indicates that other Steelworkers Union represented credit unions in the area deliver e-statements to their members. That is quite a statement and the only statement to make is that the majority of those credit unions "still" continue to mail the paper statements, folded and sent out by their unionized workers. But for some reason, Nelson & District Credit Union cannot continue to do that. (Maybe they still believe it only impacts only one employee...instead of 6-8 employees?)

About the Language:
The credit union is quite correct in saying that the union initiated strike action, but that was with some clear indications that this might happen.
First of all the expiry date on the current collective agreement was May 31, 2008 - the union took a strike vote in December 2009 with 98% support - the union voted on the credit union's final offer proposal and soundly rejected it by 96% .

When we finally got back to the table in January of 2010 (with the assistance of a mediator) the union indicated that we would be going out on strike on Feb. 16, 2010 unless a settlement had been reached and during bargaining, the union made it abundantly clear what the key issues were. On Feb. 15 at around midnight the proposal the union received did not address all of the key issues sufficiently. So you would be quite right in saying that the union was forced by the credit union in initiating this strike action.

About the travel grievance.
The credit union seems intent on having this matter settled in front of an arbitrator, but the union is concerned that the only thing that might get settled in front of an arbitrator is a legal technicality that the credit union is raising. If that is the case, then the reason the grievance was filed in the first place would never get discussed and that would not be a satisfactory way of resolving such an important issue.

That's about it in a nutshell.

Letter to the Editor, March 23, Nelson Daily News

Credit Union employees: In their own words - a timeline

Dissecting a Labour Dispute

read the March 23 editorial by Bob Hall, Nelson Daily News
The dispute at the corner of Vernon and Ward is uncomfortable and it’s time to get down to setting (sic) the strike

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Striking NDCU staff hopeful of resolution around the corner

read full March 23 article by Colin Payne, Nelson Daily News
Doug Singer, financial secretary for the United Steelworkers Union Local 1-405, which represents the NDCU staff, said the union has been in discussions with the Labour Relations Board mediator and he’s hopeful something will happen soon.

“I think things are looking a little positive,” Singer said. “I think there’s some opportunity that we may try and move things closer together in a little bit here.”

Whereas NDCU CEO, Doug Stoddart told The Nelson Daily News that the union had rejected a recent counter-proposal from management, Singer said that’s not quite accurate.

“We responded and we didn’t agree with everything they had proposed,” he explained. “But I wouldn’t go as far as to say we rejected it.

“Part of the proposal involves going back and forth because you don’t always agree on every issue.”

Management has also maintained that wages and benefits are the major stumbling block in the negotiations. But Singer maintained that contract language around issues like part-time versus full-time work, contracting out of labour and benefit protection are at the root of the problem.

the picket line is online - visit both

Monday, March 22, 2010

Where are the NDCU board of directors in this?

The lambs are silent.

Anonymous said...

Lets start calling all the Nelson Directors
Colin McClure 250-354-0223
Andy Chute 250-505-5575
Marjorie Bailey 250-352-5609
Bernie Swendson 250-354-3810

Pedestrians can honk support today!

Movement ceases in NDCU strike

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bottle Depot donations welcome.

If you want to show your support, for the ladies walking the picket lines, you can donate the proceeds from your returned bottles at the Bottle Depot to the "United Steelworkers - NDCU picketers."

It's amazing how much work and effort a strike actually takes.
The biggest sacrifice, is financial.
It's not easy "Walking the line", and trying to survive on our meagre strike pay.

Truly every bit helps!
Thank you from the NDCU staff-
Steel Magnolias.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Now we're too far apart?

Our employer is showing us how they play the "inconsistency game".

First he says that our issues are minor and not worth striking over.

NOW he says we're too far apart to negotiate face to face.

Kind of like when he said they've been negotiating for three weeks. (He left out that they'd been negotiating with the media...not with us!)

Signs of the times

photos by dave livingston cmaw 2300 and cep/cfu 2040

Thursday, March 18, 2010






Posted on: March 18, 2010 Mountain FM

e-statements...are here

Here it is March 17 and I've finally received my statement...and I'm not alone.
If they'd been done in-house, I know we would all have them before now.
This is the first month that our statements are being done by someone else,
(contracted out) in Vancouver I believe.
Now there's no colour, but at least I got 3 stuffers, and 3 separate envelopes.
Hmmm from my vantage point, it's way more paper than I usually get.
Welcome to the new e-statement.

I'm still upset that our Employer believes that only one part-time person is
impacted by this change.
It is so inconsiderate of the rest of us part-timers and casuals that depend on
those extra days each month.

The fact that they are oblivious to the internal impact isn't bad enough.
I wonder if they gave any thought beyond NDCU? Like locally?
Like maybe our Post Office?

We normally bring bags of stamped envelopes (statements) for several days
to the Post Office across the street. I'm sure it provides a lot of work for them
for a few days, every month too.
From my understanding, we're lucky we still have a full service Canada Post
Office in Nelson!

How about our local printers? Our stuffers, and "Dollars and Sense" have
traditionally been printed locally.
I'm pretty sure that's changed too. I only see a small part of the picture,
but I wonder if there's more people that will be impacted by this change.

I'm not against change, but to do so secretly and without knowing the impact
on their own staff, makes me wary of their ability to see how they may be
affecting the rest of our Members, and the community.

Like when they changed everyone's card limits some time ago.
Oh, I'll talk about that one later...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Timeline of events, and what's happening so far.

At the request and suggestion of many of our members,
the employees of NDCU would like to share some information regarding the current strike situation.

To begin, we have prepared a timeline of events of the past 22 months:

May 2008: Contract expires
June to Dec 2008: Talks produce minimal results
Jan to Dec 2009: Management refuses to come to the table unless certain conditions are met. Demanding pre-conditions to a negotiation process is not bargaining in good faith.
December 2009: Strike vote results are 98% in favour
Jan 2010: Talks resume; minimal results; important issues not discussed
Management was advised we would not work beyond Feb. 15th without a contract.
Feb. 3, 2010: Management presents a first, final and only offer.
Feb. 11, 2010: Offer rejected by 96%
Feb. 15, 2010: Mediated negotiations break down after NDCU management keeps our bargaining team waiting for 8 hours. The package received just minutes before the deadline
of midnight was another indication that management was prepared to accept a strike outcome.

Some of the very important issues still needing to be discussed are:
- revision of benefits to be on par with other local credit unions
- preservation of full time jobs
- keeping jobs local when possible to reduce contracting out
- timely settlement of grievances
- loopholes in contract language
- application of policies in a fair and consistent manner

We are puzzled and disappointed by the actions of the Board, the general manager and his team. We feel that there has been a lack of willingness to discuss and resolve these very important issues.
How can this strike situation be better than sitting down and sorting out a contract that is a
win-win situation for everyone? Negotiations can be frustrating and difficult, but with a sincere effort to communicate and compromise, we can arrive at mutually agreeable solutions. Is this not ultimately the more desirable outcome than this unpleasant and public confrontation?

Unfortunately, there has now been extensive damage done and not just the financial kind.
The loss of respect and trust on both sides will take a long time to recover.

Our bargaining team for the 48 NDCU employees consists of 4 fellow co-workers from all 3 branches as well as our USW negotiator who lives in Cranbrook and has extensive experience negotiating contracts for credit unions in the Kootenays.

In an effort to get talks started again, we sent a reduced counter proposal to management on March 3. We got a response one week later on March 10th. We are working hard to keep these talks moving forward and have prepared another reply to be sent to the management team.

As of the writing of this letter, it has been 4 weeks since we reluctantly went on strike.
We are most upset by the inconveniences that our members are having to endure with the drastically reduced hours and limited services. We thank you for your patience and loyalty! It is our hope that we will soon be able to serve you again at all three locations. On a note of thanks, our members and communities have been overwhelmingly generous with food, beverages, cash donations, grocery cards and the list goes on. More importantly, it’s been your kind words of encouragement, support and caring that means so much to us all.

The employees of NDCU/USW 1-405
Nelson, Rossland, Crawford Bay