Report from CAPE meeting April 27th 2009

HI Friends – we had our CAPE meeting on Monday the 27th of April from 5 to 7 pm in my living

room and though we only had four in attendance there was a range of discussion and strategising.

As usual we always try to do two things – one is to have those at the table share info and insight

about the conditions that prevail in their realm of the district and the other is that we initiate or

plan around a project of some sort. We had reports on the educational path that alternate education is traveling at the

moment, a précis of the teachers AGM last Thursday where they defeated a motion to support the extension of spring

break and some information about issues that have arisen in the operations department both regarding workload and labour

management relations.

We discussed the budget process and outlined the current role the district plays in trying to match needs with

underfunding. We discussed the school community out at the lake and the upcoming recommendations that flow from the

architects report about AB Greenwell.

We reflected on how we could support the petition campaign that the Friends of Cowichan Kids are involved in and

drafted help for the table at the market this Saturday. We also talked about how the petition could best be deployed in

influencing the budget process and the submission of a budget that can nurture student learning success.

We had a written report from one member who- being a CUPE support worker- has stated the following in regards to the

proposed extension of spring break for the district as a cost cutting tool.

She says it best so I will not paraphrase.

We enjoyed a simple meal of sandwiches and soup (potato/leek) and did get ourselves caught up in a dispute around

whether Dean Martin was really a drunken philanderer or just depicted this as a celebrity persona. We were deeply divided

and decided to agree to disagree – but happily we are all still friends.

Due to the third Monday in May being Victoria Day we will hold our next CAPE meeting on the 25th of May – 5 -7 pm at

my snug here in Duncan. All are welcome and as usual a modest meal will be served. A reminder will go out one week before.

Have a good evening.


“I have some issues I wanted to bring to the meeting. They are around the extra week off for spring break. Has this been

passed yet? As you can imagine, CUPE (and other) members are enraged and disgusted by this. We already have one

week without pay at spring break, now another. This in addition to the wage and hour cuts, increased job loads to “pick up

the slack”, deterioration of the cleanliness, health and safety of our job sites, the precedent being set, and many other

spinoffs as yet unforeseen. I guess we’ll be in the EI line-ups soon enough. One of my co-workers asked if this loss affects

our pensionable time. There are more repercussions to this measure than meet the eye. Is there any way of knowing which

trustees supported this? We should hold them accountable if we know who they are. In the survey I suggested cuts to

senior management, was this considered? I am sorry to hear that the bus drivers are taking a hit too. Soon there will be

none of us left but a few management types – some of whom are unfamiliar with classrooms and uncomfortable with


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