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VOLUME 14 | Issue #3 Winter 2019

The publication for members of MoveUP, The Movement of United Professionals

The People Edition


Conversation with a Broker

Why The Blood Ban Fight Matters
The Heart of Community Savings
2019 Bob Derby Golf Tournament
United Way's Real Deal Neal
CONTENTS In This Issue








THE BLOOD BAN MATTERS The Union's Credit Union








19 DRIVING FOR KNOWLEDGE: The Environment in 2020







JUSTIN’S JOURNEY Connecting Countries Through Lacrosse



President’s Message
MoveUP, the Movement of United Professionals, is Local 378
of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union,
the British Columbia Federation of Labour, and the Canadian
Labour Congress. We are also affiliated with UNI Global Union
and IndustriALL through our national union.
MoveUP Executive Board Members:
President: David Black
Secretary-Treasurer: Lori Mayhew
Vice-Presidents: Rysa Kronebusch (Utilities), Christy Slusarenko
(Combined Units), Annette Toth (ICBC)
Utilities-Hydro: Anderson Charles, Calvin Jonas
ICBC: Brenda Chu, Colin Clark, Bryan Finstad, Melissa Maher,
Gunter Seifert
Fortis/CHC: Michael Carr
Combined Units: Safar Alikhani, Hani Dakkak, Graeme Hutchison,
Bilbeer Sandhu
MoveUP Communications, Campaigns & Research:
Communications Director: Norman Gludovatz
Acting Communications Director: Daniel Fung
Communications Officer: Kim Chartier
Director, Operational Strategy:
Paul Reniers
MoveUP Arbitration Representative:
Brian Nelson
MoveUP Senior Union Representatives:
Cheryl Popeniuk, Kevin Smyth
MoveUP Union Representatives
Nathan Beausoleil, Anny Chen, Yudon Garie, Tony Geluch, Noel
Gulbransen, Trevor Hansen, Cathy Hirani, Barbara Junker, Shawn
Lakusta, Cindy A. Lee, Mike Novak, Kelly Quinn, Parm Sandhar,
Alina Teymory, Scott Wilcox, April Young
Director, Executive Administration:
Karen Caston
MoveUP Administrative & Office Staff:
Sarah Hall, Administrative Work Leader
Joanne Banfield, Elaine Chilman, Adele Earwaker, Lisa Jeffery,
We often refer to our entire membership as
Sophie Kutay, Kirstyn Mallory, Shelley Martin, Michelle Mihaichuk,
Harj Parmar, Kathryn Prinz, Violet Shorty, Kim Smith a single entity, but we know that each
MoveUP Financial Staff:
Controller: Barbara Liang and every one of our members is unique.
Sarina Nannar, Pardeep Singh, Marilyn Vassell
- David Black
Occupational Health & Safety & WCB Appeals:
Niki Schnurr
Caitlin Davidson-King, Caitlin Gilroy, Javed Saheb

Health & Welfare Trust Administrator: he end of the calendar year always offers an opportunity to reflect
Yasmin Carroll on what we have accomplished over these last 12 months. For us
Human Resources and Organizational Development Director: at MoveUP, as cliché as it sounds, what has made me so proud in
Ram Atwal
2019 has been the solidarity we’ve seen from across our union. Seeing so
Headquartered on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Skwxwú7mesh many of our members demonstrate support for each other – whether it’s
Úxwumixw (Squamish), Tsleil-Waututh and Qayqayt First Nations.
visiting a picket line or supporting our ongoing Driving Public campaign to
educate the people about the benefits of public car insurance – has been
The Local Voice is the official quarterly magazine published for the a heartwarming experience. We often refer to our entire membership as
members of MoveUP. ISBN 1918-9753 COPE 378 Voice
Letters to the editor are welcome but may be edited for brevity a single entity, but we know that each and every one of our members
and clarity. Please contact MoveUP for permission to reprint is unique. With a membership of 12,000, we don’t always get to hear
articles, graphics, or photographs. everybody’s individual story. I’m excited that,
Address all correspondence to:
MoveUP Communications
in this issue, we will get to hear some of
Suite 301 - 4501 Kingsway, Burnaby, B.C. V5H 0E5 those stories about what makes our people
Phone: 604-299-0378 | Toll Free Line: 1-800-665-6838 unique and why we’re so lucky to have you
Fax: 604-299-8211
as part of our union. All of you are part of our
Visit MoveUP’s website at
or contact us via email at mission to make this world a better place for David Black
Editors: Kim Chartier, Daniel Fung workers, families and other people who are President, MoveUP
Contributors: Huw Evans, Melissa Maher, Bruce Sarvis,
Gunter Seifert
just like us.

MOVEUP Local Voice VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 | 3

4 | VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 MOVEUP Local Voice
MOVEUP Local Voice VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 | 5
MEMBERS MoveUP Members in the Community

The mini-purple scarf

pins shown in the left
photos were handmade
by MoveUP members
and staff and represent
our support for domestic
violence abuse survivors.

Nominate a worthy union activist for the

2020 Ardell Brophy Award
The annual Ardell Brophy Award is presented created the award in Ardell’s honour in 2010. The
to MoveUP stewards who demonstrate fierce past recipients of the award are Lori Watt (2011),
dedication and commitment to their union, Stephen Von Sychowski (2012), Karin Cirez (2013),
and who has shown leadership in helping to Laurie Kirk (2014), Joyce Galuska (2015), Heather
foster and support new activists. Christie (2016), Linda Kemp (2017), Cenen Bagon
Ardell Brophy first served MoveUP (2018), and Brian Martens (2019).
members on the executive board before The award will be presented to the applicant
becoming a union representative at with an outstanding record of union activism, and
MoveUP for over 18 years. She had donated one who has shown leadership in helping to foster
her talents as a stand-up comedian to and support new activists.
raise money for countless causes and had Deadline for applications is January 24,
mentored many up-and-coming female 2020 at 4:30 p.m. The award will be presented
comics. Ardell passed away in 2015 after a at the Job Steward Seminar in spring 2020. Visit
long battle with pulmonary fibrosis. to find the application form.
The MoveUP executive council

6 | VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 MOVEUP Local Voice

A Lesson in Private Car Insurance from Alberta PUBLIC

Find more resources at

hen former MoveUP member Diana Jennings At MoveUP’s request, Diana compiled some Editor's note:
retired from a career spanning over two information between the difference not only in terms The information
decades at ICBC, she knew moving to Alberta of the insurance product itself, but around licensing for this story was
from B.C. meant there would be changes to her car and registration as well.
gathered before
insurance coverage. The chart outlines the differences in coverage
Having worked in the insurance industry and and price that Diana had or paid in B.C. versus Alberta. the news broke
understanding what insurance covers, she knew that It’s important to note, also, that in B.C. your vehicle in November
B.C.’s public insurance product provided better coverage registration and licensing is all done through ICBC while that Alberta
than what was available in Alberta. But even she was in Alberta, you need to go to separate places for each. auto insurers
shocked when she compared the difference between
are planning a
what she was paying in B.C. compared to Alberta.
massive rate hike
across the board


Five-year Class
$75 $91
5 Driver’s License
Vehicle registration $45 $80 (plate fee not included)
Insurance $134/month includes registration,
finance fee, and Roadside Plus $111/month
Insurance Coverage $1 million third-party liability
$3 million third-party liability
$500 collision deductible
$300 collision deductible
$250 comprehensive deductible
$300 comprehensive deductible
(does not include windshield coverage)

BC NDP Convention overwhelmingly supports fixing public car insurance

At the 2019 BC NDP Convention held from November 22 to 24 in Victoria,
there was overwhelming support demonstrated for fixing our public car
insurance system in B.C.
A resolution was successfully passed asking the BC NDP to pledge to keep
auto insurance public in British Columbia, continue to improve the valuable
insurance products provided by ICBC, stabilize the public insurer’s finances,
bringing rates down to ensure affordability, and keeping jobs in B.C.

MOVEUP Local Voice VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 | 7

Conversation With a Broker:
ROAD A Lesson in Private Insurance Coverage

once with their renewal. When I asked them

why they weren’t receiving the experienced
driver discount, they told me they didn’t
know about it. It turns out the previous
brokers they had used never bothered
looking into it because they just walked
in and asked for the exact same coverage.
That experienced driver discount helped
them save a few hundred dollars especially
since they had no previous claims. Would
an automated online renewal system be
smart enough to review all the different
components? If it can’t, you risk potentially
having a lot of drivers being undercharged

rivate insurance lobbyists have been for the sole purpose of handling insurance or overcharged.
clamouring for an opportunity to reap sales. And the private insurance companies LV: Do brokers get more commission
profits from basic car insurance for would have an even tougher time trying selling ICBC coverage or selling private
decades so their recently-launched assault to do that. Even though some of these insurance coverage?
campaign on B.C.’s public car insurance insurance companies are big entities, their Brian: That’s a good question, and the
system is no surprise. local presence can be minimal especially in answer is that it varies. But generally, as a
But since B.C. only requires getting rural communities. Most of the time when broker, the arrangement actually works
mandatory basic insurance coverage from you’re handling claims with them, you’re out better both for us as the broker or
ICBC, why wouldn’t everybody choose to not dealing with someone local. You’re brokerage firm, as well as our customers,
go with a private insurer for their optional dealing with someone working at a call to stick with ICBC.
coverage if they truly can offer the better centre outside the province, maybe even For all basic insurance, we get a fixed
rates? We spoke to an insurance broker to outside Canada. fee of $14. Where the differences are, and
get their perspective. LV: Why not have online renewal and where brokers make their money, is on
Brian So is an independent Vancouver- let people handle it themselves? optional coverage.
based broker who specializes in life Brian: The key concern is that, in Our commission with ICBC is tied
insurance but also helps clients find a wide people’s attempt to find a cheaper price, to your driver rating. That’s the number
range of insurance products including they will end up purchasing insufficient that indicates you risk level according
travel, home, and auto insurance. With insurance to cover their needs and that to ICBC. The lower your number – the
years of experience in the market, leaves them vulnerable. Brokers undergo lowest it can get is 0.410 – the higher our
including working at other broker firms extensive training and are licensed. This commission rate is. You’re also getting
prior to becoming independent, Brian is can’t be replaced with an automated the best rate at that lower number. If your
speaking only to his own experience and online transaction. number is at 1.000 or higher, you’re paying
not on behalf of the broker industry. If it’s a simple renewal where you’re more because your risk level is significant
In this candid conversation, he reveals getting the exact same coverage as you greater, but we’re also making much less
the reason that brokers often don’t bother had the year before, that’s something that at that point.
quoting customers on private car insurance can probably be moved online. The only On the other hand, with private
options is two-fold: it’s not better for the thing that online renewals may not be able insurance companies, we get a set
driver, and it’s not better for the broker. to handle is identity verification. Whenever percentage. That set percentage is not as
Local Voice: What is the role of the I help a customer renew their insurance, high as where ICBC tops out for the best
broker? I’m required to check their identification so drivers, but it’s close to it. That might sound
Brian: Our job is to not only present I can verify they are buying for who they like a better deal for us especially if we
you with different insurance options, say they are. Otherwise you can run into could sell more optional coverage to the
and that includes choice of different issues related to fraud. drivers at the higher end of the risk scale
companies you can go to, but mostly it’s But if you’re changing any part of your but, in reality, those people aren’t the ones
to explain what you’re paying for and what coverage, or you have questions about the private insurance companies take on as
the coverage means. what your coverage entails, that’s when customers because they’re a bigger liability.
LV: Can people choose to bypass the you will want to talk with your broker. It’s not even worth quoting private
broker and go directly to the insurance Sometimes your life situation changes. insurance coverage for those people
company? You’ve bought a new car, you’ve changed because they’d be paying significantly
Brian: In some cases, yes, but addresses, or you’ve changed jobs and more, and that’s if they managed to get
insurance companies can’t handle that your travel distance now is different. All coverage at all. I have requested quotes
capacity. If you were to entirely eliminate those things can affect your premiums, from private insurance companies for
all brokers, that would mean ICBC would and suddenly it’s not just a simple renewal. some clients and, often, it’s ‘thanks, but no
need to hire thousands across the province I remember helping a new customer thanks.’

8 | VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 MOVEUP Local Voice


LV: What about the best of the best drivers then? Do you Brian: Don’t be hesitant to ask to check. If you happen
often quote those people on private optional coverage? to fit the perfect driver profile, you may save some money.
Brian: Yes, that’s part of our job to if people want us With private insurers, what I have seen is it seems to be
to do that even though, as a broker, we would make less a luck of the draw. I have clients who, based on their driving
commission. But what we have seen even with those record, you would assume would get comparable if not
Brian has an
people is that only a small handful see noticeable savings. better rates from private than from ICBC and yet, for some
online presence at
For most people, the rates with ICBC are either about the reason, they could still end up with a quote that’s several
same or better. ICBC provides competitive rates despite the hundred dollars higher than the one from ICBC for virtually
where he provides
fact they don’t get to cherry-pick only the “best” drivers or the same coverage. It does seem, though, that they’re really
information and advice
the lowest risk drivers. not looking to take on everybody’s business. Just the ones
on insurance, primarily
LV: What would happen if we went to a completely they want.
life insurance.
private system? Don’t forget that your basic insurance, or Autoplan
Brian: I think you have your answer already when you basic, still comes from ICBC. We’re fortunate in B.C. that
look at other jurisdictions that have all-private systems. our basic insurance provides arguably the best coverage
Claims costs continue to rise, and more and more people compared to other provinces. We get protected for a
get denied coverage. Private insurance companies need to lot more just with our basic coverage compared to, for
make a profit, so if your risk is too high, they are not going example, basic coverage in Alberta.
to want you as a customer. So even if they legally have to
sell you basic coverage, they will price it in such a way that
makes it completely unaffordable. And they can still deny PROFILE COMPARISON
you your optional coverage entirely, so they won’t insure While in conversation with Brian, we also asked if he had several
you for additional accident benefits or collision. So, people
distinct profiles where he could provide quote comparisons. According
get desperate and start driving without insurance or, even
worse, they get scammed by ghost brokers who sell them to Brian, private insurers all offer different forms of packages of
fake insurance. optional coverage that will include a mix-and-match of the different
LV: Are there any other issues that lead brokers not to coverages available through what ICBC labels as RoadStar or Roadside
recommend private optional insurance coverage to clients?
Plus. Because of that, exact comparisons are extremely difficult
Brian: I always tell people to be cautious if they choose
to go with a private insurance option, and to understand although the profiles presented here match coverages as closely as
the added complications if they end up in a claim. possible. Brian also notes that the private insurer options presented
There are a lot of hassles that come with a claim that here are the lowest from the availability he has access to, and are only
involves multiple insurance companies. Think about when
you have health insurance from multiple providers. It’s provided here for informational purposes.
always a dance trying to navigate between which company
*Insurance premiums in Victoria are generally lower than those in the Lower Mainland.
is going to pay what part of the claim. Imagine having to go **When indicating a second driver with less than 10 years of driving experience will
through that if you’re in an accident. also be driving this vehicle, the premium jumped to a total of $4768.
LV: What about in favour of private optional insurance?


Profile description 43-year-old female 34-year-old male 22-year old female
27 years driving exp. 18 years driving exp. 6 years driving exp.
No at-fault accidents No at-fault accidents No at-fault accidents
Vancouver, B.C. Vancouver, B.C. Victoria, B.C.*
Vehicle 2008 Subaru Impreza 2018 Ford Edge 2017 Mercedes C300
Optional Coverage $5 million liability $3 million liability $3 million liability
$300 deductible for comprehensive $300 deductible for comprehensive $300 deductible for comprehensive
and collision and collision and collision
Roadside Plus Roadstar
Extension underinsured motorist Extension underinsured motorist
protection protection
ICBC total quote $2143 (includes $1203 for Autoplan $2534 (includes $1168 for Autoplan $2916 (includes $1000 for Autoplan
(annual) basic and $53 licensing fee) basic and $61 licensing fee) basic and $61 licensing fee)
Private insurer total $2763 $2608 $3700
quote (annual) (includes $1203 for Autoplan basic (includes $1168 for Autoplan basic (includes $1000 for Autoplan basic
and $53 licensing fee) and $61 licensing fee) and $61 licensing fee)**

MOVEUP Local Voice VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 | 9

Why the Fight to End the
BAN Blood Ban Matters to Me…and Us


Photo left: Comparing the campaign website

2015 for the federal Liberals in 2015 and 2019.

The Liberals failed to keep their promise the
last time. Will they keep it this time?

t was a day I’ll never forget. I was banned from donating blood. Not just on
I was 19 and, unlike these days when my day job that day. I was banned from ever donating blood. I was
at ICBC and my involvement with my union keeps me shocked. I was hurt. I couldn’t understand why.
constantly busy, I had some free time. For those of you who don’t know me, and if you
I remember I wanted to do something positive, have not figured it out yet at this point, I am gay.
something that would help the community and the But why did that matter? I was a healthy, young
people in it. So I decided to go to Canadian Blood man. I posed no threat to the blood supply. I questioned
Services to donate blood. them on this policy. They told me I was high risk. They
I remember walking in, filling out the forms, and told me that even if I believed my partner and I were
having a casual conversation with the receptionist. monogamous that there was no way to know whether
Up until this point, this is a story about a whole lot my partner was cheating on me.
of nothing. “Men cheat,” they said.
Then I was questioned on my sexual orientation. I That was in 2005.
didn’t think about it in the moment. I figured it was just In 2013, Canada lifted the lifetime ban. The new policy
information they needed for their records. I responded allowed blood donations from men as long as they had
truthfully. I was comfortable with who I was. At the time, abstained from sex with other men for at least five years.
I had been in a monogamous relationship for three In 2016, the deferral period was reduced to one year. In
years. And then, they told me. May of 2019, it dropped down to three months.

10 | VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 MOVEUP Local Voice


Progress? It might look like it to some, but This fight is far from over. In today’s volatile political
that’s hardly the case. There’s an old joke about and social climate, it is imperative that we do not lose
momentum in this struggle.
how you can’t be a little pregnant. You’re either
Back in June at our national union’s conference,
pregnant, or you’re not. In as much the same way, we passed a resolution that our national union (COPE/
you can’t be a little discriminatory. You’re either SEPB) will write a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
discriminating, or you’re not. And as much as the tell him to keep his promise – one that he has now
needle (pardon the pun) has moved on this, it’s still made twice. Our national union will also write letters to
discrimination. all our locals, and to labour councils across Canada, to
Are you seriously telling me that I have to quash participate in the campaign to end the blood ban.
my natural instincts, to stop being with my husband for Our national union also resolved to speak out against
three months, if I want to help save a life? Just because the discriminatory practices of the federal Liberals and
someone’s afraid not because science told them to be, Canadian Blood Services.
but because pre-existing prejudices did? But all this is not enough. It still does not hold the
This policy is not rooted in science. It is blatant government accountable for their discriminatory actions
discrimination that affects all Canadians – the donors, against the LGBTQ2S+ community, nor does it provide
and the potential recipients. All blood in Canada is any consequences for their inaction. If government
extensively screened. There is a period of nine days won’t act, then it’s up to us.
between exposure to HIV and the ability to detect This past year, we have continued our fight to end
antibodies to that virus. In other words, nine days is the the blood ban in Canada. We have attended numerous
time that all donors, regardless of sexual orientation, Pride parades and festivals to spread this message, and
should have to abstain from intercourse. it was one that was well-received. We have had fellow
Two summers ago, I was proud to stand together labour affiliates and partners sign on the campaign.
with my fellow MoveUP members on the Human We won’t stop. We can’t stop. We need your help.
Rights & Multicultural Committee as we challenged this We will get this done.
discriminatory ban. We took it all the way to the House
of Commons. It’s time to end discrimination.
We called out Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for
breaking his 2015 campaign promise to end the blood It’s time to end the blood ban.
ban. Apparently four years was not enough to get the job
done. His party once again promised to end the blood
ban as part of their 2019 platform. Somehow I’m not Show your support at
feeling such a sense of optimism although, in a minority
government situation, having more supportive voices
within the NDP as we did with former MP Kennedy
Stewart and current MP Randall Garrison might just help
us finally achieve our goal.

MOVEUP Local Voice VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 | 11

People at The Heart of Community Savings:
SAVINGS The Union’s Credit Union

Photo left: Community Savings President & CEO Mike Schilling (third
from left) poses with MoveUP members working at the head office.
Photo above: MoveUP members working at a Community Savings
branch in Surrey.

hroughout the illustrious 75-year history of beneficial both for organizations and for workers.
Community Savings Credit Union dating back “Within the credit union sector and within wider
to 1944 when members of the International business, we want to demonstrate that you can
Woodworkers of America first founded the I.W.A. have a fully unionized workforce with a very strong
(New Westminster) Credit Union, one thing has always union backing team and have a terrifically successful
remained at the forefront of their focus: people. organization,” said Schilling. “That’s what we’ve built.
More specifically, working people and their We’re going to have our best year financially this year. I

families. But that doesn’t just include the members
of the credit union. It encapsulates its staff and the
community at-large. And while it’s an approach that
think it’s important that we demonstrate that’s possible
when unions and employers are partners.
“I’m glad our team has the intelligence to get
other financial institutions have seemed to drift away together and collectively bargain for their rights and to
from, Community Savings has found a way to thrive by hold me, and what I represent as an employer, to the
staying true to their roots. standards that we should live by. I don’t see that as a
“We’re clearly the credit union that stayed most threat or as a problem. What I end up with is a highly-
closely to that original founding,” explains Mike Schilling, motivated workforce. This is the best place to work if
who joined Community Savings as its President & CEO you want to work in financial services in B.C. in terms of
in January 2019. “We call ourselves the union’s credit the salary, the benefits, the way you get treated, and the
SAVINGS union. That means a lot more than you can encapsulate opportunities you get.”
in one phrase.” Beyond just the walls of their head office and
CREDIT Schilling is no stranger to the labour movement. branches, Community Savings walks their talk in many
Growing up in Manchester, England – which he ways. Schilling makes the distinction between being
UNION describes as the ‘labour heartland’ – his journey working “pro-union” and “union-built.” The latter is the case
in the financial industry has taken him around the world with Community Savings. The way he sees it, they’re
STARTED with stops in Africa, Singapore, India, as well as other not just giving back to the labour community because
parts of Asia and the United States where he gained they happen to operate there or because it’s good
IN 1944 perspective not only on banking, but work culture. for marketing, they’re contributing to the community
“The stories I grew up with were about working because they are a part of the labour community.
people, about getting the vote, about those struggles,” Community Savings annually supports MoveUP’s
explains Schilling. “When I got the opportunity to come Bob Derby Memorial Charity Golf Tournament which has
to Community Savings, it really struck me that the core raised funds for different charities over its history. They
values I was brought up with since I was a young boy support The Union Protein Project, another union-built
really resonated with what we try to do and what we institution which works to solve food poverty by linking

ü believe here.”
In a time where it seems there are those who seek
to deepen the divide between employers and unions,
it to union values and the need for good jobs. This year,
they’re working with the BC Centre for Women in the
Trades (BCWITT) to sponsor two B.C. women to attend
Community Savings is proving the opposite is more the Women Build Nations Conference in Massachusetts.

12 | VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 MOVEUP Local Voice


“If you’re a member of Community Savings Credit Union, you get to ensure that your
money, which drives the world and drives our local economy, goes into local projects
supporting local jobs according to your values, things you can walk down the street
and see – affordable houses, schools and daycares, supporting job growth and taking
care of the less fortunate in our communities.” says Schilling.

One of their prouder projects recently, in a ‘jobs or technology’ question for us. It never will be.”
conjunction with the BC Labour Heritage Centre, was As Community Savings looks to compete against
getting On The Line: A History of the British Columbia the big banks and the new emerging banks, including
Labour Movement published in 2018. Community the likes of tech giants Amazon, Google and Apple
Savings provided $250K in funding for the book getting into the fray, he expects that the people-based
project and helped ensure that copies would be made approach will continue to set his credit union apart.
available for free for secondary school libraries across “We want to be the best financial service institution
the province. in Canada,” Schilling exclaims. “That’s how we’re going
“Histories get lost if we don’t tell the stories and to stay relevant and stay alive in 75 years. It’s a lot
remember the stories,” Schilling laments. “These are more fun working with people and say to the MoveUP
very important struggles and battles that we’ve all members in our branches and back office that ‘you’re
forgotten about and we all take for granted right now. going to be the best service organization in Canada and
“We need to hold the ground because rights can be we’re going to train you, invest in you, and you’re going
lost as well as won, and I think we’ve seen that in parts of to teach others and teach us about that.’”
the world where the tide has turned and workers’ rights And for those in the community who care about
are being eroded. We’re seeing it right here in Canada their hard-earned money and want to see it ethically
with things like precarious work and the gig economy.” invested and go towards supporting these core values
All these projects are in addition to their day-to- and our local economy, Schilling says their friendly
day operations where they ensure they keep living their staff are ready, willing, and able to discuss your needs
values by doing things the public may not see such as and help you get set up whether you prefer to do it in-
committing to only buying union-made products and person, over the phone, or online.
supporting union businesses where possible. “If you’re a member of Community Savings Credit
“I have a very strong mandate of when I’m spending Union, you get to ensure that your money, which drives
our members’ money in running this place that we look the world and drives our local economy, goes into
to buy union and, if we can’t buy union, we buy local, local projects supporting local jobs according to your
we buy Canadian, we support Canadian jobs,” says values, things you can walk down the street and see –
Schilling proudly. “Those are the values we’re trying to affordable houses, schools and daycares, supporting
promote, and the values we should live by. I think that’s job growth and taking care of the less fortunate in our
what differentiates us.” communities.” says Schilling. “It’s about taking control
But first and foremost, Schilling’s responsibility is of your money. You’ve work hard for it. You’ve earned
running a highly-successful credit union and taking it. Don’t give it to a large bank to do what they want to
care of the people who make that possible. He’s excited do with it. Take control, and the best way to do that is at
about the innovations that are in store, touting a new Community Savings.”
online digital banking platform that he calls the best
banking platform in Canada set to launch next spring. Photo left: MoveUP
That being said, he guarantees that Community Savings
VPs Annette Toth and
will always be committed to people first.
“Technology is great. Our members want to use Christy Slusarenko
technology but, fundamentally, technology doesn’t support members at
replace people, service and, therefore jobs,” says the North Burnaby
Schilling adamantly. “We don’t use technology to Community Savings
automate things and to outsource things. We don’t have
branch in their hot
a call centre. We never will have a call centre. When you
call us, you speak to someone at a branch. It’s the same dog fundraiser for The
person who, when you walk in, you can speak to. It’s not Union Protein Project.

MOVEUP Local Voice VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 | 13

WAY Labour the Real Deal for United Way’s Neal

Photo above: anding a dream job is something that all of us aspire to fight for the working class, our communities, and to
United Way's to and, for Neal Adolph, something that came true support vulnerable populations.
Neal Adolph
just a little over one year ago. “We fight for dignity for all,” Neal proclaims. “Our
In 2018, when the United Way was searching for community’s democratic health lifts everyone up!”
(centre) poses
their new Labour Director, they found the perfect fit in
for a photo Neal. Although he had big shoes to fill, he embraced the
with MoveUP opportunity. After all, his upbringing had molded him for
Addressing Period Poverty – The
VP Christy this role. United Way’s Period Promise
Slusarenko Neal grew up in a family of role models, a powerful
combination of teachers and union activists. The One of Neal’s very first major projects upon arriving
and President
importance of advocacy and contributing to the at the United Way is the ongoing Period Promise. What
David Black community was instilled in him at an early age. began as Tampon Tuesday, encouraging community
after MoveUP Serious topics and intense conversations were partners to donate menstrual product to the United
officially signed commonplace for Neal as a young man. Way that would be distributed to local agencies, has
the Period “Our dinner conversation would be a passionate morphed into something much larger.
Promise Policy
discussion of politics, union values, equality, Among the initiatives that the Period Promise campaign
and access to social services,” recalls Neal. has helped move forward is getting employers on board
Union values, in particular, was something he learned with providing free and accessible menstrual products in
back in April. to appreciate after being put in an environment where their washrooms, something MoveUP and many of the
By signing the they didn’t exist. workplaces where our members work has committed to
agreement, “I was attending the University of Regina for my doing. Another major accomplishment of Period Promise
MoveUP teacher’s degree and I worked nights and weekends at has been to successfully advocate to the provincial
Walmart,” reveals Neal, referencing the notorious anti- government to ensure that free menstrual products are
commits to
union albeit highly popular retail corporation. “It was now available in public schools across all districts in B.C.
have menstrual hard to watch the anti-union tactics and felt trapped Periods are not a topic we are all comfortable talking
products by them.” about, but they are a fact of life. However, for many
available for Neal would go on to attend Simon Fraser University women, trans folk and non-binary people, there is an
free in all our and earn a Masters of Arts in History, focusing on labour added stress when they are forced to choose whether
history during the Depression in Canada. they buy products or food.  Period poverty, as it is
If you have the pleasure to meet Neal, try engaging known, can affect anybody who menstruates but can’t
him in a discussion on Canada’s labour history. You’ll afford the product that allows them to do it with dignity.
undoubtedly be captivated by his passion and eagerness Many young people miss four to five days of school per

14 | VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 MOVEUP Local Voice


Photos above: Donations of menstrual products from unions like MoveUP and organizations have
been a big part of the Period Promise and its predecessor campaign, Tampon Tuesday.

month due to the lack of products, while precarious of these issues, but the work is far from over.
workers face losing their jobs if they are in situations “We’ve still got a long way to go before we’ve
where job security is a concern. On top of that, those achieved our mission,” says Neal. “But by getting
who found have difficulty accessing shelter face an products to vulnerable people and building up the
added complication in lack of hygiene. momentum for some big policy changes, we can make
The Period Promise campaign has addressed many the change that we want to see.”


Go to and
1 sign the pledge form.

Organize a Period Promise

campaign for your office.
Contact your local
United Way office or email

for more information.

MOVEUP Local Voice VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 | 15

Feeding Families Through Golf:
EVENTS 5th Annual Bob Derby Golf Tournament

Smiles all around on this day from

volunteers and golfers, including our
many celebrity guests.

Thank you to all our amazing sponsors.

Visit to see the full list.

16 | VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 MOVEUP Local Voice


f this past August’s tournament was any screen high-definition television courtesy
indication, the Bob Derby Memorial of our many sponsors and prize donors.
Charity Golf Tournament is only going Terra Paredes from the Greater
to get bigger and better. Vancouver Food Bank, and Carlos
Back on August 17, our union hosted Carvalho representing The Union Protein
the 5th annual tournament named after Project, were among the guest speakers
former MoveUP vice-president Bob at the event talking about the importance
Derby, who passed away back in 2015. the work that The Union Protein Project
New for 2019 was having United does in conjunction with the food banks
Steelworkers Local 2009 (USW 2009) while giving thanks to all those who took
join the event as a co-presenter of the part in the event and gave so generously
tournament. USW 2009 represents by purchasing raffle tickets.
MoveUP’s office staff and, with so many A full list of all the generous sponsors
of our staff having worked with Bob and prize donors can be found at
over the years and having formed close
friendships with the long-time union Once again returning as a special
activist, it was a perfect for the two celebrity guest was former Vancouver
union organizations to come together in Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa, the
solidarity and to do good work together son of USW 2009 president Al Bieksa.
to support a great cause. Another returning celebrity player was
For the second year in a row, The Vancouver-born actor Michael Coleman,
Union Protein Project was the benefactor whose credits include Once Upon A Time
of the proceeds from the golf tournament. and Supernatural.
The Union Protein Project works Joining Kevin and Michael as a new
to ensure that no child, family or celebrity participant in 2019 was BC Lions
community needs food banks. They defensive end Odell Willis, a former Grey
believe people need real choices and Cup champion, who also brought along
good jobs that feed them, their families D-Line coach Chris Ellis, who previously
and their communities. They subsidize played in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills.
the cost of protein for food banks and Spots for golfers, as well as
have helped food banks save precious sponsorship opportunities for future
money and maximize their purchasing tournaments, will be a hot item. If you
power by subsidizing the cost of protein- are interested in participating or know an
based foods. organization that would be interested in
Golfers taking part in the sold-out being a sponsor or a prize donor, make
event were treated to another spectacular sure to get in touch with Kathryn Prinz by
outing that came complete with plenty of emailing
perks and prizes including brand new golf
shoes, golf balls, and luggage tags, golf
equipment, sports bags, gift cards, signed
jerseys, an electric scooter, and a big-

The 6th annual Bob Derby Memorial
2020 Charity Golf Tournament will take
place on August 8, 2020.

MOVEUP Local Voice VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 | 17

MENT Environment Committee Looks Ahead to 2020

eptember 27, 2019 is a day I will never forget. in the Global Climate Strike, we know environment
Our climate As someone who is greatly concerned about concerns are top of mind for many of them. That’s
our environment, it was such an empowering why getting involved with MoveUP’s Environment
crisis should experience to see so many people – especially young Committee is a great way to keep focused on the
people encouraged by the likes of climate activists environment all year round.
be at the top Greta Thunberg, Quannah Chasinghorse, Kulsum Rifa, On 2019, our events included touring the Pacific
and Juwaria Jama, just to name a few – take to the Northwest Raptors sanctuary to learn more about birds
of everybody’s streets all over the world demanding action now. of prey and taking part in a public clean-up event at
It wasn’t just hundreds of people. Not even Trout Lake. We built on the activities we had done in
mind. Those thousands. It was millions. 7.6 million to be precise. the previous year including visiting a salmon run tour at
According to, the Global Goldstream Park, and taking a tour of Burns Bog.
who choose Climate Strike involved 6135 actions, 185 countries, 73 We are looking forward to hosting more of these
trade unions, 3024 businesses, 820 organizations, and educational, and family-friendly, events in 2020. Let’s
to ignore are,
8583 websites. continue to build on our momentum so we can protect
Our climate crisis should be at the top of everybody’s our planet for ourselves and future generations.
quite frankly,
mind. Those who choose to ignore are, quite frankly,
ignorant and ignorant and in denial. We only have one planet. We
can’t screw this up.
in denial. We We can all take steps to learn more about our
environment. As Chair of our union’s Environment
only have Committee, that’s part of what we aim to do when we
bring our members together.
one planet. Although we know many of our members’ work
commitments made it impossible for them to participate

to learn more and get involved.

18 | VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 MOVEUP Local Voice

With a membership of over 12,000 strong, we know each
and every one of our members has their own unique,
individual stories. In this section, we turn the spotlight over
to you – our members – as we share your stories.

Driving For Knowledge: Ruth's Story

hose who know Ruth Ritchey knows she is Growing up in the Kelowna, Ruth moved to
passionate about public transit. Vancouver at the age of 17. With a father who was a car
A long-time employee of Coast Mountain enthusiast, particularly sports cars and muscle cars, Ruth
Bus Company (CMBC), starting in her late 20s as a bus figures this is where her love of vehicles first developed.
driver before transitioning into the role of Instructor in Her mother, whose family came from England, instilled
the Training Department, Ruth’s commitment to her the travel bug in her at a young age by regaling her with
work and the people she works with is undeniable. But stories about her experiences with different populations
there’s a lot more to Ruth when you go beyond the and cultures that lived in England.
walls at CMBC. “I always had an interest in global travel so two years
On any given day, you could use any of the following after I came to Vancouver I left after Expo 86 and got
to describe Ruth: Teacher, world traveler, car enthusiast, on a plane and flew to India,” Ruth recalls. “I spent two
mountain bike racer, yogi, writer, animal lover, and years, literally, going around the world.”
environmentalist. As a result, she spent most of her early twenties in
While these may seem like a diverse collection of locations around the world including spending three
interests, they all relate to the work that she does now months in India and Nepal. She developed an interest in
which is preparing the next generation of drivers to go observing other cultures and watching the struggles of
out and provide an essential service for the public. But people around the world, igniting an internal desire to
to understand all that, a little background is needed. want to help others.
Continued on next page

MOVEUP Local Voice VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 | 19

Driving For Knowledge: Ruth's Story

“I really want to leave a strong collective

agreement for my colleagues,” says Ruth.

Ruth was able to do that when she returned to “I really want to leave a strong collective agreement
Vancouver at age 26 and joined CMBC as a transit for my colleagues,” says Ruth. “I’ve been cared for by
operator, a role she held for 14 years. my predecessors and what they’ve negotiated over the
“It fulfilled all my initial interests and it really allowed years. I realize I have a really good career and a really
me to develop as a person by learning how to work with great position of employment, and I’m grateful for that
other people,” Ruth reveals. “I think my travels really and to the people who came ahead of me. I feel I have
helped me because I had a real connection to other enough knowledge now that when people come to me
cultures when I travelled. It just grew when I would I want to be able to offer something back so they can
meet people here in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland continue the legacy.”
as I drove a bus.” With so many new and innovative things coming
During her years as a driver, Ruth also took the to our local public transit infrastructure, including the
time to study political science with a Spanish major potential for rapid rail and the recent double decker bus
at Capilano University, along with studying creative project that launched in October, Ruth figures it will be
writing, specifically poetry and prose. She felt it may be a little while before she decides to move on and commit
beneficial if she ever decided to change careers. She herself to her true passion projects, which are in the areas
credits the eight years she spent studying as a catalyst of animal rights and environmental protection as well as
for helping her land the role she finds herself in today. to continue telling her stories through her writing. But in
Becoming an instructor was the next natural step the work she continues to do now, she understands the
towards expanding her role of helping others. This time bigger picture of how it helps contribute to her vision of
by inspiring those who will be asked to serve the public. making the world a better place for all.
Though her job focuses on making sure new recruits “In all honesty, my drive for connection with
know how to drive, making sure they understand the humans is to better the natural environment and the
mechanics behind operating these large vehicles, animal environment,” says Ruth. “I feel like that’s where
and developing training guides for new technologies my heart really lies.
and vehicles like the double decker buses that were “We need to have good, quality lives for humans so
recently introduced in Metro Vancouver, a large part they can respect the environment. A lot of countries
of her responsibility involves making sure new drivers around the world people are so impoverished they
understand what it means to serve the public and how have to tear down the rainforests and they have to
to have positive interactions in those settings. commercialize the animal industry just to make a living.
“The personality of a transit operator is one that A lot of the things we do come from desperation. That’s
definitely needs to enjoy interacting with people,” Ruth where my interest in unions comes from. Unions even
explains. “There is such a varied client base and some of the playing field and allow for people who are labouring
them can be very challenging to work with. to have a decent income and a better quality of life.
“I’ve had people say that I shouldn’t be driving a bus, Then they can be more conscious of the choices they
that it’s not my place as a female, and derogatory terms make and have a lesser impact on the land and sea, and
would come with their thoughts on that. I’ve also had a better engagement with animals.”
elderly women come and tell me about the time during When that day comes where Ruth decides to follow
the Second World War where they drove buses because her other passions, we know we can continue to follow
the men were off fighting. her journey through her writings.
“An operator has to be very confident in their ability “I feel like I have another 30 years of engaged living
to work with people and engage on a compassionate and I want to see where the next 30 is going to take
level. You don’t respond with fire and anger at people me,” says Ruth. “I’m very curious and I’ll be very open to
Photos above: who are directing their anger at you.” whatever comes up. Maybe I’ll be very busy and not just
Ruth showing off It’s the same reason why Ruth is proud of her sitting in a cabin in the trees writing. But that’s going to
some of the tools involvement with MoveUP as a job steward, dealing be a big part of what I do.”
with health & safety issues, and as a member of her
of the trade.
bargaining committee.

20 | VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 MOVEUP Local Voice

Born To Serve: Jason’s Journey from OUR
the Army to FortisBC Energy PEOPLE

rowing up, like many young Canadians, Jason “One day in particular will be permanently etched
Brown wanted to be a professional hockey in my mind,” Jason says, describing a picturesque
player. Although that wasn’t in the cards, it was backdrop so stunning that even high-ranking officers
an employer early on in his life that recognized Jason would purposely helicopter up just for a photo
needed guidance, discipline and a brotherhood that opportunity. “We were above the clouds, the blue sky
would support him like a family the same way many was perfect and, as far as the eye could see, snow-
hockey teams operate. covered mountain tops.”
Enter the army. The other was his second deployment to Afghanistan
“It was nerve wracking,” remembers Jason about from 2005-2006. Part of this mission was to support
that feeling of walking onto his first army base at the the country’s first presidential election since the 1970s.
tender age of 18 in Petawawa, Ontario. At the time, he When the elections concluded they closed camp and
had been the youngest person posted to that unit after made their way to Kandahar to start a new part of the
he had successfully completed basic training, battle mission. That trip would be one of the nerve-wracking
school and driving training. moments in his career.
Eventually, radio communications became his “When we packed up and the convoy went south,
specialty. During each overseas tour, Jason did Radio we were all aware there was only one road and you
Rebroadcast (RRB) work. This position was essential to never knew what was around the corner,” recalls Jason,
the Command Post for maintaining communications vividly. “In this scenario, if one vehicle were to get a flat See a YouTube video
with and the front-line troops at a long distance. The tire, the entire convoy would stop. We would have to of the base at Mount
RRB’s job is to create a radio-relay link by setting up get into a defensive posture with all soldiers dressed in Gola that Jason
a series of antennas around the midway point in an full gear needing to be still and quiet. describes.
isolated location and relay messages back and forth “We were in a war zone and many didn’t want us there.”
from command to the troops. Kandahar was supposed to be the last stop before
Jason’s first deployment was to the Kosovo War heading home, but Jason was ultimately sent to Turkey
about 20 years ago. It was an eye-opening experience for another three months. He still remembers finally
for the young man at the time. getting home, all the programs that were available for
“It wasn’t so much a culture shock,” recalls Jason. “It soldiers to see doctors and to deal with mental trauma,
was a shock because of the things that were happening and the relief it was to later receive a posting to Canadian
there at the time.” Forces Base Borden in Ontario.
There are two particular deployments that stick out Jason’s duty serving his country came to an end in
in Jason’s mind as he reminisces about his days serving 2012 when he retired as a Sergeant out of Hamilton,
our country. Ontario. Shortly after he landed a role at Fortis BC
One was a deployment at the border of Bosnia and Energy as, not surprisingly, a Radio Communications
Croatia where they were stationed on an impressive Technologist.
mountain, Mount Gola, which was retrofitted into Although his days in the army are now behind
a fortress fully equipped from ground to the top of him, he still thinks back fondly on his time serving
the mountain with an elevator, stairs, floors, airplane our country. Those weren’t easy times, but it was still
hangars and, at the top, a chalet. difficult for him to walk away from a life that shaped,
This was no luxury resort, even though it may trained and educated him.
sound like it. When they arrived and swept the base for Today, Jason continues to help serve those around
booby traps, they discovered so many that ultimately him not only in his capacity at work with FortisBC Energy,
they made use of only the top three floors of the but as an elected Executive Councillor for MoveUP.
facility. Still, the location and the view is one he’ll Thank you, Jason, for all you have done and all you
never forget. continue to do.
MOVEUP Local Voice VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 | 21
Inside Politics:
PEOPLE Kelly and Kemi Share Their Stories

he 2019 Federal Election may be well in the rear- Vancouver, has been around the political scene since
view mirror now but that doesn’t mean that one of childhood with both of her parents on the constituency
the most fascinating campaign periods has faded in North Vancouver where she grew up.
from our memories. “I was leafletting when I was around 10 or 12 years
That’s especially the case for those who were right old,” Kelly remembers fondly. “It just became part of my
on the front lines. culture.”
Many of our members may have noticed plenty of Kelly, whose grandfather was a proud CCF member,
their fellow family members, friends, and colleagues take recalls celebrating her first big win back in 1972 when
the extra step to get involved in a campaign to help their she helped the provincial NDP elect Colin Gabelmann
local candidate. as the first NDP MLA for the North Vancouver-Seymour
Politics may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but it is riding.
important to be aware because the actions of elected “That was (former BC NDP Premier) Dave Barrett’s
officials and parties shape our every day lives. The Labour government,” said Kelly. “That left a huge impression on
Movement – the broad term used to describe workers me to see everything pay off.”
and, in particular, union members – has traditionally When Gabelmann moved to Campbell River and
been aligned with the New Democratic Party (NDP) in successful ran to become the MLA for North Island, a
Canada because of their focus on helping workers and position he held from 1979 to 1996, Kelly was there as
their families. well and that was where she says she truly began to get
Photo above: In fact, it was labour groups that helped create the involved as a 21-year-old.
Kelly posing Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), the “Everybody was grassroots NDPers up there,” she
predecessor to the NDP, while the NDP was created recalls. “They just took me under their wing and I became
for a photo as
when the CCF and the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) the constituency secretary and it just went from there. I
a volunteer joined forces. never really left it.”
scrutineer. That’s why many of our members will take the time Years later, Kelly would become involved as
out to support their local NDP candidates in federal the Get Out The Vote chair for Clair Trevena, now
or provincial elections. While it may seem daunting Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, with the
to get involved with a political campaign, the reality is most recent provincial election being another one
it’s actually not scary at all. In fact, it’s quite an inviting of her prouder moments to watch the BC NDP form
experience. government once again.
Kelly Cammack and Kemi Fowler, both executive Kemi, who has been a MoveUP member for 25 years
councillors with MoveUP, have been active volunteers and works at ICBC, had a much different introduction to
with political campaigns over the years but how they got the world of politics.
started was quite different. Unlike Kelly, she didn’t grow up with politics as a
Kelly, who has been a MoveUP member dating back family activity. For her involvement, she actually credits
to 1974 when she first started working for BC Hydro in MoveUP Secretary-Treasurer Lori Mayhew, who co-

22 | VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 MOVEUP Local Voice


Photo below: An example of a

burmashave that took place during
the most recent federal election.

Photo left: Kelly and Kemi pose

together for a photo at a recent
MoveUP Executive Council meeting.
Photo above: Kemi along with
members of her local provincial riding.

chairs our union’s Political Action Committee and has educated and knows their stuff,” says Kemi. “These are
also thrown her hat into the political ring numerous times simple conversations we’re having with people and we’re
as a candidate in municipal politics. just making sure they’re getting out to vote.
“Seeing a woman in a leadership role, to be honest, “Even if there is a difference of opinion, you can just What is a
made me realize that there may be something I could do say ‘I see you’re very passionate about how you feel.
to participate,” says Kemi. “I believe in trying to help and Thank you for your opinion and don’t forget to vote.’”
make positive change from the ground level up and it While work commitments along with other volunteer Believe it or
starts with us.” obligations – Kelly co-chairs the United Way campaign at not, the term
Having been inspired through conversations with BC Hydro and helps other charities through work, while ‘burmashave’
Lori, as well as being active in our union as a job steward Kemi volunteers with the BC SPCA as well as the Royal actually
and an executive councillor, Kemi first got involved in Canadian Legion – and their work to serve our members
originated from
politics by attending a meet-and-greet alongside her at MoveUP have kept both of them quite busy, they still
husband in support of the BC NDP candidate in the took the time this past federal election to be a part of an American
Shuswap district during the last provincial election. their respective local riding’s campaigns. shaving cream
“My husband also comes from a union background Kemi, who serves as the NDP’s secretary in her riding brand, Burma-
so we thought we should do our part to sign up and of North Okanagan-Shuswap, unfortunately was not able Shave. They
volunteer, not knowing anything about what that would to celebrate a victory for her local candidate who was were known for
entail,” Kemi recalls. “The next thing you know, we were seeking to unseat the incumbent Conservative candidate
an advertising
involved in all aspects of the campaign including putting during the federal election. Kelly, on the other hand, was
up signs, attending debates, organizing burmashaves, able to see her local NDP candidate Rachel Blaney retain gimmick of
volunteering in the office, door-to-door canvassing, and her seat in the North Island-Powell River riding. posting witty
even baking cookies for volunteers.” Wins and losses aside, both Kemi and Kelly also rhyming poems
While their entry points may have differed, both Kelly understand what supporting the NDP means in the on highway
and Kemi have encountered similar experiences since bigger picture, and encourages those who are active
road signs.
becoming involved. The one thing they want to convey in campaigns to get others involved even if it is in small
to people who are interested in getting involved, but may ways like inviting them to a meet-and-greet or attending Canadians have
be a bit apprehensive, is that it isn’t scary at all. a candidates debate. since adopted the
“You start out small,” says Kelly. “You just show up and “I think it’s even more important for me, as a union term to describe
volunteer for something and you’ll see how welcoming member, to inform people as to what being involved politicians who
the people are, and how willing they are to teach you in the union really is and supporting the NDP which stand on the side
what they know.” supports the middle class,” says Kemi.
of roads holding
Even when it comes to engaging with the public and “You can’t make everyone have the same passion
going out to canvass or knock on doors, the experiences you have but, if they want to volunteer on a small up signs and
tend to generally be positive ones. level, accept that,” adds Kelly. “Be welcoming and waving to traffic.
“You get paired up with somebody that’s well-spoken, share your passion.”

MOVEUP Local Voice VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 | 23

Great Returns: Ingrid and Lori
PEOPLE Explain the Art of the Count

yet to do... -KB

or those who have spent a fair amount of time in union’s governance. In other words, they can’t serve on
our union, you will know that voting is something the executive board or executive council although that
that happens on a fairly regular basis. Bargaining does not preclude them from being a job steward.
units that are in the midst of negotiations will see more Ingrid Ericson, a long-time MoveUP member
votes happening, but voting can be conducted as well working as a bookkeeper at the BC Federation of
when it comes to filling elected positions. Labour (BCFED), is one of our two Returning Officers
Voting for executive board positions, including the although, as of this writing, she’s presently on temporary
positions of president, secretary-treasurer, and the three assignment outside our bargaining unit. After serving a
vice-presidents, are handled in and around the time of stint on the executive board last term, Ingrid did not
our triennial Convention, but other elected positions run for re-election which opened up this opportunity
can come up at any time in the year, particularly if by- for her.
elections are required to fill positions that were either “It’s definitely a little more nerve wracking to be on
vacant or where someone has resigned. the side waiting for the count,” Ingrid joked. “I find this
So, what happens after you cast your vote? That’s to be relaxing.”
where our Returning Officers come in. Although she’s no longer on the Board, she looks
Whether a vote is cast electronically, most recently back fondly at those times even though she learned just
for our union’s executive board vote back in 2018, or by how difficult that work can be.
paper ballot, which is still the primary way we conduct “I learned the minute details that the Board has
most of our votes, the Returning Officers’ task is to not to go through and process every month. It’s stuff that
only count all the votes that come in but determine the average union member wouldn’t see,” said Ingrid,
that all votes cast are eligible and to interpret if there who noted in particular she was very excited with the
are any spoiled ballots, ineligible voters, or improperly direction the Board was headed especially towards
handled ballots. reconciliation.
Because of the sensitive nature of the Returning Ingrid’s family also has a background in union
Officer’s duty, that individual cannot be part of our activities. Her uncle, John Weir, was a long-time labour

24 | VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 MOVEUP Local Voice


Lori (left) and Ingrid (centre) when they're at their regular jobs. On the right, we see Ingrid conducting a count.

activist and a former director of the BCFED. Meanwhile community as a trustee for New Westminster – she also
her grandfather ran as a candidate for the Co-operative has her own theatre company, Frolicking Divas, that she
Commonwealth Federation (the predecessor to the co-founded with another MoveUP member, Lisa Dery.
NDP) in Ontario in 1951. “We’re focused on female driven works,” explains
“When I was in grad school I got to go look at the Lori. “I’m also an independent film producer and share
archives in Toronto and look it up in the records,” Ingrid an office space with red trike media inc. as part of the
recalls. “That was a proud moment.” Trembling Void artists collective in East Vancouver, which
When Ingrid is unavailable to handle a count, the is home to a collective of independent filmmakers.”
duties fall to the Deputy Returning Officer, Lori Watt. For those interested in seeing some of Lori’s work,
Also a long-time MoveUP member who works at the you’re in luck. She currently has a project called A
CUPE BC office just down the street from our union’s Pregnant Woman that has been selected for the BC
headquarters, Lori has actually been serving as the Shorts Program, an initiative by Bell Media’s The Harold
primary Returning Officer with Ingrid temporarily away. Greenberg Fund and Creative BC that finances short
Lori, who was first recruited to the role by MoveUP films from BC filmmakers.
Secretary-Treasurer Lori Mayhew, was formerly an “With any luck, you may be able to see our short on
executive councillor with COPE Local 15 before their the Crave network as they have the first right of refusal
merger with COPE Local 378 (now MoveUP). She on the work once completed,” says Lori.
actually feels the role of the Returning Officer is busier Lori also has an additional film titled Red Eye that
since there are more occasions when counting is went to Cannes with red trike media inc. in May 2018
required, and recalls our executive board election from which was screened at the NSI Online Short Film Festival
the fall of 2018 to be the largest one she’s ever done. on November 24.
When she’s not at work or giving her time to
serve our union – she was the first-ever recipient of
MoveUP’s Ardell Brophy award in 2011 in recognition of
her dedication and commitment our union and in her

MOVEUP Local Voice VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 | 25

Connecting Countries Through Lacrosse:
PEOPLE Alex’s Story

hen Alex Majkrak became a Canadian citizen for me and my son to play for fun outside the house,”
earlier this spring, it was the culmination of Alex recounts. “I posted a picture on Instagram and guys
a journey that was almost a decade in the from Slovakia asked me if I was thinking of a comeback.
making. It was a journey that a few short years ago he I like a challenge, so I said I’ll try.”
never imagined he would be making. It’s easy now to look back with the 2019 World
Originally from Slovakia, Alex first came to Canada just Indoor Lacrosse Championship, which was hosted
for an extended vacation, looking to improve his English by Langley, now in the books. But the road to the
skills, make some money, and soak in a new environment. comeback was hardly an easy one.
“I fell in love with the country, and I found my wife,” For one thing, getting ready to compete again took
Alex says proudly. “It gave me a reason to stay.” a significant commitment. Although Alex works out
Alex, who has been in Canada since 2010, officially regularly and has even competed as a bodybuilder, he
became a Canadian citizen back in April of this year. needed to get back into game shape and build up his
In October, he celebrated his five-year wedding speed. That meant 5 a.m. workouts, training nine times
anniversary with his wife, Dora, who also happens to a week, lots of cardio, and going from 260 lbs. to 220
be a MoveUP member and an executive councillor with lbs. for the start of the tournament.
MoveUP. The couple also have a three-year-old son It also meant getting back into the game itself. He
named Colton. joined the Vancouver Barbarians of the Canada West
Although his wife has been a MoveUP member Field Lacrosse League, and then later the Royal City
working at ICBC for over a decade, Alex’s experience Capitals of the West Coast Senior Lacrosse Association
with MoveUP is more recent having only been a to get some competitive games under his belt.
member for the past year-and-a-half after also joining Though there were bumps and bruises, not to
ICBC, albeit in a different location and role, working as a mention a knee injury that he suffered in the tournament
maintenance worker. itself, the experience was well worth it especially when
“My ultimate goal is to become an estimator,” says he got the opportunity to wear his home country’s
Alex, who was briefly a high school teacher back in jersey in his new country surrounded by family.
Slovakia. “Without experience, it’s pretty hard to get in. “Lining up before our first game against Scotland
I’m trying to build my way up.” when we sung the anthems, my son was there, my
Around the same time he first joined ICBC, he also father and mother, and my wife,” Alex recalls. “That was
received a call from his home country. It wasn’t a call to very emotional.”
go home. Rather, in a sense, his country was about to The Slovakian team had a goal to place in the top-
come to him. 10 of the tournament, which was ultimately won by
Before coming to Canada, Alex was a rather Canada, but fell just short of that target finishing in 13th
formidable athlete, particularly in lacrosse which he place. The next big tournament that Slovakia will be a
picked up while in university in 2005. He even competed part of is the 2020 Euro Lacrosse Championships taking
internationally for Slovakia at the 2008 Euro Lacrosse place in Germany.
Championships in Finland. Coming to Canada, despite “It’s on my list,” admits Alex. “I’ll be 36, then, so it’ll be
lacrosse being Canada’s national summer sport, that part a challenge. But challenge accepted.”
of his life seemed to be behind him…or so he thought.
“A year-and-a-half ago I just bought a lacrosse stick

26 | VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 MOVEUP Local Voice

Moving Up: OUR
Crystal’s Quest to The Top PEOPLE

See more of Crystal’s adventures, including

stories, epic pictures and videos on her blog:

our years ago, climbing mountains was the last Those who live in the Lower Mainland area know
thing that Crystal Burchert expected to find how stunning the view of Mount Baker, the third-highest
herself doing. mountain in Washington State, can be on a beautiful
At the time, Crystal – an executive councillor for day. At age 49, Crystal decided to take on the challenge
MoveUP who works as a legal secretary at ICBC – was on and hike the summit.
a very unhealthy path both physically and emotionally. “I felt the adrenaline of excitement while also feeling
As she explains it, she was living a sedentary lifestyle, the nerves as I was not as experienced as the rest of the
weighed 235 lbs., and was coming out of a relationship team,” Crystal recalls of the hike. “But, with the support
after she left her partner due to his infidelity. She was of my new partner and another experienced hiker, they
also hospitalized for a condition that required surgery. gave me the confidence that I could do it.
“This was a dark time for me,” recalls Crystal. She recalls a small seed of doubt creeping in on
While these life-altering events would have been this particular climb with about 1,000 feet left to go,
devastating for many, Crystal drew strength from but managed to dig deep by channeling her collective
adversity and set out to make an immediate lifestyle experiences and completed the hike. It wouldn’t be the
change. She made the commitment to herself to take last time Crystal would face the extreme challenges in
back her life, but never anticipated just how positive this her mountain climbing expeditions.
transformative decision was. The plan was made was to journey to the base of
The turnaround began in 2016, and it started Mt. Salkantay, the highest peak in the Peruvian Andes,
with simple things - improving eating habits and but unfortunately, she became very sick with altitude
incorporating as much exercise as she could without sickness. However, she did hike the Inca Trail to Machu
the feeling like she was exercising. Picchu, hiked the peak of Huayna Picchu and she has
“I sold my car and used transit, which had me explored the Amazon Jungle, traveling by motorized
walking more,” reveals Crystal. “I chose the stairs over canoe up the Tambopata River.
the elevator. That started what I was about to find out All this is just a small taste of Crystal’s stunning journey.
was my new passion: hiking.” As far as she’s concerned, the story is just beginning.
What began as a path towards getting healthy soon “Back in 2015, I never could imagine, when I was
turned into an all-out avocation. Her hard efforts were facing many challenges, that in just a short time I
met with stunning results, including losing 86 lbs. in was going to turn my life around to travel and write
one year. about my amazing adventures,” said Crystal, who has
“People I meet today have a difficult time believing a new adventure on her hands now after her son and
stories about the old me,” Crystal beams. “Hiking has daughter-in-law welcomed their first child earlier this
been one of the most incredible experiences in my life. year. “I am also pleased to say that I am a fit, active,
Over the past three years, I am so happy I found it. brand new grandma!”
“Now, at 49-years-old, I am the fittest I have As for her next grand adventure, she is already
ever been. I want to share with people that living a reading and researching for 2021 when she is off to
healthy, active lifestyle leads to so many incredible life hike the rainforests of Africa and to see the legendary
experiences, enriching life beyond anything we ever mountain gorillas.
thought could happen.”
MOVEUP Local Voice VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 | 27
Flats, Fish and Cliffs: Justin’s Incredible Journey
PEOPLE to Rekindle His Childhood Memories

“I love to fish, and I was excited to

take my family to Alan Lake...”
– Justin

hen Justin Holbrook joined ICBC as an by hissing, I had to drive up to a small pullout on the
Estimator in 2017, it marked a positive change switchback on the road where we camped for the night.”
on a number of fronts. For most people, this may already be the point they
Justin had been seeking a new career and, though decide to cut their losses. But not for this adventurous
it wasn’t his first union position, he was equally trio. Buoyed by meeting a motor biker who insisted they
determined to get more involved – something he’s would ultimately find a cabin at their destination with great
done since by becoming a job steward, an executive fishing, they pressed on – only to find a fork in the road,
councillor and co-chair of his local Occupational take a wrong turn, and come across yet another cliff.
Health & Safety committee. “I had to reverse my truck and trailer a half a
But what he really looked forward to at the time kilometer and make a 20-point turn in order to drive
was the opportunity to take a regular vacation. An avid out”, says Justin. “We found another lake and at this
lover of the outdoors, whether it’s sports, fishing or time I needed to relax and fish, so I grabbed my gear
coaching his son’s hockey team, regular vacations were and dirt bike only to catch some air and blow out the
rare for Justin prior to switching careers and joining rear tire upon landing!”
ICBC. Previously he was working as a tow truck driver, Leaving the trailer at the lake, they were successful
managing a skid steer dealership and multiple high in returning to town the following morning and finding
demanding careers. new tires. By this point even Justin was ready to throw in
For Justin, being outdoors is a place for him to the towel. But with a little encouragement from his wife,
go and play, recharge and fish. But he recalls a rather they decided to venture on taking the one road that
adventurous trip he made in 2018 wasn’t exactly one they had yet to travel…only to encounter yet another
that helped him find zen. Quite the opposite in fact, closed road late at night.
although it started out as just a simple fishing trip. But this story does have a happy ending, of sorts.
“I love to fish, and I was excited to take my family By the next morning they found the elusive Alan Lake.
to Alan Lake,” recalls Justin. “I have great childhood Justin would happily spend the final morning hours
memories of that place.” fishing in his happy place, even though it rained the
The trip began with Justin, his wife and three entire time. The memory of finally reaching the final goal
children — Paxton (10-year-old boy), Abbiegale (5yr was enough, at least in Justin’s mind, to overshadow
old girl) and Bentley, a two-month old girl at the time. what came before it and what came after as well. On
They decided to drop off the older littles with their the way back, they would discover yet another flat tire
grandparents and press on towards Alan Lake. This is on the trailer and, after leaving it behind and running
where their 46 km adventure gets a little bumpy. Just 18 into town to fix, returned to discover the license plates
km into the adventure, they would be met with a notice had been stolen.
that the roads were closed for maintenance. They had Altogether, it was a trip that involved getting lost,
previously been closed for two years due to wash out. driving dangerous roads, visiting five different lakes,
Undaunted, the trio decided to press on following an catching fish, three flat tires and all along for the ride
unknown road. Surely, it was something a veteran tow was a two-month old.
truck driver could handle…or so he thought. “It was a good trip,” says Justin.
“As we began to climb, the road began to get Here’s hoping future vacations for Justin will involve
narrower” says Justin. “I was sweating as I hugged a lot more fish and a lot fewer flats!
the bank until all of a sudden, a loud POP! Followed

28 | VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 MOVEUP Local Voice

Coming Full Circle: OUR
April’s Humbling Adventure PEOPLE

“Knowing that a warm meal and a kind

smile can change a person’s day or week
drastically reinforces how important human
kindness and interaction is...” – April

t the end of Grade 4, most kids are looking representative where she can help fellow
forward to summertime adventures with friends members like those who have helped her
and enjoying that feeling of freedom that comes when she first became a member.
after a long school year. For April Young, that was not April fondly recalls a time when, after
the case. some unpleasant experiences working in
At just the young age of nine, she was about to a restaurant setting and as an office temp
learn how hard life could be and how quickly one worker where she had issues with denied
could become homeless. April’s memories of that benefits and wage deductions after being
summer in Ontario where she grew up revolve around hired, her friend encouraged her to seek
a dinner her mother arranged for their neighbours. It out better opportunities at BC Hydro. Once
was beautifully prepared roast beef dinner, complete there, she took the opportunity to learn
with fancy silverware, candlelight and fancy Limoges more about our union and was mentored
dishes etched in 24k gold passed down from her by another fellow union representative,
great grandmother. Barbara Junker, who is now just steps away
It wasn’t until afterwards that she realized this was from her at the MoveUP office.
a farewell dinner party. “I remember Barbara was one of the
“I remember feeling shame. I realized that we were most intimidating people I had met, and she
now poor,” April recalls. “My mother always said, if the was one of the most respected,” April says.
only problems you have are money problems – you April’s experience both at a young age,
have no problems.” and since joining our union, is what fuels her
April’s mother—a single mom taking care of her to want to be there to help others – whether
and her siblings—did the best she could to keep up a it’s on the job or in her personal life.
strong front. The reality, however, was the bank had She understands how hard life can be and knows
foreclosed on their family home. all too well how homelessness can start. That’s a big
The fancy dinner was the last of the food in the reason why she is active in the community today
freezer. The family bathed at the neighbour's place volunteering. She began volunteering with her kids in
because the power and water had been disconnected school at community events, as well as at the Canadian
for weeks. Cancer Society, and now she is happily giving back to
The tight-knit, family of four were about to embark her community in Chilliwack by serving food to those
on a different kind of summer adventure. They sold less fortunate.
their family belongings in a moving sale, packed one Sadly, the venture is one that has not always
garbage bag each of personal belongings, and loaded garnered the support of the local community in
into a car to set out on a five-day journey out west, Chilliwack. But given April’s past and knowing what
camping out in the car along the way and dining on having a meal means for those who are in need, it’s
bread and peanut butter. something she feels strongly to help with even if there
Still, she considered herself and her family as being are detractors.
lucky. They were making their way out west to British “Knowing that a warm meal and a kind smile can
Columbia, where they could rely on some help from change a person’s day or week drastically reinforces
an aunt and uncle. how important human kindness and interaction is,”
April quotes Michael J. Fox, “family is not an smiles April.
important thing, it’s everything.” April’s desire to help is contagious and her ability
Those memories of nearly becoming homeless to seek opportunities to better help her community
are still very much with April, even though these days is inspiring. It is these strengths that she brings to the
she is thriving. After a decade as a MoveUP member table when she advocates for our members in her role
working for BC Hydro, April joined a different branch of as a union representative, and for that our union – and
our MoveUP family tree by becoming a full-time union our community at-large – is lucky to have her.

MOVEUP Local Voice VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 | 29

SPOTLIGHT VP Spotlight on Rysa Kronebusch

ong before Rysa Kronebusch, MoveUP's newest
vice-president, became a activist, she was a fighter.
And fighting for survival is what made Rysa the
passionate activist she is today.
At the young age of 16, Rysa was living out of a truck
– homeless and vulnerable. Not everyone with a story
like Rysa’s emerges with a happy ending. She watched
the devastating effects that living on the streets had on
her friends, some who didn’t make it.
But survive, and thrive, Rysa did. And now, as an
activist, she has made it her purpose to affect positive
change for her community, her friends and family, and
of course, her union and its members.
At our union’s last Convention back in November
2018, Rysa experienced another major life change – her
hard work paid off, and Rysa was elected as the new
Vice-President of Utilities for MoveUP. In accepting the
role, Rysa had to leave behind her work at BC Hydro – a
place where she built a highly successful career dating
as far back as she remembers.
Local Voice chatted with Rysa on a number of
topics including what it meant to say goodbye to BC
Hydro, and what she hopes to accomplish in her new
capacity at MoveUP.
Local Voice: You’ve had a long history and been
involved in so many areas from customer service to
information services, Indigenous relations, transmission
projects, generation systems operations, and the list
goes on. But what many people might not know is
your history with them dates back to being a practicum
student there. Tell us what you remember about being
a student and being new at BC Hydro?
Rysa: Well, one story sticks out in my mind. My very
first experience at BC Hydro I was a practicum student.
My job was data entry in a storage room. I would put
my headphones in and get to work. However, the
administrator would come in and talk to me almost every
hour on the hour. I was wondering if she ever did any
work! But we became good friends, one day we were
talking and I asked her why she came into the back room
so often, apparently she was told that because data entry
is so tedious and Rysa gets her energy from interaction,
so she came in the back room to chat me up!
LV: What was the most difficult part leaving
A couple of Rysa's favourite quotes... BC Hydro?
Rysa: Just thinking about this brings tears to my
eyes. It’s the people. After 23 years with BC Hydro, I
“A small deed is better than a great intention.” am just so proud of our members who work there. Our
members have worked through some tough BC Liberal
“If you stand for nothing, you will fall government years, but we stuck together and got the
job done.
for everything.”
LV: What inspired you to get involved with our

30 | VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 MOVEUP Local Voice


DAVID – Involved

One word to
describe your
fellow Table
Officers: LORI – Integrity

Rysa: There were a couple of people who influenced the community by hitting the pavement and knocking
me. One was [MoveUP Union Representative] Barbara on doors.
Junker, who was a mentor for me. Another was a co- LV: When you go home at the end of the day and
worker of mine who I had the utmost respect and remove your VP hat, what do you like to do?
admiration for. She asked me to become a job steward. Rysa: Sometimes it feels like the work doesn’t end.
Being curious by nature and loving to learn, my passion Outside of my work at MoveUP, I’m the treasurer for the ANNETTE – Humourous
for the labour movement grew. I watched first-hand Fraser Valley Labour Council and on the executive for
how the labour movement comes together and ensures the WISH Drop-In Centre Society. I am also President
all workers’ rights are protected. I am inspired by the of the Maple Ridge-Mission BC NDP Provincial
display of solidarity as other unions walk the picket line Constituency office and the Provincial Council, and was
with each other. The movement truly is as song states: recently successful in my bid to become the Secretary-
Solidarity Forever! Treasurer for the BC NDP Women’s and Gendered
LV: As the calendar turns to 2020, what are some of Rights Committee.
your priority areas? LV: You mentioned working with WISH, which is
Rysa: Building capacity with our membership and a non-profit drop-in centre for female sex workers CHRISTY – Spunky
internal organizing are major priorities. I want to have who need support in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
large job steward meetings to brainstorm what the We know that the decriminalization of sex work is
best way to engage membership within their areas. We something you are working hard to fight for. Tell us why
need to ensure our membership is engaged and their you are so passionate about that issue.
voices are heard. I want to remind members that this Rysa: Sex work is work. These workers have the
is their union and that they have a say. We have spent a right to the same protections as we enjoy. People think
great deal of time looking at our strategic direction, our sex work is trafficking, but it is totally different. If we
mission, vision and values. This is an exciting time for decriminalize sex work, we can address the problem
MoveUP, and our membership is pivotal to our success. of trafficking. Sex workers know exactly what is going
LV: What is the best part of working with your fellow on in the streets, but they won’t come forward and say
table officers? anything because of fear. We need to provide safety for
Rysa: As we are all getting to know each other better, these workers, not stigmatize them.
I appreciate how we are building on our relationships LV: Your past is just as colourful as your body art.
through our experiences and how they are helping me Aside from tattoos, are there any other ways that you
navigate through my role. motivate yourself?
LV: Tell us something that not many people know Rysa: I have a couple of quotes that are important to
about you. me – “A small deed is better than a great intention” and
Rysa: I ran for city council in Maple Ridge at the “If you stand for nothing, you will fall for everything.”
last municipal elections. In retrospect, it was one of the
hardest things I have done to date. There were a lot of
people counting on me to win which added pressure,
but also made it disappointing when I didn’t win.
Through that, I learned I need to be more engaged with
Caricatures by Bruce Sarvis

MOVEUP Local Voice VOLUME 14 Issue #3 Winter 2019 | 31

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