This year’s National Council was held on the weekend of November 3, 2018, at the Toronto CBC Broadcast Centre.

This annual meeting serves as a forum for the Association’s orientation and is also as a reference point for an update on the activities which took place during the year coming to a close. As a matter of fact, the APS timeline chart brings to understand why this major event leads to the beginning of November as the end of our annual cycle.

Why in November?

The Association’s fiscal year ends on June 30 of each year. As of that date, our By-Laws provides a schedule to plan out all the series of events closing with the National Council meeting in November.  The call for applications are submitted in August, the publication of the financial statements at the end of September and the Members’ Annual General Assembly in November. These events are structured around the end of our fiscal year.

As first obligation ensuing from the end of the fiscal year is the production of the Association’s financial statements. This process consists in transmitting the Association’s financial data to the external auditors who are given a deadline of 60 business days to submit the statement of income results. However, it is in August or after the end of the fiscal year that the nominations are launched for the positions to be filled in the organization. The duration of this period extends to 10 business days.  All the APS positions entail two-year terms. Alternating every two years, we have a Notice of Election for the National President, the National Secretary and the National Treasurer and the other year the regional directors’ positions. The local elections in Toronto and Montreal are covered in the same year as the regional officers.  

The elections are supervised by way of the Office of the APS National Secretariat, via an electronic procedure by using the services of an external firm specialized in the organization of ballots. This year we asked to withdraw the obligation to proceed by electronic vote for the selection of the firm of external auditors since the positions are filled by acclamation most frequently. In these circumstances, the appeal to the national vote to confirm the appointment of the external auditors turns out in a costly expenditure only to confirm a decision already adopted by the National Executive Committee. In regard to the local votes, the elections to fill the positions of Montreal and Toronto Officers are held before September 7, at the annual meetings of each local organization.

Although there is no target date for the voting process with the participating members, the consultations are done in October so that the results are unveiled during the Members’ Annual General Assembly at the beginning of November. The sequence of the activities stems from provisions in Article 10.05 of the By-Laws which sets a term of 15 business days after the audited financial statements approved by the National Officers, to communicate to the members the date and the information relative to the National Council meeting and the Members’ Annual General Assembly.

The Content of the National Council

Along the years, the National Council agendas steadied around the reports delivered by the main actors of the organization. There was a time when these meetings revolved around joint discussions or in the presence of guest speakers. But with the increase of various committees and complexity of the workloads, the councils of today serve especially to shed light on the union’s actions carried out through the course of the year coming to an end.

This year, the beginning of the session starred the officers responsible for the several regions of the country who reported the activities and locally real-life concerns. Marcel Arsenault’s absence on a work mission in Iqaluit prevented us from receiving news from Eastern Canada, but all the other regional officials provided their activity reports.

For Montreal – Stéphane Désautels, President

For Toronto – Nathan Farr, President

For Ottawa – Daniel Lavigne, Director

For Western Region – David MacFarlane, Director


The meeting followed with the activity reports from the National Treasurer and the National Secretary.

Yves Ledoux drafted a final broad outline of his mandate as National Treasurer during the last two years by presenting an overview of the new investment policy he implemented, the reduction in telecom, licenses and maintenance fees. He also pointed that he centralized the billing system.

Dominique Barrette also presented her last membership presentation outlining the fluctuations to the end of the year.


The officers responsible for their specialized committee also gave an overview of their activities:

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) from David MacFarlane

National Health and Safety  from Nathan Farr

Website status from Jennifer Barrett


At the core of the various activities’ reports are the ones from the National President, Mario Poudrier and the General Manager, Claude Beausoleil.

The first one announced we had a very busy year including the renewal of a ten-year agreement on the 0.1% contributions per employee for the increases in expenses of the social benefits and mentioned the numerous litigation before the courts. The General Manager provided a general profile of the many grievances settled throughout the year as well as those which are still active. He also announced a new plaint for the claims of a large majority of the APS membership from the SCRC (FNC-CSN) and from the Guild (Canadian Media Guild) before the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB).

During the Council’s deliberations, the delegates intervene as they please as much for the questions as for the suggestions. For example, changes were brought to the website structure resulting in important savings. It is also there that originated the consultation with the members to poll the perception of the individuals towards their union through a perception survey.

 As usual, President Mario Poudrier led the proceedings so that the day would end as scheduled at 17:00 sharp. It is definitely a great improvement on past meetings that dwelled into the evening or worse until the next morning.

 


 

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