The National Council is at the heart of the association’s life by gathering for the length of a weekend, the union’s most dedicated members to evaluate actions undertaken in the previous year as well as to decide on actions to be implemented in the months ahead. The APS calendar is built around the Members’ Annual General Assembly held usually at the start of November. The founding members of APS defined the mandate of this Assembly because of the dispersal factor of the association with core locations spread from Vancouver to Moncton by way of Toronto and Montreal. To ensure an equal voice for everyone, all decisions of the Assembly are limited to resolutions submitted to the total number of voting members. A direct democracy concept that guarantees that the base of the organization decides at all times.
National Council Assembly Morning Session
The weekend program includes three distinctive events: the deliberations of the National Council on Saturday, the Members’ Annual General Assembly on Sunday as well as the National Executive Committee meeting also on Sunday. It follows directly after the Members’ Assembly.
Yves Ledoux drafted a broad outline of his first mandate as National Treasurer by presenting an overview of the new investment policy which projects substantial improvement in cash flow in the near future. He also gave a summary of the financial results by informing the participants that a detailed analysis of the results will be presented by the external auditors on Sunday during the National Executive Committee’s working session. The overall assessment revealed that the financial situation continues to improve and the year to come seems even better.
A Productive Afternoon
Mario Poudrier launched the afternoon debates, by presenting his activity report summarizing the main concerns of his mandate since his re-election as National President on November 6th, last year. He dedicated a great deal of time before the Council in underlining the difficulties encountered in the implementation of the new collective agreement. The deadlock to reach the midpoint reference zone by the start of the eighth year of service and the inaccurate application of the three-hour compensation for employees ‘on call’ were the most hard-hitting examples proving that the relations with the employer are not at their best these days.
At the end of this productive day, the Council closed the deliberations through the heartfelt thanks from the National President, Mario Poudrier toward the participants who accepted to dedicate their weekend to APS
Sunday, November 5th Members’ Annual General Assembly
This year, the election for the renewal of the Accounting firm’s mandate was at stake and the only vote on the agenda at the Members’ Annual General Assembly. The electronic vote is disclosed by the transmission of the results from the external firm responsible for the voting process. Marcel Arsenault from Moncton and David MacFarlane from Edmonton acted as Election Officers for the transmission of the results. With a rate of 41 % in members’ participation, the voting members chose again to follow the National Executive Committee’s recommendation by confirming that the firm Désormeaux, Patenaude Inc. will submit APS financial statements for the next fiscal year. The favorable vote was 130 against 4 with 27 abstentions. Big Pulse acted again as the firm responsible for the organization of the electronic vote.
National Executive Committee
Around 9:00 in the morning that this year’s one of the two compulsory National Executive meetings began where the members have to attend in person. As in the past, the National President Mario Poudrier invited all the members present who do not sit on the National Executive to attend as observers. The agenda was quite full and the National Executive quickly proceeded at the start of the session by adopting the resolution for the appointment of the external auditors. This is when Mario tossed the idea to proceed differently in the future regarding the appointment of the external auditors through a vote. The costs of a national vote confirming the choice of the accounting firm, as well as the lack of interest in a matter of technical nature were the main reasons for his intervention. A more expansive discussion was undertaken to result in David MacFarlane's proposal to study the possibility of bringing an amendment to the Association’s By-Laws. Indeed to change the appointment of the external auditors through a vote, it is necessary to modify the By-Laws. Consequently, it is necessary to submit a proposal to APS voting members. David suggested that every Officer examines all the clauses of the By Laws and propose other changes of similar nature if need be. The modifications to the Association’s By-Laws require a two-third majority of the participants to be accepted. Therefore, the matter of then appointment of the external auditors and/or any other improvements in the Association’s By-Laws will be discussed at the next face-to-face National Executive Meeting.
The preservation of the current policy in financing the Christmas parties was confirmed for the celebrations of this year. Every region of the Association will have the same budget (set on pro rata of the participants) to pay the costs of their respective parties and free to organize the suitable event according to their own region.
Web Site and Perception Survey
The subject of the reorganization of the Website structure discussed during the National Council resurfaced with the adoption of resolutions to proceed to the improvements suggested in the Barrette-Ouellet report. Dominique Barrette earlier had also suggested adding to the agenda, the prospect of a perception survey with all the members. After a lively discussion on the subject, the Committee decided to proceed as soon as possible to develop an opinion survey with the APS members to validate the perception they have of their Association. This is Dominique’s area of expertise that she masters naturally since she works professionally on similar surveys for the Corporation. This challenge will fall upon her and David MacFarlane’s collaboration to ensure that this unprecedented initiative is brought to a successful conclusion. Dominique and David will have to consult the National Executive through the various stages of the project. The Committee really perceived in that proposal another commitment to innovate, to favor transparency and to encourage participation within the Association.