Brother Larry Harrison – R.I.P.

May 18th, 2017 – One year ago we said goodbye to our friend, brother, father and husband, Larry Harrison.

The anniversary date of a loved one’s death is particularly significant.  You will have done something you thought was impossible a few months earlier, you will have survived an entire year without someone who was as important to you as life itself.

The hardest part of losing someone isn’t learning to say goodbye, but rather learning to live without them, always trying to fill the void.

Years ago, if someone would have ever told me I would have to go through such a loss, I never would have believed them.  But I have and each day I try my best to come to terms with it … and it is a difficult journey.

Larry;

Where has the time gone since you left me?  It seems like only yesterday, but the calendar tells me differently.  My heart still aches for your smiling face and to hear your voice.  Each page of the calendar I turn over puts a measurable distance between the day you left and today … but my heart tells me it’s only been an instant.  

Whenever I am missing you, I also remember how fortunate I was that you were in my life; I wouldn’t trade those moments for the world.

Sometimes I don’t know if the tears I cry are for you or for myself. I still miss you every day, but I am thankful for every day I had with you.  Pain still exists because I lost you, but so too does the joy that came from knowing you.  

I am lucky to have said goodbye, but I am luckier because I had someone who made saying goodbye so hard.  There are two moments I will never forget, the moment we met and the moment you took your last breath.

People will always remember your special smile, your caring heart, and that warm embrace you always gave.

When you died, it was the biggest shock of my life.  Nothing prepared me for it.  I live each day wondering how I will get through it …. And then I remember, you would want me to.

Larryisms:

The mountains you are carrying, you are only supposed to climb.

Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go … just remember how far you have come.

Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome.

Never regret a day in your life, good days give you happiness, bad days give you experience, worst days give you lessons and best days give you memories.

In loving memory, Dee Heidt (Harrison)

Ratification of New Collective Agreement

The Collective Agreement was ratified by the members on November 9th by a vote of 89%. The Mayor and Council ratified the Agreement at the Council Meeting on Monday, November 21 st . The new Collective Agreement will for five years, covering the period January 2016- December 31, 2020.

Some of the Highlights

Wage Increase:

  • 2016 – 1.5%
  • 2017 – 1.5%
  • 2018 – 2%
  • 2019- 2%
  • 2020 – 2%

Benefits:
Article 6.6 – Extended Health Benefit Plan – lifetime maximum increased from $750,000 to $1,000,000

Generic Drug Substitution language – effective January 1, 2017:
You will be given a generic substitution – when filling your prescriptions – unless your physician or dentist specifies – no substitution on your prescription – in this case – you will receive the branded drug at no extra cost to the members.

Increase to Psychologists and the addition of Clinical Counsellors – effective January 1, 2017:
Combined amount of $800 – to cover both of these specialists. Many of our members were utilizing the EFAB program which has Clinical Counsellors – this allows them to continue that relationship or use the increased funds for their Psychologist.

Parking at City Hall:
Freeze on parking for 2016, 2017 and 2018 and if increased in further years it will be done as a taxable benefit.

Additional Positions in the Bargaining Unit:
Fifty – three (53) new positions over 2016/2017

Conversions:
Seventeen (17) approximately from auxiliary to either regular full time or regular part time.

Lifeguards:
Increase to RFL’s for lifeguards from 1 – 3. Decrease in Lifeguard Instructor 1 hours for progression to Lifeguard – from 2080 – 1040

Engineering – Certification Pay:
Water, Sanitary- Sewer, Pumps & Controls

The City will be posting the New Collective Agreement on the website as soon as possible. Printed copies will done at that time as well.

If you have any further question, please call the union office 604-543- 3822. If anyone would like a copy of the “Memorandum of Agreement” – which is the changes to the contract, please contact the union office.

BARGAINING UPDATE

The Union and the City met on March 10th – at which time we continued to make progress in working towards a Memorandum of Agreement.  The Bargaining Committee is continuing to address with the City the issues that were indicated by you the members in the Bargaining Survey.

Discussions have been positive – we will be scheduling further meetings with the City in the near future and will post updates as they occur.

The City of Vancouver and CUPE Local 1004 have reached a tentative agreement – which they will be taking to their members at the end of March for ratification.

 

Bargaining Committee:

Jeannie Kilby
Tom Wiebe
Darcy McPartlin
Rick Tanaka
Aman Cheema
Elvira Janzen

President’s Message

Spring is in the air, and now it’s time to focus on Bargaining. It is well underway and the Union and the City have met numerous times over the past several months. Talks are progressing very well and we are feeling optimistic that we will have a fair, respectful and reasonable offer in the new future.

I am once again so incredibly proud of all the City workers here in Surrey. We were recently co-recipients with the City and IAFF, at the United Way Spirit Innovation Award. The United Way Innovation Award recognizes the workplace campaign team that created the most innovative fundraising strategies and maintained or increased dollars given directly to the United Way.

My personal belief, that helping other is an extremely rewarding experience and is a part of being a caring community. A large amount of the employees at this Great City have consistently gone above and beyond when it comes to giving, it makes me very proud to be an employee at the City of Surrey.

We will also be announcing soon our upcoming dates for our offsite Union Meetings (City Hall and Operations Centre). So stay tuned!

I am also open to meeting with individuals or groups on their own time to discuss any issues that you may have. Please feel free to contact me anytime during working hours to arrange a meeting.

On a personal note a big Thank you to our CUPE National rep, Rob, the Executive board, shop stewards and all the Union members that give me a hand each and every day, it’s your hard work and commitment that keep me grounded, informed and energized to continue to represent you in the best way that I can .

In Solidarity,

Jeannie