July 17, 2017
District 11 Holds Educational Conference
District 11 (D-11) Business Manager, Kevin Forsyth, reports that this year's conference was a success. The conference, held at Sun Peaks, BC, on July 10-13, gives the district's local lodge leaders the occasion to network with others within the district, and to learn about the successes some of the local lodges are having.
Kevin Forsyth said "The conference gives our leaders the opportunity to learn more about their responsibilities in a social surrounding." He further added "We must remember all these people do their regular jobs and then give their time to the betterment of their union, this allows us to say thank you for your service."
This year's conference was an educational session with knowledgeable speakers discussing benefit bargaining, funding methods, group insurance costing, basic steward, drug & alcohol testing and the duty to accommodate.
The conference also saw elections for open positions on the D-11 executive board. Kevin Mathews was elected District President, Phyllis Van Rhyn was elected Vice-President and Randy Martin was elected for Trustee of Alberta.
Retiring International Representative, Rob Lauzon, said "I am happy to see such a strong cast of leaders in D-11, from the experienced leaders to the new ones that are stepping forward to carry the torch for the union, D-11 is in good hands today and in the future."
The event also marked the retirement of Larry Blazeiko as the chairman of the board of trustees for D-11. Brother Forsyth showed appreciation to Brother Blazeiko on behalf of D-11 members for the work he did over the years, pointing out "he made sure the district lived within its means". After receiving his award, Brother Blazeiko told the delegates "don't give up, keep moving forward and to the younger delegates the Brotherhood will always be there for you, keep standing up for the union."
Special guest to the conference was Tony Andrade, Business Manager of District 10 (Eastern Canada). Tony was there to learn about how such a conference could benefit his district, and at the same time he too learned more about the role of representation in bargaining benefits and the duty to accommodate. Brother Andrade said "This was an incredible event and I felt privileged to be part of it."
Kevin Sheptycki, Assistant Business Manager of D-11, said "It is great to work with a group of leaders who really care about the people who make up the union, all of them came to the conference with questions about how they can do their jobs better and at the same time, were there to help others to do a better job."
Josh Deweed from D-385 out of the Kamloops Lafarge plant, who was attending his first conference, said "The knowledge I received here will assist me to improve my abilities to better serve the members of our local."
The local lodges that make up D-11 are D274 Winnipeg, D277 Vancouver, D331 Exshaw, D345 Calgary, D359 Edmonton & Regina, D385 Richmond, D400 Vancouver, D479 Invermere, D486 New Westminster, D503 Kamloops, D513 Edmonton, and D575 Moosehorn.