Our 2015 Annual General Meeting was held May 6th, 2015 at the Royal Canadian Legion, Kingsway Branch, 14339 – 50th Street, Edmonton, AB.
Social Hour: We opened at 4:00 PM to allow members to have some extra time to socialize with their friends and colleagues ahead of the dinner and meeting. Arriving early was, of course, optional.
Communications Access Realtime Translation (CART) was again available for deaf and hard of hearing members. More details on CART are at the end of this page.
There were 117 members present including Board Members. Special Guests included Doreen Morton (life member) and Larry Sakaluk (AB/NWT Regional Services Officer) and his wife, Carol.
President Brian Emdin welcomed everyone and asked for a Moment of Silence to honour deceased members. He then thanked all the volunteers who serve our members. Following Grace the meal was served.
During coffee/dessert, Shannon Patershuk and Terina-Lyn Brown of Johnson Insurance gave a presentation on MEDOC Travel Insurance and answered questions from the audience.
The meeting was called to order at 7:30 pm by President Brian Emdin.
Following Approval of the Agenda and of the Minutes of our previous General Membership Meeting, Treasurer Clay Kolstad presented the Audited Financial Statements and his Treasurer’s Report, which were approved.
Clay then led a discussion on requirements under the new Not-For-Profit Act which make it prudent for us to establish a formal “Defense of Benefits Fund”. Two motions were approved:
- That Edmonton Branch, AB17, establish a Defense of Benefits Fund of $40,000.00, and that, when there have been expenditures from it, replenishment of this fund be made at a rate of not less than $4,000.00 per year, provided that there are funds available to support this rate. This rate may be adjusted by a motion of the Board of Directors following an examination of branch books. Such an adjustment will be reported to the members at the Branch Annual General Meeting.
- That Edmonton Branch AB17 Board of Directors is authorized to make expenditures from the Defense of Benefits Fund when necessary up to the amount of $10,000 each fiscal year. Expenditures over this amount require member approval at a Branch General, Special, or Annual Meeting.
Clay led a further discussion on the rising cost of meals compared to the cost charged to members, which led to two further motions being approved:
- The cost per meal to be paid by members attending meetings be $25.
- The branch hold 3 membership meetings a year, two evening meetings (May and Sep) and one afternoon meeting (Dec). [The only change is the September meeting moves from the afternoon to the evening.]
The Health Benefits report reminded members:
- That for members who participate in the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP)
- there is no more annual deductible on claims, and
- that each unnecessary claim or phone call to Sun Life is costed against the PSHCP and ultimately reflected in our premiums.
- The Supplementary Death Benefit must be applied for as it isn’t automatically given upon death.
- Alberta Private/Semi-private hospital room rates increased over the past 2 years above Level 1 coverage, so members will have to decide if they want to pay higher premiums for more room coverage from Levels 2 and 3. Even with higher coverage, members are not guaranteed to get private/semi-private rooms if none available.
A brief report was provided on the new national website address [ federalretirees.ca/ ] and our updated branch website.
Provincial Advocacy Officer Dave Riffel highlighted the previous day’s Alberta election results where the NDP won a majority. He, with National Office, is organizing Town Hall meeting in September prior to the federal election expected in October. (Watch our website for an announcement.)
The next General membership meeting will be a supper meeting held on September 2, 2015. Click on UPCOMING EVENTS for more information.
The meeting adjourned at 9:30 pm.
Communications Access Realtime Translation (CART) With CART, everything that is said is “captioned” live for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. The CART captions are displayed via a projector on a large screen. The CART provider quickly types into a stenotype machine using machine shorthand, and the computer software translates that shorthand into realtime captions, matching the shorthand against what is in a specialized shorthand dictionary stored in the computer. The process is so fast that there is hardly any lag time between what is said and what the deaf or hard of hearing person is able to read.