Whitehorse Daily Star

Many Rivers’ AGM deemed invalid by YG: union

The surprise annual general meeting planned for Friday by the Many Rivers Counselling and Support Services Society will not be recognized by the territory’s Registrar of Societies.

By Whitehorse Star on November 20, 2018

The surprise annual general meeting planned for Friday by the Many Rivers Counselling and Support Services Society will not be recognized by the territory’s Registrar of Societies.

The society’s employees began a strike Nov. 2 in several Yukon communities, including Whitehorse.

“It was confirmed by the Registrar of Societies ... that the society did not provide proper notification for the meeting as specified in their current bylaws,” the Yukon Employees’ Union (YEU), which represents the workers, said Monday afternoon.

At a Sept. 28 board meeting, the YEU said earlier, Many Rivers’ board passed a motion to institute a moratorium on new members to the society, a move which the union said was in conflict with the organization’s bylaws.

“According to meeting minutes, there were concerns including (a) conflict of interest concerns/issues from potential members or potential group of members; (b) any politicization of the society; c) a small or larger group could hypothetically enter into the society memberships with purposes not consistent with the organization’s purpose,” the YEU said.

Corporate Registries has also confirmed that the applications submitted are legitimate, and all individuals who submit/submitted applications for membership along with payment are members, and are entitled to receive proper documentation and notices for the AGM and any special general meeting, the YEU said.

“In response to requests from the beleaguered staff of Many Rivers, YEU has, over the last six or eight months, shared the society’s membership invitation with our membership,” the union said.

“The goal was to encourage transparency and healthy discussion at the membership level. This is, we believe, what led to both the cancellation of the scheduled June AGM, and this improper move by the board of directors.”

The YEU said it knows of more than 20 people who requested membership in the society by submitting a registration form and the $10 membership fee in September.

“Those individuals have never been advised of their membership status, but were not invited to the November 23 meeting planned by the society,” the union said.

“The striking workers of Many Rivers care deeply about their work, and their clients. We urge the society to do business in a transparent manner that truly reflects their goals and caring mandate.”

Many Rivers has not returned several phone calls and an email from the Star seeking comment on the labour disruption and its attempt to have its AGM.

“All society members look forward to participating in a legitimate annual general meeting,” the YEU said.

Comments (11)

Up 13 Down 7

Groucho d'North on Nov 25, 2018 at 10:39 am

A union's motivation for better worker wages and benefits is because it improves their bottom line as they get a percentage of that increase in dues paid by employees. If union employees paid a flat rate fee for union provided services rather than a percentage, most of these strikes and work stoppages would halt. The union is first and foremost concerned about increasing their tithe rather than the quality of service provided to the clients of the unionized shop in question.

Up 19 Down 3

bev on Nov 23, 2018 at 5:49 pm

I do not believe that a Non Profit should be allowed to belong to a union. This particular Non Profit has a lot of conflict of interest in how they do business and the ED is part of the problem... They were the cause for another Non Profit pretty much having to shut down. Many Rivers ED was in direct conflict of interest in that case. Many Rivers should lose their Non Profit status. End of Story.

Up 32 Down 11

jake on Nov 21, 2018 at 7:57 pm

Good comment Jack. The union has made it unaffordable to operate any kind of program in the Yukon. They only care about filling their own pockets at the expense of others and not the important programs that are offered by these NGO'S.

Up 28 Down 3

Jason on Nov 21, 2018 at 7:38 pm

I've known a number of great administrators and counsellors that have quit there in the past few years citing the executive director as the cause. I've personally used MR on a number of occasions and have always received excellent care from the counsellors there. The one I frequently saw doesn't appear to be employed there anymore, so pile her on the heap of great people that have quit ... The hubris of this ED and board is amazing, in light of the fact that there are Yukoners who need to access these services for their well-being. They'd rather take the whole organization down than admit they are wrong, well done.

Up 32 Down 12

Jim on Nov 21, 2018 at 11:35 am

I guess this is why a society should not be unionized. Seems like the union wants to flood the memberships with their agenda. Makes it kind of hard to negotiate a wage and work package. It turns into a situation like our government where you have government workers negotiating with government workers. We all know how that has worked out.

Up 27 Down 9

Max Mack on Nov 21, 2018 at 9:25 am

Many Rivers needs to change its bylaws pronto. Acceptance into the society should NOT be automatic based solely on an application form and a fee. Was there an attempt to stack the society with certain individuals to influence a vote? It certainly sounds that way. Dirty Yukon politics at play?

Up 31 Down 3

Yukonblonde on Nov 21, 2018 at 7:30 am

A little while ago the directors on the Board were the wife of the executive director and the mother of the finance director.
Not sure if that is still the case.

They paid for themselves to attend a conference in San Francisco one year to attend board training.
The board of many rivers is absolutely the worst.

Up 35 Down 5

tip of the iceberg on Nov 21, 2018 at 2:23 am

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Very troubling stuff has been going on in there since the new ED was hired approx 6 years ago. Find and interview ex-staff (well over half of staff left within the past couple years). Do a deep audit from the past 6 years. Seriously! And stop wasting time - the ED and incompetent Board must go, so the good work the staff do can continue.

Up 27 Down 9

Jack on Nov 20, 2018 at 4:46 pm

Again the union directly involving themselves in the affairs of an organization. Stick to bargaining you bleeping bleeping union. What is my 90 bucks a month going for. Never signed up for this.

Up 11 Down 29

Jonah Whale on Nov 20, 2018 at 3:59 pm

This sounds like a lack of accommodation and appears to be a witch hunt.

Seems like the radar is turned on to be heavy handed and punitive when dealing with Many Rivers.

Up 26 Down 10

ProScience Greenie on Nov 20, 2018 at 3:24 pm

Rules need to be changed in our Societies Act to ensure the activities of all organizations operating under it are entirely membership driven rather than board driven. Especially in the areas of democracy, transparency and accountability. Less dictatorships and dysfunctionality that way.

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