BURNABY—Three months after the end of a 66-day lockout of staff by Pacific Blue Cross, the future of the non-profit benefits provider has come down to this: elections tomorrow (December 13) for the board of directors, at the company’s much-delayed annual general meeting, that could either signal a new era of progressive accountability at PBC or reinforce the top-down model of corporate governance that led to the lockout in the first place.
CUPE’s campaign to elect a slate of seven, new progressive candidates has gathered momentum in the final days and weeks leading up to tomorrow’s AGM. The BC Federation of Labour and many of its affiliates have not only assisted in putting forward candidates but also spread the word on social media and through their respective networks, helped line up PBC primary plan holders to commit to attending the meeting, and assisted in the logistical details of getting them to the AGM, including guaranteed seats on buses.
The progressive vision of the B.C. labour movement-supported team of candidates has generated much excitement while engaging hundreds of union members—many for the first time—in the democratic process of such a prominent non-profit extended health benefits provider.
“People can see that Pacific Blue Cross is going through an uncertain period right now, with a lack of clear leadership and direction,” said CUPE 1816 President Beth Miller.
“With the CEO gone, it’s more important than ever that we elect a board that will do its best to protect plan members and return stability to the organization. Our members are very excited about this campaign, because it appears that people are really ready for change at PBC.”
Registration for the AGM, being held at the Westin Bayshore Hotel (1601 Bayshore Drive, Vancouver) runs from 3-6 p.m. tomorrow, followed by the AGM at 6 p.m. sharp. Primary beneficiaries, or plan holders of PBC who would like to attend the meeting to vote should bring their PBC card (the same card used to pick up a prescription, printable at the CARESnet website) and photo ID.
There is still room available on shuttle buses being provided for service to and from the hotel between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Shuttles will leave from:
- Waterfront Skytrain and Seabus terminal. Look for the CUPE flags for directions to the bus. Shuttles will be running continuously from 2-6 p.m.
- PNE Lot 9B West (east side of the PNE off Highway 1 on Bridgeway – see attached map). Buses will be leaving every half hour from 2-5 p.m. Free parking is available. NOTE: Those who show up at the PNE or at Waterfront SkyTrain station do not need to reserve a seat.
- Pacific Blue Cross office, Canada Way and Gilmore in Burnaby
Surrey: Pick up and parking is at Queen Elizabeth School – 9457 King George Blvd, leaving at 3:30 p.m. The bus will be there 30 minutes before departure.
Langley: Pick-up is at 20090 91a Avenue, at the Colossus Theatre. The bus will be there at 3:30 and leaving just after 4:00 p.m.
Abbotsford: Pick up is at the McCallum Road Park and Ride, 1626 McCallum Road (coming from the 315 Chilliwack stop). The bus will be there for 3:45, and leave at the latest by 4:10 p.m.
Chilliwack: Pick up is at Cottonwood Mall 45585 Luckakuck Way, outside the old Target/Zellers. The first bus will be leaving at 3:15, the second at 4:00 p.m. The buses will be there 30 minutes before departure.
To book a seat on a bus, or for more information, contact Tina Meadows at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the Westin Bayshore Hotel paid parking will be available across the street at the Bayshore lot, and in the surrounding area. Food will be available in CUPE’s registration room, where you can also sign up to win a prize while waiting for the AGM to begin. The election portion of the meeting should be over quickly, and those who have arrived by bus will be returned to the point of pickup after the meeting.