Ian Gordon

Ian Gordon is president of the North Okanagan Labour Council.

Ian Gordon will be the first president of the North Okanagan Labour Council to serve a two-year term.

Gordon was re-elected to the top job Wednesday night at a meeting that featured elections for most of the executive positions, including president.

Previously, executive members were elected — or, more often than not, acclaimed — to one-year terms in February.

The extended terms will allow the organization to tackle some bigger projects, said Gordon.

“It allows the group to work on longer projects without having to worry about short timelines to get things done. It allows us to see things from start to finish,” Gordon said after his re-election.

A goal Gordon set when he was first elected in 2018 was to reach out to more local unions and more people and groups in the community.

That effort seems to be working. The NOLC’s Labour Day picnic now attracts hundreds of people annually. The 2020 event is already in the works and will be presented at Ben Lee Park.

The NOLC participates in the United Way and in local Remembrance Day ceremonies, hosts a Day of Mourning ceremony in April, and recently offered financial support to organizations such as the library and Bridge Youth and Family Services.

On Wednesday, NOLC members also agreed to donate $3,500 to area food banks.

“Our community outreach committee is really getting active,” said Gordon, referring to one of several labour council committees that have been revived during his tenure.

The labour council is also active politically. In 2020, the local group will join national efforts to lobby MPs on pharmacare, a $15 federal minimum wage and federal labour code amendments.

Gordon was challenged for his own job Wednesday night, which he encouraged.

“It was nice to see so many elections this time around. It wasn’t just people being appointed. It’s a sign of a very healthy organization,” he said.

Also elected to the NOLC executive were Kelly Hutchinson (BCGEU), Jeff Fisher (IBEW) and Shane Curveon (ATU) as vice-presidents, Louise Gibson (MoveUp) as secretary-treasurer, Cheryl Stone (UFCW) as recording secretary, Nik Terava and Luke Mortenson (IBEW) as Central and North delegates, Karen Abramsen (UFCW) as sergeant at arms, and Tawni Duhamel (BCGEU) as trustee.

Gordon is a member of CUPE 3523, the school district workers who are in the midst of contract negotiations with the Central Okanagan district.

The NOLC represents about 8,000 workers in some 40 unions from Lumby to Peachland.

The group next meets at 7 p.m. Dec. 4 at the BCGEU office on Borden Avenue in Kelowna.