THE CURRENT SITUATION
The Park Board and volunteer non-profit community centre associations (CCAs) jointly operate community centres in Vancouver. There are 20 community centre associations in Vancouver. #mycommunitycentre
For the first time in more than four years, 15 community centre associations have come together to develop consensus on a proposal that has been submitted to the Park Board. The Park Board is currently developing a renewed Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) in “consultation” with the CCAs. This is a departure from the previous process of developing the JOA in partnership with the CCAs. To make sure that their input is heard and used in the JOA, 15 community centre associations (Champlain Heights, Douglas Park, False Creek, Kerrisdale, Killarney, Kitsilano, Hastings, Mount Pleasant, Renfrew, Roundhouse, Strathcona, Thunderbird, Trout Lake, West End and West Point Grey) spent hundreds of hours collaborating in the development of their proposal. The 15 CCAs have stated that if the proposed JOA addresses and resolves the issues, as set out by their proposal, they will recommend signing the agreement to their respective boards.
Some key elements that the CCAs have stated must be included in the JOA are:
• Finance: The CCAs want to maintain financial independence, which would allow each of the community centre associations to continue to provide affordable programming.
• Services: The CCAs want to retain independent decision making in their program areas, so that they can continue to provide affordable services – developed specifically to meet the needs of the unique community that each association serves.
• Governance: The CCAs want to maintain autonomy in how individual associations are governed, which is, in fact, required by law as not-for-profit organizations. This includes their ability to continue to require memberships, which CCAs have committed to offering at no cost to patrons.
This is a crucial time in the JOA negotiation between the Park Board and the CCAs. A great deal has been accomplished, including having the 15 CCAs come together to provide the Park Board with a strong, collaborative and consensus-built proposal.
Dec. 1, 2016 – The Park Board will release the JOA to the CCAs and the public.
Dec. 3, 2016 – The CCAs have requested a meeting for Dec. 3 with the Park Board commissioners to collectively review the JOA and discuss what has or has not been included from the 15 CCAs’ proposal to the Park Board for inclusion in the JOA.
Dec. 12, 2016 – Park Board staff will present a Report for Information to the commissioners at the regularly scheduled board meeting, to introduce and provide an overview of the proposed JOA. This will be for information only. No speakers will be heard at this time.
Jan. 2017 – A Special Meeting will be called to enable the public and CCAs to speak to the JOA as they wish. The date will be advised shortly.
The 15 CCAs are focused on rebuilding a positive relationship with the Park Board and negotiating a JOA that meets the needs of the Park Board and the CCAs. The CCAs are moving forward in good faith and hope that the Park Board is too. The CCAs strongly believe that the Park Board agreeing to a Dec. 3 meeting to review the draft JOA is an important step in the consultation process that the Park Board has undertaken to develop a JOA that works for all parties involved.