CUPE BC delegates lined up at the microphones to share stories, offer suggestions and advice and have their say on the report and 44 recommendations of the National Women’s Task Force.
Laurie Larsen, president of CUPE 402 in Surrey and a newly elected regional vice-president on the CUPE BC executive board, shared her experiences as a single parent trying to get her university degree and becoming an activist in her local. She had the support of sisters and brothers and particular support from a union brother who encouraged her to run. “I was the first female president in 56 years!” says Larsen.
Chair of the library division for CUPE 23 in Burnaby, Sarah Bjorknas, said that pay equity is a major issue for Burnaby Public Library workers. She shared a story of how women in her local got the resources to do a pizza and pay equity lunchtime event with participation from all four library branches.
Encouraging CUPE and the NWTF to do more work on the issue of women with disabilities, Natalie Lisik, president of Local 2950 at UBC, talked about her experience at the NWTF forum for women with disabilities.
Bev Lapointe, GVP on the CUPE BC Executive Board and Local 339 president in the West Kootenays, shared her story about working for 27 years in an all-male work environment. Donalda Greenwell-Baker, secretary-treasurer of CUPE 15 in Vancouver, said that since the last national convention a lot of good has already been done.
B.C. is the seventh division convention to discuss the NWTF report. Feedback from division conventions and other CUPE forums will continue during the spring of 2007. A final report and recommendations will go to the national convention in October 2007.