This issue of Organize reports on our 22nd national convention held in Winnipeg in early October. I am immensely proud of our union. Some 1,700 delegates debated the issues, pledged support for striking members and formed policy to guide CUPE over the next two years.
On the first day, I asked first-time delegates to rise. I was both surprised and pleased when about 40 per cent of the room stood up. This is a good sign as a new generation of activists takes over from those who helped build our union.
The adoption of our strategic directions program for the next two years charts an ambitious, progressive course for our union. Strengthening our union’s internal structure to maximize bargaining power, focusing on organizing and addressing equality issues are crucial priorities.
I was excited to share the preliminary results of our first nationwide membership survey in several years. This membership feedback is important for all of us. I urge you to read the more detailed article on the survey in this issue of Organize.
Reaching deep into their pockets, members and locals pledged nearly $90,000 to assist striking CUPE locals and CUPE National was happy to match that amount. We also observed a moment of silence in memory of a young Winnipeg aboriginal girl’s tragic death and pledged financial support for her family. These and other emotional moments spoke volumes to me about our members’ values.
On a personal note, I want to express my gratitude for your confidence in electing me to a second term as national president. It is also with heartfelt appreciation that I thank delegates for welcoming my parents and family, who were at my side for my re-election. The warm reception they received was deeply touching. More than ever, I feel privileged to belong to such a caring and compassionate union.