VANCOUVER—CUPE BC’s 48th annual convention drew to a close today, with more than 500 delegates re-electing President Barry O’Neill for a seventh term and Secretary-Treasurer Mark Hancock for a fourth term. In addition, delegates re-elected General Vice-Presidents Debbie Taylor, Paul Faoro, Cindy McQueen and Trevor Davies. Delegates also elected six Regional Vice-Presidents and alternates, two Diversity Vice-Presidents and alternates, and two Trustees.
The convention also adopted a new two-year action plan that will see CUPE BC engage its members in political and community action to defeat the B.C. Liberal government and elect the B.C. New Democrats. Throughout the four-day meeting delegates heard from guest speakers like CUPE National President Paul Moist and Secretary-Treasurer Claude Généreux, author Linda McQuaig, interim NDP Official Opposition Leader Dawn Black and South African labour leader Gati Malete.
The theme of the convention was “Community Action—It Works!”
Prior to Black’s speech, O’Neill invited former NDP Leader Carole James to the stage to receive thanks and appreciation from CUPE BC for her seven years of service to the party. Delegates gave James two standing ovations during the presentation.
United Steelworkers of America’s Steve Hunt joined O’Neill to pay tribute to former BC Federation of Labour Secretary-Treasurer Angela Schira, who retired last year. O’Neill thanked Schira for her more than 25 years of dedication and service to the labour movement, and said her role as mentor to hundreds of women activists continues to be an inspiration to all British Columbians.
Delegates adopted a wide variety of resolutions, committing CUPE BC to actions such as advocating for a comprehensive public childcare system for B.C. and Canada, and demanding the BC Liberal government restore appropriate levels of funding to education.
Next year’s CUPE BC convention will be held in Victoria.
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