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TORONTO, ON – Members of Ontario’s largest union took a historic step last week, changing their union’s constitution to ensure broader diversity on its executive board, which will enhance the union’s work against the austerity agenda.

Delegates to the 52nd annual convention of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) voted overwhelmingly to expand the number of diversity seats on their union’s executive board.

CUPE Ontario has long been a leader on equality. This historic vote guarantees additional representation in our leadership body for young workers, workers with disabilities and women, to compliment and strengthen existing representatives for racialized workers, aboriginal workers and LGBTQ workers,” said CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn.

“Our members voted democratically to ensure our union’s diversity is fully represented, which will build even more strength to support public services, good jobs and a better Ontario. This decision, without question, strengthens our union.”

The convention, which wrapped up Saturday, also saw the first airline worker elected to a position within CUPE Ontario. Julianne Vondrejs, who works at Air Transat, was elected to a three-year term as Trustee.

More than 1000 delegates participated in the convention, which focused on mobilizing in communities to fight government austerity. Delegates marched en masse from the convention to Queen’s Park, where they were met by representatives of more than a dozen labour and community groups opposing the provincial government’s plan to sell Hydro One. High-profile speakers at the convention included NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, UNISON President Lucia McKeever, and CLC President Hassan Yussuff.

CUPE is Ontario’s community union, with 250,000 members providing quality public services we all rely on, in every part of the province, every day. CUPE Ontario members are proud to work in social services, health care, municipalities, school boards, universities and airlines.


For more information, please contact:

Craig Saunders, CUPE Communications, 416-576-7316