The National Executive Board met in Ottawa September 14-16
CUPE’s Plan to Fight Concessions and Defend Free Collective Bargaining includes a commitment to forge solidarity pacts both within CUPE and with other unions. At the Board meeting, members unanimously endorsed a resolution on Solidarity Pacts which calls for:
- CUPE’s full support to the PSAC during their current bargaining with the federal government, including direct lobbying with federal MPs, picket line support, financial support and that we publicize this plan widely within our union; and
- CUPE to continue to forge solid relations with all major public sector unions, including solidarity pacts, joint op ed pieces; joint advertising campaigns, and a plan to convene a meeting of senior leadership of major public sector unions in the very near future.
Support for Other Unions
In response to the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada’s request for consideration of a loan to be sent to the Atlantic Communication and Technical Workers’ Union in support of the striking Aliant workers, the Board was pleased to be able to offer assistance and approved the release of a $500,000 cheque. The CEP is guaranteeing the repayment of this interest-free loan by the end of the 2005 calendar year. You will remember that during the Videotron strike last year, CEP had generously provided CUPE with a loan.
After many months of uncertainty in the airline industry, our Airline Division has come together and restructured itself to meet the needs of airline members in the current economic climate. Board members were pleased to approve new Division bylaws setting out the new structure, which will serve our airline members well in the years to come.
Special National Executive Board Meeting
A special one-day Executive Board meeting was structured for the purpose of an in-depth discussion on the issues of staff allocation and the National Strike Fund and its Regulations.
Members were provided with data of the current staff complement/ membership ratio in regions, the national office staff complement, statistics representing an overview of the past decade indicative of CUPE’s staff and membership growth, and a discussion paper that outlined the factors and variables that influence budget decision-making with respect to staff hiring and assignments. Also provided was a breakdown of local unions by number of members. All this information will be helpful to Board members as they continue to discuss the best ways to meet the needs of our union’s membership.
The National Strike Fund Regulations were reviewed and amended to clearly outline the long time requirement for members on strike/lockout to perform strike duties for a minimum of number of hours in order to qualify for strike pay (at least 20 hours of picketing or other assigned duties per calendar week). In addition to discussing the use of the Strike Fund, Board members also talked about legal expenses related to strikes and lock-outs.
2003 Budget Surplus
Upon the recommendation of the CUPE auditors regarding a revision to the General Fund Financial Statements, National Executive Board members adopted a resolution calling for $2 million of the 2003 budget surplus to be allocated to CUPE’s recorded benefits liability. CUPE’s National Trustees have long advocated that our union begin to address these liability issues.
National Strike Fund – Solidarity Levy
Brother Généreux reported on the strength of the membership’s National Strike Fund and the lifting of the Solidarity Levy on July 9th. The last month for which CUPE locals are required to pay the levy is June 2004. The Strike Fund’s balance now stands at over $19 million and can solidly support CUPE members facing picket lines.
National Office – Expansion Project
Board members discussed and adopted a proposed plan for the expansion and linking of the CUPE national office buildings at 21 Florence and 20 James streets in Ottawa. The plan will increase the total value of the property and provide for much needed additional office space, in-house technology equipment requirements, meeting room needs and overall renovations. NEB Diversity Vice-President
Diversity Vice-President Randy St. Denis has accepted a position with another union and has resigned as Diversity Vice-President on the National Executive Board. We wish to thank Brother St. Denis for his activism and the tremendous contribution he has made to CUPE.
The National Executive Board will be communicating shortly with all provincial and service divisions regarding a consultative process to fill this vacancy.
Ratification of Appointments
Join us in offering congratulations to both Brother Peter Douglas who has formally been appointed Regional Director for Ontario and Brother Jim Lamb as Assistant Regional Director for British Columbia.
Similarly, all will want to welcome Brother Ron Verzuh who has been appointed Director of our Communications Branch. Brother Verzuh has served as a Communications Representative many years and we look forward to working with him in his new capacity. The Director position recently became vacant as a result of Brother Robert Fox’s decision to resign. Our best wishes and thanks for his years of dedication go out to Brother Fox.
Staff Retirees Association
Many will be pleased to know that an interim executive of the CUPE Staff Retirees Association recently held a meeting to revive the association with a goal of promoting communication and sharing information among retired CUPE staff members. Further information will be provided as this positive initiative progresses.