Since our last meeting, two CUPE members died at work. The NEB paused to honour Brother James “Jamie” Vecchio, from CUPE Local 3, Sault Ste. Marie, who died on April 16th and Sister Ceildih Ryan, a Local 67 member, also from Sault Ste. Marie. Our sincere condolences are extended to their families, friends and co-workers.
NEB Resolution – Buy Canadian
Recent media about the Buy American policies of the Obama government does not tell the complete story. The Harper government and its corporate allies have been pressuring provinces and municipalities to give up their right to purchase goods and services from Canadian sources. This is designed to enable more free trade agreements which limit our democratic rights to support our communities rather than corporations.
The NEB adopted a resolution that commits CUPE to opposing proposals that limit the democratic right of provinces and municipalities to implement local purchasing policies and to work with allies to support “Buy Canadian” across the country.
2009 National Convention
The Board dealt with numerous issues in preparation for the National Convention, including approving Convention Assistance Fund applications from 45 locals. All locals are encouraged to look for the Official Convention Call early in July.
In addition to adopting the quarterly financial statements, the NEB approved the 2008 Audited Financial Statements presented by the outside Auditors, and received the CUPE National Trustees Report. The Trustees will also report to the National Convention.
Financing of fourteen cost share campaigns were approved, totaling $363,852.21, which will help locals improve member awareness, raise public profile and prepare for bargaining. In addition, our legal/arbitration support for locals totals $818,386.28 in response to twenty-four applications to assist locals.
The Board also approved a donation of $10,000 to the Abruzzo Earthquake Fund, as another show of solidarity with populations who have been hit with devastating natural disasters, this one on April 6th in Italy.
NEB members will work to encourage CUPE members to register for the CLC’s Labour College. It is a renewed program that will provide intense training and support for activists who want to increase their leadership abilities. The deadline to register for the 2010 program is June 30, 2009 and more details can be found at www.clc-ctc.ca.
Economic Climate for Bargaining
A lot of discussion was generated around the tough bargaining that many locals are facing in the current economic climate. The quarterly “Economic Climate for Bargaining”, produced by CUPE’s Senior Economist, addresses a key issue for CUPE members; that being, the benefits of public service. A major new study shows that the dollar value benefits of public services are very large and exceed the benefits of tax cuts for the vast majority of families. This information can be found at www.cupe.ca and can assist locals in making arguments for sustaining public services.
Brother Dennis Mol was sworn in as the new Regional Vice-President representing Alberta.
The Board members want to extend our best wishes to all members for a safe and enjoyable summer and we look forward to seeing many of you at the 2009 National Convention in Montreal in October!