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September 2007

Workers Die on the Job

The National Executive Board observed a minute of silence in memory of two CUPE members who were killed on the job this summer. Richard Gallant, CUPE Local 1190, died when a tractor-trailer crashed through his highway worksite. Douglas Prysiazniuk, CUPE Local 500, was caught between the boom truck bucket and a bridge girder and died from his injuries. We extend our sincere condolences to their families.

National Convention

The Board reviewed the program for the upcoming National Convention in Toronto. A draft Strategic Directions Program for 2007-2009 “Securing the Future” will be brought to convention floor for what is expected to be a vigorous debate. A record number of resolutions have been received from locals across the country, many of which touch on the issues raised in the Strategic Directions proposal. As well, sector meetings and forums will offer delegates many opportunities to share experiences and learn from one another.

Diversity Vice Presidents’ Work Plan

The National Executive Board adopted the Ongoing Work Plan, recently revised by the Diversity Vice Presidents. High on the priority list is building on the work coming from the National Human Rights Conference and the “Vancouver Declaration”. The Work Plan makes specific recommendations to ensure that diversity is present in our staff complement, our trainee representative program and our organizing efforts. A communications strategy, networking and coalition building, education and training and speaking out on current issues are all part of building strength in our diversity work.

World Events

A motion to donate $20,000 to Oxfam Canada was approved, with the funding to be directed to support relief efforts in South Asia and Peru. Millions of people have been affected by devastating floods in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Nepal, and widespread damage occurred in the Peru earthquake.

Campaigns to Stop Violence Against Women

The National Executive Board adopted a resolution to circulate information to support three current campaigns to stop violence against women in Canada. Sisters in Spirit, Amnesty International’s Speak Out campaign, and Oxfam Canada’s campaign “We Can End Violence Against Women”, all have activities for locals and members to participate in, and the Board encourages support. National will incorporate our support for these campaigns in activities we plan around December 6th.

Financial Matters

In addition to sending messages of support to our locals locked out and on strike, the National Secretary-Treasurer reported that the Strike Fund remains strong and fully able to support our members for as long as it will take to get the settlements they deserve.

The National Executive Board approved 21 cost share campaigns, for a total of $417,986.12. The campaigns touch on many issues affecting our members, from violence at work to municipal elections to fighting privatization and mobilizing members. Approval was also given to 15 applications for legal and arbitration assistance, totalling $274,726.06.

Social Services Sector Snapshot

Our Research Department has prepared a comprehensive snapshot of the Social Services Sector. With well over 50,000 members in this sector, there are numerous sub-sectors, including Associations for Community Living, Children’s Aid Societies, Child Care Centres, Community Health and Social Services, Rehab and Halfway Houses and Women’s Shelters. The snapshot includes commentary on the challenges facing these sectors as our population ages and the number of available workers declines.

Economic Climate for Bargaining

Each quarter, CUPE’s Senior Economist prepares an analysis of the current economic climate and its relationship to the work of representing CUPE members. This quarter focuses on the potential effects of the USA economy being well into “orange alert” territory, housing prices in Canada and the dismantling of the public service through the promotion of public private partnerships. Check it out at www.cupe.ca.

New Assistant Regional Director

The National Executive Committee ratified the appointment of Brother Michel Parenteau, Assistant Regional Director in Quebec. Welcome, Brother Michel!

On behalf of the Board, we look forward to seeing many of you at our 2007 National Convention in Toronto!

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