Dear Sisters and Brothers:

Our second quarter of 2013 has been a very busy one for our union in this our 50th year.

Eight of our ten provincial division conventions were held during this reporting period.  Brother Charles and I are privileged to attend these important gatherings, where this spring we have met hundreds of new and young delegates and seen many moving 50th anniversary tributes commemorating those who built our union.

We were all disappointed in the British Columbia election results, notwithstanding the tremendous efforts by CUPE British Columbia activists.  I am pleased to report the election of former national president, Sister Judy Darcy (New Westminster) and the re-election of CUPE researcher, Sister Kathy Corrigan (Burnaby-Deer Lake).

A provincial election was averted in Ontario with the adoption of a provincial budget heavily influenced by the Ontario NDP.

Collective bargaining continued in all regions of our union with good, concession-free agreements being achieved.  As detailed within this report, we are seeing more strike votes and some strike action in the current climate of austerity.

To support any member on a picket line, the NEB, at our June meeting, approved a resolution to increase strike pay that will be submitted to our fall national convention.

The federal scene has been dominated by scandal in the Canadian Senate with three Conservative and one Liberal Senators being investigated.  The scandal has reached right into the office of the Prime Minister with the resignation of his Chief of Staff over the controversial payment of $90,000 to Senator Mike Duffy.

The Senate’s Finance Committee is currently considering Bill C-377.  How ironic, the Canadian Senate, Canada’s most unaccountable entity, considering the need for government oversight of the Canadian labour movement!

On May 30, in Toronto, Brother Charles and I attended the media conference held by CAW-CEP to announce the name of the new union that will emerge this fall from their merger; the new union will be known as UNIFOR (facebook.com/UniforCanada).

The new union will be officially launched at the planned merger convention to be held on the Labour Day weekend.

As always, I offer my sincere thanks to all CUPE activists and staff for your ongoing efforts day in and day out.