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More than 150 representatives of the Provincial Council for Social Affairs (PCSA) are meeting in Gatineau from September 30 to October 2, 2008 to prepare for their upcoming battles.

In a movement grounding exercise, participants are exploring the theme “Unionism Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”. They will be accompanied by movement figureheads, including former FTQ President Fernand Daoust, Preeminent activist Françoise David, who discuss the ongoing question of “How to reach the public”.

Other distinguished presenters include director Alain Chartrand, with a lecture on “Self-sacrifice”, and Philippe Duhamel, an experienced organizer who will share his expertise on strategic campaigns.

The history of our locals and our union reminds us that collective bargaining and the right to strike are recent achievements, and that we should never take them for granted. Essentially, it all boils down to our ability to mobilize our members and win over the public, and this symposium will show you the way,” said Claude Généreux, CUPE national secretary-treasurer, in his opening speech.

The PCSA team has been revitalized with a number of young activists. Given the difficulties of negotiations in Quebec during the last few years, we needed to focus. But we are confident in this symposium; solutions and an action plan will take shape and that’s very exciting,” added Marco Lufty, regional vice-president of PCSA.

The CUPE Provincial Council of Social Affairs (PCSA) is made up of 61 locals in Quebec. Its 20,000 members work in a number of general and psychiatric hospitals, dozens of reception and rehabilitation centres, youth centres, CLSCs, residential and long-term care centres, and the development agencies of local health and social services networks.