Our web sites most important goal is to give CUPE members and the general public information about our union and its work. We realize that by going as “public” as possible, we also give employers access to a lot of information about our union and our activities.
Some think it is better for employers to know as little as possible about our union. On the other hand, many argue that all CUPE members benefit from employers knowing how active our union is, and how much expertise and knowledge we have about various issues.
We balance these perspectives by posting to the web only documents in the “public” domain. Our national constitution fits into that category. The law requires us to file copies of the constitution with provincial labour boards and some provinces require us to give a constitution to anyone who asks for one. Employers receive copies of our national constitution when we file for certification of workers. And we often give our national constitution to workers during organizing drives.
We posted the constitution on our web site because we receive many requests for it. The requests come from CUPE members, but they also come from other people. Weve always sent out hard copies before, but for some its more convenient to download it. And its certainly cheaper for us to provide it on-line.
We dont want our web site to be used against us by employers. But we have to balance the rights of members to get information through our web site, and the importance of informing the general public against the risks of employers using information against us.