Mark Hancock November 2016Mark Hancock | National President

It’s no secret: 2019 is going to be a big year for CUPE.

We’re up against a wave of newly-elected right-wing governments who are determined to undo a generation of progress on issues that matter to working people.

We’re going to be in difficult rounds of bargaining across the country, as we push back against governments and employers who want to take away our pensions, our benefits, and the job security we’ve fought so hard for.

But we will be ready.

Two years ago, CUPE renewed its collective bargaining policy. We now have a blueprint for national solidarity in the face of austerity agendas and attacks on workers’ rights across the country. It lays out expectations for our local unions when it comes to difficult rounds of bargaining. And it is our commitment to members that we will have their backs at the bargaining table.

The renewed bargaining policy focuses on equipping our locals with the planning and tools they need to resist concessions and two-tier contract language. It focuses on presenting a strong, unified front against employers and governments looking for cracks in our armour. It also lays out expectations that our locals will look to bargain improvements in two specific areas: precarious work and workplace violence.

Two years on, we’ve seen some incredible results. We’ve seen locals across regions and across sectors negotiating strong new language to protect and extend new rights to vulnerable workers. We’ve seen locals and bargaining councils in sectors like health care and education get strong commitments at the bargaining table to prevent and address workplace violence. And from coast to coast to coast, our members have held the line against concessions and two-tier contract proposals.

In March, at our National Bargaining Conference, we’ll continue to roll out new tools, training and supports for our members to fight back against attacks on their hard-won rights.

Working together, we can meet the challenge of right-wing governments and austerity-obsessed politicians head-on. We will fight back and protect our hard-won rights— and we will bargain forward for the kind of future we want.

Mark Hancock Online | twitter.com/MarkHancockCUPE