Over 630 activists participated in CUPE’s Building Strong Locals conference in Halifax this week, giving CUPE members from all corners of the country a unique opportunity to come together to share knowledge, common experiences, and common goals. And they seized it.

Attendees shared their best ideas in five workshops throughout the week, focused on building strong leadership skills, better links with community allies, strong local infrastructure, better member engagement practices within locals, and stronger practices within locals to be as prepared as possible for bargaining. Following the conference, CUPE will take information from the workshops and share these tools and resources with local unions across the country.

In his opening address, CUPE National President Mark Hancock emphasized that all change starts at the local level. National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury told delegates that, in the face of many challenges, CUPE has the resources needed to win.

Delegates enjoyed a range of guest speakers on panels in each workshop. They were also treated to some rousing addresses from former NDP MP Megan Leslie, as well as Willy Palov, from the Halifax Typographical Union (HTU), whose members have been on strike at the Halifax Chronicle Herald newspaper for over a year.

CUPE members showed their solidarity with striking members of the HTU, and Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury, in his closing remarks, pledged $5,000 toward their strike fund.

With the conference wrapped up, CUPE activists are returning to their communities across Canada – energized, invigorated, and ready to engage and fight for their members.