Negotiating decent work terms and conditions is one of the most important things that Unions do. Today, CUPE collective agreements cover off everything from wages, classifications, job postings and promotion procedures, various leaves of absence, employment benefit plans, health and safety clauses, job security and technological change clauses, protection from harassment, and many more issues.
It has been our experience in CUPE that Aboriginal members want the same things that non-Aboriginal members do: decent wages and working conditions and the right to be treated fairly and with dignity in the workplace. We recognize, however, that Aboriginal members, whether they work for band councils or Aboriginal organizations, or whether they work side by side with CUPE members in other workplaces around the country, may have different needs which require the negotiation of Aboriginal-specific contract language.
This document concentrates on issues of specific interest to Aboriginal members and provides sample contract language including both actual language and recommended language. It is our hope that Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal activists will find this document useful in negotiating contract language that assures that all of our members enjoy dignity and equality in the workplace.