CUPE members from across Manitoba gathered in Brandon for the 51st CUPE Manitoba Convention to discuss, debate, and set a strong agenda for CUPE in the coming year. Nearly 200 members, activists, staff, and guests met at Brandon’s Keystone Centre from March 16th- March 19thand tackled issues including the dangers of multi-tiered collective agreements, access to clean public drinking water in Northern and Aboriginal communities, the Health Accord campaign, expanding the CPP, and mobilizing for the upcoming 2014 municipal elections – among many more!
Front-and-centre was discussion on new ways of reaching out to CUPE members, and the importance of communicating the work of our union to workers across the province. This discussion was rooted in CUPE’s Unite for Fairness project, with the aim of generating conversations with every one of the 25,000 CUPE members in Manitoba.
Special guest speakers included the Premier of Manitoba, Greg Selinger, the Mayor of Brandon, Shari Decter Hirst, Jan Chaboyer, 1st Vice-President, Brandon Labour Council, Denis Bolduc, General Secretary of SCFP Quebec, and Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan.
Delegates also heard from CUPE National President, Paul Moist, CUPE National Secretary Treasurer, Charles Fleury, President of the Manitoba Federation of Labour, Kevin Rebeck, and Darren Steinhoff of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
Brother Paul Moist provided a breakfast presentation on the state of the Canadian and global economy, and how unions play a positive role in stimulating both economic and social justice. Other presentations included an overview of the Health Accord, workplace health and safety, the Supreme Court’s Lavigne decision, and a special presentation by CUPE Manitoba President Kelly Moist on her participation in the CUPE Global Justice solidarity tour to the Philippines.
Delegates also raised over $6,500 in support of CancerCare Manitoba’s pediatric oncology.
The annual Jack Rodie award was presented via Skype to Sister Arlene Macklem of Local 998, who was in Guatemala, in honour of her decades of dedication to CUPE Manitoba, the CUPE Manitoba Human Rights Committee, and to social justice at home and abroad.
CUPE is proud of the work of members in Manitoba, and looks forward to another year of strong activism across the province.