Over 300 delegates, observers and guests convened in Fredericton for the 61st annual CUPE New Brunswick convention from April 16–20.

The theme of the convention was “Workers’ Power: From the Ballot Box to the Lunch Box.” Members passed several key resolutions, including strategies to counteract governmental challenges to pensions and labour rights, as well as measures to reaffirm worker solidarity and enhance diversity and inclusion training.

Convention goers heard from guest speakers like CUPE President Mark Hancock, CUPE Secretary-Treasurer Candace Rennick, CUPE General Vice-President for the East Sherry Hillier, New Brunswick Federation of Labour President Daniel Légère and economist Jim Stanford.

A highlight of the convention was the recognition of outstanding members. Tammy Nadeau of CUPE 1603 received the Women’s Leadership Award for her activism, while Connie Haines from CUPE 1121 was honoured with the Health and Safety Award.

Key initiatives launched at this year’s gathering included a documentary on the 2021 CUPE strike in New Brunswick and a new action guide to support temporary foreign workers in our union. The CUPE Atlantic Maritime Region Indigenous Council also drafted a new land acknowledgement that was used for the first time at this event.

The convention concluded with elections for several positions:

Secretary-Treasurer: Kim Copp, CUPE 2610
1st Vice-President: Sharon Teare, New Brunswick Council of Nursing Home Unions (NBCNHU)
2nd Vice-President (bilingual): Serge Plourde, Vice-President, Small Locals
Trustee: April Babineau, CUPE 813

Looking ahead, CUPE New Brunswick will ramp up political action. As the 2024 provincial election nears, the union will continue to champion strong public services and stand against legislative threats to workers’ rights. Members will also confront the rising popularity of the anti-worker federal Conservatives, advocating for representation that truly reflects the interests of New Brunswickers.