CUPE National President Mark Hancock used his address to delegates at the CUPE Alberta division convention in Red Deer to outline the need for a new approach to collective bargaining, as well as changes to organizing strategies and plans to make the National Executive Board more reflective of CUPE’s membership.

According to Hancock, CUPE adopted a refreshed collective bargaining policy in December to fight against concessions and two-tier bargaining.

“This plan is a blueprint for solidarity, to ensure CUPE locals and members have the support they need to stand together during bargaining, so we can always bargain forward, not backwards,” said Hancock.

We’re going to give locals the tools they need to fight back against concessions and two-tier proposals,” said Hancock. “Because if a collective agreement isn’t good enough for us, if we wouldn’t accept it today, why would we pass it on to the next generation?

Delegates to CUPE’s National Convention in the fall will debate a national organizing strategy and a proposal for four new diversity seats on the National Executive Board.

“I want to make my position clear, I believe that our governing body should be a fair representation of our membership.”

Hancock told delegates that under the NDP, Alberta’s political climate is the envy of labour activists across the country.

“When I look at what’s happening across the country, it’s so refreshing to see a government that’s making things better for working people,” said Hancock. “Things like raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, freezing post-secondary tuition, and most recently cutting school fees for parents, saving the average family around $1400 a year. That’s good for kids, good for parents, and good for teachers.”