The National Bargaining Conference will provide local leadership with opportunities to develop skills and share strategies for success in bargaining. Stronger bargaining means more effective unions, better working conditions and healthier communities.

The conference builds on CUPE’s steadfast bargaining policy of “no concessions,” and will feature training in strategic planning processes that will help members prepare more effectively for bargaining. The conference will also highlight tools and resources to support CUPE locals in the full lifecycle of the bargaining process.


Monday, March 18

1:00 PM to 6:00 PM

6:30 PM to 8:30 PM        
Opening Plenary  

  • Wallace Awasis, Elder
  • Mark Hancock, CUPE National President

Historic Strike Panel

  • Mario Duclos, Local 2500
  • Mélanie Alain, Local 2500
  • Gobi Sooriyakumar, Local 4948
  • Mike Stefiuk, Local 859

Tuesday, March 19

9:00 AM to 12:00 noon

12:00 noon to 2:00 PM
Lunch break & Rally for CUPE 1975

2:00 PM to 4:30 PM

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Reception – Delta Bessborough, Adam Room

Wednesday, March 20

9:00 AM to 12:00 noon

12:00 noon to 1:30 PM
Lunch break  

1:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Plenary: Trends in bargaining        

Panel 1

  • Marc Ranger, Regional Director, Quebec  
  • Debra Grimaldi, Regional Director, Saskatchewan
  • Jacquie Bramwell, Regional Director, Atlantic
  • Ann Lennarson, Assistant-Regional Director, Ontario
    • Moderated by Karine Fortin, Director of Communications, CUPE National

Panel 2

  • Angella MacEwen, Senior Economist, National Office
  • James Harnum, Lawyer, Koskie Minskie
  • Professor Mélanie Laroche, Université de Montréal

Thursday, March 21

9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Closing Plenary
Guest speaker: Jeff Good, Executive Director, United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA)
Charles Fleury, CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer



The heart of CUPE’s National Bargaining Conference is four half-day workshops where members will develop their skills on everything they need to move forward in bargaining. The workshops will allow members to share their ideas for planning for bargaining, engaging our members, campaigning to build public support and winning strikes.

  • Strategic Planning for Bargaining 

Looking at the external and internal factors and players that affect bargaining, participants will look at what goes into developing a strategic plan that will have the strongest impact on bargaining.

  • Engaging members 

Member engagement and participation build union power. This workshop shares success stories and looks at strategies to engage members and strengthen locals for the challenges ahead.

  • Campaigning to Win

Campaigning to build public support for our members and the services they provide increases our strength at the bargaining table. This workshop will look at how to mount a winning campaign and the supports available from CUPE National (cost-shared campaigns, strike averting campaigns).

  • Winning Strikes

It takes a lot of planning and preparation to run a successful strike. This workshop walks participants through all aspects of strike planning and allows participants to share best practices.

We look forward to seeing you in Saskatoon in March!