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In the weeks since I was elected your National President a great honour and a huge responsibility weve been working hard to move forward the strategic priorities adopted by national convention.

This takes many forms. It includes a concerted effort to defend our right to follow our work and continue to represent BC health care workers whose rights have been trampled and whose jobs are being privatized. It includes mobilizing to avert the threat of massive contracting out by the Charest government and walking the picket line with school board workers in Wadena. It includes talks with premiers and union leaders and action to defend members, improve wages and avert P3s.

It also includes important discussions with staff unions and working closely with the National Secretary-Treasurer and the National Executive Board to develop a budget that will ensure your dues dollars are being used effectively.

With a strong mandate and a clear direction from national convention, we recognize that to defend our members and the services they provide we need to make significant changes in CUPE.

We need to reorganize ourselves to increase our collective power at the bargaining table. We need to rethink how we organize and service locals especially very large and very small locals so that we can tap into the full strength of our diverse membership and give them the voice they need. And we need to renew our fight against privatization, developing innovative strategies and taking bold actions to defend our jobs and our communities.

In celebrating our 40th anniversary, CUPEs national convention showed we have a lot to be proud of and a lot of strength to build on. But it also reminds us that the status quo wont do. We need to make real changes if sisters and brothers are going to reap the full benefits of being a member of Canadas largest union. And working together, I have every confidence we can.

Paul Moist
National President