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Close to 200 activists and leaders came together in St. John’s over the weekend (March 2-5) for the conference. While a late winter snow storm delayed some delegates getting there, the vast majority of them persisted and made it to St. John’s.

CUPE NL. President Wayne Lucas says, “This is the first time our province along with New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI have joined forces for something like this. With close to 50,000 of our members providing public services across the region, we have a number of pressing issues that are facing us in the political arena.

CUPE is putting provincial governments and other employers on notice that we are prepared to fight to preserve the public services that communities in all four provinces rely on,” said Lucas. 

Issues that dominated the conference included a plan to fight the Harper government on his plans to abandon child care, moves by various provinces to introduce a ‘two-tier’ health care system, minimum wage laws and electing worker-friendly governments.

A new CUPE song came out of the conference as well. It was written and performed by two of the province’s most noted traditional Irish songwriters, Fergus O’Byrne and Dermott O’Reilly . Entitled, “A Work in Progress”, it will be available for downloading later this week on cupe.ca.

Attached you’ll find a PowerPoint summary of the four conference workshops.