Charles Fleury |

In today’s bargaining and political climate, our locals and chartered organizations face complex new realities.

In many regions, locals are merging into big provincial locals, and we have more central and provincial bargaining tables. This requires much more team work and provincial coordination. Small locals are a big part of our union, and we needed to look at how we could service them better.

The National Task Force on Staffing was launched after our last National Convention precisely so we could find out how to best meet everyone’s needs.

I presided over the taskforce, which included members from our National Executive Board and directors from large and small regions. I also consulted with locals across the country: the clear priority was to increase the direct servicing staff, so we can better support our members.

The Task Force heard the message loud and clear and providing better support was front and center in our 25 recommendations approved by the National Executive Board last September.

The priority was also fresh in mind when we put together the union’s 2019 budget last fall. Thanks to careful financial oversight, strong membership growth and the new revenue that comes with it, we had approximately three million dollars for new spending for 2019. We put most of the new money into staffing to provide direct service to our members. I am extremely proud to say that our 2019 budget includes 17 new staff positions—much better than two years ago when we could only announce one new position across the whole country.

This a concrete start and we will continue to implement the Task Force recommendations in the months and years ahead. As we come to the end of this decade, we have an opportunity to look at how CUPE is supporting our members and our locals, and take the necessary steps to do better in the decade ahead.

The National Task Force on Staffing report is available online at