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CUPE National President Paul Moist began his address to delegates at CUPE BC’s 51st annual convention with a nod to the solidarity demonstrated by CUPE across the country to members in B.C. facing very tough disputes over the past year.

He acknowledged key agreements reached after difficult rounds of bargaining – in K-12 and Community Social Services and other sectors, and praised the work to fight contracting out and privatization. He noted in particular the tough challenges facing Local 608 members at United Church’s Naramata Centre.

Despite the bitter disappointment of the 2013 provincial election, Moist encouraged CUPE members to move forward and elect John Horgan as premier in 2017. And in the wake of conservative forces that have set their sights squarely on Canada’s 25,000 municipal politicians, Moist said “let’s elect a record number of progressive councillors, mayors and school trustees in the November municipal elections.”

Moist got the crowd to its feet calling out the Harper government’s vicious attack on Canada’s veterans and on Canadian democracy with the “unfair” elections act.

Encouraging Locals to get involved in the Canadian Labour Congress’ Unite for Fairness campaign, Moist stressed the importance of having real one-on-one conversations with our members about everything from resisting concessions and fighting for pensions, to raising the minimum wage and electing progressive politicians.