National President’s column

Mark Hancock November 2016CUPE members from across the country will gather in Toronto in October for our 28th constitutional convention. There, we will report on the work we have undertaken since our 2015 convention and establish, together, our priorities for the next two years. 

We will debate and adopt our Strategic Directions, dozens of policy resolutions, and a new organizing plan. And we will consider changes to our constitution – the document that sets out how we govern ourselves.

Over the years we have had many important convention debates about our governance. Some have focused on our finances, and others have focused on representation on our National Executive Board.

This year, your National Executive Board is submitting a constitutional amendment that seeks to add four additional seats to our board – Diversity Vice President positions to represent workers with disabilities, LGBTTI workers, young workers, and women.

Right now, the bulk of our board is based on regional representation, and I think it serves our regions incredibly well.

In my years on the NEB, I have always valued the perspective brought to our table by the two existing DVPs, especially (but not only) on matters relevant to racialized and Indigenous workers. And I recognize that crucial voices have been missing from our discussions about the state and the future of our great union.

Across the country, some of our most important struggles are focused on sectors and communities with some of the most marginalized and precarious workers. And many of those workers are women, racialized and Indigenous workers, LGBTTI workers, young workers, and workers with disabilities.

We have a chance to better understand and fight for these members, by ensuring there are representatives on our National Executive Board who are mandated, by convention, to represent them.

As National President, I know it is important that our union’s governing body is closer to a fair representation of our membership. More, and more diverse, perspectives will enrich our discussions and allow us to make better decisions, for everyone.

It’s time to make this change. Together, we can make our great union even stronger.