The NEB began this meeting by observing a minute of silence in recognition of the deaths of three CUPE members at their workplaces – Sister Amanda Anderson, Local 1978; Brother Alain Simard, Local 957; Brother Mike Bonvie, Local 281; and two CUPE staff members – Sister Lucie Richard (Quebec Regional Director) and Sister Bev Smale (Ontario National Representative).
The NEB unanimously adopted the General Fund Budget for 2007, incorporating the necessary adjustments to cover projected cost increases.
Fourteen positions will be added to the staff complement. In the regions, we have added an Education Representative and a Legal Representative in BC; one National Representative in Alberta and the Maritimes, two in Quebec; 6.5 positions in Ontario (4 National Representatives, a Communications Representative and 1.5 clerical positions); and a .5 clerical position will be located in the new Dauphin Area Office when it is added in Manitoba. At the National Office, a Collective Agreement Analyst position is being added to assist with the development and ongoing maintenance of CAIS (the Collective Agreement Information System).
Our financial stability and strength continues to allow the National Executive Board to make important changes to the finances to properly fund and account for significant and ongoing expenditures such as the costs of retiree health benefits and the ongoing commitment we have to political action. Both these expenditures have now been included in the General Fund.
2007 National Defence Fund (NDF)
Once again this year, the NDF provides resources for provincial and local cost-shared campaigns, major organizing, regional strategic initiatives, coalition support, political action and national initiatives. The targeted initiatives include sector meetings, support to coordinated bargaining, and attendance at employer meetings such as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Canadian Library Association and the Canadian School Board Association.
NEB Resolution to Support Canadian Federation of Students Campaign
Following up on a recommendation from the recent CUPE universities meeting, the NEB endorsed the Canadian Federation of Students Campaign for affordable post-secondary education and donated $5,000 to assist with the campaign. The resolution encourages all divisions, locals and councils to work with campus and citywide coalitions. Watch for more details of the February 7th Day of Action on www.cupe.ca.
As part of the regular NEB discussion on bargaining trends, the “Economic Climate for Bargaining” December 2006 report was received. This issue highlights a brief summary on issues of relevance for CUPE members about the federal Conservatives’ recently released fiscal update and economic plan, the impact of the economic downturn in the forest industry on many small northern and remote communities, and details of real wage gains achieved in the 3rd quarter. Also highlighted is “Canadian Workers on the Move”. You can download the report at www.cupe.ca.
National Defence Fund in Action
Our NDF continued to provide resources to help locals across Canada to raise awareness of the value of public services and participate in municipal elections. The NEB approved fourteen cost share campaigns, totalling $440,400. Also, fourteen requests for legal and arbitration costs, totalling $503,284, were approved and will be paid from the General Fund.
Humanitarian Assistance for Palestine Union of Public Employees
Public Services International (PSI) issued an urgent appeal for humanitarian assistance for the Union of Public Employees in Palestine. Public sector workers have not been paid for over nine months. The fund will be used to provide essential food and medical services to public sector workers and their families. The NEB decided to contribute $15,000. A letter has also been sent to Prime Minister Harper, urging the Canadian government to provide humanitarian assistance to the Palestine National Authority and to call upon the major donors to Palestine, in particular the European Union and the USA government to release funds earmarked for development assistance to that country.
Ratification of Appointments
Join us in offering congratulations to Brother Robert Chisholm, who has been formally appointed as Regional Director for the Atlantic Region.
The members of the National Executive Board take this opportunity to extend their best wishes for a safe and peaceful New Year.