Our National Executive Board met from December 15-17, 2015 in Ottawa. These are the highlights of their deliberations and decisions.
The National Executive Board (NEB) observed a minute of silence to reflect upon the loss of members in our CUPE family. Remembered were: Sister Kelly Jolliffe, Local 1310 (Simcoe County District School Board); and Brother J.K. (Keith) Norton, retiree from Manitoba Regional Office. The NEB also remembered victims of the mass shooting at Island Regional Centre in San Bernardino, California, 10 of whom were members of SEIU Local 721.
After extensive consultations with Regional Directors and elected leaders from each region, the 2016 General Fund and Defense Fund budgets were adopted unanimously at the December NEB. Although revenue growth slows, we have dedicated new resources to providing direct service to our members. With additional dedicated resources going into our National Defence Fund, we have an increased capacity to support more campaigns, major organizing projects and other initiatives contemplated in the Strategic Directions approved at National Convention.
NEB Resolution – Home Care
The NEB adopted a strong resolution committing to lobby the federal government to invest in a fully integrated national home care program with national standards of care; to map organizing opportunities in the sector and follow through with organizing drives; and to coordinate bargaining in the sector, where possible. Currently, home care in Canada is delivered through a patchwork of provincial programs, unionization in the sector is low, and wages and working conditions are among the worst in the larger health care sector. Click here to see the full resolution.
NEB Resolution – Sector Council Realignment
The NEB also adopted a resolution that makes some changes to sector councils in order to ensure better representation and more accurate grouping of several sectors, including airlines, transportation, communications, and emergency and security services. Click here to see the full resolution.
Canada Pension Plan Campaign
A report on the challenges and opportunities of the campaign to expand the Canada Pension Plan was presented and discussed by the NEB. With a new federal government, an NDP government in Alberta, and the government in Quebec suggesting a shift in their position, there is a real opportunity to affect change. The NEB committed to redoubling our efforts in the fight for a full universal doubling of CPP benefits. Watch for more information about the campaign in coming weeks.
The NEB discussed organizing opportunities and approved an organizing plan for 2016 consistent with the Strategic Directions adopted at National Convention in November. The objective is to develop concrete organizing plans that build on our regional and sector work, leverage the strength of our existing membership, and promote member engagement in order expand CUPE’s membership. Focusing first on increasing protection for workers who are precariously employed, we will develop an organizing strategy to build strong and sustainable bargaining units.
2015 Federal Election
The NEB reviewed CUPE’s activities during the 2015 federal election, as well as the overall results. Our outreach campaign to members was ambitious, and it was successful. It is clear that CUPE members participated in this election more than ever before, and the NEB applauds the efforts of members who volunteered and made donations to their local NDP campaigns. While the defeat of Stephen Harper’s Conservative government is something to celebrate, the results for the NDP were disappointing and the resulting Liberal majority government leaves fewer opportunities to push for truly progressive change. The NEB congratulated the 14 CUPE members, retirees and staff who ran in this election, and recognized the successful election of CUPE staff member Alexandre Boulerice and former CUPE member Ruth Ellen Brousseau.
The NEB reviewed the 2015 National Convention in Vancouver and discussed the implementation of the Strategic Directions adopted by convention as well as the disposition of resolutions.
The National Executive Board approved eight cost shares for a total of $306,410.91. The Board also received and approved seven requests for legal/arbitration costs for $260,481.22.