Our National Executive Board met online December 8-10, 2020. 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 of our CUPE family. Remembered were: Jean Claude Diazenza, Local 204 (workplace fatality); Aurele Poirier, Local 4721 (workplace fatality); Diane Vandervelde, Local 3403; Traci Roy, Local 2141; Monique Buote, Local 4270; Robyn Crane, Local 488; Ingrid Salt, Local 1329; Richard Sangster, Local 4184; Malcolm MacKay, Local 1867; Judith Wegren, retired staff; John Malthouse, retired staff; Susan Barton, retired staff; Richard Anderson, retired staff; and Joseph Arvay, constitutional lawyer.
We continue to be fortunate that CUPE was in such solid financial health going into the pandemic. Nevertheless, our revenues have declined over the course of 2020. We anticipate that revenue will be less than what could have been expected throughout 2021 as 50,000 CUPE members continue to be laid off.
Throughout the pandemic and in preparing the 2021 budget, the NEB took the position that we would find savings in our operations while doing everything in our power to maintain the servicing and supports that our locals and members rely on. Efforts will be made to significantly reduce travel and in-person events in the coming year. Reducing travel will have the added benefit of meeting some of our environmental goals, as we will significantly reduce our environmental footprint.
Overall, our wage and membership estimates for 2021 show a drop in per capita revenue of $3.1 million compared to the prior year’s budget. The total projected decrease in revenue for 2020 is $5.4 million over the prior year’s budget.
As part of our budget deliberations, we have simplified the administration of the 1991 and 1997 National Executive Board Accords with the Quebec Division. These changes improve transparency, while ensuring the same amount of funding is in place to cover the stand-alone union education services provided in Quebec, funding for participation in the Quebec Federation of Labour, as well as office rental and support staff costs.
Canadian Labour Congress (CLC)
The National President reported on the important role the CLC continues to play in coordinating relations and communications with the federal government on behalf of and with its various affiliates.
Unfortunately, not all of their recent actions have been as helpful. On October 30, the CLC announced a joint endorsement (with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce) of former Finance Minister Bill Morneau for the role of Secretary General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). As a member of the CLC’s Executive Committee, this came as quite a shock as there had been no consultation or forewarning of this announcement.
Last month, at CUPE’s initiative, the CLC Executive Committee discussed the matter and made it clear that they do not endorse Morneau for this role. This position has been communicated to the Labour Secretariat at the OECD.
This action by the leadership of the CLC is one more reason why it is so important that we work to change the culture and leadership of the Congress. And we will have an opportunity to do just that at the upcoming CLC convention.
While exact details are still being decided, it has been confirmed that this convention will be held virtually in June of 2021. All CUPE locals are affiliated to the CLC through the National Union and are encouraged to participate in this convention. More information will be sent to locals in January, once the dates and details have been confirmed.
The National Executive Board approved 14 cost-share campaign requests totaling $1,840,138.47 and 13 requests for legal and arbitration support, totaling $770,582.05.