The National Executive Board observed a minute of silence to reflect upon the death of two former CUPE staff members. Jean Thebeau, a former staff representative and Maritimes Regional Director from 1985 to 1992, passed away on June 21st. Pascal Ingenito was National Director of Organizing and Regional Services. Brother Ingenito retired in 1992 and passed away on April 29th.
New National Executive Board Members
Two new Regional Vice-Presidents (RVPs) were welcomed to the National Executive Board
at this meeting. Sister Marle Roberts RVP for Alberta and Sister Lori MacKay RVP for Prince Edward Island were sworn-in side by side having both been recently elected Presidents of their respective Divisions. The addition of Sister Marle and Sister Lori to the NEB increases women’s representation by 10 per cent. Women now comprise 38 per cent of Board members. A sincere thank-you and best wishes were expressed for both former RVPs, Dennis Mol from Alberta and Milo Murray from Prince Edward Island, for their years of service to CUPE as members of the National Executive Board.
NEB Resolution – Support for CUPW
Board members voted unanimously in favour of a resolution pledging full support to the members of CUPW; including a $10,000 donation to the union members who were locked out by Canada Post Corporation. The same week the NEB met, the Harper government introduced draconian back-to-work legislation that included a wage increase that was less than the employer’s offer as well as final offer selection arbitration. The NEB members stood in proud support of our NDP Caucus of 103 MPs who delayed the passage of the back-to-work legislation by three days with passionate speeches in the House of Commons pointing out the attack on all workers that this legislation represents.
The 2010 audited financial statements were received and approved by the Board. The auditors’ findings demonstrated no significant departure from prior years. Similarly, the National Trustees presented their audit to the Board and found everything to be in excellent order. However, for 2011, spending on cost-share campaigns continues to illustrate the tough battles many locals face across the country.
The National Executive Board approved twenty-one cost-share campaign requests totaling $943,926.44. Twelve requests for legal and arbitration support were approved, totaling $398,600.
The National Executive Board approved an initial draft of the 2011-2013 Strategic Directions. An ad hoc committee of the Board comprised of Tom Graham, Yolanda McClean, Charles Fleury, Candace Rennick, Daniel Légère and Mark Hancock was appointed and will work to finalize a draft for approval by the National Executive Board at its September meeting in order to present to delegates at the National Convention, October 31st to November 4th in Vancouver.
Also approved by the Board were several general resolutions for presentation to convention. The resolutions cover a variety of subjects such as fair taxation, renewal of the federal –provincial health accord and the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union (CETA). In addition, the Board made several decisions to further our progress on “greening” the National Convention including the purchase of carbon offsets for all members and staff traveling by air or rail when booked with WE Travel.
Plain Language Constitution
Following a resolution passed at the 2009 National Convention, the National Executive Board will be presenting a plain language version of the National Constitution to the national convention in the Fall. A staff committee, under the direction of both national officers, has been hard at work over the last year to prepare the revised constitution led by CUPE’s retired legal director, John Elder. Brother Elder was on hand to review the draft with Board members. Work continues on the constitution so that it will be ready for presentation to convention delegates.
The National Executive Board ratified the appointments of Brother Robert Hickes, Managing Director of Organizing and Regional Services, Sister Susan Ruffo, Managing Director of Union Development and Sister Aina Kagis, Regional Director for Saskatchewan.
The National Executive Board began its meeting with a reception in honour of the NDP’s election to official opposition on June 21st, the evening prior to the Board meeting. The reception was celebrating both our Party’s new status and our Party leader, Jack Layton. Board members were joined by CUPE members who were in Ottawa for various meetings as well as many staff in the Ottawa area. Many Caucus members came out to enjoy good conversation, friendship and celebration.