The National Executive Board observed a minute of silence to reflect upon the losses in the CUPE family. Sister Stephanie Chaisson of Local 4939 was a victim of domestic violence. Brother Shabir Velji of Local 4095, Sister Jennifer Williams, retiree from Hamilton Area Office, James Lynd, retiree from Ontario Regional Office, Brother Andrew Milroy, retiree from Lethbridge Area Office and Sister Josephine Ingle, retiree from Ontario Regional Office, T Lloyd Moist, and Mae Moist, father and mother of Brother Moist and grandparents of Kelly Moist, Manitoba RVP, all passed away since the Board last met. Brother Moist thanked all for the many expressions of sympathy and support he has received from Board members and staff after the loss of his parents.
New Regional Vice-Presidents for the NEB
Brother Paul Moist swore-in two new Regional Vice-Presidents. Sister Kelly Moist was elected president of CUPE Manitoba at its annual convention in May. Manitoba RVP, Mike Davidson, vice-president of CUPE Manitoba stepped down from the NEB and Sister Moist was nominated by the Manitoba region and elected by the NEB to serve as Manitoba RVP. Sister Ginette Paul was similarly nominated by the Quebec region and elected as Quebec RVP. The vacancy was created when Sister Nathalie Stringer accepted a position as National Servicing Representative in the Ottawa Area Office. Sister Ginette is the president of Local 2000and serves on the Quebec Division executive.
The Honourable Thomas Mulcair, Leader of the Official Opposition
National Executive Board members enjoyed a visit by NDP leader Thomas Mulcair and NDP labour critic Alexandre Boulerice. Mulcair talked about Harper’s economic agenda which lacks any job creation strategy and will only serve to drive down wages. He shared with Board members that the Harper government is like no government he has ever seen in its animosity toward workers, toward any opposition and in its use of power. Alexandre Boulerice, former CUPE Communications Representative from Quebec, committed to work closely with us in defending workers’ rights.
NEB Resolution – Employment Insurance (EI)
CUPE’s National Executive Board passed a resolution to mount a public campaign opposing the Harper government’s plan to dismantle the current EI program; a move that threatens the quality public services on which Canadian communities depend. Seasonal workers, like those who work for many municipalities and school boards, are a vital part of local economies. The changes to EI will mean these skilled workers will not be available for recall by municipal and school board employers after regular seasonal lay-offs. The NEB resolution calls for a lobby effort to urge municipalities, school boards, and all levels of government to speak out against these disruptive and punitive changes.
The National Executive Board discussed the implications of Bill C-377 and a proposed campaign plan to raise awareness among CUPE members and the general public about this private members’ Bill. If passed, Bill C-377 will amend the Income Tax Act by imposing excessive financial reporting requirements on all labour organizations. Labour has been singled out by this Bill, yet no labour organization receives any tax break of public subsidy. The government messages on this Bill are entirely inaccurate and are aimed at silencing dissent from the Harper agenda. CUPE will produce materials for all chartered bodies in order to raise awareness among our members, the general public and Members of the Parliament.
The National Executive Board approved twenty-six cost share campaigns totalling $1,137,031.04 and fourteen legal requests totalling $453,853.02. The audited financial statements for 2011 were presented by external auditors, Deloitte and Touche and approved by the Board. The audited statements reveal a $2.6 million surplus in 2011. Board members agreed to use this surplus money to fund the increased campaign and political work brought about by the attack on CUPE members as a result of the federal government’s budget Bill as well as supporting provincial campaign plans. The NEB also adopted a new child and dependent care policy increasing the daily maximum for child and dependent care expense reimbursement from $50 to $90 per day.
The NEB ratified the appointment of Marie-Andrée Bourgouin, Managing Director of Human Resources and William Sumerlus, Regional Director, Manitoba Region.
Claude, Milo, Nathalie and Mike
NEB members took a break from regular proceedings to honour four former members. Claude Généreux, former National Secretary-Treasurer joined the NEB meeting along with Milo Murray, former PEI RVP, Mike Davidson, former Manitoba RVP and Nathalie Stringer, former RVP from Quebec to be honoured for their commitment and service to CUPE members across the country through their service to the National Executive Board and their work in their own regions.