Our National Executive Board met June 9 -11, 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 Rhonda Ward, Local 3902 (University of Toronto); Sister Sharon Hundal, Local 4816 (Burnaby Home Health); Sister Donna Nagus (retired), Local 1975 (University of Saskatchewan); Brother Stephen Penny (35 years), Local 30 (City of Edmonton) – workplace accident; Brother Ven Perez, Local 1483 (Dufferin-Peel School Board); Sister Jean Ross, retired Education Representative (Alberta); and retired PSI General Secretary (1981-2007), Brother Hans Engelberts. The NEB also remembered Constable Daniel Woodall, the Edmonton police officer killed in the line of duty.
New Brunswick Regional Vice-President
Sister Odette Robichaud was sworn in and is the new Regional Vice-President representing New Brunswick. As is the constitutional process for RVP vacancies between national conventions, following the resignation of Brother Stephen Drost, Sister Robichaud was elected by the National Executive Board from the nominations received from the chartered organizations in New Brunswick.
NEB Resolution – Racial Profiling
The NEB adopted a strong resolution calling for the City of Toronto Police Services to end the process known as “carding”, which sees citizens stopped for no reason other than the police verifying their identity. Visible minorities are stopped in disproportion-ately high numbers in Toronto putting them at risk of harassment and violence. See the full resolution.
2015 Federal Election
The National Executive Board received a presentation from Frank Graves, president of EKOS polling, on the upcoming federal election. The polling shows very clearly that the NDP is ahead in a very tight three-way race. With just over four months to go until the election, the polling demonstrated three important points. One, the first NDP government in Canada is very possible and the support for our Party is on the upswing. Two, the Canadian public agrees that we need strong public services and a more activist government. Finally, the strongest support for the NDP is among public sector union members. It is more important than ever that we make sure every CUPE member gets out and votes on October 19th.
The National Executive Board also heard from national Fairness coordinator, Kathy Johnson who outlined the content and roll-out of a new Fairness kit for all locals that assists in talking to all CUPE rank and file members about the importance of the Federal election and the importance of voting. The kit which is non-partisan, includes messages, tips for conversations about the issues and a how-to on conducting one on one conversations in all locals. A sample kit with follow-up instructions will be sent to all locals and all servicing representatives in the next few weeks.
The National Convention will take place November 2-6 in Vancouver. In preparation, the National Executive Board looked at some key constitutional amendments and several policy resolutions to place in front of the convention as well as an outline of Strategic Directions. The NEB sub-committee on Strategic Directions was formed and will meet over the summer.
Climate Change is Union Business
THE NEB invited Avi Lewis from the Jobs/Justice/Climate coalition to speak to the Board about the work of this coalition and the climate march taking place July 5th in Toronto. The coalition, made up of labour, environmental and social activists is advocating more investment in public services and public infrastructure as well as a just transition for workers to a low carbon economy as solutions to the climate change crisis. CUPE will support the march and will send out information to CUPE members to participate as well as promote the march on social media.
The National Executive Board approved 16 cost-share campaign requests totaling $603,036.77, and12 requests for legal and arbitration support were approved, totaling $509,632.03.
2014 Audited Financial Statements
Deloitte, our external auditing firm, presented the 2014 audited financial statements for our General Fund, our National Strike and Defence Funds.
Our three national trustees, Mark Goodwin from Ontario, Colin A. Pawson from BC, and Christian Trudeau from Québec, presented their findings for the year 2014. The trustees found the books to be in excellent order. They congratulated Brothers Fleury and Moist for their efforts over the past year. The National Executive Board said farewell to Brother Pawson who announced he would not reoffer for another term at the national convention. The NEB thanked him for the excellent work he did as a national trustee for so many years.