Our National Executive Board met June 14-16, 2016 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: Brother Larry Harrison (Local 402); Brother Dallas Tomniak (Local 917); Sister Mary Catherine Roddy (Local 1230); Sister Anneliese Skoropad (Local 1858); Sister Maxine Zurbrigg (Local 1858); Brother Brian Watson (Local 3550); Brother Robert Lafontaine (Local 4250); Brother Murray Francis Newman, retiree; Brother William Whalen, retiree; Brother Serge Perrault, retiree; and Rose Elkins, mother of Brother Victor Elkins.
The NEB also recognized the tragic deaths at Pulse night club in Orlando, Florida on June 12. The killing of at least 49 LGBTTI community members is a stark reminder that there is still plenty of work to be done before hate and discrimination ends.
New Members of the NEB
Sister Nan McFadgen joined the NEB as the new Regional Vice-President representing Nova Scotia and Brother Gord Delbridge joined as the new Regional Vice-President representing Manitoba. Both were elected by the NEB from the nominations received from the chartered organizations in their respective provinces and were sworn in at the start of the meeting.
Following the retirement of General Vice-President Lucie Levasseur, Brother Denis Bolduc was selected to replace her. Brother Bolduc took the oath of office and was welcomed by the NEB as a General Vice-President. A new Regional Vice-President representing Quebec will be elected and join the NEB at the September meeting.
Year of Health and Safety
The NEB received an update from Brother Troy Winters, Senior Officer, Health and Safety, on activities related to CUPE’s Year of Health and Safety. So far this year, more than 500 members have participated in five regional Health and Safety Conferences, with another three conferences planned for the fall. More than 1,830 members across Canada have participated in related workshops through Union Development. Brother Winters encouraged the NEB to spread the word about certificates available for local unions
to present to their Health and Safety activists, which can be ordered online at http://cupe.ca/health-and-safety.
The NEB welcomed Stephen Lewis, co-founder and co-director of AIDS-Free World, an international advocacy organization that exposes injustice, abuse, and inequality and works with and for people affected by HIV and AIDS. He updated the NEB on their Code Blue campaign to end immunity for United Nations peacekeeping personnel who commit acts of sexual exploitation and abuse; he also spoke of their work to push the International Labour Organization to recognize child marriage as a form of child labour, and of their continuing efforts to address sexual violence in all its forms. CUPE has recommitted funding to support this urgent work.
The NEB received an update from Sister Pam Beattie, Fairness Project Coordinator, on her ongoing review and assessment of the Fairness Project, as mandated by Strategic Directions. To date she has consulted with Regional Directors and Division Presidents and is conducting further surveys in order to compile success stories and best practices from Fairness activities so far.
CUPE National Disaster Relief Fund – Wildfires in Northern Alberta
With the generous contributions of Divisions and locals, members and staff, CUPE National has raised over $165,000. This is in addition to the tens of thousands of dollars contributed to the CUPE Alberta Fund. The NEB will receive an update once a decision is made on the disbursement of the funds.
CUPE Fightback Fund
The NEB approved a request from SCFP-Québec for financial support in order to continue mobilization efforts and raise public awareness of the attacks on the right to free collective bargaining in the municipal sector.
The NEB approved 22 cost-share campaign requests totaling $575,966.62 and 17 requests for legal support were approved, totaling $880,381.38.
2015 Audited Financial Statements
Deloitte, our external auditing firm, presented the 2015 audited financial statements for our General Fund, our National Strike, and National Defence Funds.
CUPE Global Justice Fund
The annual general meeting of the CUPE Global Justice Fund was held in conjunction with the NEB. The meeting approved funding for eight projects totalling $105,000.