Our National Executive Board met March 11-12, 2015 in Ottawa. These are the highlights of their deliberations and decisions.
The National Executive Board observed a minute of silence to reflect upon the loss of members in our CUPE family. Remembered were: Sister Radika Nankissoor, maintenance, CUPE Local 1356 (York University, Ontario); Sister Veronika Sophie Weaver, CUPE Local 3479 (North Island College, British Columbia); Brother Dellis Partridge, school bus driver, CUPE Local 4946 (Peace River School Division, Alberta) (workplace fatality); Brother Harl Hawley, pool service person, CUPE Local 30 (City of Edmonton, Alberta); Brother Tom Mayo, retiree and former servicing representative (Newfoundland and Labrador); Sister Jane Inkman, clerical staff (Cranbrook Area Office, British Columbia); Sister Diane Jones, clerical staff (Airline Division, Ontario); Brother Scott Johnson, building service worker, CUPE Local 116 (University of British Columbia); Sister Charlene Ellis, Air Canada flight attendant and activist; Sister Isabelle Noseworthy, retired CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador activist; Sister Shirley Spivak, retired CUPE activist (Grande Prairie Municipal Hospital, Alberta); Brother Alain Bissonnette, CUPE Local 503 (City of Ottawa) (workplace fatality); Brother John MacLeod, CUPE Local 1867; Brother Nilo Tamang Sanchez, CUPE Local 59 (City of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan); Monique Fleury, mother of Brother Charles Fleury; and Neil Young, former NDP MP for Beaches – Woodbine.
New Quebec Regional Vice-President
Brother Benoît Bouchard, president of CUPE Local 4250 and representative of the Energy Sector on the executive of SCFP-Quebec was sworn in as Regional Vice-President for Quebec. Welcome Benoît!
The Board heard from Randall Garrison, MP for Esquimalt-Juan De Fuca and NDP critic for public safety, on the content and concerns over the government’s legislation extending powers to the CSIS and RCMP. This Bill threatens civil liberties in Canada and has the potential to criminalize democratic dissent. The Board passed a resolution calling on CUPE to mobilize in opposition to this very anti-democratic legislation. All CUPE chartered organizations will receive a fact sheet and information for follow-up in the coming days.
Support of USW 9176 Boycott of Crown Holdings Products
In solidarity with striking steelworkers at Crown Metal Holdings, the Board passed a motion to both donate $10,000 to the striking local and to support the boycott of Crown products. One hundred and twenty members of USW 9176 have been on strike for over 18 months fighting against a two-tier contract and threats to their pension plan. The company is now engaged in union busting tactics. The Board is urging all CUPE members to honour the boycott.
2015 Federal Election
The NDP National Campaign Director, Anne McGrath, joined the NEB for a discussion on the NDP campaign strategy and the work CUPE is doing to support the election of the first NDP government of Canada. Anne outlined the NDP strength across the country and the many ridings where NDP strength spells the possibility of additional seats taking us to government. The election is still expected to be called for October 19. CUPE is working with the NDP to organize pre-election events in key ridings across Canada to build the needed ground strength in these ridings prior to the election.
The National Executive Board approved 14 cost-share campaign requests, totaling $993,457.74 and 12 requests for legal and arbitration support were approved, totaling $347,335.15.