Our National Executive Board met virtually March 23-25 and March 31, 2021. 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 of our CUPE family. Remembered were: Shihab Shams, Local 2191 (workplace fatality); Antonio Gaerlan, Local 145 (workplace fatality); Giuseppe (Joe) Sottile, Local 2; Ma Crestina (Bobby) Tejeda-Baguio, Local 8; Cecilia Cabanilla, Local 8; Jarett Brumsey Sr., Local 5247; Karen Robertson, Local 2875; Tom Thomas, Local 5430; Carlo Martelli, Local 416; Emily McLaughlin, Local 3890; Mary-Jo (MJ) Nadeau, Local 1281; Michel Lizée, Local 1294 (retired); Brian Morgan, Local 416 (retired); Bill Ferguson, Local 900 (retired); Barb Bryant, National Office staff; Hélène Bourbonnais, retired staff; Yvette Painchaud, retired staff; Ed Finn, former staff; Gordie Larkin, retired CLC staff.
Safe Union Spaces Working Group
Arising from ongoing concerns about gender-based violence and all forms of harassment and discrimination in society and within our union, the NEB created a National Safe Union Spaces Working Group, to ensure CUPE has in place all the necessary tools, policies, practices and processes to create safe union spaces for all members and at all levels of the union.
The Working Group consists of members of the National Executive Board and CUPE senior staff, supported by an external consultant. They will review the existing tools and processes in place, identify gaps, and make recommendations on changes and additional resources required.
2021 National Convention
Advance notice for CUPE’s 2021 National Convention, being held November 22-26, was sent to chartered bodies on April 8; it is also available on our website.
This package includes information about submitting resolutions (the deadline is August 24); the National Convention and Events Assistance Fund (deadline for application is June 11); and calls for nomination for various awards (deadline for nomination is August 24).
A decision whether to hold our convention virtually or in-person in Vancouver will be made in June.
The NEB also appointed Judy Henley, Nan McFadgen, and Candace Rennick to a sub-committee that will review applications to the National Convention Assistance Fund and make recommendations to the Board at its June meeting.
Canadian Labour Congress (CLC)
The 29th Constitutional Convention of the Canadian Labour Congress will be held virtually from Wednesday, June 16 to Friday, June 18, 2021, using an interactive and secure online platform.
A virtual convention, with a lower registration fee, is a chance for CUPE activists to participate in a convention their local might not be able to afford, and locals are encouraged to take full advantage of this opportunity.
This convention is an opportunity to help re-set the labour movement in Canada. The NEB is determined that CUPE will have a significant presence at the CLC convention, with a goal of electing new leadership and achieving important constitutional changes. To that end, the Board has endorsed the Team Unite candidates: Bea Bruske for President, Lily Chang for Secretary-Treasurer, and Siobhan Vipond for Executive Vice-President. More information is available at https://www.teamuniteclc.ca/.
The Board reviewed the annual report on CUPE’s Information Technology (IT). It was noted that previous investments in modernizing IT infrastructure, tools and training resulted in an almost seamless transition to the pandemic-driven remote work environment. Work continues to modernize and enhance existing systems, including Per Capita and the Member Relationship Management System.
CUPE Real Estate Report
The NEB received the annual report on CUPE’s real estate encompassing our 68 offices throughout Canada, 18 of which are owned facilities, nine are leased-to-own, 41 are leased.
The report highlighted the work undertaken in the past year related to COVID-19, in addition to a new national preventative maintenance agreement and the development of new cleaning standards and protocols.
The National Executive Board approved 20 cost-shared campaign requests totaling $1,190,554.19 and 15 requests for legal and arbitration support, totaling $506,500.00.