Our National Executive Board (NEB) met March 18 – 19, 2024 in Ottawa, with some members joining virtually. These are the highlights of their deliberations and decisions.

In Memory

The Board observed a minute of silence to reflect upon the loss of members of our CUPE family. Remembered were: Robert Zver, Local 606; Deborah Sinclair, Local 8443; Evelyne Bemben, Local 949 Dustin Cholosky, Local 204; Paul Barry, retired staff; Margaret Irwin, retired staff; Sylvie Bergeron, retired staff; Jerry Lava, retired staff; Claude Hétu, retired staff; Linda Jewett, retired staff; Zoel Savoie,
retired staff.    

New Member of the National Executive Board

Following the resignation from the Board in January of Ernest Green, and in keeping with the National Constitution, Mike Tobin was duly elected and sworn in as the new Regional Vice-President representing Newfoundland and Labrador. The Board welcomed Mike and wished Ernest well in his pending retirement.

Trial Panelists

The NEB approved the re-appointment of 26 members from across the country to serve on regional trial panels, in accordance with Appendix F of the National Constitution.

Another call for applications has gone out to members, with a deadline of April 26, 2024. We are looking for members who have a capacity to listen and understand different perspectives, an understanding of human rights, the ability to convey a decision in writing, and are available to do the work of a trial committee. If this is something you might be interested in, speak to your National Representative.

Economy at Work

CUPE’s Senior Economist, Angella MacEwan, joined the NEB meeting to provide an economic update, including a discussion on interest rates, inflation, and the labour market in Canada. These topics are covered in CUPE’s quarterly publication, Economy at Work. Articles, and a downloadable version of the publication, can be found online here.

Significant Court Challenges

The Board received an update on a number of significant court cases CUPE is a party to, challenging the constitutionality of government legislation that impacts our members. These legislative attacks on our collective rights include: wage restraint legislation in Nova Scotia and Ontario, legislation imposing changes to pension plans in New Brunswick and Quebec, legislation restricting our bargaining rights in Quebec and Ontario, and legislation restricting our rights as a union in Alberta.

Of particular note was the recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal that the provincial wage restraint legislation, Bill 124, was unconstitutional. The Ontario government decided it will not appeal the decision and has since repealed the legislation.

While the court process can be slow and often involves appeals, it’s vitally important that we continue to protect our rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Financial Support 

The National Executive Board approved 27 cost-share campaign requests totaling $2,747,582, four requests for legal and arbitration support, totaling $130,000, and one request for legal support through the strike fund to preserve collective bargaining rights in the amount of $300,000.