The National Executive Board observed a minute of silence to reflect upon and mourn the death of many friends and members of the CUPE family; Sisters Ute Meritt and Ann-Marie Chassie both lost their lives on the job as flight attendants on First Air flight 6560 that crashed in Resolute, Nunavut on August 22nd. NEB members remembered CUPE’s friend and inspirational leader of our Party, Jack Layton. Also remembered were Ed Blackman, former Local 500 President and CUPE GVP; Richard Sherring from Local 998 in Manitoba and Cathy Peters from HEU, both former members of the Persons with Disabilities Working Group; Louanne Pepper, Vice-President of Local 2976; former Communications Representative from Québec Louis Cauchy; CUPE retiree Maurice Chassé; and Thelma Cavanagh, mother of Nova Scotia RVP Danny Cavanagh.
CUPE’s Senior Economist, Toby Sanger, presented his quarterly economic update to the NEB highlighting the fact the stalled economic recovery in Canada can clearly be traced to the end of federal stimulus funding. Canada entered the recession that began in 2008 with weak wage growth and high household debt. Therefore, federal investment was the sole economic stimulus driving the recovery. It is clear we need more demand in the economy but increased consumer spending without an increase in personal debt requires growth in real wages. In spite of all evidence, the federal Conservative government is pursuing a policy course of lowering wages and cutting public spending. You can find Brother Sanger’s economic outlook at http://cupe.ca/economics/a4e7b8bfe0cd58.
NEB Resolution – Fighting Cuts in Federal Public Services
On the heels of the news that the federal Conservative government will be spending $20 million in management consultant fees to find $4 billion in cuts to the federal public sector, NEB members unanimously supported a resolution committing CUPE to fight the proposed cuts and lobby for public investment as a solution for economic growth as opposed to the government’s plan for deficit reduction. The resolution also commits CUPE to support and promote the Public Service Alliance’s online petition to stop the cuts found at http://petition.web.net/psac/node/54/.
Celebrating Brother Claude Généreux’s 40th National Secretary-Treasurer’s report, members gave Brother Claude a warm standing ovation for his ten years of service upon the adoption of his report. The NEB also celebrated the fact that the assets in the National Strike Fund are nearing $50 million. At the same time, activism is at an all time high. The cost-share program is over budget by just over $500,000. However, because not all approvals are fully spent, Brother Généreux reported to Board members that he foresees no problem in supporting the requests that will come in before year end. At this meeting, the National Executive Board approved thirteen cost-share campaign requests totaling $631,739.76. Eight requests for legal and arbitration support were approved, totaling $123,973.51.
Many of the preparations for the upcoming National Convention in Vancouver were reviewed and the NEB had an in depth discussion to finalize the draft of the Strategic Directions to be presented to members at convention.
The National Executive Board ratified the appointments of Sister Tammy Greaves, Managing Director of Finance and Administration; Brother André Lamoureux, Assistant Director, Organizing and Regional Services; and Brother Gordon Black, Maritimes Regional Director.