Our National Executive Board met on September 25-26, 2013 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 of our CUPE family. The following retired servicing representatives passed away since the Board last met: Sister Helen O’Regan, (Ontario Regional Office), passed away on June 28, 2013. Brother Alfred Hryciw, (Alberta Regional Office), passed away on July 10, 2013. Brother Grenville Owen Jones, (Nanaimo Area Office), passed away on July 10, 2013. Brother Peter Driedger, (Victoria Area Office), passed away on July 13, 2013. Brother Murray Craddock, (Manitoba Regional Office), passed away on September 2, 2013. The Board also observed the loss of Sister Lucie Camden, a CUPE activist from Local 7498, University of Sherbrooke, died on July 7 as a result of an accident, and of longtime friend of CUPE and tireless human rights activist, Rocky Jones from Halifax, N.S., who died on July 29.
NEB Resolution - Support for Refugees in Syria and Neighbouring Countries
The United Nations estimates that almost 7 million Syrians inside of Syria are in need of assistance, including 4.25 million internally displaced. In the two-and-a-half year civil war, more than 100,000 people have been killed. Add to these statistics the fact that the total number of refugees in neighbouring countries is now more than 1.9 million. Therefore, the National Executive Board passed a resolution to donate $10,000 to Oxfam Canada to support their work in aiding refugees impacted by the Syrian conflict. The resolution also adds CUPE voice to the calls for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Syria and commits us to continue to work with and support our allies in the Canadian peace movement.
CUPE’s 50th Anniversary
On September 24, 1963, the Canadian Union of Public Employees was founded through the merger of two rival unions, the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) and the National Union of Public Service Employees (NUPSE). The Board, staff in national office and the Ottawa area office, and some retirees from the Ottawa area 1 gathered in the atrium at national office to celebrate with cake, a few speeches and a little bubbly. The Board received a presentation from Richie Allen, an Ottawa area archivist who was hired to pull together the documents, photos, audio and video that record CUPE’s rich history. As a result of this work done to support the 50th anniversary celebrations, CUPE will now have a searchable database of archival material.
Unite for Fairness
The Board received an update on CUPE’s Unite for Fairness project; our initiative to reach out to our rank and file through one on one conversations. The project is rolling out across the country, with training sessions held or scheduled in each province. The project begins with training staff and member facilitators who are then equipped to work with locals to map out a plan to meet with each and every CUPE member to discuss the importance of the union in their workplace.
The National Executive Board approved 15 cost-share campaign requests, totalling $622,014. Five requests for legal and arbitration support were approved, totalling $133,693.
With the National Convention only weeks away, preparation is in high gear. The Board discussed and finalized the draft Strategic Directions paper for presentation to the National Convention delegates and reviewed final preparations for Quebec City. With early registration higher than we have ever experienced, the Board expects this convention will be the largest ever when we meet to debate the current challenges faced by CUPE members and celebrate our 50 years of struggle and victories.