Our National Executive Board met September 23-25, 2014 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 and workers killed on the job. Remembered were: Brother William Mallock, Local 4848 (New Brunswick Paramedics and Dispatchers) who died in an air ambulance crash August 16; Brother Jacques Sirois, retired National Representative (Maritimes) also a former NEB member and President of CUPE
New Brunswick; Brother Daniel MacLean, retired National Representative, Sydney Area Office; and CUPE activists Sister Beth Kastelan, Local 748 (Kootenay Lake Schools, British Columbia); Sister Maddy Schmelcher, Local 15 in Vancouver; Brother Manny Jupista, Local 389, North Vancouver.
Pensions remain on the front-burner and the NEB devoted significant time to discussing our current pension challenges including Bill 3 in Quebec, and the positive results
in Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador where multi-union coalitions have had success in defending defined benefit pensions in both provinces.
NEB Resolution Supporting Naramata Centre Workers – Local 608
Thirty-four members of Local 608 who provide services at the Naramata Centre in British Columbia have been on strike since May 14. There are many concessions being demanded by the employer, the most significant of which would result in no less than one third and up to over half of our members losing their jobs through contracting out. While the Centre is owned by the United Church of Canada, the Church has taken a hands off approach. The Board passed a resolution of support and will encourage all divisions and locals to write to the United Church of Canada calling on them to intervene to be consistent with the Church’s stated support of unionized workers.
An information package has been sent to all locals.
The Board adopted a statement on the Ebola crisis stating that CUPE stands in solidarity with the people of West Africa and the front line health care workers who have been providing care for those affected by the Ebola virus, at great risk to their own health. The motion adopting the statement included a donation of $10,000 to the Public Services International Aid Fund as well as a donation of $10,000 to Médecins Sans Frontières. The NEB is also calling on the Conservative government to increase its response to this horrific outbreak cupe.ca/cupe-donates-ebola-victim-aid-fund.
The National Executive Board approved 22 cost-share campaign requests, totaling $740,616.37 and 19 requests for legal and arbitration support were approved, totaling $566,827.27.
CUPE National Trustees, Colin Pawson, Mark Goodwin and Christian Trudeau [Anchor] presented their findings from the 2013 Trustees’ audit. All was found to be in good order and the Trustees thanked CUPE staff for their assistance in carrying out their audit and making all records available to them.
The NEB also had a very informative presentation from the Broadbent Institute which, three years into its creation, is offering a progressive alternative to right-wing think tanks like the Fraser Institute and the CD Howe Institute.