Our National Executive Board met September 22-24, 2015 in Ottawa. 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 in our CUPE family. Remembered were:
Brother Julian Farinha, Local 1280 (Toronto Catholic District School Board); Brother Paul Cheeseman, Local 416 (City of Toronto); Sister Pat Zolf, Local 79 (retired – City of Toronto); Brother Darryl McKenzie, Local 1050 (City of Quesnel); Brother Mahmoud Ghannam, Local 2974 (member – Essex Windsor paramedic); Brother Frank McGregor, Local 30 (retired member and past local president); Sister Barbara Ann Dickinson, Local 15 (Secretary-Treasurer of Local 15); Sister Farida Abdurahman, Local 4822 (member); Brother Clare Powell, retired staff – Saskatchewan Regional Office; Brother Richard Balnis, retired staff – National Office.
NEB Resolution – Migration
The NEB adopted a resolution calling on the Canadian government to support migrants and refugees. In light of the crisis with Syrian refugees, this was a moment for the NEB to consider the impacts of war and destitution on so many people around the world. Board members voted to make a donation of $25,000 to the Canadian Council for Refugees but also to continue building support for Canada to step up and receive refugees and migrants. See the full resolution.
NEB Resolution – Support for Saskatchewan Forest Fire Evacuees
The NEB also approved a donation of $10,000 to the Prince Albert Grand Council to assist forest fire evacuees in Saskatchewan.
2015 Federal Election
The National Executive Board discussed the upcoming federal election. They received presentations from CUPE staff on the election work undertaken by the National union and heard from Board members about the work that is going on in the regions. There is no doubt that this is an unprecedented election with an unpredictable outcome. It is more important than ever that we make sure every CUPE member gets out and votes on October 19. Brother Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress, joined the NEB on September 23 to discuss the CLC’s election work. For more information, please see the CUPE election web hub.
The Leap Manifesto: A Call for a Canada Based on Caring for the Earth and One Another
On behalf of CUPE, National President Paul Moist participated in the launch of the Leap Manifesto in Toronto on September 15, 2015. CUPE members and all Canadians are asked to sign the declaration, and reject the false choice pitting the economy against the planet. The Leap Manifesto calls for an approach to combatting climate change that achieves justice for Indigenous peoples, creates more and better jobs, restores our social safety net, welcomes more migrants and refugees to Canada, and reduces inequalities in all its forms. Find the manifesto and sign .
In preparation for our National Convention, which will take place November 2-6 in Vancouver, the National Executive Board went over the details of convention committees, resolutions and constitutional amendments. NEB members also had an opportunity to have a detailed discussion about Strategic Directions.
National Strike Fund Regulations
The National Executive Board approved amendments to the CUPE National Strike Fund Regulations. As more CUPE members face mounting part-time and precarious work, we needed to adapt the way we support our members. Many of our members do not have the right to strike and find themselves with rising costs of arbitration. To reflect this new reality, the amended regulations allow for more flexibility when strikers can complete their picketing hours – assisting part-time and precarious workers to access strike pay; allow the Strike Fund to pay for CUPE National picket signs and increase the fees that the Strike Fund covers for the union’s share of the cost of the arbitrator or chairperson for Interest Arbitration. As always, picket schedules and protocol are set on a case by case basis. The goal is to cover the lines and provide financial support to those who have financial losses.
The National Executive Board approved 19 cost shares for a total of $877,372.73. The Board also received and approved 23 requests for Legal/Arbitration costs for $629,224.22.