Dear Sisters and Brothers,
As I begin this report, I am tempted to say that the last few months have been busier than any other time in the history of our Union. But that is not truly the case. Our Union, its members and staff, are engaged now and have been for years as they tackle new emerging challenges. We are active on an increasing number of fronts – protecting our right to free collective bargaining, fighting against privatization, lobbying for social programs and a Canadian vision of caring, monitoring and pressuring a regressive right-wing government, and supporting numerous issues of international scope.
With all of this activity in constant flux, our members and Union still face as their first and foremost responsibility, collective bargaining. 1,900 members of CUPE Local 4222, Thames Valley District School Board (Ontario), walked off the job on May 11, 2006. Never am I more proud of serving as your National President then when I see our Union do what it does best. Sticking together, bargaining, and offering solid support to the members we represent.
Local 4222 stayed on the picket line for a total of 23 days and achieved a two percent wage increase for each year of the three-year settlement, two additional paid days per year, and a 30-minute redress to hours of work for educational and instructional assistants over the span of their collective agreement.
My sincere thanks to all who worked tirelessly in this dispute.
While not exhaustive, my report will highlight some of the key events and initiatives of the last few months.
This report covers the following topics:
- Federal Political Scene
- CUPE National Strategic Initiatives
- Canadian Labour Congress
- Regional Reports
- Provincial Division Conventions
- In Memoriam
- Middle East
- Closing Thoughts