Dear Sisters and Brothers:
The second quarter of 2012 has proven to be an incredibly busy one for our union on a number of fronts.
Hundreds of activists came together this spring as nine of our ten provincial divisions met in convention.
Austerity was the order of the day in budgets at both the federal and provincial levels, making for layoffs in some instances and a much tougher public sector bargaining climate in all jurisdictions.
Further afield, public protest against austerity has seen the Socialist Party regain power in France and the people of Greece will enter their second national elections in a two-month period.
Students in Québec have been waging an epic three-month long strike over the issue of tuition hikes, a dispute that remains unresolved and includes a legislative attack on civil liberties in the presence of Bill 78.
As detailed within this report, the Harper government, one year into their majority mandate, are radically altering many features of Canada’s social safety net including Old Age Security (OAS) to Employment Insurance (EI) and our country’s immigration rules.
Finally, as detailed in previous reports, we have about one-half of our almost 4,000 collective agreements open for renewal in an extremely difficult bargaining environment. We are starting to see more job action and many strike votes as members fight to defend past gains and to make improvements.
As always, I salute all of our activists and staff who are working hard day in and day out on behalf of the over 618,000 members we are privileged to represent.