Sisters, Brothers and Friends:

I hope you all made time to rest and recharge over the summer, and spend some much-needed time with family and friends. As union and community activists, we can easily fill every day with the important work of protecting rights and building a more fair and just society. It’s important to take what time we can during these quieter months to steel ourselves for the work ahead.

I know you also took time to celebrate our movement over these months as well, at local union picnics, community days, Pride celebrations, and, of course, Labour Day. This year I marched with our members at the Hamilton Labour Day Parade. As always, I was proud to see CUPE leaders and members at the heart of the action.

On July 31, I was especially proud to welcome WestJet flight attendants into CUPE.

These summer months provide an important opportunity for me to spend some time with our members. It was an honour to meet with our brand new members in CUPE 104, representing RCMP workers; participate in a community barbeque hosted by members in Saint John, NB; meet with our Air Canada Component executive members; join CUPE BC and CUPE Ontario for part of their summer strategic planning sessions; join CUPE 5167 in Hamilton for a celebration of their 100th anniversary; meet with CUPE 416, our Community Care Access Centres and LHINS bargaining committees in Toronto; and meet with CUPE 21 in Regina.

I congratulate Diversity Vice President Yolanda McClean, who was recognized in September as one of the top 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women.

AFSCME

In late June, the US Supreme Court ruled to strip labour unions of their ability to collect “agency fees.” Agency fees are like union dues for workers who benefit from collective agreements but who never signed a union card. The decision effectively turns the entire US public sector into a “right-to-work” zone, with the potential to starve unions of the resources they need to organize and bargain on behalf of their members.

Right-to-work laws make it harder for workers to unionize and bargain collectively for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. In states where such laws already existed, poverty rates are significantly higher and wages are 3.1 per cent lower on average.

In mid-July, I had the opportunity to join Brother Lee Saunders and more than 5,000 delegates and activists at the biennial convention of our sister union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFCSME). It was inspiring to hear the passion and resolve of these workers in the face of such a devastating decision, and the hard work they are already doing to ensure their union stays strong and vibrant and continues to grow. AFSCME has a renewed focus on organizing – internally and externally – including engaging and harnessing the power of every member. There is no doubt that the relentless anti-union attacks they face will make AFSCME even stronger.

Council of the Federation

I attended the Council of the Federation held in New Brunswick in mid-July. This was an opportunity, working with other labour leaders, to connect with Canada’s Premiers and their senior staff in an informal way. While there, I participated in a labour-sponsored health care briefing where Premiers and their staff heard from Dr Eric Hoskins (Chair of the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare) and Kevin Page (former Parliamentary Budget Officer) on the need for a national pharmacare program.

Sector Council Conference

Our third National Sector Council Conference is being held at the beginning of November in Ottawa. We expect close to 1,000 CUPE members to participate in plenary and sector sessions where they will share ideas and information about trends within their sectors and across our movement.

The conference will provide members with a national perspective on the work our members do, the challenges we face, and the opportunities that exist within each sector. Our sector co-chairs are working hard to develop agendas that will ensure members can gain experience, knowledge, and insights from each other.

Task Force on Governance

Consultations on CUPE’s governance and structure are well underway. Following the first meeting of our Task Force on Governance, a discussion guide and survey have been developed and circulated to every chartered organization by mail and by e-mail. The survey can be completed online or be printed and submitted by post. The deadline for responses and submissions is November 15. In the meantime, staff are conducting additional research and analysis for the Task Force, and I am conducting consultations with as many of our Division executives as I can.

Once the consultation period ends, the Task Force is responsible to consider the feedback we have received and report to the NEB with recommendations by March 2019.

Elections

There is plenty of political work to keep our members busy this fall!

A provincial election will be held in New Brunswick on September 24. CUPE members are active in various aspects of the campaign, but are especially focused on calling attention to the need for substantial improvements to wages and working conditions through their Breaking the Mandate tour.

In Quebec, where a provincial election is underway, CUPE is calling attention to the anti-labour, anti-worker policies of both the incumbent Liberals and the Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ). While polls do not look good, we are hopeful there will be some strong progressive voices in the National Assembly after October 1.

CUPE members in several provinces are also working hard to ensure worker-friendly candidates are successful in local government elections being held October 20 (BC), October 22 (ON), October 24 (MB) and November 5 (PEI). Elections are also being held this fall for some rural municipalities in Saskatchewan (October 24).

Collective Bargaining

Strikes/Lockouts

There were eight disputes involving job action in this reporting period. Seven disputes were resolved during the period.

PROVINCE

LOCAL

EMPLOYER

# OF MEMBERS

STRIKE BEGAN

DURATION (days)

Quebec

5317

Viterra -
Port of Montréal

51

January 30, 2018

Locked Out

On-going

Ontario

3903

York University – Academic Staff

2,717

March 5, 2018

142 days

Ontario

234

City of Cornwall Outside Workers

136

March 17, 2018

88

Ontario

3251

City of Cornwall Public Library

27

March 17, 2018

88

Ontario

5734

Cornwall, Stormont and Glengarry EMS

102

March 17, 2018

88

Ontario

3251

City of Cornwall Inside Workers

182

March 23, 2018

81

British Columbia

458

Village of Harrison Hot Springs

12

July 9, 2018

8

Nova Scotia

4764

Community Justice Society

7

July 30, 2018

36

 

Local 5317 – Viterra at The Port of Montréal – Quebec

This dispute is now in its eighth month, but we are confident that the lockout will be lifted before the end of September. Viterra, one of the main grain marketer/handlers at the Port of Montréal, locked out 51 members on Tuesday, January 30, at 7 a.m. The members are seeking equity with other Port of Montréal workers represented by CUPE.

Negotiations have stalled over two matters – wages and scheduling. Since the lockout began, CUPE has settled two other collective agreements with Port employers that address salary inequities and work scheduling. This employer remained steadfast in their position not to address any of CUPE 5317 issues. Viterra finally agreed to return to the table at the end of August, and the parties reached a framework agreement.

Some issues related to a return to work are still being discussed in order to resolve the dispute.

Viterra is owned by the large multi-national corporation Glencore. Glencore is a profitable company which has shown no interest in resolving dispute and treating its employees equitably

Local 3903 – York University Academic Staff – Ontario

The longest strike in University history ended with the newly elected Ontario Ford government introducing and passing return-to-work legislation. After six months of fruitless bargaining, members took to the picket lines on March 5 in support of their demands for less precarious employment and improvements to short-term, work with little to no stability or predictability, on which the university has come to rely.

York University could have ended this strike by coming to the bargaining table and engaging in meaningful dialogue to resolve issues of importance not only to CUPE members but also of interest to students. Rather than negotiate, the University held out hope for a legislated resolve. Where the previous Liberal government failed in its efforts to legislate, the Tories succeeded.

On June 15, Unit 2 members (Contract Faculty) returned to work after 102 days on the line. Members petitioned for a vote and accepted the employer’s last position. Unit 1 (Teaching Assistants) and Unit 3’s (Research and Graduate Assistants) strike ended on July 25 with the legislative decree. They now await a contract through interest arbitration.

Locals 234, 3251 and 5734 – City of Cornwall – Ontario

Representing approximately 450 members in four bargaining units, these three local unions struck the City of Cornwall after months of trying to negotiate a deal with their employer in the face of concessions and zero percent wage offers.

One unit had been without a contract since 2015 and the other three since 2016.

Under threat of a supervised vote, the negotiating committees for the four bargaining units brought the employer’s final offer to the members with a firm recommendation to reject it; the members overwhelmingly agreed. This show of strong leadership and membership support caused the employer to return to the table and remove their concessions.

The locals were able to negotiate four collective agreements without concessions and with real wage increases retroactive to April 2016. Member solidarity and effective leadership from staff and activists were key.

Local 458 – Village of Harrison Hot Springs – British Columbia

CUPE 458 represents 12 members in the Village of Harrison Hot Springs who provide community services including water and wastewater, snow removal, public works and administrative services at the Village Hall. At the time of the strike, Local 458 had been bargaining for more than 6 months.

The main outstanding issue was an LOU that has been in place for 25 years which provides members with a very modest compressed work week. In return, the employer gets to schedule weekend shifts at straight time with only a one-hour (bankable) premium applying to each weekend shift. The employer was seeking work provisions that would allow the employer to schedule members on weekends at straight time with no premium.

After nine days on the picket line an agreement was reached giving the members a better benefit for working these weekend shifts.

Local 4764 – Community Services Restorative Justice

CUPE 4764 members, caseworkers employed by the Community Justice Society (CJS), began job action on July 30, interrupting court dates and leaving restorative justice clients and communities without options. CUPE 4764 had been in negotiations with the employer since December 2017. The union applied for conciliation in June 2018, however, conciliation efforts failed and on July 26 the membership voted unanimously to reject the employer’s final proposal.

The main issue was wage parity. The union had identified a pay equity gap between restorative justice caseworkers and probation officers. Probation officers are overwhelmingly male, while restorative justice caseworkers are predominantly female. The restorative justice caseworkers, who are paid about 56 per cent of what probation officers earn for doing similar work and requiring similar qualifications, were seeking compensation at 90 per cent of the wage rate of probation officers.

An agreement was reached that provided an immediate increase of 19.8%, along with improvements to parking, meal allowances and an adjustment to the retirement savings plan. The members returned to work on September 5, after 36 days on the picket line.

Other bargaining

Members of CUPE 1978, representing municipal workers at the Capital Regional District in BC, ratified a new collective agreement.

The four-year agreement includes annual wage increases and a provision for the parties to address regularization of auxiliary staff, a key point of the negotiations given the Capital Regional District’s approximately 375 auxiliary staff.

In addition to limited job security, auxiliary workers are denied many of the benefits provided to regular staff, which we think is unacceptable. The agreement provides an opportunity for the local to seek a resolution to their precarity through the creation of new regular permanent and part-time positions.

Regional Services Division Updates

Atlantic

Nova Scotia

In August, an arbitration board awarded a collective agreement for 1,000 members of CUPE 1867, highway workers employed by the province. This round of bargaining, which started in November of 2014, was hindered by Bill 148, the Public Services Sustainability Act which affected the union’s ability to bargain freely on critical aspects of its members working conditions. The agreement’s most important gains include moving to wage parity for mechanics and mobile service mechanics, who received adjustments of $1.50 per hour, and securing a limit on the province’s ability to hire outside contractors for winter work. Wage increases over the life of the agreement total 7%, with retroactive payments to November 2016.

Health Care workers also were awarded a collective agreement to complete the agreement reached last spring. This historic round of bargaining following the merger of bargaining units started in the fall of 2016 in the sector. For two years, the employers made every effort to use their legislative upper hand to attempt to claw back existing rights and benefits from members. The bargaining committee remained steadfast in its refusal to concede benefits, and in May 2018, the Council of Health Care Unions undertook a strategy to ratchet-up the pressure on the provincial government with a province-wide strike vote. This was a turning point and caused the province to propose mediation/arbitration as a means to settle outstanding issues for all four health care collective agreements.

The parties agreed on wage increases, retroactive pay back to 2014, protection of current sick leave and retiree benefits, and optional pay-out of the retirement allowance. The agreement was ratified by 92% of the membership. The issues that could not be agreed on were referred to arbitration. The award, issued in August after four days of mediation, brought significant changes to the current collective agreement that will be implemented gradually. In a supplemental award, shift and weekend premiums were increased. The overwhelming support that the membership showed for the bargaining team, giving them a strong strike mandate, made a huge difference in resisting concessions, despite the effects of Bill 148 on our bargaining rights. The court challenge against the bill continues.

Newfoundland and Labrador

At the end of June, CUPE reached a framework agreement in master bargaining with government, in a very difficult round of negotiations where the Ball administration was seeking extensive concessions from public employees. Over the summer, our bargaining team worked on the documents provided by the employer – several issues remained to be resolved before a tentative agreement could be presented to the membership.

CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador celebrated Labour Day by amplifying the call for a universal, single-payer, prescription drug program for everyone in Canada. Sherry Hillier spoke about pharmacare at the Labour Day parade in Grand Falls-Windsor and recorded a radio ad that ran province-wide for a week. Sherry reminded the public that many unionized workers have negotiated prescription drug coverage, but that this campaign for pharmacare is not about them, it is about doing the right thing for everyone in Canada.

Maritimes

New Brunswick

Fredericton was shaken by a terrible act of violence on August 10. I offer my condolences to the families and friends of the four victims of the shooting and I want to thank our members who work hard every day to keep Fredericton safe and running, especially in tragic circumstances such as this. I extend a special thanks to our CUPE 4848 paramedics who went into a dangerous situation with courage to help the victims.

Rapid response when tragedy hits is key. However, the province of New Brunswick is not ensuring proper emergency services in rural areas. There are over one hundred full-time paramedic positions currently vacant. This is why the New Brunswick Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE 1252) and CUPE 4848 (paramedics and dispatchers) denounced the province’s Rapid Response Unit pilot program. The new unit would require about fifteen bilingual paramedics to be taken out of an already strained system to staff non-transport units, which makes little sense. The employer should be dealing with the root causes of inadequate emergency response time, which is recruitment and retention of paramedics.

Our members in New Brunswick are getting all fired up and ready to fight for better wages and working conditions, as they gather in large numbers everywhere across the province during the Breaking the Mandate Provincial Tour. CUPE New Brunswick held mass membership meetings to talk about political choices made by successive governments in New Brunswick, the resulting stagnant wages, and how wage increases would actually boost the economy. Successive Conservative and Liberal governments have governed for the wealthy and imposed austerity measures that hurt the economy, affect the quality of public services and hurt CUPE members and every worker in the province.

I am confident that the Breaking the Mandate message will first have an impact during the electoral campaign this month and will be heard loud and clear at the bargaining table with the newly elected government.

I was happy to see our members’ energy in delivering that message when I participated in one of their CUPE Gives Back community events. I was in St. John in July for a BBQ with CUPE activists, and met a great number of friends and family members. Jennifer McKenzie, leader of the New Brunswick NDP, came by and showed her support for CUPE’s campaign. These community events are great opportunities to have conversations about what matters to our members and workers across the province.

Prince Edward Island

Our members in the education sector in Prince Edward Island held a very successful community event at the end of the school year and CUPE PEI celebrated Labour Day with a community picnic at Joe Ghiz Park in Charlottetown. However, the summer was not only about picnics and fun…a lot of work happens behind the scenes too. CUPE PEI has been working to address gaps in labour and employment laws in the province. After a win on PTSD legislation in the spring, it’s time to tackle bullying and harassment legislation. CUPE PEI also made submissions on proposed regulations with respect to domestic violence leave provisions.

Quebec

Several local unions across the Province of Québec held strike votes over the summer. The bargaining tables were busy during this scorching summer!

The Saguenay bus drivers, CUPE 3124, announced job actions designed to criticize the service reductions and problems related to the City’s transit plan. They have been without a contract since December 31, 2016.

CUPE 687, the employees of TVA, voted themselves a strike mandate in June, and again at the end August, to clearly demonstrate to the employer that they have the membership’s support. The union is contesting the fact that work being done by its members is being transferred to other company subsidiaries, to the detriment of the unionized employees. The collective agreement expired December 31, 2016.

Speaking of a scorching summer, the aquatic workers at the City of Longueuil, members of CUPE 306, reached a tentative agreement after initially rejecting the employer’s offers by a margin of 95% and giving a strike mandate to their union. The strike, which was scheduled to begin on August 13, was narrowly avoided thanks to the hard work of both parties at the bargaining table. The collective agreement had expired at the end of 2015.

In Montreal, the blue-collar workers, members of CUPE 301, want to improve pavement markings on the City’s streets following the addition of some 150 km of new bicycle paths over the past three years.

The City’s has not been putting the necessary resources into this work, and the blue-collar workers are confident that they can do this work better and cheaper than the private sector. Mayor Valérie Plante and her team want to address this matter, which had been neglected by the previous administration, and restore the responsibility and management of pavement markings to the City’s central administration.

Ontario

The newly elected Ford government has wasted no time in bringing legislative and regulatory change to Ontario. They have: legislated CUPE 3903 members back to work at York University; turned back the clock on sex education curriculum for students to an era that does not match today’s realities; privatized the sale of cannabis; cancelled a $100 million fund earmarked for school repairs; cut $300 million per year from mental health funding; rolled back social assistance increases; rolled back the OHIP Plus prescription plan; cancelled 758 renewable energy projects; and interfered in municipal and school board elections in Toronto and municipal elections in the Peel and Niagara regions. That is just the beginning of a list that will continue to grow with every new announcement.

In late August, the Ontario Division brought together their Executive Board, senior staff and sector coordinators in the region to develop a plan of action for the first two years of the Ford mandate and beyond. Participants heard from Sean Meagher, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Ontario who spoke about the Ford government agenda. Sector and committee representatives discussed their expectations concerning legislative threats, funding/budget threats, threats to specific services and threats to human rights.

Participants revisited the NEB Plan to Resist Concessions and Defend Free Collective Bargaining and its role in fighting the Ford agenda. A spirited panel on lessons learned and actions taken during the Harris years reminded everyone of our proud history of fighting back. Collectively, participants discussed and established goals for the next two years and identified pro-active initiatives to help meet those goals.

During this spring’s election campaign, Ford promised to end “hallway medicine” and committed that there would be no public-sector layoffs. However, adding up the revenue and spending cuts across Ontario, 3,712 hospital beds and 16,418 hospital jobs could be cut to meet the target of a balanced budget. The Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) has been meeting citizens across the province, warning that Doug Ford’s commitment is nothing more than an empty promise. In community after community, on a hospital by hospital basis, OCHU has been laying out the bare facts. The OCHU/CUPE research makes several recommendations for ending hallway medicine including, funding hospitals at their actual costs; opening acute, complex continuing care and long-term care beds to deal with overcrowding; investing in mental health and addictions; and stepping away from restructuring and privatization.

There is no doubt that we will face many battles in Ontario over the next four years and we will face them all together, with the strength that comes from collective action and the knowledge of our past victories. CUPE knows how to stand up and fight back, and I am confident that leaders, activists, rank and file members and staff are up to the task of taking on Ford.

Manitoba

We are anxiously awaiting the start of representation votes arising from The Health Sector Bargaining Unit Review Act, which was proclaimed earlier this year. Unfortunately, the Pallister government is intent on pitting workers and their unions against each other as they revamp and reorganize health care in the province. This is despite our best efforts to offer alternative solutions to avoid this added stress and uncertainty on an already strained health care system. While we regret that it has come to this, we are confident that health care workers across the province will see that CUPE is the obvious choice to represent health care workers and to protect our health care system.

CUPE continues to work with the Manitoba Federation of Labour, and other public sector unions, to prevent the implementation of The Public Services Sustainability Act (PSSA), on the basis that it is a violation of our constitutional rights by imposing wages and terms that should rightly be determined through collective bargaining. The legislation imposes significant restrictions on wage increases over a four-year period, including a mandatory wage freeze for the first two years.

Because the PSSA restricts our rights to represent our members in negotiations and strips us of our bargaining power, we also sought an injunction to prevent the Act from coming into force while the constitutional question is determined with a motion arguing that the PSSA would harm future negotiations with the Government because they would not have the power they need to represent employees. The unions also argued that the PSSA strips their bargaining power and the leverage necessary to negotiate non-monetary improvements.

Unfortunately, we suffered a loss when the court held that the PSSA is directed to the public good and serves a valid public purpose, and on that basis refused to grant the injunction.

Saskatchewan

CUPE 5430 may be in a long, tough round of bargaining, but they have still found the energy to fight a privatization threat. Their employer, the Saskatchewan Health Authority, is conducting a province-wide review of security services, using a consultant with a track record of privatizing security systems in other provinces. CUPE members are concerned that this review could open the doorway to privatization of health care security here in Saskatchewan, so they are pushing back. They have launched a petition and a video highlighting their members and the importance of keeping their work public.

CUPE 1975 is also in a tough round of bargaining, and they know it is going to get tougher. A recent arbitration decision (in an employer-initiated grievance) regarding their pension plan found that despite years of cooperation, the employer (the University of Saskatchewan) can unilaterally make changes to their pension plan. The local is bound and determined to bargain language that will protect their rights to participate equally in their pension plan, as they always have before. They are willing to fight to preserve both their rights and their defined benefit pension plan, and their members are behind them. I look forward to joining them in this fight!

Alberta

CUPE members in the education sector know that infrastructure and maintenance funding have fallen behind over the years. Tight budgets have put the squeeze on school maintenance, and it’s impacting the learning environment – and our members’ working environment. School boards have been forced to cut cleaning and maintenance, as well as educational supports. This has led to schools that are unclean and in desperate need of repair.

CUPE Alberta and our locals are joining with Save Our Students to raise awareness about the lack of funding for infrastructure and maintenance in education and call for a proactive solution.

In the last year, the Notley government has modernized employment and labour standards and made many changes to the province’s employment and labour laws. It’s an impressive list of positive changes, and we are working with CUPE locals in the province to ensure they integrate these improvements into their collective agreements.

British Columbia

Profiling the work CUPE members perform helps the pubic understand the role of union members providing essential public services, builds morale amongst our membership and can assist in organizing campaigns. Recently, CUPE has released videos profiling the work our members do in the community health and K-12 education sectors.

“Building Caring Communities” and “Meeting the Challenges” feature CUPE members from the Community Bargaining Association and the Health Sciences Professionals Bargaining Association talking about their work in community-based public health care, some of the challenges they face, and the advantages of being represented by CUPE.

These members do everything from diagnostic, clinical and inspection services to advocacy, home support, counselling, preventative, and rehabilitation, as well as administrative support services. They’re a key part of our public health care system but don’t have a high profile in the sector. These videos help put a much-needed face to their work. They can be found on the revamped website for BC’s CUPE Community Health workers.

K-12 education support workers will be featured on movie theatre screens in Cineplex theatres throughout BC, thanks to an animated spot promoting the important services they provide. The 30-second animation features “Rachel” and some of the CUPE members she comes into contact with throughout her day at school. Featured CUPE workers include an education assistant, custodian, clerical worker, trades person and bus driver who, along with other education support workers, make great schools possible.

Sticking with the theme of videos, CUPE BC and its Indigenous Workers Committee have released a new video that explores the meaning of Reconciliation and what people can do collectively and as individuals to foster equality and make Canada a more just society for Indigenous peoples. “Reconciliation: CUPE Members Speak” is a thought-provoking, five-minute video in which delegates to the union’s April convention address different aspects of Reconciliation and what the concept means to them. The testimonials, musically accompanied by a drumming composition from Culture Saves Lives, focus on the need to redress historical wrongs while taking concrete actions in the present.

Hospital Employees’ Union (HEU)

HEU has reached an agreement with the Fraser Health Authority and the owner of the Coquitlam-based Madison and Lakeshore care centres which will protect the jobs of staff and maintain continuity of care for residents. Layoff notices had been issued to 150 workers at the privately-owned, publicly-funded care homes – a move which would have left nearly 200 seniors without their familiar and trusted caregivers – as a result of a change in sub-contractors.

Workers and residents together fought to ensure that there would be continuity of care despite the contract flipping. We are thankful for the goodwill of the Fraser Health Authority and the NDP government to assist in finding this solution, but urge the government to find a permanent solution to the current laws that put workers’ rights and resident care at risk.

Workers in the community health sector have voted in favour of a three-year contract reached with health employers. The new collective agreement will take effect April 1, 2019 and will expire on March 31, 2022. The agreement includes yearly wage increases of two per cent in each of the next three years as well as enhanced benefits, provisions for improved scheduling, and steps to address staff recruitment and retention.

Highlights of the agreement include:

  • Wage increases of six per cent over three years for all workers.
  • Improved employment security provisions.
  • The creation of a task force to investigate guaranteed hours and additional funding.

The Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) and the Community Social Services Employers’ Association (CSSEA) reached a collective agreement on June 14. The new three-year collective agreement was ratified by members in July 2018, will take effect April 1, 2019, and expire on March 31, 2022. This agreement provides for 2% increases in each year and an additional $60 million for low wage redress.

HEU will hold its biennial convention from November 4 to November 9 in Vancouver.

Airlines

I am very happy to report a successful conclusion to our organizing drive at WestJet. In August, CUPE was granted a certification by the Canada Industrial Relations Board to represent three thousand flight attendants at WestJet, the majority of them having signed cards in support of unionization. It is an honour to welcome these WestJetters to the CUPE family!

With this new local, CUPE 4070, we now represent approximately 15,000 flight attendants nationwide, which increases our ability to influence industry-wide issues facing all of Canada’s cabin crews.

Unionization has become more and more important in the airline industry, especially given that the Trudeau government recently lifted caps placed on foreign ownership of Canadian airlines. Increased foreign ownership of airlines has been shown around the world to increase precarity for workers and weaken working conditions. Efforts to reduce labour costs also mean reduced safety for passengers and crews. CUPE is the right choice to fight against these trends in the industry.

Organizing Report

During the period of June 1, 2018 to August 31, 2018, our organizing efforts have brought in new members and protected existing members. We organized 638 members in long-term care, 1271 members in health care, 256 members in social services, 19 members in transportation, 12 members in K-12, 35 members employed in municipalities, 21 members in library, 67 members in post-secondary and 3,200 members in airlines as WestJet. This totals 5,540 new members into CUPE in 26 bargaining units.

We are currently involved in 25 active campaigns that, if successful, would bring 2,156 new members into CUPE. At Labour Boards across the country, we have 3 projects representing 357 new members waiting for certification votes to be conducted. There are four projects that will protect 26,140 existing members and potentially bring in up to 28,909 new members due to restructuring.

In Memoriam/Personal

Messages of Condolences

I offer my sincere condolences to the families of the following CUPE members and retirees who have passed away or lost a loved one in the reporting period.

Members

Danny Vincent  Member of Local 963 – New Brunswick
Connor O’Callaghan  Member of Local 3903 – Ontario
Tammy Rosko  Member of Local 796 – Manitoba
Connor Colton  Member of Local 402 – British Columbia
Dane Gibson  Member of Local 1858 – British Columbia
Carmen Rogers  Member of HEU – British Columbia

Friends of CUPE

Petrus Mashisi  Founding President of SAMWU

In Closing

With the election of Doug Ford in Ontario, an anti-worker party poised to win power in Quebec, and the Conservative party polling well, the political landscape in Canada is shifting – and not in our favour. CUPE is already working on our plan for the federal election set for October 2019. We are also working on a new member engagement program that will give our locals the tools they need to better connect with their members, and a campaign program that will give our activists the skills they need to take on governments on the issues and at the ballot box.

In solidarity,

MARK HANCOCK

National President