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June is always an incredibly busy time at CUPE National as we wrap up our tour of provincial division conventions across the country, meet with auditors and trustees in preparation for the National Executive Board meeting, and this year, make preparations for the upcoming National Convention in Toronto. But as busy as it is at this time of year, it is also incredibly gratifying. Meeting with auditors and trustees allows us to take the time and look back at our accomplishments as they review the previous financial year. The audited statements confirm that we end 2006 with a surplus, as I reported to you in March. The surplus came both from administrative savings and from unanticipated extra revenue from pay equity agreements and other factors unknown to us back when we set the 2006 budget.

Our savings are largely from administrative practices that do not affect services such as savings in our leasing costs. Another example of this is the savings we are reaping from the use of flight passes for our air travel. Working with WE Travel we have negotiated an administrative practice on the use of flight passes that will save from between half to a million dollars in 2007. It is extremely important to me that we make these savings on items that do not affect our capacity to provide services and resources on the front lines.

Another important milestone is the construction of our new National Headquarters which will be completed in October. This, along with the purchase of other new properties has substantially increased our equity and thus our financial strength. Ten years ago, CUPE was heavily in debt. If we folded our operations, every single one of the close to half million members at the time would have owed $10. Today, our position is such that if we were to fold operations, every single one of our 560,000 members would receive $40. And that is not taking into account our Strike Fund standing now at $38 million.