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It’s March and that means in CUPE that it is the busiest time of the year. After a cross-country trip to meet with staff in each region, we settled into preparing the2008 year-end statements for presentation to the National Executive Board. At the same time, Division conventions have begun with Quebec and Saskatchewan having taken place prior to the Board meeting. Add in the National Women’s Bargaining Conference, the National School Board conference and preparations for our National Convention in October – and well – it has been one of the most active times I can remember at CUPE National. On that note, I am proud to bring forward for the National Executive Board’s approval a change in our regulations governing

With all of this activity and the events that surround us, this is a very important year for CUPE. We are now experiencing a very deep and extended economic recession. For many public sector workers, the recession will not hit us until the loss of the tax base filters through to government coffers, but it will hit us and I believe the coming years will see tougher bargaining, and increasing threats of contracting-out and privatization: Therefore, the current global economic crisis is an important introduction to my quarterly report. My report contains the update of our financial statements for the fiscal year ending 2008 which demonstrates that we made a great deal of progress in making positive changes to our financial structure in order to prepare us for the road ahead. At the same time, we are very strong financially, and have been able to continue our work in building a solid foundation with the 2009 budget. This is exactly where we want to be as we enter this economic recession – ready.

the National Convention and Events Fund. This change will allow us to meet the needs of delegates facing the challenges of a disability in a very supportive way by allowing delegates with a disability to access the fund in order to pay 100 per cent of the additional costs necessary for full participation in our union, such as equipment and personal assistance. Once approved, information will go to all locals to ensure everyone is aware of the opportunity and the process of application and approval.