Charles Fleury | National Secretary-Treasurer

Our members face attacks on all fronts as they work hard delivering services to the public. To support them and the services they provide, CUPE invests the majority of its resources in staffing.

The battle against privatization and other measures that undermine the work of members across the country is significant. Having well-trained staff available to help our locals with campaigns and help uphold their collective agreements, is money well spent.

Last year, 40 staff retired across the country, and staff turnover will only increase significantly in the next few years. Not only do we need to fill these positions, but we see that more staff are needed.

Fortunately, CUPE’s 2018 budget is a good news budget. Because we managed our finances carefully, just over 2.8 million dollars were allocated to create 18 new staff positions. In 2017, only one new position was created.

We will continue to support our new staff with increased resources for staff training and mentoring, but our staffing challenge is not just about money. CUPE locals are changing. In many regions, smaller locals are merging into big provincial locals, and we have more central and provincial bargaining tables. As CUPE continues to grow, newly organized members need more assistance. We need more coordination, more support for legal and political fights and more strategic planning.

In light of these changes, we have set up a taskforce on staffing to review how we can better support our members. The taskforce will review how our resources are allocated across the country and look at where we need more resources. It will also look at our current approaches to servicing model. Input will be received from small and large locals, and regions.

The taskforce will report back to the June National Executive Board in time for recommendations for the budget consultations next fall. And you can be assured that throughout the whole process, the taskforce will be guided by the interests of our 650,000 members.