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To kick off the new campaign, A solidarity of abilities, CUPE is releasing this brand new poster, featuring members from our Persons with Disabilities National Working Group and our National Aboriginal Council.

New accommodation-themed poster

Starring CUPE members (right to left) Joanne Webb, Stephen Drost, Jacquie Robertshaw, and Pat Shade, the poster celebrates the strength and the pride of our members, who have championed the rights of persons with disabilities.

Drost, who works at the Department of Social Development in New Brunswick (CUPE 1418) said the poster is about moving forward.

Being disabled doesn’t mean you just stop doing things,” said Drost, vice-president and active member of his local.

CUPE has over 600,000 members. Fifteen to 20 percent of members have one form of disability or another. I hope to raise our own members’ awareness on the rights of disabled people. We are becoming experts on the duty to accommodate and I hope to move that forward with the campaign.”

Doing the photo shoot for the poster was a new experience for him.

It was a riot actually. Some of the poses were quite a challenge, but we had a fun and laughed a lot.”

A CUPE member for over 25 years, Drost has gone through different phases in his union activism.

I was actively involved with my sub local executive when I first joined. Then I stepped back from officers roles for a while. I just attended as a member while my wife and I raised a family. Then in the past five years I have become very active again.”

In addition to his role as vice-president, these days Drost also sits on the CUPE NB equality committee. He’s co-chair of the Sussex regional action committee, serves as editor of his local’s bilingual newsletter, acts as member facilitator for union workshops, and still finds time to act as shop steward.

The poster’s unique shape makes it especially visible. At 33 inches wide and 8 ½ inches tall, the poster folds to the size of a standard sheet of paper, and fits perfectly in a folder.

How to get copies of the poster

The poster is available in French and English. Watch for samples in the general mailing. To order some for your local, email equality@cupe.ca