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There’s no shortage of challenges facing our union. But we have the energy and determination for what’s ahead. Our plan coming out of the 50th anniversary national convention is ambitious, and optimistic. United into the future Our Fairness project will connect members with each other, and increase our union’s strength. That work begins with hundreds of thousands of conversations. We are ready to stand up to attacks on the labour movement and other progressive voices.

For the first time in our 50-year history, members will gather at a national sector council from October 6 to 9 in Toronto to boost our bargaining power. We need to stand up for jobs and public services and be clear in our demands: it’s time for a raise. We are ready to meet these challenges at the bargaining table.

Our economic literacy project will give members the tools they need to push back against attacks on our wages, pensions, benefits and working conditions. We are speaking up for an economy that works for Canadian workers, families, and communities – not banks and corporations.

As we mobilize to elect an NDP government in the next federal election, we will keep campaigning for the services and programs we cherish and depend on. We won’t stop until we’ve won an expanded Canada Pension Plan and Quebec Pension Plan, a better employment insurance system, and a national child care program. We will keep up the pressure to strengthen our public health care system.

At the end of our founding convention, CUPE’s first national president Stan Little identified the union’s top priorities: fight for collective bargaining rights, organize, and stop contracting out. That roadmap built our union into the strong, progressive movement we are today.

We’ve accomplished so much. And we know there’s more to do. Heading into our next half-century, we will build our union into an even more diverse, representative, engaged and connected force for fairness and good.

Together, we will build a better Canada.