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On September 16 and 17, 40 members from across Nova Scotia gathered in Halifax for a campaign mobilization workshop. Called Mobilizing to Win, the workshop was a chance for members and staff to discuss ways of getting more members involved in two campaigns – the Halifax Harbour clean-up campaign and the Save our Services campaign to protect public services in the province.

A highlight of the workshop was a panel on lessons learned from local campaign success stories. Participants also enjoyed an excellent theatre presentation on the Halifax harbour clean-up. Put on by a Halifax-based group called Iron Dale, the presentation was an example of how we can use theatre to get our message out to our members and the general public. Participants left the workshop with campaign plans and ideas about how to get more members interested and active in their locals.

The successful campaign helped make the harbour clean-up the number two issue (after education funding) during city council elections for the Halifax Regional Municipality. The fact that the incumbent mayor failed to make a commitment to keep the Halifax harbour public was instrumental in the election of a new mayor. There are also nine new councillors to be educated and lobbied.

The Halifax Mobilizing to Win workshop is an example of the Organizing the Organized (OTO) workshops being offered across the country by the Union Development Department. OTO workshops give CUPE members a chance to identify the specific challenges they are facing and come up with solutions that will work with their members and their locals.