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Longest-serving CUPE BC president to step down in April

After sixteen years in office, CUPE BC President Barry O’Neill announced today that he won’t be seeking re-election at the union’s 50th Anniversary Convention in April.

It seems like just yesterday that CUPE BC members first put their trust in me as president,” said O’Neill. “And I have loved every minute of my time as president. But it’s time for me to move on, and it’s time for CUPE BC to write the next chapter in its history.”

I know I speak for the entire Executive Board when I say how disappointed we all are that Barry won’t be running for re-election in April,” said CUPE BC Secretary-Treasurer Mark Hancock. “But we also know how hard Barry worked on behalf of the membership, and for how long, and he has certainly earned his retirement. On behalf of all 85,000 CUPE members in BC, I want to thank Barry for his years of service and dedication, both to our union and to the principles and traditions of the trade union movement. He truly will go down in history as a giant of the labour movement.”

O’Neill was first elected president in 1997. Prior to that election, he served several terms as a vice president, and then general vice president. He was re-elected seven times to two-year terms, making him by far the longest-serving president in CUPE BC history.

I’m sure Barry has plans to spend a lot more time with his wife Charmaine and their kids and grandkids,” said Hancock. “And I’m sure he intends to spend more time on the golf course, but I also know he will continue to ‘be there’ for CUPE BC, whether it’s continuing to promote the Ten Percent Shift, or just helping the new president with the transition.”

The next president will be elected by delegates to CUPE BC’s 50th Anniversary Convention in Victoria, April 10-13, 2013.

For more information, please contact:  

Clay Suddaby
CUPE National Communications Representative
Cell: 604-313-1138
Email: csuddaby@cupe.ca
 Twitter: @CupeBCNews