In his farewell report to convention, National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury asked delegates to continue to carry the CUPE torch high, working toward a brighter and more prosperous future for all CUPE members and their communities across Canada.
“Since the foundation of CUPE, many sets of arms were needed to hold the CUPE torch high,’’ said Fleury. “It was an honour to carry the torch with you for the benefit of our 700,000 members across the country. They are the flame, the inspiration that keeps us moving forward.”
After 10 years in office, Fleury is now retiring. “I am leaving with a deep feeling of pride for what we accomplished together. I thank you all for your trust and support,” said Fleury.
Fleury highlighted several collective achievements over the years, including a stronger and more accessible National Strike Fund, a deeper Defense Fund to support more campaigns and legal fights, the creation of seventy-five new staff positions in all regions, the adoption of a roadmap to pay the benefit obligations to staff, and major technology and property investments.
“We achieved a lot together, but we also suffered a lot individually, and as a union, because of the pandemic that swept our world,” said Fleury. “CUPE has faced unprecedented financial challenges. Fortunately, our union was in good financial shape when the crisis hit, and we still have the resources needed to back the important fights our members take on.”
“I am proud to leave CUPE in a strong financial position. With your help, it will now be my successor’s responsibility to make sure. CUPE National has the resources to offer the services our members count on,” added Fleury.
Emotions were high during the National Secretary-Treasurer’s speech, particularly when he thanked his family for being beside him every step of the way: “I have been away too much, but I am now coming home.”