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BURNABY Member activism is the best way to change the BCSPCA, said acting CUPE BC president Mark Hancock today in clarifying CUPEs position on the current problems rocking the agency.

CUPE has been asking people to bring food to the shelters and to even consider spending time with the animals this giving season while at the same time asking BCSPCA for more accountability, Hancock said.

CUPE BC believes that the public should become actively involved in the provincial organization to elect new board members, he added. Its probably the only way the organization will respond positively to demands for financial and program accountability.

CUPE is not asking for BCSPCA members to abandon ship, Hancock said. Craig Daniel and the current BCSPCA board may want members and employees to shut their mouths about activities that are ripping the organization apart but we know that only an extremely active, supportive and vocal membership will bring about needed change to management inertia.

A CUPE campaign will reach out to people and encourage them to become dues-paying, active members of the society.

The campaign approach was not our first choice, Hancock said. In fact, members presented a report to the board last July proposing to support a joint public education campaign by the BCSPCA to strengthen its municipal and other direct animal-support programs like the animal hospital.

But CUPE members also insisted that the board needed to look at the accounting and charge out practices and to come clean with members by obtaining an official audit, he said.

Hancock refuted recent erroneous statements about wage rates that had been cited by the BCSPCA director. CUPE will publicly defend fair wages and working conditions for employees, the CUPE leader said.

CUPE members are proud to work in the public service and we too demand fair and humane treatment, he noted. Thats something this employer has been losing sight of in recent years. It is also forgetting that unionized staff members donate hundreds of hours of their own time to housing and feeding animals during any given year.

To survive the BCSPCA must change its secretive and insular ways of operating, Hancock said.


Mark Hancock, Acting President, CUPE BC, 604-828-0498