Bruske: CUPE members are fearless

Canadian Labour Congress President Bea Bruske brought greetings to convention on Tuesday afternoon, saluting the determination and bravery of CUPE members over the past 60 years. “It’s really no surprise that CUPE has stood the test of time,” she said. “CUPE members are fearless – you never back down from a fight. The workers of this country owe you a debt of gratitude for your tireless work.”


Bruske said there’s a renewed energy and militancy percolating in the labour movement, and workers from every sector and region in Canada are reclaiming their power and demanding better. “We’re fed up with the status quo, but unions are helping people fight for a better future,” she said.


Bruske saluted the role of labour—especially CUPE activists—in helping elect an NDP majority government in Manitoba earlier this month. She also acknowledged the storms ahead, with right-wing leaders like Pierre Poilievre determined to reverse the labour movement’s progress. Now as much as ever, Bruske said, CUPE members and organized labour must push governments to clamp down on corporate greed and seek worker-centred solutions to challenges in health care, the lack of sustainable jobs, and more.

Today's events


Global Justice Forum

Workers worldwide are facing the challenges of inequality, insecure jobs and privatization. The Global Justice Forum will showcase stories of workers and communities defending their land, rights and public services.

And more...

Find everything that's happening at Convention, and where, with the online schedule.

Convention updates

Anti-racism strategy: building CUPE power

Fighting racism builds a stronger CUPE. That was the message from CUPE Diversity Vice-Presidents Debra Merrier and Aubrey Gonsalves in their progress report on CUPE’s efforts to put the union’s six-year Anti-Racism Strategy into action.


Two years into it, change is happening. Our union has moved forward on the strategy’s 10 goals with a focus on increasing representation of Black, Indigenous and racialized members, developing resources to fight racism at the bargaining table, providing anti-racism education for all members, and collecting data that helps us break down barriers and build a more inclusive union.


The strategy features actions that members and locals can take to challenge systemic racism in their workplace, union and community.


Merrier and Gonsalves celebrated the steps we’ve taken together, highlighting that every member has a role to play in putting the strategy into action over the next four years.

Ensuring workplace health and safety for all

While the COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to workplace health and safety, in terms of both physical and mental health, CUPE met those challenges and continues to be at the forefront of promoting total well-being for all workers.

That was one conclusion from the Health and Safety Forum, where delegates heard updates on the work our union has done in recent years to advance occupational health and safety.
The panel consisted of activists from health care, education, airlines, and social services sectors.


While each sector has its own unique challenges around occupational health and safety, panelists agreed that common themes unite them. All workers deserve safe, healthy work environments free from physical injury, abuse, and psychosocial harm.


Thanks again to panelists Karla Sastaunik, Charline Cormier, Sandra MacDonald, Lee-Anne Lalli, and Jordan Bray-Stone for sharing their experience and knowledge with us. 

Lisa Skeete: Inspiring racial justice warrior

The 2023 Ed Blackman Award goes to Lisa Skeete, an outstanding member of CUPE 4400 who has striven for racial justice all her life and is an integral part of the Black Canadian and Caribbean community.


In university, Lisa was instrumental in creating the Pan African Heritage Program and Caribbean Students Association, advocating for students while challenging university administration on issues like racism, housing, and food insecurity. Since coming to CUPE and serving as a steward, she has fought for better working conditions and against violence in the workplace while acting as a bridge to community organizations seeking equity and inclusion through the Toronto District School Board’s African Heritage Program.


A passionate front-line activist for equity and inclusion within CUPE, Lisa has been a mentor to her peers both on the local 4400 executive and as a CUPE facilitator and ombudsperson.

Haiti: decades of unwavering solidarity

The president of Haiti’s Confederation of Public and Private Sector Workers, Jean Boland Golinsky Fatal, inspired delegates on Tuesday with a speech thanking CUPE for its decades of unwavering solidarity with the Haitian union movement.


Fatal spoke passionately about the importance of public services, especially in developing countries. He described the experiences of countries in the South—including Haiti, where the privatization of public services was painful, and still is today.


Fatal told the story of Haiti’s cement plant, once a state-owned company. Today, the country imports cement and the plant workers are unemployed. Other former state-owned companies that have been privatized face a similar situation.


He also stressed that unions are key to preserving democracy and to protecting and defending the rights of low-income people.

Take action

CUPE has called on the government to prioritize non-market housing solutions by making significant investments in social housing. By ending tax subsidies for REITs and other predatory investment schemes, and reinvesting the hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue in social housing projects, we can ensure an affordable and dignified home for everyone.  


Add your name today to demand housing for people, not profit!