In an almost unanimous show of support, delegates to the 23rd CUPE national convention passed the Strategic Directions Program for 2007-2009.
“Along with the debate on the floor, we received dozens of submissions and revised the earlier draft accordingly,” said Dharham Boodhoo, a member of the Strategic Directions Committee. Immediately following convention, specific actions and implementation will begin.
The plan sets out three strategic priorities. Strategic Direction 1, the CUPE Fightback Campaign, calls for a multi-million dollar commitment over and above normal cost-shares and related political activity. The aim is to effectively mobilize and bring together research, education, communication and organizing expertise to respond to both breaking events and ongoing privatization threats.
This direction calls for specific focus on fighting back against bad trade deals, building strong communities by promoting public services and influencing public policy through political action.
The second priority is to strengthen bargaining power and achieve equality. This section sets out targets for a minimum wage of $15 per hour and a pension plan for all CUPE members by 2013. It calls for extended health benefits and puts a priority on job evaluation and pay equity, lobbying the federal government to conclude Aboriginal land claims in an expeditious manner, and additional tools to educate and lobby on rights for persons with disabilities. It addresses the need to strengthen the participation of women within CUPE’s structures and support women to achieve measurable gains at the bargaining table and on issues of social policy.
The third strategic direction is to meet global green targets and build global solidarity. The plan calls for a policy and action plan on climate change and global warming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It will provide actions that CUPE members and locals can take to effect positive change in our homes, workplaces and communities. An energy plan will also be developed.
Privatization has an international face and the document commits to a two-year plan to continue the international struggle to maintain and promote public services around the globe.