In 2015, we have worked hard to manage CUPE’s finances and the results have paid off. As a result of our solid financial foundation, we were able to strengthen the National Strike and Defence Funds for the benefit of our members.
Our National Strike Fund is now over $80 million and we have the resources to continue to support each and every CUPE member who walks the picket line. However, having enough money in the National Defence Fund to support all the cost-shared campaigns has been an annual budgetary challenge.
To fix this problem, the National Executive Board (NEB) proposed that we change the “split” between our National Strike Fund and National Defence Fund. The delegates at the last National Convention approved this change. From now on five per cent of per capita revenues will go into each fund so that there are more resources available for campaigns, organizing and Strategic Directions priorities. Previously six per cent went into the Strike Fund and four per cent went to the Defence Fund.
The Strike Fund has also been improved. The NEB approved changes to our regulations to allow for more flexibility in picket line schedules for members who work part-time and precarious hours. In addition, CUPE National will now reimburse 100 per cent of arbitration fees for locals who do not have the rightto strike.
In early 2016, a task force will start reviewing all aspects of the Strike Fund including: strike pay waiting period, the amount of weekly strike pay, and determination of strike related duties and activities.
Members from locals across the country will be part of this task force. As the Chair of the task force I will report back to the NEB no later than September 2016.
Our Strike Fund and our Defence Fund give us power as a union. By reinforcing both funds, we have ensured that our members have the ability to cope with the many challenges they face in the years to come.
Happy New Year, brothers and sisters.