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We must take back the balance of power over our health and safety so that we have the final say over whether or not our work is safe. Committees must be strengthened at the local level and at the workplace level and become places where the employers agenda is resisted. While the law limits committees to making recommendations, we can push for change by re-politicizing the role of our members on committees.

CUPE will:

  • Support CUPE local unions to create or strengthen health and safety representative positions, reporting to the executive and the membership.
  • Support every local to have an active local union health and safety committee.
  • Ensure that all CUPE Divisions have active health and safety committees.
  • Insist on active workplace joint health and safety committees.
  • Support locals to develop closer links with their health and safety activists, so that they see themselves as part of the union.
  • Demand that CUPE members on committees become advocates for the rights of workers, and represent CUPEs positions on basic workers rights.
  • Encourage health and safety committees to take part in equality training courses.
  • Work with local unions to insist that representatives on joint health and safety committees be accountable to locals through regular reporting.
  • Push for joint committees to have the power to make decisions and not just recommendations to management.
  • Fight to ensure committees are not co-opted by employers as a way to weaken the union or threaten solidarity.