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Since my last report we have continued to make progress in the area of Technology. The Strategic plan, adopted at the September NEB meeting, continues to serve as the blueprint for CUPEs technology initiatives.

The selection of a new financial software package to replace Oracle continues to move toward finalization. At this time the IT Steering Committee has narrowed the selection down to two Great Plains and Solomon, which are both products now owned by Microsoft Business Solutions. Once the Committee makes its final recommendation, the tendering process to determine the company or companies that supply and implement the installation will begin early in the New Year. The selection process has taken more time than we originally foresaw, but it is very important that the appropriate time be taken to ensure that there is no repeat of our negative past experience.

The Local Union Information System (LUIS) database project remains on track for initial release in the first quarter of 2003. When complete, this system will contain a wealth of information regarding our local unions, and will be the heart of many systems that draw information from LUIS. The new Job Evaluation system is currently in the user-testing phase, and the Technology Analyst assigned to develop that project has begun initial analysis of the Collective Agreement Information System (CAIS) project.

Work on redeveloping CUPEs web site has begun! After the appropriate tendering process, a contract was signed with OpenConcepts Consulting of Ottawa. As outlined in the IT Purchasing Policy section of our Strategic Plan, this contract came out of a tendering process and included CUPE-specified terms and conditions such as holdbacks and guarantees.

Technology staff have rolled-out a new Helpdesk internal web page accessible to all of CUPEs staff at http://helpdesk.cupe.ca. This page contains informative features such as frequently asked questions or FAQs, and links to topics such as e-mail spam, hoaxes and viruses. Also accessible through this portal are download links to useful applications such as Adobe Reader, Avery Labels for Word & Winzip.

We have also now fully implemented our Helpdesk software at National, allowing us to track technical problems and resolutions. To date weve entered and resolved over 600 calls! The next step with this product is to link it to the outside supplier of Helpdesk services to capture and track helpdesk calls from the Regions.

Very recently we have implemented software and processes to reduce the amount of unsolicited e-mail or spam experienced by staff across the country. This junk e-mail results in wasted time and is often of an offensive nature. The new software intercepts most of this spam before it gets to the users mailbox.