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Winnipeg - CUPE members were excited to welcome CUPE National President, Brother Mark Hancock to Winnipeg during his first official visit to Manitoba.

“We are proud to welcome Brother Mark to Manitoba,” said Sister Kelly Moist, President of CUPE Manitoba “we know he shares our values, and he is committed to working with us to improve the lives of working families province-wide”.

Health care members from across the province met on January 12th and 13th, to debate and discuss how to strengthen the health care sector in Manitoba. Members voted on a new structure for CUPE Manitoba Provincial Health Care Council with a focus on increasing membership engagement with their union.

“In CUPE our activists are engaged at every level of the organization, from walking the picket lines to debating bylaws” said Sister Moist “we’re pleased that Brother Mark came to share in our conversations and debates that will help continue building our great union”. 

Brother Hancock also discussed the nation-wide challenges faced by health care members across Canada.

“Ontario has had eight consecutive years of real cuts to base hospital funding under Liberal governments,” explained Brother Hancock.

“Over in Saskatchewan, Premier Brad Wall seems determined to lead the way on health care privatization, and in my home province of BC, we’ve been fighting with Liberal governments on the health care front since 2002, when they passed legislation that tore up collective agreements – illegally.”

“Brothers and sisters, sometimes our tasks as union leaders seem daunting,” he said “our advantage is that we know we don’t have to change the world by ourselves”.

From coast to coast CUPE members are mobilizing to build a strong public health care system for all Canadians, and are pushing back against privatization, contracting out, and anti-worker legislation.

Brother Hancock highlighted the important role members in Manitoba play in that national fight.

“Together we can build an unstoppable movement”.

Brother Hancock also delivered thanks on behalf of CUPE at the retirement of Brother Mike Davidson, former President of CUPE Local 500, representing Winnipeg’s municipal workers. Brother Davidson sat on the National Executive Board for many years.

“Brother Davidson has provided invaluable service to members here in Manitoba and across Canada” said Brother Hancock. “We wish him the best on his retirement, and we thank him for his years of dedication and commitment to our great union”.