In the last year, weve accomplished a lot as a union. We have fought hard at the bargaining table and on picket lines to stop concessions and win good collective agreements. We stopped the privatization of Ontario Hydro. Weve campaigned against contracting out and privatization in dozens of communities. We played a major role in the success of municipal election campaigns in BC. We were central to the success of the Public Services International Congress in September, where we put in place a global campaign to preserve quality public services. Weve implemented several convention decisions, including a new National Defence Fund, a Strike Fund, and a Task Force on Delegate Entitlement. And much much more.
We also have some major pieces of work to tackle between now and the next convention. Our medicare campaign must swing into high gear, focused now on getting action on Roy Romanows recommendations. Were organizing a national health care conference in conjunction with the Peoples Summit on Health Care in February in Ottawa.
In March, were holding CUPEs second national conference on privatization in Toronto, where members will learn about new trends like Public Private Partnerships (P3s), competitive bidding, and alternative service delivery, and effective ways of fighting back, like contracting in. Our last conference on privatization was in 1987.
Plans are underway for the launching of our new national leadership education program, as outlined in the policy paper on union education adopted at the last convention.
In 2003, well be mobilizing members to get involved in as many as 7 provincial elections (Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland) and municipal elections in 4 provinces PEI, New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan.
And this is the year CUPE turns 40! The Quebec City convention will be a chance to remember where weve come from, celebrate our accomplishments, and set the direction for the union for our next 40 years!