Our National Executive Board met December 10 – 12, 2019 in Ottawa. These are the highlights of their deliberations and decisions.
The National Executive Board (NEB) observed a minute of silence to reflect upon the loss of members of our CUPE family. Remembered were: Ian Irwin, Local 2359 (workplace fatality); Ted Jager, Local 1505; Debbie Onwu, Local 4731(workplace fatality); Dave Armstrong, Local 3007; Warren St. Peter, Local 2157; Paul St. Cyr, Local 2559; Moreno (Mo) Cerra, Local 1004 (workplace fatality); Lucy Phua, Local 4879; Jenny VanHorne, Local 1858; Robert Gingras, retired staff; Léopold Arseneault, retired staff; Evelyn Wilson, retired staff; Stan Marshall, retired staff; Francis (Alex) Somerville, retired staff; and Douglas O’Halloran, President of UFCW 901 in Alberta.
After five years of membership growth of less than 1% annually, CUPE’s membership grew more substantially over the past two years, with an average of 3.8% in 2018 and 2019. Growth comes from new organizing efforts, successful representation vote campaigns, and growth of existing locals. This year’s budget projections are therefore less cautious than previous forecasts, allowing us to better meet the needs of our growing membership and to continue our fightback against austerity governments.
The NEB was extremely proud to add 20 new permanent positions and 2.5 temporary positions to our staffing complement in the 2020 budget, for a total of 22.5 new positions. It is important to note that the vast majority of our increased revenue will be allocated directly to servicing our members in all regions.
Significant investments were made to support the priorities of our Strategic Directions adopted at the 2019 National Convention, including increased support for member engagement and education, defending the public services our members provide against funding cuts and privatization, and expanding our equality work, among many others.
Canadian Labour Congress
The Board discussed the upcoming convention of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) being held in Vancouver, May 4 to 8, 2020. They are committed to ensuring significant CUPE participation in this year’s convention, and resolved to fight for much-needed changes to the structure and leadership of the CLC. Credentials for the convention will be coordinated through the National President’s Office and more information will be sent to all local unions in January.
Trial Procedure and a new Alternate Process
The Board discussed the new Trial Procedure adopted at National Convention and adopted a new Alternate Process, which members can choose to use as an optional mechanism to resolve complaints of harassment, or discrimination based on prohibited grounds. Both the new Trial Procedure and the Alternate Process come into effect in June 2020. More information, including a call for applicants to serve on regional trial panels, will be coming soon.
The National Executive Board approved 19 cost-share campaign requests totaling $1,519,451.53 and 10 requests for legal and arbitration support, totaling $391,610.16.