Is it always the case that discussions around strategic planning and policy development are rather dull affairs best avoided?!? Not when you’re talking CUPE! And especially not when CUPE 391 President Alex Youngberg is speaking at the microphone on this matter. Day 4 commenced with the 2,084 delegates (convention has grown since the first day) debating the future of our union. The focus of the debate was on “defending free collective bargaining, and resisting concessions”. Alex made a plea to enhance education for both locals and the broader communities as this is the only way that we can truly make lasting advances. CUPE’s policy paper will be discussed each morning of the convention.
HOORAY! President Paul Moist and Secretary Treasurer Claude Genereux were both re-elected to their respective positions. Brother Claude has done a tremendous job securing the finances of the national union allowing for campaigns to be waged, and enabling a level of security for the membership. Brother Paul has been a solid and passionate leader for the organization for the past 6 years continually building the union, and always putting the rights of workers first. We’re extremely fortunate to have two dynamic leaders steering the ship for the next two years.
First Nation Rights
Convention delegates were spellbound by guest speaker Michele Rouleau. She spoke to the issues surrounding Aboriginal and First Nations rights and practices. It does give one pause to think about the history of our country and how we have collectively dealt (or not dealt) with the broad social implications of colonization. Said Sister Rouleau, “We cannot live in indifference being different from one another”. There will be further discussions on First Nations issues over the next couple of days.
Supporting CUPE Local 301
It wouldn’t be convention without a rally! Today we stormed through the streets of Montreal ending up at the steps of City Hall where we joined the picket line of CUPE Local 301 – the “blue collar workers”. Inder and Alex were not able to join Mark, Ed and Peter as they were in rehearsal (details on this mystery entry Friday). Incredible turn out of delegates, and passionate speaches. I know our members remember well what it was like when we received guests on our line, and the Montreal delegates were in awe of the unconditional support of CUPE.
This afternoon we heard from the Environment Committee, the Pension Committee, the Health & Safety Committee and the Political Action Committee. Yes we’re in good hands. And yes, it is extremely important for you to follow with all the issues. Here’s some quick questions for you to consider:
Does your worksite have a recycling practive?
Do you have a pension?
If there was an injury at your worksite right now, do you know the immediate steps to take?
Did you vote in the last election?
If you answered “no”, or “I don’t know” to any of the above questions, you may want to sign up for some CUPE educational courses.
And the other stuff
Constitutional amendments, more resolutions, a CUPE BC/HEU/CUPE Alberta social, networking and gosh darn, the day is done.
thanks for checking in again! more tomorrow
for the 391 convention crew