Jan 27 through Feb 1 found me in Harrison at the CLC Pacific Region Winter School for Collective Bargaining training. CUPE 391 was fortunate to be able to send all bargaining committee members who are new to the process to this week-long training course. Shenuri and Tamara attended the same week I was there, and it was wonderful to have an opportunity to learn together while getting to know each other better. Greg and Johnathan also attended the course, although on different weeks, and the entire committee is feeling ready to begin the important work of preparation. We held our first meeting last week to discuss timelines and process and will be holding our Strategic Planning for Bargaining workshop with CUPE National very soon.
Winter School is important not only for the wonderful educational opportunities but also for the chance to meet others active in the labour movement. On top of this, there are often opportunities to pitch concepts and articulate concerns to decision makers at the provincial level. The week I attended we had a political panel that included Laird Cronk and Sussanne Skidmore, new president and secretary-treasurer of the BC Federation of Labour (BC Fed), and Hon. Shane Simpson, MLA, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. I took the opportunity to speak with MLA Simpson after the panel about the need for pay equity legislation in BC, why it is an important piece of any poverty reduction strategy, and how it would make a difference to the members of 391.
Feb 4 through 9 was back to the daily business of the local: several grievance meetings both personal and policy, my weekly check-in with the HR Director, and our bi-weekly Chief Librarian meeting. VP Johnathan Dyer joined me for the bi-weekly and we spent some time afterwards debriefing various ongoing issues. I also met with Niall McGrath, Safety Coordinator, to discuss the evolving Occupational Health and Safety Committee and in-house training that is being developed.
As you likely know, CUPE 15 Vancouver Art Gallery workers took labour action on Tuesday morning and have been on the picket line since. I’ve visited the line twice this week to show our support and encourage everyone who can do the same. Keep up to date with news about the strike here.
Let me know if there is something you would like covered in these blog posts by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line President’s Blog; if it’s not something that fits into this format we will look for another way to get the information out. Today I am writing this while watching snow accumulate and hummingbirds take refuge in our covered balcony. It’s looking like commuters may have a tricky time getting around tonight and tomorrow. Stay warm and safe everyone!
Yours in solidarity,
Did you know that Tanya Ferry, Member-at-Large, produces a one pager Labour Line
every week? All issues can be found here and contain links to labour stories from around
the world. The latest one has news from the CUPE 15 Vancouver Art Gallery workers strike.
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