It’s always a privilege to attend a union convention with my 391 colleagues and this year’s CUPEBC Convention is no different…except that I was folding laundry while John Horgan gave the keynote introductory speech because the convention was digital!
Despite being 2D, the camaraderie was strong and the voices heartfelt amongst the 400+ strong delegation. People missed the in-person experience but the multiple group chats over Signal during proceedings created connections that made people happy. And as with this whole pandemic pivot, some of the changes were for the better, such as the streamlined voting process and lack of (needless) ephemera.
Whether new or seasoned, it’s hard for delegates not to be touched by the commitment behind the words shared in the committee reports, farewells to those retiring, dedications to those passed, and, for me especially, those speaking to resolutions. Not because everyone agrees, but because everyone cares enough to be talking. Like a face to a name, a pro or con spoken to a resolution can change your mind. Whether it confirms what you already thought, challenges your beliefs, or opens your mind, being part of convention is always life affirming.
The afternoon started off with the adoption of the CUPE BC Committee Reports, followed by the first two rounds of resolutions for debate. This is my first time at convention, so it was really interesting to see how CUPE BC’s advocacy and actions are directly influenced by members introducing resolutions for debate and (sometimes) adoption. To wrap up this first day of the convention, BC Premier John Horgan and Barb Nederpel, the President of the Hospital Employees’ Union, spoke about their regard for unions and their hopes for post-pandemic life.
Your 391 CUPE BC Convention Delegates
Julian Key (alt)