CUPE BC Convention Reflections – Day 2

Liza Saayman

Day 2 of convention seemed to fly by. After lunch we heard from CUPE National Secretary Treasurer Charles Fleury who reminded us that we are all stronger together, and assured us of the steadfast support for each local from CUPE National. Then the chair of the Constitutional Resolutions Committee presented 5 constitutional resolutions, which all passed with more than the required two-thirds majority. There was a report from the Convention Task Force committee, which was struck in 2019 to review the effectiveness of CUPE BC Convention. It was a very fulsome report, which included feedback from a member survey and outlined a number of recommendations. It was clear that this committee had worked really hard, and will continue to do so, with final recommendations to come at Convention 2022.

Jagmeet Singh was in the house! Kind of literally because I was watching him from my house. He thanked all CUPE members for our hard work and dedication to our communities over the last year. He highlighted the importance of a responsive Federal Government and the need for real support for working people in Canada. I had the opportunity to be part of the Pink Triangle caucus where we elected the Diversity Vice-President to represent 2SLGBTQ+ members on the Executive Board.

We all miss being able to be together in person. The lack of in-person connection is somewhat eased by connecting with each other on chat groups on Signal. We have one for our 391 delegation, and we’re also in a group with other Metro Vancouver locals. It is heartening to have discussions, share jokes and voice support for speakers in this forum. I am feeling motivated for the year ahead with our local’s new 2021/2022 Executive Committee.

Thank you for the opportunity to attend Convention 2021.


Justin French

This is my first time attending a CUPE convention.  The online format has been easy to interact with but I think I have really missed out not being in the same room as all the folks on my Zoom screen.   After listening to the speakers I know I’m not alone.  We are still having amazing conversations on Zoom about the complex issues we are voting on but making new friends is tough.  I am looking forward to seeing everyone next year if I can attend.


Gary Jarvis

The solidarity at this 2021 CUPE BC Convention is really quite something given the fact that the event is taking place online. Our Local 391 is using the app Signal to chat and act in solidarity. For instance when Kari and Johnathan spoke at the microphone to all of the delegates at convention we sent emojis such as ❤and 👍 to encourage and thank them for their words. Johnathan gave a heartfelt and eloquent account of his growth as a union activist as he spoke in favour of a resolution to support young workers in their role with the union.
We’ve started an unofficial Kari count. Kari made it to a mic to speak to delegates three times yesterday. Wendy commented in Signal that “Kari is doing us proud!” Kari continues to advocate for all of us. Thanks Kari!
Time for a Gary nerd moment as I get a kick out of the tech. There are feedback loops and random noise moments like tweeting birds and dog barks as our sisters and brothers across the province grapple with the online tech. Fun.
Thank you to to all of our delegation Justin, Eleonore, Liza, Julian, Kari and Johnathan for the educational moments in our zoom calls. I feel totally supported to ask questions to clarify points and seek information.
Day 3 coming up and elections!!!