Convention 2017: Moving forward together

Posted by CUPE National:

 

Last week at our National Convention in Toronto, 2,200 delegates engaged in debates around our union’s priorities, policies and structure. Working together, much was accomplished. Here are some of the key decisions that were made.

Strike Pay

Delegates approved a resolution to begin pay for eligible members of striking locals on the first day of a strike, instead of the fifth, as is currently the case. This move will strengthen the position of locals who encounter obstinate and unreasonable demands from employers at the bargaining table. This change to strike pay is effective immediately.

Coupled with the union’s renewed bargaining policy, which rejects all attempts by employers to force concessions and two-tier proposals on workers, we now have a full set of tools to take on bargaining in a climate of aggressive austerity.

Strategic Directions

Delegates also adopted CUPE’s Strategic Directions, which establishes the union’s priorities for the next two years. The plan sets out how we will make gains in our workplaces and communities, fight racism and discrimination in all its forms, defend public services, and advocate for a better country and world.

Task Force on Governance

Delegates approved a resolution to create a Task Force on Governance which will review the structure of our union as laid out in the constitution. Our governance structure has not changed significantly since our inception as a union in 1963, despite the substantial growth and changes in our membership in the intervening 54 years, and this assessment is long overdue.

The task force will look at the current and historic composition of our leadership, the role and responsibility of the positions that make up the National Executive Board, and the structure of our chartered organizations as well as that of other labour organizations. The task force will make recommendations to the National Executive Board by March 2019, and the NEB will submit any constitutional amendments necessary to the 2019 National Convention.

Nesrine Malik “Where we are today, how we got here and how we can make it better”

Silence Breeds Racism

Self-congratulatory complacency about rising hate is a serious problem that can lead to more “alt-right” disasters in the wake of the Brexit vote in Great Britain, the rise of Donald Trump, and rejuvenated white supremacist groups everywhere, guest speaker Nesrine Malik told delegates on Tuesday.
In a hard-hitting speech that urged delegates to look inward, the popular Guardian columnist called on union activists and other progressives to take more responsibility in combatting xenophobic racism, Islamophobia, and anti-immigrant bigotry. Otherwise, she warned, we’ll see more outcomes like Brexit/Trump.

“Such events could not possibly have snuck up on us,” said Malik. “We were not victims, we were accomplices. We tend to think that people carrying tiki torches got all their influence from right-wing sources. But they’re also empowered by our general silence: those who are not affected by these events dismiss the bigots to the fringes.”

Malik challenged delegates to subject themselves to what she called The Dinner Table Test: how normalized has a previously shocking thing become, she asked, when people no longer flinch at it?

“The next time you hear a bad comment, don’t just roll your eyes or let it pass,” she said. “The trick is to look at someone who is different from you and understand that it is in your interest to protect them.”

“alt-right” disasters in the wake of the Brexit vote in Great Britain, the rise of Donald Trump, and rejuvenated white supremacist groups everywhere, guest speaker Nesrine Malik told delegates on Tuesday.

To watch this inspirational keynote speaker speak at CUPE National Convnetion, a link has been provided below.

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