Greetings from Montréal! It is our last day at the 2019 CUPE National Convention and we wanted to send our membership a quick postcard before we head home to Victoria.
For those of you who are unsure about what happens at a CUPE National Convention, here is a quick summary. It is a week-long opportunity for delegates from CUPE locals across Canada and in many different sectors, to come together, learn more about the challenges that are facing other sectors in our union, hear committee reports from the different sectors and debate and vote on constitutional amendments and resolutions.
Our week started on Sunday afternoon, when we registered, received our convention packages (including a voting card and ballots) and participated in the library sector meeting. This was a chance to hear from the CUPE Libraries committee and discuss challenges facing libraries with members from other locals. The committee drew our attention to Resolution No. 150, submitted by CUPE Metro Vancouver District Council (B.C) and Locals 2329 (N.L.) and 1169 (Alta.). This resolution states that “CUPE NATIONAL WILL: Create a national campaign that increases awareness of the important services provided by CUPE library workers in public library boards, schools, and post-secondary education institutions. The campaign will highlight some of the key challenges experienced by CUPE library workers across the country.”
This resolution came to the floor yesterday afternoon, and I am pleased to report that following several eloquent speakers supporting the resolution, it was adopted! This is one example of a resolution that is important to our own sector, which we learned now represents over 22,000 library workers across Canada. Over the past week we have heard from many other sectors and adopted many other constitutional amendments and resolutions (a few have been defeated as well). We have heard how our union is supporting workers across this country and internationally. We are members of Canada’s largest union – now over 700,000 members strong! It was inspiring to hear how CUPE is working to fight for better workplaces, living wages, defending pension plans and health and safety protections. We also had the chance to hear from international labour activists, such as Sara Nelson, the International President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO and Geici Maiara Brig, a union leader from SINTRASEB, Brazil. Our special guest on Wednesday was Jagmeet Singh, leader of the federal NDP party. You can read more about Sara Nelson’s visit here and Geici Maiara Brig’s here.
If members have any questions about this convention, please don’t hesitate to approach or email any member of the delegation – we will be happy to answer your questions. In addition, publications and reports can be found online at cupe.ca. Happy Thanksgiving CUPE Local 410!