Fiona Brady Lenfesty, CUPE 3338, Vice president’s Report on the CUPE National 50th Annual Convention held in Quebec City on October 21-25th 2013.
“In October 2013 I, along with Unit 3 member Craig Pavelich, had the privilege to attend the CUPE 2013 National convention, held in Quebec City, QC. This convention marked the 50th anniversary of CUPE and was an opportunity to celebrate CUPE’s achievements over the last five decades, and to showcase, by a series of videos, the union’s rise to Canada’s largest union. The convention was an impressive event, attended by a new record of 2,182 delegates from various locals, district councils, councils of unions, and provincial divisions across Canada.
The focus of this convention was setting an agenda for fairness. The “Unite for Fairness” campaign is a project that will help locals to reorient how they can work together and strengthen ties with all fellow union members (for more information about this project, check out: UNITEFORFAIRNESS.CA).
As this was my first time attending a National Convention I was not quite sure what to expect. Much of my time was spent on the convention floor listening to members debate many key issues and resolutions, and attending very interesting “working group” discussions and/or forums, which focused on specific sector issues or general issues of concern. Some of these groups/forums were: the Post-Secondary working group, the Library working group, and discussion groups that focused on pension issues, communication strategies and issues, equality, global justice, and young workers, to mention but a few.
Some of the keynote speakers included: CUPE National President Paul Moist, National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury, and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair. Other guest speakers included Canadian Labour Congress President Ken Georgetti and Public Services International secretary Rosa Pavanelli.
Convention delegates also participated in a lunch-hour rally in support of the Quebec City blue collar workers who had been working without a contract for nearly 3 years. It was an impressive march of support from the Convention Centre to a large gathering in the front of the National Assembly. “An attack on one is an attack on all!”
For full convention news, photos and videos visit CUPE50.CA“