PRESIDENTS MESSAGE – June, 2013
Dear Brothers and Sisters
This reporting period has again been a very busy one for our Local on both the Local Issues and the legislative front.
Our Local is making great strides in moving us forward, through communication, education and information. We are seeing better turnouts in all Regions, and continue to hear from our members. Relationships created with our employer CUPE are allowing for proper practice and implementation of our collective agreement. They are aware that it is easier to speak to us before implementing policy, and that we will raise any question where we feel needed to ensure and continue our representative of our members.
Since my last report many things have occurred. I attended with Ontario RVP’s COPE Ontario’s Annual General Meeting, COPE Ontario Executive Board Meeting, and CUPE NEB meetings. In April we had our bi-annual face to face Executive Meeting in Moncton, NB, where as is practice invited our members from the Atlantic and Maritime Regions. The turnout was great and it was nice to meet new faces. The Executive looks forward to continuing to meet our members at their Regional meetings.
As we all know there are legislative changes occurring all over the country. As we are employed by CUPE it can affect our work and personal lives.
In mid December parliament adopted Bill C-377, which places significant costs on all unions in terms of financial reporting requirements. C-377 is not law until it is passed by the Senate, where lobbying is currently being done by all Unions. We see USA legislation being pushed by some of our government members. This includes the Canadian version of “Right to Work”, and the RAND formula legislated in the 1940’s.
This bill would have drastic effects on CUPE’s finances, thus our jobs. It is time for us to prove importance in the work place. We all need to be aware of these situations and make sure we are doing the work of our bargaining unit.
Our brothers at Porter Airlines (Toronto) are still on strike trying to seek their first collective agreement. Union support in general has been overwhelming and continues to give support and allow these members to fight for their right to a fare wage, good working conditions, and benefits. I was very proud and pleased to provide COPE343 a donation of $2,000 ratified by our members.
We continue the discussion and negotiate with CSU and CUPE as we are all settlers. As we are aware our CEPP is currently in a Solvency Deficiency. We are working together and with FSCO to seek exemption. This will be a long process and may continue into negotiations. I will keep everyone posted moving forward. A “Working Group” has been created with actuarial representatives from each party. Their mandate is to report to the Settlers with a process on seeking Solvency. It should also be noted that at no time will JSPP be discussed. Meaning there will be no Joint Responsibility for any Solvency Deficiencies.
When first became President of our Local, it was evident from members that they had concerns with outstanding job postings and the lack of posting positions on time. I am very please to say that we currently have not outstanding postings in accordance with our collective agreement. The practice of raising our concerns or asking the question to CUPE proved sufficient for this process and I will continue moving forward.
As we are all aware, Member’s retirements now are recognized on behalf of the President to all members. The positive feedback from Retirees and current members continue to flow in, and is creating a connection member to member throughout the country. We are proud of our members and their accomplishments during their career.
Elections for our Negotiating Committee will commence soon, and will adhere to our bylaws. Our current collective agreement expires December 31, 2013 and there is a lot of work to be done to prepare for this. More information and process will be distributed to members.
I look forward to the rest of my term as President and working with you all and the employer to achieving the goals set out for our Local.
Canadian Office and Professional Employees