My name is Leanne Strang. I have been a secretary at the British Columbia Regional Office (BCRO) since July 2010. Prior to that I was a CUPE Local 2254 member for seven years. I was the chief shop steward and the chief negotiator on our bargaining committee for three rounds of bargaining. In 2009, we were locked out for three months. We went to non-binding mediation and achieved a collective agreement with many gains and no concessions. During that process I learned an incredible amount about collective bargaining including the mediation/reconciliation process.
During our lockout I led a group of members that had never been involved in job action before. The key to our success was solid communication which I took responsibility for. I have attended many union courses including collective bargaining, OH&S, shop stewarding, and bullying & harassment in the work place, not mot mention other courses.
I also bring with me many years of activism in the trade union movement in which time I have attended conferences, conventions, rallies and have supported other groups on their picket lines and have a true passion to support working people.
I have heard from many COPE members that the bargaining committee needs representation from other provinces outside of Saskatchewan and the east as we are a national union and need voices from coast to coast. I have also heard from members of their dissatisfaction around the last round of bargaining, most notably around communication with members.
As a result of hearing these concerns, I have three main goals:
1. To work with the COPE 491 bargaining committee to achieve a fair and reasonable collective agreement that contains no concessions.
2. To communicate on a regular basis with COPE 491 members on the progress made in bargaining.
3. To ensure that upon the completion of bargaining, all issues are dealt with in an expedient manner, including timely distribution of retroactive pay.
I would welcome the opportunity to work with our sisters and brothers in COPE 491 and hope that you will consider me in your vote for the bargaining committee.
Leanne Parker Strang