The week of October 23rd I attended my second CUPE National Convention with myself and four other CUPE 5101 executive. The convention was held in Quebec City, excited to go to a city that I have never been to. Throughout the week we participated in some CUPE National Convention business by debating resolutions that were put forward, the longer work days while away allowed us to conduct more business working from 9am to 6pm. While at convention we also had time to participate in a Union rally at the Parliament of Quebec, the rally being for all of the CUPE Unions on strike currently in Quebec. In our spare time we also had time for some sightseeing of local attractions, lots to see as Quebec has so much history.
This year’s National Convention was very interesting as I had a different take on this National compared to when I went to National in Montreal. The different take I had is in my new role as a Local President. As local president’s we are very engaged on the outcomes of a lot of things and what we can take back to our locals.
As I write this, we are still on the plane coming home, but looking forward to getting back home. It was a great convention and I look forward to the next convention.
CUPE 5101 President
Quebec City, my first national convention, was an educational and informative experience as to the management and inner processes of Canada’s largest union. Currently membership is 740,000 members which means a lot of different locals in many different sectors . As a result there was a lot of different concerns and issues depending on the sector and the location of the local. Although I am not always onside with all of these concerns and political narratives I found the discussions lively and informative and appreciated the various voices and storylines there in.
Our hotel was located between 1 and 2 km’s away from the convention centre so we had a 20 to 25 minute walk, both to and fro and predominantly uphill in the morning. So on Monday morning I had a bit of a wake up call as to my current fitness level. The good news for me was that by Friday I was able to make it to the convention centre with far greater ease and so that was a very pertinent example as to how quickly one can start to improve their fitness level and also how beneficial stairs are in that process. Quebec City, being one of Canada’s most historic cities allowed us to do some exploring into the “old City” which dates back to the early 1600’s. The weather was good for the most part and all in all it was a great experience and I appreciated the opportunity to see how a national convention runs and the chance to see another region of this vast country
National was very informative, it showed the current state of the Union, where we have been and where we are going. For instance, we are now the largest union in Canada, 740 000 000 strong and growing. Airlines are now joining us as well as hotels and more. Our union has become very divers and multicultural. We are also supporting our young workers now more than ever! I am on the CUPE BC Indigenous committee, and a young worker will be shadowing us to see how wework as a committee. I also learned about resolutions and how to write them. I also learned about how the elections work at the
National level. It was a valuable experience, and I am so thankful to have been able to go. Huy ch q’u Kleeco Kleeco, Marci, Thank you.
Kerra Michel Member Ship Officer (new name)
Over the course of 5 days we were able to discuss needs within our union sectors and our regional areas
as well as learn about different solutions that have been implemented. Some of those workers were the
Ontario K-12 staff that participated in the strike made illegal by Bill 28 which can legislate a contract
onto workers while making it illegal to take job action to secure an equitable contract. They were so
grateful for the National Executives who flew out immediately to be there walking the picket lines with
them and to know that CUPE National would be there for them while they fight for workers rights. We
were able to contribute to the strategic plan that directs the National Executive Board by guiding the
direction their work will go for the next 2 years. Some of these directions include helping locals with
negotiating collective agreement language to protect understaffing through the National Reps support.
Another was to provide more job evaluation and classification training to locals. This committee and the
training for it will improve our strength during bargaining. It is in place to have objective evaluation of
jobs to ensure review of changes that happen in our jobs and that there is fair compensation for the
work being done. I would encourage people to read more about this process and participate in these
surveys as well as consider putting your name forward for involvement in this or another committee in