“How do we achieve real gains in bargaining, especially in a climate of austerity?” asked CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury in his address to CUPE Alberta delegates.
“We do it by strengthening and expanding our membership.”
Fleury told delegates that CUPE’s 2014 budget is targeted to support these priorities. Through a new sector council aimed at strengthening our bargaining power and through the ‘Unite for Fairness’ project, Fleury says CUPE will engage members and strengthen the union.
Fleury said funding key priorities were essential, even while revenues are lower than recent years. The tough bargaining climate, the growth in casual and part time members and the retirement of long serving members (with the influx of new members on lower wage scales) all contribute to slower revenue growth.
Fleury encouraged delegates to get active – not just to rely on news releases and advertisements to get our message out and emphasized our need to strengthen our power at the bargaining table.
“Our leaders and activists are in this room. It’s you,” said Fleury.
Fleury also took aim at the federal Conservative government. “If we’re going to give Stephen Harper the boot, we need to talk to members about how the kind of government we have connects to the kind of working life we have,” he said. “We need to motivate members to carry the conversation home, to their clubs and meeting places. We must get them to vote for a pro-worker, pro-public service government.”
Fleury also outlined specific supports to Alberta, including more than $200,000 in contributions to cost-shared campaigns and support to CUPE Alberta for anti-privatization fights like the Edmonton LRT, the ‘Kids Not Cuts’ campaign, and the AFL’s ‘Better Way Alberta’ campaign, as well as support to the Parkland Institute and Public Interest Alberta.
Contact: Lou Arab