Listing the commitments and resolutions passed at the 2016 convention, Roberts outlined progress made on behalf of Alberta’s working people.
“Looking back at last year’s convention – you passed a policy paper that was remarkably far sighted about how Alberta needed to weather the low price of oil,” said Roberts. “You told us to lobby the Alberta government to invest in public infrastructure. We did, and the NDP listened.”
“You told us to fight poverty by advocating for a higher minimum wage, and school lunch programs. We took those concerns to the NDP and they are acting on them.”
Roberts praised delegates for calling at last year’s convention for greener jobs, diversification of the economy, better pension protection for workers, continued fights against privatization, and stronger action to fight poverty.
“You told us to act, and we acted.”
Roberts was particularly pleased that efforts by CUPE Alberta and Friends of Medicare to stop the sale of plasma for commercial use. The Alberta government this week introduced legislation banning that practice.”
“We are making a difference.”
Roberts said 2017 would be a year of challenges for CUPE, starting with local elections in the fall.
“We know what it’s like working with friendly governments, and we know what it’s like working with hostile ones. I’ve done both, and let me tell you – I prefer the friendly ones every single time,” said Roberts.
“Friendly governments don’t just happen. We need to put our money, our brain power, our training, our energy and our votes behind the candidates that share our values.”