Last August, I was honoured to have been elected as President of CUPE 3906. I have been involved with the work of the local since 2017, first as a member of the Unit 2 Bargaining Team, then as Recording Secretary, then Vice-President, and now President. I would be honoured once again if you would vote for me. I believe I have represented our members well through a very difficult year, and there is still more I would like to accomplish for this local.
This year, the local completed two rounds of contract negotiations with the employer (on behalf of Units 1 & 3), and we are now entering negotiations for Unit 2. With the implementation of Bill 124 and the continued cuts to public services, contract negotiations have proved very difficult for public sector employees. It has been no different for us, but I am proud to say that our local was able to reject concessions to our contracts and were able to secure improvements like paid training for Unit 1 members and significant benefits increases for Unit 3. This would not have been possible without the engagement and support from our members, so thank you all so much for standing with us.
After very nearly going on strike last fall, we have seen an increase in union involvement, leading to the establishment of our organizing committee and a huge expansion to our stewards’ network. My goal is to continue to further this momentum. By doing so, the local will not only be in a better position at the bargaining table but will also be better situated to advocate for causes beyond our workplace.
One of the key duties of the President is to act as staff supervisor. During my time as president, I have supervised our three full-time staff members and one temporary member mobilizer. I also acted as lead negotiator for the contract negotiations our local conducted with staff and their local, CUPE 1281. We have an incredible, dedicated staff who do tremendous work for the local.
2020 has brought an entirely new set of challenges as we all struggle to contend with COVID 19. As a labour union, it the local’s responsibility to protect its members and to help build their power within the workplace. I, the executive team, and staff have been working to ensure that McMaster honours their employment contracts and makes the health and safety of our members their priority. Now more than ever, the value of unions and of solidarity among workers is clear. We need direct, practical support from our employers and our government. We must reject the assumption that profitability takes priority over our well-being, and we must reject any discrimination that is racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or that is based on age, ability, class, language, or religion. As the president of a labour union, I take these imperatives very seriously. I hope you will allow me to continue to take on these responsibilities.