President’s Report: Thanksgiving, October 2022

Sisters and Brothers, Friends, Partners:

I wanted to take a moment and thank you for the dedication and hard work that you continuously provide for our Local and for the work you do in our community.

Without your support and dedication to this Local we never would have been where we are right now.

We have consistently had quorums. We have new, active, and productive committees to make us better. Thank you to everyone who is working so hard on those great committees, you are so appreciated. I especially want to thank all the members who are newly involved and stepping up for committees. We couldn’t do all of this without you.

We are building stronger relationships with our employers so that they respect the work we do and treat us accordingly. We are strengthening our relationships with our members, and that is growing daily.

We have more Shop Stewards, and Rank and File members on our committees.

We have more grievances and solution-seeking meetings than ever before.

We have members seeking treatment.

We have a wonderful space to work-in and gather.

We are starting to get member information organized and updated.

We have our finances being overseen meticulously and we have complete transparency.

We have had Strategic Planning, training, conferences and have achieved an amazing bargaining results in the NVSD thus far, and will execute the same strategic focus on the upcoming municipal negotiations for our other units.

We have strengthened our relationships within our executive. We have a supported and worked alongside other reps, office staff and officers. We are seeking solutions and doing this together.

We are having members stay for entire meetings.

We have had to upgrade our ZOOM to allow more members the ability to attend.

We have a new website.

We have a new vision.

We have so many members calling, coming into the office, emailing, saying thank you and supporting each other.

We have had many interactions with Mayors, Counsellors, Trustees, visits to so many units from them inviting me to visit, participate and build stronger relations. This has also been valuable to meet and speak with so many members.

I am probably forgetting many things we can all be thankful for, but I wanted to name a few of the things we have accomplished over the last 9 months!  We have done so much!

I am grateful and honoured to be your President.

I am also thankful I’m still standing! 😬

I want to wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving.

 

Warm regards,

 

Yvette Mercier,

President, CUPE 389

CUPE Local 389 In Solidarity with People of Iran

At the September 26, 2022 Regular Membership Meeting, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 389 (North Shore) unanimously passed a motion by one of its Unit Representatives, Amir Bagheri, to condemn the brutal oppression the Iranian people are facing at the hands of the relgious theocracy imposed on them.

“The motion calls for our provincial and national union family to join us in condemning the inhumane treatment of the Iranian people by calling on the Government of Canada to do what it can to help the people of Iran” said Yvette Mercier, President of CUPE 389. Mercier says that North Vancouver is home to one of the largest Iranian diaspora communities in Canada and her members are very upset by the images of women being arrested, beaten, and unfortunately, even killed, for refusing to wear a mandatory hijab. “Even though this is just a small symbolic act, we wish to add the voices of the 3200 CUPE 389 members who build and maintain our community, care for the most vulnerable and foster young minds through education, to the many voices in Canada and around the world who want the Iranian people to know we care.”

The motion reads:

“We call on CUPE BC and CUPE National on behalf of Local 389 to lobby the Canadian government to call for the Islamic Republic of Iran to stop violence against women and protesters and to recognize the right to peaceful protest against the wearing of the mandatory hijab.

Because: Many Iranian women are forced to wear the hijab by morality police and those who refuse to do so are beaten and arrested. We ask the government of Canada to call on the Iranian regime to stop systemic harassment and repression of women in Iran and to respect and honor human rights and women’s right to peaceful protest against the hijab.”

“We will always defend and protect the rights of our Muslim sisters and brothers in freely exercising their religion, including, if they wish, to wear the hijab. What we are against is the use of violence to force people to conform against their will. We extend our support, solidarity and prayers to all people facing oppression and violence and look forward to a day when the Iranian people will again be free” said Mercier.

CUPE Local 389 is a trade union representing workers at the District of North Vancouver, City of North Vancouver, the North Vancouver Recreation and Culture Commission, Northlands Golf Course, School District #44, Village of Lions Bay, North Vancouver City Public Library, North Vancouver District Public Library, the North Shore Neighbourhood House and at the North Vancouver Museum and Archives.

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Welcome from the President & Message to Members

I have wanted to send a message to all CUPE 389 members since being voted in as President, but it seems time has just flown by. The dust has settled somewhat, so here I go….

Over the last few months, many changes have taken place, new Officers, new Representatives, abundant learning, increase and involvement of many members, a new vision, and actual quorums at our General Membership meetings. This has been an exciting time for all of us, and at times, some bumps and adjustments to all of these changes, as is normal.

I want to firstly thank my amazing Officers and Representatives for the support, knowledge, and dedication they provide not only to me, but to all the many members in which they support on a daily basis. I appreciate the time that they take to ensure that we all our working on common goals to improve our place of work, to ensure fair and respectful treatment in the workplace, to stress to employers that safety trumps everything and keeping our members safe is the law, to ensure our members are recognized as the frontline workers who make our employers look good!

Secondly, I want to take a moment to share my gratitude to every single member that voted for me, emailed me, called me, dropped by to see me, met me for a chat to share support, concerns, frustrations, personal struggles.  I have been absolutely in awe of the level of support, openness that has been shared with me in my time here. I have immensely appreciated those who have shared concerns with how they feel they have not had support, and those who have been kind enough to offer solutions as to how the union can improve.

One of the important areas we are focusing on is financial transparency. Brian Warman, our Secretary Treasurer has taken this head on and is doing a fantastic job. We are looking at ways to increase our ability to have our finances work better for us. We are cutting back on costs, where we can, yet still function effectively. Obviously, with a changeover in presidency, there have been added costs in this transition and we are openly communicating this to our executive and members thoroughly. We hope this helps to build better understanding and trust with the union. We are also ensuring that we are continuing to support causes that our union should be supporting to help our members, community and the greater good of humanity. We hope our members are proud

I meant what I said in my election speech, “I will not own the success nor the failure of this union, that is up to the members.” So many of you have stepped up to help me understand how we can improve. So many have given suggestions that I would have never thought of. So many have shared their struggles and trusted in me and our union to help them. So many have become involved, and we are becoming stronger, more diverse, more of a community within our union. It has now started to become the supportive, encouraging, and collaborative space that I had envisioned when I took over.

My vision has always been more than just a union fighting the employer at every turn when wronged. My vision has been a connectiveness between people working together to make our own lives and those we work with better. To be the best workers and to be recognized as such because there is no denying it. A place to belong. A place to know you are welcome when you need anything. A place where we can feel proud of the collaborative work we have done together and everyone is a part of that, as it shouldn’t just fall on the shoulders of a few people. A place where there is such profound knowledge, ability, and brilliance that is greater than just a few. A place to mourn losses together. A place to celebrate together. A place to socialize together. A work/union family where we know we are a part of something greater than just a job.

Making changes for the better is something I love to do. Affordable housing. Advocacy for youth. Advocacy to stop Violence Against Women. Advocacy for the Underprivileged. Human Rights. Trauma Informed Practice in the workplace by employers and each other. Respectful workplaces no matter your title, as there is no place for hierarchy in excellent leadership.

So much has changed in the world and we all can do better. Together we can do better. Together we will do better. This is my vision for CUPE Local 389. I hope more will join us in these advancements.

I am proud to be your President, and hope that I am doing you all proud in my delivery of the best leadership I can provide to all of you, based on the information you provide me.

 

Warmest regards,

 

Yvette Mercier

President

CUPE Local 389