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.
CUPE Local 389