It’s often the busiest weeks that seem to go by the fastest; convention is no exception! Our delegates left convention feeling pumped up and energized, having accomplished a lot of work that will pave the way forward for our union.
A new budget
Having lost 4,000 members in the last three years, our union was able to considerably tighten its belt while still delivering on its commitments. Despite a shortfall in revenue of almost $2M in the last three years, we were nonetheless projecting to break even or have a slight surplus over that period.
During convention, our delegates had to make some tough choices regarding the budget. In the end, they approved a budget that took into account our loss of membership without reducing any of the services we provide.
More information about the new budget will come shortly.
A new position: National Advisor for Parks Canada
This convention, delegates considered an emergency resolution to create a National Advisor position
When the National Executive met last May, we were informed that Parks Canada was open to the possibility of having a union representative deal with national issues on a full-time basis.
While the agency would continue to pay this person’s salary and benefits, he or she would nonetheless answer to the UNE national president.
The creation of this position was approved by convention. Eddie Kennedy was later elected by acclamation to the position of National Advisor for Parks Canada.
To find out more about the new position, please consult this article.
Delegate entitlement formula stays the same
Our delegates voted to keep the existing formula that governs the allocation of convention delegates.
Term limits to stay the same
Delegates were once again presented with a resolution asking them to reconsider our term limits, which prevent national and regional elected officers from serving more than two consecutive terms in the same position. Delegates voted to keep the term limits intact.
Equipping members with the tools they need
Convention delegates also put their stamp of approval on a resolution asking the UNE to develop a tool kit for each local executive position. The kit would include fact sheets on common grievance issues, education material and printable posters, among others.
Three UNE powerhouses awarded life memberships
During convention, we took the time to recognize the important contributions of some of our most dedicated members. Garry Larouche, Heather Brooker and Steve Houston all received life memberships during convention, to rousing applauds.
You can find out more about this story by consulting the third edition of our convention newsletter.
One full day of elections
After a full day of elections, we elected five national positions, countless regional positions and our delegates to the 2015 PSAC convention in Quebec City.
You can find the results of all these elections by consulting this article.
Over $5,000 raised for the Highlands Links
Some of you may remember a 2012 campaign we launched to keep the Highlands Links, a golf course managed by Parks Canada in Cape Breton, from being privatized. Well, just two years later, the government is back at its old shenanigans.
Like most public golf courses, the Highlands Links provides affordable access a sport that is notoriously expensive.
After the National Executive allocated $3,500 from non-recurring membership services to fight back with PSAC, members stepped up to the plate to raise even more money to combat privatization.
By convention’s end, more than $5,000 was pledged to keep this golf course accessible and affordable.
An encore performance by Piano Dan
Those who attended last year’s human rights conference may remember a jaw-dropping performance by Piano Dan (…also known as Daniel Toutant, assistant national vice-president for human rights), who used his musical talents to help raise funds to end violence against our aboriginal sisters.
Toutant once again lent his talents for this great cause during convention, raising over $250 for the Native Women’s Association of Canada.
Giving back to the local community
On the last day of convention, a few members of Local 70130 decided they could do something to help the homeless and the hungry in Victoria. Safia Haji-Dayib, Darrel Klerks, Jay Lamothe and Shaun Levesque used leftover food from their hospitality suite – food that was bound to go to waste – to make extra special lunches.
“We made an assembly line and started making sandwiches,” explained Haji-Dayib. “We added a few extra things like dried fruit, cookies and something to drink. Once it was all gone, we went around downtown handing out food.”
Haji-Dayib said it wasn’t long before they were out of food.
“There are a lot of people in need. And if we could do a little to help, it was worth it.”