A Major Recommendation To CUPW In 1997 and 2007
I would recommend the election of all national union executives
by universal vote of the membership.
The question that confronts the union now is: Can the membership come up with a better national executive or negotiating
committee than the one in existence? The present one was elected by delegates at a National Convention.
Lets have open competition for the senior positions in the union.
The negotiating committee and national executive should have full accountability to all CUPW members.
We either stand by them or impeach them.
What do you think? Contact me at email@example.com.
CUPW Is More Than The 5% That Attend Union Meetings
For various reasons, most CUPW members are not able to attend union meetings.The members who go to union meetings
are not first-class members with all the others classified as second-class members.
Dues-paying members still have a right to have their concerns heard. Their imput, feedback, and creative ideas
should be encouraged, not discouraged. There are many ways to encourage member imput on shop issues without
going to union meetings. The following are a few suggestions:
- National and local web forums should be created to handle questions, suggestions, or opinions from fellow union
members and executives.
- Questionaires and surveys concerning member's views on important issues should be sent through the mail and/or
placed on a local or national website.
- A policy that any letter witten to an executive should be answered. Local discussion groups should be formed at
work to discuss union issues with or without senior executives being present.
- A 1-800 number should be used for those who are shy about speaking up in front of others and for those without
I believe there is great strength in knowing where the majority is on any given issue. Everyone counts, and every
opinion should be counted. Political parties and news media survey the public often. Why not CUPW?
What Wrong With CUPW?
Over the last 13 years, I've seen local presidents and locals throw their hands up in the air on the National
Executive Board's "Tentative Agreements". Locals appeared like they were being excluded from negotiations and agreements were
being made without consultation of local executives. This has been going on for a long time and many National Conventions
have come and gone without this problem being addressed. There seems to be two unions. One at the national level going one
way and one at the local level going another. This is discord. This is lack of unity. This is weakness. These directional
differences have been going on a long time. You can't have two different unions negotiating with Canada Post. Surely,
at National Conventions, ways could have been suggested to clear up local discord before anything becomes a "tentative deal".
We all know in any negotiating round, the union can only make so many gains before the big hammer of Government gets activated.
negotiations go down to the eleventh hour before a deal is reached. However, the fact still remains that the negotiating committee
decides if more can be achieved from further negotiating and/or a strike.
If the local unions are in communication with
the NEB, they can see progress or not. However, I can't see how they're participating or how local CUPW members are participating.
Is there anyway to give feedback or do a poll on an issue?? No, it doesn't happen in CUPW.
There's no way the locals can
fire the present negotiating committee and get another one. I don't remember any tentative agreement being turned down. If
the National President tells CUPW members that's all they can get from Canada Post, how can we not believe her? From many
years of experience, CPC doesn't negotiated further at a certain point and waits until a government arbitrator decides what's
in the new contract and what isn't. Again, this is a failure to solve these problems in the CUPW constitution and the negotiation
process. The NEB has complete control to accept "tentative agreements" without the approval of a majority of locals. Next,
there's the divided vote from the membership, some agreeing with some locals that we can get more out of further negotiations
and/or a strike and some agreeing with the NEB that we can't. If CUPW is now fighting amongst itself about what can be achieved
and what can't, it's in a weakened state and I wouldn't send conflicted negotiators back to the negotiating table. We can't
really get good deals with CPC or Government arbitration if we're battling with each other. Conflicts must be resolved before
a tentative agreement is reached.
I've waited 13 years for the NEB and locals to resolve these negotiating/solidarity problems.
Nothing has changed. The struggle continues between CUPW members
David Barron, Delivering To His Own Drummer