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UPDATE: CUPE’s 2009-2011 program of action

Last night, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) released their ‘unified program of action’ at their convention in Montreal.

As you may know, we have staff and chapter activists present at this convention.

Highlights for us include:

1.”Green Job Creation is an essential component of the recovery and CUPE will develop tools and materials to lobby for an investment of $500 million which will generate at least 50,000 new green collar jobs; We will strengthen our capacity to lobby governments to take more aggressive actions to meet Kyoto and other environmental targets as may be established at the UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen in December 2009. CUPE will be present in Copenhagen to work with our international allies to ensure that strong environmental targets are established such that they are consistent with scientific evidence on the requirements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

2. “CUPE will advance and lobby for local purchasing policies which are environmentally friendly and strengthen local economies. This work will dovetail with our ongoing work to ensure trade policies are fair and harm neither workers’ rights nor the environment.”

3. “CUPE will develop a coordinated approach to our water work which incorporates our environmental objectives and links then to other areas such as anti-privatization, aboriginal issues, and health. We will begin this work by co-sponsoring and participating in Blue Summit in November 2009. Blue Summit is a celebration of 10 years of water watch work within CUPE and other community organizations such as the Council of Canadians; As part of CUPE’s overall water policy, we will lobby the federal government to provide the necessary funding and make the necessary changes to ensure water potable supplies to (Aboriginal) communities.”

4. “CUPE will develop and implement a coordinated approach linking our international work to our domestic work on water. We will continue to strengthen our work with coalitions and labour allies around the world.”

5. “CUPE will call on the CLC to convene an economic summit with representatives from labour, government, business and community organizations, to develop effective strategies for an alternative economy that will avoid the boom and bust policies that caused the current economic crisis.”

It is also worth noting that, “CUPE will support the CLC in their call to convene a national summit on pensions involving the relevant stakeholders including government, business, labour and community organizations.”

CUPE is a very important partner for the Council of Canadians and we look forward to continuing to work in solidarity with them on national, provincial, and local political priorities.

The 30- page document is at http://cupe.ca/updir/Strategic_Directions_eng.pdf.