Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Does the CUPE rank and file support the 2010 project?

Unions are (largely) democratic organizations. As such, the rank-and-file membership are important in both setting and prioritizing the union's goals.

There is evidence that rank-and-file union members do not consider coordinated bargaining to be an important issue. It's rare to see a pro-union commenter on any of the strike discussion boards pushing the 2010 issue; more often, these commenters are discussing wages, benefits, and job security. Here are two examples, but there are many others.

Which makes this post very interesting. It's by "Jesse Payne", who identifies himself as a CUPE staff member, and was posted to the main "Support CUPE 3903" Facebook group, among other places. In the opening paragraph, he says:
I've been very lucky to take part in some interesting discussions with members on picket lines, in pubs and after GMMs about the many groundbreaking CUPE 3903 proposals, and about whether staying firm on the two-year contract and coordinated bargaining is necessary, beneficial or detrimental to struggle for fair wages, indexation, job security and employment equity.
The remainder of the post is a pep talk about staying strong and not giving up the fight. However, two things caught my interest: first, that the two-year contract is a matter of discussion among rank-and-filers; and second, that a CUPE staff member felt concerned enough about the members' resolve to write a fairly long motivational speech, and post it wherever they might read it.

I would be very interested to hear from CUPE rank-and-file members to hear what they think. Contact me at -- all tips are anonymous unless you specify otherwise. Or leave an anonymous comment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No. Most of us don't care, and the official list of bargaining priorities includes it near the bottom.

The reason why the strike has gone on for as long as it has is squarely because the Administration refuses to negotiate with CUPE, trying instead to tire them out.

I don't know why students aren't angrier with the Administration.