I hope everyone is enjoying the warmer weather and being in the midst of festival season in Winnipeg. Have fun out at Bird’s Hill this weekend if Folk Fest is your thing, and happy Fringing to everyone who takes in a few Fringe shows at that festival which starts next week. Folklorama folks don’t have to wait long for that festival to start!
EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES ABOUND
On Thursday this week, your local executive officers had their monthly meeting. At that meeting, the committee endorsed a motion that would see the local embrace an ambitious education campaign for the rest of the calendar year.
This motion will be presented to the membership at the general membership meeting on July 9th at 10:00 a.m. If approved by the folks who attend the meeting there, the local will be running Taking Back Our Workfloor again on August 17th. We would also commit to running a refresher course for shop stewards as well as Welcome to CUPW for newer members and RSMC Know Your Rights.
We could hold other classes, the motion wouldn’t limit us to running just the ones mentioned. Welcome to CUPW and RSMC Rights are often referenced when folks muse about the courses we should run. The idea behind having an official motion to put these classes on is to give us a target and a goal to reach. Saying it is one thing, acting on it is another. A motion is an action, not just a vague promise. This motion gives us a timeframe (by the end of the year) to run these classes. It gives us a clear direction.
Local executive officers are excited about this and hope the members in attendance on Saturday support the motion as well. Come out to vote on that if you feel inspired to do so.
From September 12th to 16th, the Prairie Region is hosting an Advanced Shop Steward class at the Lakeview Gimli Resort. Advanced Shop Steward is for folks who want to take their stewarding game to the next level. All shop stewards are encouraged to apply. Course participants would take the bus up to Gimli and stay at the hotel for the week.
Applications for Advanced Shop Steward are due on August 8th. Look for applications on your bulletin boards soon or email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive one electronically.
From October 2nd to 7th, the Prairie and Pacific regions are offering two courses, Level One Facilitator Training and Level Two Facilitator Training in New Westminster, B.C.
Facilitator training is offered to members who want to help educate other members at educational events. It teaches you to be a teacher, basically.
From the bulletin: The Level One facilitator training course is for members who have never facilitated or have very limited facilitation experience. Participants explore the fundamentals of popular education and go on to prepare and co-facilitate short course segments of CUPW courses. The Level Two facilitator training course is for members with significant facilitation experience who want to deepen their skills.
The application period for this opportunity closes on August 19th. Look for copies of the application form in your workplace or email the education officer to receive an electronic copy.
Good luck to all applicants!
RSMCs AND FUEL
The price of fuel in North America remains artificially high. Oil and gas corporations are making record profits and keeping prices high at the pump because why the Hell not, eh?
This disgusting act of corporate greed is costing all of us, but it’s been especially difficult for RSMCs who have to purchase their own fuel to move their vehicles. There is compensation for this, but it is fixed by the Canada Revenue Agency, and it is not adequate considering the recent changes to fuel prices.
There are a few ways to try and get this rate increased. The union, at a national level, is consulting with the employer regarding this. The local has written letters to Filomena Tassi, the federal Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Doug Ettinger, the CEO of Canada Post, and Jan Simpson, the National President of the CUPW asking them to increase the CRA reimbursement rate immediately. There was a petition asking for an increase to this rate as well. This was tabled by an NDP MP from Naniamo. The signature-collecting phase for that petition has now ended, but it garnered thousands of signatures in the time folks were able to sign.
It’s quick and easy and it emails your member of parliament as well as Ettinger, Tassi, and Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue.
Progress on items like this can be painfully slow, and RSMCs could use all the advocacy support we can provide. If you happen to run into an MP this summer at an event, you could mention this issue to them. Don’t be shy to send a letter to their office. No need for postage when it’s going to an MP.
The local’s bylaws state there is to be no general membership meeting in August, so the next one will be September 17th. That meeting will be Local Convention, where members will debate CUPW constitutional resolutions.
Think dues are too high? Write a resolution on that and bring it to that meeting. Think local officers should come visit your workplace at least once every month? That would be a resolution, too. Think oil and gas industry workers deserve retraining when they move to jobs in a field that doesn’t destroy the planet? Oh yeah, that’s a resolution, too.
The constitution guides the actions the union takes, and it’s written by members like you. A couple of weeks ago, I ran a resolution writing workshop for interested members, and considering the requests I’ve had about another one, I’m going to have to do it again sometime soon.
Sometimes people are critical of the union. That’s fair. All organizations deserve to be looked at, analized, and thought about. However, I don’t really understand how someone can be critical of something and not get involved to try to improve it. I don’t think the union is perfect. That’s part of the reason I do what I do – I want to make the union better for all members.
The door is wide open for you. All you have to do is walk through.
WINNIPEG LOCAL 856
2022 General Membership Meeting Schedule
Saturday, July 9th, 10:00 a.m.
*Meeting schedule subject to change due to living in a difficult-to-predict world.
Email email@example.com to receive a registration form.