CUPE Manitoba Convention: It’s Our Time

Highlights from the 2024 CUPE Manitoba 60th Convention

CUPE members and guests joined a round dance with Ebb & Flow Drum Group

Dauphin Manitoba, Treaty 2 – CUPE activists from across Manitoba gathered from April 29 – 3, 2024 in Dauphin, Treaty 2 Territory, for the 60th annual convention of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Manitoba.

“Our convention was all about building a better Manitoba for everyone,” said Gina McKay, President of CUPE Manitoba. “With a new provincial government, front-line workers are excited to finally make meaningful change; from improving health & safety and achieving better wages and benefits to building solidarity with workers around the world, it’s our time!”

Malaya Marcelino, Minister of Labour and Immigration

Delegates were welcomed to Treaty 2 by Elder Reg Nepinak, and joined a round dance with the Ebb and Flow First Nation Drum Group.

CUPE members were excited to hear from Malaya Marcelino, Minister of Labour and Immigration, and MLA for Notre Dame who applauded CUPE Manitoba’s efforts in the recent provincial election, emphasizing that it is because of the efforts of the front-line workers in the room that we now have a government that will listen to workers, rather than cut. Minister Marcelino noted that the new NDP government has done more for workers in the past six months than the previous PC government had done in eight years.

Special greetings were presented from Premier Wab Kinew, and Jagmeet Singh, Leader of the Federal NDP.

David Bosiak, Mayor of Dauphin

The Honourable Minister of Agriculture and MLA for Dauphin, Ron Kostyschyn also welcomed delegates on behalf of the government of Manitoba.

David Bosiak, Mayor of Dauphin provided greetings and highlighted the important contributions of CUPE, as well as the impact our convention has on the local economy.

Other Members of the Legislative Assembly who came out to show support for CUPE Manitoba included Mark Wasyliw (Fort Garry), Diljeet Brar (Burrows) Jennifer Chen (Fort Richmond), Tyler Blashko (Lagimodiere), Nellie Kennedy (Assiniboia), Rachelle Schott (Kildonan-River East), Logan Oxenham (Kirkfield Park)

President Gina McKay provided her President’s Report, highlighting the incredible work done by CUPE members throughout 2023 and into 2024. This included CUPE Manitoba’s “We Work for Manitoba” fight back campaign against the former Progressive Conservative Government’s attacks on front-line workers, and CUPE Manitoba’s successful campaign to defeat the PCs and elect a new worker-friendly NDP government. President McKay also helped launch a new violence in K-12 education member survey, and a new member outreach campaign.

“We are so proud of all CUPE members for taking action and helping elect a new NDP government,” said McKay. “It is truly a game-changer for Manitobans”.

The President’s Report also applauded the significant gains CUPE members achieved at the bargaining table, including the members at Ten Ten Sinclair who took to the picket lines for a fair deal.

CUPE National President Mark Hancock spoke to delegates, congratulating them for the big wins throughout the year, including new anti-scab legislation in Manitoba, and legislation that will make it easier to join a union.

CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer Candace Rennick applauded CUPE members in Manitoba, and together the national officers announced that CUPE is now 750,000 members strong across Canada!

Diversity panel

Highlights of convention also included remarks from Kevin Rebeck, President of the Manitoba Federation of Labour, Melissa Dvorak, President of the Winnipeg Labour Congress, and Geoff Bergen, Manitoba Regional Representative of the Canadian Labour Congress.

Members participated in an excellent panel on diversity in our union & community, with Aly Wowchuck of Brandon Pride, Aubrey Gonsalves, CUPE National DVP, Racialized workers, Debra Merrier, CUPE National DVP, Indigenous Workers, and Lisa Peldiak, CUPE National Representative, Senior Officer (Indigenous Issues).

A panel presentation on bargaining in Manitoba included Matt McLean, CUPE National Research Representative, Nino Jurial, CUPE National Representative, Margaret Schroeder, President of CUPE 204, Jamie Rose, President of CUPE 737, and Shelley Baker, President of CUPE 2153. This panel highlighted many of the victories achieved by CUPE members in Manitoba, as well as the trends in bargaining over the past year.

Gina McKay, CUPE Manitoba President

Members voted on numerous resolutions including lobbying the provincial government for stronger workplace health & safety, campaigns against violence in the workplace, and centralized bargaining for child care, among others.

Members voted to support global justice initiatives in Palestine and the Philippines following a May Day International Solidarity Panel featuring Kelti Cameron CUPE National Senior Officer (International Solidarity), and Kent Peterson, President of CUPE Saskatchewan.

Other featured speakers included former CUPE Manitoba & CUPE National President, Paul Moist, and 2nd Vice President of CUPE Ontario, Tiffany Balducci, who shared both the history of CUPE 1963-Present, and building CUPE into the future.

Other special guest speakers included Morna Ballantyne, Executive Director of Child Care Now, Martina Boyd, CUPE Regional Director, B.C. Region, Elizabeth Simons, Deputy Director of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, and David Jacks, CUPE Communications Representative for Manitoba.

CUPE Manitoba was proud to present the annual Jack Rodie Award to Gord Delbridge of CUPE 500 in recognition of his long-standing commitment to the labour movement.

“Our union is stronger than ever, and we are ready to get to work with the new government to get the job done for working people in Manitoba,” concluded CUPE Manitoba President Gina McKay.

More photos are available at the CUPE Manitoba Facebook Page

CUPE Manitoba’s Charitable Works Committee and our delegates also raised $2,900 through a silent auction and 50/50, which is being donated to The Parkland Crisis Centre and Women’s Shelter and the Mountain View School Division Hot Lunch Program.

Elected, re-elected, and acclaimed members to the CUPE Manitoba Executive during Convention include:

Vice-President – Carmen Prefontaine, CUPE 500
Recording Secretary – Christie Bachynski, CUPE 500
Persons with a Disability DVP ­– Rachamim Coad, CUPE 1475
2SLGBTQI+ – Daniel Richards, CUPE 204
Women & Gender Rights – Helen Tavares, CUPE 3473
Young Workers – Stefan Gudmundson, CUPE 1063
Winnipeg Area “A” – André Freynet, CUPE 3754
Winnipeg Area “B” – Hamid Hamzeh, CUPE 110
Northern Area – Clayton Paul, CUPE 745
North Central Area – Nick Ogryzlo, CUPE 998
Brandon Area – Brittany Aube, CUPE 3060

3 Year Trustee – Theresa Proctor, CUPE 204

Your 2024 CUPE Manitoba Executive

Congratulations to all! Solidarity/é!