"Recognition, Resilience, and Resolve" is the theme for Asian Heritage Month 2021. This theme represents…
May 23rd marks forty-seven years since the Compensation Employees’ Union was certified as a Union. Since that time, we have grown in many ways. From membership numbers to office Staff and locations to budgets to the defense fund to the Collective Agreement – it has all grown to keep pace with a membership that started at 730 people and has increased by approximately 2000 since that time.
While we sometimes have a louder, in-person celebration with cake, we find ourselves at home again for this anniversary. I also know that some of you are struggling and it may not be the time for a party anyways. Still, I wanted to take the opportunity to reach out today and say happy anniversary on behalf of the entire executive and staff. We really have come a long way when you consider that while we were fighting to form a Union in 1974 the objectives were:
- (Obtaining) extended medical
- Fairness and consistency in administering annual vacation scheduling
- A bi-weekly pay period
- Enlarged and improved cafeteria
- Transfer of superannuation
- Sick Leave
- Substitution Pay
- (Obtaining) Dental Plan
After achieving these objectives, the CEU shifted to new goals to reflect the needs and requests of our members. Every round of bargaining we try to increase member rights and it was many years of these improvements that led to our current CA. As the membership you continue to shape future rounds of bargaining by participating in the bargaining survey or even running for a member at large position on the bargaining team.
Although we are working on many of your concerns with the employer on almost a daily basis, like workload and mental health, I want you to take a moment and remind you of the importance of the labour movement globally, nationally and locally. Things like safety and health at work, decent wages, medical, dental and other collective agreement gains have been hard fought for in order to establish a base of agreed to rights and benefits that you and every co-worker is aware of so everyone can play by the same rules. Affiliating with the BCGEU and participating actively with the BC Federation of Labour and other labour organizations like NUPGE has only amplified our CEU voice to larger tables. We continue to learn from our sister organizations so we can all beat the drum to the same rhythm and continue to work together for labour rights locally and around the world.
Laura Snow, CEU President