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by: Sid Ryan

At the recent CUPE national executive board meeting a Fight-Back Fund was unanimously supported. The fund will provide financial help to members who face extraordinary attacks on their rights by governments and employers.

The Fight-Back Fund will be established with an investment of $2.5 million from the General Fund, 2007 surplus. The fund will ultimately be protected in the National Constitution, which will require endorsement at the 2009 National Convention.

By addressing one of the main concerns that led to the national convention walkout, we have paved the way for dealing with other outstanding issues such as staffing levels. For CUPE members, not only in Ontario but across the country, this fund will allow them to wage political fight-backs and job action knowing they have the financial support of the entire national union.

Since the leadership meeting in December, CUPE Ontario national executive board members have been working hard to put Ontario’s issues in front of the national officers and the entire national executive board. After several meetings with the national officers including their visit to the last CUPE Ontario executive board meeting, we began to find common ground that resulted in approval at the NEB of the Fight-Back Fund.