Breakfast and a Show; National officers deliver stirring wake up call on the last day of convention

CUPE national president Mark Hancock poses with prize winners Connie Doge of CUPE 1975 & Heather Richinski, the Executive assistant serving local 1975.

The national president Mark Hancock and national secretary treasurer Candace Rennick took the stage on the last morning of the CUPE Saskatchewan convention to celebrate the good work delegates accomplished, and to set the tone for the union’s next steps. Among the jovial atmosphere and prizes, their message to the gathered activists was clear – if we want to protect our rights as union activists, we must get political.

Both Candace and Mark stressed the dangers of conservative leader Pierre Poilievre, who is making in-roads with working people with his misleading rhetoric about issues which speak to us. Poilievre tries to appeal to working people by talking about “parent’s rights,” which he uses as a code to hide his bigoted attacks on human rights. “Our rights weren’t given to us, we had to fight for them, and they can be taken away with the swipe of a pen.,” said Rennick. “If Pierre Poilievre cared about mothers’ rights, he wouldn’t have voted against child care.”

Hancock concluded the conversation by seeking input from the assembled delegates. “We have a mandate, but there is a lot of work for our union to do,” he said. “We cannot do this without you.” Speakers from union locals supplied excellent feedback to the national president’s questions, which asked what local leaders could do to engage their members politically, and what supports the national union could provide.

The national union will do everything to support CUPE Saskatchewan members and activists to elect progressive politicians, engage with and educate their members, and provide meaningful support to help get members engaged in politics.