January 2014 President's Report

I am pleased to submit the following report on my Labour Council work of the past month, and on some key issues I wish to bring to your attention.

  • municipal elections 2014
  • Fairness Works training
  • International Women's Day Brunch
  • CLC Support for Labour Councils
  • Personal

Municipal Elections 2014

Many people have already registered their candidacy for the October 27th municipal elections. The Labour Council is participating in a community coalition called Better Choices to recruit and endorse progressive candidates for both municipal councils and school boards in Waterloo Region. Your unions will undoubtedly be approached in the near future by candidates seeking your support in these elections: please consult with Better Choices Waterloo Region and contribute to their process rather than making your own endorsements or decisions around contributions. Union support for municipal candidates will carry much more weight if we can demonstrate that our candidates have the support of a broad-based community coalition. Please contribute any information you have about candidates you are familiar with to Better Choices, and consider waiting for endorsement decisions from Better Choices before deciding to support individual candidates. Go to www.betterchoices.ca for how you and your union can support it.

Fairness Works training
Please mark your calendars for the afternoon of Thursday, February 13th and encourage your Local leadership to send as many members as possible to a FREE workshop being offered by the Canadian Labour Congress on how to engage in effective conversations with fellow union members. This workshop is a follow-up to the Fairness Works seminar we co-hosted with the CLC in September. Lunch will be served: the only cost to your Local is lost wages, if any, for participants. CLC research tells us that a majority of Canadians support the work of unions, despite the right-wing attacks on us: they just need an opportunity to realize this for themselves. Watch for registration details for this important event very soon.

International Women’s Day Brunch
Please see the letter distributed at today’s meeting for an invitation to participate in this event.

CLC Support for Labour Councils
You may recall that we hosted a forum last April on how to make Labour Councils more effective vehicles for organizing union members. The CLC Labour Council Structural Review Task Force released its report in October 2013, and the Canadian Council (the heads of unions affiliated to the CLC) passed a resolution in response to the report in November. Now, Labour Councils in Ontario are planning to make this a discussion issue at this May’s CLC Convention, and are drafting resolutions to be debated there. Our Executive is recommending that our Labour Council endorse the resolution on today’s agenda, and that we authorize me to amend it slightly pending ongoing discussions with other Labour Councils.

I have the honour of being able to serve as an International Election Observer for El Salvador’s Presidential elections on February 2nd: I will be there for a week at the end of this month. Also, I have been accepted to sit on The Record’s Community Editorial Board, so will be writing six Op Ed pieces in the paper in 2014.

Respectfully submitted,

Marc Xuereb
January 14, 2014

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