Special Convention Makes Constitutional Changes

December 6, 2011

(above: new Executive Councillors take their oath and are sworn in at the December 5 Executive Council meeting in Burnaby)

On Monday MoveUP held a Special Convention in conjunction with its Executive Council meeting. The purpose of the Special Convention was to consider changes to the constitution that would affect the governance of and contributions to the union’s Defence Fund.

Resolutions C1 and C2 (attached below) were designed to help the union manage its funds more effectively in a changing labour relations climate, which has seen more arbitrations and fewer strikes. Because of this, COPE’s Defence Fund (for use in strikes and lockouts) has been sitting at an enviable level compared to most unions especially on a per capita basis. But because of the restrictions on how to access the fund, many of the union’s members would not be able to see a benefit from the fund.

IMG_3674.pngThe resolutions, which both passed at the convention on Monday, prevent COPE from having to consider raising union dues. What will change is the mandate of the Defence Fund, which has now been expanded to cover the costs of arbitrations undertaken on behalf of members.

In addition, a new threshold for Defence Fund provisions is now included in the Constitution. This reduces the contributions to the Defence Fund from 1/10 of dues to 1/20 of dues when the Defence Fund is over $15 million dollars. For details on these policies, please view the complete resolutions, attached below this article.

After the resolutions were passed, the convention was adjourned and the regular Executive Council meeting was called to order. Many of the Job Stewards who were present for the convention chose to stay to learn from the council meeting.

The council meeting began with new councillors taking their oath of office. After that, Communications Officer Sage Aaron gave a presentation on the ICBC "Driving a New Mandate" campaign, the Alternative BC Hydro Rate Review Report, and other ongoing communications projects.

Following the communications presentation, David Black delivered his President’s Report and Vice Presidents Jeff Gillies and Gwenne Farrell gave the COPE National Report.

Just before breaking for lunch, Secretary-Treasurer delivered and answered questions on her Financial Report and chairs of standing committees began giving reports on their recent activities.

After lunch the committee reports continued, followed by a report from members who had attended the BC Federation of Labour’s recent Organizing Institute.