"We are privileged to have these beautiful dancers with us to mark National Indigenous People's Day. We are honoured they could share their extraordinary talents with us, and help us celebrate the vibrant culture and history of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis."— Larry Brown, NUPGE President
Winnipeg (21 June 2019) — Delegates attending the National Union of Public and General Employees' (NUPGE) Convention were introduced to the afternoon's proceedings with a moving performance by Winnipeg's Aboriginal School of Dance.
Sharing creativity and imagination on National Indigenous People's Day
"We are privileged to have these beautiful dancers with us to mark National Indigenous People's Day," said Larry Brown, NUPGE President. "We are honoured they could share their extraordinary talents with us, and help us celebrate the vibrant culture and history of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis."
Since making their explosive debut more than 10 years ago, the Aboriginal School of Dance has become the #1 choice for multicultural entertainment and educational programming for 13 school divisions and over 100 organizations and businesses in Winnipeg. The School is known for energetic and innovative choreography that provokes an intense emotional experience for audiences of all ages and cultural backgrounds. Training young people as professional performers and providing them with skills to be independent, the School of Dance was built on the traditional values of integrity, respect and community, as well as imagination, creativity and most importantly – the purpose: our youth.
Income inequality is as important now as when ATN was launched
The National Union of Public and General Employees’ All Together Now! (ATN) campaign has been its longest-running and most visible campaign. ATN has played a significant role in highlighting the growing problem of income inequality in Canada and around the world.
In 2018, the National Union initiated Phase 2 of the campaign around the theme of Unions F@#k Yeah! Phase 2 was strongly influenced by research the National Union conducted into the best way for the union to communicate with its younger members. The relaunch of the campaign included a television commercial that was shown across the country, as well as, on online platforms. In addition, a newly designed website with a contest and a host of new material was unveiled.
But income inequality is as important an issue today as when we launched the ATN campaign. The 4 pillars for the campaign—public services, tax fairness, labour rights and a progressive economic strategy—must remain central to our work.
Delegates agreed and determined that NUPGE with its Components will continue to build the All Together Now! (ATN) campaign over the next 3 years with an emphasis on:
- exploring new methods of communicating with and engaging members to address income inequality
- deepening the ATN analysis and promoting our policy agenda for reducing income inequality through quality public services, tax fairness, strong labour rights, and a progressive economic strategy.
- fostering a national dialogue with our members, other union members, and the Canadian public about the problems of income inequality and our policy recommendations to create a more equal, just, and fair society.
- support NUPGE Components that embark on community campaigns in support of the ATN’s policy agenda.
- strengthening NUPGE’s partnership with Canadians for Tax Fairness and other allies to promote tax justice.
Ballermann leaves NUPGE on solid financial footing
Without a good financial outlook, our unions can only do so much. Thankfully, NUPGE has been gifted with the hard work and financial acumen of Elisabeth Ballermann, Sectretary-Treasurer. Ballermann walked delegates through the financial report detailing the costs entailed in doing the work of the national union.
Unfortunately, Ballermann's report closed on a sad note. After thanking, NUPGE members, Component leaders and staff, and those at the national office who have made her term so rewarding, Ballermann announced that she would not be seeking a second term.
"It has been an enormous privilege to represent working people for the last 20 years," she told delegates. "I had the opportunity to help topple a 40-year dynasty of the Conservatives in Alberta. I know we make a difference, and the level of debate here today has shown us that. We have so many bright and enthusiastic members, including young members to pass the baton to, and I'm ready to do that."
In her honour, delegates were treated to a video montage of Ballermann's years as a labour and social rights activist. Delegates rose to their feet 3 times in celebration of her work and accomplishments.
Due to its structure, the National Union is often described as a family of unions. The Components that make up the National Union contribute to our unique character that allows us to stand out as one of the strongest unions in the labour movement. Whether it is on the collective bargaining front, or fighting for social justice, NUPGE is a strong voice for equality and fairness.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE