Happy Summer, Everyone!
To start, I'd like to thank the Local for electing me as President and for electing Evelyn Ray as 2nd Vice President – EMPP. While all of our elections are important, the true weight of this election is that it demonstrates our Local's continued commitment to organizing and improving the lives of postal workers by using our collective power.
We have a long road ahead of us. Our contract expires January 2024, and while that may sound like it is a long way off, it will come quick. With this comes the potential for a strike or lockout but also the chance to make some significant improvements – but those improvements will only happen if we are prepared. We all need to prepare for the potential of an extended job action. One of the easier ways to do this is to start setting aside a small amount of money each month. This can be difficult with stagnant wages and the bloated cost of living, but if we are going to fight to fix that, then we need to have begun preparing yesterday.
Other ways to prepare include switching your banking over to a credit union that offers strike insurance. You could also start connecting with various mutual aid groups that exist within our community (such as We Together Strong Community, HARES Outreach, Water Warriors YEG, and Prairie Sage Protectors). My personal favourite way to prepare is to let my supervisor know that I am ready to go on strike – give it a try at your next staff talk!
At the Local level, we will be continuing with the tried-and-true labour strategy of education. We have adopted an aggressive stance on this over the next year and we will be focusing mostly on organizing and training more Shop Stewards. We know that this is the best way to empower our members and that an educated and organized working class is the greatest threat to the current imbalance of power. An organized and educated workfloor is also the cornerstone of any successful union strategy.
Beyond this, our Local is preparing for our next Regional Conference on November 25th and the next National Convention in the Spring of 2023. It is at National Convention where we establish the direction we will take as an organization and where we elect our Regional and National representatives. At our October GMM, you will have the opportunity to put forward any changes you would like to see made to our National Constitution.
With all this said, I want everyone to remember to still enjoy life. I'm hoping it's a beautiful Summer and that we can enjoy a brief but glorious season of camping, patios, and beverages in the sun with friends and family. Come September, we will be going full steam once again, so be sure to enjoy the Summer while we have it!