CSRA Newsletter Summer 2021
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
We are heading toward midsummer with a bit of a spring in our steps as more and more of us are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. We hope that you are keeping well even with heat waves, intense storms and recurring reminders of Canada’s historical mistreatment of Indigenous peoples and the positive actions we can take for change.
Have you cast your ballot?
Just a reminder: if you haven’t mailed in your ballot for the election of a retiree trustee on the CUPE Employees Pension Plan Joint Board of Trustees, please do it now. Our retiree voice is important. Ballots will be counted on August 16.
A name change and other amendments
Following an Executive Board meeting in May, via Zoom, your association is now known as the CUPE Staff Retirees Association (CSRA). The Board approved other by-law changes to better describe our membership and purpose and to clarify the election process we go through every three years.
Once again, we would like to thank Sisters Jane Stinson, Mary Catherine McCarthy and Berni Conn, who acted as the Elections Committee in 2019, for their report and recommendations for improving the elections process. As a result, the Executive Board also approved by-law amendments and an appendix to the by-laws that clearly outlines the process for future Elections Committees, nominators and candidates.
All of these changes can be viewed on our web site cuperetirees.ca.
We were also pleased to welcome Wayne Thomas, recently elected CSU retiree rep, as an observer at our meeting. We look forward to an ongoing exchange of news and information.
Speaking of the web site
Our Vice-President Shelly Gordon has taken on the job of keeping the web site up to date and overseeing the redesign that is currently underway. Thanks, Shelly! The revised site will include a new logo reflecting our name change.
Comings and goings
Since our last newsletter, the following retirees have become members. Welcome:
NS Jacqueline Bramwell
NB Robert LeMoignnan
QC Berthold Gagnon
ON Daria Ivanochko (National)
Brian Edgecombe (National)
Christopher Watson (CUPE Ontario)
Irene Jansen (National)
Blain Morin (National)
MB Allen Bleich
SK Sharleen Rayner
AB Audrey Barr
BC John Strohmaier
With condolences to colleagues, friends and family, we also bid farewell to:
QC Germain Boudreau
ON Ed Finn (National)
Hélène Bourbonnais (National)
AB Sherry Neis
BC Wilma Costain
Correction: In our last newsletter, we incorrectly listed Sister Susan Barton as a deceased member from Nova Scotia rather than New Brunswick and omitted Sister Joan Blacquier from the same province. Our apologies and condolences.
Eugene Kostyra Memorial Fund
At our May Zoom meeting, Manitoba Chapter Rep Maureen Morrison told us about the Eugene Kostyra Memorial Fund, established to honour another CUPE retiree. The Eugene Kostyra Memorial Fund will award post-secondary and apprenticeship scholarships to students graduating from St. Johns High School in Winnipeg’s north end, where Eugene went to school. Eugene did not finish high school and always encouraged young people in their education.
The CUPE Staff Retirees Association has made a contribution to this permanent endowment fund, which is established through the Winnipeg Foundation by the Manitoba Federation of Labour. You are invited to make a contribution if you wish at mycharitytools.com.
National Standards for Long-Term Care
CSRA is affiliated to the National Pensioners Federation where much of the focus for the last year has been conditions in this country’s long-term care facilities. NPF is encouraging affiliate members to complete a survey issued by the Standards Council of Canada, the Health Standards Organization and the Canadian Standards Association who are designing and building new national standards for long-term care. Responses will help shape what an optimal future state of long-term care in Canada looks like. https://longtermcarestandards.ca/your-input
We also added the CSRA voice to those of supporters of Bill C-253, a private member’s bill that would see workers and pensioners protected in the case of company bankruptcy. It’s time to put the interests of workers before the banks.
CUPE National Convention
At this time, CUPE is still planning to hold an in-person convention in Vancouver in late November. A final decision will be made by August 24. If circumstances require a virtual convention, retirees will be invited as usual and will be provided with the appropriate link for observers. Stay tuned.
Please enjoy a safe and healthy summer.
Pat, Shelly, Barry, Carole