April 22nd, 2024

Medicine Hat hosts annual CUPE convention

By ANNA SMITH Local Journalism Initiative on March 23, 2024.


The Canadian Union of Public Employees wrapped up their annual convention on Friday, after several says of discussion, debate, and community.

“This is our annual convention, we rotate it around the province,” said Lou Arab, communications representative for CUPE. “This year we’ve had a focus. The focus of resolutions and discussion has been a lot on cost of living and the fact that wages for Alberta workers are not keeping up. So we’ve had a lot of discussion about the fact that a lot of our members, particularly in the education sector, have not seen wage increases in eight years or more. And so the buying power of their salaries has been steadily eroding.”

This year saw roughly 200 members attending the conference, said Arab, a higher number than average.

“Our membership has been getting more active and engaged lately. We have been recognizing that in order for us to change things we have to speak up, we have to become more active, more visible. And the attendance here shows that,” said Arab.

Members did brave the snowfall on Thursday in order to hold a rally outside of Premier Danielle Smith’s office, which Arab called a “strong showing of the opinions of our members.”

“That was very good; we got a lot of friendly honks that day, which was surprising,” said Arab

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