Vision Statement

We can be proud of all our union has achieved. We’ve made gains at the bargaining table and in the political arena. CUPE has grown especially in the last decade; we are more diverse than at any time in our history. This gives us potential to be stronger and more powerful than we have ever been. But we cannot be complacent, especially now.

The pandemic has destabilized the economy. Governments ramped up spending after the COVID-19 outbreak while experiencing dramatic drops in revenue. As we come out of the global pandemic health crisis, corporate and other forces who have pushed austerity in the past will mobilize once again. They will demand that governments cut expenditures sharply rather than raise the taxes of those who can afford to pay more. We must get ready to fight back against major cuts to social programs and federal transfers to lower levels of government, and privatization. We must be ready for an attack on our negotiated wages and benefits, and on our social and legislated rights. We must be ready to fight for real equality especially for our members who have always suffered greatest inequity—women, Indigenous members, racialized members, members with disabilities, LGBTQ2+ members, and young workers. Now is the time for us to organize for meaningful truth and reconciliation, to uproot racism, to end discrimination in all its forms, and advance equity and human rights.  Now is the time to gear up, get better organized and build the capacity of every part of CUPE so that together we not only defend our members, but make real progress.

Candace rennick speaking into a microphone at a union event

Time to Care Rally – Queen’s Park

Candace rennick speaking into a microphone at a union event

Solidarity with Education Workers

We must accelerate our activism. We must ramp up our work in the workplace and in communities. Because we will have to fight even harder in the coming months and years to win real wage increases, racial justice, safe working conditions, a good pension for every member, and meaningful job security. Moving forward in the difficult times ahead will take an all-out coordinated effort in every round of bargaining. It will take comprehensive campaigns and mobilization to defend and expand public services and strengthen workers’ right. We will have to do even more to organize the unorganized; increasing union density in all of our sectors gives us more bargaining clout and stops our employers from creating false divisions between organized and unorganized workers.

To make gains we must also strengthen solidarity, unity, and democracy within and across our union. Colonialism, racism, and discrimination have always been used to divide workers. They are embedded in every system and institution in Canada—our union is not an exception. CUPE has taken important steps over the years to acknowledge this, but there is much more we must do to make a profound shift in how we think, act, and behave as an organization. We must make the fight against colonialism, racism, and inter-sectional discrimination primary and integral to everything we do as a union. Also, importantly we must ensure that all space in CUPE is safe space, and that includes making every union space free of sexual violence, harassment and bullying.

CUPE is in a solid financial position thanks to outgoing National Secretary Treasurer Charles Fleury’s excellent leadership. I have the experience and expertise to manage our union’s financial and staff resources, and make sure locals, provincial and service divisions, bargaining councils, and CUPE National staff have what they need to defend members and break new ground.

I have proven my financial skills and leadership serving 11 years as the full-time Secretary-Treasurer of CUPE’s largest provincial division. I got CUPE Ontario’s finances in shape to support a strong and effective fight back against Liberal austerity and then against Premier Doug Ford’s Conservative attacks. I am also an experienced national leader having served all CUPE members across the country as a member of CUPE’s National Executive Board since 2003, and as a member of the Canadian Council of the Canadian Labour Congress.

I am proud of my record in the struggle to raise the wages and working conditions of CUPE’s lowest paid members, the majority of whom are women and racialized workers. I understand that a union’s priority must be to improve the working conditions of members, to win real wage increases and economic security for now and in retirement.  I also I know we will never make gains alone—we must act in solidarity with all workers—especially with those who have no union.  It’s one of the reasons I have always been a staunch supporter of community-based coalitions and campaigns for social, economic and racial justice.

Solidarity with CUPW Postal Workers

CUPE Ontario Convention

Please support my candidacy for the position of National Secretary-Treasurer so that I can make sure CUPE’s finances remain strong, so that we put our union’s resources to bargain more for members, so that together we can fight for justice and redress the growing inequities in our country, so that we win real progressive change on every front.

© Copyright 2021 Candace Rennick for CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer. All Rights Reserved.