By Michael C.K. Ma (Local 5, KPU)
Last week I attended the AGM for the Federation of Post Secondary Educators in Whistler. It was great to meet and chat with fellow union members --especially since, as locals, we are spread out all over the province and this is really the only chance each year where we get to share our experiences and thoughts. This year there was healthy debate and discussion regarding a number of important union issues. Notable was the debate regarding our strike fund and the absolute necessity to continue exercising and growing this fund. During the four day meeting it was great to see and hear the passion that union members have for solidarity and social action.
Some of the best resolutions that came out of the AGM, was penned by Rita Wong of Local 22 at Emily Carr University (see photos above of the original drafts and wording). Single-handedly, Rita penned no less than three resolutions pertaining to resource extraction and the environment. The resolutions proposed supporting the Legal Defence Fund for the Kinder Morgan Protest, supporting the Unist'ot'en Camp that strategically blocks numerous pipeline projects, and supporting the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations legal battle to seek an injunction this summer against the Site C dam. All three resolutions to provide financial support ($2000 to each cause) were passed unanimously. That was amazing!
Sometimes union politics feels very slow and sluggish, but the fact that these three social justice actions were monetarily supported by FPSE makes me feel like we --as a social union movement-- really are part of something bigger, extremely important, and sustained and ... so needed. Solidarity Forever.