ATN campaign marks its first anniversary at Halifax conference
June 28, 2011
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) All Together Now! campaign marked its first anniversary with Champions 4 Change from across the country gathering in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
For two days, June 25 and 26, activists shared their experiences, evaluated the campaign and planned the next phase.
James Clancy, NUPGE national president, kicked-off the conference Saturday morning by welcoming Champions to Halifax and thanking them for their hard work over the last year.
"The All Together Now! messages of promoting quality public services, respecting the workers that provide them and fixing our tax fairness problem have resonated within our union membership and with members of our communities across the country and even across borders," said Clancy. "The fact that tax fairness is even being debated in the public forum is due in large part to the hard work of our Champions 4 Change."
On Friday evening the Champions joined locked-out members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) on a picket line to show their support and solidarity against back-to-work legislation brought in by the Harper government.
Participants gained insights and inspiration from various speakers such as tax policy expert Professor Neil Brooks. They also heard from panelists from the U.K, the U.S and Canada who provided an international perspective on the challenges facing public services and tax fairness after the global recession.
Champions also spent time in various workshops building their skills and developing signature products which will be used during the next phase of the campaign.
With a Harper majority government already beginning its assault on public services and workers, and with multiple provincial elections in the next few months, Champions are looking to further engage in the issues, become more active and creative, and to broaden the campaign's reach into communities and workplaces not yet involved.
"Our job is clearly not done yet," said Clancy. "We still have a lot of work ahead and we know that with the support of our Champions 4 Change we'll reach our goals."