At our last General Membership Meeting held on October 31st 2020 via Zoom, we regrettably informed you that there will be no holiday parties this December 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions currently in effect. We are disappointed we cannot meet one another, but we are committed to doing our part to limit community transmission by following these restrictions.
Some members have asked if it is possible to hand out gift cards or gifts to all members this year. After reviewing the CUPE National constitution and direction from the CUPE National President’s office, it became clear to the CUPE 3261 Executive Committee that this is not possible.
While CUPE National advises us that we can order food at events to encourage member participation and socializing, we are not allowed to hand out gifts to members using union dues. The main purpose of union dues is to advance our collective union work: to improve our working conditions and lives, and to make sure the employer respects our rights at work.
We work for an institution that has enormous resources at its disposal. But each of us pays dues so that, as workers, we can pool together our resources to fight for fairness at work, enforce our collective agreement language, prepare bargaining campaigns, book off members to build our power in the workplace, campaign against contracting out of our work, and contribute to CUPE National’s staffing costs to get the support of staff such as Leanne, Preethy, CUPE Legal, CUPE Research, CUPE Education, CUPE Health & Safety and more. Unions also often make donations to organizations that are also fighting for workers. These are some of the reasons why CUPE National does not allow the spending of union dues on gifts. Additionally, there could also be risk of tax implications for our members and our local if we violate this rule.
We value the health and well-being of all our members and hope to resume holiday parties next year.
In solidarity and always with you,
CUPE 3261 Executive Committee