CAPE - BUSINESS AS USUAL AS MERGER PROCEEDS

September 11, 2003

Canadian Association of Professional Employees elected officials and staff have spent the past few months occupied with the myriad details involved in the merger of two complex organizations.

“We’ve been very busy and the national level, ensuring that our members suffer no negative impact as a result of all the major changes we’ve been undertaking. I am more than satisfied with our progress to date, and I’m proud of the enormous efforts being made by the CAPE executive, and the employees of CAPE, and we all recognize and appreciate the support of our membership. ” CAPE President Bill Krause.

The PSSRB and The Formal Establishment of CAPE

The Public Service Staff Relations Board has received notice of our intention to merge CUPTE and SSEA. Standard practice in circumstances such as this is for the PSSRB to conduct an examination of the merger process, to ensure that members, having voted in favour of such a merger, did so after having been made fully aware of all necessary information, and after having been given the opportunity to explore the merger issues with elected or paid representatives of SSEA and CUPTE. Both organizations fulfilled their obligations of full disclosure to their respective members, and we now are simply waiting for the blessing of the PSSRB to recognize CAPE as a public service bargaining agent.

That is all that we are waiting for. In the meantime, it’s full steam ahead with the merger…

Finances

Audits of both SSEA and CUPTE were performed as at July 31, 2003. All financial recording is now down through the office of the CAPE Finance Officer. Payrolls and expenses have now been merged. Combining the finances of the SSEA and CUPTE has meant contacting all companies, organizations and individuals with which we have had dealings, and informing them of our evolution. The financial institutions which had previously dealt with SSEA and CUPTE now formally recognize our Association as CAPE. Development of a new annual budget that reflects the larger entity of CAPE is well underway, and has consumed much time and energy on the part of your representatives on the CAPE Finance Committee.

Staffing

The retirement of a Labour Relations Officer, and the growth of the membership as the result of the merger, has led to further growth of the Professional Services Division. A new Labour Relations Officer, Isabelle Borré has been hired, and CAPE plans to staff a newly created Professional Services Assistant’s position, as well as a Research Officer’s Assistant position. These last two will most likely be staffed following the National Office relocation. In addition to the staffing of these positions, your Association also now has a full-time Vice-President, Luc Pomerleau of the TR Group. This is an interim measure that will ensure the smooth amalgamation of the two organizations. Once the transitional period is complete (January 1, 2005), the position of full time Vice-President will be eliminated.

Communications

A new corporate image is being developed, which predicated the development of a new logo. The CAPE logo committee has completed its task, and you will see a gradual conversion of all Association materials to reflect the new Association identity. Progress is being made on the creation of a new CAPE website, which will contain such features as “Members Only” areas for our EC (ES and SI), TR, RO and RA communities. The amalgamation of both CUPTE and SSEA’s newsletter’s will be undertaken as a first step in the “unveiling” of our new reality. New membership packages are being designed, and new membership cards will be issued once the major transitions have been successfully completed.

Accommodations

CAPE will be moving. November 1 our new location will be 100 Queen Street, 4th Floor. This relocation has been necessitated by the growth of the National Office. Additional staff, more in-house facilities, such as meeting and conference rooms, and additional storage space will address some of CAPE’s needs.

Business as usual

In the meantime, CAPE has continued with day to day operations. Our Labour Relations Officers are now all located under one roof at 220 Laurier Avenue. Representation has been and will continue to be provided at full operational capacity. Collective Bargaining for the EC (ES and SI) will resume with the employer in full force in September. TR Collective Bargaining, under the direction of TR Vice-president Luc Pomerleau, is underway, and the team has met with the employer on several occasions. Bargaining for the TR Group with regards incentives should begin in earnest in November.

Consultations with the employer on various employment issues, while naturally slow during the summer period, are picking up pace as we move towards the fall. Consultative responsibilities of a national nature have been redistributed to Labour Relations Officers, in addition to those carried out by our Research Officer. This comes about as a result of your Association’s desire for increased visibility on behalf of the increased membership. The National Joint Council Annual convocation is scheduled for September, and a team of delegates will be representing you in St. John’s Newfoundland.