VICTORIA – Despite historic inflation and global pandemic, CUPE BC remains in a strong financial position, CUPE BC Secretary-Treasurer Trevor Davies told delegates in his report to convention Thursday morning. Davies, who has served as CUPE BC’s Secretary-Treasurer since 2015, presented a balanced budget and reported healthy investment and savings growth.
“Our strength is not found in any bank account, it’s with our members. So, my plan as Secretary-Treasurer is always for our financial strength to match and support the strength of our members,” said Davies.
Davies reported surpluses in all three of CUPE BC’s funds – General, Defence and the Colleen Jordan Humanity Fund. In line with the Union’s plan to diversify income sources for its funds, Davies said an investment account was established for the Colleen Jordan Humanity Fund – also known as the CJ Fund.
On the Defence Fund, currently standing at just over $10 million, significant growth was reported over the past ten years, when the fund stood at just $2 million. Davies reported that despite this substantial growth, it still falls short of the Union’s goal of $12 million. Davies says this goal is the amount CUPE BC requires to weather a large-scale strike or lockout, to ensure members have support now and in the future.
“How am I going to pay my rent? How am I going to be able to keep groceries? As secretary-treasurers we get these questions all the time when members are facing a strike,” said Davies. “(Secretary-treasurers) get to the use the words, ‘don’t worry we have strike pay.’ It’s the responsibility of me and the executive board to make sure we can honour these promises. If we don’t, we lose trust we will never get back. That’s why it’s so important.”
Davies told delegates CUPE BC needs to find ways to limit on-going surpluses in the CJ Fund, that is dedicated to funding international solidarity and domestic anti-poverty initiatives.
“We always want to maximize how much money goes out,” said Davies, presenting an admitted counter-intuitive idea on finances. “The organizations that get money from our CJ Fund make a huge difference in people’s lives. So, us running surpluses doesn’t help them.”