CUPE BC Mother’s Day BBQ in Creston

A great day was had by all at the Creston Library where CUPE BC in conjunction with the KDC hosted a Mother’s Day BBQ.  CUPE BC President Paul Faoro was on hand to meet and greet community members.  Without the hard work of newly elected KDC Vice-President Anita Early and the other many helping hands behind the scenes this day would not have been possible.  Thank you to all who come out to volunteer for this event.

Also a huge thank you to Loblaws Independent Grocers for helping with the food.




CUPE BC bids fond farewell to retiring Kootenay activists

YEARS OF SERVICE—CUPE BC President Mark Hancock presented retirement gifts to Rocco Mastrobuono (left) and Gerry Shmon.      CUPE BC President Mark Hancock presented retirement gifts to Rocco Mastrobuono (left) and Gerry Shmon.

CASTLEGAR—CUPE BC President Mark Hancock, along with general vice-presidents Susan Blair and Ian Norton, CUPE Regional Director Robin Jones, and several staff members joined local activists on the weekend to celebrate the many contributions of retiring Kootenay District Council President Gerry Shmon.

Shmon, a custodian for Kootenay Lake School District, has retired from his union duties after 23 years of active service for CUPE 748, 20 years on the West Kootenay Labour Council, and 18 years with the KDC, the final eight as president.  At a rousing tribute dinner held in his honour on Friday night, the accolades poured in for Shmon—including a letter from CUPE National President Paul Moist thanking the Kootenay activist for his many years of dedicated service.

“CUPE members will never forget your selfless commitment to working people, your generosity, and your sense of humour.  We are really going to miss you, Gerry,” said Hancock, thanking Shmon on behalf of Secretary-Treasurer Paul Faoro, the CUPE BC executive and the union’s 85,000 members in B.C.

Many in attendance spoke of Shmon’s persuasiveness as an activist—particularly his gift for convincing others to get involved with their union—and of the great solidarity example he set in never missing an opportunity to support striking workers on their picket lines, including those of other unions.

Hancock also paid tribute to Rocco Mastrobuono, a water and sewer construction foreman for the City of Nelson who retired as president of CUPE 339 after 28 years of service to his union, and CUPE 2087 president Jean Poole, who was not able to attend the event and has put her own retirement on hold due to the recent passing of her loving husband Bill. Mastrobuono and Shmon, in turn, thanked each other for their mutual support over the years and praised Sister Poole for her dedication to CUPE members.

At its annual general meeting the next day, the KDC elected a new executive: Cheryl MacLeod (president); Pam Catsirelis (vice-president, East Kootenays); Ken Vaughan-Evans (vice-president, West Kootenays); Michelle Bennett (recording secretary); Andrew Chernoff (sergeant-at-arms); Kelly Robson (young worker rep); and Leford Layfayette (diversity rep).  The treasurer’s position is vacant.

For more photos, visit the gallery.

Striking Castlegar City Workers Hold Public Barbeque And Information Sharing Event To Garner Support For Contract Negotiations With City

October 21-Castlegar Civic employees, members of Cupe Local 2262,  joined their supporters in a parking lot behind City Hall on Monday, October 20 at a barbeque and information sharing opportunity organized by the Cupe Local.

City of Castlegar Cupe workers have been dumbfounded and frustrated with City negotiators to negotiate and settle a fair and reasonable contract, and  for the first time in 60 years of Cupe representing Castlegar City workers, Castlegar City employees are on strike, and have refused to work overtime in non-emergency stituations.

While further strike action is not being contemplated at this time, that could change if the City continues to decline invitations to reopen negotiations with the union.

After more than a year of negotiation on a new collective agreement, talks recently came to a impasse after mediation by the Labour Board ended with the City negotiators presenting the union with a “take it or leave it” final offer that the union says failed to address outstanding issues.

Leford Lafayette, president of Cupe Local 2262, said that while his members are asking for a modest wage settlement, the  main issues have to do with job security and no concessions.

“Our goal is not to disrupt service but to get City negotiators to bargain in good faith for a fair and reasonable collective agreement”, Lafayette explained.


Leford Lafayette, president of Cupe Local 2262 (center) with Stephanie Smith, executive

board member of Cope 378 (right) and Andrew Chernoff, executive council member of

the WKLC