CUPE dollars: Civic workers’ union finances revealed

Hear Vision here: more from Local 1004's infamous pre-election meeting

CUPE Local 1004 held its monthly meeting April 14 at the Maritime Labour Centre, where members were given the latest financial results. A copy of the report and the meeting’s agenda were leaked to me. Read them below.

The document shows Vancouver’s civic outside workers’ union budgeted $2.28 million for expenses and $2.33 million income for 2015. It already spent $69,706 on arbitration and grievances for the first quarter of 2015, just shy of its entire $70,000 arbitration and grievances budget for the year. Under “Salaries – President” it budgeted $84,000. The president is Andrew Ledger of Portland Hotel Society. The meeting’s agenda shows members were expected to appoint CUPE lawyer Hasan Alam as the local’s new business agent.

Mobile users, click here->CUPE Local 1004 finances and minutes

The April 14 meeting was held, coincidentally, six months to the day since the meeting that defined aspects of the 2014 civic election campaign.

I was tipped-off that Vision Vancouver politicians would be appearing at Local 1004’s Oct. 14 meeting to seek votes, volunteers and donations. As I staked out the door, hoping to take photos and ambush the politicians, I began to receive a series of three unsolicited audio files via email from a source.

To my surprise, the audio was a recording of the proceedings inside the Maritime Labour Centre. It formed the basis for my Oct. 16, 2014 story for the Vancouver Courier. NPA mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe pointed at Coun. Geoff Meggs’ promise to not contract out work, the $34,000 Local 1004 donation to Vision (which was matched by CUPE’s B.C. and national headquarters) and called it a corrupt cash-for-jobs deal. CUPE resorted to censorship and this blog was suspiciously knocked offline just two days before the civic election.

The controversy sparked defamation lawsuits against the NPA and a petition by concerned citizens aiming to unseat Mayor Gregor Robertson and Meggs for conflict of interest. Justice Elliott Myers reserved decision on the latter matter April 1. UPDATE (April 17): Myers ruled in his written verdict that there was no evidence of conflict of interest, therefore Robertson and Meggs remain on council. Petition leader and ex-Vision Vancouver member Helten may appeal, but he says this ultimately demands a public discussion on the influence of big money in local politics.

You may have heard this leaked audio of the Vision Vancouver candidates and the CUPE 1004 political action committee discussion and vote. Those are the complete, unedited speeches by the four Vision candidates and the complete, unedited discussion and vote by the union on its campaign donations.

Now you can hear the entirety of the three raw files, in sequence. You may have to adjust the volume. Nothing was done to improve the sound quality by the source or me.

(Note: Political speeches, including Gayle Gavin of COPE, Meggs, Niki Sharma, Trevor Loke and Raymond Louie of Vision, and Public Education Project’s Gwen Giesbrecht and Jane Bouey, run from 5:07 to 20:00. Voices of Local 1004 political action committee members Frank Lee and Kyla Epstein can be heard between 1:09:45 and 1:18:27.)

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