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Time for Action Rallies - All details

In the middle, strategically speaking

By Kavi Chahal, Communications Staff

Oct 11, 2023

An update on the most ambitious strategic plan in our union’s history.

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Two years ago, members from across the province came together to form AUPE’s most ambitious strategic plan ever. 

“AUPE members are tough, smart, and know their needs better than anyone else,” says AUPE Vice-President Susan Slade. “AUPE is a member-driven union, and all the work members put into the strategic plan proves it.” 

Members set their minds to long-term planning, goals for our union, as well as determining the path forward toward those goals. We took ownership of the strategic planning to ensure the union’s efforts were member-led, member-driven, and most importantly, met members’ needs. The strategic plan became yet another example of AUPE members using collective power to grow our solidarity. 

“There are approximately 95,000 AUPE members out there. For every issue they have in common, there are just as many unique issues that we must find a way to collectively address."
Susan Slade 2023

Susan Slade, Vice-President

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With a vast majority of AUPE members bargaining for new collective agreements in 2024, it came as no surprise when most Locals chose “Workplace Power” as the guiding statement for their strategic planning. These Locals have started to work updating contact information, conducting social mapping, training worksite contacts, and engaging coworkers in 1-on-1 conversations. 

Although Locals have the guiding statements and many core strategies in common, each Local has taken an original approach in applying them to ensure that their members’ individual circumstances are addressed. A key aspect of the strategic plan is ensuring it aligns with each Local’s unique situation. 

“There are approximately 95,000 AUPE members out there,” says Slade. “For every issue they have in common, there are just as many unique issues that we must find a way to collectively address. Sometimes, that means getting creative.” 

Some creative approaches to building workplace power included “Coffee with Council” information sessions, interactive posters and displays, draws and prizes for filling out grey cards, and translating materials to ensure AUPE communications are accessible to more members. 

These initiatives will help members organize for collective bargaining. We must be ready to demand what we deserve at the bargaining table, and the strategic plan is key to that. 

With the first strategic planning cycle coming to a close at the end of the year, AUPE’s Provincial Executive (PE) is already preparing for what the following two years will bring. In December, PE will gather for an in-depth review of the guiding statements, goals, and strategies within the current plan and determine our next steps. 

“Measuring our success and challenges will help craft a better strategy,” says Slade. “AUPE’s Elected Executive Office and Provincial Executive will ask members for feedback to help us make data-driven decisions for our future.” 

As always, AUPE staff are dedicated to supporting members. PE will also evaluate how staff initiatives and operational growth can better offer that support. We will focus on ensuring accessibility to staff supports through improved processes and tools like the newly launched AUPE Events Calendar. 

AUPE members have made significant progress in just two years,with many more years of strategic planning to come. 

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