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CULE Convention Survey Results

Here are the results of the CULE convention survy, read below or download a pdf here: CULE Convention Survey Results. 36 replies were received …

Were you a CULE member in 2006 and did you attend the CULE Convention in Cuba in January, 2006?

  • Yes, I was a member(35)
  • No, I was not a member (1)
  • Yes, I did attend the CULE Convention (28)
  • No, I did not attend the CULE Convention (8)

If yes, what did you enjoy about that experience?

  • location
  • combining work and pleasure
  • traveling to Cuba and experiencing the country
  • helping and visiting the school and hospital
  • solidarity work and Cubanpeople
  • visiting somewhere where Solidaritywork really benefits
  • everything, it was great
  • being in Havana the day of the huge demo
  • meetings where people shared where they had been and what they had seen
  • Meeting other CULE members away from the workplace, away from voicemail, e-mail, etc.
  • the social justice cause and the international perspective combined with the opportunity to discover and experience another culture.
  • wonderful experience, best of all – no cell phones – we couldn’t be reached.
  • my co-workers’ company, a chance for discussion.
  • Solidarity, social justice experience, beach-convention business.
  • the time to connect with CULE brothers and sisters outside of the employer’s premises.
  • the international solidarity work.
  • getting together with all of CULE and their partners
  • seeing how fortunate we are as Canadians
  • All of it
  • convention and the daily meetings that we had
  • meeting everyone and having the time and privacy to meet.
  • the camaraderie, the solidarity, school visit, convention, outings, everything
  • chance to meet other CULE members, both at Convention and in a social setting, good location, no cell phones and e-mail difficult (this was good).
  • having most of us together, meeting other CULE members
  • great getting to meet other CULE members and no interruptions
  • camaraderie and social justice and the SUN!!!
  • getting us all together, the visits to the school, hospital, camaraderie among CULE members, Marion’s contribution was top notch!
  • happy to see another part of the world, loved the sun
  • meeting all the staff, convention was well run
  • I enjoyed all the sessions and being part of a team
  • wonderful to have both units together and discuss issues of concern and get to know staff from other regions and have fun
  • the location, surroundings, getting to know coworkers better and enhancing our teamwork
  • meeting with colleagues from across Canada, fun with the family, real relaxing time
  • First time I had an opportunity to be with a majority of CULE members

If yes, what do you think could improve that experience?

  • better preparation for Convention process beforehand
  • longer duration of Convention
  • smoke free (X 3)
  • I think Cuba lacked a ‘real’ or ‘traditional’ trade union perspective. I think we can enhance our perspective by attending a country that has trade union who can speak about their struggles, successes and challenges.
  • agenda time for caucus meetings
  • all member dinner together
  • increased dues to do it every 2 to 3 years
  • continue CULE solidarity work
  • more group activities
  • more outings to schools, factories, hospitals, etc.
  • more networking with the local Unions
  • more work and attendance at daily educational
  • quicker turn around time in Constitutional changes
  • it would have been nice if more CULE members could have joined us, especially those from NEU.
  • more access to schools or other people we can help
  • it would be nice if all CULE members could attend, it was the 1st Convention so there is always a learning curve.
  • I thought the price was a bit steep
  • more accessibility
  • better travel arrangements, better food
  • perhaps travel made it inaccessible for some, but would everyone have been there even if it was on their doorstep?

If no, why did you not attend?

  • Personal reasons (4)
  • Prior Commitments (0)
  • Other, please comment
    • Might have gone if I had known there was a social justice component
    • I did not like the process that rolled out
    • hypocrisy of taking advantage of low Cuban workers wages and working conditions under the guise of international solidarity and social justice. Paid vacation.
    • problems with getting a passport
    • did not want to spend my money outside of Canada. Practice what we preach, but can/may reconsider.

Were there barriers that prevented you from attending the Convention that you feel CULE could address?

  • Yes (7)
  • No (23)

If yes, what were the barriers?

  • I was concerned about the party atmosphere (needlessly as it turns out)
  • Timing of the convention
  • smoking – asthma and similar problems
  • not a smoke free facility (x 2)
  • Convention should only be held in Canada
  • heat
  • family care at home
  • monetary issues

If yes, what suggestions can you give so that CULE might explore ways to remove those barriers?

  • list ahead of time of behavioural expectations such (i.e.: harassment, alcohol free, scent free)
  • hold a survey on the date of Convention
  • smoke free/scent free location (X 2)
  • Scrap convention altogether and use the money for a strike fund.
  • talk with convention facilities to ensure accessibility, elevators, smoke free, scent free, full menus with options (vegan, diabetic and allergies) child care
  • go somewhere not so hot next time

Are you aware of any other barriers or difficulties that any CULE member faced or may face that prevented them or prevents them from attending Convention that you feel CULE could be able to address?

  • Yes (10)
  • No (24)

If yes, what are the barriers?

  • smoking (x 4)
  • open communication
  • being able to attend
  • the few who stuck by their ‘own version’ of trade unionism and solidarity are disliked as being a reminder of what others should have done.
  • family responsibilities
  • medical issues
  • childcare (x 2)
  • family responsibilities, passports, mindsets

If yes, what suggestions can you give so that CULE might explore ways to remove those barriers?

  • ensure place can accommodate people that cannot tolerate second hand smoke
  • answer members’ questions (though I think that has been addressed)
  • video conferencing via web link or similar arrangements during convention for those not able to
    be there physically
  • Canada only conventions
  • family care – provide financial assistance by (1)either bringing a family member or (2) have them looked
    after at home
  • ensure there are adequate medical facilities nearby
  • childcare for children left at home – childcare policy for all CULE activities
  • advanced planning, start thinking will in advance about alternate arrangements for family care, etc.
  • childcare for the convention, but not the whole duration of the stay

Are you aware of any other barriers or difficulties that any CULE member faced during the convention that prevented them from fully participating in the Convention that you feel CULE could address?

  • Yes (5)
  • No (21)

If yes, what were the barriers?

  • transparency of process from Committee and Executive
  • turn around time for workplace coverage
  • childcare
  • accessibility
  • childcare
  • location

If yes, what suggestions can you give so that CULE might explore ways to remove those barriers?

  • have information shared up front with all members about decisions made
  • members vote on all cost factors and location decisions
  • CULE should negotiate with employer to have members come in to small ROs so that members can participate fully, where members could not stay any longer than one week even if they wanted to.
  • CULE should not pay for all family members to travel, but provide generous family care allowances
  • family care allowances
  • childcare policy

Where do you think we should hold the next CULE Convention? Please tell the reasons why the CULE Convention should be held there.

Canadian Suggestions (10)

  • Atlantic or Vancouver (far from Ottawa) Unionized hotels
  • in Canada – I believe out funds should be spent in Canada which will be used to employ Canadians and puts money back into our economy.
  • Ottawa – all CULE members earn a significant wage and can afford to go South on their own.
  • Montreal – it is in Canada, no RO there for CULE. We should alternate between Canada and outside Canada.
  • Whitehorse, Yukon in the summer to ensure involvement of CULE northern members
  • Gaspe, Quebec by train in the summer
  • Quebec City or central Canada
  • Newfoundland, anywhere but Ottawa – somewhere warm in the winter, Canada if summer, nice to be away from Ottawa as most conventions are held there.
  • Off season Aboriginal resort communities such as Riding Mountain, Cornwall, Hecla Island Manitoba, Kenosee Saskatchewan – enforcement of smoke free environments, health and safety priorities and example.
  • Rural setting in Canada, somewhere with a natural restful setting, to encourage interaction and a chance for some rest.

Southern suggestions (22)

  • Cuba or other country
  • Cuba – except for the smoking, it was a perfect fit.
  • Cuba – to get away from work/members
  • Cuba, Venezuela, Jamaica, Philippines – continued solidarity work.
  • Cuba – somewhere in Havana – change from a resort so you can experience the country while there.
  • Cuba – it fits our social justice work. It forces us to relax as the phone system prevents us being on the phone all day, kept us together, cheap enough to make it a vacation as well.
  • Cuba or a South American socialist country
  • Cuba or Dominican Republic – outside of Canada so we can really meet and mix and be away from the office and to learn about the people and country we are visiting.
  • Cuba – it was a great experience, I felt safe and was happy to be able to bring my family and do a little bit for social justice while there
  • Cuba, Nicaragua in the winter to continue our social justice outreach
  • Cuba – relaxing for members, no work related stress, and loved the social justice work that CULE did, very proud to be part of this union.
  • Cuba or another similar country
  • Cuba, Mexico, Dominican Republic – costs less than staying in Canada and experiencing and appreciating another side of life.
  • Jamaica – it is warm, there are lots of Unions to network with and fully accessible facilities and medical clinics
  • Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Bermuda – someplace warm again – people feel more relaxed, they need a break, our ability to do this should be a source of pride.
  • Dominican Republic – we have already been to Cuba (though there was nothing wrong with Cuba)
  • Dominican Republic or Bermuda – many 3rd world countries could use our assistance, although Cuba was good, we need to share with others.
  • Cozumel, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic – visit developing areas or ones affected by global warming and we need a break from the norm.
  • Florida – somewhere warm in the winter.
  • Peru – South America because they have an active trade union/Labour movement. It is a developing country that offers a number of social justice causes.
  • Venezuela – to go to another country actively challenging the US agenda.
  • Central America – Outside privileged Canada and US – Solidarity work goes far and is much needed. Unions have a much more difficult climate to work in, makes a difference in people’s lives.

Other generic suggestions (4)

  • Anywhere outside of Canada – Social justice possibilities, gathering of CULE members, opportunity to work in some well deserved time off.
  • Don’t care, but want to see Social Justice work done again
  • doesn’t matter, I am retiring in 2009
  • anywhere we as Canadians can help make a difference

Are there any factors that you think CULE should take into consideration in the choice of a location for the next CULE Convention, such as?

  • cost #1(5) #2 (12) #3 (7)
  • the environment and our ecological footprint (i.e.: travel other than by airplane where possible) #1 (4) #2 (5) #3 (8)
  • Social Justice (i.e. assistance to the place we visit, such as the assistance we provided to the schools
    and hospitals during our last convention in Cuba) #1 (20) #2 (6) #3 (2)
  • Other
    • union
    • smoke free
    • focus on Latin America
    • spend our money in Canada
    • Canada only convention
    • able to get together with family
    • medical facilities
    • Place to be together away from work
    • family facility
    • accessibility
    • so much poverty here at home, I cannot think of other countries
    • members with disabilities would have to self identify to assist CULE in exploring all possibilities
    • only hold CULE convention when we can fully fund (x 2)

Submitted by the CULE Convention Committee: Debbie McLaughlin Joan-Ann Gravesande, and Pamela Peckford

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