|UNDE Strikes Back
Hopes were high for the 193 delegates who travelled to Banff, Alberta for the August 1972 UNDE National Convention. The National Secretary-Treasurer Ken Green, especially, wanted to reverse the effects of the crippling budget from the 1969 Convention.
Green argued for an additional 39 staff, including a lawyer and 10 people for the Regional Administrators’ functions. Many of the Executive fully supported Green in this drive for full-time field staff, particularly those who saw themselves in the job, but others did not.
Candidates were keen on more participation in the bargaining process. They were ambivalent about additional UNDE training; however, an enhanced training program was approved.
A new tradition began in UNDE when Green was asked to read out all the staff salaries and their classifications during the Budget debate. Staff members were requested to leave, allegedly to save themselves the embarrassment of the personal questions that were to follow. Ironically, they all retained their ”interpretation” devices and were able to follow the full debate from outside the convention hall.
Green had some cause for elation after the convention; dues were increased by $1.09 to a total of $3.01 – to be applied to increased services on a wide front. The marathon budget debate (all of Wednesday, including an evening session, and a good part of Thursday) went a long way toward reconstituting UNDE after the 1969 financial setbacks.
The Convention may have been a ray of sunshine for UNDE, but storm clouds were gathering on the horizon. Negotiations for the General Labour and Trades (GL&T) Group, 46 % of whom resided in UNDE, had recently broken off.
|The History of the Union of National Defence Employees|
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