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November 2011 President's Report

Dear Fellow Local 79 Member:

As this is my last President’s Report before I step down from office, I would like to take a moment to reflect on my time as an elected official with Local 79. In the eleven years since I was first elected Local 79 President in 2000, I have had the privilege to meet most of the members of this Local. The greatest achievement and honour for me has been to lead the largest Local in the country and have you, the membership, put your trust and faith in my leadership!

I will be serving out the remainder of my term, which will expire at the end of the year. During that period, I will continue to work closely with Local 79’s current and future Executive to ensure both an orderly transition, and to provide assistance with what promises to be a challenging round of bargaining with the City of Toronto. As I said in August, when I announced that I would not be seeking re-election, “I will be leaving the Presidency with great pride and confidence in the Local’s future.”

I have been deeply moved by all of the good will messages that I have received since I made that announcement. Once again, I thank each and every one of you for the opportunity to serve and for all of the support and encouragement that you have given to me over many years!

The second phase of Local 79’s “Taking Care of Toronto” public engagement campaign kicked-off in October. This part features a more intimate look at how our members take care of Toronto. In addition to the campaign images that are being featured in subway cars and on bus shelters across the city, there are video counterparts that are being televised and shared on social media. The television messages, being aired at prime time on all major networks, showcase some of the many valuable services that Local 79 members perform. Based on the many supportive messages received from Torontonians who have seen our advertisements on television and on the TTC, our campaign appears to have been an unqualified success!

Local 79 was pleased to accept the Communications Award for ‘Best Website Design’ at the CUPE 2011 National Convention in Vancouver recently. Local 79’s website was re-developed earlier this year. The redesign emphasizes a streamlined look, social media widgets, an e Newsletter, and a recently added secure ‘Members’ Portal’ in order to give Local 79 members access to personalized and confidential information.

December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada. Established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada, this day marks the anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal. As well as commemorating the 14 young women whose lives ended in an act of gender-based violence that shocked the nation, December 6 represents an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the phenomenon of violence against women in our society. It is also an opportunity to consider the women and girls for whom violence is a daily reality, and to remember those who have died as a result of gender-based violence. And finally, it is a day on which communities can consider concrete actions to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.

Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on December 10. On that date in 1948, the first global treaty on human rights — the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — was signed at the United Nations. Canadian Law Professor John Humphrey was involved in drawing up that historic document, which was the first international document recognizing human rights as the foundation of peace, justice and freedom in the world. In Canada, the Universal Declaration has inspired legislation that includes the Charter of Rights and Freedoms along with federal, provincial and territorial human rights laws. These laws reflect the Universal Declaration’s principle of equality, and the statement in Article Two that “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”

Local 79 remains committed to raising awareness of Human Rights and Gender Equity issues through our committees, including the Status of Women Committee, the Human Rights Committee, and through the office of our Equity Vice-President.

In Solidarity,


Ann Dembinski



Shall replenish. Tree doesn’t face. There which creepeth multiply fish unto of Seed. Behold made two Rule divided. Fruit form.

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