Resolution #78A-21-02

Support Members and Rebuild Together (SMART) Resolution

Working people and the labor movement have been under sustained attack by corporations and right wing billionaires for over 40 years, resulting in steep declines in union membership.

In 2019, convention delegates passed the Funding Our Fight for the Future resolution to ensure a steady stream of funding for SIF and Growth Fund projects. The resolution also funded AFL-CIO and Canadian Labour Congress affiliation fees from the rebalanced SIF and Growth income stream to free funds at the national and local level to be put to work in direct service to our members.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 created an unprecedented global health crisis with a serious financial impact on our union and our members. The funds freed up by the Funding Our Fight for the Future resolution allowed CWA to avoid layoffs and drastic reductions in service to our locals and our members in the short run. But these funds are not enough to compensate for the long-term effect of pandemic layoffs combined with workplace shutdowns and other permanent job losses.

We are faced with a choice: Manage the downsizing of an ever-smaller, declining union through hiring freezes and service reductions or invest in a brighter, better future for our members and all working families. The Biden administration offers a window of opportunity, and recent organizing gains have CWA poised to lead a significant rebound of worker power.

The SMART Resolution will help CWA meet this moment by putting SIF funds to immediate use directly serving our members. Hiring front line staff to bargain and enforce contracts, deliver training, mobilize, and help workers organize, will elevate and empower the greatest source of that strength -- our members -- during this critical time.

The Support Members nd Rebuild Together resolution is CWA’s SMART response to the pandemic. It will help us build our union back better by allocating a portion of existing Strategic Industry Funds for direct service to members and organizing to build power.

Resolved:

  1. In order to better serve our locals and members, CWA may dedicate up to 20% of the balance of the Strategic Industry Fund to hire regular, full-time staff representatives and organizing coordinators.
  2. The geographic districts shall hire positions from funds taken proportionally from the telecom, public sector, and passenger service silos. The sectors shall hire from funds within their respective silos.
  3. The Defense Fund Oversight Committee will receive reports at least twice a year on this hiring, including a roster of individuals brought on staff, salary totals and totals spending in relationship to the 20% cap.
  4. Staff representatives will report to their assigned Vice President and be assigned work in the same way as any other staff representatives. Organizing coordinators will report to their assigned Vice President as well as the CWA senior director of organizing.
  5. In an emergency, and with unanimous approval of the Defense Fund Oversight Committee, CWA may spend up to an additional 10% of the Strategic Industry Fund balance on General Fund needs. Emergencies shall include FEMA-declared natural disasters, pandemics, national loss of fair share fees, or other unforeseen situations that cause a significant sustained loss of income and substantially impair CWA’s ability to serve members.
  6. In the event that CWA reaches the membership target of 500,000, the Defense Fund Oversight Committee will report to the following Convention so that delegates may reconsider the provisions of the SMART resolution. The Convention shall determine if funding will be discontinued, revised or reauthorized.
  7. All principal and interest from mortgages issued to locals from the Robert Lilja Members’ Relief Fund will be retained by the fund.