1963 Merger of NUPE and NUPSE to create CUPE
CUPE was created in 1963 through the merger of NUPE – the National Union of Public Employees and NUPSE – the National Union of Public Service Employees.
NUPE belonged to the Trades and Labour Congress (TLC) that included the long-standing craft unions and building trades NUPSE belonged to the Canadian Congress of Labour (CCL) that favoured industrial unionism, uniting workers across trades, like the steelworkers’ and autoworkers’ unions.
In 1956 these two national labour centrals, the TLC and CCL, merged to form the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC).
NUPE in New Brunswick
In New Brunswick, NUPE represented municipal, school boards, hospitals and some members in the universities.
The New Brunswick Division of the National Union of Public Employees was presented its Charter during the second annual meeting, held at the Gloucester Hotel in Bathurst in 1960. The provincial body was organized as a unit in December 1959. The Charter was presented by the national director of NUPE, R.P. Rintoul, to the president of NUPE in New Brunswick, George Evans of Saint John.
The 52 delegates’ assembly gave full backing to two resolutions centering on the Province’s Labour Relation Act. The first call on the provincial government was to debate amendment to the act, which gives municipal boards the privilege of declaring themselves not employers of Labour. The second advocates equal pay for equal work.
All regions of the province were represented on the first NUPE executive in New Brunswick:
- George Evans, President, Saint John;
- Phil Booker, Vice-President, Fredericton;
- Thomas Owens, Secretary-Treasurer, Saint John;
- George Grondin, Edmundston;
- Omer Roussel, Bathurst; and
- May Richard, Moncton.
In 1963, New Brunswick had a delegation of 9 persons representing municipal and hospital employees at the founding convention of CUPE in Winnipeg.
The delegates were:
- National Union of Public Employees, NB Division: George Evans;
- Saint John Civic Employees, Local 18: Walter Patchell and Leo J. McCluskey;
- Saint John Board Employees, Local 380: F.H.P Phillips;
- Moncton Hospital Employees, Local 720: Annie Laird and Vivian Smith;
- Saint John General Hospital Employees, Local 813: A.P. Leblanc;
- NUPE Local 833, Campbellton: Alonzo Bernard; and,
- St. Joseph’s Hospital, Local 856, Dalhousie: Emilia Nugent.
The New Brunswick Division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees held its founding convention in August 1964 in Edmundston. CUPE’s first National President, Stan Little, was the guest speaker and presented the Division with its Charter.
The Charter was presented to the executive of the former NUPE: George Evans, President; Thomas Owens, Secretary-Treasurer and Walter A. Phair, Vice-president, Fredericton; Annie Laird, Moncton; George Grondin, Edmundston; and Omer Roussel, Bathurst.
During that first convention a new CUPE executive was elected:
George Evans, President; A.P. Leblanc, Secretary-Treasurer; Walter A. Phair, Fredericton; Thomas Ouellette, Edmundston; Laura McLellan, Moncton; and Emilia Nugent, Dalhousie.