Address to the Members of CUPE 2974

A Message from your Local President


To the membership of CUPE Local 2974

For those who don’t know me, my name is James Jovanovic.  I have served twice, separately on the executive, both in the position of Sub-Chair for 2974.2, totalling 4 years.  I’ve worked for Essex-Windsor EMS as a paramedic for over 12 years.  In my time here I’ve always placed an emphasis on standing up for our rights and fighting for what I believed in; primarily, the fair treatment of my colleagues in the workplace.

I am honored to have been nominated and elected your Union President. The significance of this appointment is one that I take very seriously; but not in how it will impact my life, rather the responsibility it has to each of yours.  The executive will place an enhanced emphasis on transparency, communication and responsibility to the membership. We will prioritize strengthening each of your voices while empowering your control over the direction of this local and over the future of your careers. This union will represent all members equally, regardless of position, classification, sector or status.  It is time that we are all reminded that this union exists to serve the betterment of its members in and outside of the workplace; to fight for your rights and to defend your interests. We have an unbelievably dedicated group on the executive that will work towards providing you with the tools for maximizing what a union can mean for each of us.  Only by coming together will we accomplish our goals; standing up for one another and supporting each other is where our strength lies. It cannot be stressed enough; each view matters, everyone’s opinions are equal, all voices deserve to be heard. Gone are the days where differing opinions will be considered out of order.  Opposing viewpoints are not only welcomed, but they are also encouraged.  If you have criticism of the union, I wish to hear it directly. If you have an opinion or view on which direction the local should take, I ask that you share it. “When you have something to say, silence is a lie”. I appreciate the wide-ranging views inherent to a group of unique individuals.  Not everyone will view “the union” in the same light.  If you don’t believe that this union works for you, that it doesn’t represent your interests, let us know so that we may all improve upon it. The union can be whatever you make of it; but any required change starts with your participation, through exercising the strength of your own voice.

The primary focus of the executive will be ensuring that your needs are recognized, and that this union represents something we all can share pride in being a part of.

COVID restrictions may initially limit my plans, but I will be looking to tour each worksite (outside of ems) in the near future in order to learn more about the issues you each face daily. Over time, I hope to meet and get to know each member of this local. I hope you can view this changeover as a fresh start and new beginning for this union, that will give us the opportunity for making achievements in better working conditions, compensation, representation and collective bargaining.

We will be expanding usage of the website in order to improve communication and access to information, thereby giving you greater tools to stay informed and make an impact. We want to strengthen this local by taking steps forward technologically and through embracing new thoughts and ideas for what a union can be and how best it can serve its members. I’m excited for what possibilities we can accomplish by simply standing strong, together, for a common purpose and a united future.

Rise together, stand united… YOU are the Union.

Thank you.

In solidarity,

James Jovanovic
Union brother
CUPE 2974