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Statement: OPIRG Brock Faces 59% Budget Cut

On Thursday January 25, 2024, a motion was brought to the CUPE 4207 General Membership Meeting (GMM) by a member of the 4207 Executive Committee to completely remove the CUPE 4207-OPIRG Brock Assessment, passing with a vote of 26-23. 

The removal of this assessment, effective March 31, 2024, will cut approximately 27% of the current OPIRG Brock annual budget, and 59% of all subsequent annual budgets. 

The 4207-OPIRG Assessment, which was established by a vote in March 2020 by CUPE 4207 Members, entailed that each union member would contribute 0.25% of their wages to OPIRG Brock over the duration of their contract. In September 2023, an Ad Hoc Committee of select OPIRG Brock Board members and CUPE 4207 members was formed to examine the relationship between the two organizations, as approved by the CUPE 4207 membership. The motion to remove the Assessment followed the 4207 membership accepting a report by this Ad-Hoc committee. This report did not identify any issues with the working relationship between CUPE 4207 members and OPIRG Brock.

Currently, our staff and Board members are still working, while having to drastically shift a substantial amount of time and resources towards fundraising strategies in order to address the imminent loss of funds and mitigate the impacts on our programming. We are still currently moving forward with most of our commitments and programs as scheduled. Our most immediate goal is to boost our fundraising models to raise $21,000 by September 1, 2024.  

The team at OPIRG Brock continues to work in solidarity with the members of CUPE 4207, as one of our top priorities remains to connect workers and students to community and campus based activism and resources, and labour organizing in Niagara. As we continue to work closely with members of CUPE 4207, we have received many questions and concerns around this situation, including policies and processes that were followed, with the most common being:

  • As a CUPE 4207 member, why did the union not notify me of the vote ahead of time?

  • How could this motion pass with less than 2/3rds in favour (as required by CUPE 4207 bylaws)?

  • What steps need to be taken to appeal this decision? Can this motion be reconsidered?

If you are a CUPE 4207 member with these questions, we recommend you to reach out to your CUPE National Rep and the CUPE 4207 Executive to find the clarifications you are looking for. All CUPE 4207 members will continue to be approved OPIRG Brock members until the annual OPIRG Brock membership renewal date on May 1, 2024, prior to which you will receive details about renewing your membership for the 2024-2025 year.

If you are looking for ways to support OPIRG Brock at this time, please see the list below and do not hesitate to reach out with alternative ways to support, or even a kind word or two of encouragement! We appreciate all of the support from the community thus far, and will remain true to our mandate of working with students, service providers, community members, labour unions, artists, and activists to build collaboration, connections, and communities of abundance in and outside of Niagara. 

PDF for download:

How to support OPIRG Brock
Download • 9.55MB

In Solidarity, 

The OPIRG Brock Board of Directors


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