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  • authored by lefkenny
  • published Fri, Sep 13, 2002

Cupe Scandal Rates Police Investigation

Cupe Scandal Rates Police Investigation

We recently reported here about a Cupe union official in the City of Kitchener Ontario who while Secretary Treasurer defrauded his Cupe local of more than $270,000 and received a sentence of 18 months house arrest.

This time however, the place of scrutiny is at the very top of Cupe and the use of Cupe National funds. Of particular interest is the campaign finances of Brother Sid Ryan, who was running for Secretary Treasurer of Cupe National and was a very strong candidate to eventually replace Cupe President Judy Darcy.

Brother Patrick (Sid) Ryan has made a rapid rise through the ranks of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), holding all positions from Shop Steward through to President of Cupe Ontario, the largest union in Ontario. Born in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, Brother Ryan emigrated to Canada in 1975 and became very well known for his militancy within the labour movement.

Brother Ryan at the November 2001 Cupe Convention in Vancouver British Columbia, lost his bid for Secretary Treasurer to a mild mannered candidate from the province of Quebec. Brother Ryan of recent has also been in a Cat Fight with Cupe President Judy Darcy who also originated from Ontario. Brother Ryan sums up the difference as nothing more than two opinionated leaders who do not always agree.

There is great importance in keeping National influence over Ontario, for between the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, together they hold over one half of Cupe's total membership that is estimated to be close to 485,000. A change in that balance of power would surely be a threat to the overall influence that the National union now holds.

So why has Brother Ryan's campaign finances suddenly come under scrutiny? Does it have something to do with some with unauthorized cheques? It is a campaign to keep the militant Brother Ryan in check?

This is the most recent Media Statement by Cupe National dated September 13th, 2002

Statement on Police Investigation

In the aftermath of the 2001 National Convention, CUPE National President Judy Darcy and newly elected National Secretary-Treasurer Claude Généreux launched an internal investigation into allegations of financial irregularities involving the use of CUPE National funds.

In the course of this investigation, it was discovered that CUPE National funds had been diverted to finance the Sid Ryan campaign for the position of National Secretary-Treasurer.

Because of the seriousness of this matter, the CUPE National Officers decided to refer this matter to the police, and advised all of those involved that this action would be taken.

Moreover, a number of actions have been taken by the National President and National Secretary-Treasurer to ensure the financial integrity of our members' hard-earned dues dollar.

Improved financial systems and controls have been set in place. As well, the employment of the former Managing Director of Finance and Administration has been terminated.

In addition, a task force has been appointed to recommend new election conduct rules to apply to all candidates for future elections for National Executive Board positions.

As this matter has now been referred to police, no further statements will be issued at this time.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Fri, Sep 13, 2002 7:19pm

Now that's interesting. Diverting union funds for your own personal interests (like campaigning for election), is a matter for the police? Couldn't agree more.

Whatever may be motivating Judy Darcy, I think this is a good example for other unions to follow. This could be a precedent setting case as they say. Keep us posted on the outcome AU.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Sat, Sep 14, 2002 8:04am

More on this story from today's Globe and Mail:

quote:


CUPE asks for probe of Ryan's campaign
By GRAEME SMITH
Saturday, September 14, 2002 – Page A12

Ottawa Police have been asked to investigate whether well-known union leader Sid Ryan accepted campaign donations that were illegally taken from union coffers.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees said yesterday that it has asked fraud investigators to examine "financial irregularities" that allegedly occurred during Mr. Ryan's failed campaign last year for one of the union's top jobs.

Union president Judy Darcy sent a letter to fellow union executives on Sept. 4, alleging that Mr. Ryan's campaign improperly received $30,000 worth of free airplane tickets from the union and $35,000 in donations from union suppliers. The two companies that made donations were encouraged to recover their money by billing the union for work that was not done, the letter alleges.

Each transaction was arranged by a senior director at CUPE's national office who has since been fired, according to the letter.

Mr. Ryan, president of CUPE Ontario, said he was "shocked" by the allegations and had no knowledge of the activities of the union official accused of performing the transactions.

"What he [the official] did with that false invoicing scheme, I had absolutely no knowledge that that was what he was doing," he said.

Union leaders hired forensic accountants to look at CUPE's records after the national convention in November, 2001, where Mr. Ryan lost the election for secretary-treasurer.

The accountants still haven't finished their work, CUPE spokesman Robert Fox said, but the interim results were too troublesome to handle internally.

Among the allegations:

An Ottawa-based computer firm billed CUPE $50,000 for work it didn't do. Mr. Ryan said the company donated $20,000 to his campaign;

A construction company submitted an invoice of $17,976 for roof repairs that weren't performed, and gave $15,000 to the campaign;

Mr. Ryan's supporters received free airplane tickets to attend a campaign meeting;

Campaign meeting expenses such as hotel rooms, meals, and car rentals were charged to CUPE's accounts.

Mr. Ryan said he and his supporters have offered to reimburse the outstanding expenses, but the offer has not been accepted.


Whatever the outcome of this investigation, I think the day of reckoning is coming for union officials who believe they are more deserving of what's in the union's treasury than the members.

  • posted by lefkenny
  • Sat, Sep 14, 2002 11:02am

quote:


CUPE president Ryan denies controversy (From www.canada.com)

Friday, September 13, 2002

TORONTO -- Public employee union president Sid Ryan is denying any involvement in an alleged campaign contribution controversy that the union intends to turn over to police.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees wants an investigation into misuse of union funds during a leadership campaign mounted by Ryan, the organization's Ontario president, CBC Radio reported.

''This report clearly infers that I am implicated in these election-spending irregularities and suggests that I have been knowingly involved in wrongdoing relating to my campaign for the position of CUPE national secretary-treasurer in 2001,'' Ryan said in a written statement.

''I want to state unequivocally as I have in the past and as our national executive is aware that I had no knowledge of any of these alleged improprieties.''

CBC quoted a letter from the union's national president saying that during the race two companies contributed $65,000 to the Ryan campaign. The companies then tried to get the money back from the union by billing it for work that was not done.

There was also an allegation that the Ryan campaign wrongly used $30,000 worth of the union's airline tickets.

Ryan said he welcomes the investigation. He said the false invoices and airline tickets were arranged by a staff member who has since been fired.

More than a year ago Ryan unsuccessfully ran for the post on the union's national executive.

He said Friday that his campaign staff offered to repay any outstanding expenses but had not had a response from the union's national office.

''While it is true that the campaign accepted donations from two CUPE suppliers, namely, a construction company and a technology company, I want to emphasize that this is not a violation of any CUPE rule, regulation, by-law or section of our constitution, nor is it illegal in any manner shape or form,'' Ryan said.

''The campaign was merely following a well-established practice, not uncommon in CUPE, relating to donations.''
In his statement, Ryan said the union's provincial executive board voted to stand by its leadership and its work would continue uninterrupted during the investigation.


We may never get an official of Cupe to officially post her, so these quotes of Brother Ryan statements may be the only ones we may be privy to.

  • posted by Richard
  • Sat, Sep 14, 2002 11:41am

quote:


''The campaign was merely following a well-established practice, not uncommon in CUPE, relating to donations.''


It's the well-established practices that scare us all. Doesn't morality and ethics ever come into play. Is, "everything is possible unless there is a written rule, policy or law prohibiting it" how our union leaders operate?

Dumping pollutants into rivers and lakes was legal until laws were passed, but was the practice any more moral or ethical prior to the law? Accepting business bribes and price fixing was legal until legislation said it was not, but was bribery any more moral or ethical prior to the law?

The defense that there isn't a rule or "the board okayed it" is wearing a bit thin.

In fact, I think Brian Williamson wore it out with his defense of his obscene pay raise.

Hey maybe some of my UFCW (CUPE is welcome too) cohorts would like to do an ethics test.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Sat, Sep 14, 2002 12:38pm

If Ryan was following "a well-established practice, not uncommon in CUPE, relating to donations.'' that's pretty scary. CUPE is regarded as being a cut above the sleazy biz unions. If creative accounting and kick backs out of the union treasury to campaign donors is a well established practice within CUPE, the malaise of mainstream unionism is deeper and broader than we have been assuming.

Actually, the fact that Ryan - who is a real militant - would engage in this kind of dishonest behaviour (and he's as much as admitted it), leads me to wonder whether there is any hope for the current "big union" model. If guys like Ryan get so power hungry that they can rationalize corruption as "just another one of those things", I think the model needs to be scrapped.

On the plus side, however, maybe this event(coming on the heels of the $270,000 theft by an ex-secretary treasurer in one of the Ontario locals) will compel CUPE to take a leadership role in cleaning up the Canadian house o' labour.

  • posted by weiser
  • Sat, Sep 14, 2002 1:22pm

Oh, Sid says he be clean. He don't know how the milk gets in the fridge, he just sees it there and drinks it. Apparently the milk delivery person has been fired. Why would a milk delivery person be fired if he/she was just:

quote:


''The campaign was merely following a well-established practice, not uncommon in CUPE, relating to donations.''
In his statement, Ryan said the union's provincial executive board voted to stand by its leadership and its work would continue uninterrupted during the investigation.


  • posted by 1234
  • Sat, Sep 14, 2002 2:03pm

quote:


If Ryan was following "a well-established practice, not uncommon in CUPE, relating to donations.'' that's pretty scary. CUPE is regarded as being a cut above the sleazy biz unions. If creative accounting and kick backs out of the union treasury to campaign donors is a well established practice within CUPE, the malaise of mainstream unionism is deeper and broader than we have been assuming.


by Remote Viewer

If the comments of Brother Ryan are in fact true, it would appear in my political opinion that the militant Ryan may be being fed by the wolves to a larger predator for yet unkown reasons. If it is a common practice in Cupe, why are other Cupe executives not under scrutiny, why only Brother Ryan? I would hope that Sister Darcy and Brother Claude Généreux who in my political opinion were supportive campaigning buddies, will also have to go through a forensic audit. There should be no sacrificial lamb offered as a peace offering until all Cupe executives have gone through the same forensic scrutiny and all judged by the same eye.

Yes, I am sad to hear Brother Ryan is in the spotlight for alleged crimes against all members.

During my ordeal with my old corrupt local, when my President Paul Moist of Manitoba and other National leaders would not answer my request, Brother Ryan promised me that he would in fact ensure that my concerns would be brought up at the National Executive meeting. Not only did Brother Ryan have balls in my opinion, he to me also had courage to face his fellow National executive members with my concern when no one else would not. There was no gain for Brother Ryan to do so. I was not from his province and my situation involved discretionary conduct on the part of Cupe officials in Manitoba. And dammed if I did not get a response from President Darcy refusing my request.

So if National President Judy Darcy and newly elected National Secretary-Treasurer Claude Généreux want to make a political example of only Brother Ryan, as a Cupe member I say lets judge all the Cupe leaders conduct at the same time for the honor and integrity of all unionists everywhere.

I think the whole situation in my political opinion warrants the questions: "Is CUPE a cut above the sleazy biz unions? How different is UFCW from Cupe, or any other union for that matter? If it were not for a few web sites like this one, would be really know anything about the apprehensive unrepentant conduct by UFCW officials. What do we really know about Cupe, a union nearing a half million members? If I have learned one thing about my union, and that is to look far beyond the obvious and to look for deeper political motivation.

  • posted by Troll
  • Sat, Sep 14, 2002 3:26pm

Excellent point, LK.

Just because the house is stinkin' and they're pointing at Sid's shoes as the ones with doggy poop on 'em. Maybe he picked up the poop that the others regularly track accross the carpet.

I'm in agreement with you, LK. OK everyone, let's see all your feet on the table. We want to inspect the bottoms of all your shoes.

Still, why was the staffer fired? Who fired him? What did he do that warranted summary firing? Is this really the blood bath after the failed attempt at a palace coup?

  • posted by lefkenny
  • Sat, Sep 14, 2002 4:04pm

Hey love the poo analogy Troll. and the quote

quote:


Still, why was the staffer fired? Who fired him? What did he do that warranted summary firing? Is this really the blood bath after the failed attempt at a palace coup?


I've been waiting for these questions to be asked. Does the staffer not warrant the same grievance procedure that we are at least entiltled to in theory. Why is Cupe acting like our employers-fire first ask questions later? Where is the staffers' union, who is the staffers union? Are we not all innocent until proven guilty? Why the rush to judgement and why the summary judgement? Why not fire Brother Ryan too or is does Cupe treat sheep differently different than wolves or in Ryan's case wolf-lion.?

The campaign was over nearly a year ago. What took my union so long to detect the discrepancies? Who does Cupe use for accounting- Arthur Anderson?

If the ''The campaign was merely following a well-established practice, not uncommon in CUPE,..." and this is not a violation of any CUPE rule, regulation, by-law or section of our constitution, nor is it illegal in any manner shape or form, should President Darcy also step down if Ryan is convicted of wrong doing?

No one by any stretch of the imagination is making light of the accusations, but hell something here smells like poo.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Sat, Sep 14, 2002 4:55pm

Very good points. I wonder if Sid Ryan is the first and only. I wonder what made him think it was OK to do this stuff (assuming he did it)? Was it what he saw going on within CUPE or within mainstream labour organizations in general. The answers could tell us a lot. Hmmm...I guess we could ask him?

I wonder what CUPE is going to do in the wake of this scandal...however it ends.

  • posted by Scott Mcpherson
  • Sat, Sep 14, 2002 6:33pm

I think LK has hit the nail on the head here. Is Judy Darcy doing the right thing with regards to brother Ryan? Yes of course she is. But why? Quite frankly I'd be just as concerned about that.

Brother Ryan on the off chance you visit this site let me say, slow down as you near the George Massy Tunnel on hwy 99. in Richmond B.C. The speed limit changes from 100 klm to 80 and the police freequently catch speeders there. I know, they caught me, and the fact I didn't realize there was a change in the speed limit didn't matter to them in the least. Cost me a $100 bucks just the same.

In part 4 of my MFD story I had contemplated mentioning the campaign material used by Sundin and his "action team". Strickly top notch, colour pictures, glossy paper, really nice, made ours look like a value village special. Most people don't realize that vendors regularly make campaign donations, particularly the union print shops that handle contracts for the union. It would seem that in exchange for extra value flyers it's hoped if the encumbants are elected the contracts will be renued, or at least "considerd for renual."

What appears to have happened in CUPE is the work was done for the Ryan bid, but then the print shop/company [whatever] falsely billed the union at a later date. Now that's a misuse of union funds, but who's to say union encumbants don't do that all the time? only in this case this encumbant was challenging for a higher position and the people he lost too had more political power than he did and called his finance's into question.

But what if Ryan was defending his current position against a union reformer? a rank and file "power slate" for instance? would sister Darcy has been so concerned? I fear not.

When I hear union leaders talking about democracy want to puke! Union elections have no clear, strict and enforcable campaign protocals that dictate donations cannot come from anyone not a member of the local in question, the union National or International or immediate family. Be it soft money, resources or cash nothing stops outside parties from contributing to a union campaign. Particularly employers! And in the case of national elections and the like, every candidate should have a manditory forensic audit done of their local, their personal finances and the National/International with the results made available to the general membership after the election. But no such regulation or by-law exists in the labour movement.

Union elections stink! pure and simple and without a sound electoral process you have no true "democracy" only a "mockery" of representative government.

  • posted by lefkenny
  • Sun, Sep 15, 2002 11:35am

Our news room has obtained a copy of a response by Cupe's Sid Ryan to the allegations made by President Judy Darcy. Of particular significance to me is his last paragraph which states:

While it is incumbent on the senior leadership of CUPE to disclose all the facts and relevant details to CUPE members on this important and sensitive issue, they have failed to do this. Unfortunately, the "report" fails to make any reference to the above facts. These omissions distort the overall picture, sequence and relevance of events. So selective are the details and manner in which they have chosen to present the information that the "report" created a wide rift on our National Executive Board at the May 2002 meeting, resulting in ten vice-presidents from across Canada vehemently disagreeing with the
presentation of facts, and have caused me to question whether the circulation of the "report" is motivated by a desire to unfairly impugn me and other union members who worked on the campaign.

(signed)
Patrick (Sid) Ryan
President - CUPE Ontario

It is very unlike unions to taddle on other brother and sisters in the cult like atmoshpere in which they prevail. Leaders in my political opinion cultishly follow the principle of An Injury to One is An Injury to All So my question is: What is really going on here?

Why is Judy Darcy making an example of what some people perceive as the most militant leader presently in Cupe? I think Judy Darcy deserves to give us an explantion. Judy Darcy we know your trolls are watching, we dare you to tell us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

  • posted by Richard
  • Sun, Sep 15, 2002 2:45pm

What bothers me is that Sid either doesn't see the total lack of ethics in having "suppliers" contribute to campaigns, or he's totally ignoring it, and may very well do nothing to stop such unethical practices if his named is cleared.

What is alleged to have happened here is exactly what happened in the Ron Cary (Teamsters) election fraud fiasco.

This sort of shit just has to stop, and Sid could go a long way in exposing unethical "common practices" and pledging to stop them whenever and wherever he can.

If Sid knew nothing, then as far as Sid is concerned this is about ethics rather than breach of rules, laws or policies.

We're talkin' ethics here, Sid!

Most unions like to write up codes of conduct for employers, however, the Teamsters are taking a stab at writing a code, but remember, a Code just like a Constitution is only as good as the Power Sources' ability to have it enforced.
Teamster Code (Draft)

  • posted by lefkenny
  • Sun, Sep 15, 2002 3:31pm

Interesting point Richard. Leads me to ask a question of my union. What are the ethics policies of Cupe National? Where does one find a copy? Why are they not on the Cupe web site? Does every executive candidate regardless of ranking within Cupe have to abide by the same rules of conduct during elections? If Cupe has nothing to hide, lets see Cupe's ethics policies.

  • posted by gbuddy
  • Sun, Sep 15, 2002 5:19pm

quote:


posted by about unions:
.... What are the ethics policies of Cupe National? Where does one find a copy? Why are they not on the Cupe web site?


Before you can have an ethics policy you've got to have ethics. During my short but intense experience as a CUPE member, I never saw anything that I might have mistaken for ethics. Quite the opposite in fact.

Recently I filed a 50 page affidavit with the BC Supreme Court detailing what I did see. If the Court recognizes the merits of my case and the validity of my claims, CUPE will be on the hook for financial damages that will probably set a record for such a case in Canada. I expect the results before the end of this year and will post them on this web site.

On another note: can anyone shed some light on the relationship(s) between CUPE and CEP. Apparently a CEP local represesents the staff at my (former) CUPE local, and there are other such cases. My own difficulties were significantly increased by the (unwelcome) participation of a former CEP local president. Then, I notice reference to CUPE and CEP teaming up on the Ontario Hydro lawsuit. What gives? OK, CUPE is the biggest union in the country and CEP has 150,000 members or so. Is there anything else I should know?

  • posted by lefkenny
  • Sun, Sep 15, 2002 8:17pm

These sentences although snipits out of this article are from the mouth of Manitoba President Paul Moist and General Vice-President of the Cupe National Executive.

quote:


We care passionately about Canada and the state of our democracy.

We believe corporate accountability is of critical importance to a healthy and vibrant Canada.

We recommend that the Commission review this entire section of the Auditor General's Report, in our view it is instructive on matters of corporate accountability, openness and transparency and good governance practices.

We support the notion for legislative protection for individuals who report corporate violations in terms of their compliance with all laws, regulations and policies.

There are too many examples in Western democracies of obscene amounts of money being required to run for public office.


These quotes obtained from the article "CUPE Manitoba Presentation to The Democracy and Corporate Accountability Commission"

Lets practice what we preach Brother Moist

  • posted by lefkenny
  • Tue, Sep 17, 2002 12:54am

Thanks to a non Cupe contributor we have another source from the media on the Cupe Police Probe. What concerns me is how quickly both Cupe National and the media are to plaster the print with incidents like this one. Why will they not print when big business union sues the little member for no reason?

There must be a motive for Cupe National ensuring such wide spread attention on this issue.

  • posted by lefkenny
  • Tue, Sep 17, 2002 10:57am

As I sit here pondering unions future, I began to wonder if I, a Cupe member,was intitled to all the inner details of the scandal or would Cupe deny me that privilege. What do you all think, do I have that right as a Cupe member? Even if it is agreed that I do have that right, would Cupe National continue to with hold the pertinet information from me just like big business would isolate itself.

There is one thing that we must always keep in mind that Cupe belongs to the members, not to the National executives. Has Cupe forgotten that?

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Tue, Sep 17, 2002 11:42am

I think those are fair questions for any member of CUPE to be raising. I would think that CUPE should be willing to provide its members with a full accounting of the results of the investigation into this, both the police investigation and its own investigation into campaign fund practices.

You may want to communicate with the national office to see what their intentions are and speak to other CUPE members about the importance of getting a full and frank disclosure.

  • posted by lefkenny
  • Sat, Sep 21, 2002 2:26pm

Canadian Auto Workers President Buzz Hargrove believes Sid Ryan, the Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, is being persecuted by his national bosses through a "political" probe of alleged campaign finance fraud.

quote:


"Sid is off-stride with the (national) administration and this all appears to be political. I've known Sid Ryan for more years than I care to admit and I've always found him to be of high integrity... I personally do not believe that Sid Ryan had any knowledge of, or was involved in, anything untoward," Hargrove said.


Hargrove, himself admits he has on occasions sparred publicly with CUPE national president Judy Darcy too.

  • posted by Troll
  • Sat, Sep 21, 2002 5:34pm

Let's look at the bigger picture. Canada has just as much union corruption as the US; it's just that it's easier to get away with: Read the Metaquestion portion

quote:


To get a sense of what corruption means in the trades, I would offer a brief longitudinal study of the NYC District Council of Carpenters. I'll go back only as far as 1982. That's when the wallet belonging to Ted Maritas, President of the District Council, turned up beside the East River. They never found Ted. The consensus explanation was that he had a family problem. His mob family was concerned that after he got indicted in 1981, he'd cooperate with the feds.

Maritas was succeeded by Paschal Maguiness. Paschal Maguiness was first indicted in 1991. He beat the charges. But he was finally forced to step down in 1995 for his mob ties. As part of the settlement, Maguiness was banned from the district council for life. Evidently though, this experience looked good on Maguiness' resume as for as the International Brotherhood of Carpenters was concerned. Because following his resignation in New York he got appointed almost immediately as an international vice president in DC.

Fred Devine came in 1995 to clean up the mess left by Maguiness. Devine fired a foreman at the Javits for being an associate of the Genovese crime family. (Fred worked for the Colombo's.) When he ran for office in 1995, Devine got nearly a million dollars from something called the Labor-Management Cooperation Fund. He used some of the money for a billboard campaign promoting his candidacy. Finally he was indicted by the Manhattan District Attorney and convicted in March 1997.

Devine was brought down by a conflict between his two mistresses. First, there was his Rochester girl friend, Lucy Virginia who was on two union payrolls. Devine traveled regularly to see her from New York on a private jet paid for by the union. Then there was his other girl friend Jonni Clause-Stanton. A golf pro from New Jersey who Devine hired as his consultant.

The problem was that Devine told his Rochester girl friend, Lucy, that he'd hired Clause-Stanton as his bodyguard. When her picture appeared in the union paper. Lucy said Jonni didn't look like a body guard. The next thing you know, Fred was permanently grounded.

That brings us to the present regime, headed by a trustee. But under the new trusteeship, business agents who tried to report nonunion work got fired. Just a couple of months ago, the District Attorney seized the District Council's files. Just a few weeks ago, Tom Robbins reported that one of the prime sources in the DA's investigation, a dissident carpenter, had been killed in an accident on the job.

By this time Joe had put his fork down. He conceded. In exchange for his concession, I agreed to pick up the check. But I take Joe's point -- there are tens of thousands of honest, militant, hard-working officials and staffers in the American labor movement. Particularly at the local level. My point is that they're swimming against a corrupt tide. And that you can't turn the tide if you refuse to acknowledge which direction it's running.


Yes, the "families" have a finger in the Canadian pie too.

Talking about ethics, how ethical is this?

  • posted by 1234
  • Sun, Sep 22, 2002 7:30pm

As a dues paying member I have always believed that firstly, the rules of conduct should be written clearly and posted on Cupe's web site.

I am disappointed that my union waited until something happened before they put in checks and balances. I hope that every year hereafter, Cupe places on our web site a statement that all is well. I used to believe in having an outside accounting firm scrutinize the books of Cupe and every local, but now that accounting firms have been found sleeping with unions, I'm not sure what the solutioin is to prevent corruption with all our money.

However, I do believe that there must be indepth scrutiny in our financial dealings not only in my union but all unions.

It worries me deeply when union leaders in Canada object to legislated laws to scrutinize financial records. Why I ask would they object? What possibly reasons could they have?

  • posted by 1234
  • Sun, Sep 22, 2002 7:43pm

I would also like to welcome all members of my Cupe local 110 who will be entering an election on October 6th, 2002.

I hope that you all will learn as much from this web site about how unions are really run as I have.

I am sure that after reading articles on this web site or in the forum, you will become aware why Cupe National is now in the predicament they are in.

Our president, Brother Egan will be looking to be elected for his third two year term as will most of the exectutive.

Good luck to all and may democracy prevail without incident.

  • posted by lefkenny
  • Mon, Sep 23, 2002 10:39pm

quote:


Lawyer's letter not enough to clear smear, Ontario CUPE leader says

COLIN PERKEL, Canadian Press

Monday, September 23, 2002

TORONTO (CP) - The Ontario chief of Canada's largest union is threatening to sue his own organization for defamation following allegations of fraud and corruption.

While the national office of the Canadian Union of Public Employees has now formally stated in a lawyer's letter that there are no allegations against Sid Ryan, Ryan said Monday he won't be satisfied until the union makes that clear to members. Ryan said his reputation remains tarnished without justification in the eyes of union members because a widely distributed report by CUPE national president Judy Darcy linked his name to allegations of fraud.

He wants Darcy to inform CUPE members directly that allegations against him are false by making a public statement or circulating another letter stating so.

"They're balking at the notion of correcting that false impression," said Ryan, who emphatically denies any wrongdoing.

"Unless I get this clarification to the CUPE locals, I will be moving to sue for libel and for slander, no doubt about that."

Darcy's report to CUPE locals across the country informed members that Ryan's campaign for another union position last fall accepted thousands of dollars from two companies that submitted phony invoices to the national office.

The scheme was allegedly hatched and executed by a long-time union staff member who was fired for cause months ago.

Questions have also arisen about financial accountability in the national office in connection with massive cost-overruns involving a computer system put in place by one of the companies involved.

Darcy has refused to comment publicly on the scandal and would not discuss the lawyer's letter on Monday.

Her communications director said the union's position has not changed; the allegations are against Ryan's campaign, not Ryan.

"The letter that has been sent to his lawyer from our lawyer restates what has been stated," said Robert Fox.

Darcy has turned the matter over to police.

The scandal was expected to dominate a three-day meeting that begins Tuesday of the union's national executive board.

It has also drawn in other labour organizations. Buzz Hargrove, the head of the Canadian Auto Workers union, has suggested Ryan is a victim of a smear campaign.


quote:


"They're balking at the notion of correcting that false impression," said Ryan, who emphatically denies any wrongdoing.

"Unless I get this clarification to the CUPE locals, I will be moving to sue for libel and for slander, no doubt about that."


Well well, the Militant Ryan is threatening to sue his own union. HOWEVER THE CUPE CONSTITUTION CONSIDERS IT A CRIME UNDER THE CONSTITUTION TO SUE UNLESS ALL AVENUES HAVE BEEN EXHAUSTED. IS THERE TWO RULES, ONE FOR THE SHEEP AND ONE FOR THE IRISH WOLF?

Sister Darcy may have picked on the wrong irishman to kick around. Perhaps the truth lies more in:

quote:


Questions have also arisen about financial accountability in the national office in connection with massive cost-overruns involving a computer system put in place by one of the companies involved.


The rumor amoung the sheep is that Cupe purchsed a computer program to run the whole shaband for millions of dallars and quickly found that it would not work after the cheque had been cashed.

So Cupe executives, perhpaps the next time you want a program, call slek and save yourself the embarrasment of Questions about financial accountability in the Cupe national office.

  • posted by lefkenny
  • Tue, Sep 24, 2002 12:53am

From www.canoe.ca we find the columinst Michael Coren stating:

quote:


Ryan is one of the best-known union voices in Canada and manages to provoke passionate support and anger in roughly equal proportions. Yet even opponents will say that however much they dislike the man's politics, he is straightforward and honest.


Well Sister Darcy I think you picked the wrong irish porcupine to play dirty politics with!!!! What stumps me is that I gave Sister Darcy more credit to pick on a man like Ryan? So is the battle really a smoke and mirrors all the while Cupe does some majic bookwork????

Perhaps Sister Darcy is just practicing for Halloween as The Wicked Witch of the West????

What is really brewing in that National office in Ottawa?????

What has really happened to our dues????

  • posted by Richard
  • Tue, Sep 24, 2002 9:49am

Sid is probably being served up to take the attention away from other things, but there are a few things still bothering me:

1) Why the hell isn't Sid going through internal channels to clear his name? He'd damn well tell a member to exhaust all union remedies first. Is it that he knows darned well how cooked internal proceedings are?

2) Why is he hiding behind "practices, rules, regulations and by-laws" that could be unethical to defend himself?

3) I'm astounded that Sid would offer to recompense the union for the fudged airline tickets by replacing them with airline "points." What the hell are all these high fliers doing holding on to airmile points earned on union business? Why wouldn't they use them first? This is somewhat similar to a person getting caught with illegal property and when caught, offering to repay the owner with his or her own money. If airmiles are earned for union business, they should remain the property of the union.

4) If Sid knows of unethical and corrupt activities, he should be the first to denounce them. Oh, I know, he's probably exhausting internal union remedies first.

I think a public confession of what Sid knows would be helpful to not only CUPE, but to the entire Canadian union movement.

Come on Sid, tell us what is wrong and how you would fix it if you could.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Tue, Sep 24, 2002 10:25am

Well I'm a little surprised to see the ultra neo-con mouthpiece Michael Coren rushing to Ryan's defence.

I am also somewhat skeptical about Ryan's protests. If he's innocent, the investigation will vindicate him - that ought to be sufficent. He's a big boy and can cope with the attention in the meantime. If the practices that he's excused of engaging in are "common" within CUPE, he ought to elaborate on that and bring it forward in the investigation.

His chest-beating that people are out to get him, however, causes me to wonder if he's not just trying to deflect attention away from the real issue: Misuse of union members' dues. Let's face it, if union members' money has been used to finance a union official's election campaign, that's wrong no matter who does it, the militant or the not-so-militant. Those who engage in this kind of conduct should expect to be outed and called to account for their actions.

The allegations in this case raise serious issues: Should union officials accept election contributions from corporations? Should union funds be kicked back to those corporations? Should union funds be used to pay election campaign expenses? Let's not lose sight of these issues amid all the finger-pointing and blame-laying.

His threats about filing lawsuits are also disturbing. On the one hand he claims that CUPE employees are being told to shut up and say nothing, but by threatening to sue people who say things that cast him in a bad light he is doing the same thing. These kinds of threats could seriously impede a proper investigation. People who think they might get sued for speaking the truth (even if the truth is unpleasant) may think twice about cooperating with an investigation. This is the kind of behaviour that we've been highly critical of on this web site. Ryan's professed militancy doesn't protect him from criticism if he's guilty of the same behaviour.

We can speculate until the cows come home about Judy Darcy's motives (and it's all speculation at this point). All things considered, I think she's done the right thing by calling for an investigation. It's a lot more than any other mainstream union leader has done in similar circumstances to date. Think about it: If the allegations are true or if there is enough information to warrant an investigation, what should she have done?

  • posted by lefkenny
  • Tue, Sep 24, 2002 10:29am

Step aside and let the executive run the union while the investigation is being conducted. Darcy is at the helm and is just as responsible for allowing misconduct to happen. It is easy to point fingers, who is to say that she is not involved.


  • posted by lefkenny
  • Tue, Sep 24, 2002 10:49am

Right off the press-Brother Ryan gives Sister Darcy one week to give up and come out with her hands up in surrender or his is sending his lawyers in to end the seige.

quote:


CUPE bosses split by libel fight
Ontario president gives national leader one week to take back fraud accusation

David Rider
The Ottawa Citizen

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

TORONTO -- CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan says the union's national leader, Judy Darcy, has a week to publicly proclaim his innocence in a campaign finance scandal or face a lawsuit for libel and slander.

Mr. Ryan made the comment in an interview yesterday on the eve of a three-day Canadian Union of Public Employees national executive board meeting in Ottawa, where he and Ms. Darcy will come face to face for the first time since the dispute became public.

Mr. Ryan, a militant fixture on the Ontario labour scene, accused Ms. Darcy and CUPE national secretary-treasurer Claude Généreux of deliberately withholding information that clears his name from a briefing about the alleged fraud sent to union executives Sept. 4.

"The truth needs to go to all 2,400 (CUPE) locals, and it needs to come from the people who sent the original report" that "impugns" him by neglecting to say he had nothing to do with the impropriety, Mr. Ryan said. "If not, then I will serve notice of a legal action for libel and slander against Darcy and Généreux."

In the two-page report leaked to the media, Ms. Darcy said an audit determined Mr. Ryan's failed 2001 campaign for the national secretary-treasure position improperly received $30,000 worth of air tickets from the union and $35,000 in donations from union suppliers.

The letter said the transactions, in which two Ottawa companies donated to the campaign and then recouped funds by billing the union for work never done, were arranged by a senior director at CUPE's national office who has been fired.

Robert Fox, CUPE national communications director, denied yesterday that a letter the office received from the fired senior director clears Mr. Ryan of any knowledge of the wrongdoing, as Mr. Ryan believes it does.

"There is a letter I received some time ago, but it makes no statement about whether Sid knew about this question, about the financial impropriety," Mr. Fox said.

That's not good enough for Mr. Ryan, who cancelled yesterday morning's news conference after his lawyer got word that Ms. Darcy's office was sending a letter to address his complaints.

Ms. Darcy -- who has refused to talk to reporters about the issue -- acknowledged there is no evidence against Mr. Ryan, but did not offer to put that in writing to the union's 500,000 members, Mr. Ryan said.


  • posted by Troll
  • Tue, Sep 24, 2002 11:28am

Where is Sid going to get the $50 Grand to sue Judy? Is a CUPE law firm going to do a pro bono? Is a lawyer going to do it on contingency? Is CUPE Ontario going to front the suit? Is Sid going to pay for it out of his personal pocket?

  • posted by lefkenny
  • Tue, Sep 24, 2002 12:16pm

Troll, these are all very valid questions? How about it Brother Ryan, what ya say?

  • posted by sleK
  • Tue, Sep 24, 2002 6:02pm

The Star has another report: web page

Some highlights...

quote:


The Ontario chief of Canada's largest union is threatening to sue his own organization for defamation following allegations of fraud and corruption.

Ryan said his reputation remains tarnished without justification in the eyes of union members because a widely distributed report by CUPE national president Judy Darcy linked his name to allegations of fraud.

Ryan wants Darcy to inform CUPE members directly that allegations against him are false by making a public statement or circulating another letter stating so.

"They're balking at the notion of correcting that false impression," said Ryan, who emphatically denies any wrongdoing.

"Unless I get this clarification to the CUPE locals, I will be moving to sue for libel and for slander, no doubt about that."


  • posted by CUPE_Reformer
  • Tue, May 18, 2004 9:11am

The following are two new amendments to the CUPE Constitution:

Article 16
General

16.6 No candidate for elected office in any chartered body of the Canadian Union of Public Employees or for its National Executive Board shall solicit or accept money or in-kind donations or other participation from an employee of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

I guess that it was ok to do the above before the October 2003 CUPE convention. Is it ok to accept money from companies?

Article 7
National Executive Board

7.12 The National Executive Board shall have complete authority to borrow monies and to pledge any funds or properties of the Canadian Union of Public Employees as security for such borrowing.

Is CUPE National in financial trouble?

  • posted by blasdell
  • Tue, May 18, 2004 11:27am

sounds to me like a ploy for a union official in order to remain elected?

  • posted by Kelly O
  • Wed, May 19, 2004 7:59am

I understand that CUPE National did go through a period of financial difficulty in relation to its strike fund. I believe they wanted the ability to borrow from other unions if necessary to support cupe locals out on strike.

There is a report this month from CUPE National Executive that the police investigation has resulted in criminal charges and I do not have my copy handy but understand that criminal charges have been laid (no names) but it was specific that no one on the CUPE National Executive Board had been charged. It also mentions co-conspirators had been identified (no names provided) but no charges laid.

I will try and get my report back and give information word for word on here for people who are interested.

  • posted by siggy
  • Wed, May 19, 2004 8:24am

quote:


I believe they wanted the ability to borrow from other unions if necessary to support cupe locals out on strike.


Is this not the purpose of national labour bodies, international labour bodies and umbrella orgs?

How bad is it when national bodies require the ability to borrow money for local defense? Why would a national need to borrow short notice and without the membership?

Why would a national need the power for "instant" borrowing when disputes are visible long before they get here?

Where is the national defense fund, it's not like they've been overused.

  • posted by Fed Up
  • Wed, May 19, 2004 7:38pm

In the end everything is all politics so it does not matter case in point-
Union leader Sid Ryan will announce Thursday that he's making a bid to run in the upcoming federal election for the New Democrats.

Ryan says he'll seek the NDP nomination in the riding of Oshawa, east of Toronto.

The Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees says he believes the party has a solid base of support in the city.

Ryan says he believes the NDP could win the riding.

He ran as the NDP's candidate in the riding during the provincial election, but was defeated.

Ryan will make the announcement Thursday at Lakeview Park in Oshawa.

A nomination meeting will be held at the Steelworker's Hall in Oshawa on Sunday.

http://www.canada.com/national/nationalpost/news/toronto/story.html?id=430689dc-69d9-4772-8bab-b3b1fedd5395

  • posted by Kelly O
  • Wed, May 19, 2004 8:21pm

This will be Brother Ryan's 3rd attempt now for the NDP - twice in Oshawa (tried provincial last year and was quite close I hear). Unlike the IWA Prez - Brother Ryan will not be resigning - heck he doesn't even feel the need to take a leave while campaigning since it's all in the collective good of "our union" if he wins - so don't ya think he deserves to continue to make the bucks while campaigning since it's for all of us little folks ya know?

  • posted by CUPE_Reformer
  • Thu, May 20, 2004 11:49am

"The police investigation is now over and criminal charges were laid on February 19, 2004. Four people have been charged with multiple counts of fraud and of conspiring to commit fraud. Two other persons were named as conspirators but not charged...

The entire matter is now in the hands of the Crown and in the courts. Because of all of the above, we will refrain from commenting further at this time but as we have done all along, we will update you when we are able".

http://www.cupe.ca/www/nstreportmarch2004/9666

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