Delegates from Agriculture Union Locals across Canada got down to business this week as our Triennial National Convention opened in Winnipeg.

The Convention – our union’s supreme governing body – meets at a time when both our members and the valuable services they provide are under sustained assault from the Conservatives.

The Harper government has unilaterally gutted the collective bargaining process just as negotiations get underway for new contracts for our members employed by Treasury Board. This move has been accompanied by attacks on our sick leave plan, a scaling back of health and safety protections and further limitations on the workplace grievance procedure.

National President Bob Kingston opened the Convention, delivering a powerful keynote address outlining the challenges our union faces over the next three years.

Convention delegates will have some important decisions to make about the Agriculture Union’s structure and future direction. Since our last Convention in 2011, our union has lost some 2,000 members. These deep cuts were made without serious consideration of their impact on the public good, or how they would impact the delivery of services.

Robyn Benson, National President of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, confirmed to delegates PSAC’s commitment to confront the Harper agenda as we head into the 2015 Federal election.

The photos accompanying this article show some of the highlights of the opening day Convention activities.