Interviewed by Ken Novakowski
Muriel Overgaard was born in Elbow, Saskatchewan in 1920. She went on to become the first female President of CUPE BC, serving from 1976-1980, and ran as an MLA for the NDP. She played a significant role in establishing CUPE’s Women’s Committee, the first for any BC union, and in the establishment of the municipal pension plan. Her grandson, Rich Overgaard, currently works in communications for the BCTF and previously for CUPE BC, and was present during the interview at Muriel’s home.
Keywords: Accounting; BC Federation of Labour [BC Fed]; BC Teachers’ Federation; Bernice Kirk [former Secretary-Treasurer, CUPE BC]; Canadian Army; Canadian Union of Public Employees [CUPE]; Cooperative Commonwealth Federation [CCF]; Day of Protest ; Eaton’s Department Store; Elbow, Saskatchewan; Farming (industry); Grace McCarthy [former Social Credit MLA]; Grace Hartman [former President of CUPE]; Greater Victoria School District No. 61; Imperial Oil; Joy Leach [former mayor, Nanaimo, BC]; Municipal pension plan; Negotiations; New Democratic Party [NDP]; Pay equity; Rosemary Brown [former NDP MLA]; Ross Thatcher [former Liberal Premier, Saskatchewan]; Sarnia, Ontario; Status of Women (Canada); Strikes; Strike pay; Trade union movement; Victoria, British Columbia; Western Grain Elevators; Women’s Committees/Organizations; Women’s rights movement;