For CLC Secretary-Treasurer
Lily Chang has served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Labour Congress since June 2021, when she became the first worker of East Asian descent to be elected to the CLC executive.
As Secretary-Treasurer, Lily has worked closely with the Ad Hoc Finance Committee to review and strengthen internal financial practices, increasing transparency and accountability. With joint responsibility for Human Resources, Lily is proud that collective agreements were successfully negotiated with the staff unions in the first six months in office. Lily has also been tasked with guiding the work of the Human Rights Department, including Indigenous and Disability Rights working groups, and representing CLC at the International Labour Organization.
After obtaining a Psychology degree from the University of Toronto, Lily started working as an Admissions Officer at Seneca College, where she encountered her first instance of unfairness in the workplace. With support from her union, OPSEU, she became aware she had the skills to advocate for others and became a steward.
Lily began working as a social services caseworker for the former municipality of Metropolitan Toronto in 1989, where she saw firsthand the impacts of inequality on the families she supported. This along with the cuts to education affecting her children fueled her passion for justice and labour activism.
Lily spent over three decades servicing members of CUPE Local 79, through amalgamation, a representation vote and wage harmonization. In the thirteen years as the local’s Treasurer, she turned the local’s precarious finances around, revitalizing its strike fund and leading the acquisition of a building in downtown Toronto, solidifying the fiscal foundation of the organization. Lily also served as Executive Board member of the Toronto and York Region Labour Council, chairing the Municipal Committee.
Outside her work at the CLC, Lily sits on the Boards of Directors of the United Way Centraide Canada and the Council of Canadians.