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Senate transphobia inexcusable – past time for transgender rights bill, says CUPE Ontario president

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 21:30

TORONTO – By sending Bill C-279 back to the House of Commons instead of passing it, Conservative senators have taken an inexcusable stand against equality and human rights, says Fred Hahn, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario.

“This is transphobia, plain and simple,” said Hahn. “The Senate had an opportunity to support this important step forward for human rights, but instead the Conservatives decided to turn their backs.”

Bill C-279 was introduced to the House of Commons by NDP MP Randall Garrison, and amends the Criminal Code and Canadian Human Rights Act to include gender identity provisions. The bill passed in the House of Commons nearly two years ago, but was stalled by Conservatives in the Senate. This week, Conservative Senator Don Plett introduced amendments including one that exempts prisons, crisis centres, public washrooms and other places from the bill’s provisions.

“We’re well into the 21st century. Surely all parties can agree that fundamental human rights should apply to all people. I am angry and saddened that Conservative senators don’t agree,” said Hahn. “I applaud the work of activists in the trans community and MP Randall Garrison and the NDP for their leadership in championing trans rights. The NDP has shown the kind of government Canadians could have, and which we all deserve.”

CUPE is Ontario’s community union, with members providing quality public services we all rely on in every part of the province every day. CUPE Ontario members are proud to work in social services, health care, municipalities, school boards, universities and airlines.

For further information:

Craig Saunders
CUPE Communications
 416-576-7316 

CUPE NL to present to Pre-Budget Consultations in Corner Brook, March 3

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 15:30

CUPE NL President Wayne Lucas will be in Corner Brook, Tuesday, March 3 to present to the province’s 2015 Pre-Budget Consultations.

Lucas says, “We will be telling the finance minister and the current government that the worst possible direction they could take right now would be more cutbacks and austerity.

“Even Stephen Harper realized after the collapse back in 2008 that the public sector had a critically important role to play in buoying up the economy.  In fact, his government introduced a huge infrastructure initiative,” says Lucas.

“We all know the price of oil will go up again eventually, and government shouldn’t panic and listen to the likes of the Board of Trade or the CFIB, who are looking for cuts even in the best of times,” says Lucas.

CUPE’s presentation will also focus on early childhood education, the importance of protecting Defined Benefit pension plans, public services and decent-paying jobs for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

The March 3 consultations will take place from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm at the Glynmill Inn, in Corner Brook.

CUPE Local 3912 files ‘Bargaining in Bad Faith’ complaint against Dalhousie University

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 15:00

The union representing 1,600 Part-time Academics, Instructors, Teaching Assistants, Markers and Demonstrators at Dalhousie University has filed a Bargaining in Bad Faith complaint against their employer.

CUPE National Representative Marianne Welsh says, “The Parties met with a provincially-appointed Conciliation Officer on two dates in November and one in February.”

Last week CUPE Local 3912 filed a complaint under the Trade Union Act alleging that Dalhousie University has failed to comply with a section of the Act that compels both parties to ‘make every reasonable effort to reach a collective agreement’. In the complaint, says Welsh, “CUPE alleges that Dalhousie has failed to fulfill this statutory duty by maintaining a bargaining position that would exclude employees in one faculty from the bargaining unit.”

CUPE Local 3912’s current collective agreement expired August 31, 2012.

CUPE 3902-01 and University of Toronto reach tentative agreement

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 14:45

Negotiators for Local 3902-01, of the Canadian Union of Public Employees have reached a tentative agreement with the University of Toronto.

The agreement was reached in the early hours of Friday, February 27, after the two sides agreed to continue negotiating past a 12:01 a.m. deadline.

Details of the tentative agreement are not being released until the members have had an opportunity to review and vote on it. This vote is expected to take place early next week.

Accordingly, no further comment will take place until this membership meeting and ratification vote are held.

CUPE 3902-01 represents some 6,000 teaching assistants, teaching fellows, demonstrators, tutors, markers, instructors, teaching laboratory assistants, Chief Presiding Officers, invigilators and part-time lecturers at the University of Toronto.

For more information, please contact:

Erin Black
CUPE 3902 Chair
 416-806-3902

Kevin Wilson
CUPE Communications
 416-821-6641

CUPE 3902-01 and University of Toronto reach tentative agreement

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 14:45

Negotiators for Local 3902-01, of the Canadian Union of Public Employees have reached a tentative agreement with the University of Toronto.

The agreement was reached in the early hours of Friday, February 27, after the two sides agreed to continue negotiating past a 12:01 a.m. deadline.

Details of the tentative agreement are not being released until the members have had an opportunity to review and vote on it. This vote is expected to take place early next week.

Accordingly, no further comment will take place until this membership meeting and ratification vote are held.

CUPE 3902-01 represents some 6,000 teaching assistants, teaching fellows, demonstrators, tutors, markers, instructors, teaching laboratory assistants, Chief Presiding Officers, invigilators and part-time lecturers at the University of Toronto.

For more information, please contact:

Erin Black
CUPE 3902 Chair
 416-806-3902

Kevin Wilson
CUPE Communications
 416-821-6641

CUPE 30 member passes away on the job

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 19:15

A thirty-five year pool service employee with the City of Edmonton passed away suddenly while working at the Grand Trunk Recreational Centre.

CUPE 30 members Harl Hawley died while working this month, his cause of death has not yet been determined.

Hawley worked his entire 35 year career as a pool service employee at Grand Trunk. Staff at the facility are deeply affected by his loss.

CUPE President Paul Moist sent out his condolences to friends, family and co-workers who knew Mr. Hawley.

“On behalf of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, I want brother Harl’s family and friends to know they are in our thoughts and prayers,” said Moist.

Canadian mental health workers join CUPE

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 16:00

Social service workers from the Canadian Mental Health Association branch of Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge, recently voted to join the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). The 160 workers who provide mental health recovery and wellness programs for individuals and families in the Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland and Haliburton area will now be part of Canada’s largest union.

“We are happy to welcome our newest members to the CUPE family,” said Debbie Oldfield, CUPE national representative. “Our new members are fully aware of what CUPE can do for workers and, now, as members, they will benefit from our experience and resources to help address their workplace issues and concerns.”

“With CUPE by their side, our members will now have a formal mechanism to address issues and have a legitimate voice in improving their workplace,” continued Oldfield.

“Our members provide important services in their community and we will be here to help them improve their working and earning conditions so they can continue to help individuals and families dealing with mental health issues.”

For more information, please contact:

Debbie Oldfield
CUPE National Representative
 905-626-1421

James Chai
CUPE Communications
 905-739-3999

Send a message to support student workers at Trent

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 16:00

The student-workers at Trent University are working hard to avoid any disruption to the services they provide in the university’s classrooms and labs.

Please let Trent’s administration know that you stand with the members of CUPE 3908-02 in calling for a prompt and equitable settlement of a fair collective agreement for its student employees.

More details are available at http://cupe3908.org/bargaining

Send a message to support student workers at Trent

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 16:00

The student-workers at Trent University are working hard to avoid any disruption to the services they provide in the university’s classrooms and labs.

Please let Trent’s administration know that you stand with the members of CUPE 3908-02 in calling for a prompt and equitable settlement of a fair collective agreement for its student employees.

More details are available at http://cupe3908.org/bargaining

CUPE 500 launches snow plowing hotline

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 20:30

WINNIPEG – The union that represents Winnipeg’s municipal workers is looking for the public’s feedback on the state of the city’s snow clearing services through a toll-free hotline and website.

“We know that Winnipeggers have concerns about snow plowing,” said Mike Davidson, President of CUPE Local 500. “We want to collect citizens’ stories on how poor plowing has affected their lives.”

On February 10th, the City of Winnipeg Standing Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works endorsed a motion to develop a report that compares the cost and quality of private snow clearing contractors to snow clearing provided by city workers. Approximately 80% of Winnipeg’s snow clearing is contracted out to private companies.

“We believe city workers can do the job better,” said Davidson. “Our hotline will collect stories from Winnipeggers to help show the city that our community deserves the best snow plowing possible. This is a winter city, after all!”

Information gathered from the Snow Plowing Hotline will be compiled and provided to the Public Works Department to help inform their report with real stories from Winnipeggers. The Snow Plowing Hotline can be reached at 1-855-223-9311. Winnipeggers are encouraged to leave a message about how poor snow plowing has affected them - whether it’s damage to property, delays getting to work, or impact on their business.

A website is also available at wpgsnow.ca where citizens can also leave their stories and learn more about how their experiences will be used to help improve snow clearing in Winnipeg.

“At the end of the day we all want better services for our city,” said Davidson. “We believe that by sharing our stories we can find great solutions to the city’s snow clearing woes.”

To reach the Snow Plowing Hotline call 1-855-223-9311 or visit wpgsnow.ca

Winnipeggers who have not yet done so are also encouraged to file an official complaint with 311.

CUPE Local 500 represents approximately 5,000 employees at the City of Winnipeg.

Report: Health Accord Campaign 2013-2014

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 18:45

In September 2013 CUPE and the Council of Canadians commenced a campaign about our country’s most cherished social program, Medicare.

In 15 communities over a 15 month period, thousands of conversations were held and Canadians were clear in their message that Medicare is an essential Canadian commitment, one that needs to be improved, not dismantled.

“We cannot forget our moral right as human beings to care for one another.” Judy Dixon, St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador – December 1, 2014

This report captures the key components of the campaign, where we went, what we heard and how we act, collectively, to preserve and enhance Canada’s Medicare system.

It’s not too late to act, in fact it is our duty to do so for today’s and future generations of Canadians.

Chairperson of the Council of Canadians
Maude Barlow

CUPE National President
Paul Moist

Report: Health Accord Campaign 2013-2014

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 18:45

In September 2013 CUPE and the Council of Canadians commenced a campaign about our country’s most cherished social program, Medicare.

In 15 communities over a 15 month period, thousands of conversations were held and Canadians were clear in their message that Medicare is an essential Canadian commitment, one that needs to be improved, not dismantled.

“We cannot forget our moral right as human beings to care for one another.” Judy Dixon, St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador – December 1, 2014

This report captures the key components of the campaign, where we went, what we heard and how we act, collectively, to preserve and enhance Canada’s Medicare system.

It’s not too late to act, in fact it is our duty to do so for today’s and future generations of Canadians.

Chairperson of the Council of Canadians
Maude Barlow

CUPE National President
Paul Moist

Global Justice winter 2015: News in brief

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 15:30
#Black lives matter

The world watched as protests erupted across the United States at the end of 2014. Demonstrators across the country chanted “No justice, no peace!” and “Death to racism” after the shocking announcement that the white police officer who killed unarmed 18 year old African American youth, Michael Brown, would not be charged with a crime.

In New York City, thousands later marched to draw attention to racial profiling, police brutality and what one man de-scribed as the “systematic murder of people of colour in this country and its institutionalized racism.” #BlackLivesMatter emerged as the rallying call and the opportunity for people of diverse origin around the world to express solidarity with the black community in the US, who experience higher rates of police shootings, incarceration, unemployment and poverty.

What the TISA is this?

A new report by Public Services International (PSI) warns that governments are planning to take the world on a liberalisation spree on a scale never seen before. According to the report, this massive trade deal will put public health care, broadcasting, water, transport and other services at risk. The proposed deal could make it impossible for future governments to restore public services to public control, even in cases where private service delivery has failed. It would also restrict a government’s ability to regulate key sectors including financial, energy, telecommunications and cross-border data flows. The Trades in Services Agreement (TISA), currently being negotiated in secret and outside of World Trade Organization rules, is a deliberate attempt to privilege the profits of the richest corporations and countries in the world over those who have the greatest needs.

Negotiations began in 2013 and continue today working towards a very ambitious agreement on far-reaching services liberalization and disciplining of government activity. The “Really Good Friends of Services” currently include Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia,
Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, the United States, and the 28 member states of the European Union.

Global justice in film

CUPE Global Justice and the Island Peace Committee held a Social Justice Film Festival in February at the University of Prince Edward Island. CUPE Global Justice activists hosted the film The Take, a docu-mentary about a group of 30 unemployed Argentinean auto workers who attempt to kick-start their dead careers. Fol-lowing in the footsteps of others throughout the country, they set up shop in the desolate auto factory where they used to work, announcing their intentions to re-start the plant as a cooperative business, without the aid of bosses. The fes-tival was well attended.

Global Justice winter 2015: News in brief

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 15:30
#Black lives matter

The world watched as protests erupted across the United States at the end of 2014. Demonstrators across the country chanted “No justice, no peace!” and “Death to racism” after the shocking announcement that the white police officer who killed unarmed 18 year old African American youth, Michael Brown, would not be charged with a crime.

In New York City, thousands later marched to draw attention to racial profiling, police brutality and what one man de-scribed as the “systematic murder of people of colour in this country and its institutionalized racism.” #BlackLivesMatter emerged as the rallying call and the opportunity for people of diverse origin around the world to express solidarity with the black community in the US, who experience higher rates of police shootings, incarceration, unemployment and poverty.

What the TISA is this?

A new report by Public Services International (PSI) warns that governments are planning to take the world on a liberalisation spree on a scale never seen before. According to the report, this massive trade deal will put public health care, broadcasting, water, transport and other services at risk. The proposed deal could make it impossible for future governments to restore public services to public control, even in cases where private service delivery has failed. It would also restrict a government’s ability to regulate key sectors including financial, energy, telecommunications and cross-border data flows. The Trades in Services Agreement (TISA), currently being negotiated in secret and outside of World Trade Organization rules, is a deliberate attempt to privilege the profits of the richest corporations and countries in the world over those who have the greatest needs.

Negotiations began in 2013 and continue today working towards a very ambitious agreement on far-reaching services liberalization and disciplining of government activity. The “Really Good Friends of Services” currently include Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia,
Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, the United States, and the 28 member states of the European Union.

Global justice in film

CUPE Global Justice and the Island Peace Committee held a Social Justice Film Festival in February at the University of Prince Edward Island. CUPE Global Justice activists hosted the film The Take, a docu-mentary about a group of 30 unemployed Argentinean auto workers who attempt to kick-start their dead careers. Fol-lowing in the footsteps of others throughout the country, they set up shop in the desolate auto factory where they used to work, announcing their intentions to re-start the plant as a cooperative business, without the aid of bosses. The fes-tival was well attended.

When a temporary foreign workers program is not temporary

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 15:15

Canada currently accepts more migrants under the Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP) than it does permanent residents. Barriers to permanent residency for refugees, skilled workers and family members are increasing, while citizenship for migrants is becoming harder to get and easier to lose.

The Philippines is the major source of temporary cheap labour for Canada along with the United States, United Kingdom, China, India and Mexico. Filipino workers, just like other migrant workers, are recruited from the Global South. Their temporary status makes them vulnerable to employer abuse and excessive exploitation. Poverty, unemployment, the absence of genuine industrialization and agrarian reform and the Philippine government’s Labour Export Policy, continue to push workers out of the country by the thousands everyday to work abroad.

“Migrants are human beings first before they are workers. They are not mere statistics to buttress a country’s gross domestic product. Let us not forget that migrant rights are human rights,” said Dr. Chandu Claver in his presentation to the members of the CUPE-BC International Solidarity Committee in October 2014. Claver is an active member of MIGRANTE BC, a provincial chapter of MIGRANTE Canada that focuses on advocacy for Filipino migrants in British Columbia.

MIGRANTE BC aims to organize, protect and promote the rights and welfare of Filipino immigrant and migrant workers in BC. The invaluable support and community collaboration between CUPE and MIGRANTE BC will contribute to advancing the organizing work, education and political campaigns that promote and protect migrants’ rights and welfare.

CUPE demands justice for Deepan

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 15:15

​Deepan Budlakoti is an Ottawa born man who is facing deportation to India, a country where he has never lived, has no family and where he is not a citizen.

“We are shocked that the Government of Canada has rendered this young man stateless and has stripped him of his right to work, access services and live with dignity and security,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist.

Budlakoti’s citizenship was revoked after he got in trouble with the law as a young person. By revoking his citizenship the Canadian government unjustly punished him twice for crimes for which he has already completed a sentence.

Canada ratified the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness which obliges governments to act in a manner that avoids, rather than increases statelessness. Amnesty International has raised clear concern that “Canada’s position of refusing to recognize Mr. Budlakoti’s Canadian citizenship runs counter to the country’s international human rights obligations with respect to statelessness and leads to other related human rights violations.”

Two-tier citizenship rights in this country could lead to increased criminalization of racialized communities, and could undermine our ability to organize for causes and take political action without fear of being stripped of our rights. “CUPE is deeply concerned that the Canadian government believes that Canadian citizenship is something other than a right for those who possess it, and that it can be selectively used as a tool to punish and intimidate certain members of our society,” said Moist.

Visit Justicefordeepan.org

Deepan Budlakoti faces deportation to India, where he has never lived.

It takes courage to speak truth to power

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 15:15

COURAGE is an apt acronym for the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) the largest labour confederation in the Philippines.

Randy Vegas and Raul Camposano are two organizers in the Philippines with COURAGE. They were abducted and have been detained since December 2012, for asserting their human rights and fighting for workers’ rights.

“It is hard to believe that President Aquino III has turned a deaf ear to the unjust imprisonment of Randy and Raul. At his inaugural address he promised “complete justice for all.” Yet his government has failed miserably in its human rights obligations,” said Global Justice committee member Betty Valenzuela.

COURAGE with over 200,000 members is pushing hard against government corruption and is leading campaigns against the privatization of public services.

“Where many governments have failed, unions have succeeded. CUPE has been steadfast in our solidarity work with COURAGE, and in our struggle to free Vegas and Camposano. Solidarity has no borders,” said Valenzuela.

Ongoing provincial neglect to blame for labour woes at Ontario’s largest universities

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 15:15

CUPE and OCUFA leaders urge Wynne government to ‘recommit’ to universities

Unless the provincial government starts to ‘re-engage’ with the university sector, students at Ontario’s two largest universities could see their school years jeopardized in the coming weeks, labour leaders, representing academic staff at York University (York U) and the University of Toronto (U of T), warned today.

At a press conference held at Queen’s Park today, the Chairs of Local 3902 and 3903 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) were joined by the Presidents of CUPE Ontario and the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA).

“The work of CUPE members at both U of T and York U are critical to student success at those institutions. Our members, who are here with me today, are doing everything they can to avoid a work stoppage. The Wynne government has a real role in preventing these potential strikes. They must recommit to funding of post-secondary education,” said Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario.

CUPE 3902 and 3903 represent non-tenured academic staff at the University of Toronto and York University, respectively. Both locals have been attempting to bargain fair collective agreements for months, and the deadlines for a labour stoppage are fast approaching. U of T will be in a legal strike or lockout position on February 26, while York U will be in a legal strike or lockout position on March 3.

“While our members deliver about 60 per cent of instruction to U of T students, we account for a mere three-and-a-half per cent of U of T’s operating budget…Most of our members earn poverty-level wages. They have minimal job security. And those poor working conditions translate into poor learning conditions for students,” said Erin Black, Chair of CUPE 3902.

Her comments were echoed by Faiz Ahmed, Chair of CUPE 3903.

“The province can no longer sit idly while our universities devalue our members’ work. This government must recommit to both adequately funding universities and to providing the appropriate level of oversight to these institutions,” said Ahmed.

Kate Lawson, President of OCUFA, noted that Ontario has the lowest per-student funding for universities in Canada. “This underfunding has had a direct impact on the rise of contracts, precarious employment and increased fees for students. We urge the Government of Ontario to re-invest in higher education, ensuring good working conditions for all faculty and great learning environments for our students,” she said.

For more information, please contact:

Fred Hahn
CUPE Ontario President
 416-540-3979

Craig Saunders
CUPE Communications
416-576-7316     

Ongoing provincial neglect to blame for labour woes at Ontario’s largest universities

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 15:15

CUPE and OCUFA leaders urge Wynne government to ‘recommit’ to universities

Unless the provincial government starts to ‘re-engage’ with the university sector, students at Ontario’s two largest universities could see their school years jeopardized in the coming weeks, labour leaders, representing academic staff at York University (York U) and the University of Toronto (U of T), warned today.

At a press conference held at Queen’s Park today, the Chairs of Local 3902 and 3903 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) were joined by the Presidents of CUPE Ontario and the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA).

“The work of CUPE members at both U of T and York U are critical to student success at those institutions. Our members, who are here with me today, are doing everything they can to avoid a work stoppage. The Wynne government has a real role in preventing these potential strikes. They must recommit to funding of post-secondary education,” said Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario.

CUPE 3902 and 3903 represent non-tenured academic staff at the University of Toronto and York University, respectively. Both locals have been attempting to bargain fair collective agreements for months, and the deadlines for a labour stoppage are fast approaching. U of T will be in a legal strike or lockout position on February 26, while York U will be in a legal strike or lockout position on March 3.

“While our members deliver about 60 per cent of instruction to U of T students, we account for a mere three-and-a-half per cent of U of T’s operating budget…Most of our members earn poverty-level wages. They have minimal job security. And those poor working conditions translate into poor learning conditions for students,” said Erin Black, Chair of CUPE 3902.

Her comments were echoed by Faiz Ahmed, Chair of CUPE 3903.

“The province can no longer sit idly while our universities devalue our members’ work. This government must recommit to both adequately funding universities and to providing the appropriate level of oversight to these institutions,” said Ahmed.

Kate Lawson, President of OCUFA, noted that Ontario has the lowest per-student funding for universities in Canada. “This underfunding has had a direct impact on the rise of contracts, precarious employment and increased fees for students. We urge the Government of Ontario to re-invest in higher education, ensuring good working conditions for all faculty and great learning environments for our students,” she said.

For more information, please contact:

Fred Hahn
CUPE Ontario President
 416-540-3979

Craig Saunders
CUPE Communications
416-576-7316     

CUPE PSE Task Force stands in solidarity with Mexican students

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 15:00

When CUPE’s National Post-Secondary Education Task Force (PSE) met in Ottawa late last year, committee co-chair, Leo Cheverie, made sure to add recent events in Mexico to the agenda.

“As labour activists fighting for a better education system here in Canada, I think it’s important to show solidarity with all those struggling for equality and justice abroad,” said Cheverie.

Last September, about one hundred students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teacher’s College in Ayotzinapa had traveled 250 km to Iguala, in order to protest the Mexican government’s discrimination in education funding and to promote equal access for rural and urban schools.

During the protest, 43 students were kidnapped. Disturbing details have emerged linking the disappearances and subsequent murders to local authorities. These events have shed light on repeated human rights violations carried out by police and state security forces, including arbitrary detention, criminalization of protest, torture and enforced disappearances.

As Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration repeatedly fails to fulfil its human rights obligations and has allowed for crimes to continue with impunity, Canada’s response has been lacking. “The Harper government must finally break its silence on the issue, and increase the pressure on the Mexican government to bring those responsible to justice,” said Cheverie. In the committee’s view, Canada must urge the Mexican president to introduce major structural changes which will bring human rights to the centre of his administration’s political agenda.

To mark International Human Rights day, December 10, 2014, the PSE Task Force expressed solidarity with protesters from across Mexico who have stood up for justice, equality and peace. The Task Force condemned the use of arrests and brutality as tools to stifle the right of people in Mexico to protest peacefully. “Knowing that some are risking their very lives in the name of accessibility and academic freedom helps motivate us to keep fighting for better education here at home,” said Cheverie.