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Updated: 20 weeks 2 days ago

Province abandoning Ontarians with disabilities

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 16:00

<p><strong>TORONTO</strong>&nbsp;– The provincial government’s announcement they will conduct fewer compliance audits under the Accessibility for&nbsp;Ontarians&nbsp;with Disabilities Act is a betrayal of&nbsp;Ontarians&nbsp;with disabilities, says Fred Hahn, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario.</p>

<p>“AODA passed unanimously in 2005, and the government set out a 20-year timeline for compliance. At the time, we thought it was a ridiculously long time. But at least it was a timeline to increasing equality for 1.8 million&nbsp;Ontarians&nbsp;with disabilities,” said Hahn. “It is unacceptable for the government to turn back the clock and deny people the equality we all deserve.”</p>

<p>Under&nbsp;AODA, businesses with more than 20 employees were required to file a compliance audit, but nearly two-thirds have failed to do so. Rather than crack down on non-compliance, the government has drastically reduced compliance audits.</p>

<p>“As a worker with disabilities, when the&nbsp;AODA&nbsp;came in, I was very pleased. Finally, I thought, I know that my daughter will not face all the same barriers I have in my life,” said Jayne Warner, a school board worker and chair of&nbsp;CUPE&nbsp;Ontario’s Workers with Disabilities Committee. “But that fight clearly is not over. I’m not just disappointed, I’m angry that the government is turning its back on us once again and condemning another generation to exclusion.”</p>

<p>CUPE&nbsp;Ontario supports full implementation of&nbsp;AODA&nbsp;and has a proud history of advocating for fairness and equality, including for accessible and harassment-free workplaces.</p>

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

<p><strong>For further information:</strong></p>

<p>Craig Saunders<br />
CUPE&nbsp;Communications<br />
416-576-7316</p>

Winnipeg operating budget “devil is in the detail”

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 14:30

<p><strong>WINNIPEG</strong> – The union that represents Winnipeg’s municipal workers is looking to the Mayor to protect the city’s front line services and staff.</p>

<p>“Our city relies on our contingent of expert staff,” said Mike Davidson, President of CUPE Local 500. “After many years of vacancy management and a proposed additional increase of $3.4 million over last year, many of our city’s services are being operated with reduced levels of staffing.”</p>

<p>The effect of the city’s decade-long property tax freeze, coupled with the equally long vacancy management program, has put the city far behind other cities in Western Canada.</p>

<p>“We’re looking for leadership from City Hall to improve, rather than cut the services Winnipeggers rely on,” said Davidson. “We have a lot of catching up to do as a city, so now is the time to invest in our future.”</p>

<p>Average tax increases in large Western Canadian cities in 2015 is approximately 4.86 per cent, twice that of the proposed 2.3 per cent&nbsp;in Winnipeg. “Winnipeg’s revenue streams have been strangled for a decade,” said Davidson. “Now is the time for investment, not further austerity and cuts.”</p>

<p>CUPE Local 500 would like to see leadership from the city on the following:</p>

<ul>
<li>An immediate end to the vacancy management program – to ensure adequate staffing levels in city services;</li>
<li>Increased staff levels in 311 – to ensure Winnipeggers have immediate access to front line services;</li>
<li>Contracting-in of previously outsourced work such as snow clearing, to ensure accountable and quality public service delivery;</li>
<li>Eliminate further reductions to the business tax. Business and commercial properties need to contribute more to the financial well being of our city;</li>
<li>An increase in tax revenue that matches average tax increases in other Western Canadian cities;</li>
<li>An improved public engagement and consultation budget process that includes input by members of the public service and civic unions and associations;</li>
<li>Maintaining or improving the level of city services currently being provided to Winnipeggers – to ensure that our citizens do not receive cuts to the services they rely on.</li>
</ul>

<p>“We understand that running a city budget is difficult,” said Davidson “and we want City Hall to know that we, as the city’s workers, are here to offer our expertise and help.”</p>

CUPE Celebrates: Year in review 2014

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 20:30

<p class="p1"><strong><span class="s1">CUPE&nbsp;Celebrates is our union’s annual report, highlighting our accomplishments and the strides we’ve made. It’s a snapshot of our leadership and activism in defending public services, strengthening our union and standing up for workers’&nbsp;rights.</span></strong></p>

<p class="p1"><span class="s1"><mediawrapper data=""><a href="http://cupe.ca/sites/cupe/files/celebrate2014english_final.pdf" target="_blank"><img alt="CUPE Celebrates 2015" src="https://cupe.ca/sites/cupe/files/celebrates-2015-web-image.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 309px;" /></a></mediawrapper></span><a href="http://cupe.ca/sites/cupe/files/celebrate2014english_final.pdf" target="_blank">2014 was a year for connecting.</a> Forging new links and strengthening our networks is the way to overcome ever-intensifying attacks on working people. It’s how we will build an economy that works for everyone, and a society founded on peace, justice and equality.</p>

<p>The direction from our last convention is clear: CUPE must build a movement of resistance. And that’s been our focus over the past year, as we continue to fight for good jobs and public services through collective action at the bargaining table and in our communities, and by being politically active.</p>

<p>A more involved membership is the key to this movement. With our members more engaged, CUPE can fulfil its core mandate of building a better country by electing governments that respect workers and public services. We are increasing this power through the Fairness project.</p>

<p>We are also increasing our strength at the bargaining table. This year, members at our first-ever national sector council conference learned from each other and shared winning strategies. The result is members better prepared for negotiations and ready to stand up for good jobs and services for everyone.</p>

<p>Together with our allies, we advanced the struggle to protect and expand health care, for more accessible child care, for good jobs, and a secure retirement for all Canadians.</p>

<p>Our solidarity with allies at home and around the world is another important way we’ve learned and grown as a movement this past year. In many ways both big and small, we made a difference as we stand up for better workplaces and communities in Canada and around the world.</p>

<p>Member by member, community by community we are expanding and strengthening our connections, fostered by solidarity and shared values. There is so much to be proud of. Our work in 2014 has laid a solid foundation for us in the coming year, as we mobilize to elect Canada’s first New Democratic government.</p>

<p>In 2015, let’s work together for a better future for everyone.</p>

<p>Paul Moist<br />
<strong><span style="line-height: 23.55px; font-size: 15.19px;">National President</span></strong></p>

<p>Charles Fleury<br />
<span style="line-height: 23.55px; font-size: 15.19px;"><strong>​</strong></span><strong><span style="line-height: 1.55em; font-size: 0.95em;">National Secretary-Treasurer</span></strong></p>

<p class="p1"><span class="s1"><mediawrapper data=""></mediawrapper><mediawrapper data=""></mediawrapper></span></p>

CUPE NL to Pre-Budget Consultations – now’s not the time for more cuts

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 17:15

<p><strong>CORNER BROOK&nbsp;</strong>– CUPE NL President Wayne Lucas has told the province’s 2015 Pre-Budget Consultations that Newfoundland and Labrador must invest in infrastructure, like a new hospital in Corner Brook and municipal drinking water systems in rural communities.</p>

<p>Said Lucas, “Spending cuts will deepen our economic and social problems, not help resolve them. At the same time, our province’s tax system must be made fairer and more progressive.</p>

<p>“Surely the finance minister and the current government must realize that the worst possible direction they could take right now would be more cutbacks and austerity.</p>

<p>“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.&nbsp;In fact, his government introduced a huge infrastructure initiative,” said Lucas.</p>

<p>&nbsp;“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,”</p>

<p>CUPE is also urging the province to invest in public services like child care, and public pension plans that provide retirement security for everyone.</p>

<p>Lucas also applauded former premier Tom Marshall’s decision to protect the defined benefit nature of the provincial pension plan.</p>

<p><a href="http://nl.cupe.ca/www/News/nl-pre-budget-consultations-nows-time">CUPE’s submission can be found here.</a></p>

CUPE Alberta: Statement on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2015

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 17:00

<p>CUPE Alberta President Marle Roberts issued the following statement in recognition of the 2015 International Women’s Day:</p>

<p>Dear Sisters and Brothers,</p>

<p>March 8th is International Women’s Day.&nbsp;Across Alberta, members will honour the accomplishments of women, renew our commitment to gender equality, and mourn our sisters who have lost their lives due to violence at home and in the workplace.</p>

<p>This is also an opportunity to celebrate the individuals and groups who have struggled to create a society that promotes diversity, tolerance, safety, social justice and equality across our province.</p>

<p>CUPE&nbsp;has a number of campaigns that address women’s rights as workers, community members and users of public services. We encourage you and your local to use International Women’s Day to promote and participate in these&nbsp;initiatives.</p>

<p>CUPE is founded on the principle that “union members are equal and deserve mutual respect at all levels.&nbsp;” This must remain at the forefront of all the work we do, ever day.</p>

<p>On International Women’s Day, we applaud our sisters’ work, and we re-dedicate ourselves to gender&nbsp;equality.</p>

<p><strong>For more information:</strong></p>

<p>Marle Roberts<br />
780-918-3061</p>

CUPE Nova Scotia warns McNeil government against selling off our public assets

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 16:00

<p><strong>TRURO </strong>– CUPE Nova Scotia is warning the McNeil government against any privatization of our public services - assets that are worth well over $5 billion.</p>

<p>In its submission to the Department of Finance and Treasury Board’s Budget Consultation 2015, the union says these valuable assets belong to the people of the province and are not for sale.</p>

<p>CUPE NS President Danny Cavanagh says, “Each and every Nova Scotian receives the equivalent of $17,000 a year in the form of public services provided by government.</p>

<p>“This includes everything from healthcare and education to clean water and safe clear roads to drive on.&nbsp;These services make an incredible contribution to people’s quality of life in our province.</p>

<p>“Sadly, in some households that amounts to almost another annual salary coming in,” says Cavanagh.</p>

<p>CUPE also argues in its submission that the tax changes proposed by the Broten report would make our tax system much more regressive, in other words – harder on working families and easier on the wealthy.</p>

<p>“Instead of cutting and privatizing public services, lots of money could be found at the ‘top end’ of our tax system.&nbsp;As one example, if they restored the large corporation tax to the 0.3&nbsp;per cent rate it was before it was phased out from 2005-2012, they could generate at least $60 million annually and likely closer to $100 million a year.</p>

<p>“They could also close some tax loopholes, like taxing income from capital gains at the same rate as income from employment, which would generate an estimated $55 million annually,” says Cavanagh.</p>

<p><a href="http://novascotia.cupe.ca/www/ns/ns-warns-mcneil-govt-selling-public">CUPE NS's&nbsp;submission can be found here</a>.</p>

Children Welcome: A guide to quality on-site child care at CUPE events

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 20:15

<p><mediawrapper data=""><a href="https://cupe.ca/sites/cupe/files/children_welcome.pdf" target="_blank"><img alt="Children welcome guide" src="https://cupe.ca/sites/cupe/files/children-welcome-1.jpg" style="height: 339px; width: 300px;" /></a></mediawrapper>CUPE’s National Child Care Working Group released the guide&nbsp;<strong><em>Children Welcome</em></strong>&nbsp;to assist the national union, divisions and locals in setting up high quality, inclusive child care programs at&nbsp;CUPE&nbsp;conventions, conferences, workshops and events.&nbsp; Its contents can be easily adapted for events that are smaller and of shorter duration.</p>

<p>“We believe that on-site child care is a concrete&nbsp;way to put into practice CUPE’s policies of taking collective responsibility for children, supporting parents to balance work, family and union responsibilities, and advocating for quality, universally accessible and inclusive child care,” said Jamie&nbsp;Kass, co-chair of the&nbsp;CUPE&nbsp;National Child Care Working Group.</p>

<p>On-site child care supports parents to attend union events and promotes union activism. The&nbsp;CUPE&nbsp;Women’s Task Force has recommended that child care be provided at&nbsp;CUPE&nbsp;events as a way of building a more inclusive and effective union.</p>

<p>The manual covers the key components to providing a high quality on-site child care program.&nbsp; It is in a binder format to allow for easy updating.&nbsp; Part A of the manual describes what is needed to plan and implement the on-site program and Part B includes detailed considerations and checklists for program components.&nbsp; The manual also includes forms and templates.</p>

<p>Kass&nbsp;notes that inclusion is an important aspect of quality child care.&nbsp; The manual explains how to create an environment that fosters social solidarity, celebrates cultural diversity, provides equity for children with special needs, and meets the language needs of the group.</p>

<p>“Commitment, planning, adequate financing, and ensuring services are provided by experienced, trained staff compensated at union rates, are critical to a successful program,” says Randi&nbsp;Gurholt-Seary,&nbsp;CUPE&nbsp;National Child Care Working Group co-chair.</p>

<p>The comprehensive how-to document was put together by Sister&nbsp;Athina&nbsp;Basiliadis&nbsp;who has coordinated the on-site child care program at several&nbsp;CUPE&nbsp;National conventions.&nbsp;&nbsp;Basiliadis&nbsp;is an early childhood educator with the First Avenue School Age&nbsp;Progam&nbsp;in Ottawa and is a member of&nbsp;CUPE&nbsp;Local 2204, child care workers of Eastern Ontario.</p>

<p>CUPE&nbsp;is one of the leading advocates for a system of accessible, affordable, high quality, public, and not-for-profit early childhood education and care.&nbsp; CUPE’s national child care working group, formed in 1981, works closely with the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada and other national and provincial child care and&nbsp;labour&nbsp;groups promoting similar goals.</p>

March 8 - International Women&#039;s Day

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 19:45

<p><mediawrapper data=""><img alt="International Women&amp;#039;s Day" src="https://cupe.ca/sites/cupe/files/node_representative_image/iwd-rep.jpg" style="height: 209px; width: 400px;" /></mediawrapper>March 8 is International Women’s Day. Across the country, CUPE will participate in community&nbsp;events celebrating women’s activism and reaffirming our commitment to gender justice.</p>

<p>CUPE has a number of campaigns that address women’s rights as workers and community members. We encourage you and your local to use International Women’s Day to promote these initiatives.</p>

<p>We’re gearing up for the federal election this year, and women’s issues are a top concern.</p>

<p>CUPE is part of <a href="http://upfordebate.ca/" target="_blank">Up For Debate </a>– a coalition campaign to get all federal political parties to make meaningful commitments on women’s issues. Please endorse the campaign at <a href="http://upfordebate.ca" target="_blank">upfordebate.ca</a> and link it to your political action work on gender-based violence, economic inequality and women’s leadership.</p>

<p>CUPE also supports the <a href="http://www.fafia-afai.org/en/solidarity-campaign/" target="_blank">Solidarity Campaign</a> pressing for a national public inquiry and strategy on missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. The Campaign is led by the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA) and the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC).</p>

<p>CUPE is involved in the <a href="http://www.mmfqc.org/english" target="_blank">4th World March of Women</a>, particularly in Quebec, where feminists have been planning events for the April 24th international day of action. To organize an event in your workplace or community, find out more at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mmfqc.org/english" target="_blank">mmfqc.org</a> or email equality@cupe.ca.</p>

<p>We want to highlight a few campaigns where CUPE is a lead organization and gender equality features large. Please get involved, if you aren’t already.</p>

<p>Host a kitchen table conversation about child care, post your child care story and encourage others to share theirs. Visit <a href="http://rethinkchildcare.ca/" target="_blank">rethinkchildcare.ca</a> to find out more.</p>

<p>Tell your MP why health care is a critical issue for women as workers, unpaid caregivers and patients – and fight the $36 billion planned federal cuts. Email sshah@cupe.ca for a lobby kit and email your MP via <a href="http://SaveOurHealthcare.ca" target="_blank">SaveOurHealthcare.ca</a>.</p>

<p>See the latest research on <a href="/node/41210" target="_blank">pensions</a><a href="/node/41210"> and </a><a href="http://cupe.ca/issues-research?f[0]=field_subject%3A114" target="_blank">equality</a><a href="/node/41210"> </a>and on how public sector wages are <a href="/node/33621">narrowing the </a><a href="/node/33621" target="_blank">pay gap</a>.&nbsp;You can use this information in your anti-privatization and pension campaigns.</p>

<p>At our recent <a href="https://cupe.ca/node/33299/" target="_blank">national human rights conference</a>, CUPE members learned about some of the latest research and campaigns on women’s equality and developed local strategies in workshops on wage discrimination, pensions and other priority issues for women.</p>

<p>These are just some of the ways CUPE is recognizing women’s work and fighting for gender justice at work and in our communities.</p>

<p>On International Women’s Day, we applaud our sisters’ work, and we re-dedicate ourselves to gender equality.</p>

<p>In solidarity,</p>

<p>Paul Moist<br />
<span style="font-size: 15.1999998092651px; line-height: 23.5599994659424px;"><strong>National President</strong></span></p>

<p>Charles Fleury<br />
<strong>​National Secretary-Treasurer&nbsp;</strong></p>

Public health workers sound alarm on provincial underfunding with rally at Peterborough MPP’s office

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 19:30

<p><strong>PETERBOROUGH,&nbsp;ON</strong> – On Friday, March 6, employees of the Peterborough County-City Health Unit will be joined by Fred Hahn, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario, for a rally at the constituency office of Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal.</p>

<p>Public health workers will highlight the dire state of public health funding for the region and its impact on services and workers.</p>

<p>“Chronic underfunding of public health services affects everyone in this community. Food safety, rabies protection, defense against infectious diseases – this is about public safety,” said Hahn.</p>

<p>“These front-line workers deserve fair treatment, and the residents of Peterborough deserve better than to have these vital public services funded at levels significantly lower than other health units in Ontario.”</p>

<p>The event is being organized by members of Local 4170 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). Joining them at the rally will be their colleagues represented by the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA). Both unions are negotiating new collective agreements with the Peterborough County-City Health Unit and will be in a legal strike or lockout position at one minute after midnight on March 13.</p>

<p><strong>Rally information:</strong></p>

<p class="rteindent1"><strong>Who:</strong>&nbsp;CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn<br />
Pam Pressick, President of CUPE 4170<br />
Employees of the Peterborough County-City Health Unit represented by CUPE and Ontario Nurses’ Association</p>

<p class="rteindent1"><strong>What: </strong>Rally to demand greater provincial funding of Peterborough region’s public health services</p>

<p class="rteindent1"><strong>When: </strong>Friday, March 6, 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m.</p>

<p class="rteindent1"><strong>Where:</strong>&nbsp;Constituency Office of Jeff Leal, MPP for Peterborough, 236 King Street, Peterborough</p>

<p><strong>For more information, please contact:</strong></p>

<p>Pam Pressick<br />
President, CUPE 4170<br />
705-872-1208</p>

<p>Alison Davidson,<br />
UPE National Representative<br />
705-760-5113</p>

<p>Mary Unan<br />
CUPE Communications<br />
647-390-9839</p>

Transfer ambulance attendants win bid for mediator

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 22:00

<p><strong>ABBOTSFORD</strong>&nbsp;–&nbsp;Striking non-emergency transfer ambulance attendants have put their job action on hold. The 105 members of CUPE 873-03 have successfully applied to the BC Labour Relations Board for a mediator in stalled talks with employer SN Transport for a first contract.</p>

<p>CUPE 873-03 stresses that while the workers have been in a legal position to strike since Monday, there is no plan to withdraw services. CUPE 873 President Bronwyn Barter explains that “our first priority is to protect the patients we transport - many of whom are fragile.” She adds that, “our focus remains on pressing the employer to settle a fair contract without affecting patient care.”&nbsp; The union sees getting a mediator as a major step towards a deal.&nbsp;</p>

<p>Despite meeting more than a dozen times at the bargaining table and agreeing on many issues, several key areas remain unresolved. These include scheduling, wages, benefits and union representation.&nbsp;Abbotsford-based SN Transport walked out of talks after rejecting a union call for binding mediation.</p>

<p>The Canadian Union of Public Employees represents patient care and patient transfer attendants (drivers) in non-emergency patient transfer ambulances. They joined the Canadian Union of Public Employees CUPE in July 2014 and have been trying to negotiate a first collective agreement ever since.&nbsp;</p>

<p>Now that the union’s application for a mediator to the LRB has been filed and accepted, an LRB appointed third party will lead the talks. All job action is on hold.&nbsp;If a first collective agreement is not reached within 20 days through negotiation, the mediator can recommend binding arbitration.</p>

<p>Barter says “mediation is in everyone’s best interest – the talks have bogged down and a mediator can help get us back on track to a settlement.&nbsp;All we’re looking for is a fair and reasonable collective agreement so that we can concentrate on our jobs - looking after the patients we care about.”</p>

<p>CUPE 873 represents approximately 4,000 B.C. ambulance paramedics and emergency dispatchers as well as the transfer attendants. The attendants are in a separate unit of the union local.&nbsp;</p>

<p><strong>For more information, please contact:</strong></p>

<p>Bronwyn Barter<br />
President CUPE Local 873<br />
604-209-2946<br />
<br />
John Strohmaier<br />
​CUPE National Servicing Representative<br />
604-790-0873 &nbsp;&nbsp;<br />
<br />
Murray Bush<br />
CUPE National Communications Representative<br />
778-554-2234&nbsp;</p>

Please Help Brock University’s ESL Instructors

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 19:45

ESL instructors deserve better from Brock’s Administration

We are ESL instructors at Brock University trying to reach a fair contract with the university’s administration.

CUPE 4207 members are the backbone of Brock’s popular and high-quality English as a Second Language (ESL) department. While Brock’s administration seems to recognize the importance of the ESL programs and have plans to expand and grow ESL teaching at the university, the same administration is not recognizing the important contribution and work of the ESL instructors who helped build the programs by refusing to offer them a fair contract.

It is time for Brock’s administration to invest in the ESL instructors who built and deliver the popular, and in-demand, ESL program by negotiating a fair contract.

Support growing for striking university education workers

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 14:30

TORONTO – Support is growing for striking education workers at University of Toronto and York University.

Despite a heavy snowstorm that blanketed downtown Toronto, the executive board of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario, yesterday, joined striking members of CUPE 3902 on their picket lines.

They were joined by several members of the Ontario New Democratic Party (ONDP) caucus, including ONDP Leader Andrea Horwath.

“We’re so proud to be standing beside you in support of your efforts on behalf of all post-secondary education workers across Ontario,” said Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario, who presented CUPE 3902 with a donation of $5,000 to support the strikers.

“This is just the beginning. I know that, in the days to follow, there will be a groundswell of support for you and your sisters and brothers at York University from CUPE members and CUPE Locals from coast to coast,” he added.

The 6,000 members of CUPE 3902, Unit 1, walked off the job Friday, February 27, in support of their efforts to secure a fair contract that alleviates the poverty-level wages and precarious work environments many members face. They were joined on Monday, March 2, by 3,700 teaching assistants, graduate assistants, and contract faculty at York University who are members of CUPE 3903.

“We’re simply overwhelmed by the outpouring of support we have received from students, from our sisters and brothers in CUPE, and from the broader labour movement,” said CUPE 3902 Chair Erin Black.

“With their support, I have every confidence that our members will ‘hold the line’ and succeed in securing a fair collective agreement that protects quality post-secondary education,” she added.

For more information, please contact:

Fred Hahn
CUPE Ontario President
 416-540-3979

Erin Black
CUPE 3902 Chair
 416-806-3902

Kevin Wilson
CUPE Communications
 416-821-6641

CUPE awards Workplace Learning Champion certificates to Debbie Lavallee and Brenda Snyder

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 19:30

Congratulations to Debbie Lavallee and Brenda Snyder for being awarded CUPE Workplace Learning Champion certificates. Debbie and Brenda have given Rob Snyder of CUPE 109, City of Kingston, the support he needed to reach his literacy and education goals.

Debbie Lavallee

Debbie Lavallee was the Manager of Employee Services in the Human Resources (HR) Department of the City of Kingston when she started lobbying the need for workplace education. It took some time and a lot of work to get the go-ahead but eventually in 2005, the Senior Management at the City of Kingston agreed to set up a Joint Employee Education and Development (JEED) committee composed of CUPE and supervisory employees.

JEED’s focus was on courses that would upgrade or give employees new skills - computers and keyboarding, along with a new initiative that allowed employees to complete their High School Diploma while working.

Thanks to Debbie’s efforts, Robbie Snyder, an employee of the Kingston Transit city services for over 30 years, was the first to complete his Grade 12 in 2008 while working full time. The City’s workplace learning program raised awareness on the need for essential skills.  Read Debbie’s full story.

Brenda Snyder

Brenda Snyder is currently an Ontario Works case manager with the Housing and Social Services Department at the City of Kingston. She has been employed with the Corporation of the City of Kingston for 35 years.

She is also a CUPE 109 member and Robbie Snyder’s wife. Robbie Snyder has been an employee of the Kingston Transit city services for over 30 years. He is also a member of the CUPE Learning Champions Network and an adult learner who managed to complete a Grade 12 while working full-time. He was awarded a CAMA National Award of Excellence in 2008. Read Brenda’s full story.

CUPE awards Workplace Learning Champion certificates to Debbie Lavallee and Brenda Snyder

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 19:30

Congratulations to Debbie Lavallee and Brenda Snyder for being awarded CUPE Workplace Learning Champion certificates. Debbie and Brenda have given Rob Snyder of CUPE 109, City of Kingston, the support he needed to reach his literacy and education goals.

Debbie Lavallee

Debbie Lavallee was the Manager of Employee Services in the Human Resources (HR) Department of the City of Kingston when she started lobbying the need for workplace education. It took some time and a lot of work to get the go-ahead but eventually in 2005, the Senior Management at the City of Kingston agreed to set up a Joint Employee Education and Development (JEED) committee composed of CUPE and supervisory employees.

JEED’s focus was on courses that would upgrade or give employees new skills - computers and keyboarding, along with a new initiative that allowed employees to complete their High School Diploma while working.

Thanks to Debbie’s efforts, Robbie Snyder, an employee of the Kingston Transit city services for over 30 years, was the first to complete his Grade 12 in 2008 while working full time. The City’s workplace learning program raised awareness on the need for essential skills.  Read Debbie’s full story.

Brenda Snyder

Brenda Snyder is currently an Ontario Works case manager with the Housing and Social Services Department at the City of Kingston. She has been employed with the Corporation of the City of Kingston for 35 years.

She is also a CUPE 109 member and Robbie Snyder’s wife. Robbie Snyder has been an employee of the Kingston Transit city services for over 30 years. He is also a member of the CUPE Learning Champions Network and an adult learner who managed to complete a Grade 12 while working full-time. He was awarded a CAMA National Award of Excellence in 2008. Read Brenda’s full story.

Shrunken workforce and contracting out root of snow and ice clearing woes

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 18:45

HALIFAX – The union representing Halifax’s municipal outside workers says years and years of contracting out and a shrunken workforce are coming back to haunt senior managers and council this winter.

CUPE 108 President Mike Young says, “Our members are working flat out, they’re being denied vacations and they simply do not have the gear or the number of operators that we need to get the work done.”

“We have a municipal workforce that has been reduced dramatically over the last ten to fifteen years, and now it has backfired on the people who made the decision to contract out all of that work,” says Young. “Another one of management’s favourite tricks is not filling vacancies in order to save money. This also compromises our snow and ice clearing capacity.”

CUPE points to a binge of contracting out in 2012 which included more than $17 million in snow removal contracts, as just one example.

The union has been arguing for several years now that the work can be done cheaper and more efficiently in-house because, among other things, private contractors typically make a profit of between 15 and 20 per cent, municipalities have an HST exemption and they can buy fuel in bulk.

CUPE 3903 on legal strike against York University

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 13:45

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. this morning, the 3,700 members of Local 3903 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 3903) began a legal strike against their employer, York University.

At a special membership meeting held yesterday, members voted 71 per cent to reject the university’s last offer and commence strike action to support their efforts to secure a fair contract that takes action against the increasing ‘normalization’ of precarious contract teaching.

“Members sent a clear message to York University – We refuse to be dictated to, we refuse to accept that low-paid, insecure and precarious employment are increasingly the norm at York University,” said Faiz Ahmed, Chair of Local 3903, which represents contract faculty, teaching assistants and graduate assistants at York University.

The vote followed a demand by York University that Local 3903 present its last offer to members, even though negotiators for Local 3903 warned the university its offer was unsatisfactory.

“We are striving to turn back a system that’s keeping contract faculty strung along on short-term, low-paid, precarious employment contracts – in some cases for a decade or longer – with no security or stability,” said Ahmed.

“York’s last offer was woefully inadequate in addressing the serious priorities our bargaining team brought to the negotiating table,” he added.

Local 3903’s Bargaining Committee remains committed to finishing the job of negotiating a collective agreement that preserves quality post-secondary education at York University and is fair to the people who deliver more than 64 per cent of instruction, but receive less than eight per cent of York’s operating budget.

“We deeply regret the inconvenience this will cause students, and our commitment to them is that our bargaining committee remains available to resume negotiations on short notice, but we can’t negotiate a contract alone. York University needs to return to the table as well to finish the job,” said Ahmed.

www.betteryork.ca

For more information, please contact:

Faiz Ahmed
CUPE 3903 Chair
 416-879-7078

Kevin Wilson
CUPE Communications
 416-821-6641

Prentice threatens wage roll-backs on public service unions

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 23:15

Alberta’s public servants will not accept a made-in-USA approach to labour negotiations, CUPE Alberta President Marle Roberts said today.

“This is a declaration of war against hard-working public sector employees who work in schools, hospitals, and many other places in our communities,” she said. “The Premier is trying to apply American-style labour management to Alberta, and it’s wrong.”

Roberts said the Supreme Court recently affirmed public sector unions’ right to strike, acknowledging that it brings a power balance to negotiations.

“At the same time Prentice is demanding wage rollbacks, he’s trying to take away public workers’ constitutional right to strike,” Roberts said. “The Supreme Court of Canada, just last month, rejected a similar attempt in Saskatchewan. It didn’t work there and it won’t work here.”

“The Premier is also ignoring that fact that some public sector employees have taken zero per cent increases,” she said.

Roberts said the Premier’s reliance on the American-funded Fraser Institute is worrisome. The right-wing special-interest group has admitted receiving $4.3 million from foreign agencies.

 “We need a system that accepts the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, that acknowledges the importance of Alberta’s health and education, and that believes in fairness.”

“Alberta’s public sector will fight this attempt to take away our rights,” Roberts said.

For more information, contact:

David Loan
 613-301-7468

Prentice threatens wage roll-backs on public service unions

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 23:15

Alberta’s public servants will not accept a made-in-USA approach to labour negotiations, CUPE Alberta President Marle Roberts said today.

“This is a declaration of war against hard-working public sector employees who work in schools, hospitals, and many other places in our communities,” she said. “The Premier is trying to apply American-style labour management to Alberta, and it’s wrong.”

Roberts said the Supreme Court recently affirmed public sector unions’ right to strike, acknowledging that it brings a power balance to negotiations.

“At the same time Prentice is demanding wage rollbacks, he’s trying to take away public workers’ constitutional right to strike,” Roberts said. “The Supreme Court of Canada, just last month, rejected a similar attempt in Saskatchewan. It didn’t work there and it won’t work here.”

“The Premier is also ignoring that fact that some public sector employees have taken zero per cent increases,” she said.

Roberts said the Premier’s reliance on the American-funded Fraser Institute is worrisome. The right-wing special-interest group has admitted receiving $4.3 million from foreign agencies.

 “We need a system that accepts the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, that acknowledges the importance of Alberta’s health and education, and that believes in fairness.”

“Alberta’s public sector will fight this attempt to take away our rights,” Roberts said.

For more information, contact:

David Loan
 613-301-7468

Paramedics launch Imagine campaign

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 18:00

VANCOUVER – British Columbia’s 4,000 ambulance paramedics and emergency dispatchers are launching a major province-wide public awareness campaign today.

Imagine a World Without Paramedics is a multimedia campaign focused on the critical services paramedics provide throughout the province, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

The TV, print and radio campaign will run for the next eight weeks in communities across B.C. The ads and commercials can be previewed at www.worldwithoutparamedics.ca.

CUPE Local 873, Ambulance Paramedics of BC President Bronwyn Barter says “It’s vital for the public know who we are and what we do – that we make a difference. We are often a critical factor in the difference between life, death, patient outcomes and the overall time a patient utilizes the provincial healthcare system. Our job is to ensure every British Columbian has the best possible access to paramedicine.”

“We realize that this campaign may well provoke strong emotions in viewers,” says Barter. “The reality is that the kinds of scenarios we are presenting are ones we face day in and day out as part of the indispensable work our members perform for the public.”

The Ambulance Paramedics of BC will continue to strive to provide patients with optimal, professional care and services during their time of need. Ambulance paramedics and emergency dispatchers are members of Local 873 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

For more information, please contact:

Bronwyn Barter
APBC President
604-209-2946
bronwyn.barter@apbc.ca

Murray Bush
CUPE Communications Representative
778-554-2234
mbush@cupe.ca

CUPE 3902-01 on legal strike against University of Toronto

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 13:45

“We are poor, precarious, and need improvement in our standard of living,” Union Chair Erin Black says after members overwhelmingly reject U of T’s latest offer.

TORONTO – The 6,000 members of Local 3902-01 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees are now on legal strike against their employer, the University of Toronto (U of T).

At a special membership meeting held today, members overwhelmingly voted against sending U of T’s last offer to a ratification vote, effectively rejecting the proposed tentative agreement negotiated a day earlier.

“Our members have spoken overwhelmingly. They have said we are poor, precarious, and we need an increase in our standard of living,” said Erin Black, Chair of CUPE 3902.

“The consensus of those in attendance at the special membership meeting was that people felt disrespected by U of T administration, and they require compensation which reflects the high standard of instruction our members provide,” she added.

Following the membership meeting, Local 3902’s executive committee authorized strike action to support their efforts to secure a collective agreement “that meets our members’ needs and respects the work they perform,” said Black.

Picket lines will go up around the U of T campus on Monday morning.

“We deeply regret the inconvenience this will cause students, and urge U of T administration to recognize both our members’ concerns and the impact this will have on students,” said Black. “Our bargaining committee will be available to meet on short notice. Both sides need to return to the table and finish the job of negotiating a settlement that is fair to our members, and preserves quality education at U of T,” she added.

For more information, please contact:

Erin Black
CUPE 3902 Chair
 416-806-3902

Tom Laughlin
Bargaining Committee – Steward’s Council Representative
 416-997-8162

Kevin Wilson
CUPE Communications
 416-821-6641