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CUPE Local 76 back to work on Monday

Fri, 11/28/2014 - 21:45

Campbellton, NB - A month after being locked out by the City of Campbellton, CUPE Local 76 members, the city’s outside workers, will be back on the job on Monday.

The Local reached a tentative agreement late yesterday afternoon after three days of mediation. The members accepted the offer last evening.

“This was a very difficult round of bargaining.  We are very disappointed with the way our employer behaved”, said George Parker, President of CUPE Local 76.

“At the end of the day, we were able to keep our Defined Benefit Pension Plan and we pushed back on contracting out. We now have a minimum of 25 members guaranteed under our collective agreement.  As well, for the length of this contract, no current employees can be laid off or have their hours of work reduced due to contracting out the work of the bargaining unit”, added Parker.

“The membership was overwhelmed by the support they received from the citizens of Campbellton.  Every day during this lockout, people showed up on the pickets lines with coffee, sweets, food and money.”

“We can’t thank enough the CUPE members for the financial support they gave us.  CUPE members that we have never met before showed up on the picket lines and walked with us.  We could not have imagined such a show of solidarity,” concluded Parker. 

For more information:

George Parker, President, CUPE Local 76: (506) 789-3373

Michel Boudreau, CUPE Representative: 506-381-0355

December 1 – World AIDS Day

Fri, 11/28/2014 - 19:15

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

World AIDS Day was established to create an opportunity for everyone to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS, show support for people living with HIV and to honour people who have died. There are 35 million people living with HIV globally. In Canada, our Public Health Agency reports 76,275 HIV positive cases.

Working with other unions, CUPE works toward benefits for all workers and their families, like harassment-free workplaces, medical benefits and more. CUPE has been at the forefront of the effort to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and we encourage all our members to take action against this pandemic.

CUPE’s recently adopted HIV and AIDS policy shows why this pandemic is both a human rights issue and a workplace issue. It outlines ways we can support members in the workplace. It also acknowledges the crucial work of community-based groups battling on the frontlines of this pandemic, many of whom are CUPE members.

The policy also provides a foundation for CUPE’s international solidarity work. This work includes our support for the work of the Stephen Lewis Foundation with grassroots partners in Africa who are on the front lines of the AIDS pandemic. There are currently 25 million people in sub-Saharan Africa infected with HIV and 15 million children orphaned by AIDS.

On this World AIDS Day, and throughout the year, CUPE calls on members and locals across the country to take action and bring attention to the impact of HIV/AIDS.

Visit stephenlewisfoundation.org to find out how you can help turn the tide of AIDS in Africa.

Read CUPE’s HIV and AIDS policy at cupe.ca/hivaids to learn more about this issue and ways to take action in the workplace.

In solidarity,

PAUL MOIST                                                                       
National President                                                          

CHARLES FLEURY
National Secretary-Treasurer

December 1 – World AIDS Day

Fri, 11/28/2014 - 19:15

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

World AIDS Day was established to create an opportunity for everyone to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS, show support for people living with HIV and to honour people who have died. There are 35 million people living with HIV globally. In Canada, our Public Health Agency reports 76,275 HIV positive cases.

Working with other unions, CUPE works toward benefits for all workers and their families, like harassment-free workplaces, medical benefits and more. CUPE has been at the forefront of the effort to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and we encourage all our members to take action against this pandemic.

CUPE’s recently adopted HIV and AIDS policy shows why this pandemic is both a human rights issue and a workplace issue. It outlines ways we can support members in the workplace. It also acknowledges the crucial work of community-based groups battling on the frontlines of this pandemic, many of whom are CUPE members.

The policy also provides a foundation for CUPE’s international solidarity work. This work includes our support for the work of the Stephen Lewis Foundation with grassroots partners in Africa who are on the front lines of the AIDS pandemic. There are currently 25 million people in sub-Saharan Africa infected with HIV and 15 million children orphaned by AIDS.

On this World AIDS Day, and throughout the year, CUPE calls on members and locals across the country to take action and bring attention to the impact of HIV/AIDS.

Visit stephenlewisfoundation.org to find out how you can help turn the tide of AIDS in Africa.

Read CUPE’s HIV and AIDS policy at cupe.ca/hivaids to learn more about this issue and ways to take action in the workplace.

In solidarity,

PAUL MOIST                                                                       
National President                                                          

CHARLES FLEURY
National Secretary-Treasurer

Pension deal another step closer to the finish line

Fri, 11/28/2014 - 17:00

REGINA – Members of the Regina Civic Pension Plan are one step closer to having a secure pension deal.

The Pension and Benefits Committee, which represents the 21 employee groups, voted unanimously on Wednesday evening to support the pension agreement reached with the City of Regina. The City of Regina has also voted unanimously to support the amended pension deal.

“Plan members are pleased to see a negotiated solution that completes the LOI and addresses the governance concerns,” said Kirby Benning, chair of the Pension and Benefits Committee.  “Now we turn our attention to the Superintendent of Pensions and hope that he does the right thing and signs off on this deal.”

A request has been made to the Superintendent of Pensions to extend the deadline for filing submissions until December 5 so that the Pension and Benefits Committee and the city can submit a joint proposal to the Superintendent.

Pension deal another step closer to the finish line

Fri, 11/28/2014 - 17:00

REGINA – Members of the Regina Civic Pension Plan are one step closer to having a secure pension deal.

The Pension and Benefits Committee, which represents the 21 employee groups, voted unanimously on Wednesday evening to support the pension agreement reached with the City of Regina. The City of Regina has also voted unanimously to support the amended pension deal.

“Plan members are pleased to see a negotiated solution that completes the LOI and addresses the governance concerns,” said Kirby Benning, chair of the Pension and Benefits Committee.  “Now we turn our attention to the Superintendent of Pensions and hope that he does the right thing and signs off on this deal.”

A request has been made to the Superintendent of Pensions to extend the deadline for filing submissions until December 5 so that the Pension and Benefits Committee and the city can submit a joint proposal to the Superintendent.

Solution to pre-Primary problems is ECEC – CUPE Nova Scotia

Fri, 11/28/2014 - 14:45

TRURO – A new study which shows more than one quarter of Nova Scotia children entering primary school have learning problems should not come as a big surprise, according to CUPE Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh. 

“The statistics compiled from data gathered by primary teachers in 2012-2013 confirm what countless studies have shown – that our country, as a whole, is lagging far behind other developed countries when it comes to early childhood education and care (ECEC). The study from the provincial Department Education and Early Childhood Development showed about one in four students (26.8 per cent) start school in Nova Scotia with a developmental challenge, according to questionnaires completed by their teachers.”

“This is even more proof that we need to move toward a public system of ECEC, with a dramatic expansion of child care services built right into our existing schools. This is often called the ‘hub model’ and is working really well in other jurisdictions, such as Toronto.”

“What’s even less appreciated, is just how important investments in early learning and childcare are for the economy. The Robert Fairholm report that we commissioned in 2011 showed that for every dollar invested in childcare, $2.23 would be generated for the province’s overall economy.”

The union which represents childcare and early learning teachers says studies like this have been conducted at a national level in Canada. The Fairholm report was the first study of its kind for Nova Scotia.

Ensure public health services with a fair and equitable agreement, say Peterborough’s health unit workers

Thu, 11/27/2014 - 20:30

PETERBOROUGH, ON – Workers at Peterborough’s County-City Health Unit are urging its management to protect the public health interests of the region’s residents by taking a new approach to contract negotiations with frontline and support workers.

The call comes the day after representatives of Local 4170 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) filed for conciliation with the Ministry of Labour. The union hopes the services of a conciliator will help to kick-start stalled bargaining for a new collective agreement.

“As public service workers, we want to be able to concentrate on promoting and protecting the vital public health needs of our city and county,” said Pam Pressick, President of CUPE 4170.

“But the pace of negotiations and the demands of the management of Peterborough County-City Health Unit have frustrated us at every turn. We believe that calling in a conciliator from the Ministry will break the impasse so that we can reach a fair and equitable collective agreement that protects the city’s and county’s public health services.”

Members of CUPE 4170 held a meeting on November 25, in which they gave strong endorsement to their negotiating committee for this next stage in the bargaining process. Conciliation is a required step before either party can take strike or lockout action.

CUPE 4170 has 52 members in the region’s health unit. Their jobs include public health inspector, secretary, dental health professional, community service worker, IT worker, housekeeper, caretaker, graphic communications,  youth development worker, registered practical nurse, epidemiologist, and bookkeeper.

The bargaining unit’s last two collective agreements each included a year of zero-percent wage increases.

For more information, contact:

Pam Pressick
President, CUPE 4170
 705-872-1208

Alison Davidson
CUPE National Representative
 705-760-5113

Mary Unan
CUPE Communications
905-739-3999 ext. 240 or 647-390-9839

Ill patients being denied services as need for home care up 33% in SW, while provincial funding lags behind demand

Thu, 11/27/2014 - 20:30

LONDON, ON – In an effort to deal with a 33 per cent spike in the demand for home care, and inadequate provincial funding for services, the South West Community Care Access Centre (SW-CCAC) is resorting to cutting care for some ill patients and denying care to others altogether, charged community care staff represented by the Canadian Union Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario, at a London media conference today.

Mark Kruger, with CUPE 101 and a worker at the local agency, said the SW-CCAC – which services patients in a large geographic area from London to Grey/Bruce – is “coping as best as it can with the upsurge in patient referrals, but is struggling.”

With thousands of hospital beds being closed, patients are being pushed out of hospital sicker and faster; the provincial government has touted home and community care as the back-up plan.

“But what the province isn’t telling the public is that community services are underfunded. There just isn’t enough home care for the thousands of people who need it,” said Heather Duff with CUPE Ontario and a CCAC worker in Ottawa.

To deal with the provincial funding shortfall, the SW-CCAC, like CCACs in eastern Ontario and the Windsor area, has raised the criteria for patients to qualify for home care services.

“In essence, CCACs are disqualifying ill people from getting home care using an assessment tool. They are making it harder for the sick to get the home care that they need and were promised when they left hospital or convalescent care,” said Duff.

Many families whose loved ones need home care are filling the void by providing care themselves, or are hiring a personal support worker privately at significant cost.

“There is increasing informal caregiver distress. As less services are available, informal caregivers are more likely to suffer from depression, anger, or distress. Ill patients are suffering without service, while others have their hours reduced. Families and informal caregivers are also being affected. The health minister must recognize that patients and their families are suffering as a result of these cuts,” said Duff.

Compounding the problem, 20 SW-CCAC jobs, including 11.5 CUPE jobs are being cut, said Kruger.

For more information please contact:

Stella Yeadon
CUPE Communications
 416-559-9300

Ill patients being denied services as need for home care up 33% in SW, while provincial funding lags behind demand

Thu, 11/27/2014 - 20:30

LONDON, ON – In an effort to deal with a 33 per cent spike in the demand for home care, and inadequate provincial funding for services, the South West Community Care Access Centre (SW-CCAC) is resorting to cutting care for some ill patients and denying care to others altogether, charged community care staff represented by the Canadian Union Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario, at a London media conference today.

Mark Kruger, with CUPE 101 and a worker at the local agency, said the SW-CCAC – which services patients in a large geographic area from London to Grey/Bruce – is “coping as best as it can with the upsurge in patient referrals, but is struggling.”

With thousands of hospital beds being closed, patients are being pushed out of hospital sicker and faster; the provincial government has touted home and community care as the back-up plan.

“But what the province isn’t telling the public is that community services are underfunded. There just isn’t enough home care for the thousands of people who need it,” said Heather Duff with CUPE Ontario and a CCAC worker in Ottawa.

To deal with the provincial funding shortfall, the SW-CCAC, like CCACs in eastern Ontario and the Windsor area, has raised the criteria for patients to qualify for home care services.

“In essence, CCACs are disqualifying ill people from getting home care using an assessment tool. They are making it harder for the sick to get the home care that they need and were promised when they left hospital or convalescent care,” said Duff.

Many families whose loved ones need home care are filling the void by providing care themselves, or are hiring a personal support worker privately at significant cost.

“There is increasing informal caregiver distress. As less services are available, informal caregivers are more likely to suffer from depression, anger, or distress. Ill patients are suffering without service, while others have their hours reduced. Families and informal caregivers are also being affected. The health minister must recognize that patients and their families are suffering as a result of these cuts,” said Duff.

Compounding the problem, 20 SW-CCAC jobs, including 11.5 CUPE jobs are being cut, said Kruger.

For more information please contact:

Stella Yeadon
CUPE Communications
 416-559-9300

Ensure public health services with a fair and equitable agreement, say Peterborough’s health unit workers

Thu, 11/27/2014 - 20:30

PETERBOROUGH, ON – Workers at Peterborough’s County-City Health Unit are urging its management to protect the public health interests of the region’s residents by taking a new approach to contract negotiations with frontline and support workers.

The call comes the day after representatives of Local 4170 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) filed for conciliation with the Ministry of Labour. The union hopes the services of a conciliator will help to kick-start stalled bargaining for a new collective agreement.

“As public service workers, we want to be able to concentrate on promoting and protecting the vital public health needs of our city and county,” said Pam Pressick, President of CUPE 4170.

“But the pace of negotiations and the demands of the management of Peterborough County-City Health Unit have frustrated us at every turn. We believe that calling in a conciliator from the Ministry will break the impasse so that we can reach a fair and equitable collective agreement that protects the city’s and county’s public health services.”

Members of CUPE 4170 held a meeting on November 25, in which they gave strong endorsement to their negotiating committee for this next stage in the bargaining process. Conciliation is a required step before either party can take strike or lockout action.

CUPE 4170 has 52 members in the region’s health unit. Their jobs include public health inspector, secretary, dental health professional, community service worker, IT worker, housekeeper, caretaker, graphic communications,  youth development worker, registered practical nurse, epidemiologist, and bookkeeper.

The bargaining unit’s last two collective agreements each included a year of zero-percent wage increases.

For more information, contact:

Pam Pressick
President, CUPE 4170
 705-872-1208

Alison Davidson
CUPE National Representative
 705-760-5113

Mary Unan
CUPE Communications
905-739-3999 ext. 240 or 647-390-9839

CUPE donates $41,4814 in offsets to help fight climate change

Thu, 11/27/2014 - 20:15



CUPE is committed to lowering the environmental impact of National Convention and showing leadership in the fight against climate change. With the help of CarbonZero, a company that focuses on reducing and offsetting emissions, CUPE has for the second time held a completely carbon neutral National Convention.

Emissions at the 2013 National Convention in Quebec City were trimmed down by reducing printed materials, eliminating plastic bottles from the convention floor, encouraging national staff to travel by rail, and running a Green Stewards Program to promote greener choices by delegates and raising the environmental consciousness of delegates and guests.

Still, some 2090.70 tonnes of carbon were produced, with the bulk stemming from delegate, guest and staff travel. At $20/tonne, CUPE has donated $41,814.00 to four leading environmental organizations, each receiving an equal amount of 10,453.50$. The National Executive Board of CUPE chose the following organizations as recipients:

Green Economy Network
Climate Action Network Canada
Eau Secours
Toronto Environmental Alliance

Some recommendations were also put forward by CarbonZero to help further reduce National Convention’s carbon footprint. These include utilizing teleconferencing and videoconferencing technologies, reducing the number of days of the event and looking into the possibility of moving to a three year convention cycle.

CUPE donates $41,4814 in offsets to help fight climate change

Thu, 11/27/2014 - 20:15



CUPE is committed to lowering the environmental impact of National Convention and showing leadership in the fight against climate change. With the help of CarbonZero, a company that focuses on reducing and offsetting emissions, CUPE has for the second time held a completely carbon neutral National Convention.

Emissions at the 2013 National Convention in Quebec City were trimmed down by reducing printed materials, eliminating plastic bottles from the convention floor, encouraging national staff to travel by rail, and running a Green Stewards Program to promote greener choices by delegates and raising the environmental consciousness of delegates and guests.

Still, some 2090.70 tonnes of carbon were produced, with the bulk stemming from delegate, guest and staff travel. At $20/tonne, CUPE has donated $41,814.00 to four leading environmental organizations, each receiving an equal amount of 10,453.50$. The National Executive Board of CUPE chose the following organizations as recipients:

Green Economy Network
Climate Action Network Canada
Eau Secours
Toronto Environmental Alliance

Some recommendations were also put forward by CarbonZero to help further reduce National Convention’s carbon footprint. These include utilizing teleconferencing and videoconferencing technologies, reducing the number of days of the event and looking into the possibility of moving to a three year convention cycle.

CUPE raises concerns over RQHR deficit reduction strategy

Thu, 11/27/2014 - 20:00

REGINA – Recent news around patient care at Santa Maria raises important questions on Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region’s (RQHR’s) deficit reduction strategy, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

In a 2012 memo to senior staff, RQHR outlines financial challenges resulting from what is said to be “excessive staff expenditures” and calls for cutting of staffing budgets by $12 million, specifically in RQHR. However, this is not restricted to RQHR alone and continues to be sought province-wide. As noted in a March 19, 2014 Government of Saskatchewan health-related news release, $51.9 million in savings is being sought in “sharing of services, attendance management and reduction of lost time due to injuries, premium pay and sick time.”

These RQHR staff expenditures include sick time replacement and job vacancy management, and the memo calls for the adjustment of staff levels based on funded positions rather than demands of the workplace and patient care.

“What these measures amount to merely exacerbates the problem, leaving the workforce understaffed and overworked, which ultimately reduces quality of patient care,” said Scott McDonald, president of CUPE Local 3967, serving RQHR. “A lack of proper staffing also leads to stress and lower workplace morale.”

At a time when LEAN management consultants are under fire for excessive expenditures, cuts to front line service providers and reduction of staff levels seem to be taking patient care in the wrong direction.

“This is not just an issue at Santa Maria; it is something that is being reported in every corner of this health region. Aggressive policies that manage and restrict employees’ sick leave usage and access to proper leave from work, and understaffing as a whole, cement the problem and create severe outcomes in quality of care,” said McDonald.

Domestic violence often spills over to workplace: study

Thu, 11/27/2014 - 19:30

Over half (53.5 per cent) of those who experience domestic violence report that at least one type of abusive act happened at or near the workplace. More than 40 per cent of those who experienced domestic violence discussed it with someone at work. Almost 10 per cent reported losing their jobs because of domestic violence.

These are just some of the results of a new study, Can work be safe, when home isn’t? conducted by the Canadian Labour Congress and the University of Western Ontario. More than 8,000 people completed the survey between December 6, 2013 and June 6, 2014.

The survey covers a number of areas, including the effect domestic violence has on the workplace, disclosure rates, support received, and perceptions.

The results of the survey could help shape legislation, policies and practices that would make workplaces safer, lift the stigma from victims, and hold abusers accountable. Possible legislative changes include positive obligations on employers to protect workers from domestic violence, prohibiting discrimination against those who experience domestic violence, and flexible work arrangements or paid leave.

The release of the report is one of many actions being taken by unions and grassroots organizations over the 16 days between November 25 and December 6 to raise awareness about the effects of violence against women. December 6 is the National Day for Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women.

CBRM’s ‘five-days-a-week’ landfill use policy

Thu, 11/27/2014 - 18:30

SYDNEY – The union representing three groups of municipal workers in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality says the new ‘five days a week’ landfill use policy doesn’t seem to apply to private contractors.

Just last month, the Solid Waste Department sent out a memo to ‘Residents and Commercial Customers’ explaining that as of November 2, 2014, “all solid waste management sites will operate five days a week, Tuesday to Saturday.” But CUPE National Representative Wanda Power says, “We now find out that CBRM is still allowing private contractors in on Mondays. If this was supposed to be a cost-cutting measure, why is it only applying to residents and the CBRM’s own staff?” “We’ve had reports of 13 trucks on one Monday and 11 on another, since the November 2nd change was supposed to have been in place,” says Power.

CUPE Local 759 President Kevin Ivey, whose local represents approximately 35 employees at the landfill site, says, “These workers had their schedules and their lives shifted around with the Tuesday to Saturday schedule. But now they see that the rules are only applying to certain parties. When CBRM employees empty the street litter bins on a Monday, for example, they can’t even drop that off now until Tuesday. Meanwhile, when residents want to use the landfill on a Monday, after the weekend, they get turned away,” says Ivey. “We’ve asked the employer for a firm date on when this practice will end, but they’re refusing to give us one.”

CUPE members at CBRM are outside workers in Local 759, inside workers in Local 933 and crossing guards in Local 761.

Social assistance in chaos as new computer system delivers misery for vulnerable Ontarians: survey

Thu, 11/27/2014 - 14:45

TORONTO, ON – Vulnerable people on social assistance are the victims of the chaotic introduction of a new case management system for Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program, according to a flood of responses to a survey by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

Hundreds of caseworkers have responded anonymously to a survey set up by the union. Frontline workers are raising the alarm about the new computer system and the havoc it has created in workplaces across the province. Workers also fear for the thousands of families and individuals in Ontario who rely on social assistance and face the prospect of a month-end with no payment. 

CUPE members recount heartbreaking stories of lives thrown into turmoil by absent, late or incorrect payments, system errors, and the inability to update case plans. At the same time, stress in the workplace is reaching unbearable levels, as workers struggle to navigate a system plagued by system errors and conversion problems.

The Social Assistance Management System (SAMS) is a new case management system launched at Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program earlier this month. Despite many months of delay and province-wide testing, SAMS has been a source of stress and worry to both clients and the workers whose job it is to provide financial assistance to vulnerable Ontarians.

Survey respondents say the new system’s cumbersome and inefficient processes are also creating significant delays, leaving workers unable to provide timely or personal service to clients. Workers also cite dramatic increases in the time spent on data entry and concerns over potential privacy breaches.

“The government’s own figures confirm that more than $220 million has been spent on this lemon of a system,” said Carrie Lynn Poole-Cotnam, Chair of CUPE’s Social Service Workers Coordinating Committee (SSWCC). “At the same time, the Wynne Liberal government is cutting social programs for our province’s most vulnerable citizens. It’s yet another indication of something radically wrong with this government’s priorities.”

John Clarke of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty spoke in support of both workers and recipients of social assistance:

“The initial implementation of SAMS poses an immediate threat: that people on social assistance will face widespread delays in receiving their meager income. This brings with it the threat of hunger and loss of housing.

“Beyond this, however, the new system moves us away from flexibility and discretion and renders the delivery of income support more ponderous and inflexible and less ready to adapt to the particular needs and situations of those living in poverty.”

CUPE’s survey of its members’ experience of SAMS closed November 26, two weeks after SAMS’ launch on November 10.

“Given our members’ experience, we believe the chaos that they and clients have lived is more than a new system’s “teething pains,” said Poole-Cotnam.

“When we have our final survey results, we will take them forward to the Ministry in the full expectation that immediate action will be taken to alleviate the current situation and hold to account those responsible for the current shambles.”

For more information, contact:

Carrie Lynn Poole-Cotnam
Chair, CUPE Social Service Workers Coordinating Committee
613-864-1061  

Andrew Hunter
CUPE Social Services Coordinator
 519-496-5314

Mary Unan
CUPE Communications
905-739-3999 ext. 240 or 647-390-9839 (cell)

CUPE BC files libel law suit against Vancouver NPA and Kirk LaPointe

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 20:45

VANCOUVER – CUPE BC announced today it has filed a libel law suit against the Vancouver Non-Partisan Association and Kirk LaPointe.

In the recent Vancouver election NPA Mayoral Candidate Kirk LaPointe and the NPA electoral organization alleged “corruption” in regards to financial contributions from CUPE Local 1004 and CUPE BC to candidates recommended by the membership.

President Mark Hancock and Secretary-Treasurer Paul Faoro met with the Executive Board of CUPE BC and decided the union had no choice but to pursue legal action.   

The libel of CUPE and the individual plaintiffs by the NPA and Kirk LaPointe is one of the most extreme forms of libel recognized by law, particularly of the individual plaintiffs. The publications repeatedly accuse CUPE of criminal misconduct, and as well libels them in their profession and occupation. The electronic versions provide hyperlinks to a variety of social media, all designed to spread the libel as broadly and as quickly as possible. It also affects the ability of the union plaintiffs to effectively engage in collective bargaining on behalf of their members.

Kirk LaPointe is an Adjunct Professor of ethics in journalism at UBC, yet made no effort to conduct even a minimal inquiry into the truth or falsity of these accusations.

The plaintiffs will be seeking an injunction, the removal of the offending language from the websites, and substantial general damages, and well as punitive damages.

View the Notice of Civil Claim.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hancock,
CUPE BC President
 604-340-6787

Nathan Allen
Canadian Union of Public Employees
 604-338-2967

CUPE BC files libel law suit against Vancouver NPA and Kirk LaPointe

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 20:45

VANCOUVER – CUPE BC announced today it has filed a libel law suit against the Vancouver Non-Partisan Association and Kirk LaPointe.

In the recent Vancouver election NPA Mayoral Candidate Kirk LaPointe and the NPA electoral organization alleged “corruption” in regards to financial contributions from CUPE Local 1004 and CUPE BC to candidates recommended by the membership.

President Mark Hancock and Secretary-Treasurer Paul Faoro met with the Executive Board of CUPE BC and decided the union had no choice but to pursue legal action.   

The libel of CUPE and the individual plaintiffs by the NPA and Kirk LaPointe is one of the most extreme forms of libel recognized by law, particularly of the individual plaintiffs. The publications repeatedly accuse CUPE of criminal misconduct, and as well libels them in their profession and occupation. The electronic versions provide hyperlinks to a variety of social media, all designed to spread the libel as broadly and as quickly as possible. It also affects the ability of the union plaintiffs to effectively engage in collective bargaining on behalf of their members.

Kirk LaPointe is an Adjunct Professor of ethics in journalism at UBC, yet made no effort to conduct even a minimal inquiry into the truth or falsity of these accusations.

The plaintiffs will be seeking an injunction, the removal of the offending language from the websites, and substantial general damages, and well as punitive damages.

View the Notice of Civil Claim.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hancock,
CUPE BC President
 604-340-6787

Nathan Allen
Canadian Union of Public Employees
 604-338-2967

Hundreds of patients in the Southwest being denied home care

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 18:30

Care administrators to sound alarm at Thursday noon, London media conference

LONDON, Ont. — The provincial government has made home and community care the cornerstone of health policy and reforms. But funding for home care is not keeping pace with the increasing demand for services and hundreds of area patients are being denied care under new qualifying rules, say concerned staff with the Southwest Community Care Access Centre (SW-CCAC).

They will hold a media conference Thursday, November 27, 2014 at 12 noon at the London Library – Central Branch – TD Program Room (main floor), 251 Dundas Street to provide details of the impact on patients and the home care reductions in London and other south west communities.

“From Windsor and London to eastern Ontario as CCACs grapple with insufficient funding to meet demand, patients deemed to be ‘less ill’ are not getting the home care they need. Even the sickest of patients are seeing their care hours reduced,” says Heather Duff with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario and a CCAC worker. She will be speaking at tomorrow’s media conference along with local SW-CCAC front line staff.

With thousands of hospital beds being closed, not enough long-term care beds to meet the demand of a growing and ageing population and not enough provincial funding going to home care, scarce resources are increasingly going only to the sickest patients. These are the very patients, who just a few years ago would be receiving 24-7 care be in hospital or a nursing home. “This means that other patients who need home care don’t get it. They are suffering without services, while others have their hours reduced. The health minister must stop pretending that patients are not being affected by these cuts. Many are suffering,” says Duff.

For more information please contact:

Stella Yeadon  
CUPE Communications  
416 559-9300

Union coalition stages a “Grand Dérangement” across Quebec against Bill 3 on pension plans

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 16:15

(Video in french only)

This Wednesday, the Coalition syndicale pour la libre négociation [Union Coalition for Free Negotiation] is taking part in a “Grand Dérangement,” or 24-hour work stoppage, throughout Quebec. From 12:01 a.m. through 11:59 p.m. this evening, 25 unions are on strike and holding demonstrations targeting mainly city halls and municipal buildings. The Coalition members are taking part en masse in these demonstrations and various other visibility measures.

This day of action has been organized against the imminent adoption of Bill 3 on pension plans for municipal workers. Its purpose is to alert Quebecers to the manner in which the Couillard government is seeking to destroy the way of life in cities and towns across Quebec. By arbitrarily compromising working conditions for municipal employees, the government is poisoning labour relations for years to come. Bill 3 will also create a gulf between Québec City and the rest of the province, marking the first step in a long phase of cutbacks affecting municipal workers, all imposed in the name of austerity.

“All year long in 2014, we have made every possible effort to reach a compromise with the Couillard government,” explained Coalition spokesperson Marc Ranger. “It was all in vain. Barring some unforeseen circumstance, they will be adopting Bill 3 next week under closure. In doing so, they will be breaking signed contracts with municipal workers. Their false claims of urgency come ahead of the release of actuarial assessments for 2013, which will in fact show marked improvement.”

“We have already demonstrated nonetheless that the great majority of pension plans are in good financial health and expressed our readiness to resolve any difficulties through negotiation,” said Ranger. “But the bigger picture is that the Liberals are seeking to dip into the pockets of municipal workers in order to implement their senseless austerity plan. That is why municipal employees are making it clear on this day that they are fed up with our government and certain municipal officials. They are fed up with these people who look down on them while trying to sweep all the corruption and collusion scandals under the carpet with their unprecedented attacks on legitimately negotiated working conditions.”

The Coalition comprises more than 65,000 members including white and blue-collar workers, firefighters, police officers, professionals and public transportation employees. It represents virtually all unionized municipal employees in Quebec. Its detailed platform is available online at librenego.com.

The Coalition consists of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE-Quebec) and its Municipal Sector Provincial Council as well as its ground transport sector, the Fédération des employées et employés de services publics (FEESP-CSN), the Fédération indépendante des syndicats autonomes (FISA), the Fédération des policiers et policières municipaux du Québec, the Fraternité des policiers et policières de Montréal, the Association des pompiers de Montréal, the Regroupement des associations de pompiers du Québec and the Syndicat des pompiers et pompières du Québec – FTQ.