Liberal government denounced by CPAS
Even though Premier Charest tried to keep the date of the next election a secret, the Conseil provincial des affaires sociales (CPAS) of CUPE decided to seize the initiative and reach out to the people of Quebec immediately. CPAS was ready. They decided to seize the initiative and reach out to the people of Quebec immediately. A radio commercial calling the Liberals to account is being aired on over 20 radio stations throughout Quebec.
Greater Victoria sewage treatment should be public
An Environics Research Group survey, commissioned by the Canadian Union of Public Employees, finds that residents of the Capital Regional District overwhelmingly trust the Capital Regional District more than a private corporation to operate a new sewage treatment facility. CRD residents feel it is unfair that the Campbell government has linked provincial government funding for CRD sewage treatment to consideration of privatized operation.
Community campaign for respect launched in BC
Working without a contract for the past two years is only the beginning of the woes that have prompted Harrison Hot Springs workers to launch a community campaign that includes ads in the local newspaper urging neighbours, friends and supporters to tell Mayor and Council that “Village workers deserve Respect”. The first ad in a series began this week in the Agassiz-Harrison Observer.
Maher Arar Dinner
CUPE celebrated human rights and civil liberty in Canada with the Candian Muslim network in honour of Maher Arar and Monia Mazigh on Valentine’s Day. In a tribute to the love of family, culture, and country that motivated the couple, a scholarship fund was launched for University of Ottawa law students studying and active in human rights law. CUPE and CLC represented labour at the event.
Coquitlam Early Child Educators improve child care with CUPE
Early Childhood Educators (ECE) at two Strong Start program sites in Coquitlam have dramatically improved child care services by joining CUPE Local 561. In addition to a wage rate increase to over $22 an hour, an increase in hours of work from 15 to 20 hours, and the addition of comprehensive health benefits, the local union has successfully secured three new casual fill-in positions.
BC-wide protest for quality child care
There were three rallies outside the Legislature as the Liberal Throne Speech was being delivered last week. The loudest and most spirited, by far, was the demonstration that included children, babies and toddlers in strollers, parents, child care advocates, early childhood educators, child care providers and others who care about kids and want to put a stop to the cuts and advocate for quality child care services in British Columbia. It is predicted that the provincial government will announce a surplus of between $2.5 billion and $3 billion as part of its February 20 provincial budget release. At the same time, the most recent cuts in child care funding amount to a reduction of $40 per child.
Nicaraguan workers left high and dry
Some 300 textile workers abandoned by their employer during the New Year’s holidays have been waiting for unpaid wages and accumulated benefits ever since, according to a CUPE BC-sponsored labour organization that is monitoring the case in Nicaragua. Next month, CUPE BC General Vice-President, Carlene Keddie, and Regional Vice-President, Susan Zander, will join a multi-union delegation visiting Nicaragua to monitor labour conditions. That trip will be preceded late this week with a visit to Cuba by CUPE BC President Barry O’Neill.
Board takeover guaranteed route to labour turmoil
School support staff currently in new contract negotiations with the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board (DPCDSB) are warning that, by seizing control of the board and skewing the bargaining process, the McGuinty government has set the stage for guaranteed labour turmoil. Larry Stevenson, the president of CUPE Local 1483, representing custodial and trades workers, says that the cuts Hartmann wants to make break existing collective agreement rights and 80 plus cut-related grievances will be filed.
Send the CUPE strikers your warm wishes
Striking group home workers at Cheshire Homes in Regina have been on a bitterly cold picket line since January 19 because their employer can’t find the time to negotiate a fair settlement. Send them your warm wishes and solidarity as they enter their fourth week on the picket line. At a rally at the Saskatchewan legislature, National President Paul Moist called upon the Calvert government to force the Cheshire Board to distribute provincial funding earmarked for workers. E-mail your messages to CUPE Local 3207 President Margaret Mukakgeli at: CUPE3207@hotmail.com.
Government must come clean on agenda for health care
The province’s largest health care union is demanding that the BC Liberal government release its controversial plans for health care that were foreshadowed in today’s Throne Speech. “This government must come clean with British Columbians about its designs for health care,” says Hospital Employees’ Union Secretary-Business Manager Judy Darcy.
“Their lack of transparency is especially disrespectful to all those British Columbians who are participating in good faith in the government’s health conversation.”
“Green” Throne speech full of hot air, says union
The BC Liberals are using the environment as a smokescreen to distract voters from unpopular initiatives such as mass privatization and a radical trade agreement with Alberta, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees. BC Division President Barry O’Neill says the government is right to link the cost of climate change to consumption, but he adds that talk of saving the world for future generations seems hypocritical in light of the government’s childcare policy: “They’ve just cut $50 million from the provincial budget for childcare. The reality in this province is that cutbacks hurt people, and these cuts are going to affect the future leaders of this province.”
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