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Grace Hartman Award

Nominations are now open for the Biennial Grace Hartman Award.

Grace Hartman was CUPE’s first woman president. This award pays homage to Grace’s activist spirit and her commitment to workers’ rights, equality and social justice. Delegates to the 1999 CUPE National Convention created the award to honour women activists and locals that follow in Grace’s footsteps.

CUPE members out in force at protests against child care cuts

CUPE childcare workers in Burnaby, BC joined advocates, service providers and parents in protests and press conferences across the province on Tuesday to oppose recently announced provincial government cuts to childcare. These protests will be culminating in a major protest before the Legislature in Victoria on February 13, 2007 at 12:00 pm.

The BC Liberal government has cut $50 million from the provincial budget for childcare, including a series of childcare funding reductions just announced in January. These recent reductions include a 77 percent reduction in the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCRR) program which will result in the closure of 45 CCRR centres by the fall. CUPE represents these workers in communities across BC.

Cheshire Homes talks adjourned again

Striking group home workers at Cheshire Homes in Regina will be on the picket line in bitterly cold weather for at least another five days because the employer doesn’t have any time this week to continue contract negotiations and conclude a settlement.

It’s the third time since the strike began on January 19 that the employer has postponed talks. The last time the two sides met, January 25, the employer delayed conciliation talks for nine days.

The employer is really showing us what they are made of and it is not impressive,” says Mukakigeli.

Privatization of care at heart of issue

The Federal, Provincial and Territorial Health Ministers are meeting in Toronto this week to discuss wait times. “Prime Minister Harper must drop the political games around wait times and commit to an integrated team approach in providing health care services to Canadians,” said Moist.

The final report of Dr. Brian Postl, Federal Wait Times Advisor, advocated many key recommendations that favour strengthening the public system. Dr. Postl recognized the need for a health human resource strategy and team based care as well as wait time coordinators and patient advocates.

We have a health care guarantee – the Canada Health Act. Prime Minister Harper needs to enforce that guarantee and work with provinces on a public solution,” concluded Moist.

Sun Setting on Civil Liberties

Five years ago, the Chrétien government passed the Anti Terrorism Act. Two of the most extraordinary provisions of this act were subject to a sunset clause, expiring in five years unless renewed by a vote in Parliament for a further period. The provisions in question – preventative arrest and investigative hearings – allow for arrest without charge and compelled testimony. The Harper government has placed a motion before Parliament to renew these extraordinary provisions of the Anti-terrorism Act. The vote takes place on Tuesday February 13, 2007.

CUPE asks its members to be in touch with their Members of Parliament today, and demand they vote against renewing the provisions in question.

Child Care: Ottawa Policies Must Change

Facing a report card full of “F”s, Prime Minister Stephen Harper must take a new approach to child care – including a significant reinvestment – says the president of Canada’s largest union. Fully three quarters of mothers with a child between three and five years old are in the paid labour force. Working mothers face a double workload as they struggle to balance work and family responsibilities. More than one third of mothers between 22 and 44 who work full time report being severely time-stressed.

Sign the report card at buildchildcare.ca.

Deaf and hearing-impaired workers win workplace equity in first contract

Residential and life skills support program counsellors for deaf, developmentally challenged individuals, have voted to ratify a first contract with their employer, the Bob Rumball Association for the Deaf (BRAD), in Toronto. “This is a real victory for the BRAD workers who believe that advocating for the deaf also includes advancing the rights of deaf workers in the workplace. Certainly workplace equity was the motivation for these dedicated workers, who were determined to emphasize ability over disability,” says CUPE National Representative Daniela Scarpelli.

Throughout the negotiation process, CUPE Local 4763 members received incredible support from many CUPE members and the broader deaf community.

Fast Facts in your inbox!

Did you know you can get Fast Facts by e‑mail? To sign up for this service, please send an e-mail to clandry@cupe.ca. Make sure to include your name, local number, e-mail address and province. If you were receiving Fast Facts by fax, also include your fax number so that we may delete your name from the fax list.