Our voices rising!
Only two more weeks before CUPE’s first national human rights conference. November 23-26, you’ll hear inspiring speakers, expand your knowledge at challenging workshops and network with like-minded human rights and equality activists from across the country, all in beautiful Vancouver, B.C.
A featured speaker will be Dr. Sherene Razack. Dr. Razack is a professor of sociology and equity studies in education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. Her research and teaching interests lie in the area of race and gender issues in the law. Her most recent book is Dark Threats and White Knights: The Somalia Affair, Peacekeeping and the New Imperialism, published in 2004. Before obtaining her Ph.D. in education, she worked in human rights, teaching trade unionists, community activists, legal practitioners, government employees, teachers and students on social justice issues.
New Brunswick school board workers regain right to strike
A New Brunswick appeals court has overturned an earlier decision that denied school board workers the right to strike.
The October 19th ruling set aside an earlier labour board decision that declared school custodians essential workers and required large numbers of workers to go to work during a strike.
The labour board granted the employer’s request because it assumed schools would stay open during a strike or lockout. The court of appeal ruled that this was not the case.
CUPE 4600 reaches tentative agreement
Teaching assistants (TAs) at Carleton University have reached a tentative agreement with the administration, averting a strike if CUPE 4600 members ratify the deal.
“We were able to protect our members’ wages from rising tuition fees and we will be recommending this agreement for ratification,” said Jessica Squires, president of CUPE 4600, representing 1,900 TAs and contract instructors at the university.
However, the local stands in solidarity with the union representing faculty, who still haven’t reached a settlement with the university.
CUPE PEI member elected to town council
Marlene Hunt, a teachers’ aide with CUPE 3260, has been elected to town council in Cornwall, PEI.
This was Hunt’s first municipal campaign. However, she has previously run for the provincial New Democrats.
“For social activists, the municipal scene is very important,” she said. “The issues are local and you can see the results of your work.”
Several CUPE members are also running in municipal elections across Ontario on November 13th. Visit www.cupe.ca for more election results.
Calgary library workers not “cheap and easy”
Six hundred and fifty employees of Calgary Public Libraries have rejected a mediator’s recommendations for new contract.
“The proposed wage increases of 3 per cent, 3.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent over a three year contract does not reflect the reality of Calgary’s economy,” said Rh’ena Oake, president of CUPE 1169.
Employees are insulted by the library’s “cheap and easy” ad campaign. “We’re the cheap labour,” said Oake. “The Calgary Public Library has the highest usage and circulation per borrower in Canada yet spends the lowest on salaries in the country.”
CUPE 3157 makes new contract official
CUPE 3157 and the North Simcoe Hospital Alliance have a new collective agreement following ratification last week by the alliance board of directors.
The 45 office, clerical and technical staff, who work at Huronia District and Penetaguishene General Hospitals, held their ratification vote in September.
The new agreement offers greater job security as well as significant wage and benefit gains.
CUPE gains 300 new members in the Beauce
CUPE has come out on top in a recent health sector union representation vote in the Beauce region of Quebec, with a net gain of about 300 members.
The vote took place at the Centre de santé et de services sociaux de Beauce (Health and Social Services Centre). CUPE was the union of choice for groups representing office and administrative staff as well as paratechnical, trades and auxiliary workers.
The vote came as part of the province’s Bill 30 legislation, which organizes health and social service workers across the province into four categories.
British Columbia holds education conference
CUPE BC held its 2006 Education Conference in Vancouver November 2-4. The theme was “Meeting the challenges in public education,” and CUPE educators in the K-12, college and university sectors showed they are up to the task.
CUPE BC President Barry O’Neill welcomed special guests National Secretary-Treasurer Claude Généreux and keynote speaker Maude Barlow, chair of the Council of Canadians. Numerous recommendations surfaced at workshops and plenary sessions.