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CUPE 82 on strike in Windsor

Outside city workers in Windsor, Ontario struck April 15 after mediated talks failed to reach a settlement.

The 385 CUPE 82 members have been asking for a modest wage increase and refusing to accept a two-tier benefit scheme for newly hired employees.

CUPE 543’s 1,400 inside workers are also in a legal strike position, but they have a mediation session scheduled for Friday, April 17.

Send email to Windsor City Council here:


Study shows value from public services

A new study by the CCPA puts a value on the public services taxes support.

According to Canada’s Quiet Bargain: The Benefits of Public Spending, middle‐income Canadian families enjoy public services worth about $41,000 – or 63% of their income.

Even households earning $80,000‐$90,000 a year enjoy public services benefits equivalent to about half of their income.

The study’s website features a calculator that shows you how much public services benefit you.


Health Coalition launches campaign

The Canadian Health Coalition launched a national campaign this week to set the record straight on what privatized, for-profit healthcare means for Canadians.

The campaign debunks the so-called “European model” being promoted across the country by Dr. Robert Ouellet, President of the Canadian Medical Association and owner of several private, for-profit diagnostic clinics.

The “European model” of healthcare is a parallel system of private, for-profit healthcare to exist side-by-side with the public system.

Patients who could afford to pay for services would be able to buy them from for-profit providers.  In fact, the “European model” is simply a two-tier for-profit healthcare system, not unlike the “American model”.


Pioneer Manor workers rally to fight sick-leave injustice

CUPE 148 members at Pioneer Manor in Sudbury, Ontario rallied and held an information picket this week to protest an inferior sick leave plan.

Recently, the City of Greater Sudbury imposed an inferior sick leave plan that negatively impacted the workers and the residents they care for.

By refusing some sick leave time to its workers, the City of Sudbury is not only acting irresponsibly, but is also putting the health of workers and residents at risk.

Prescott-Russell paramedics in non-standard pants

After more than two years without a collective agreement, paramedics in the eastern Ontario district of Prescott-Russell are taking off their pants, and putting on ‘non-standard pants’ as part of a job action.

The 80 members of CUPE 7911 are quick to point out that the job action will not affect their work.

We will continue to fulfill our duties with the same professionalism as before.  Our goal is simply to inform the public about upcoming negotiations and tell the employer to respect the contract that binds us, especially on the issue of vacation days and negotiations around essential services,” said CUPE 7911 President Martin Brouillard.

BC Liberals closed more long-term care beds than they opened

A Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives study released this week shows that BC closed 800 more long term care beds than they opened between 2001 and 2008.

The Liberals made much of the fact they created 5,000 new non-profit long-term care beds - albeit two years later than they originally promised.

But the study co-authored by HEU research director Marcy Cohen shows that the province actually lost 800 beds over the same period.

As a result, BC now has the second worst access to residential care in the country, after New Brunswick.


Health Minister tells paramedics ‘just wait’

Essential services” apparently doesn’t mean “important”.  At least if you’re a cabinet minister in the BC government.

BC Health Minister George Abbott told BC paramedics - on strike since April 1 - they would have to wait until after the May 12 election to get any attention from him.

The paramedics - CUPE 873 - asked repeatedly this week for an independent mediator to break the bargaining deadlock.

The 3,500 paramedics are designated ‘essential services’.  They’re asking for adequate ambulance staffing levels, wage parity with other emergency response workers, and a multi-year deal.

CUPE members join Winnipeg sandbagging brigade

CUPE 500 members and their families joined a sandbagging brigade earlier this month in South Winnipeg where about 195 homes are threatened by flooding.

About 18 CUPE 500 members, wearing positively public t-shirts, joined a long chain of about 60 volunteers to move and stack filled sandbags along the control barrier.

Watch the video here: http://www.cupe500.mb.ca/

:te/cope 491