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Shelve Castonguay, support medicare, CUPE says

A Québec government-sponsored report calling for radical privatization of the health care system came out this week just as the federal government proved once again that they’re not willing to enforce their own laws on public health care.

The Castonguay report’s recommendations read like a laundry list for privatized health care, including letting doctors double dip, a cap on public health spending, letting for-profit companies manage hospitals and inviting more for-profit health insurance.

CUPE National President Paul Moist noted that this week’s release of the report on the Canada Health Act ignores Québec’s already significant inroads into private health care as well as those of BC and other provinces.

CUPE and other supporters of the public health care system launched yourmedicarerights.ca last month to give Canadians a place to go to enforce their rights under medicare and to encourage federal politicians to stand up for the Canada Health Act.

Flaherty must strengthen public services in budget

Paul Moist has given federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty a list of priorities for the upcoming federal budget:

· creating a national public/non-profit child care and early learning program;
· long-term plan and adequate funding to eliminate the municipal infrastructure deficit;
· stop pushing privatization on provinces and local governments;
· measures to strengthen public health care;
· increase transfers for post-secondary education;
· provide public schools a full rebate on the GST they pay;
· active national role in training, skills development, literacy and labour market development;
· improve benefits and access to employment insurance;
· adequate funding for First Nations and aboriginal health, housing, water, education, and economic opportunity programs;
· sectoral development policies to help the hard hit manufacturing and forestry industries;
· real leadership on climate change; and
· a national strategy to reduce poverty, inequality and insecurity.

Revenues to fund these measures could come from closing tax loopholes, reversing corporate tax cuts, raising high income tax rates, full taxation and indexation of capital gains, carbon revenues, and the transfer of one cent from the GST to municipalities, Moist said.

CUPE 410 locked out of Victoria libraries

The board running Victoria’s public libraries has locked out CUPE 410.

The 286 library workers have been in a legal strike position since September 7, 2007, but have engaged only in rotating strikes, information pickets as well as some other creative protests.

CUPE BC launches website against workplace bullying

CUPE BC has launched a website to help organize a campaign against bullying in the workplace.

The CUPE BC campaign dovetails with BC radio station CKNW’s “Bullying Stops Here” campaign.

CKNW is calling on people to wear pink Wednesday, February 27, 2008, harkening back to the Nova Scotia high school students who organized their classmates to wear pink to support a student who was bullied for wearing pink.

Visit http://www.cupe.bc.ca/stopbullying for more.

Paul Moist leads CUPE 855 rally

Paul Moist led an energetic rally for municipal workers on strike against the City of Kawartha Lakes, Ontario February 15.

Moist was joined in the rally by CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan, CUPE Ontario Secretary Treasurer Fred Hahn and CUPE Ontario Second Vice-President and NEB member Candace Rennick.

Meanwhile 477 CUPE members have sent email to Kawartha Lakes mayor Ric McGee in support of the local.

To send a message, visit cupe.ca/action/kawarthalakes

Mario Gervais to step down

CUPE-Québec will be holding a special convention March 27 to replace Mario Gervais who recently announced his retirement.

Gervais has been active in CUPE for close to 20 years, since joining the union as a member of CUPE 957 at Hydro Québec.

Journal de Québec dispute hits ten months with no settlement in sight

CUPE members at the Journal de Québec began the eleventh month of their dispute with Québecor with no negotiations scheduled.

Québecor still wants to have its cake and eat it too,” said Denis Bolduc, spokesperson for the 252 members of three CUPE locals, who have been publishing their own newspaper, Media Matin Québec since the dispute began in April 2007.

Bolduc said the unions will look at expanding Media Matin Québec to put more pressure on Québecor to settle.


CUPE represents warehouse and professional and technical employees of Québec’s liquor control board, the SAQ. 

Incorrect information appeared in last week’s FastFACTs.

:te/cope 491