CUPE 1251 on strike
CUPE 1251 began a New Brunswick-wide strike Thursday, January 10.
The local represents more than 500 correctional officers, custodians, counsellors, laboratory assistants and food services workers employed by the provincial government.
The local voted 90 per cent in favour of a strike in December.
“The stumbling block is the wages for all of our members,” said CUPE 1251 president Louis Arseneau. “The community college custodians earn $1.12 less an hour than the school custodians doing the same work. The Correctional Officers working in the provincial jails are the lowest paid in the country. We are asking for pay relativity for the Human Services Counsellors that will bring them in the same pay range as their provincial counterparts with comparable specializations.”
CUPE 1251’s collective agreement expired in June 2007.
Economy in peril: a dinner won’t do
Paul Moist called for a national conference on the economy – not a dinnertime chat among premiers – to discuss Canada’s perilous economy.
Moist warned that massive tax cuts haven’t improved the US economy and called on Prime Minister Harper to use the federal surplus instead to tackle real issues:
· Stemming the tide of massive job loss in manufacturing, forestry and other hard-hit sectors;
· Addressing the $100 billion-plus infrastructure deficit without P3s;
· Increasing economic security for Canadians, including improved employment insurance benefits, better public pensions and a strengthened regulation of financial markets;
· Raise the minimum wage and create programs to eliminate child poverty;
· More skills training and literacy programs, along with a long-overdue national child care program to solve the shortage of skilled labour;
· A substantial climate change program to reduce the Canadian economy’s addiction to carbon.
Paul Moist energizes CUPE 5167 rally against two-tier employment
Paul Moist electrified CUPE 5167 members rallying against two-tier employment in front of Hamilton’s convention centre January 9.
The local is in bargaining to win casual workers’ rights and benefits equal to those of full-time employees.
“Your national union is behind you all the way in your fight to stop discrimination in the City of Hamilton,” said Moist. “When you take on one of us, you are taking on all of us.”
Mediated talks between the 2,700 member municipal local and their employer continue next week.
Quebec labour centrals team up to fight health care privatization
Québec’s two biggest labour federations have launched a joint campaign to fight health care privatization.
Under the slogan: “Le privé en santé, un cadeau empoisonné” (Private health care: a poisoned gift), the Fédération des travailleurs du Québec (FTQ) – to which CUPE belongs – and the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN) launched the campaign in December.
The federations, which together represent 750,000 workers in Québec, put up billboards across the province urging people to sign an online petition against privatization of health care.
The campaign was launched in anticipation of the release of the Charest government-ordered Castonguay report, which most expect will push the Liberal government’s privatization agenda.
Still time to apply to sit on CUPE’s national committees
CUPE members have until January 15 to apply to sit on the union’s national committees and working groups.
The committees advise CUPE’s national leadership on their area of involvement.
The open application process is a new mandate from the 2005-2007 Strategic Directions Document.
To apply online, visit: