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CUPE urges members to help Haiti

CUPE National President Paul Moist and CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer Claude Généreux extend sincere condolences to the people of Haiti, and to our many CUPE members who have friends and family in Haiti.

The union is calling on members from coast-to-coast-to-coast to support rescue and reconstruction efforts following last week’s deadly earthquake.  Members can donate through a portal set up by the Canadian Labour Congress (www.redcross.ca/CLC).  All individual donations made through this portal will be matched by the federal government.

CUPE National also encourages all locals who have made donations to Haiti to let us know.  We take great pride in the generosity of our members.

A donation from CUPE National will be announced this week.  Please follow www.cupe.ca for updates.

CUPE 4400 helps keep school pools open

The campaign to save Toronto’s school pools has topped its fundraising goal thanks to a $100,000 donation from CUPE 4400, the union representing about 12,000 employees at the Toronto District School Board.

“The threat to close our school pools has become a symbol of unthinkable cutbacks to public education.  These pools are so important to so many communities,” said President John Weatherup, who presented the donation to Toronto District School Board Chair Bruce Davis.

“We’re happy to be doing this.  Our members and their children and their neighbours use these pools.  But let me be clear about one thing - these pools need permanent funding from the provincial government.  The funding formula for education is under review this year and it must be fixed.”

Weatherup noted that city families still face the possibility that dozens of Toronto schools will close, including West Toronto Collegiate, which has a state-of-the-art accessible swimming pool.

Hospital, school-support workers reach deal with NS government

Only two hours after setting up picket lines on Monday, January 18, more than 4,000 health care workers in rural Nova Scotia reached a tentative contract deal with the Nova Scotia government, bringing a swift end to their strike.

CUPE Nova Scotia also reached a last-minute deal with the provincial government for over 3,000 rural school support workers on Sunday.

Help get Parliament back to work

Stephen Harper’s decision to prorogue Parliament until March is undemocratic and shows a disturbing contempt for democracy.

Let Harper know you want him to get back to work.

Visit http://cupe.ca/news/help-parliament to send a letter to your MP asking them to show up for work in Ottawa on January 25th – as scheduled, and to find out about rallies in your community.  There are currently over 30 events planned in cities across Canada.

Study exposes flaws in Canada-EU deal

Canada’s largest public sector unions and their European counterparts are expressing serious concerns about the proposed trade agreement between Canada and the European Union. 

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), along with the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), released a study this week arguing that the deal is fundamentally flawed and a thorough rethinking of the whole approach to international trade is needed.

There are concerns on both sides of the Atlantic about a Canada-EU trade agreement,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist.

Any trade deal of this magnitude needs to include public consultation, yet negotiations have been held behind closed doors.  Canadians need to know how their political landscape will change under this new trade agreement – and it will change significantly,” said Moist.

Read the entire report at: http://cupe.ca/trade/study-exposes-flaws-canada-eu-trade

Montréal: Rotating strike by outside workers in sight

Montréal’s outside workers are taking a more aggressive stand and moving their pressure tactics up a notch.  Without a contract for more than 2 ½ years, they’ve had more than enough of abusive recourse to contracting out and the city’s obstinacy at the bargaining table.

On January 13, CUPE Local 301 gave notice for a 40-day rotating strike that will begin on January 25 and end on March 5.  The city comprises 19 municipalities and has centralised services.  The workers will walk out on a rotational basis, beginning with the municipality of Ville-Marie (in the downtown area), for a 20- day cycle that will be repeated once, until the scheduled end of the strike on March 5.

This will have the maximum impact on city administration, while minimising the consequences for its residents.  Our position is that we do not want to hold the population hostage, but something has to happen.  We are patient, but enough is enough”, explained Local 301 President Michel Parent.

:te/cope 491