CUPE gives to Haiti relief
CUPE National has donated $100,000 to Oxfam Québec to assist in earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.
“Our thoughts are with the people of Haiti, and with those who have lost or are searching for loved ones,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist.
In addition to the donation from CUPE National, locals from across the country have mobilized to raise funds for Haiti.
“We are extremely proud of the sense of solidarity our locals and individual members have shown toward the people of Haiti,” said CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer
Claude Généreux. “Given the magnitude of this tragedy, donations must continue to ensure reconstruction and an adequate quality of life for the people of Haiti,” said Généreux.
CUPE is encouraging its 600,000 members to continue individual donations to the following organizations: The Humanitarian Coalition which is a coalition of Oxfam Canada, Oxfam Québec, Care Canada, and Save the Children, or the Red Cross. All individual donations will be matched by the federal government.
Montréal blue-collar strike kicks off Monday
Montréal’s blue-collar workers will launch an extensive rotating strike on Monday, January 25 in the borough of Ville-Marie. Earlier today, the Essential Services Council determined a list of services that will be maintained throughout the series of work stoppages. For forty days, workers will be out on strike in one of the nineteen boroughs, or in central city services, in order. Each of the boroughs, as well as city central services, will end up with workers having been on strike for two days. This is the first time a rotating strike has taken place in the City of Montréal.
The goal of the job action is to put pressure on the City while causing as little disruption as possible to the people of Montréal. The union’s own proposals on garbage collection and snow removal were essentially accepted by the essential-services council, and unionized workers will be out dealing with any snow fall of more than 9 cm.
Workers have been without a contract since August 31, 2007. They have already been forced out on strike for two days in 2009, and have sent a flyer explaining the issues at stake to every home in Montréal.
Loss of a brother
It was with great sadness that we learned on January 19 of the death of CUPE brother Jacques Tremblay in a traffic accident while on duty. Jacques was Chief Equipment Mechanic at Hydro-Québec’s Bersimis I power plant and a member of Local 1500, the Syndicat des employé(e)s de métiers d’Hydro-Québec.
CUPE offers its deepest sympathies to Jacques Tremblay’s union brothers and sisters and his loved ones.
N.S. workers reach tentative deal
After only two hours on the picket line, a tentative agreement was reached Monday morning on behalf of 4,000 hospital workers in rural Nova Scotia. This agreement follows another tentative deal reached on Sunday evening on behalf of over 3,000 school board workers. Details of the agreements will be released after upcoming ratification votes.
Canadians rank local infrastructure as top priority
A new poll shows Canadians want to protect and increase federal spending on local public services and infrastructure – and they’re willing to pay higher taxes to do it.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ poll shows Canadians link municipal services and infrastructure directly to their quality of life, and see community infrastructure as essential for a healthy economy.
Virtually all Canadians – 96% – think the federal government should maintain or increase spending for local infrastructure, while nearly 70% of those polled don’t want the deficit paid down by cutting infrastructure spending.
Protecting funding to build and repair roads, bridges, drinking and wastewater systems and public transit was Canadians’ second priority, just behind health spending.
Campaign by Québec City’s outside workers
Québec City’s outside workers are taking action against the privatisation of domestic garbage collection announced by the City.
On January 20, CUPE local 1638 began a media campaign by broadcasting a thirty-second ad on a number of Québec radio stations. The humorous and powerful advertisement denounces the 100% privatisation of domestic garbage collection, expected to begin on April 1.
The president of the manual workers union, Jean Lachance, explained that “once the City gets rid of its machinery and its employees, they can no longer say to the private companies that if their prices are too high, it will do the work itself. Once the contractors know that the City no longer has the equipment or employees to pick up the garbage, you’ll see that the prices are going to start to rise.”
Air Canada unions designate Roy Romanow as Board Representative
The Council of Unions representing organized Air Canada employees have chosen the Honourable Roy Romanow to be their representative on the airline’s Board of Directors.
Romanow - a former Premier of Saskatchewan, a member of the Privy Council and an Officer of the Order of Canada - has long promoted labour representation on corporate boards and has served as a director for other private sector companies. He is currently a Director on the Board of Torstar Inc.
Labour representation on the airline’s Board was negotiated by the unions in June 2009, when Air Canada asked its employee groups for cost-neutral collective agreements and support for a revised pension payments schedule, as part of a broader business restructuring. Through these negotiations and federal mediation, the unions gained an equity stake in the company and a representative on Air Canada’s Board of Directors.
OCHU secretary-treasurer elected VP of HOOPP
CUPE member and OCHU Secretary-Treasurer Helen Fetterly was recently elected vice-chair of the Board of Trustees for the Hospitals of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) for
Fetterly, a registered practical nurse at the Cornwall Community Hospital, is a member of CUPE Local 7811. She is also secretary-treasurer for the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU), an elected position she has held since 1998.
HOOPP is one of Canada’s largest pension plans, with a $31 billion fund representing over 250,000 members and retirees.
ACL workers launch video contest
Developmental services workers in Ontario are launching a video contest, encouraging workers at community living homes across the province to explain the importance of their jobs - in their own words.
The videos will be uploaded to YouTube, and the winning video will be shown on Saturday March 6, at the CUPE Ontario Social Services conference in Windsor. The winner will also receive a Flip video camcorder.
Find out more about the contest - and how you can enter and tell your own story - at www.makeitpossible.ca.
CUPE launches Ottawa Valley office
CUPE’s newest office, the Ottawa Valley Area Office, held its official opening on Friday, January15 in Pembroke.
CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer Claude Généreux was on hand to cut the ribbon, and to celebrate with the locals who will be serviced out of the Ottawa Valley office. “This new office is part of CUPE’s commitment to making sure we can provide the best service possible to all our members, wherever they are in the country,” said Généreux. The addition of the Ottawa Valley Area Office brings the total number of CUPE area offices across the country up to 65.
Congratulations to skater Anabelle Langlois
It’s official! Figure skater Anabelle Langlois, along with her partner Cody Hay, will be on the Canadian Olympic team at the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games next month. Anabelle and Cody qualified on January 16, at the Canadian Figure Skating Championship event in London, Ontario.
Anabelle has many fans at CUPE, with her number one fan being her mother, Hélène Lahaie-Langlois, who works in the Finance and Administration Department at CUPE’s National Office in Ottawa.
Anabelle took part in the Salt Lake City Games in 2002. In 2007, she and Cody took third place at the Canadian Championships, and first place in 2008. In 2009, Anabelle patiently and courageously recovered from an injury.
On behalf of CUPE members, senior management and staff, we extend our best wishes for success to Anabelle and Cody.
Blue Summit podcasts now
Couldn’t make it to the Blue Summit national water conference? You can now listen to many of the speakers and panels online, at www.cupe.ca/podcasts.
Underneath each of the individual recordings, you can find out how to subscribe to our podcasts, so that you can get them all on your iPod or other mp3 player - and keep up to date on any new CUPE podcasts as they come out.