Longshoremen: pointless lockout instead of negotiations
The Port of Montréal longshoremen view the lockout declared the morning of July 19 by the Maritime Employers Association as incompre-hensible and pointless.
When the news reached them by surprise Sunday night (July 18), they were in the midst of a general meeting to cancel the planned application of pressure tactics. The union and the employer had met all afternoon on Sunday and planned to continue ongoing negotiations during the week.
On June 27, the employer targeted the 169 longshoremen with the least seniority, changing their working conditions, and depriving dozens of young families of income and stability. The longshoremen responded by refusing to work overtime as of July 9.
The approximately 900 Port of Montréal longshoremen, members of CUPE Local 375, have been without a contract since December 31, 2008.
Don’t scrap the long-form: CUPE to Clement
CUPE is urging the federal government to reconsider its decision to cancel the long-form census questionnaire. In a letter to Industry Minister Tony Clement, Paul Moist said the change would compromise invaluable information used by all levels of government, and would impair governments’ ability to conduct essential planning and resource allocation to Canadian communities.
The government has defended its position on census reform by declaring the long-form “intrusive”. However, the form takes an average of only 20 minutes to fill out, and the government has received only three complaints in the last ten years about the long-form.
Moist also expressed concern that scrapping the long-form census would further marginalize vulnerable groups. “The people least likely to respond are the most vulnerable groups such as the disadvantaged, aboriginal people, immigrants, and racialized members of our society. This will make these groups undercounted and will reduce the ability of governments and community services to respond to their needs.”
Help save lives in Iran
CUPE members are encouraged to sign a petition demanding that the Iranian government halt the execution of Sakineh Ashtiani, the Iranian woman who faces death after having been tortured for alleged adultery.
Originally, her sentence was death by stoning. Due to international pressure, Iran’s government has indicated that she will not be executed by stoning, though her death sentence may still be carried out by some other method, likely hanging. Even if Sakineh is not executed, she may still face a long prison term. Right now, fifteen more people are on death row in Iran waiting stoning.
Sign the international petition at:
Canadian Red Cross strike ends as drivers win first contract
More than 40 drivers with Canadian Red Cross Mississauga Halton have ended their strike after ratifying a first collective agreement that provides a wage increase and brings fair play to the workplace. Under the one-year contract, the majority of drivers will receive an increase of about 9%. The collective agreement also provides mechanisms for addressing working conditions such as washroom access and shelter during inclement weather.
Bargaining continues for 14 passenger assistants who also work for Canadian Red Cross Mississauga Halton in the Passenger Assistant Program.
Windsor jobs sold off to lowest bidder
On July 12, Windsor City Council sold off its top-ranked solid waste and recycling division to the lowest bidder for what amounts to a tax savings of one dollar per household per month, according to Jim Wood, president of CUPE Local 82.
Wood made the comments following a meeting where councillors voted to contract out the city’s solid waste division, in spite of major concerns raised by many concerned citizens.
City Treasurer Onorio Colluci admitted under questioning from Council, that the average householder will see a tax savings of $84 over the life of the seven-year contract with Turtle Island recycling.
In the meantime, Local 82 requested a legal opinion after learning that Turtle Island Recycling, the successful bidder, misrepresented their litigation history in their tender submission. In a July 12 council meeting, Turtle Island’s president adamantly denied its company had any litigation. Since then, new information has come to light indicating Turtle Island in fact had been engaged in litigation with the City of Toronto as recently as 2007.
Windsor residents will be the ones on the hook for any legal claims that could arise if City Council goes ahead with plans to award the contract for solid waste services to a company whose executives chose not to disclose all information required in its tender bid.
Court stenographers ratify new collective agreement
Court stenographers, members of CUPE Local 1840 have voted in favour of a new contract over the weekend of July 17-18. The new collective agreement will expire in September 2012.
“We have obtained parity with the Administrative Services Level (ASL) which was our mandate for this round of negotiations. We have been seeking parity with the ASL for almost 20 years,” said Odette Robichaud, president of CUPE Local 1840.
CUPE BC urges Metro to adopt more recycling, waste reduction
CUPE BC’s submission to a Metro Vancouver consultation on the Draft Integrated Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan calls for a “zero waste” strategy for the Lower Mainland that rejects a proposed incineration plan and urges more waste reduction and recycling as key elements of a “green jobs” strategy.
The submission explains CUPE’s opposition to a proposal to build one or more, large, privately-operated P3 incinerators, and relies on incineration for disposal of most residual waste, as well as concern with proposals to deal with Metro Vancouver’s waste by shipping it elsewhere, particularly the idea of barging the region’s garbage to the west coast of Vancouver Island. The submission urges Metro Vancouver to create a central waste reduction utility to aggregate demand and assist with marketing of recyclables.
Read the submission at: http://cupe.ca/communications/bc-urges-metro-adopt-recycling-waste.
CUPE 5678 concludes early learning program agreement
CUPE Local 5678 has reached a ground-breaking agreement with the Upper Canada District School Board that will help ensure a successful rollout of the new Early Learning Program (ELP) in September.
A letter of agreement is the first signed by CUPE in Ontario to incorporate the terms of the recently negotiated Provincial Discussion Table (PDT) agreement between the Province, school boards and the unions which represent the bulk of Ontario’s school board staff.
The PDT agreement has now been incorporated into the current collective agreement between UCDSB and CUPE, and will be in effect until 2012.
CUPE Local 1418 reaches tentative agreement
CUPE Local 1418, Rehabilitation and Therapy Group, and the Government of New Brunswick reached a new tentative collective agreement on July 14, 2010.
Local 1418 represents more than a 1,000 members, including probation officers, clinical psychologists, social workers, human rights officers, recreation and culture program officers, correctional programmers, and human resource development officers.
No details of the tentative agreement will be released before the ratification vote by members of CUPE 1418 in early August.
Sechelt library workers ratify first agreement
Only six months after unionizing with CUPE, the members of Local 391 from Sechelt Public Library have a ratified first collective agreement. Bargaining was cooperative and an agreement was reached in just five sessions.
The four-year agreement maintains all benefits and provides for a 2.5% increase on ratification, plus increases of 2, 2.5, and 3% in the following years.
This agreement covers 12 employees who provide library programs to children and library services – including computer access – to the B.C. community.