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CUPE 416 and 79 settle with City of Toronto

The unions representing more than 24,000 municipal workers have ratified tentative agreements with the City of Toronto, ending a strike that started June 22.

The members of both locals showed tremendous courage and resolve in resisting more than 100 pages of concessions and a demand for wage freezes.  I salute the members, their leaders, and our staff for all their hard work in achieving these settlements,”
Paul Moist said.

Mark Ferguson, president of CUPE 416’s 6,200 outside workers said “I’m so proud
of my members for holding the line, standing up for their rights, and giving their bargaining committee the ability to fight back all the concessions the city sought from us.”

Ann Dembinski, president of CUPE 79’s 18,000 inside workers said: “I want to thank all Local 79 members for their strength and solidarity, which helped us achieve a better settlement at the bargaining table.  I would also like to thank Toronto residents for their patience and understanding.”

Toronto City Council has yet to ratify the agreement.

Ottawa rally for stable ACL funding

CUPE 1521-02 strikers and their supporters rallied for stable ACL funding in front of Ontario Social Services Minister Madeleine Meilleur’s office in Ottawa July 29.
The 90 social service workers have been on strike since July 4.

We need stable, multi-year funding from the province or the folks in community living will continue to live at poverty’s doorstep, while the very workers who support them face retiring into poverty,” Paul Moist said.

We call on the Community Living Association-Lanark County to stop spending money on replacement workers and get back to the bargaining table,” Karen Bowes, unit chair
of CUPE 1521-02 said.

CUPE questions closure of Dartmouth child care center

The Halifax-Dartmouth YMCA has announced it’s closing one of its child care centres for financial reasons.

Staff at the centre - at 194 Waverley Road in Dartmouth - recently organized with
CUPE 4745 and have yet to bargain their first agreement.

CUPE National Representative Naomi Stewart called the move, “highly suspect.”

The closure would cost nine permanent staff and a number of part time staff their jobs.  But most importantly, families of 56 children would be out of a day care space.

Dartmouth, like every city in Canada suffers from a lack of child care spaces.

The YMCA is Canada’s largest non-profit child care provider.

Paramedics win victory in BC Supreme Court

BC’s Supreme Court wouldn’t hear the government’s contempt of court charges against CUPE 873 this week.

The government had sought to hold the union in contempt of court over the essential services agreement that governs the paramedics’ four month old strike.

But the court ruled the government had not given the court sufficient notice.

CUPE officials criticized the government for wasting time and money in the courts when they aren’t willing to spend time at the bargaining table.

The strike is over understaffing and response times.

CUPE applauds Alberta for delivering on schools

CUPE Alberta President Dennis Mol congratulated the province this week for moving forward with new school construction; but urged the reconsideration of further P3 projects.

Alberta will build new high schools in Calgary, Edmonton, Sherwood Park, and Spruce Grove using traditional design-build financing.

But the government also announced plans to build ten elementary and middle schools using public-private partnerships.

If traditional methods of building are good enough for high schools, it should be good enough for all schools,” Mol said.

Quebec drops P3 plans for Turcot interchange

The Québec transport ministry dropped plans to rebuild a major Montréal highway interchange as a public-private partnership this week.

The government blames the credit crunch in private sector borrowing for the change in plans.

Instead, the government will finance the project directly.

The project has also faced stiff public opposition over its environmental impact.

:te/cope 491