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CUPE wins rights for NB casual workers

A New Brunswick court has struck down part of the province’s labour law that denied casual workers their right to union representation.

This week a New Brunswick provincial court ruled that the New Brunswick Public Service Labour Relations Act violated casual workers’ Charter right to freedom of association.

We are very pleased with this victory.  We have casual workers in this province who have been working as ‘casual’ in the public sector for years,” said CUPE New Brunswick president Daniel Légère.

The judge is giving the province one year to remedy this situation.

CUPE launched legal proceedings in September 2005 to obtain rights for those workers.

Brandon CUPE member saves child

CUPE 737 member Lana Krieser is a local hero in Brandon, Manitoba after she saved the life of a child on a school camping trip.

Krieser works for the Brandon School Board and was accompanying a group of students at Riding Mountain National Park when 11 year old Linden Racette was struck by a 7,200 volt live wire.

Krieser pulled the child out from under the wire.

Krieser works as a home school liaison for George Fitton School.

Québec P3 hospital renos now at $900 million

The bill for the P3 project to expand and upgrade North America’s oldest hospital now stands at $935 million.

In 2007 the union was told the project would cost $735 million, according to local president Benoît Cloutier.  Initial estimates for a publicly-funded project were at $535 million.

Cloutier suspects that when demolition, decontamination, and archaeological preservation project costs are added in, the price will exceed $1 billion.

If the project had been conducted conventionally, as originally intended, construction would have started in August 2008 and it would be moving ahead full steam,” Cloutier said.  “But now, nothing’s moving at Hôtel Dieu.”

In 2008 the hospital’s board voted to conduct the project using conventional financing and construction, but they were overruled by the provincial government.

New Westminster BC school board backs off on cuts

New Westminster BC school board trustees have shelved the most serious of planned restructuring and cutbacks, but Marcel Marsolais says problems remain.

The president of CUPE 409 says the board and the administration agreed to drop plans to dramatically restructure clerical job duties but remains committed to cuts to child and youth outreach workers.

Marsolais puts most of the responsibility for the cuts at the feet of the provincial government.

CUPE Ontario supports Pascal Report on child care with a caution

Dr. Charles Pascal’s report on full-day kindergarten is mostly on the money, according to CUPE Ontario.
The report sets out how the province should set up a seamless, publicly-funded, not-for-profit learning system for Ontario’s four and five-year-olds.

CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan said the province should implement the report’s recommendations while ensuring existing community-based child care programs are not disadvantaged or destabilized.

New settlement for HEU members at Aramark

HEU members who work for Aramark will be voting on a new settlement.

Mediator Vince Ready helped the union and the company work out changes to the tentative settlement that Aramark workers voted down in late May.

The union will be conducting workplace meetings to explain details of the settlement before it goes to a vote.

Québec tries again to re-jig university governance

University sector unions and other post-secondary education organizations in Québec are opposing the Charest government’s renewed effort to change the way the institutions are governed.

According to representatives of a coalition of university organizations (Table des partenaires universitaires), Québec’s Bill 38 would change the composition and powers of university boards of governors to make them less transparent and more controlled by the private sector.

The bill would require university boards to be composed of at least 60% ‘external representatives’.

The law is a re-hash of a bill that died when the province went to the polls last fall.

:te/cope 491