International Women’s Day 2007: Let’s put equality back on trackFor the last few months, women across the country have been speaking out for women’s equality. From Yellowknife to Corner Brook, from Vancouver to Moncton, from Halifax to Quebec City, women have organized rallies, letter writing and post card campaigns, meetings and demonstrations, and even bra burnings and mock funerals for equality. Women have written to newspapers and participated in talk shows, called and written and lobbied their federal and provincial members of parliament, set up websites and equality hotlines to get the message out.
“CUPE is proud to be involved in supporting the work of women’s organizations right across the country who are engaged in mobilizing against the Conservative government cuts,” said Paul Moist, CUPE National President.
For information about IWD events in your area, please see: http://www.womensequality.ca.
Standing up for rail workersCUPE members from throughout the North joined striking members of the United Transportation Union (UTU) Local 85 for a march last week in a show of solidarity against the federal government’s back-to-work legislation. Protesters heard about the issues, ate lunch together and marched through the streets of Smithers, B.C. while passers by waved and honked their horns. “The spontaneous response by area CUPE members drew a tremendously positive response from UTU members,” said one observer.
CUPE Local 2745 reaches tentative agreementThe local which represents New Brunswick educational and clerical support staff in the schools and district offices has reached a tentative agreement with the government. The details of the tentative agreement won’t be released before the ratification vote to be held before the end of March. CUPE Local 2745 represents over 3000 teacher assistants, school secretaries/clerical, library assistants, District Office clerical support staff, school intervention workers and student/bus attendants.
No need for privately funded schoolsThe announcement of a $7 billion provincial government surplus raises the question as to why the province wants school boards to use private partners to operate new schools. Pointing to a recent UBC study into ‘public- private partnerships’, CUPE Alberta President D’Arcy Lanovaz called upon the Conservative government to reject private financing of new schools.
New book calls co-operatives and health care a healthy matchCommunity-based health co-ops can use government funding to deliver programs that reflect the needs of real people and respect the principles of workplace democracy, according to “Co-operating for Health”, a new book produced as part of HEU’s Building Union Support for Community Health Care Co-operatives project. For copies of this book, please contact Marcy Cohen, HEU Research Director, HEU Provincial Office, 5000 North Fraser Way, Burnaby, B.C., V5J 5M3 or by email email@example.com.
Striking paramedics charged with trespassing for using public facilitiesStriking paramedics in Cornwall have been charged with trespassing for entering Cornwall City Hall and using the public facilities.
“What will they think of next?” asked CUPE spokesperson Bob Manny. “Our members did not enter their place of work, they were not rowdy, they did not enter any offices, nor did they disturb any workers.
“They put down their picket signs and went into City Hall to relieve themselves – now they’ve been charged with trespassing for entering a public building and using public facilities.”
CUPE Local 3251 PARA are the paramedics who work in life and death situations and under tremendous stress. They work more than 40 hours a week, often in 12 hour shifts, and all they are asking is a fair wage settlement.
Durham Public School Board workers prepare for strikeDurham Public School Board workers are preparing for a strike after conciliation talks with the employer broke down last week. The union requested a ‘no-board’ report from the provincial conciliator, triggering a countdown to a legal strike or lockout that could start the week of March 19. The workers’ contract expired on February 28, 2006 for the office, clerical and technical staff, and at the end of March of last year for the EAs, custodial and maintenance workers. Other outstanding issues include job postings and seniority language, wages and benefits.
March 8th - International Women’s Day.