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Montréal emergency dispatchers get major wage hike

Representatives of Montréal’s emergency dispatchers signed a new contract this week that will boost their wages by 17% by March 2010.

The contract comes after a protracted struggle to gain recognition for their work, which involved a lengthy strike.

We’re pleased with the results,” said local president Martin Doyon.

The contract also includes improvements to working conditions.

The agreement was ratified by the local’s membership by a 96% vote.

CLC launches boycott of Old Dutch

Old Dutch Snack Foods has locked out UFCW 401 members at its Calgary processing plant.

To help pressure the company to settle, the Canadian Labour Congress is asking its affiliated unions - including CUPE - to boycott Old Dutch Snack Foods and the following brands produced at the locked-out plant:

• President’s Choice - Western Grocers
• No Name - Western Grocers
• Great Value – WalMart
• Compliments Value – Sobeys
• Safeway Blue Bags – Safeway
• Co-op Krunchie - Co-op
• Cyclone - Overwaite

There are 170 families in Calgary who need our help,” said Paul Moist.  “Affecting sales is one way we can do that.”

Help stop mass firing of Puerto Rican government workers

The Puerto Rican government plans to dismiss 30,000-45,000 public sector employees and suspend public sector collective bargaining rights.

The workers’ union is opposing plans by the Governor of Puerto Rico, Luis Fortuño, to dismiss tens of thousands of public sector workers as part of a drastic plan to reduce Puerto Rico’s huge budget deficit.

The dismissals will begin on July 1.

Legislation adopted in March also suspends all public sector collective agreements as well as agreements in employee manuals, contracts, circulars, etc. referring to payment plans, grade classification schemes, training, and development.

Please visit www.labourstart.org and send a message today.

Toronto outside workers give strike mandate, say no to concessions

City of Toronto outside workers - CUPE 416 - voted 89% this week to give their negotiating committee a strike mandate.

We will be going back to the table with a clear message from the membership,” said
Local 416 President Mark Ferguson.  “The City must take its 118 pages of concessions off the table.”

CUPE 79, representing City inside workers, has scheduled a strike vote for Sunday,
May 24.

Vernon adopts CUPE BC’s City Watch program

Vernon became the latest BC community to adopt CUPE BC’s City Watch crime prevention initiative this week.

We are very proud to be here in Vernon with the local, the RCMP, Fire Rescue, and the City of Vernon,” said CUPE BC General Vice-President Cindy McQueen.

The initiative provides training for city employees in how to respond to emergency situations.

It’s not to intervene or to apprehend:  the role of our members is to identify the activity, to call for help to 911,” McQueen said, noting that CUPE members are often the eyes on the street.

Paramedics draw the line on safety checks

Striking ambulance paramedics say their employer is pressuring ambulance crews to skip safety checks on their ambulances.

Normally paramedics call in to say they’re out of service when they inspect their vehicles.  But since the members of CUPE 873 have been on strike, dispatchers have been told to refuse to allow the paramedics to go ‘off the air’ for maintenance and assign them calls.

Paramedics who insist on doing the safety check are threatened with discipline for refusing a call.

The 3,500 members of the Ambulance Paramedics of BC, CUPE 873, have been on strike since April 1.

CUPE researcher Kathy Corrigan wins seat in BC legislature

CUPE staffer Kathy Corrigan unseated BC Liberal MLA John Nuraney in a thrilling, 287-vote cliff-hanger in Burnaby-Deer Lake.

Corrigan, CUPE’s anti-privatization coordinator, as well as a nine-year Burnaby school trustee and former board chair, ran a smooth campaign that drew support from all areas of the constituency.

CUPE Communications rep Roseanne Moran managed Corrigan’s campaign.

CLC denounces BCNU effort to sign up HEU licensed practical nurses

The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) has ruled that the BC Nurses’ Union’s (BCNU’s) plan to sign up HEU members as “associate members” violates its rules against interference in other unions’ bargaining relationships.

In a letter written to the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, CLC President
Ken Georgetti states that “the BCNU was preparing to undertake actions that would be in violation” of the CLC constitution.

HEU and BCNU members are working side-by-side to deliver quality care under challenging and stressful conditions,” HEU Secretary-Business Manager Judy Darcy said.

They don’t need to deal with the disruption, conflict, and added stress that will result from this reckless drive to increase their membership base.”

:te/cope 491