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Thursday October 11, 2012 - Registration

4:00 - 7:00 p.m. Registration
Level 1, Ottawa Convention Centre
7:00 -9:00 p.m. Welcome Reception
Level 4, Ottawa Convention Centre

Friday October 12, 2012 - Day 1

7:00 - 9:00 a.m. Registration
Level 1, Ottawa Convention Centre
9:00 - 10:30 a.m. Opening Plenary
Ottawa Salon - Level 2

Welcome and Introductions
Thomas Louttit, Elder - Aboriginal Greeting
Fred Hahn, President, CUPE Ontario
Moment of silence
Equality statement
Code of conduct
Agenda review

Opening remarks: Paul Moist - National President, CUPE
10:30 - 10:45 a.m. Break
10:45 - 12 noon Keynote speaker: Dr. Linda Rae Murray
Dr. Murray has been an activist for health and safety and social justice for decades. Drawing on this personal experience and stories, she will discuss the struggles of the labour movement and its allies that resulted in the health and safety laws that we have today. Dr. Murray will highlight why healthy and safe workplace should be considered a basic human right and will discuss the importance of ongoing activism to maintain and advance laws and rights we have fought for and the results of what inaction and a lethargic union movement will lead to.
12 noon - 1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 - 5:00 p.m. Workshops
5:00 p.m. Adjournment

Saturday October 13, 2012 - Day 2

9:00 - 9:15 a.m. Agenda overview
9:15 - 10:15 a.m. Celebrating our Successes
CUPE health and safety activists have been on the front line fighting for workers’ rights for decades. We don’t take enough time to pause and honour those who have succeeded in making our workplaces healthier and safer. This session will do just that; it will look back on some of the groundbreaking events from the past and it will highlight new activists who are blazing new trails for the benefit of their brothers and sisters. We will hear first-hand accounts of what it takes to be an activist. We will hear stories of dedication, conviction and commitment that will inspire new activists and new victories. And we’ll take the time to say thank you to rank and file CUPE members who work on behalf of all CUPE members.
10:15 - 10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 - 12 noon Town Hall
Moderator: Judy Rebick

Panel Discussion: Facing new challenges and seizing opportunities: work organization, psychosocial health, environmental health challenges, workplaces and communities

Karen Messing: Professor, Interdisciplinary Research Centre on Biology, Health, Society and Environment, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Dr. Linda Rae Murray: Chief Medical Officer, Cook County Department of Public Health

Tony Clarke: Founder and Director, Polaris Institute

Bob DeMatteo: Health and Safety Researcher, OPSEU (Retired)
12 noon - 1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 - 5:00 p.m. Workshops
5:00 p.m. Adjournment
7:00 - 10:00 p.m. Social Event
Pearson Ballroom - Lord Elgin Hotel

Sunday October 14, 2012 - Day 3

9:00 - 11:00 a.m. Strategy Meetings: Working Together in our Communities
Every jurisdiction has unique health and safety issues and legislation. The final workshop of the conference will give participants an opportunity to develop strategies and plan actions that can be implemented across their province to improve the health and safety of all CUPE members.
11:00 - 11:15 a.m. Break
11:15 - 1:00 p.m. Closing Plenary
Closing Remarks: Charles Fleury, National Secretary-Treasurer
1:00 p.m. Adjournment



Additional Information for Conference Participants

Session Locations
All conference sessions will take place at the Ottawa Convention Centre. The back of your name badge lists your assigned workshops and conference rooms.

Plenary Sessions
There will be opening plenary sessions on Friday October 12 and Saturday October 13 starting at 9:00 a.m. The plenaries are an integral part of the conference and all participants are encouraged to attend.  

Meals are not provided as part of the conference. The Rideau Centre, which can be accessed through the second floor of the convention centre, has several restaurants as well as a food court.  

In order to make the conference accessible to individuals with chemical sensitivities, we ask that all delegates attending the conference refrain from using scented products.  

All conference sessions and receptions are non-smoking. If you wish to smoke, we ask that you do so in designated areas. The smoking area at the Ottawa Convention Centre is located on Daly Street, approximately 9 metres from the main entrance. Delegates are also advised that the City of Ottawa has recently adopted amendments to its outdoor smoking by-laws. The following spaces are now smoke-free:

  • All outdoor areas on municipal properties including parks, playgrounds, beaches, sports fields, and outdoor areas around City facilities
  • ByWard and Parkdale Market stands
  • Outdoor restaurant, bar, and food premise patios

Internet Café
Conference delegates are invited to visit the Internet Café during breaks, lunch and after workshops. We will have a number of computers for use to surf cupe.ca, check your e-mail and do some health and safety research.  

Interpretation Devices
Delegates requiring simultaneous interpretation will require the use of translation devices, which can be obtained from the AVW Tel Av booth, located on Level 2. Government-issued identification is required when borrowing translation devices.  

Be a green conference delegate
We can all reduce our impact on the environment while in Ottawa. Here are some suggestions for reducing your carbon footprint while attending the conference:

  • Reduce waste and recycle as much material as possible.
  • Eat local food, cut back your food waste and avoid using disposable containers and cutlery.
  • Drink tap water, not bottled water.
  • Carry and use a travel mug for drinking coffee, tea, etc.
  • Walk to the convention centre from your hotel rather than taking a taxi. The convention centre can be reached on foot within twenty minutes or so from most hotels where delegates will be staying.
  • Minimize and conserve your electricity use. Turn computers, cell phones, handheld devices and other electronic devices off when not in use.
  • Recycle your lanyard at the end of the conference in the receptacles provided.



Conference Workshops

CUPE members have been on the front line of health and safety victories for decades. But recently, new barriers to our success have been thrown up. Governments, for example, often don’t enforce existing laws. Employers take this as a cue to ignore their responsibility to provide a healthy and safe workplace. And the arena of workplace health is often overrun by a mishmash of consultants, health and safety associations and others selling schemes, many of which disregard workers’ expertise. The Refresh workshop will uncloud the murky issues that sometimes bog down health and safety activism. CUPE members will focus squarely on strategies to renew our trade union activism and pledge our commitment to healthier CUPE workplaces.

There is no question that today’s pressing environmental issues – such as climate change, water and air quality, chemical contamination and others – have direct effects on workers’ health. The planet, like workers, is threatened and not nearly as healthy as it should and could be. The signs are all around us that we need to treat the environment that sustains our work and our way of life more justly and responsibly. This workshop will provide an overview of environmental issues and their impacts on our communities and worker health. It will also explore ways to take action to make our workplaces healthier, more sustainable, and to reduce the environmental impact of the work we do.

Employers and governments are reluctant to widen the definitions of occupational health and safety to include concerns specific to women in the workforce. As a result, there has been little progress in the prevention of women’s occupational health and safety problems. Like their male colleagues, CUPE women experience many health problems related to their work but some issues such as musculoskeletal injuries, sexual and sexist harassment, job demands incompatible with pregnancy, nursing, and family life affect women profoundly. All conference delegates are encouraged to attend this workshop. Participants will help to build understanding about the impact of the physical and social work environment on women’s health, and ways to influence research, policy, and practice to reduce the health disparities related to gender.

New forms of work, job insecurity, work intensification, high demands, violence and a resulting poor work-life balance are resulting in psychosocial and mental health problems in CUPE workplaces. Employers claiming to be concerned with workers’ mental health are introducing wellness programs and continuous improvement schemes. They are also bringing ill-equipped consultants into CUPE workplaces to use “tools” that profile workers to “psychologically fit” them into appropriate jobs. This workshop will examine the flaws in the new array of so-called tools and systems that are being brought into our workplaces. It will focus on the workplace as the cause of mental health issues, and not the individual. Participants will discuss strategies and actions that will actually help make workplaces psychologically healthier and safer.