CUPE sectors met Sunday to trade information.
Health care – Delegates discussed a two-year plan to
fight privatization and strengthen collective bargaining.
Plan goals: achieve minimum standards in long-term care
and community home care, increase federal funding,
push for a pharmacare program, and take legal action to
defeat threats to public health care.
More on the health care sector meeting
Water and wastewater – Mandatory certification and fighting privatization dominated the meeting. A new CUPE study, outlining the work locals are doing to meet the certification challenge, was distributed and discussed.
Post-secondary – Delegates were concerned about contracting out and the ‘silent privatization’ of universities. Tuition fees and access also aroused lively debate. Participants want CUPE to launch a campaign to remind Canadians that colleges and universities strengthen communities. Library – Library workers discussed the challenges posed by technological change and budget slashing at their work sites. They are fighting for pay equity, “no working alone” provisions, and standards on the use of volunteers.
Social services – Major concerns included legislative attacks stripping away job security, forced mergers, competitive bidding, contracting out, individual funding, under-funding and privatization. Promoting co-ordinated and central bargaining are priorities in fighting privatization and improving wages and working conditions.
Schools – Delegates heard from Dr. John Wiens, author of Public Education in an Era of Globalization and Privatization. Members shared stories of children being asked to bring their own toilet paper to school, the lack of money to purchase books, and privatization. Paramedics/Emergency services – Delegates discussed the cleanliness of ambulances and the danger of infection, the restructuring of emergency services, pension plans, the difficulty of finding time to eat while working, the dangers of privatization, and the difficult issue of training and recognition as professionals.
Child care – Organizing, mobilizing members and advocacy work are priorities for the sector. Delegates discussed an organizing campaign in Nova Scotia and a “wages up and fees down” campaign in B.C.
Electrical utilities – Canada is the only G8 country without a national energy policy, as provinces control the sector. In Alberta, where energy is fully deregulated, prices have doubled and, in some cases tripled.
Municipal – Privatization, contracting out, declining infrastructure
and sharing federal tax dollars with cities were passionately discussed.
Members agreed on the importance of electing supportive councillors
in cities and towns where CUPE members work.
More on the municipal sector meeting
Airline - “A coal mine in the sky”
Airline Service Division delegates met to discuss convention resolutions, division bylaw changes and proposed changes to the Canada Labour Code, including a national minimum wage, stronger protection for pregnant workers, and an end to the abusive practices of attendance management systems.