Warning message

Please note that this page is from our archives. There may be more up-to-date content about this topic on our website. Use our search engine to find out.

Adopted Unanimously by the CUPE Health Care Workers’ Conference on February 6-7, 2003

CUPE health care workers are the heart of health care. Every one of our health care members is essential. But we are under attack.

CUPE will take whatever action is required to:

  1. Defend and fight to expand public Medicare insurance so that all health services – including long-term care, home and community care and prescription drugs – are covered by provincial insurance plans; are covered by the five principles of the Canada Health Act; and are accountable to the people of Canada. Our defence of Medicare will include active opposition to the de-listing of services from our public insurance coverage. We will continue to oppose tax cuts for the rich and push for full funding of health care instead. We oppose an American-style health care system. We refuse to go back to the days before the introduction of Medicare when access to medical care was determined by income and when families lost loved ones when they couldn’t afford medical treatment.
  2. Protect and fight to expand the public delivery of health care services, just as we will protect and fight to expand the public delivery of public services in every CUPE sector. We will resist privatization everywhere and whenever it is threatened. We will resist privatization in all its forms, including contracting out of services. We will expose the privateers and the corporate expropriation of our public health care system. The people of Canada need more than public health care insurance. We need more than public funding of health care services. We need public delivery of all health care services.
  3. Protect the jobs, wages, working conditions and collective agreements of CUPE members. When we defend our members and their jobs, we Protect health care, and we do this proudly and without apology.
  4. Hold private health care facilities and providers accountable and fight to make them public, just as we fight to make those responsible for public health care accountable.
Specifically, CUPE will:
  1. Focus our health care message on public delivery of services;
  2. Through the actions of our members, lead the Canadian Labour Congress and our coalition partners to adopt an aggressive national campaign for a fully funded, accountable, publicly delivered, comprehensive, democratic and universal health care system – and one that meets the needs of Aboriginal peoples;
  3. Lead the mobilization of CUPE members and push the federations of labour and the Canadian Labour Congress to organize demonstrations, job actions and direct action over the next twelve months building to a general strike if necessary to oppose the privatization of health care.
To put in place this plan of action, CUPE will:
  1. Give our members hope. We have shown over and over again, across the country, that when we fight back, we can win. We will share success stories like the campaign that stopped the P3 hospital in PEI, and the tremendous solidarity that CUPE members of New Brunswick demonstrate in refusing to allow any one group of CUPE members to be attacked without all CUPE members joining the battle. We will call on all parts of CUPE to act on our national policy that an injury to one is an injury to all. We will call on all CUPE members to stand together in solidarity with each other.
  2. Win the confidence and commitment of our leaders and staff to take on the battle. We will take this action plan to the upcoming provincial division conventions and ask for the support of workers from all sectors. We will meet health care workers through their bargaining councils and/or other union structures to expose the threat and to assist them in preparing their plans to respond;
  3. Meet with our allies in progressive organizations and unions to convince them of the importance of public delivery and of the key role played by our members in health care. We will use the strength of CUPE’s diverse membership to build our alliances in the community;
  4. Reach and speak to every CUPE member about the threat of privatization through an on-the-job canvass to take place between now and June 2003. Our campaign materials will speak to the important role played by our members in health care;
  5. Conduct a national media campaign to support our position and campaign on the privatization of health care;
  6. Prepare materials for our health sector membership to alert our members to the large layoffs and extensive privatization now taking place in health care in British Columbia and threats across the country;
  7. Identify, collect and use studies already completed that make the case against the privatization of health care support services.
  8. Call on the Canadian Labour Congress to take whatever action is required to enforce the emergency resolution adopted at the last CLC convention which condemned the signing of sub-standard collective agreements with multinational corporations engaged in privatizing public services.
This conference calls upon the National Executive Board to review the resources necessary to implement this campaign plan.

By taking on the actions outlined here, we will make a difference. We will fight to protect our members’ jobs. We will fight to stop privatization. We will fight to expand and improve public health care services. We will fight for social and economic equality: the number one determinant of good health.

We will work with unions and coalition partners around the world to fight to make health care a universal right, and we will fight all free trade agreements that pave the way for privatization and entrench privatization for generations to come.
:mb/opeiu 491
H/C Conference Action Plan – final