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Victoria library workers get pay equity

CUPE 410 members have a new four-year contract that includes pay equity with municipal workers in the region.

This contract sets a milestone,” said CUPE 410 president Ed Seedhouse.  “Equal pay for work of equal value was long overdue.”

The agreement between CUPE 410 and the Greater Victoria Library Board ends a lockout that started on February 17th.

The deal was reached March 31st.

Foreign investment imperils child care

CUPE has released a legal opinion suggesting that if the federal and provincial governments don’t act fast, a company called “123 Busy Beavers” might make universal child care an impossibility.

The opinion - by noted trade lawyer Steven Shrybman, examines NAFTA rules around public services and foreign investment.

If the amount of for-profit child care delivery grows, and if the amount of foreign investment grows too, Shrybman argues child care would be considered a commercial venture rather than a “reserved” public service under NAFTA.

A government that wanted to set up a publicly-delivered child care program would have to pay damages to any foreign company whose profits were affected.

Paul Moist at NB division convention

Paul Moist spoke to delegates at the New Brunswick division convention April 4th.

He congratulated division members on their ongoing efforts to protect public services and build better communities.

Moist also derided the provincial government’s recent budget, which cut taxes to corporations by $15 million.

Delegates also heard from Journal de Québec workers who have been locked out for nearly a year by Quebecor/Sun Media Corporation.

Ontario home care workers take campaign to McGuinty

Ontario home care workers protested against competitive bidding outside
Premier Dalton McGuinty’s south Ottawa constituency office this week.

The Ontario Council of Hospital Unions has set up a hotline for people to call - whether workers or clients – who’ve been adversely affected by competitive bidding.

Studies show that, since competition was introduced a decade ago, the quality of home care has suffered, working conditions have diminished, and costs have increased.

Anyone with a story to tell should call 1-888-599-0770.

Coalitions key to stopping privatization

Canadians are in the fight of their lives to defend public services, and CUPE is a key player in the battle, says municipal and environmental advocate Glen Murray.

Murray gave the keynote address at the opening of CUPE’s national all-committees meeting in Ottawa.

Murray described the importance of building coalitions to turn the tide of privatization and rebuild inclusive, healthy neighbourhoods.

Northern Manitoba health workers join CUPE

About 350 health care support workers in the Northern Manitoba Regional Health Authority voted to join CUPE March 26th.  They had been members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 600.

The vote was between CUPE and the United Food and Commercial Workers union.  With a turn out of about 70% of the membership, over 60% voted for CUPE.  A runoff vote the week before included the United Steel Workers of America.

CUPE members get free subscription to StraightGoods.ca

The first 100,000 CUPE members who visit StraightGoods.ca get a free subscription.

The progressive news website offers subscribers access to the site’s archives, discounts and other extra special privileges.

To get your subscription, go to http://www.straightgoods.ca/Groups/Login.cfm, click on CUPE then enter the user name: CUPE1 and password: CUPE2007

Low wages are causing serious recruitment problems in BC’s community social services

A new study by the Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia (SPARC BC) cites low wages and a lack of respect as key reasons for growing retention and recruitment problems in the community-based social services sector.

Rebecca Siggner, the report’s author says employers are struggling to find qualified applicants for vacancies and that recruitment of casuals and relief workers is particularly problematic.

The study was conducted on behalf of unions in the sector.

Ron Crawley

Ron Crawley, a former CUPE National Research Officer, died March 27th, 2008 following a long battle with cancer.

Born and raised in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Ron joined CUPE’s staff as a research officer in 1993.  In 2003 ill health forced Ron to take a leave from his work at CUPE.

A celebration of Ron’s life will be held at the national office of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, 1375 St. Laurent Blvd. on May 10th at 2 p.m.

If you wish, donations can be made to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives or the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada.

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