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CUPE 3372 gets national boost

Paul Moist and Claude Généreux braved wind and heavy snow to join CUPE 3372 on their picket line in Fredericton this week.

The six cafeteria workers have been on strike since February 4.

Members of CUPE 3372 work for Aramark at the Hugh John Flemming Forestry Centre.  They prepare and serve food for the students at the Maritime College of Forestry Technology and for the provincial and federal government employees.

Bargaining women’s equality conference: be there without being there

Did you miss CUPE’s National Bargaining Women’s Equality Conference?  You can catch many of the highlights on CUPE’s website.

Some presentations available include:
• Armine Yalnizyan: dealing with recession
• Darline Raymond: building successful campaigns
• Judy Darcy: Building Women’s Leadership

The four day conference was aimed at building bargaining strength to advance women’s equality, and setting achievable goals on bargaining issues for women.

The podcasts are available here:


Brandon Clinic staff on strike

CUPE 2096’s 57 members are on strike against the Brandon Clinic Medical Corporation in Manitoba after voting 98% against their employer’s last offer.

We’ve been reasonable, we’ve done everything we can, and the employer has shown no willingness to negotiate a fair agreement,” said CUPE 2096 president Brenda Cairns.

Cairns said her members are paid about 40% less than support staff providing similar services at regional health association facilities across Manitoba.

P3s feeling global credit crunch

A research report from the Public Services International Research Unit predicts “very few new PPPs will be signed for the foreseeable future” due to the global financial crisis.

The study also warns that existing P3s built around short-term debt may find refinancing more expensive or unavailable.

What’s more, the recession is reducing cash flow for P3s that rely on user fees for revenue, creating further difficulty repaying interest and loans.

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Windsor Children’s Aid closes Leamington office

Windsor Essex Children’s Aid’s decision to close its Leamington office will reduce access to family protection services, says CUPE 2286.
CUPE 2286 president Cathy Matthe says “County residents have the right to access the same level of service as people in Windsor.”

Matthe said that the agency’s “cost containment” measures are part of a funding fight with the provincial government.

Our agency should not shut offices and cut services right when demand has begun to rise because of the economic downturn.”

Halifax must re-evaluate use of private contractors

Halifax outside workers say it’s for the region to consider using fewer private contractors in winter.

CUPE 108’s contracting out committee spokesperson John Stoddard pointed to a recent consultant’s report which showed contractor costs increased from $2 million in 1999 to $8.7 million in 2008, along with inconsistent use of salt and “training shortfalls”.

CUPE 2254 holds picket party for Jon Sterlind

CUPE 2254 members held a birthday party on their picket line for Jon Sterlind, who turned 70 February 17.

Sterlind and his four colleagues have been locked out at the Grand Forks BC public library since January 20.

You’re not supposed to tell people what you wish for when you blow out the candles on your birthday cake, but Jon abandoned that superstition.

He said he wants the library board to “get back to the table so we can get back to work.”

Status quo BC budget ignores recession, leaves health care behind

The BC Liberals’ 2009 budget means health authorities will continue to struggle to provide health services, Judy Darcy said this week.
“I am underwhelmed by the meekness of the government’s approach at a time when British Columbians are facing the most serious threats to their economic security in a generation,” says HEU’s secretary-business manager.

The budget restates previously announced health funding increases.  And health authorities will still be expected to cut administrative and support services by two per cent.

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