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Justice for fired Simon Fraser member

Following formal mediation, CUPE has reached a settlement that reinstates an employee fired from the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) with full back pay and damages.

The mediation resulted from a grievance pursued by the union when Hattie Aitken, a SFSS employee and president of CUPE 5396, was terminated in August 2006.

The terms of the settlement are confidential. However, as part of the agreement, the SFSS has issued a public apology for “any statements made… which suggest or imply that Ms. Aitken is not honest or trustworthy or that she conspired with others against the interests of the Simon Fraser Student Society or its members.”

Groups shut out of Ontario long-term care public hearings

Seventy-three groups and individuals concerned with long-term care in Ontario are being shut out of public discussions on Bill 140, the government’s proposed long-term care act.

CUPE Ontario has learned that only 48 of 96 requests for standing at the two days of Toronto hearings scheduled Jan. 16-17 will be granted. In Kingston, only 24 of 42 requests will be heard on Jan. 23, while London will accommodate only 24 of 31 requests during its one-day hearing on Jan. 24.

In a democracy, it is unconscionable that the Liberal government would curtail public input into the bill, a bill which in its currently flawed state would have a dramatic impact on how residents are cared for,” said CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan.

Tories need green policy shift, not shuffle

The Conservative federal environment minister may have changed, but Canada won’t cut its emissions of greenhouse gases unless Prime Minister Stephen Harper makes some major policy shifts.

Last week, Harper shuffled embattled Rona Ambrose out of the post, replacing her with former Treasury Board president John Baird.

While Ambrose may have flubbed her lines dramatically, she was delivering someone else’s script. Stephen Harper’s well-known tendency to keep a tight rein on policy matters and communications mean Baird will play the same role.

The twin pressures of a minority Parliament and rising voter concern have forced Harper to admit the Tories have fallen short on the environment.

CUPE NL holds activism schools

CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador will be busy over the next four months, training its leaders and activists in workplace and social justice issues. The courses are being offered with the help of CUPE’s union development branch.

We’re expecting more than 200 activists to be trained in various aspects of working life that will allow them to be better advocates for workers’ rights,” said CUPE NL president Wayne Lucas.

FTQ presents its 2007 priorities

The Quebec Labour Federation (FTQ) has presented its priorities for the coming year. CUPE is affiliated with the FTQ in that province.

Top priorities include a review of public sector negotiations, improving workplace health and safety, and a summit on the manufacturing sector.

Health care workers must have right to refuse unsafe work

In the wake of a damning report on the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in Toronto, CUPE says that Ontario health care workers must have the right to refuse unsafe work.

During the SARS crisis, 45 per cent of reported cases in Ontario involved front-line hospital staff and paramedics.

If health care employees had the same right to refuse unsafe work as other Ontario workers, we could have forced the issue on the use of proper protective equipment during SARS,” said Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE).

CUPE wants the Ontario government to amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act to allow health care workers the right to refuse.

We are also calling for a profound reform of the joint occupational health and safety committee system and of Ministry of Labour enforcement powers.

Interview with CUPE’s award-winning webmaster

An interview with CUPE webmaster Chris Lawson is now available on Radio LabourStart (http://radio.labourstart.org). You can listen to him discuss online campaigns, content management and more. CUPE has twice won the Labour Website of the Year award.

This interview is also available as a podcast. To subscribe, go to iTunes and search on LabourStart, or paste this URL (http://www.labourstart.org/radio/podcast/podcast.rss) into your podcast software.

FastFacts in your inbox

Did you know you can get FastFacts by email? To sign up for this service, please send an email to clandry@cupe.ca. Make sure to include your name, local number, email address and province. If you were receiving FastFacts by fax, also include your fax number so that we may delete you from the fax list.