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Donalda MacDonald - you will be missed

CUPE is mourning the loss of long-time activist
Donalda MacDonald, who died January 20 after a seven-month battle with cancer.

MacDonald had just attended a meeting of the National Women’s Committee in Ottawa. 

It was her last meeting as a National Executive Board liaison with the committee after having been confirmed as a General Vice President at the 2007 National Convention in Toronto.

MacDonald was the 2007 winner of the Grace Hartman Award for activism in the struggle for workers’ rights, equality and social justice.

Donalda was an inspiration to all of us and we know you will join us in extending sincere condolences to her family,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist.

MacDonald spent more than 25 years as an active union member in CUPE 1770 in
Prince Edward Island, as president of CUPE PEI and as a Regional Vice-President before becoming GVP in Toronto in October.

A secretary at the Eastern School District since 1979, MacDonald became involved in her local in the early 80s.  Throughout the years, she held various positions on the local executive.

MacDonald is survived by her three children: Patrick, Ryan and Leanne, her partner
Victor Nanson and a large extended family.  In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Canadian Cancer Society PEI Division.

PEI Division of the Canadian Cancer Society
1 Rochford Street, Suite 1
Charlottetown, PEI  C1A 9L2
Fax: (902) 628-8281.

CUPE applauds as Ontario halts Hamilton home care bidding

CUPE Ontario has applauded Ontario’s decision to put a hold on competitive bidding in home care in the Hamilton area.

The decision comes after weeks of public protest in reaction to a decision to exclude non-profit agencies from the bidding process.

CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan said of Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman, “If he really wants the best quality home care services for Ontario, now he should make the choice to end home care competitive bidding province-wide.”

Last month, the provincial government drew fire from CUPE Ontario and others for lifting a three-year moratorium on competitive bidding in the sector.

CUPE 1251 resumes talks

After two weeks of strike, CUPE 1251 will return to the bargaining table January 24.

CUPE 1251 represents more than 500 corrections officers, community college custodians and human services counsellors.

The strike is about wage parity between CUPE members and those doing similar work in school boards, federal prisons and other provincial workers doing counseling.

CUPE Local 1251’s Collective Agreement expired in June 2007.

Victoria librarians say: keep your money and your food

After library management suspended one member and threatened to lock out the rest of CUPE 410 over its ‘food for fines’ program, the local has decided to stop collecting fines altogether.

The local had been refusing to collect fines as part of their overall job action, but instead decided to waive fines if the person brought in a donation for a food bank.

CUPE 410 president Ed Seedhouse understood - from an email and a media interview of library management - that management was okay with the tactic.  A library spokesperson even told the media ‘food for fines’ was a joint effort between the local and the library.

But then library board chair Christopher Graham wrote the union, threatening a lockout if the action did not stop.  And management suspended a worker for accepting a donation in lieu of a fine.

CUPE 410 filed an unfair labour practice complaint with the provincial labour board.  Seedhouse is confident the decision will be in the union’s favour.

Meanwhile the local has suspended the ‘food for fines’ action.

Media Matin Québec circulation hits 7 million

Distributors for Media Matin Québec, the newspaper produced by locked out Journal de Québec workers, handed out their seven millionth copy last week.

The paper, distributed by hand for free five days a week, first hit the streets April 24, two days after Quebecor locked out the three CUPE locals representing journalists, printers, and office staff at the newspaper.

The paper - in addition to providing the locked out workers with an outlet for their views on the strike - demonstrates that there is a thirst for high quality, local news in the city.

:te/cope 491