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CUPE launches pro-public TV ads

CUPE is airing TV ads that promote the value of public services.

A series of four ads are running in English on Global and CTV newscasts, Canada AM, Hockey Night in Canada, as well as the Food Network and HGTV.

In French, a series of ads urging Canadians to protect public services from privatization can be seen on RDI, LCN, and TVA

All of the ads can also be viewed on www.cupe.ca  and YouTube.

Using the theme of “a good deal for all Canadians,” the ads are a reminder that public services are the bedrock of our communities and our country.

The English ads run until January 25 and the French ads until January 17.

2010 a chance for new direction on public policy, economy, says Moist

The last decade will be remembered as a time when a select few profited at the expense of many.  The next decade should be about giving back,” says CUPE National President Paul Moist in a year-in-review statement.

Those hit hardest by the recession will need help getting back on their feet, while newer, better social policies must be put in place for the security of generations to come.”

Moist urges Canadians to defend public services this year, as some governments use deficits as an excuse to cut services and workers’ wages.  Moist would also like to see the federal government take an active role on fixing pensions.

“It’s time to chart a new course on pensions, with a pan-Canadian solution that ensures no retired worker will have to live in poverty,” says Moist.  “An expansion of the Canada Pension Plan is a step in the right direction.  By increasing the CPP gradually, but with mandatory payments, we can ensure a more secure retirement for everyone.”

Strike deadline set for Nova Scotia

Negotiating committees for 4,100 hospital workers and more than 3,000 school board workers outside of Halifax have announced a strike deadline of Monday, January 18, 2010.

CUPE’s goal is to avert a strike and get a negotiated settlement.  Bargaining teams are more than ready to get back to the table and resolve outstanding items, including the key issue of wage parity for hospital workers and a wage offer for school board workers equal to what teachers and other workers in the sector have already received.

A new look at the public education funding crisis in BC

A financial crisis currently plagues BC public schools.  Parents are frustrated as their children are offered less and less.  School trustees are starting to move to a more assertive political stance after years of concern over the program cuts they find themselves forced to make.  Even senior district administrators are starting to question the role foisted on them as they stare at worsening cutback scenarios, unable to stave off rising revenue shortfalls.

CUPE National research representative John Malcolmson offers a new look at how and where the crisis is happening.

Read Malcolmson’s analysis here:

CAS worker by day, author by night

Adventure, conflict resolution, and problem-solving are some of the exciting educational elements that can be discovered in Alpha City 2050, a series of books written for teen readers by James H. Gillam, president of CUPE 1797.

Gillam, a CAS worker for the Hamilton Catholic Children’s Aid Society, is an acclaimed author who hopes to inspire young readers to read and keep them reading.

The books are ‘recommended reading’ by many Boards of Education, and last fall his Alpha City 2050 series was featured in the Hamilton Spectator.  Some of the proceeds from the sale of Gillam’s books are donated back to the Hamilton Catholic CAS.

CUPE delegation on solidarity exchange in the Philippines

A 10-person CUPE delegation will be visiting the Philippines as part of a CUPE Global Justice Fund project from January 2-17, 2010. 

Members of CUPE 2079, 3393, 4600 and their community partner the Ontario Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (OCHRP), will be hosted by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE).

The purpose of this tour is to build relationships of solidarity between workers in Canada and the Philippines.  Workers in both countries fight against the privatization of our workplaces, the struggle for fair wages, benefits, job security, and the right to organize and join a union. 

While we experience the insecurity and precariousness that accompanies this fight, in the Philippines it is much more dangerous. 

Trade unionists are experiencing escalating violence, forced disappearances, and killings with impunity.

To follow this delegation, visit: http://cupe.ca/global-justice

CUPE denounces the layoff of Air Transat flight attendants

CUPE is outraged by Air Transat’s recent decision to lay off 52 flight attendants.  The situation could have been much worse since, without the union’s efforts and the goodwill of its members, 200 individuals would have been laid off last December. 

We tried to do the impossible, to save everyone, but we still suffered the company’s bad decisions” said Nathalie Stringer, president of CUPE’s Air Transat component.

These layoffs are the result of a continuing practice by Air Transat to lease its planes to other carriers.  The pilots go with the planes, but not the flight attendants.  This systematically produces an overstaffing situation for these employees. 

If Air Transat wants to lease this equipment, so be it, but only with both pilots and flight attendants.  We’ve had enough of being pushed aside” Nathalie Stringer concluded. 

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