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Over 2,000 rally behind Windsor strikers

Locals 82 and 543 (outside and inside city workers) have been on strike for almost two months, fighting for a fair contract from the City of Windsor.  On Friday, they received overwhelming support from over 2,000 CUPE members, friends, and fellow unions such as the CAW and OPSEU.

Supporters from across the province boarded buses to Windsor to call on City Council to submit to binding arbitration.  At issue is the city’s attempt to take post-retirement benefits off the table.  “City council voted in favour of these benefits for themselves in 2003, but refuse to allow city workers to collect the same benefits,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist.  “We’re calling on the Mayor and Council to return to the bargaining table and settle this dispute or refer it to arbitration.”

Nova Scotia goes NDP

The NDP has rewritten the political landscape in Atlantic Canada by forming a majority government in Nova Scotia.

CUPE played a very active role in the campaign.  Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh credits the hard work of several CUPE activists across the province who made direct contact with our union’s 16,000 members.

Niagara paramedics host national meeting

The Niagara region paramedics of CUPE Local 1019 hosted twenty CUPE locals from across Canada at the third national paramedics meeting.  Seventy-five local union activists shared stories, information, and laughs. 

The Executive Committee of the EMS Chiefs joined delegates for a discussion on common concerns.  Members presented CUPE concerns related to four topic areas: the impact of interprovincial agreements on labour mobility; standardization of scope of practice across Canada; new and changing service delivery models; and potential for takeover of EMS delivery by fire services

The group committed to continuing their networking and will meet again at their sector meeting at the 2009 National Convention.

Young workers plan for the future

CUPE British Columbia’s second young workers’ conference wrapped up this week.  The conference brought together 54 young CUPE members from across the province – a 38% increase in attendance from the first conference.

Trevor Davies, co-chair of the Young Workers’ Task Force, pointed out how important it is to build activism among young CUPE members, given the number of local presidents, activists, and staff members who are retiring – and how both education and social interaction are key to sustaining that activism.

Health workers in Regina give council strong strike mandate

CUPE health care providers in Regina voted to give their bargaining committee a strong strike mandate, one the CUPE Health Care Council intends to take to the bargaining table when contract negotiations resume this week in Regina.

Although the health care providers have been without an agreement for nearly 15 months, the employer has refused to make any monetary offer at the bargaining table.

Our members are fed up with SAHO’s arrogant attitude and the second-class treatment,” says Gordon Campbell, president of the CUPE Health Care Council.  “They want a contract that recognizes and values their contribution to health care – and they’re prepared to take job action to get one,” he says.

Toronto workers two weeks from strike deadline

More than 24,000 City of Toronto employees will be in a legal strike or lockout position at 12:01 a.m., Monday, June 22 unless the city drops its demands for concessions and gets serious about reaching a deal.

CUPE Local 79, the union for about 18,000 inside workers, and Toronto Civic Employees Union - CUPE Local 416 - representing 6,200 outside workers, received overwhelming strike mandates from their members in votes held last month.

P3s even more expensive since financial crisis: report

The cost penalty paid by governments for financing hospitals and other public infrastructure projects through public private partnerships (P3s) has jumped substantially since the onset of the financial crisis, says a report released this week by the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE).

Economist Hugh Mackenzie’s report, Bad Before, Worse Now:  The Financial Crisis and the Skyrocketing Costs of Public Private Partnerships (P3s), documents how the financial crisis has made P3s an even more expensive and risky way to build public goods like hospitals, roads, and schools.

CUPE represents workers at FCM

CUPE leaders, members, and staff took part last week in the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ annual conference, renewing connections and building new relationships with municipal representatives - many of whom employ CUPE members.

High on the agenda for CUPE delegates was communicating the dangers of interprovincial trade deals, the heightened risk of privatizing infrastructure during the financial crisis, and the central role public services must play in pulling the Canadian economy out of recession

Air Canada flight attendants union welcomes appointment of federal mediator

The representative of Air Canada’s over 6,800 flight attendants welcomed the appointment of former Ontario Superior Court Justice, the Honourable James Farley, Q.C. 

Farley was appointed on June 4 by Canada’s finance minister to mediate pension issues.

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