Sister Sylvia DiamondWe have some sad news this week out of Ontario. Sylvia Diamond, an Ontario-based disability rights activist, died last weekend from a heart attack with complications of pneumonia and a viral infection.
As one of the founding members of the CUPE National Persons with Disabilities Working Group, Sylvia was one of the instigators of the “Wheel of Chance”. She also made a presentation to the National Contracting Out and Privatization Coordinating Committee on the impact of privatization and contracting out on workers with disabilities. She also appeared in CUPE’s Disability Rights video, released this spring.
“Sister Sylvia brought crucial knowledge and commitment to our union. She was determined to make sure that CUPE’s analysis included the impact of labour-related issues on people with disabilities,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist. “She will be greatly missed.”
>Brother Claude hands out MédiaMatin in QuebecNational Secretary-Treasurer Claude Généreux, had the pleasure of distributing MédiaMatin Québec to people of the Old Capital this week. He enjoyed working hand-in-hand with the locked out and striking workers, and realized how popular MMQ already is. “People know it and want a copy of it,” he said. “It is really a fantastic means of pressure”.
Brother Claude ensured the locked out workers of the Newspaper of Quebec of the total support of CUPE during the duration of this conflict.
CUPE connects at child care conferenceCUPE child care workers spent a busy weekend at the annual conference of the Canadian Child Care Federation in Halifax, making new contacts and connections that deepen CUPE’s involvement in the child care community. The three-day conference was packed to overflowing with more than 600 people, including a strong CUPE delegation. CUPE had a significant presence as a conference co-sponsor, including a booth at the busy trade show. There was steady traffic to the CUPE booth, where delegates picked up materials including an updated version of CUPE’s child care booklet, information on research and political action as well as organizing materials from Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Columbia. Response to CUPE’s booth and materials was overwhelmingly positive.
CUPE’s child care activism at the conference continues a push to organize early childhood educators in Nova Scotia after successfully organizing three new Halifax centres.
First collective agreement for T’it’q’et Daycare and PreschoolA signing ceremony this week in British Columbia marked the end of a long organizing drive for CUPE staff and a new beginning for the six employees of the T’it’q’et Daycare and Preschool, who are fresh from achieving their first collective agreement with the T’it’q’et Band Council. The June 4 signing ceremony began with an opening prayer followed by remarks from Chief Machell, the councillors, union members, and staff representatives. Then the contract signing was held, followed by a catered dinner, gift presentations, closing prayers, and a visit to the community’s newly built pit house.
Woodstock municipal workers face June 22 strike deadlineCity of Woodstock municipal workers voted to reject the latest contract proposal from management last night setting the stage for a strike or a lockout in 10 days. A strike or a lockout by the employer would affect services such as garbage collection, recycling, roads work, mechanical services for city vehicles, water services and parks. CUPE represents 50 full-time workers and additional seasonal summer students who work in the city’s public works, parks and water department. The workers’ last contract expired on December 31, 2006.
Strike vote at the Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l’Est ontarien – CUPE 4155School board workers with the Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l’Est ontarien – members of CUPE 4155 – have voted 99 per cent in favour of a strike if a deal cannot be reached with their employer. The workers’ last contract expired August 31, 2006. CUPE 4155 represents 219 full-time employees, 97 part-time, and roughly 33 temporary and casual employees who work in 50 elementary and secondary schools, and school board buildings, as secretaries, clerks, custodial staff, monitors, IT and library technicians.
City of Vaughan part-time workers seek equal treatment, begin strike preparationsPart-time clerical and technical staff with the City of Vaughan are beginning to prepare for possible job action after contract negotiations broke off this week. CUPE 905, which represents the 80 workers, has requested a no-board report, beginning the countdown to a legal strike/lockout deadline of July 2.
“This is about fairness and equity,” said bargaining unit chair Heather Vidito. “These workers, who are mostly women, are the only group of city employees who do not have benefits. And, they earn significantly less than full-time employees who are often doing similar, if not the same work.”
Aquatera, CUPE sign contractThe union representing sixty employees of Aquatera – Grand Prairie’s water and waste utility – has ratified a new two-year contract that raises wages by an 8.25% over two years and provides market adjustments to recognize the increased cost of living and increased competitiveness with the private sector. The new contract, the first in which Aquatera employees bargained separately from City employees, also includes improvements to bereavement leave and health care benefits.
CUPE Alberta’s Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators AwardsThe Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators has presented an award to CUPE 787 and their employer, the City of Grande Prairie, for its innovative workplace literacy program that included conducting an organizational needs assessment, and then programming a series of workshops and classes based on the identified needs. The award ceremony took place in Calgary at the CAMA conference.
June Special Days!
- National Aboriginal Day - June 21.