CUPE’s strong presence at recent national conferencesAttendees at both the Canadian Libraries Association and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conferences in the past month benefited from CUPE’s generosity. As a major sponsor of each event, CUPE made a strong statement about its commitment to a country with strong public services.
At the CLA in St. John’s, CUPE sponsored the keynote speaker, Linda Duxbury, who spoke about inter-generational changes in labour force participation. Throughout the entire three-day event, people were stopping by the CUPE booth to congratulate us and thank us.
At the FCM in Calgary, CUPE National Officers Paul Moist and Claude Généreux hosted a media conference and conducted interviews on the pitfalls of agreements like the Trade Investment and Labour Agreement (TILMA) between Alberta and British Columbia. Hundreds of elected representatives and administrators from across Canada stopped by CUPE’s booth. CUPE members and staff participated in and exchanged views during many interesting workshops. Fact sheets prepared for the conference on a variety of subjects from climate change to infrastructure are available at cupe.ca/municipalities.
CUPE will continue to make its members proud by participating in such high-profile national conferences.
Brother Jack Simpson honoured for braveryCUPE National Representative Jack Simpson, of Lethbridge, Alberta, made us very proud last month when he intercepted a would-be robber (who had duct tape and a knife with him) who had snuck into a woman’s van as she made a quick stop to the ATM. Brother Jack, along with two other men, was given an award for bravery from the Lethbridge chief of police for not only preventing the robbery and possible kidnapping attempt, but for also preventing the attacker from escaping before police arrived.
“We all like to think we’d be as brave when faced with such a dangerous situation,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist. “We are proud of Jack’s quick and selfless action, which may have saved someone’s life.”
NDP does it again with CUPE’s help!The NDP won a third and historically important mandate to govern Manitoba last month. CUPE members and staff played a large role in the election and saw their efforts pay off in a number of important constituencies.
In particular, three CUPE women ran for the job of Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) and “did the union proud” according to CUPE President Paul Moist. Marilyn Brick, a member of CUPE 500 was re-elected. Sharon Blady (Local 3909 member) ran in a Tory stronghold and won. And, CUPE National Staff Representative Denise Harder ran in another Tory stronghold and came to a very respectable second.
Strong strike vote by North Vancouver’s district workersPublic employees of North Vancouver District became the third group of civic workers in the Lower Mainland to register exceptionally high strike votes in response to proposed take-aways and stalled negotiations with GVRD Labour Relations Bureau, which bargains on behalf of most municipalities in the Lower Mainland. The district workers voted 91 per cent in favour of strike.
Supporters are encouraged to visit the website at http://www.fairnessforcivicworkers.ca
Board vote kills Vancouver Public Library binderyFollowing two-and-a-half hours of presentations dominated by passionate appeals not to close Canada’s only in-house public library bindery, a vote by the board of the Vancouver Public Library yesterday narrowly defeated a motion to save the bindery and the valuable services its workers have provided for more than 80 years. However, CUPE 391 says the fight to save the bindery does not end with yesterday’s vote.
Library patrons and other concerned members of the public can write or e-mail the library board. Letters can be sent to Vancouver Public Library board, 350 West Georgia, Vancouver, BC, V6B 6B1. E-mails can go to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Five-union coalition formed to fight right-to-strike banA coalition of unions representing some 32,000 health care workers in Nova Scotia has been formed to fight the Nova Scotia government’s attempt to strip the right to strike from all of health care.
“From a national perspective, CUPE Nova Scotia has a great record,” said Paul Moist, President of CUPE National. “The IWK strike was the first disruption that has happened in acute care in many years, and it lasted only 15 hours. We don’t have a strike problem in Nova Scotia. We have a government that’s slipping in the polls and is trying to latch onto something they think the public will support.”
The Tamir Foundation staff votes to join CUPELast week saw a successful organizing vote at Ottawa’s Tamir Foundation Group Homes for handicapped adults. There are 90 members in total and we won by a landslide! The Tamir Foundation’s mandate is to the needs of people with developmental and other disabilities in the Ottawa Jewish Community.
We welcome the Tamir Foundation staff to the CUPE family.
Brother Paul Moist lauds Assembly of First Nations National Chief“Phil Fontaine is to be commended for his strong and principled leadership on behalf of Aboriginal citizens,” stated CUPE National President Paul Moist, in a recent letter to the Globe and Mail. He went on to say that: “The right of the Assembly of First Nations to lead peaceful protests ought to be supported and defended by all Canadians, not condemned as it is being in some quarters.
Our country’s history is replete with examples of citizens exercising their rights to gather and protest to effect public opinion. Perhaps if more of us joined the Aboriginal protest actions our government would finally begin the long overdue redress of the long outstanding issues that Aboriginal Canadians need and deserve to have settled in a just fashion.”
Carolyn Carter BursaryLocal 5167 dealt with the sudden death of an activist, friend, and colleague this fall when Sister Carolyn Carter was killed in a car accident. A devoted CUPE member, Sister Carolyn completed a certificate in Labour Studies at Mohawk College in 2004. She was a big supporter of union members improving themselves and continuing their educations. To honour her memory, a bursary is being established in her name, so others can receive financial assistance to complete the same program.
Please send financial support to CUPE Local 5167, 36 Hunter Street East, Suite 501, Hamilton, Ontario, L8N 3W8.
Clean Air Day - June 6, 2007CUPE’s National Environment Committee urges locals, members and others to “spare the air” for one day (at least!) on Clean Air Day. All across Canada organizations and communities take action on air quality and climate change on Clean Air Day. Fittingly, Clean Air Day is near the beginning of summer. This helps remind us that poor air quality, soaring temperatures and the accompanying negative environmental and human health effects increasingly characterize our summers.
Clean Air Day is a chance to alter your habits for just one day to help improve air quality and combat climate change. Who knows, do it for one day and you might see that small changes are easier to make than you think.
New! Wearable Art!Our new poster featuring artwork by artist Helen D’souza is such a hit with CUPE members that we’ve put the vibrant colourful design on T-shirts, which are available in two styles: women’s v-neck short sleeve rib at $15.50 each and regular jersey crew neck shirts at $13.50 each.
Order yours today through the CUPE online clothing store, or through the National Women’s Task Force.
June Special Days!
- Clean Air Day - June 6th
- National Child Care Conference - June 15th to 17th (Halifax)
- National Aboriginal Day - June 21st