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CUPE 855 settles with Kawartha Lakes

CUPE 855 members voted March 20th to ratify a tentative agreement with the City of Kawartha Lakes, Ontario, ending their 46-day old strike.  The 430 workers went on strike on February 4th over contracting out and age discrimination.

Our fight is not finished,” said CUPE 855 president
Lyn Edwards.  “The province’s legislation to allow workers to continue working past the age of 65 was fundamentally flawed, turning mandatory retirement into mandatory discrimination.”

Edwards said the local will look at legal challenges and other means to ensure workers get equal benefits and working conditions when they turn 65.

The four-year contract will expire December 31, 2011.

Paul Moist to rally with Victoria’s locked out library workers March 25th

Paul Moist will be in Victoria on March 25th to support locked out library workers, and attend a march and rally for pay equity, along with CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill.

Public services: tools for fighting poverty

Taps, toilets, clinics and education play a fundamental role in fighting poverty and securing equality rights for women,” says Robert Fox, the executive director of Oxfam Canada.

Speaking at the CUPE Saskatchewan convention this week, Fox said:  “The fact that one-third of the people on this planet don’t have access to a toilet or latrine has a huge impact on their health, their life and their capacity to be active citizens in their own communities.”

Fox criticized the Harper government for its attempts at the UN to block a global convention that would declare water a basic human right.

We must hold the Harper government accountable for its action at the UN,” Fox said.
“The right to clean water and other public services are not a privilege.  They are not a gift. They are a right that we have as human beings and as citizens.”

Lanovaz urges more activism on CUPE Alberta

CUPE Alberta president D’Arcy Lanovaz made an impassioned plea with delegates to get more politically active.

The Alberta Division convention was filled with stories and resolutions highlighting why CUPE members must take the president’s message seriously.  Local and national leaders spoke with one voice about the disastrous effects of privatization being felt in Canada and around the world.

On the heels of the regional anti-privatization committee report, the convention screened a short video demonstrating CUPE’s potential for halting, even pushing back privatization.  The domino-themed video received a standing ovation.

Université de Montréal: $15 million for pay equity

CUPE 1244 members at the Université de Montréal will finally see some money - at least $10,000 each for a full time employee - from a pay equity complaint filed in 1996.

The settlement - which will cost the university about $15 million - covers wage discrimination between 1996 and 2001.

Both union and university are still engaged in joint studies on post-2001 wage discrimination.

The union couldn’t conceal its satisfaction. “We are proud of this agreement,” said CUPE 1244 pay equity officer Sylvie Goyer.  “We salute the efforts of those who worked on this settlement and the willingness of the university to reach a settlement rather than get bogged down in a lengthy legal battle.”

The week in settlements

· CUPE 4705 –over seventy workers within Greater Sudbury Utilities reached a tentative agreement with management on March 17th.

· CUPE 4580 – graduate assistants and teaching assistants at the University of Windsor, Ontario ratified a new collective agreement on March 18th.

· CUPE 2655 –representing 26 workers at Queen’s daycare in Kingston, Ontario, reached an agreement with management of the daycare.

· CUPE 1334 – trades, maintenance and service workers at the University of Guelph ratified their collective agreement on March 20th.

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