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CUPE’s 2007 Federal Budget Summary

Harper’s second budget is clearly targeted as an election-ready budget aimed at strengthening their foothold in the middle: middle-income, middle of the country, and middle of the political spectrum. But underneath the pretty packaging, the budget reinforces the Conservatives’ stealth agenda to weaken national social programs and diminish the role of public services in Canada. This approach aims to turn the federal government into little more than a tax collection and cheque-clearing agency for anything outside what they see as an area of “core federal responsibility”. Read CUPE’s analysis here: http://www.cupe.ca/budget. Watch our promotional animation outlining what is wrong with the budget here: www.cupe.ca/bagoftricks.

Public water is a right: WWD 2007

On March 22nd, water activists around the world celebrate their victories and renew their struggle to ensure public water services for all. Delegates to CUPE’s 1997 national convention identified water privatization as our next big fight. This year, we join national and international allies in the call to recognize safe, accessible public water services as a fundamental right. For more information, and to take action see: http://www.cupe.ca/water.

Paul Moist in the Globe and Mail

CUPE National President Paul Moist says: “If people must pay to pollute, they will opt to pollute less.” Moist is a cosignatory on a March 21st editorial in the Globe and Mail. He adds that it is “absurd, unethical and reckless not to use the most effective tool that we have: the market” to combat climate change. To read the editorial, co-signed by Beatrice Olivastri and David Butterfield, see our website here:http://www.cupe.ca/environment.

New video spotlights disability issues

It started as an idea during a breakfast discussion: a simple tool to inform, educate and stimulate activism on issues facing members with disabilities. The result: an eight-minute video that received a standing ovation when it premiered at last November’s National Human Rights conference. It features candid interviews with PWDNWG members, who speak movingly about the barriers and discrimination they face. It also shows how the union can make a difference when it takes up the cause. For more information, see: http://www.cupe.ca/disability.

Strike at Durham School Board over workload

Twenty-one hundred educational assistants (EAs), custodial, maintenance, office, clerical and technical staff at Durham Public School Board walked the picket line at 7:00 am, Wednesday, March 21st, following the board’s failure to deal with workload and other issues in mediation talks. High population growth in the Durham region and chronic underfunding by the provincial government have led to increased workloads, while board management has failed to increase staff or hours of work accordingly. See the full story at: http://www.cupe.ca/strikes.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

We like to believe that we live in a country free from racism. However, our own Prime Minister thinks that there is no need for Employment Equity initiatives geared towards ensuring that our workforce is as diverse as our population. We like to think of Canada as a place to which people from all over the world can move to find the same opportunities as those who were born here. Unfortunately, the numbers tell a different story. To get a fuller picture of the labour reality for new Canadians, and to find out what you can do, see: http://www.cupe.ca/racism.

Paul Moist walks the line with striking U of T Press

The chill in the air couldn’t dampen the spirits of CUPE 3261 members as they walked the line with brother Paul Moist in Toronto on March 20th. Our national president hand-delivered a cheque for $1,867.40 to the local, from donations at the Saskatchewan Division Convention, matched by CUPE National. “You’re not alone in your struggle,” said Moist. “You’ve got the backing of 560,000 CUPE members across Canada.” To see pictures of our president with local 3261, see: http://www.cupe.ca/strikes.

Operation Friendship staff approve contract

The staff of Operation Friendship Seniors Society, members of CUPE 474, approved a new two-year contract yesterday by a majority of the members. The agreement includes major wage increases for all staff with the largest increases going to the lowest paid staff. CUPE Local 474 is a component union representing custodial workers with Edmonton Public Schools and Black Gold School District, and all support staff with the Salvation Army and Operation Friendship Seniors Society. For more information, see: http://cupealberta.ab.ca.

March’s Special Days:

  • Federal Budget - March 19th
  • International Day for the Elimination of Racism - March 21st
  • World Water Day - March 22nd
  • Alberta Division Convention - March 22nd
  • New Brunswick Division Convention - March 29th

FastFacts in your inbox!

Did you know you can get FastFacts by email? To sign up for this service, please send an email to clandry@cupe.ca. Make sure to include your name, local number, email address and province. If you were receiving FastFacts by fax, also include your fax number so that we may delete your name from the fax list.