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Federal budget lacks job plan

Despite its pledge to ‘lead the way on jobs and growth,’ this budget lacks a plan to put Canadians back to work,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist after the 2010 Federal Budget was tabled on Thursday, March 4.

The federal budget signalled plans to forge ahead with Advantage Canada, a government blueprint introduced in 2006 calling for increased deregulation, corporate tax cuts, privatization and aggressive free trade.

Advantage Canada relies heavily on the same laissez-faire policies that contributed to the global economic meltdown.  It’s hard to understand how these same policies will create good jobs in Canada,” said Moist.

Learn more about the 2010 Federal Budget b y visiting www.cupe.ca.  Read CUPE economist Toby Sanger’s overview analysis and summary, and scan detailed fact sheets outlining the impact of the budget, and the better choices that could have been made.

Take action, plan for April 28

CUPE is calling on members, locals, and labour councils across Canada to take action to fight for the elimination of injuries and fatalities at work.  On April 28, the Day of Mourning, we encourage all locals to take part in area activities through your local labour councils and community organizations.

The Day of Mourning was created through the work of CUPE’s National Health and Safety Committee, adopted by the Canadian Labour Congress and is now recognized in more than 100 countries around the world.  The Day of Mourning reminds us that we need stronger legislation and more enforcement officers to hold employers accountable for worker health.  Here’s what you can do:

• Use April 28 to spread the word and take action by bringing workplace hazards to the forefront in your workplace.
• Contact CUPE’s National Health and Safety Branch for April 28 materials (bookmark, poster, workers’ statement, checklist, flag and t-shirt order forms).
• Organize an event in your community or workplace using April 28 materials.
• Work with your union local stewards.

Visit www.cupe.ca for more details.

Canadian women still waiting for action on child care

Three-quarters of women in Canada want child care yet there are spaces for fewer than 20% of the women who need it.  In a recent study, Canada ranked last out of 25 countries on access to child care.

CUPE National’s Equality Director Maureen Morrison is part of the Canadian labour delegation gathered this week in New York at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women meeting.

In this webcast from the UNCSW, Morrison, a child care activist for 30 years, speaks with Mira Hill, who also wants Canada to adopt an accessible, universal child care program.  Hill is from the Centre for Northern Families in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

Listen to the podcast:  http://cupe.ca/child-care/canadian-women-waiting-action-child

Minister blocked gay rights mention in guide

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney blocked references to LGBTTI rights in a new study guide for immigrants, which was released last November.  News of the actions taken by Kenney, who opposed same-sex marriage when it was debated in Parliament, has just become public.

Canada has been a leader in rights for LGBTTI persons.  We guarantee same-sex spousal pensions and benefits.  We have equal rights to marriage.  These are hard won rights that Canadians and CUPE members are proud of and should be recognized in documents that our federal government produces.

Tell Jason Kenney that equal rights are an important part of being Canadian.  Use CUPE’s online action centre to send an e-mail to Jason Kenney today.


Liberals further the divide in B.C. with 2010 Budget

With its first post-Olympics budget, the BC Liberal government is worsening economic polarization and providing little relief to rural communities suffering from the economic crisis, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

This government talks a great line about ‘partnerships’ and ‘innovation’ when it comes to overseas investors and private development incentives, but not when it comes to strengthening our local economies,” said CUPE BC President Barry O’Neill.

O’Neill noted that corporate income tax revenues are down 36.4%.

This year’s budget provides no increase to post-secondary funding.  It allocates
$1.8 billion for post-secondary funding in 2010/11 – the same as last year.  Furthermore, last year’s cuts to funding for public libraries are not being restored; nor are the annual facilities grants for the K-12 sector fully restored.

“This budget reveals a government that is coasting through the economic crisis,” said O’Neill.  “With unemployment doubling from last year, continued cuts to the public sector, and working families facing a jobless economic recovery, the Liberals should have used this budget to rebuild B.C.

Hospital privatization failed in Britain, will fail in Ontario

Ontarians should be alarmed that the Liberal government is planning a radical restructuring of health care “premised not on quality of care and best practices, but solely on which hospital can do their surgeries most cheaply,” says Michael Hurley, the president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU).

In the Legislature, neither the health minister Deb Matthews, or the Premier denied their government is moving forward on a plan based on a consultant’s report that would reduce local access to services and force hospitals to compete for funding based on a pricing system, after the release of a media report detailing the back-room plan.

If implemented, competition between hospitals would be a “fundamental shift in how care is delivered - a shift that has proven disastrous wherever it has been tried, in Britain and in Ontario,” says Hurley who points to the Liberal’s privatization of home care and of
e-health as clear examples of failure.

Rotating strike a success for Montréal’s outside workers

On Friday, March 5, Montréal’s outside workers ended their 40-day rotating strike that began on January 25.  In the opinion of their union, they can now say “mission accomplished”.  “Without a doubt we have completed a perfect exercise in which we brought pressure to bear on the Tremblay administration.  Throughout this strike, we remained visible, to talk about the validity of our claims, and we did this without causing any inconvenience to Montréalers”, rejoiced Michel Parent, President of CUPE 301.

The union now plans to continue working towards a contract that will be satisfactory to both parties.  To this end, it has responded to an appeal from the conciliator to return to the bargaining table on Tuesday, March 9. 

A study has deemed the City of Québec’s Hôtel-Dieu PPP to be “too risky”

A study by research-Professor Pierre J. Hamel casts doubt on the Québec government’s decision to use a public-private partnership (PPP) for the project to renovate and expand Québec City’s Hôtel-Dieu.  Among the many problems that the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) scholar raised is the fact that the PPP formula is not appropriate to the very nature of a university hospital that is duty bound to be on the leading edge of technology. 

In his 300 or so page report, the researcher concludes that “PPPs… present several serious structural problems” as to competition, transparency, inflexibility, costs and public interest. 

Katty Paradis, president of CHUQ’s employees’ union (CUPE 1108), commented on the Québec government’s equivocations on the way in which the project should be done.  “This beating around the bush has to stop.  People are anxious that this get done and, most of all, to hear that it will be done in the conventional way.”

:te/cope 491