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Understaffing” is a new “retirement concept” at BC home

HEU wants the BC government to force a private company to reverse its decision to do 115 hours less care per week at a Coquitlam BC long-term care home.

HEU also wants to see the health ministry review Retirement Concepts’ operations province-wide.

HEU represents care staff at the 153-bed Dufferin Care Centre.  The provincial government, through the Fraser Health Authority, funds 128 its beds.

Retirement Concepts subcontracts care, but tightly controls staffing decisions.  Retirement Concepts told its subcontractor to reduce staffing – mostly care aides – by about 115 hours a week, effective March 10.

HEU Secretary-Business Manager Judy Darcy wanted the review to determine if Retirement Concepts was squeezing undue profit out of the system at the expense of seniors’ quality of care.

Long term care standards closer to reality in Ontario

Furious George” may have put the question of long term care standards over the top, but workers brought it to the table.

On February 27 two long term care workers used four bottles of water to fill an adult diaper at a press conference at Queen’s Park.

It was part of a campaign long term care workers have been waging since the Mike Harris government eliminated legislated care standards in 1995.

They wanted to show how much urine had to be in a diaper before care aides were allowed to change it under current rules.

In reaction, Health minister George Smitherman mused that he might try wearing an adult diaper to show his critics their concerns – concerns his own government supposedly shares – were not founded.

Editorials and letters to the editor denounced his comments.  Some called for his resignation.

While the minister has backed away from his diaper-wearing comments, he may not escape the need to act to avoid seeming callous and uncaring.

Toronto Hydro:  Keep Telecom Public!

About 140 people defied a snowstorm for an information picket to keep Toronto Hydro Telecom public.

Toronto Hydro announced in January that it will see if anyone wanted to buy Toronto Hydro Telecom, a revenue generating company that sells fibre optic connections, and other services related to Toronto’s wireless internet network.

CUPE 1 President Pauline Niles said the Toronto Hydro board needed to consult the public on the issue.

Toronto Mayor David Miller has asked Toronto Hydro to hold off on the sale.

To support CUPE 1, visit:  http://www.keeptelecompublic.ca/.

CUPE 4840 starts a newsletter – a contract comes later

CUPE 4840, the 150 employees of the Cape Breton Regional Housing Authority, still hasn’t negotiated its first contract (tentative dates for commencing bargaining are set for early April) but has already started producing a newsletter!

CUPE National Representative John Evans says, “The Executive and Shop Stewards have been attending all kinds of workshops here in Sydney”.

Stelmach wins 87% of the seats with 53% of the votes from 41% of the people

A new conservative government in Alberta is only barely news.  They’ve done it ten times before.  But CUPE Alberta President D’Arcy Lanovaz says this week’s victory by Ed Stelmach’s party isn’t much of a mandate.

Nearly 80% of eligible voters couldn’t bring themselves to put an X beside the name of a Conservative Candidate,” said Lanovaz.  “Most leaders wouldn’t consider that something to be proud of.”

CLC to launch new campaign on the gender wage gap

The Canadian Labour Congress will renew its efforts to work against wage discrimination against women this March 8 and CUPE will be there.

The campaign – Equality Once and For All – will kick off with 30 teach-ins across the country and a website launch.

The 25 years of slow progress women have made to close the wage gap with men is being reversed.  The congress will be releasing new research that shows women make 70.5% of the wages men make.

For more see:  www.equalityonceandforall.ca.

Students, unions oppose cuts at UQAM

Campus unions and student associations at the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) came together to denounce a consultant’s report that recommends devastating cuts.

The report treats the university as a private corporation and displays a flagrant disregard for its role as a public institution, the two groups argued at a press conference this week.

The groups called on the Quebec government to intervene to support the university.

To add your voice see:  http://jappuieluqam.org/ (french only).

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