Warning message

Please note that this page is from our archives. There may be more up-to-date content about this topic on our website. Use our search engine to find out.

The “Ten year Medicare plan” is hurting 

The Federal and Provincial governments’ ten year plan for Medicare is seriously off the rails, Paul Moist told a parliamentary committee May 13.  The plan, established in February 2003 at a meeting of first ministers, was supposed to strengthen health care over the next ten years. 

But what has happened is quite different: 
* No information or accountability
* For-profit delivery doubling
* Wait time strategy for commercialization of Medicare
* 38 Public-private partnership hospitals planned or underway in four provinces
* Hospital cleaning contracting out
* Home care:  falls far short of what’s needed
* Health care human resources:  needs ethics
* Aboriginal health:  planned improvements in limbo
* Pharmaceutical strategy stalled 

Instead, CUPE recommends: 
* Enforce the Canada Health Act
* Establish a national long term care program
* Implement a public-sector only wait time strategy
* Establish a national pharmacare program
* Create a national infrastructure fund
* Follow through on Aboriginal Health.
* Establish a national strategy on healthcare acquired infections
* A health human resources strategy that offers better working conditions
* Primary health care reform 

Pensions versus P3s at trustees’ meeting

From across the country pension trustees came to Ottawa this week to equip themselves with good ideas.

The conference featured three reknowned speakers.  Lawyer and pension expert Murray Gold highlighted three challenges facing pension plans:  their qualitative and quantitative development, better regulation of financial markets as well as the fight against P3s.

UQAM professor Éric Pineault looked at the inner workings and disastrous effects of P3s.

Financial analyst and whistle blower Diane Urquhart showed that Canada urgently needs to crack down on financial crimes.

Studies say: Don’t sell Toronto Hydro Telecom

The City of Toronto and Toronto Hydro Corporation should keep Toronto Hydro Telecom as a publicly owned asset and put it to work for the city and its residents, three expert reports say. 

Pauline Niles, President of CUPE 1 – the reports’ sponsor which represents 27 unionized employees at Telecom as well as 1,250 employees of Toronto Hydro, says the recommendations could save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. 

“Selling Telecom is a one-shot deal that will provide some immediate cash for the City,” she said.  “But the return will be only a portion of its value, once the brokers and banks take their share, and a sale can never be undone.  Once this public asset is gone, it’s gone forever.”

Hydro Québec: Wind power is public 

CUPE workers at Hydro-Québec have condemned the government’s decision to hand wind power production contracts to private corporations. 

The four locals, representing 17,500 Hydro-Québec workers, are calling for public production and control of all electricity in the province. 

The unions have been campaigning to develop wind energy as a public asset.  The campaign emphasizes how Québec benefited from the nationalization of hydroelectric power.

Peterborough nursing home residents get less care than government claims 

You can do a lot to help someone in 39 minutes. 

That’s the gap in care time between what the government claims each resident in one Peterborough Ontario nursing home gets and what CUPE knows to be the case. 

Government figures on care levels are based on all hours paid to workers.  But those hours include paid vacation, sick leave, and short term leave. 

When CUPE Ontario did the calculations to include actual hours worked, the picture appeared worse than the 2.9 hours per resident per day figure the government touts. 

Residents at St. Joseph’s receive an average of 2.25 hours of care, while Fairhaven residents receive 2.28 hours.

But even if the care ratios were as good as the government claims, that would still fall short of the 3.5 hour per day care ratios in place in other provinces, says Candace Rennick. 

Rennick - who works at St. Joseph’s at Fleming – is a CUPE Ontario Vice President.  “More staff on the night shift would mean we could move from a completely unacceptable staff ratio of two workers for 50 residents to something more appropriate,” she said.

CUPE to fight layoffs at Cape Breton University 

CUPE 3131 says it will fight recently announced layoffs at Cape Breton University.

CUPE 3131 President Bruno McInnis says university managers based their plans to lay people off on a possible drop in enrolment over the next three years. 

“They have targeted staff that provide direct services to students, while completely avoiding cuts to the ranks of management,” he said. 

McInnis also said CUPE members were being given too little time to consider the administration’s early retirement package.

PEI school buses grounded 

PEI’s school boards pulled their 320 buses off the roads this week to check them for rust, after years of ignoring warnings from CUPE members. 

The problem was found in one bus during a routine inspection.  Rust that started in the vehicle’s wheel well had made it all the way through to the passenger compartment. 

When mechanics found similar problems in other older buses, the ministry of transportation decided to inspect the entire fleet, and keep about a third of the buses – all built before 1994 – off the road for repairs. 

CUPE 1145 President Myles Noye said the local has been pushing the board to replace its buses every 12 years.

:te/cope 491