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Cleaning won’t be privatized in Okanagan hospital P3s

A BC health authority has decided that two new P3 hospitals will have in-house cleaning.

The move will save 250 decent jobs, according to Hospital Employees’ Union secretary-business manager Judy Darcy.

In this era of superbugs, hospital housekeeping is critical to the health and safety of patients and workers,” Darcy said.

Darcy noted that The Interior Health Authority’s request for proposals for its Vernon Jubilee and Kelowna General hospitals still includes an option to privatize maintenance work.

Earlier versions of the RFP had contemplated contracted out cleaning services too.

Obviously we’re disappointed that they did not exclude these highly skilled and experienced workers from the RFP, but we hope to change their minds during the procurement process,” Darcy said.

Thai plane crash claims CUPE Local 15 member

A CUPE Local 15 member is among the 88 people killed in a plane crash last week in Phuket, Thailand.  Thirty-one-year-old Larisa Fayed was described by a colleague as “beautiful, talented and brilliant”.

She worked for the last nine years at Roundhouse Community Centre in Vancouver, BC, as a technical director, a general technician and lighting designer for big events, rentals and shows.  Larisa also worked as a Park Board auxiliary employee.

Her co-workers will remember her as “a vibrant personality, knowledgeable in many things and an expert in her area as a lighting designer”.

National Executive Board boosts support for District Councils

At its quarterly meeting in June, the National Executive Board approved new supports for CUPE’s district councils.

The NEB decision:

· provides more money for district councils’ community projects, campaigns and other activities;
· provides district councils with regular information and updates;
· plans an educational course for CUPE district councils.

For more information, see:


Throne Speech must deal with child care

The Conservative government admitted this week its child care policy is unworkable.  This isn’t news to child care advocates but maybe now it means there may be room to change, says CUPE National President Paul Moist.

I urge the opposition parties to press this minority government into a commitment to fix the problem by making early learning and child care one of the deal-breaking issues as they push for changes to next month’s speech from the throne,” Moist said.

Moist said the Tories could take their lead from Bill C-303, the NDP’s Early Learning and Child Care Act.  The bill, which has the support of all three opposition parties, will return to the House this fall for third and final reading.

Restoring the more than $1 billion a year that Stephen Harper cut and making Bill C-303 the law would be the first steps towards shortening the waiting lists for spaces and giving parents and children the care they need,” he adds.

New national office opens in November

The new, environmentally friendly CUPE National Office will open in November 2007.

The union expects the new Stan Little building – at 1375 St. Laurent Boulevard in Ottawa’s east end – to earn a gold rating on the LEED standard for environmental construction.

New CUPE offices in other communities across Canada are also being built with the environment in mind.

The health and well being of Canadians is at the forefront of what CUPE members do,” said CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer Claude Généreux,  “So, it’s natural that we would want our brand new national office to be a shining example of a healthy building.”

Mediation and medium roast for striking Vancouver workers

A Vancouver fair trade coffee distributor is giving striking civic workers a discount on coffee.  Café Etico, whose employees are members of CUPE Local 1004, is offering a special discounted price of $8 per bag of its fine quality Latin American coffees for members of CUPE Locals 1004, 15 and 391.

It’s a small gesture, but it’s something we can do to show solidarity with our brothers and sisters who have been on the picket lines for so long now,” says Café Etico’s Kirsten Daub.

Meanwhile, all three striking locals have agreed to mediation with non-binding recommendations.

The parties have agreed that they will then submit the mediator’s recommendations to the management and the unions’ membership for acceptance or rejection by vote.

A media blackout remains in place for all discussions.

:jr/cope 491