In Winnipeg, CUPE 2719 and CUPE 3729 long-term care workers took action for better staffing levels in long-term care facilities in October. Members held information pickets, rallied with unions from across the province at the legislature, and met with theprovincial health minister. CUPE members also showed solidarity on the picket line with striking United Food and Commercial Workers long-term care workers in September.
CUPE Saskatchewan held community barbecues in the summer to highlight the high cost of hospital laundry privatization for communities, patients and residents. Residents, allies from the community and other unions in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Weyburn, and Yorkton enjoyed barbecues and heard from laundry workers about the services they provide. On November 20, National Child Day, CUPE social services workers met in Toronto to fight cutbacks in programs and services for children. Members shared their experiences and strengthened their campaign for increased program funding. They took their message to the Ontario legislature, where they handed out blue National Child Day ribbons, and lobbied MPPs. MPP Cindy Forster received unanimous consent for her motion for MPPs to wear blue ribbons.
CUPE 1252, the New Brunswick Council of Hospital Unions, launched a major campaign against government budget cuts. The cuts have already hit laundry services, with four hospitals closing their laundries and trucking dirty linens to other facilities. With dirty laundry piling up, CUPE is highlighting the problems and organizing town hall meetings to resist further cuts.
Montreal’s outside municipal workers connected the dots between contracting out and corruption in their Nettoyons Montréal (Let’s clean up Montreal) campaign. CUPE 301 members used the municipal election campaign to highlight the value of internal know-how, as well as the added transparency, efficiency and lower costs of bringing work back in house. Health and social services workers in Quebec launched the next phase of a major campaign to shine a spotlight on the sector’s unsung heroes. CUPE’s Conseil provincial des affaires sociales has coined the phrase “care-facilitator” to describe the thousands of workers who are vital to the health and well-being of people who rely on the public health and social services network. The CPAS ran a major awareness-raising TV ad campaign in February.
A coalition of frontline school board workers used the opening of the fall legislative session to speak out about Alberta’s ongoing education cuts. CUPE and Uniformembers warned the cuts are undermining the ability of schools to provide safe, productive learning environments for Alberta’s K-12 students. NDP education critic Deron Bilous joined CUPE at the Kids not Cuts event.