In 2013, CUPE funded 57 campaigns jointly with locals or divisions, for a total of $3.2 million in cost-shared campaign work. We also invested $2.5 million in local, provincial and national anti-privatization work. Together, we spoke out and stood up for many services.
Here are some highlights: In Victoria, CUPE 50 supported a community group to protect the publicly-operated Crystal Pool from a plan that opened the door to privatization. CUPE 50 was also successful in lobbying Victoria City Council to continue providing backyard garbage pickup—an important service for residents living with mobility challenges.
In Winnipeg, CUPE 500’s antiprivatization campaign scored a significant victory in the spring. Thanks to months of community work, and a strong public awareness campaign, the city’s municipal workers stopped the sale and lease of Winnipeg’s publicly owned and operated golf courses.
For the first time, school bus service will be provided by eight CUPE 1560 members in the metro area of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. In August, the school district approached the local with a one-year pilot project to contract in bus transportation. All busing in the region used to be contracted out to independent operators.
Quebec City’s dispute over garbage privatization ended in June, with an arbitrator ruling in favour of the city’s outside municipal workers. The arbitrator ordered the city to pay CUPE 1638 more than $1.5 million in compensation. The city’s waste management services were privatized in 2010, violating the collective agreement. The blue-collar workers are alsofighting the privatization of horticultural and janitorial work.
CUPE Alberta worked with the residents of three Edmonton housing co-ops and the provincial NDP to win a partial reversal of home care privatization. The co-ops had been managing home care for disabled residents until the provincial government decided to contract out care to for-profit operators. A targeted public campaign forced the government to scrap its plans for the three co-ops.
Workers from the Hamilton Children’s Aid Society, members of CUPE 3042 and 3899, successfully campaigned to preserve services for at-risk children and youth. The members stopped shutdown days scheduled at the agency due to provincial underfunding. The workers will continue to raise awareness about underfunding and cuts, and push the Liberal government for adequate funding.