Rising to the challenge: the new Ontario School Board Council of Unions

Mary Unan | CUPE Communications

This March, CUPE’s education workers in Ontario will hold the inaugural convention of their official new bargaining structure, the Ontario School Board Council of Unions (OSBCU).

When the council bargains centrally in 2019, it will represent 55,000 members employed by school boards in the province – CUPE’s largest bargaining table.

New budget provides more staff support for our members

Charles Fleury | National Secretary-Treasurer

Our members face attacks on all fronts as they work hard delivering services to the public. To support them and the services they provide, CUPE invests the majority of its resources in staffing.

The battle against privatization and other measures that undermine the work of members across the country is significant. Having well-trained staff available to help our locals with campaigns and help uphold their collective agreements, is money well spent.

Libraries fight back in Saskatchewan

Andrew Loewen | CUPE Communications

2017 was a momentous year for library workers and their communities in Saskatchewan.

The March 2017 provincial budget imposed sweeping cuts to the public sector, including a $4.8 million cut to library funding, and threatened to eliminate rural library service and gut urban library service.

In response, CUPE library workers worked with grassroots community groups and library patrons to mount one of the largest grassroots mobilizations in the province’s history.

Let’s end waste and use glass

Lisa Djevahirdjian | CUPE Communications

A mere 14 per cent of the glass that people place in recycling bins or bags is actually recycled. Most of it ends up at the dump. To remedy this, Quebec CUPE members have launched a campaign called Glass: an end to waste / I sign for deposits.

CUPE 3535, which represents Quebec liquor board (SAQ) workers, together with the United Steelworkers, representing workers at the Owens-Illinois glassworks, and in conjunction with the CSN, has launched a campaign to return bottles of wine and spirits.

Profiting from community needs: Social services and the threat of social impact bonds

Karin Jordan | CUPE Communications

Social services are invaluable to the health and well-being of our communities.

Governments provide funding directly to social services agencies to help people in the community. Agencies do that in many ways, including improved literacy rates, better health outcomes, and fewer people in prison.

Zika Virus Disease

Recently, a new disease known as Zika virus disease (Zika) has gained world-wide attention. First diagnosed in the 1950’s in Central Africa, it has recently made headlines with significant outbreaks in South American, Central America, and Caribbean Nations. Having been completely unseen in the western hemisphere, there has been little to no exposure to the virus by the general population, leading to low immunity and a high rate of infection.

The UN’s Pan American Health Organization keeps an up-to-date map of the currently infected areas of North and South America.