Caretakers in Nipawin schools vote overwhelmingly to join CUPE

Caretakers in public schools in the town of Nipawin have voted overwhelmingly to unionize with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). On May 2, 2017, the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board issued a certification order that brings a dozen more workers into CUPE Local 4875, which represents more than 300 education support workers in the North East School Division.

Since last fall, when the provincial government commissioned a report on education restructuring, standard concerns around job security, wages, and benefits have been heightened for workers in K‑12 education.

Mediated talks scheduled to start May 4th in labour dispute between CUPE and CHS

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 2073, representing 227 striking workers at the Canadian Hearing Society (CHS), will enter mediated talks with CHS starting May 4th, in an effort to reach a resolution to the eight-week old labour dispute. The talks will be facilitated by third party mediator John Stout.

The parties agree that public communications on the substance and process of these mediated talks will be suspended for as long as talks continue.

Marystown municipal workers to take strike vote May 4

In Newfoundland and Labrador, the members of CUPE 1896, Marystown municipal workers, will take a strike vote on Thursday, May 4, to send a message asking town council to return to the bargaining table to negotiate a fair contract. Members were upset to learn that their wages were negotiated in council chambers without the union’s bargaining team present, late last year.

After serving notice to bargain in September 2016, the union finally had the opportunity to begin negotiations with the employer in January 2017.

Pallister’s P3 schools plan lacks transparency, accountability

Tuesday, Premier Brian Pallister announced the construction of four new schools in Manitoba to be designed, built, financed and maintained through a Public-Private Partnership (P3) model.

“Pallister isn’t telling the whole story when he tries to pitch P3s to Manitobans,” says Kelly Moist, President of CUPE Manitoba. “P3s in other jurisdictions have cost more in the long-run, with less accountability over taxpayers’ dollars.”

Corner Brook town hall calls for new health facilities to stay public

Participants at a town hall meeting in Corner Brook, NL were clear their community needs a new hospital and expanded seniors’ care – but that it must stay public.

The forum focused on the Ball government’s proposal to privatize a long-term care facility and hospital in Corner Brook by using a public-private partnership (P3). Plans are in the early stages, and speakers emphasized it’s not too late to keep the facilities fully public.

May is Asian Heritage Month

May is Asian Heritage Month. As we celebrate, we also take this opportunity to honour the activism of people of Asian descent for human rights and social justice in Canada. It’s important for each of us to reflect on how diverse struggles against oppression strengthen us as a labour movement and in our communities.

Pacific Blue Cross workers file 72-hour strike notice

CUPE Local 1816, representing more than 600 employees of the benefits provider Pacific Blue Cross (PBC), filed 72-hour strike notice today, putting the union in a possible strike position on Thursday (May 4).

The parties met on Sunday to try and reach a fair collective agreement, but there remain significant differences regarding retiree benefits and wages.

“We are still in the process of trying to resolve the Employer’s application for a declaration that certain BC Life employees are engaged in essential services,” said CUPE 1816 President Beth Miller.

CUPE Education Workers’ Steering Committee launches new radio ad campaign

CUPE education workers have launched a new radio ad campaign to voice their concerns about the Sask Party’s cuts to education and Bill 63 – a new piece of legislation that removes power from school divisions and concentrates it in the hands of the Ministry of Education.

The ads are running across the province over the next week prior to the final vote on both the budget and Bill 63.

You can listen to the ads here:

CUPE members delighted by election of first woman rector at Université Laval

Members of SEUL-CUPE 2500 welcome the election of Université Laval’s first woman rector, Sophie D’Amours.

Speaking this afternoon, union president Luc Brouillette said, It was high time for a woman to hold this prestigious position, but beyond that, Madame D’Amours was named on her merits.”

Brouillette noted that D’Amours “has favoured a consensual approach, in contrast to that of the previous administration.”