CUPE representatives to speak at EI Service Quality Review consultations in Halifax

CUPE representatives from Nova Scotia will speak at an upcoming public town hall session, as part of the federal government’s Employment Insurance Service Quality Review. The session will take place:

Tuesday, July 19
Time: 1:30 to 3 p.m.
Place: Ministers’ regional office, 1801 Hollis Street, 12th Floor, Suite 1210, Halifax, NS

Atlantic Canadians encounter too many challenges when trying to access Employment Insurance. This includes the inadequate number of Service Canada workers and the amount of workers that are in temporary positions, which negatively impacts service delivery.

CUPE Nova Scotia President Nan McFadgen says, “More staff are needed in Service Canada centres who can meet face-to-face and are knowledgeable about the issues facing workers in specific occupations, sectors and regions.”

CUPE also encourages members to participate in the review by completing the online survey available on the Service Canada website.

The Liberal government’s 2016 budget includes $92 million to make improvements to the administration of the program. A summary report of the feedback received during the consultations will be released this later this year.

For more information, please contact:

Nan McFadgen
President, CUPE NS
(902) 759-3231 (m)

Colleen Reynolds
CUPE Communications Representative
(613) 203-2253 (m)
creynolds@cupe.ca

Halifax Civic Workers vote in favour of strike action

Members of CUPE 108 Unit 1, outside municipal workers employed by the City of Halifax, gave their union a strong strike vote on July 14, 2016.

“When we explained to our members how little effort the employer made to sit down with us and negotiate, the members were understandably frustrated and disappointed,” says CUPE 108 President Mark Cunningham.

“The last thing we want is a disruption of Halifax’s outdoor municipal services to the residents of Halifax. Hopefully this will motivate the City to agree to discuss the issues that are important to our members and to negotiate a fair collective agreement.”

Negotiations are set to resume the first week of August and the CUPE Local 108 negotiations committee is committed to bargain with the employer for a fair contract.

CUPE 108, Halifax Civic Workers, are outside workers employed by the Halifax Regional Municipality. There are over 300 members in Unit 1 including labourers, facility maintainers, gardeners, utility workers, storepersons, traffic sign and marking technicians, painters, building trades persons, fleet trades persons, engine room operators, chief plant operators, and plant operators including arena, rink, and pool.

CUPE at Truro’s first-ever Pride

CUPE Pride TruroTruro’s first-ever Pride march will take place Saturday, July 16 at 2 p.m. Join CUPE Nova Scotia and friends as we march down the streets of Truro in support of our LGBTTI members and community!

Several hundred people and more than 50 groups have already registered to march in the parade. Starting at the Truro Welcome Centre, the parade will go down Prince Street and finish at the Farmer’s Market. The march will be followed by a BBQ and celebration.

Come help us decorate our new CUPE Nova Scotia van and hand out Pride swag!

CUPE members and friends: please meet us at the Truro Welcome Centre located at 9 Commercial Street at 1 p.m.

CUPE is a proud advocate for LGBTTI rights. Our  is to fight against discrimination and hate in our workplaces and in our communities. Through the work of our National Pink Triangle Committee, CUPE Nova Scotia Human Rights Committee and coalition partners, we’ve helped make strides for LGBTTI people in Canada and internationally. We work every day to ensure our LGBTTI members can work in a discrimination and harassment-free environment.

#2016TruroPride #LoveWins

Wage increases for ECE’s welcome, but most relief will go to for-profit centres – CUPE Nova Scotia

childcare

The union representing most unionized child care workers in Nova Scotia is welcoming the province’s new wages for ECE’s, but says most of the wage relief will actually go to the owners of private centres.

CUPE Child Care Co-ordinator Naomi Stewart says, “There is definitely some good news here for ECE’s and the sector, but primarily for the lowest paid employees who tend to be in the for-profit centres.

The union says some of the good news includes:

  • A recognition that the Early Childhood Educators are professionals
  • Increased training requirements, so that by 2021 all ECE’s will have to have much higher levels of training
  • An emphasis on quality education in the early years
  • Ongoing consultation with stakeholders

“What is disappointing,” says Stewart, “is that many of the ECE’s in the unionized centres – all of which are non-profit centres – will not benefit nearly as much from the wage increases. New hires will benefit, but the longest serving, most experienced ECE’s will not.”

CUPE Nova Scotia President Nan McFadgen says, “Any new money going to ECE’s is a good thing and something we’ve been fighting for for decades. But with this new wage model, the McNeil government seems to have let the private operators – who’ve been paying the lowest wages and who put us in this predicament in the first place – off the hook.

“They’ve tied provincial grants to base wage rates, which is good, but they’ve done nothing to move us toward a universal, public child care system which is what needs to happen to fix the ongoing problems with the sector,” says McFadgen.

CUPE says approximately 60% of the child care centres in Nova Scotia are privately-owned and run for profit.  CUPE represents ECE’s in six centres in Halifax and in Bridgewater.

CUPE NS President elected as VP at Large for NSFL

CUPE NS President Nan McFadgen has been elected as Vice President at Large for the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour (NSFL). She is also now the Regional Vice President on CUPE’s National Executive Board (NEB).

At the same NSFL Executive Board meeting in Port Hawkesbury today, Hugh Gillis (NSGEU) was elected the new Fed treasurer and Jason MacLean (NSGEU) the new First VP.

 

 

Sharon Hubley wins TIR’s Carrick Award

CUPE Local 1867 Executive member Sharon Hubley has been awarded the 2015 Carrick Award, which is given to a Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) employee for their diversity work.

In giving Sister Hubley the award, Minister Geoff MacLellan said, “This award is presented to you in recognition of your dedication and hard work in the area of Diversity. Your efforts in this area are a great support to making TIR a workplace of choice for all. Thank you for your commitments and continued efforts.”

Hubley, who is also the Chair of the CUPE NS Women’s Committee, recently took part in a CUPE-sponsored trip to Bangladesh, where she saw firsthand the abysmal working conditions that lead to one of the worst industrial tragedies ever, the 2012 fire in Dahka that killed 117 workers and injured more than 200 others.

She shared her experience with a presentation to delegates of the 2016 convention in Yarmouth.

(Sharon Hubley, pictured in the centre below, with members of NS Women’s Committee)

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Important Message for Fort McMurray municipal workers

cupe AB

CUPE Alberta has asked us to post the following message, which is intended for municipal workers from Fort Mac who may currently be home in Nova Scotia:

Following the devastation of the Fort McMurray fires, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo sent out an ‘Intent to Return to Work’ form to be filled out by all employees with a mandatory form return date of May 27.  These workers are represented by CUPE Local 1505.

CUPE Alberta President Marle Roberts has asked that we send you the following link to our website CUPE.ca, with a request that it be re-posted on your own division website.

http://cupe.ca/notice-municipal-workers-cupe-1505-fort-mcmurray

CUPE successful in organizing early intervention employees across Nova Scotia

childcareCUPE Nova Scotia is welcoming employees who work in early intervention services across the province into the union.

CUPE Early Childhood Education Co-ordinator Naomi Stewart says, “We are very pleased to hear from the Labour Board today that our efforts to organize about 80 employees who work in the new provincial board have been a success.”

These employees will join the existing CUPE Local which had been in place at the Progress Centre in Halifax, Local 5054.

Early intervention programs in Nova Scotia deliver services for young children who are diagnosed with, or are at risk of, developmental delay. As a result of the province’s recent review, a new board was created – Nova Scotia Early Childhood Development Intervention Services.

Says Stewart, “We are very pleased that these employees have chosen to join CUPE and we look forward to working on their behalf to develop a sound working relationship with their employer and their funder, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

CUPE Nova Scotia President Nan McFadgen says, “We are certainly encouraged that Minister Karen Casey provided funding in October, 2015 to help address low wages for early interventionists.

“This is welcome news for these highly-qualified and hard-working employees. Clearly, they felt they needed a union to help them pursue more equitable wages and working conditions,” says McFadgen.

CUPE reaches deal with Adsum House that gives staff the CCPA ‘living wage’ for Halifax

The union representing employees at Adsum House, a women’s shelter in Halifax, says a new contract reached with the employer provides some immediate improvements for staff.

CUPE National Representative Todd MacPherson says, “A really positive part of this process is that management wanted its workers to have a living wage in Halifax that was actually developed by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA-NS).”

Other highlights of the deal include:

  • Increases in the hourly wage in the first year ranging from 8.9% for most classifications to 18.5% for the classification of Household Co-ordinator
  • A five-year contract with all the other years having a 1% increase in each year
  • Increase in the holiday article with the inclusion of Heritage Day
  • Inclusion of common-law partner and same sex spouse in the bereavement leave
  • Improvements to the job posting language
  • The ability for an employee to leave the workplace because of a traumatic event with no loss of pay