McNeil Liberals have created an unnecessary crisis for Nova Scotia labour relations: CUPE

Rally to support NSTU teachers at the NS Legislature

CUPE Nova Scotia President Nan McFadgen wants the McNeil Government to know they have created an unnecessary crisis in labour negotiations in the province. “Collective bargaining works if all parties respect the process. Our members are at bargaining tables every day, working to find solutions,” says McFadgen. “The McNeil Government, on the other hand, is attacking the hard-earned constitutional rights of workers.”

It’s important for the public to know that these attacks not only affect teachers. They also affect more than 75,000 public service employees across the province, including CUPE members who work in education, acute care, long term care, home care, and more.

“February 21st was a dark day for labour relations in Nova Scotia. By passing Bill 75, the Premier has created an atmosphere of extreme mistrust between union members and their government,” says McFadgen.

CUPE believes Bill 75 is also potentially harmful to students and workers in the Nova Scotia education system. Inclusion in our schools is important and should be looked at to find best practices and ways to improve the system. However, CUPE members who perform this work daily, are not considered under the Inclusion Committee created through Bill 75.

“A large part of the inclusion program is working with students with special needs. This work is performed by dedicated CUPE members who are educational program assistants and teacher assistants,” says Grant Dart, CUPE school board coordinator.

“CUPE members are frustrated by the Premier’s refusal to recognize the value of the jobs education workers do, including members who work in all support staff classifications within schools. CUPE members are the workers that keep the entire system working,” says Dart.

“We believe the McNeil Government’s attacks on workers’ constitutional rights will reflect poorly for the Liberals in the next provincial election,” adds McFadgen.

CUPE Nova Scotia represents more than 19,000 workers who provide public services vital to every community in the province. Members work in sectors including school boards, health care, long term care, municipalities, highways, home care, universities and social services.

CUPE Nova Scotia presents to Law Amendments Committee opposing Bill 75

Grant Dart and Nan McFadgen

On Thursday, February 17, 2017, two CUPE representatives made presentations to the Law Amendments Committee of the Nova Scotia Legislature, speaking in opposition to proposed Bill 75, the Teachers’ Professional Agreement and Classroom Improvements (2017) Act.

  • See the status of Bill 75 on the NS Legislature website

The following presentations were made by CUPE NS President Nan McFadgen and CUPE NS School Board Coordinator Grant Dart. CUPE Research Representative Carol Ferguson made the presentation before the Committee, on behalf of Grant Dart who was unable to attend the session in person. Written copies were submitted to the Committee.

CUPE Nova Scotia President Nan McFadgen

My name is Nan McFadgen and I am the President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Nova Scotia Division. CUPE is Canada’s largest union, with more than 644,000 members across the country.

In Nova Scotia, CUPE proudly represents more than 19,000 men and women working in communities throughout the province to deliver important public services in education, both school boards and post-secondary; healthcare, including hospitals, long term care and home care; municipalities; provincial highways; and community services, among other sectors of the economy.

I want to thank the members of the Law Amendments Committee for this opportunity to speak to Bill 75.

CUPE members in Nova Scotia are proud to provide services that support the development of vibrant, healthy communities and strong local economies. Our union is proud to work in support of safe workplaces and good jobs that provide a decent standard of living and that are the building blocks of thriving communities.

We are disheartened and alarmed that this government does not recognize the valuable role that unions and collective bargaining play in a democratic society. Time and again, this government has used it legislative majority to limit the rights of workers in Nova Scotia. The list is long:

Bill 19 – Trade Union Act Amendments
December 6, 2013

Gutted provisions allowing automatic access to first contract arbitration following union certification. The amendments make it much harder for workers to exercise their right to unionize and for the Labour Board to become involved in the process.

Bill 30 – Essential Home-support Services Act
February 28, 2014

When home support locals were engaged in collective bargaining, the government passed legislation to prevent the workers from striking until they had entered into essential home support services agreements with their employers. Premier McNeil inserted himself directly into the collective bargaining process publicly warning workers that if they did not accept the final offer made by the employers, the offer would be withdrawn and lower increases would be offered in future rounds of bargaining. The definition of what services were to be considered essential was far reaching, including laundry and light housekeeping.

Bill 37 – Essential Health and Community Services Act
March 31, 2014

Compelled more than 40,000 workers in acute health care, long term health care facilities, care facilities, group homes, 911 operators, ambulance services, home support, child protection and people working in homes for seniors, youth at risk and the disabled represented by seven different unions to negotiate essential services agreements with their employers six months prior to the expiry of their collective agreement or lose their right to strike.

Bill 1 – Health Authorities Act
September 29, 2014

A restructuring of the health care system reducing the number of acute health care employers from 10 to two, bargaining units from 50 to four, and banning strikes by acute health care workers during the process. A mediator/arbitrator was given authority to determine union representation; government later “fired” James Dorsey for allegedly disobeying the rules of his appointment and the terms of the legislation.

Bill 100 – Universities Accountability & Sustainability Act
April 22,2015

The legislation allows universities in the province to enter five-year “revitalization” periods, during which the right of their unionized employees to strike are banned and collective agreements of campus employees are overridden. The legislation applies to unionized cleaners, trades and maintenance workers, administrative support workers, librarians, part-time teachers and faculty, in all the provinces’ universities.

Bill 148 – Public Service Sustainability Act
December 14, 2015

This bill imposes limits on increases to the compensation rates and compensation ranges payable by public sector employers. It also limits the scope of awards at arbitration. In an unusual move, Government has passed this bill but will only make it law (proclamation) to stop a settlement or arbitration award that exceeds the bill’s provisions on wages and retirement allowances.

And now we have Bill 75 destroying the rights of teachers to free and fair collective bargaining.

All Nova Scotians pay the cost of weaker collective bargaining rights, not just those who are union members.

Unions play a key role in reducing inequality, both in the workplace and in society as a whole. As the 2008 study of 51 countries by the International Labour Organization (ILO) found, there is a strong correlation between high union density and greater income equality. The weaker unions become, the greater inequality grows.

Unions bring an important element of democracy, often termed “industrial democracy,” to the workplace. Voting on one’s wages, benefits and working conditions is significant, as is electing a bargaining team to negotiate a new collective agreement based on the issues members voted on and having the opportunity to accept or reject a new tentative settlement. The ability to grieve alleged violations of the collective agreement and resolve issues of due process is also important. Collective agreements and due process helps protect members against arbitrary decisions and work rules, unfair termination, challenge discrimination on the basis of gender or colour, promote equal pay for similar work, oppose unfair treatment and more.

The process of voting by secret ballot in a union election is similar to voting for a candidate to a provincial legislature or to the federal parliament in Ottawa.

Over the decades, labour movements in Canada and many other countries have been front and centre in the fight for democracy both in the workplace and in society. Canada signed the ILO’s Convention 87, which recognizes freedom of association and the right of workers to organize unions as fundamental human rights. Labour rights are seen quite correctly as a key component of human rights.

Across Canada unions have led the fight for the eight-hour workday, better employment or labour standards, training and income support for the unemployed, public pensions (now the Canada Pension Plan), workplace health and safety laws, minimum wages to enable poor workers to live above the poverty line, protections for injured workers, and parental and maternity benefits. In virtually every province these achievements have become common social rights extended to everyone, not only to union members.

In conclusion, CUPE Nova Scotia urges the members of the Law Amendments Committee to support labour rights and free collective bargaining as a social good and reject Bill 75.

CUPE School Board Coordinator Grant Dart

My name is Grant Dart and I am a national servicing representative with the Canadian Union of Public Employees, and I am also the coordinator for the school board sector. CUPE is Canada’s largest union, with more than 644,000 members across the country.

In Nova Scotia, CUPE proudly represents more than 4,000 school board workers, we have classification in every school board across the province. Our members are educational program assistants or teacher assistants, secretary’s, bus drivers, janitorial/custodians, mechanic’s, skilled trades, library techs, building operators, and lunch ground monitors. It varies from board to board, on which classifications of those I listed are CUPE members, but we are the support staff that keeps our schools running.

I want to thank the members of the Law Amendments Committee for this opportunity to speak to Bill 75.

I believe it is important to start by saying how opposed CUPE is to Bill 75 and the position the Government is taking by imposing a collective agreement on any union.

Collective bargaining is the cornerstone to being unionized and it works the best when both the parties engage fully in the process to find solutions that work for both sides for the issues they are facing. This incredibly important exercise is by-passed when a 3rd party imposes themselves in the process and dictates the terms to be followed.

The Government has stated publicly on a number of occasions their desire for labour peace in this province, however this Bill does the complete opposite of that. In this case members of the NSTU (not their executive, but the teachers themselves that make up the union) have on three occasions exercised their democratic right (and obligation under the Trade Union Act) to vote on a tentative agreement. All three times the members of NSTU have voted no.

Now instead of hearing that voice, the Government is imposing terms that where already rejected. Not only that, Bill 75 does not even contain all the provisions that where bargained at the table in the last attempt by the parties. For example, the wage pattern is different than what was bargained in the last tentative agreement, as well as the conditions of the service award and the committee to look at working conditions within the classrooms and schools. By including these changes within this Bill, the Government is sending the message and is showing a total disregard for the bargaining process.

For CUPE member’s I believe this sets a tone for upcoming rounds of bargaining that can only foster distrust with this government, and an adversarial approach to bargaining.

The fact that the Government is willing to take this approach with labour in this province is incredibly disheartening and troublesome. Our members do great work within this province and put their money back into it’s local economies. They deserve a voice in the bargaining process and on the terms and conditions they work under, not to have those terms dictated by a government.

As stated, CUPE believes this entire Bill and the actions of this government are wrong and harmful, but I would like to speak for a minute on one section of the Bill that is particularly troublesome for CUPE members. That is the section around the new “Inclusion Committee”. CUPE believes that inclusion in our schools is incredibly important and should be looked at to find best practices and ways to improve the system.

That being said, a large part of the inclusion program is working with students with special needs. Working with these students are what CUPE members in our educational program assistant or teacher assistant classifications do. It is our work and these members are incredibly good at their jobs. However in this Bill, CUPE, whose members perform this work daily, is not even considered as a partner.

What is worse is section 11 that reads:

11 Except for changes recommended in the interim report, until three months following the receipt by the parties of the Commission’s final report or until such other time to which the parties may agree,
(a) the Minister may not make changes to the Provincial Special Education Policy
and any policies related to inclusive education; and
(b) a school board may not make changes to any school board policy respecting
inclusive education.

This language is so broad and open ended that it has the ability to interfere with CUPE’s bargaining in the future. For example, if CUPE was to table language to try to include more classroom or supervision time for our educational program assistants or teacher assistants, this language may not allow the [school] boards to even consider those changes even if both parties agreed to do so.

This Bill cannot impact others that have the right to look towards the best interests of their professions.

In conclusion, CUPE believe this entire Bill should be rejected, but if not, at least sections 4-11 need to be re-looked at with other unions in mind and not have their rights to bargain impeded.

CUPE urges the members of the Law Amendments Committee to reject Bill 75 and ask the parties to return to bargaining table, unobstructed to reach a fairly negotiated agreement that works for all parties.
Photo: Grant Dart (left) and Nan McFadgen (right) attending the rally outside the NS Legislature on Friday, February 17, 2017

Member Update: NSTU Strike Action on Friday, February 17

CUPE members at a rally supporting teachers

As announced this past Saturday night, the McNeil Government will work to pass legislation (Bill 75) this week to end the contract dispute between their government and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, and impose a contract on the teachers.

While many may be happy to have this work dispute come to an end and to be able to get back to “normal” at our schools/workplaces this is an incredibly troublesome move by the government as it will now dictate the terms of a collective agreement. It is important to consider that, like you as CUPE members, the NSTU members have the last say through a vote on whether they accept (ratify) an agreement or not. The NSTU membership has voted and said there is not enough there, for whatever reason, to accept the proposed contract settlements brought forward.

Instead of respecting the democratic and constitutional right of the NSTU membership, the McNeil Government has decided to legislate and tell the teachers and NSTU what their next collective agreement will contain. If they can do this to the NSTU, they will have no problem doing this to CUPE sectors and locals as well. We must tell this government this is not acceptable.

NSTU Strike Action on Friday, February 17

As all of you already know, this coming Friday the NSTU will take legal strike action and this will last until Bill 75 is passed and proclaimed by the government. We expect that the Bill will be in place by Friday or very early next week, at which time the strike action will end because the NSTU will have a “forced” binding collective agreement.

What we know

At the time this update was written, all school boards have cancelled classes for students on Friday except the Tri-Country Regional School Board. Your CUPE national representative and your local executive are reaching out to your employer for more clarity on their plans during this strike action and the expectation for you as a CUPE member during this period. We are awaiting responses.

NSTU is supplying busses for their members and will be holding a rally all day Friday at the Legislature in Halifax. For most schools in your school board there will not be picket lines set up. That being said, depending on the weather and your school location, there is the chance you may encounter a picket line. We have spoken with NSTU and they do not want CUPE members to do anything that may cause you financial harm or create discipline.

Do I have to go to work?

Yes. CUPE members are not on legal strike therefore members are required to go to work unless otherwise directed by the employer.

On Friday, February 17, we will continue to go to work and do our “normal duties”. We will not pick up any extra work that the teachers are not performing, but we will report and conduct our normal duties as if there was no labour dispute in affect.

For members that work directly in the schools, you will report at your normal times and do your normal duties until told otherwise by your direct supervisor.

If you are not asked to perform alternate duties you should conduct your day as normal, no matter who may or may not be in your schools.

If a student shows up at the school, immediately take them to your supervisor and leave them in that person’s supervision and control.

For our TA’s and lunch ground supervisors, you will continue to report to work as you normally do, during your regular hours, until instructed to do otherwise by your direct supervisor. Should a student show up at the school, immediately take them to your supervisor and leave them in that person’s supervision and control.

For bus drivers, unless the school board has contacted you DIRECTLY, continue with your normal job duties and routes on Friday. If you encounter a child waiting at your normal stops, then please stop and radio or call your dispatch person for direction on what to do with that student. DO NOT pick them up without direct direction to do so.

For any members that are casual employees, if you were scheduled to work on Friday you will report as normal and follow the advice above. Continue to report to work until a supervisor or a manager tells you that your services are no longer needed.

As a CUPE member, you will report and do your work as “normal” if you are instructed to do anything different then please let your local executive know immediately.

Do I have to cross the picket line?

If you are required to report to work, then you are required to enter the workplace. Therefore, you will have to cross a picket line if there is one at your work location. The employer will have the right to discipline or doc your pay should you refuse to cross a picket line.

Where there are picket lines that you need to cross, do so respectfully and with a show of support, speak to the NSTU members and tell them as CUPE we support their fight. We also encourage CUPE members to join the picket lines to show your support, before you cross the line, or by picketing with them on your own time (such as breaks, lunch or after work).

If you choose to join a picket line, even for a short time, please do not wear work clothing issued by the school board.

What if I am uncomfortable or I believe there is a threat if I cross the picket line?

If you believe the picket line presents a physical threat, leave the area and call your supervisor. Advise them of the situation and ask for instructions. Please also contact your CUPE Local executive and let them know about the situation.

Remember, at any time if you believe your safety is being jeopardized, you have the legal right to refuse unsafe work.

The right to refuse is established in section 43 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act:

43 (1) Any employee may refuse to do any act at the employee’s place of employment where the employee has reasonable grounds for believing that the act is likely to endanger the employee’s health or safety or the health or safety of any other person until
(a) the employer has taken remedial action to the satisfaction of the employee;
(b) the committee, if any, has investigated the matter and unanimously advised the employee to return to work; or
(c) an officer has investigated the matter and has advised the employee to return to work.

What if my employer says I don’t have to report to work during the dispute?

If your direct supervisor or employer tells you that you do not have to report to work during the strike, CUPE asks that you come out and show your support for this issue. You are encouraged to go to Halifax on Friday to join with your CUPE brothers and sisters in the rally with NSTU to tell this government that all workers oppose Bill 75.

If you are not able to make the trip to Halifax, we ask that you seek out a local picket line with NSTU and show your support by walking their line on behalf of CUPE. Wave a CUPE flag and proudly show that as trade unionists we stand with all unions on this issue. Please remember do not wear employer issued clothing if you do so.

What should I do if I am asked to do something above my normal duties?

If you are asked to do any work that is normally performed by a teacher, that is above your normal job duties, or that happens on a more frequent basis, proceed as follows:

  1. Calmly and politely explain to your supervisor, or the person making the request, that you believe you are being asked to perform “struck work” in violation of the Trade Union Act.
  2. If they continue to request that you do the “struck work”, calmly and politely ask them to have your supervisor put the request in writing.
  3. Immediately give this information to your local steward or executive member who will share it with your CUPE national representative.

If the request directly involves students, make sure they are safe and cared for, before you take this to your local officials.

If it does not directly involve students, then calmly and politely explain to your supervisor that you need to follow this process before taking on the duties.

Your local officials, along with your CUPE National Representative, will work with you and give direction on how to proceed.

Follow CUPE Nova Scotia on Facebook and Twitter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CUPENovaScotia

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cupenovascotia

Thank you and stay tuned for more CUPE updates!

CUPE Nova Scotia Denounces McNeil Government’s Anti-Worker Legislation

Four CUPE members

“CUPE strongly opposes the McNeil Government’s move to impose a contract on the members of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU),” says Nan McFadgen, president of CUPE Nova Scotia. “We feel this piece of anti-worker legislation is undemocratic and will only serve to hurt all public service workers in Nova Scotia, who have the constitutional right to negotiate and vote on their collective agreement.”

On February 11, Premier Stephen McNeil announced he would impose a contract on the Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU) and began imposing the agreement on teachers the evening of Tuesday, February 13, 2017. Debate on the legislation, entitled the Teachers’ Professional Agreement and Classroom Improvement Act (Bill 75), is taking place this week and will likely be voted on next week.

“CUPE members are frustrated by the Premier’s refusal to recognize the value of the jobs education workers do including CUPE Members who are, educational assistants, school secretaries, custodians, bus drivers, early childhood educators and much more.” says Grant Dart, CUPE school board coordinator.

“How can the Minister of Education say, with a straight face, that she hopes NSTU members feel they have their fingerprints on this contract? How can any union have faith in this government, when we go through good faith negotiations, only to have a contract imposed on them,” says McFadgen.

“Collective bargaining works. When both sides agree to meet in good faith and with respect for the process, it works for everyone,” says McFadgen. “It safeguards workers’ rights and stabilizes the public services that we all depend on. It also sets new workplace standards such as pay equity and health and safety.”

“Introducing Bill 148, and now Bill 75, was a huge mistake and imposing a contract on teachers will create chaos in the education system,” says McFadgen. “It’s unfortunate that we live in a province where education workers are also forced to fight to improve the quality of education our children receive. We applaud NSTU members for their courage and determination.”

“We will not back down. The livelihoods and security of 75,000 public service workers, their families and their communities depend on reaching fairly negotiated contracts,” states McFadgen. “Underfunding classrooms and attacking workers’ rights are issues we believe will be reflected in voting polls in the next provincial election.”

CUPE UPDATE on NSTU WORK TO RULE

Please click on the link below for an update on how NSTU’s Work to Rule affects support staff and for guidance as to how we will proceed during the labour dispute involving NSTU.  It is important to know that CUPE members will continue to support NSTU in their fight and will not perform any “struck work” during this time and the attached document will explain how this works.
CUPE Update to School Board Locals January 30, 2017

2017 Nova Scotia Workshop Schedule

union education workshop

Workshops for CUPE NS members February to December of 2017

We are pleased to announce the schedule of workshops being offered to CUPE NS members from February to December of 2017.

As always you are not limited to those listed. If you would like to have other workshops arranged for your local, or scheduled on weekdays or evenings, please contact your National Representative and we can make arrangements to meet your locals’ needs.

A printable PDF version of the registration form is available with the schedule here: NS 2017 workshop schedule.

Online registration

For your convenience we now offer online registration, which is available at cupe.ca/unioneducation.

DATE WORKSHOP LOCATION EXTRAS
February 11 – 12, 2017 Steward Learning Series:

  • Creating an accommodation-friendly workplace
  • Handling grievances
  • Representing members in front of management
Amherst

Super 8
40 Lord Amherst Drive, Hwy. 104 (exit 4)
Amherst, NS

 

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Stewarding: an introduction

 

February 11 – 12, 2017 Duty to accommodate Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

February 25 – 26, 2017  

Nova Scotia pension plans

 

 

Bridgewater

Best Western Plus Bridgewater
527 Hwy.10 (exit 12)
Cookville, NS

NOTE: If you have a pension plan in your workplace, bring your annual pension statement.                          This is not a retirement planning workshop

 

March 4 – 5, 2017 Steward Learning Series:

  • What a steward needs to know about bargaining
  • What stewards need to know about arbitration
  • Being an ally for equality
Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Stewarding: an introduction

 

March 4 – 5, 2017 Health & Safety Series:

  • Identifying and documenting hazards
  • Making committees work
  • Basics of incident investigation
Yarmouth

Mariner’s Centre
45 Jody Shelley Drive Yarmouth, NS

 

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Health and Safety: an introduction

 

 

March 18 – 19, 2017 Health & Safety Series:

  • Women and work hazards
  • Solidarity beyond borders
  • Using our mobilization power to advance health & safety
Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Health & Safety Series: an introduction

 

March 18 – 19, 2017 Duty to accommodate Sydney

CUPE Sydney Area office
500 George Street
Sydney, NS

 

 
April 22 – 23, 2017 Social media Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

 
April 22 – 23, 2017 Steward Learning Series:

  • Creating an accommodation-friendly workplace
  • Connecting with indigenous workers
  • Conflict resolution skills for stewards
Sydney

CUPE Sydney Area office
500 George Street
Sydney, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Stewarding: an introduction

 

April 29 – 30, 2017 Steward Learning Series:

  • Handling grievances
  • Green action for stewards
  • Challenging homophobia in the workplace
Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Stewarding: an introduction

 

April 29 – 30, 2017 Steward Learning Series:

  • Creating an accommodation-friendly workplace
  • Connecting with indigenous workers
  • Conflict resolution skills for stewards
Liverpool

Best Western Plus Liverpool
63 Queens Place Drive
Liverpool, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Stewarding: an introduction

 

April 29 – 30, 2017 Health & Safety Series:

  • Identifying and documenting hazards
  • Making committees work
  • Basics of incident investigation
New Glasgow

CUPE New Glasgow Area office
115 McLean Street
New Glasgow, NS

 

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Health & Safety Series: an introduction

 

May 6 – 7, 2017 Financial officers Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

SUGGESTED:

Bring a laptop if you have one & a pencil

May 6 – 7, 2017 Steward Learning Series:

  • What a steward needs to know about bargaining
  • What stewards need to know about arbitration
  • Being an ally for equality
Yarmouth

Mariner’s Centre
45 Jody Shelley Drive Yarmouth, NS

 

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Stewarding: an introduction

 

May 13 – 14, 2017 Steward Learning Series:

  • Handling discipline & discharge
  • Resolving grievances without going to arbitration
  • Challenging racism in the workplace
Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Stewarding: an introduction

May 13 – 14, 2017 Analyzing your collective agreement Sydney

CUPE Sydney Area office 500 George Street
Sydney, NS

Bring your current collective agreement

 

ONE DAY ONLY

June 3 – 4, 2017 Conflict resolution Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

 
June 3 – 4, 2017 Health & Safety Series:

  • Women and work hazards
  • Solidarity beyond borders
  • Using our mobilization power to advance health & safety
Sydney

CUPE Sydney Area office
500 George Street
Sydney, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Health & Safety Series: an introduction

 

June 10 -11, 2017 Parliamentary procedures Amherst

Super 8
40 Lord Amherst Drive, Hwy. 104 (exit 4) Amherst, NS

 

 
June 10 -11, 2017 Health & Safety Series:

  • Violence prevention in the workplace
  • Law and order(s)
  • Ergonomics

 

Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Health & Safety Series: an introduction

 

September 23-24, 2017 Stewarding: an introduction Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

 
September 23-24, 2017 Health & Safety Series:

  • Violence prevention in the workplace
  • Law & order(s)
  • Ergonomics
Sydney

CUPE Sydney Area office
500 George Street
Sydney, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Health & Safety Series: an introduction

 

October 14 – 15, 2017 Steward Learning Series:

  • Understanding mental health
  • Creating psychologically healthy and safe workplaces
Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Stewarding: an introduction

October 28-29, 2017 Health & Safety: an introduction Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

 
October 28-29, 2017 Steward Learning Series:

  • Mobilizing workers
  • Creating harassment-free workplaces
  • Literacy awareness for stewards
Sydney

CUPE Sydney Area office
500 George Street
Sydney, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Stewarding: an introduction

 

November 18-19, 2017 Steward Learning Series:

  • Creating an accommodation-friendly workplace
  • Connecting with indigenous workers
  • Conflict resolution skills for stewards
Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Stewarding: an introduction

November 18-19, 2017 Health & Safety Series:

  • Preventing injuries at work
  • Workload & overwork
  • Harassment prevention in the workplace
Sydney

CUPE Sydney Area office
500 George Street
Sydney, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Health & Safety Series: an introduction

 

November 25-26, 2017 Health & Safety Series:

  • Preventing injuries at work
  • Workload & overwork
  • Harassment prevention in the workplace
Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Health & Safety Series: an introduction

 

November 25-26, 2017 Stewarding: an introduction Yarmouth

Mariner’s Centre

45 Jody Shelley Drive Yarmouth, NS

 

 
December 2 – 3, 2017 Health & Safety Series:

  • Women and work hazards
  • Solidarity beyond borders
  • Using our mobilization power to advance health & safety

 

Amherst

Super 8
40 Lord Amherst Drive, Hwy. 104 (exit 4)
Amherst, NS

 

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Health & Safety Series: an introduction

 

December 2 – 3, 2017 Public speaking Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

 
December 2 – 3, 2017 Health & Safety: an introduction Liverpool

Best Western Plus Liverpool
63 Queens Place Drive
Liverpool, NS

 

With P3s we’ll pay more and get less: Keep the QEII Hospital public

Nova Scotia Taxpayers Credit Card

CUPE Nova Scotia President Nan McFadgen is asking the McNeil Government to reconsider using a public-private partnership (P3) for the redevelopment of the QEII Hospital in Halifax.

Nova Scotians are going to pay millions of dollars to consulting companies to tell us if a P3 is the best choice for the QE11 hospital, despite that provincial governments in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec have already learned the hard way that P3 hospitals are more expensive than those that are built the traditional way.

“It doesn’t make sense to tie our hands with secret deals that lock us into the long-term higher costs of P3s for 30 years or more,” says McFadgen. “It’s like using a credit card to pay for it.”

“Let’s start this project the right way. Let’s keep the hospital publicly financed, owned and operated.”

“P3s aren’t a partnership – they are privatization, and private corporations hold all the cards,” says McFadgen.

“Using private enterprise for our public infrastructure passes the debt to future generations. The McNeil Government is very aware, as we are now paying $86 million to “buy back” our P3 schools, after paying for them for twenty years.”

“Ask yourself do you want your grandchildren paying millions to buy back our hospitals, after spending twenty years paying for them too?” asks McFadgen.

More information about public-private partnerships is available at cupe.ca/privatization.

CUPE Nova Scotia to join Women’s March on Jan. 21

Women’s March on Washington-Halifax

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

CUPE Nova Scotia has advocated for women’s rights in all areas of society. We believe women should receive the same compensation as men, with full opportunity to advance in discrimination-free workplaces and communities. Women’s equality is at the heart of what we do.

CUPE Nova Scotia is pleased to support the Women’s March on Washington-Halifax on January 21, 2017, a non-violent, inclusive and intersectional protest to support the rights of all women from all races, religions, political affiliations, cis or transgender and all sexual orientations.

This event was sparked by Trump’s election in the United States. If it can happen there, it can happen here. We must be vigilant.

For more information, visit the event page on Facebook.

In Solidarity,

Nan McFadgen
President, CUPE Nova Scotia

About the March
The purpose of this *non-violent*, *inclusive* and *intersectional* protest is to take a stand for and support women’s rights — the rights of ALL women — with women from all races, all religious communities, all political affiliations, cis or transgender and all sexual orientations. Violence, whether from or against the right-wing, left-wing, centre or independents, is not welcome and will not be condoned or tolerated.

This event was sparked by Trump’s election to the White House and is a response to the hate-inciting, divisive, discriminatory attitudes, messages and actions that have emerged from the Trump campaign and have continued to be perpetuated by his supporters post-election, in his name. We will not allow our hard-won rights to be trampled on and we will not be stopped in our pursuit of intersectional, substantive equality!

What can you do to help the Halifax Typographical Union on January 23?

HTU Day of Protest January 23, 2017

Join the Day of Protest!

CUPE Nova Scotia is encouraging members to support the Halifax Typographical Union on Monday, January 23.

      • Join in an information picket
      • Wear black
      • Cancel your subscription
      • Cancel free weekly flyer delivery
      • Boycott Herald advertisers
      • Read Local Xpress

Local Xpress was started by the newsroom and news bureau staff. The news site lets HTU members keep doing journalism and provides readers with a high-quality alternate news source to the Herald, which is now written entirely by scab replacement workers.

The Chronicle Herald has kept its newsroom on strike for an entire year! Would you accept an hourly wage decrease of more than 10%, a drastic reduction in your pension benefit, or an increased work week?  If one employer gets away with busting a union others will follow.

For more information:

Facebook: Halifax Typographical Union
Twitter @HTU_Official and hashtag #endCHstrike
Website: htu-cwa.ca

Download a copy of the HTU Day of Protest poster for your local union or workplace

True story about the Chronicle Herald strike

NOT ABOUT MONEY: The Halifax Typographical Union offered the Chronicle Herald an across-the-board five per cent pay cut and an increased work week that would amount to more than a 10 per cent hourly wage cut. That was not good enough to satisfy the Herald’s demands for countless concessions.

ALL’S NOT FAIR: The union launched an unfair labour practice complaint against the Herald in mid-November. The Herald is accused of insisting that anyone can do work normally assigned only to union members and of constantly pitching proposals that are intended to be rejected. The complaint goes to a labour board hearing on Jan. 23.

NO NEWS IS BAD NEWS: Union members have pooled their experience and journalistic talents to create the Local Xpress, a full-service online news site. The Herald, despite boasts of producing a quality newspaper with replacement workers, provides significantly less provincial coverage while publishing stories that lack depth and are fraught with grammatical and factual errors. All aboard the Local Xpress.

BY THE NUMBERS: The company boasts that it directly employs 500 people and 1,000 additional contractors at the newspaper, the primary function of which is to gather and present news. Still, the company contends that it must divest itself of 29 of its 55 unionized reporters, photographers, editors and newsroom support staff to remain sustainable. The remaining 450 or so managers and non-union staff seem impervious to layoff.

PENSION ATTENTION: Before negotiations began, the company identified pension relief as its major demand. The union has complied, offering a move from the existing defined benefit plan to a targeted plan.

ONE FOR THE AGES: The Chronicle Herald intends to lay off or get rid of more than half (29 of 55) of its unionized newsroom employees. The majority of those targeted are over 50 and have worked for the company for over 15 years.

SIZE DOES MATTER: The company claims that advertising and subscription numbers have not suffered during the strike. However, the number of papers printed, the size of the daily paper and the number of ads have all fallen off significantly. Advertisers and readers are not getting what they pay for.

THE REAL DEAL: The company considers its contract offer to be one of the richest in the country. That’s a simple fabrication. Still, producing the largest newspaper in Atlantic Canada in the region’s largest city, the company should expect to compensate its newsroom and production staff accordingly.

JOB INSECURITY: The company says that it requires flexibility to remain sustainable in a rapidly changing industry. The company equates flexibility with the ability to hire, fire and promote with no regard for experience or ability.

MONEY MISMANAGEMENT: The Herald has spent about $1 million on legal fees and beefed-up but unnecessary security during the year-long strike. Yet, it continues to low-ball longtime and dedicated newsroom employees on proposed severance payouts.