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Newsletter: June 2016 Issue

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CUPE COMMUNIQUE

CUPE COMMUNIQUE

April 20, 2016 20:08 ET

CUPE heralds major court victory in Bill 115 charter challenge

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 20, 2016) - CUPE's 55, 000 education workers are lauding a significant Ontario Superior Court victory, after several unions challenged the constitutionality of Bill 115. The court challenge was filed in 2013 after Bill 115 stripped workers in the education sector of their rights to bargain collectively. The challenge was postponed in 2014 at the request of the province, and resumed in December, 2015.

"CUPE's position has always been that Bill 115 violated our basic Charter rights," said Terri Preston, chair of the union's education sector coordinating committee. "We saw it as a threat to all Canadian workers, and we couldn't let it pass unchallenged. The court validated our position that this Bill was a gross overreach that trampled basic freedom-of-association rights."

"After this lawsuit was initially filed, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) ruled in the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour case that workers have a constitutional right to strike," said Fred Hahn, president of CUPE Ontario. "CUPE was a lead union on that SCC case, and victory there gave us great confidence in our case here. We are thrilled the Superior Court has agreed that the government's approach to collective bargaining was 'fundamentally flawed'."

Significantly, in his ruling Justice Lederer wrote that the impact of this flawed piece of legislation was "not just on the economic circumstances of education workers but on their associational rights and the dignity, autonomy and equality that comes with the exercise of that fundamental freedom."

"This couldn't send a clearer message to governments that they ought not interfere in free collective bargaining," said Preston. "It's a terrific ruling for education workers in Ontario and in building on the existing case law, for all Canadian workers."

Justice Lederer made no ruling on remedy, obliging the parties to meet to try and reach agreement. If agreement is not reached on remedy, the matter will be referred back to him. "We will meet with the other unions with whom we engaged in this court challenge to discuss what we want to see by way of remedy," said Hahn. "We will continue to work together to preserve basic collective bargaining rights. We call on the Liberal government to accept this ruling and put any thought of a costly appeal out of their minds. Now they must spend time, energy and resources on remedy, and on strengthening the public education system in Ontario."

The parties to the challenge, alongside CUPE, were the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO), the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF), and the Ontario Public Service Employees' Union (OPSEU). UNIFOR also had intervenor status.

CUPE represents 55, 000 education workers in Ontario, including custodians, administrative and clerical staff, educational assistants, instructors, tradespeople, early childhood educators, and many more, across all four school board systems (English and French, Catholic and public).

Contact Information

Andrea Addario

CUPE Communications (416) 738-4329

Craig Saunders

CUPE Communications (416) 576-7316

 

Voluntary Scheduled Unpaid Leave Days

Dear Sisters and Brothers,
The employer has sent notice to our union regarding the Scheduled Unpaid Leave Plan (SULP) Application which is now located in your Employee Self Service. (ESS) Please note that this is voluntary and that the union discourages the use of any unpaid days that the employer is providing. Members who normally work on Professional Development Days   should attend all Professional Development Days in the work year. You are not required to take any days as per the Schedule Unpaid Leave Plan that the employer has provided.

As per the Central Agreement;
Voluntary Scheduled Unpaid Leave Days: (Offset)
 The employer will designate 2 PD days in each of the 2015-2016 school year and
the 2016-2017 years for Employees who wish to take the day off without pay.
The offset measure was established to look at savings within the collective agreement to support the pay increases. Please review the document carefully as Scheduled Unpaid Leave Days are subject to pension contributions. Should you have any questions, please contact the union office at 416 512-9493.
In Solidarity,
Lina Naccarato
President
CUPE Local 1328
 

Retirement Gratuity Voluntary Early Payout Option Statement & Application Process

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Please review the information below regarding the Retirement Gratuity Voluntary Early Payout Option Statement & Application Process . It is now available to eligible members  through the ESS (Employee Self Service). Employees will have the opportunity to apply for an early payout of their retirement gratuity as per the Memoranda of Settlements of Central Terms. Details of the early payout option, including the application deadline, are contained in the links below.
Should you have any questions, please contact the union office at 416 512-9493

In Solidarity,
Lina Naccarato
President
   

Award of Merit Nomination Form

AWARD OF MERIT – Nomination Form

In an attempt to recognize and salute the outstanding contribution to the TCDSB from a Local 1328 member, we invite you to nominate one of your co-workers/colleagues for our Annual Awards Event. 

  • Nomination letters should be 200 words or less and should include the reasons your nominee is worthy of recognition by his/her peers.

An independent panel will select: 

  • Two (2) members from Office, Clerical and Technical
  • Two (2) members from School Based Education Support Staff
  • One (1) member from  ESL Instructor
  • One (1) member from ESL Nursery
  • One (1) member from Secondary School Student Supervisors.

The selectees and their staff (limited) will be invited to a special evening on June 2nd 2016 at Montecassino Hotel & Event Venue.

In order to be considered for this award, a completed nomination package must be forwarded by May 13th 2016, VIA COURIER to:

Lina Naccarato, President
CUPE Local 1328
CEC

CLICK HERE FOR AWARD OF MERIT NOMINATION FORM

   

Student Bursaries Application Form

SIX (6) STUDENT BURSARIES

CUPE Local 1328 will present 4 student bursaries to children of CUPE Local 1328 members currently in their graduating year of high school who have been accepted at a post-secondary institute for the Fall to pursue a course of study leading to a degree or a diploma from an accredited University or Community College of their choice.   Recipients will be two females and 2 males.  The bursaries will be $1,000.00 each. 1 male and 1 female bursary will be for University bound students and 1 male and 1 female will be for College bound students.

CUPE Local 1328 will present 2 student bursaries to “students with special education needs” who are children of CUPE Local 1328 members and who have been accepted for the Fall at an accredited University or Community College of their choice. The bursaries will be $1,000.00 each. Recipients will be 1 male and 1 female. 

In addition to the completed application form, please include a personal cover letter outlining the following: 

  • Contributions to the school and/or community that reflect Catholic values
  • Contribution to extra curricular activities
  • Volunteer work within the school and/or community
  • Financial need and/or other personal challenges or obstacles

Overall Application requirements include: 

  • Application form
  • Personal cover letter
  • Evidence of acceptance into a post-secondary institution
  • Two letters of recommendation from the following:  School Principal or designate, employer, departmental head, chaplain, support staff, teacher

The recipients and their families (limited) will be invited to a special evening on June 2nd, 2016 at Montecassino Hotel & Event Venue.

Only completed applications will be considered for this bursary.  In order to be considered for this award, a completed application package must be forwarded by May 13th, 2016 VIA COURIER:

Lina Naccarato, President, 
CUPE Local 1328
CEC

CLICK HERE FOR APPLICATION FORM

   

Tandia Workshop

Tandia Workshop
CUPE Local 1328 is pleased to present you with two workshops facilitated by Tandia Cooperative Banking

These workshops are approximately 2 hours in duration which include a question and answer period. For further information or questions about these workshops, please contact the union office at 416 512-9493

Please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to reserve your seat.
Capacity: 40

Planning For Retirement  Wednesday, April 20th, 2016
Location: CEC, Quigley Hall
Time: 6 p.m.

We all want to have a comfortable and secure financial plan for our retirement. How we do it will depend on our own unique situations and outlooks.  Gaining at least a general understanding of what options we can take advantage of is important in planning for retirement, no matter what stage of life we may be currently in.  This interactive workshop will point out some of the important things we need to think about when it comes to retirement while honing in on savings and investment vehicles.  Please come prepared knowing what you know and that’s it!  We have no expectations of you except that you are open to learning at least one new thing by the end of our session.

Introduction To Financial Wellness Tuesday, April 26th, 2016
Location: Cardinal Carter Academy of the Arts: Cafeteria
Time: 6 p.m.

Managing our finances should be easy and even fun! Given that money has been around for centuries, and managing finances has been around just as long – why oh why is managing ones’ finances one of the greatest stressors in our lives?  Is it more than just a plus and/or minus?  Could it be that some other forces are at play – such as our relationship with money and some of the beliefs we have around money and finances?  This interactive workshop touches on a deeper understanding of financial literacy, helps alleviate related anxiety, and provides some high level strategies and techniques that can be easily implemented. Please come prepared knowing what you know and that’s it!  We have no expectations of you except that you are open to learning at least one new thing by the end of our session.

Please note:  we will have door prizes;  handouts and some other goodies for all attendees.

   
  • Protest shines spotlight on TPP dangers, attacks on Mexican teachers

    Activists gathered in Ottawa challenged the Trudeau government’s sunny view of trade deals at a protest calling for the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement to be scrapped. The Liberal government is also facing pressure about escalating human rights violations in Mexico.

    Groups from Canada, Quebec, the United States and Mexico brought a Trojan horse to Ottawa’s human rights monument, symbolizing the threats the TPP poses to the environment, public health, labour rights and human rights. Speakers highlighted the damage NAFTA has caused across the continent, and called on Canada to not ratify the TPP.

    The protest marks the second day of coordinated actions challenging the Three Amigos summit being held in Ottawa.

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is also under pressure to urge Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to end attacks on teachers in Mexico. Trudeau has received more than 400 letters, including from CUPE National President Mark Hancock, calling for action to end a wave of state repression and violence.

    In the last two months teachers and their supporters have been abducted, fired, jailed and shot for opposing privatization, and for resisting changes to teacher training and evaluation. The regressive measures, which include shutting down teacher training schools and basing employment on standardized test results, have not been negotiated with the teachers’ representatives, the National Coordinating Committee of Education Workers.

    Learn more and add your voice calling for an end to the violence

  • Continental social movements unite to challenge Three Amigos, fight TPP

    As meetings with the leaders of Canada, the United States and Mexico got underway in Ottawa, social movements and progressive elected officials were mobilizing to fight the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

    More than forty people, including seven New Democratic members of parliament and CUPE representatives, came together in a meeting hosted by NDP trade critic Tracey Ramsey.

    Group of people standing in a wood panelled room

    The MPs heard from Victor Suarez, a former member of the Mexican house of representatives and a member of the group Mexico Better Off Without the TPP, as well as Arthur Stamoulis from the U.S.-based Citizens Trade Campaign.

    Suarez outlined NAFTA’s devastating impact on Mexican workers and the country’s economy, as well as the rise of human rights violations.

    Stamoulis highlighted the growing opposition to the TPP, especially among working people in the United States.

    Canadian Labour Congress economist Angella MacEwan spoke on behalf of the Trade Justice Network, and emphasized that the TPP has little to do with trade, as 97 per cent of our trade with TPP countries is already tariff-free. Instead, the TPP is an anti-democratic deal that will create new rights and powers for corporations.

    Labour’s opposition to the TPP was clear at the meeting, which also included representatives from the Public Service Alliance of Canada, the National Union of Public and General Employees, the United Steelworkers, and Unifor.

    The mobilization continued at a noon-hour community meeting that drew a large crowd. Ramsey told community members the Canadian fight to stop the TPP is just beginning. More than 15,000 groups or individuals have made submissions to the House of Commons committee studying the pact, and Ramsey urged people to speak up against the TPP

    TransCanada Corporation’s NAFTA challenge of the US government’s decision not to proceed with the Keystone pipeline highlights the problems with investor-state dispute settlement rules in both NAFTA and the TPP, said Stamoulis.

    Suarez said every one of the 43 trade deals that have been pitched at Mexico have become a mobilizing opportunity, and have brought continental movements closer together – even in the face of growing violence and repression, and widespread human rights violations. The TPP will only widen Mexico’s wealth gap, he said. A major consequence of free trade has been growing food insecurity, leading to massive poverty for small-scale farmers, and waves of migration.

    CUPE helped bring Suarez and Stamoulis to Canada as part of ongoing anti-TPP work coordinated with Common Frontiers, the Trade Justice Network, the Council of Canadians and the Réseau Québécois sur l’intégration continentale. CUPE is a member of the TJN and Common Frontiers.

  • Education key in moving from discrimination to reconciliation

    Reconciliation and rectifying the inequalities faced by Indigenous peoples will involve comprehensive action and significant investments but the benefits will be much higher. Education is key, but it is only part of the equation.

    Inequalities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians start at a young age and persist all through life. Indigenous children are twice as likely to die in their first year of life as non-Indigenous Canadians, three times as likely to live in poverty, only a third as likely to get a university degree and almost twice as likely to be unemployed.

    Health conditions are also significantly worse for Indigenous peoples, who are seven times as likely to be murdered as non-Indigenous Canadians and can expect to live 
five to 10 years less on average 
than non-Indigenous Canadians.

    When Indigenous peoples benefit from the same quality of public services, education and opportunities as non-Indigenous Canadians, these economic, health and social gaps narrow significantly.

    Better living conditions, economic opportunities and education are 
essential, and they are also inter–
connected. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission revealed how damage from residential schools 
lasts for many generations. Tens of thousands of Indigenous children continue to be taken from their families and adopted out or placed with foster parents. Indigenous 
children are still placed in foster 
care as wards of the state at 25 times the rate of non-Indigenous children.

    Living and economic conditions 
must be improved to prevent this 
from continuing.

    In a recent landmark decision, 
the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled the federal government discriminates against First Nations children on reserves by failing to provide the same level of child welfare services that exist elsewhere—and then followed up on their decision three months later to press for faster action.

    As Truth and Reconciliation Commission Chair Justice Murray Sinclair has said, while First Nations saw education as a right when treaties were first signed, throughout history it has instead been used as a tool for assimilation.

    Education is key, but as with other public services, it must be culturally-appropriate high quality education controlled by First Nations that celebrates Indigenous culture and languages instead of erasing them, and needs to start at a young age. Early childhood education and care programs, such as the very successful Katl’odeeche First Nations Children’s Centre in Hay River, NWT, can make an extraordinary difference for generations to come.

    “Reconciliation will not occur overnight. This is not just a problem for Aboriginal people; it is a problem for the entire country,” Sinclair told delegates to CUPE’s 2015 national convention. “Canada has a shameful past. But we don’t need to carry this shame any further, as long as we commit to a relationship of mutual respect originally envisioned in the treaties.”

    We all have an enormous amount to gain socially, economically and culturally from diverse Indigenous peoples and communities. In purely monetary terms Canada’s economic output would be $36.5 billion higher and government finances would improve by $17.7 billion in 10 years if these education, labour market and social well-being gaps were eliminated, according to analysis by the Canadian Centre for the Study of Living Standards. But what’s far more important than the economic impact is what we all gain socially and culturally by moving from a relationship of inequality and discrimination to one of greater equality and mutual respect.

  • Protect yourself from the sun

    The heat waves seem like they start earlier every year, but even when it is not above 30 degrees Celsius, the sun can still pose a significant hazard to CUPE members.  Working outdoors without protection from the sun’s rays increases the risk of skin cancer, eye damage, and heat stress as a result of exposure to both ultraviolet (UV) radiation and heat from the sun. But the good news is that these conditions are largely preventable.

    Thermometre showing 38°C against a blue sky

    Every year around this time, we remind CUPE members about the hazards are working outdoors without a proper program and proper precautions by referring to our Heat Stress Prevention fact sheet

    This year we could also point out a new resource for CUPE members known as “Sun Safety at Work Canada” currently hosted at the Occupational Cancer Research Centre website. A comprehensive suite of resources is being developed to help workplaces implement their own sun safety programs. These resources are designed to complement existing sun safety practices and can easily be embedded within a workplace’s occupational health and safety management system.

    Furthermore, Sun Safety at Work Canada is developing a new website that will guide workplaces through the implementation of a sun safety program. To sign up to be notified of the website launch, or to download resources now, click here.

    Hey CUPE members! Check out our Heat Stress Prevention fact sheet: https://t.co/ieoGLDYn4f #ohs #canlab

    — ColleenAtCUPE (@ColleenatCUPE) June 27, 2016