Wednesday, September 28, 2016
   
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OSBCC Benefits Update

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Newsletter: June 2016 Issue

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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
 
  • CUPE national officers reaffirm support for locals fighting concession demands and two-tier schemes

    Following a difficult summer of strikes and concession demands from employers with austerity agendas, CUPE’s national officers would like to remind CUPE locals they are not alone in their fight.

    CUPE does not accept concessions – we bargain forward, not backward,” said CUPE National President Mark Hancock, after seeing a rise in attacks on CUPE locals, lengthy strikes, and attacks on workers across Canada by employers demanding concessions. “Two-tier bargaining, where new hires are forced to accept inferior wages, pensions, benefits or working conditions, undermines solidarity and creates division in the workplace – at the end of the day all workers lose under these schemes.”

    “Our national strike fund is strong and we have skilled negotiators, specialists in research, communications, legal and other resources to support locals in campaigns and on the picket line,” said CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury. “Most CUPE locals know this, but as employers become more creative about demanding concessions that erode our wages and benefits, it is important to remind all CUPE members, and employers, that we stand together to fight these attacks.”

    CUPE is committed to ensuring the next generation of workers enjoys the benefits that CUPE members have already won. It is our policy to reject concessions, including all moves toward two-tier wages, benefits, and pensions. We cannot build solidarity between generations if we accept two-tier contracts.

  • Mayor tries to sell a false choice to justify the sell-off of Toronto Hydro

    Toronto’s mayor presented a false choice to a room full of bankers and business executives yesterday to try to limit the public fall-out over his plan to break his promise to voters and sell-off Toronto Hydro, says Fred Hahn, president of CUPE Ontario.

    “The Mayor wants voters to believe that we must choose between the sell-off of our most valuable public asset or an increase in residential property taxes, to pay for required upgrades to the city’s electrical system,” says Hahn. “The truth is there are other options as many Councillors and community groups have pointed out. It seems like he is trying to scare voters into supporting a privatization plan that will only benefit the people that were in that room.”

    The vast majority of Torontonians are opposed to the privatization of Toronto Hydro that currently generates $60 million a year in revenue for the City. To put things into perspective, a one percent increase in property tax would generate approximately $25 million in revenue. The short-term financial gain of the sell-off would be quickly eaten away and the loss of ongoing Toronto Hydro revenue will hurt the City in the long-term. 

    “The reality is, we heard the same lines coming from our Premier before she began the sell-off our provincial system and we know what a disaster that has proven to be,” says Hahn. “The people of Toronto are not dumb – we know it is not good policy to burn the furniture to heat the house.”

    After yesterday’s speech by the Mayor, the Keep Hydro Public Coalition plans to ramp up its campaign efforts to protect the people of Toronto from a privatization plan that will have long-term devastating effects on the city.

    “People should not be fooled by the pitch to sell only partial shares in Toronto Hydro. Once that door is open there will always be pressure to sell-off more and it will be a lot harder to stop once the people of Toronto no longer own it in its entirety,” says Hahn. “My hope is that the Mayor was doing nothing more than musing about the potential sale and that he will see the light and decide to listen to his voters rather than the business executives that would benefit from the sale.”

    CUPE is Ontario’s community union, with more than 260,000 members providing quality public services we all rely on, in every part of the province, every day. CUPE Ontario members are proud to work in social services, health care, municipalities, school boards, universities and airlines.

  • CUPE concerned with lack of public consultation for health restructuring

    CUPE’s Health Care Council has expressed grave concerns about the process around health care reorganization, citing both lack of public consultation and the extremely short timeline.

    “Health care restructuring is a major undertaking that will disrupt the established systems and relationships for providing health care in Saskatchewan,” said Gordon Campbell, president of the CUPE Health Care Council.  “The prescribed consultation process is woefully inadequate.”

    The government of Saskatchewan recently announced a three person advisory panel to develop recommendations for reorganizing health care. The advisory panel will hold limited meetings with stakeholders and no public meetings whatsoever. All public comments are due by September 26, 2016, and the final report is due on October 31, 2016.

    “We believe that the process must consider quality of care and protecting our public health care system,” said Campbell. “This undertaking should not be done hastily nor without careful consideration and comprehensive consultations.”

    Saskatchewan has gone through two health care mergers. Both processes were much longer than this one, but nonetheless, significantly disrupted the whole health system and distracted from the purpose of the health care system: to provide quality care to patients and residents.

    “This process needs to seriously consider the implications reorganization may have on rural and regional health services delivery. Given Saskatchewan’s unique geography and population spread, it is important to know how this will impact the delivery of quality health care services in urban and rural communities.”

    CUPE also has questions about the need for reorganization, given that reorganization is not a proven method to save money.

    “The government has said that the status quo is not an option, but it has not provided any rationale for reducing health regions in this province,” added Campbell.  “Health care restructuring should only be done if there is solid evidence that fewer health regions will contribute to better health outcomes and improved quality of care for Saskatchewan residents.”

    CUPE is encouraging residents of Saskatchewan to submit a comment before the September 26 deadline. You can learn more here.

  • Support is low for Liberals’ changes to hospital care

    Approval among Kingston residents for provincial Liberals’ changes to hospital care is exceedingly low, a poll released today shows. Polling of 700 Kingston residents conducted earlier this September probed support for provincial government hospital reforms, hospital use and admission. Respondents’ attitudes on hospital cuts, closing a hospital and private out of hospital clinics were also measured.

    With the proposed merger of Kingston General Hospital (KGH) and Hotel Dieu Hospital “we and others are concerned ‘merger’ is code for more patient care and bed and program cuts,” says Mike Rodrigues the president of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 1974, front line staff at KGH. The poll, Rodrigues adds, shows “there is no appetite for that. Nor is there support for closing a hospital.”

    For the last ten years the provincial government has “proudly” cut funding for hospital care. Today Ontario funding for hospitals is among the lowest of the provinces, a policy not supported by over 92 per cent of poll respondents who think the Ontario government should increase funding for Kingston hospitals. 

    Data shows that the rest of Canada spends $353.96 (25.3 per cent) more per person on hospitals than Ontario. This results in a $43 million a year funding gap for Kingston hospitals and a $4.8 billion gap province-wide. Consequently, Ontario’s hospital cuts are the deepest in the country, yet over 86 per cent of poll respondents say they do not support cutting care and beds at Kingston hospitals. Over 92 per cent responded that they do not support the closure of one of Kingston’s hospitals.

    “The Ontario Liberals vision is to continue to downsize the role of hospitals so that they provide care for only the sickest of the sick. But nearly 79 per cent responded that they do not share that vision. It’s time for the Ontario PC and NDP parties to tell the public what their plan is for hospital beds, services and funding,” says Michael Hurley president of CUPE’s Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU). Despite claims by the provincial Liberals to the contrary, says Hurley, “services that are being eliminated at local public hospitals, are not replaced with care at home. It’s very sad for elderly patients with multiple chronic conditions because for them there is a huge home care gap.”

    Less than 30 per cent of residents polled say they think moving care out of hospitals into independent clinics is good for Kingston patients. Transferring hospital surgeries and procedures to private clinics “which have considerably less patient safety oversight than public hospitals, is one of the Liberals most controversial patient care changes here in Kingston,” says Hurley.

    Over 80 per cent of respondents say that they or one of their family members accessed care (including emergency care) at a Kingston hospital in the last five years. Nearly 66 per cent say they or a family member have been admitted to hospital. Nearly 93 per cent think Kingston’s hospitals are important to them and their families.