R&F Labour News Update – June 1 2015

Probable job losses in Nova Scotia privatizations | Black teachers in Ontario still facing racism | Time for a MGEU deal | CPP announcement is a ploy | Anti-austerity protests in New Brunswick |  London city manager angers union | Back-to-work legislation for Ontario teachers | ETFO to increase work-to-rule campaign | PEI nurse suspended for talking to the media | Joe Oliver labour law gaffe at G7 meeting | Appeal in Pembroke against postal cuts | Abuses against TFWs should lead to system overhaul

joanPrivatization protest: Union leader Joan Jessome warns of job losses
Erin Pottie, Halifax-Chronicle-Herald
May 28 2015

SYDNEY — Joan Jessome fears good-paying union jobs could be lost across the province if the government goes ahead with a possible Access Nova Scotia privatization.

Speaking at a protest organized in Sydney, the president of the Nova Scotia Government & General Employees Union, said she has reason to be afraid.

“This government is certainly pro-privatization,” Jessome said Thursday while carrying a placard in front of Access Nova Scotia in Sydney.

Black teachers still face racism on the job in Ontario
Louise Brown, Toronto Star
May 29 2015

Many black teachers across Ontario still face racism on the job, according to a new study of educators, half of whom said they believe being black has hurt their chance of promotion. Some told of hearing the ‘N’ word used in the staff room and being mistaken for a trespasser.

“I had a supply teacher tell me I am not allowed to park my car in staff parking,” said one of the 148 black educators across 12 Ontario school boards surveyed for a report to be released Friday. “The ‘N’ word was used in casual conversation in our staff room,” said another. “I was introduced as ‘home girl’ to a student teacher.”

Time for a deal: provincial union
Jillian Austin, The Carillion
May 29 2015

BRANDON — With more than half its union members currently without a contract, the Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union president says “enough is enough.”

Michelle Gawronsky took the podium at the Manitoba Federation of Labour convention on Thursday, just before Premier Greg Selinger was introduced to speak.

“There are approximately 25,000 MGEU members across this province still without a contract after a year at the bargaining table,” Gawronsky told a packed room of delegates at the Keystone Centre. “And in the case of our home-care workers, it’s two years.”

Canada Pension Plan announcement is just another ploycpp
Lana Payne, The Telegram
May 30 2015

It reeked of desperation: a meaningless announcement designed to fool Canadians into believing the Harper government actually gives a darn about the country’s looming pension crisis.

It exposed, once again, their disdain for the collective — the notion of Canadians working together, pooling resources, for the betterment of all. It is such a stubborn and nonsensical disregard for the social fabric of our nation.

Hundreds of people protest cost-cutting at New Brunswick legislature
Canadian Press
May 28 2015

Hundreds of public service employees staged a noisy protest today at the New Brunswick legislature, demanding the government back off on many of its austerity measures.

The group included teachers fighting job cuts, and hospital workers upset over plans to privatize some services.

The Liberal government recently announced it was negotiating with a private company for the operation of food and cleaning services in the hospitals.

City manager’s tactics anger striking London workersCUPE-Strike-One
CTV London
May 29 2015

There was another large rally outside London City Hall by the city’s striking inside workers on Friday.

Paul Moist, the national president of CUPE, used the opportunity to take direct aim at London’s city manager after a letter was sent to the homes of 750 CUPE members.

CTV News has obtained a copy of the three page letter, and while the content is pretty straight forward, the city’s strategy behind sending it remains vague.

Back-to-work legislation for Ontario teachers passes, despite NDP opposition
CBC News
May 28 2015

Back-to-work legislation for Ontario secondary school teachers has passed into law, making sure teachers in three school boards won’t get a chance to strike again this school year.

Both the governing Liberals and Progressive Conservatives supported the legislation, while the NDP opposed it. The bill passed 64 to 18.

Peel, Durham and Rainbow school districts had been on strike, the longest of which was six weeks, when the strikes were deem unlawful by the Ontario Labour Relations Board. That ruling, however, would only hold for two weeks.

Ontario elementary teachers increase work-to-rule campaign on Monday
CBC News
May 31 2015

Public elementary school teachers in the province will ramp up job action Monday, after nine months without collective agreements.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario announced the work-to-rule action last month and although schools have remained open and extracurricular activities and field trips have continued, teachers have not been performing certain administrative duties.

The union says it will further withdraw from Ministry of Education meetings, workshops and mandated meetings with principals.

Nurse suspended after talking to media
CBC News
May 28 2015

A nurse who works at Charlottetown’s Prince Edward Home has been suspended from her job after she spoke to the CBC.

The Prince Edward Home is a 120-bed nursing care facility, which provides 24-hour nurse supervision. It currently has six vacant registered nurse positions, but earlier this month management handed RN Beth Nichol, who has worked there for 23 years, a three-month suspension.

Tories scramble after Joe Oliver’s call for looser labour laws at G7
Sunny Freeman, Huffington Post
May 28 2015

Finance Minister Joe Oliver said Wednesday he believes relaxing labour laws to make it easier to lay off workers would help spur economic growth.

The Conservatives insist he wasn’t talking about Canada. But party officials gave conflicting statements Thursday as to which country he actually was speaking about.

At a G7 meeting of finance ministers in Dresden, Germany, Oliver voiced his support for loosening labour laws, but acknowledged “that’s what gets people demonstrating in the streets,” according to a report by Reuters.

Pembroke urged to help fight postal cuts
Stephen Uhler, The Daily Observer
May 27 2015

In an election year, it is the public itself who has the power to reverse Canada Post’s decision to scrap door-to-door delivery.

The Crown corporation announced in late 2013 it was phasing this service in favour of community mailboxes to save money.

At a town hall meeting held Tuesday evening at a crowded Pembroke Legion Hall, Peter Denley, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers’ national grievance officer, said these changes were made with little public discourse or debate by a Crown agency which is owned by the people of Canada and should be answerable to them.

Abuses of temporary foreign workers should lead to overhaul of federal systemtfw-chart-2012
Derek Spalding, The Windsor Star
May 28 2015

Too many migrant workers endure repeated abuses by their Canadian employers because of systemic problems with this country’s temporary foreign worker program, say experts calling for major changes.

The renewed call to overhaul the system came this week after a decision from the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario that forced Presteve Foods Ltd., in Wheatley to pay hefty compensation to two Mexican women who faced sexual abuse on the job.

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