R&F Labour News Update – October 26, 2015

BC homecare worker cuts | Federal election fall-out | Save Canada Post | Ontario education bargaining | Winnipeg snow-clearing contracts | NSGEU bargaining | Another TPP disaster | Saskatchewan essential service legislation | BC’s history of migrant workers

Eighty-nine home support workers lose their jobs to BC Liberal cuts
Daniel Tseghay, Rankandfile.ca
October 23 2015

On Thursday, October 15, caregivers, members of the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU), and others, came together outside of Saint Elizabeth, a Vancouver home-care services provider. Eighty-nine home support workers are losing their jobs at the end of the month because Vancouver Coastal Health is cutting funding and transferring duties to volunteers and casual workers.

Federal Election

After Harper: Confronting the Liberals
David Bush and Doug Nesbitt, Rankandfile.ca
October 19 2015

Canada missed the memo: it’s okay to talk about inequality and capitalism
Michal Rozworski, Political Eh-conomy
October 22 2015

Our work after the election
Suzanne MacNeil, Our Times
October 23 2015

Federal public service unions ready to bargain with new Liberal government
Kathryn May, Ottawa Citizen
October 20 2015

Nova Scotia Liberals, NSGEU begin public sector contract talks

Michael Gorman, Chronicle-Herald
October 21 2015

The province has started contract talks with the union representing public servants and the wage offer mirrors that for teachers in a one-page “fact sheet”. NSGEU president Joan Jessome accused the government of negotiating in the public forum as a way to hamper the union’s position. Jessome said while the fact sheet released by the province Wednesday was only one page, the actual offer to the union was 47 pages and contained several concessions the government has not publicly detailed.

Ontario education bargaining

Kathleen Wynne threatens to cut teachers pay during bargaining process
CBC News
October 23 2015

Elementary teachers and support worker job action may delay, cancel report cards
Kristin Rushowy, Toronto Star
October 23 2015

Ontario government paid $1 million for labour peace with high school teachers
Adrian Morrow, Globe and Mail
October 21 2015

Whistleblower slams TPP deal allowing hormone-treated cows into Canada
As It Happens, CBC Radio
October 23 2015

Shiv Chopra is a former Health Canada scientist who lost his job after raising the alarm about dangers posed by bovine growth hormone (BGH). Partially because of his work, it is currently illegal to use the drug to boost milk production in Canada. Chopra tells As It Happens host Carol Off, “We worked upon it so much and got [bovine growth hormone] rejected in Canada…Now, under the trade agreement, it’s going to let the flood-gates open.”

Canada Post

Charlottetown’s Liberal MP wants to reverse Canada Post door-to-door cuts
Jim Day, The Guardian
October 23 2015

Postal workers to Canada Post: you can stop mailbox conversion now
Thunder Bay NewsWatch
October 21 2015

A history of migrant work in BC: Labour choice between exclusion and solidarity
Daniel Tseghay, Rankandfile.ca
October 22 2015

The choices the labour movement is facing today – exclusion or solidarity – have been faced before and, in this city, people have made the right one. In the year 1900, for instance, the Fisherman’s Union was formed, representing indigenous, white, and Japanese workers. Today, rather than singling out migrant workers, Canadian unions would do best to overhaul the labour laws which leave so many migrant workers unprotected. Organized labour must also ensure that all workers, regardless of immigration status, can bargain collectively.

Saskatchewan’s new essential services doesn’t erase the harm done
October 21 2015

New proposed essential services legislation introduced by the Saskatchewan Party government on October 15 does not erase the harm done to tens of thousands of Saskatchewan workers who were stripped of their right to collective bargaining for seven years, according to Bob Bymoen, President of the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union.

Winnipeg’s private snow-clearing contracts costs millions more than municipal workers
Jeff Keele, CTV News
October 23 2015

CUPE Local 500 representing Winnipeg city workers says phasing out private snow clearing would save taxpayers $3 million a year. Right now, 80 per cent of the work is done by private contractors. CUPE said the savings could be achieved, despite the fact the city would have to buy new equipment and hire 150 new employees.

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