July 27, 2009

O’Neill calls on Premier to confirm ’09 library grants

BURNABY—On the eve of a meeting between the Minister of Education and the BC Library Trustees Association (BCLTA) that could determine the outcome of funding for public libraries next year, the Canadian Union of Public Employees has written to Premier Gordon Campbell and the minister requesting that the BC Liberal government maintain or increase funding levels for library operating grants.

In a letter faxed earlier today, CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill cites the importance of provincial operating grants to many libraries’ ability to deliver quality services to the public.

July 27, 2009

Harvey Oberfeld speaks up about paramedic dispute

VANCOUVER—Respected television and print journalist Harvey Oberfeld has added his voice to those urging government action to bring the BC Ambulance Paramedic’s strike to an end.

Oberfeld commented that being forced to work overtime through essential services was “almost like slavery” when speaking this morning on CFUN 1410.

Oberfeld called on the government to appoint an independent mediator to bring a resolve to the dispute that is now in its 118th day.

July 27, 2009

Cultus Lake workers vote strike and seek mediation

CULTUS LAKE—CUPE 458 members are sending a strong message to the Park Board. The Cultus Lake park workers voted Thursday evening with 100% voting in favour of a strike.

“We’ve been unable to reach a settlement and are applying for mediation,” says Bryan Bickley, unit chair of CUPE 458’s Cultus Lake Park Board Local. “This is a fairness issue. These workers should be paid the going rate.”

Their contract expired December 31, 2007 and they have been working without a contract for a year a half.

July 22, 2009

“Third Rail” to focus on paramedics tonight

BURNABY—Erica Sigurdson’s “Third Rail” program on Chum TV will focus tonight on striking ambulance paramedics, members of CUPE 873.

“Third Rail” is a tongue-in-cheek look at contemporary issues aimed at increasing public awareness.

Tonight’s broadcast will air on the CityNews List at 6:30pm and 11 pm on Channel 13.

COPE 491


July 22, 2009

Fireworks shine light on understaffing problem

VANCOUVER–CUPE 873, Ambulance Paramedics of BC, are raising concerns about public safety for tonight’s opening event for the annual Celebration of Lights fireworks festival.

“We’re concerned that people are at risk,” says CUPE 873 president John Strohmaier.

July 21, 2009

Paramedics keep their T-shirts on

VANCOUVER–Striking ambulance paramedics will be donning T-shirts to remind the government that they are still on strike.

“The government has got to stop ignoring this critical situation,” says CUPE 873 president John Strohmaier.

July 21, 2009

Library service cuts 'will hurt kids, seniors most'

TRAIL— The Trail and District Public Library Board’s plan to slash library hours by 50 per cent and cut staffing by 77 per cent to offset budget shortfalls will have an immediate negative impact on the Trail community, says the union representing Trail Library workers.

“Telling library patrons that Mondays and weekends are gone, and that they can only use their library on one evening per week, is pretty devastating for a small community,” says Jean Poole, president of Local 2087 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

Effective August 1, the cuts are expected to impact se

March 31, 2009

Workers push public solutions at World Water Forum in Turkey

ISTANBUL—The pace is fast and furious for the Public Services International’s 55-member delegation at the World Water Forum in Istanbul.

CUPE Manitoba president Kevin Rebeck, CUPE 1978 Keep it Public campaign coordinator Kim Manton and staff members Rhonda Spence and Karin Jordan are representing CUPE in the PSI delegation and working closely with water activists from around the world.

March 13, 2009

More reasons to question P3s at Victoria forum

VICTORIA—In advance of World Water Day 2009, the Greater Victoria Water Watch Coalition hosted a well-attended public forum to discuss new sewage treatment in the Capital Regional District, privatization and public-private partnerships (P3s).

Held at Camosun College’s Lansdowne Campus on March 12, the evening featured a panel moderated by Maeve Lydon, o

February 4, 2009

SFU united against cuts

BURNABY – More than 1,000 students, staff, and teachers joined in a boisterous rally at Simon Fraser University today to demand adequate funding for public education in order to “Save SFU”.

At the front of the protest were people holding signs numbered from 1-80 to illustrate the number of staff (50) and faculty (30) slated to lose their jobs because of B.C. government funding cuts.

The crowd called on the B.C.