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December 11, 2009

Turning up the heat on education funding

VANCOUVER – CUPE BC’s provincial executive, which is meeting in Vancouver, applauded the joint work between school trustees, parents, teachers and staff in response to serious government underfunding.

CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill says that there has been an historic response across the province to the Liberal government’s arrogant and short-sighted cost cutting, with many districts sending joint letters to government about funding problems.

“The harmful impact of cuts and downloaded costs on the education of B.C.

December 10, 2009

Paramedics - new talks for new deal

VANCOUVER —Representatives of the BC Ambulance Service agree with ambulance paramedics on one thing – that the provincial model is the only option for a viable and sustainable ambulance service in B.C.

The shared perspective came out at the first day of contract talks held today in Vancouver for a new collective agreement between the BCAS and CUPE 873, Ambulance Paramedics of BC.

On several occasions the provincial Liberal government has alluded to looking into “alternate delivery options for paramedics.”

CUPE 873 served notice on Dec.

December 10, 2009

Creston Library talks bound for mediation

CRESTON – Talks are off to a shaky start for a first contract at the Creston & District Public Library. After meeting with the employer for the first time this week, CUPE National Representative Lee-Anne Halifax said the two sides appear to be “miles apart.”

Halifax said the talks for a first contract were held Monday and Tuesday. The Library Association has hired the same “labour consultant” who oversaw the three-month lockout of library workers in Grand Forks.

December 9, 2009

Falcon called to talks

SURREY—The message to Health Services Minister Kevin Falcon was loud and clear - get to the bargaining table tomorrow with paramedics and stay there until there is a fair collective agreement.

More than 100 paramedics, CUPE members and union supporters were on hand today in Surrey outside a Chamber of Commerce luncheon where Falcon was speaking inside on his vision of “the future of health care in B.C.”

Tomorrow (Dec.

December 8, 2009

Support strong for paramedics - poll

BURNABY – A new poll shows solid support for B.C.’s ambulance paramedics in their demands to improve ambulance service in B.C. and negotiate a collective agreement.

When the provincial government passed Bill 21 “back to work” legislation on Nov. 7, the 3,500 ambulance paramedics had been on strike for seven months, but were already working under Essential Services orders.

December 8, 2009

Fraser Valley Library workers ratify agreement

ABBOTSFORD — Members of CUPE 1698 ratified a three-year collective agreement with the Fraser Valley Regional Library on Sunday, December 6.

The contract includes 3 per cent in each of three contract years, with the first increase retroactive to January 1, 2009. Significant improvements include an increase in shift premium for people working after 5PM, introduction of a First Aid premium, and increased flexibility around vacation scheduling.

December 7, 2009

CUPE turns up the heat on Bill 21

VANCOUVER – CUPE members, faculty, activists and students braved the cold (for Vancouver) weather today to rally at the University of British Columbia in support of free collective bargaining.

The midday rally at UBC was the latest in a series of public protests against the provincial government legislating 3,500 striking ambulance paramedics “back to work” with Bill 21. That repressive legislation was passed Nov.

December 7, 2009

Prince George brings home the gold

PRINCE GEORGE—CUPE municipal workers are to be congratulated as Prince George was recently awarded the prestigious Gold Canada Award of Excellence Quality Award from the National Quality Institute, based in Toronto. This award is a three-year certification and Prince George has achieved Level 4.

December 4, 2009

Welcome to our new website

BURNABY—CUPE BC unveiled its new website today - the most significant overhaul of its design and architecture since the union first went online 10 years ago. “We’re pleased to announce that our revamped website is up and running,” said CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill. “Our members have been asking us for a website that not only looks good, but is easier to navigate around. The new site has certainly achieved these goals.”

The site features an attractive new banner with prominent CUPE BC logo and a revolving photo display featuring faces of CUPE members from throughout the province.

December 3, 2009

CLC weighs in on Bill 21

OTTAWA – The Canadian Labour Congress has voiced “increasing concern” over the deterioration of the B.C. ambulance service and the lack of a settlement in the paramedics’ dispute. CLC president Ken Georgetti said the CLC, which represents more than three million Canadian workers, hopes the provincial government will come to its senses and voluntarily bargain a new collective agreement with CUPE 873.