"In hostile environments like these, it's easy to be frustrated and cynical. But we know that when we work together, no challenge is too big. On this Labour Day, as we take time to recover from our struggles and celebrate our gains, we look ahead to see what more can be done to improve our lives, the lives of our neighbours and our entire community." — Larry Brown, President, NUPGE
“This study shows that paramedics and dispatchers are almost 5 times as likely to suffer a mental health injury as members of the general population." — Trudy Thomson, HSAA Vice President
A recent Probe Research poll commissioned by MGEU/NUPGE reveals that an overwhelming majority of Manitobans —86 percent — say the government should release the KPMG report that has guided many of their health care reforms.
Workers are concerned about the risk of contracting out for both the public and the airport.
“Right now, our contracting out language saves people, but this new language is a step forward because it gives us an opportunity to save the work and save the jobs. That’s not only good for current staff, but for the next generation of workers as well." — Janice Hagan, chair of OPSEU's College Support Division
“One of the biggest differences we make in the lives of others is when we pay our taxes. It is our taxes that pay for the public services our communities depend on to survive. A corporation that is dodging taxes cannot claim to be morally responsible.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President.
“Until those searches are carried out, correctional officers and inmates are going to be at risk from weapons like ceramic knives. If a full institutional search had taken place, the injuries that the officer suffered at Central East could have been avoided.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
“Ten cents an hour is akin to leaving a one cent tip at the end of a restaurant meal. It’s shameful.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
"I ask all MLAs to hold the Premier accountable and do what he promised to do — send the entire Bill 148 to the court. That would provide the clarity we all deserve.” — Jason MacLean, NSGEU President
The fact that the province won’t commit to mandatory minimum requirements is problematic and dangerous,” said Thomas. “In the meantime, employers know that they’ll only get a slap on the wrist." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
"I am so impressed by the participants at the School this year. They engaged honestly and directly with passion and compassion. The future of NUPGE is in good hands with these leaders." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President.
. “I strongly encourage everyone to support their leadership team which is recommending that members vote yes on August 29.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Health care professionals, including members of the Health Sciences Association of B.C. (HSABC/NUPGE), have stepped up by asking how they can help their colleagues deliver health in affected regions.
"This is not the end. This is a new beginning and provides us clarity for what we must do. Your work is valuable and deserving of a wage that is fair and representative of your colleagues across the country. Benefits that you have earned over the years should not be legislated away with the swipe of pen from a hand sitting in the Premier’s Office." — Jason MacLean, NSGEU President.
“These workers need and deserve the kind of working conditions that will allow them to continue providing the best possible blood services to the people of Ontario — public services that Ontarians can trust and have complete confidence in." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
"After all the labour havoc they have caused during their last term in office, haven't they realized they should stay out of the process and stop causing employees such unnecessary distress?" — Jason MacLean, NSGEU President
“One of our top priorities is ensuring our services foster the inclusion and dignity that adults with developmental disabilities have a right to. However, the employer doesn’t think we deserve the same kind of dignity — not when they’re offering us dimes.” — Sue Walker, President, OPSEU Local 249
"We will continue to push for [domestic violence leave] in negotiations, with the ultimate goal of it becoming part of the labour laws in our province." — Susie Proulx-Daigle, NBU President
“They are proud to be part of the fabric of the local community and the nearby counties. It’s time their hard work and dedication to their jobs be acknowledged with a fair collective agreement.” — Jason MacLean, NSGEU President
"A collective agreement setting out the conditions for a healthy workplace and a healthy living space will put them on a more equal footing with the employer and go a long way to addressing these issues." — Len Mancini, Chair, OPSEU justice sector
As trade unionists, it is our responsibility to speak out and to act against the threats and violence that come with bigotry and oppression, wherever and whenever they occur.
“Cameco and Silver Wheaton got caught avoiding their taxes. As more information emerges about the use of tax havens by large corporations, it’s likely we’ll find those two companies are just the tip of the iceberg” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
"This is another example of the Minister and the WRHA moving too far, too fast, and putting patients and frontline health care workers at risk in the process.” — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
“We’ve been told that the jails in North Bay and Sudbury will be replaced, but we have no idea when that might be. I’m calling on the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services to act now — for the safety of staff and the security of inmates.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
The richest 10 per cent of families earn 190 per cent of the average of Ontario families’ earnings. — CCPA report
Be bold. Be creative. Be heartfelt. And tell us why unions matter to you!
“The health care sector represents less than 12 per cent of Ontario’s workforce, but 4 of the top 10 professions reporting workplace violence are in health care. Meanwhile, CEOs of many hospitals and other health care facilities just look the other way while their staff are assaulted." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
MGEU/NUGPE members share experiences as frontline health care workers dealing with budget cuts.
Why Unions matter to Decent Wages
By Sarah Chernik
Unions fought for the minimum wage,
Giving all negotiations a legal starting stage,
Instead of employers asking employees to work for pittances, or for free,
Taking advantage of the desire for employment in you, or in me.
Not everyone knows how, or is good at, negotiation,
And that lack of expertise, or ability, can sabotage compensation.
Unions provide training to stewards, bargaining committees or assign professional staff,
"HSAA members are called upon to deal with the results of accidents on farms. As Albertans and as health-care professionals, we have a stake in seeing the rate of accidents, injuries and fatalities reduced. Taking these reasonable measures to prevent worker fatigue, to improve safety education and to improve equipment safety will save lives and prevent injuries." — Trudy Thomson, HSAA Vice-President
"All we're asking for is a fair deal for workers. We urge the employer to come back to the bargaining table with a view to getting a deal done." — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President
Public Services International, a Global Union Federation, is recognizing the contribution's of the world's young people and urging support for young workers.
“Community health workers are trained professionals, and the vital work they do must be coordinated and compensated fairly.” — BCGEU president Stephanie Smith
“Paid blood donation will harm our voluntary system and puts patients’ health and safety at risk”, said NUPGE President, Larry Brown. “Governments must heed the Canadian Blood Services warnings and stop licensing these for-profit private clinics.
“College faculty are committed to providing high-quality education for the hundreds of thousands of students who rely on Ontario colleges to prepare them for the rest of their lives. It’s time for management to listen to their expertise on how best to do that.” — OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas
“The promise of the peace process in Colombia is under severe threat. Mining companies are moving into indigenous areas and paramilitaries are re-grouping to move into areas which the FARC left under the terms of the peace agreement. The situation is deeply alarming, and the government needs to move quickly to implement the Havana agreements and not allow violence and plunder of natural resources to turn the country back into chaos.” — Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary
"It is now abundantly clear that government is not genuinely interested in reaching an agreement with our members." — Jason MacLean, NSGEU President
“The evidence clearly shows that people pushing privatization over-sell and under-deliver." — OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas
“The size of the gap between what the cash flows for the three hospital projects show and what Partnerships BC claimed shows why the public needs access to all information regarding P3s and other privatization schemes” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
“The idea that it is in any way acceptable to scrap defined benefit pension plans so hedge fund managers and others can make a quick buck is one reason income inequality is a growing problem.” — Elisabeth Ballermann, NUPGE Secretary-Treasurer
“The essential work of our members has been recognized by the commission and they've asked to hear from them directly” — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President
“The province passed the Pay Equity Act in 1987. Thirty years later, some employers still haven’t complied with the law. And when they finally do, some victimize clients and workers” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
PEIUPSE is looking into federal funding requirements for the new health accord dollars, as well as what can be done to prevent these new initiatives from leading us down the road of privatization of our public services.
Growing concern that vested interests will scuttle this small but important step towards a fairer tax system.
Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are driving privatisation on a global scale. They pose a very real threat to public sector services and may even prevent attempts to re-nationalise when privatisation fails.
“Why would we start from scratch like this when Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries already has the infrastructure, expertise and proven dedication to social responsibility as well as a track record of managing the sale of a controlled substance safely and responsibly?” — MGEU President Michelle Gawronsky