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member's voice, newseltter, March 2013


  • If you want to have kids, and if you want to have a job you need to have child care.

    The newsletter of CUPE Local 15, Vancouver Municipal Education and Community Workers

    Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to:CUPE Local 15545 W. 10th Ave.Vancouver, BCV5Z 1K9

    General Membership MeetingMARCH

    Date & Time:Location:

    Under Discussion:

    Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 5:30 pm, Room 5 Italian Cultural Centre, 3075 Slocan St., Vancouver Nominations for Executive Board Elections Bargaining Updates: Vancouver Coastal Health,

    Vancouver School Board, Langara College, Emily Carr University, Langara Students Union, Vancouver Art Gallery

    Notices of Motion, see page 3 General Meetings provide all members with an opportunity toparticipateindecisionsthataffecttheunion.

    (Childcare assistance and interpretation available upon request.) 2013

    The MembersvoiceMARCH 2013Lets rethink child care

    CUPE 15 is very -able!Are you on Facebook? If so, come join us on ournewCUPE15FacebookPage.Youwillfindupdates, news, and the occasional photo of what were up to at your union. Links to local stories and like-minded folks will be posted too. Be sure to share it with your fellow members and friends!

    By CUPE National

    Findingaffordablelicenseddaycareisahugechallenge for parents. Child care wait lists are notoriously long and 78 per cent of Canadian children under the age of six dont have regulated child care spaces.

    The costs of child care are growing too. The average cost per child is $30-$80 a day, or over $1,000 a month per child.

    In Quebec, regulated child care spaces are just seven dollars a day. We wanttohaveaffordableand accessible child care services in the rest of Canada.

    A coalition of Canadian unions and child care advocates is launching a new campaign to make sure that the provision of publicandnon-profitchildcare is a priority in the 2015 federal election.

    The campaign will feature a short video, accompanied by interactive kitchen table conversations which provide an informal space for members to talk about their personal experiences with both public and private child care centres. This campaign is designed to engage all Canadians in calling for improved child care.

    You can join the campaign at

  • The MembersvoiceMARCH 20132

    WWW.CUPE15.ORG CUPE Local 15, Vancouver Municipal Education and Community Workers

    This government is well past their expiry date

    Update from your Executive

    By Leanne Toderian, Secretary-Treasurer

    Earlier this month, I attended a Langara membership meeting where the Bargaining Committee met to discuss taking a strike vote. The membership felt they had waited long enough for some

    movement toward a settlement from the employer and it simply was going nowhere. As we have learned in the labour movement our option at this point is to take a strike vote. Dates were set and the members were ready to cast their ballots. Then happily, adealwasofferedby the Employer and the membership will

    nowattendacontractratificationvoteinsteadofa strike vote.

    Iamverypleasedtheyfoughtoffsomewickedstuffanditcanbedescribedasastepintheright direction. Congratulations to the Langara members, the Langara bargaining committee, and KathieCurrie,StaffRepresentative.

    At the last General Membership meeting, discussion arose about encouraging and involving

    young workers around the union. This question has been asked by many before and it was a good chance for our members that attended to share their thoughts and suggestions on how to accomplish this. Out of that discussion I was happy to follow up with a young worker who attended the meeting and I encouraged him to harness the enthusiasm shown at the meeting and organize a meeting or event. Watch for upcoming events from these young enthusiastic activists!

    Also arising from that discussion was a motion thatyouwillfindintheNoticesofMotionsectionof this newsletter. If passed, this motion will provide an opportunity for a young worker from any sector to run for election as a delegate to attend convention. If no young worker is eligible under the 50 percent attendance at membership meetings bylaw the seat will go back into the at large pool and become open to all members. I think this is a step in the right direction and hope to see more young workers get involved.

    I am sure you have all noticed labour and unions get quite a bad rap in the media and perhaps in your own circles. With the upcoming provincial election things will be in high gear. Accusations willflyandtheageoldattacksonunionsandlabour will arise. I have pondered the whys and figureitboilsdowntothis:itisinconceivabletosomethatanyonewouldhelporfightforsomethingtheymayormaynotdirectlybenefitfrom. This puzzles those who are used to the dog

    eat dog mentality of many of those not on the left of politics. But we all know involvement in the labour movement is a calling because there are no pots of gold at the end of the rainbow. This is something that capitalists will never understand.

    Which leads me to a related item. A cherished member of this union has been struck with a serious illness and a few of her union colleagues decided they wanted to help. One thing lead to another and the next thing you know, not only did they get help from her friends, coworkers, union sisters and brothers, but Barry ONeill, our BC President and Mark Hancock, our BC Secretary Treasurer, attended an event held in her name recently. This kind of solidarity and support is not easily found and I was humbled to be part of it. One thing I have learned is that we stick together like family. It is a blessing.

    Lastly, I would like to thank our outgoing Chief Steward from the City, Steve Salsman. Steve and I worked together for years as stewards in the trenches and I got to know him to be a solid activist who has a sound commitment to labour values. He brought a critical eye which is so much differentthanacriticalvoice.Hehadsolutions.But I am happy to say he is still an active steward and on a much needed break from Chief. Sally Bankiner has taken up the reins and will be Chief for the City sector stewards and is already gearing up for her new role. Congratulations Sally!

    The Heart and Soul of Labour

    Leanne Toderian Secretary Treasurer

    Paul Faoro, President

    By Paul Faoro, President

    The provincial election is on May 14. Thats less than 60 days from the time this Members Voice came through your mail slot to E-Day, where we collectively can change government. This is a change that is

    desperately needed. In CUPE 15 about half of our membership works for an employer that receives its funding directly from the provincial government. For the last 12 years we have had a government whose priority has been cutting taxes for corporations and the wealthy at the

    expense of properly funding public services. CUPEmembershavefelttheeffectoftheBCLiberals skewed priorities. Members have had theirwagesfrozen,theirbenefitsclawedback,and their rights taken away.

    The lack of sustained funding has hammered public sector employers. The Vancouver School Board is facing another multimillion dollar shortfall for the coming school year. This is on top of the $80 million it has had to cut from its budgets over the last 10 years due to underfunding. Education spending in BC is the

    second lowest in Canada behind only Prince Edward Island. This is from a government that spews its Family First Plan on a daily basis.

    Premier Christy Clark presented her governments 2013 budget a few weeks ago and it doesnt look any better. School boards are squeezed further as they will have to absorb many new costs such as MSP increases and converting from the HST to PST. Post-secondary funding will be cut again and the tuition fees will continue to rise. Premier Clark wants students to carry more debt load for their education as graduates are expected to use 8% of their income to pay for student loans, up from 5%.

    The arts and cultural sector will feel the cut of $126.7 million to the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development a cut that amounts to 41% of its budget. Our members at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Museum of Vancouver, HR MacMillan Space Centre, and Maritime Museum have fallen behind due to grant cuts under this government. Last year BCs arts funding was well below that of all other provinces of Canada. The national average for provincial arts funding is $26 per capita with BC at approximately $6.50 per capita.

    Premier Clark is also slashing health care spending as levels announced last year for the fiscalyear2013-2014havebeenreducedby$234million. Budget documents also forecast that health authorities and societies will spend $90 million less on front-line health care services than forecasted in last years plan. The BC Liberals

    have taken our province from second to ninth place compared to other provinces for per capita investment in health care needs of its residents.

    This budget was coined Investing in our future but it does nothing for our future but place more costs on working families. The BC Liberalsaffirmedthisbudgetasbalancedbutwhen you know they are selling $260 million of government assets or what I should say as our assets there is nothing balanced about it. This government is well past their expiry date.

    In the last provincial election, more than half of the eligible voters stayed home. In order to address this and help elected people who value public services and working families in British Columbia, our Provincial Division has started member-to-member calling. That is CUPE members calling other CUPE members to talk about the importance of this election.

    The phone banks have started but we need more members t