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Facing B.C.’s challenges together in 2022

Facing B.C.’s challenges together in 2022

Welcome to the Winter 2022 edition of Public Employee. Though you will receive this issue well before January 1, I want to extend my best wishes to all CUPE members in B.C. for a very Happy New Year. Of course we hope that, as 2022 begins, we will start to see the COVID-19 pandemic more in the rear view mirror and less in the daily news.

As we say goodbye to 2021, our focus now is on advocating for public childcare. Childcare is a critical public service for everyone, regardless of whether they have young kids—or whether they have kids at all. I don’t have kids of my own, but I see childcare as an issue of economic fairness. We’re now advocating for childcare for school-aged kids (5–12) to be located in public schools throughout B.C. For the full details about our campaign, see the cover feature on pages 8–11 and visit publicchildcarenow.ca.

Climate crisis impacts close to home

In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic and the epidemic of opioid overdose deaths, British Columbians have been hit hard by the impacts of the climate crisis this year. The worst wildfire season in provincial history — as an aside, when did we get used to there being something called “wildfire season” in the first place? — along with a heat dome that caused so many deaths, was followed by catastrophic floods and mudslides that also killed people and caused billions of dollars of damage in destroyed homes, livestock, and infrastructure.

We all have a responsibility to do our part to tackle climate change. It’s obviously moved past the warning signs — the climate emergency is here in our communities, and we need to listen to the scientists who have been ringing the alarm bells and take collective action. In the meantime, CUPE BC continues to draw inspiration from the efforts of our members in response to these disasters, and we’ve established a Disaster Relief Fund to support members who’ve been impacted by them (see opposite).

Since being elected as your president, I’ve had the opportunity to connect with cabinet ministers, senior bureaucrats and political staff in Victoria, and to present our views on a wide range of issues. I was also able to join other officers of the BC Federation of Labour at a rally at the Legislature in support of 10 days’ employer-provided paid sick leave for all workers. It’s unfortunate that the campaign fell short — the government announced that it would be implementing five days of paid sick leave — but we will continue our push to have the program expanded to 10 days.

On my bookshelf

In the interest of promoting both literacy and the work of our members at public libraries, I thought I’d use this space to share what I’m reading right now. I hope you can check out one or more of these titles at your local library or independent bookstore: Please Don’t Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes by Phoebe Robinson, Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead, and Falling For Myself by Dorothy Ellen Palmer.

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Facing B.C.’s challenges together in 2022 News

Budget 2024 tackles economic uncertainty with investments in public services and affordability – CUPE BC

Budget 2024 tackles economic uncertainty with investments in public services and affordability – CUPE BC

February 22, 2024
VICTORIA— Budget 2024 continues the BC NDP’s record of making meaningful investments in the public services that matter to people and communities, and creating and expanding programs that make life…
VICTORIA— Budget 2024 continues the BC NDP’s record of making meaningful investments in the public services that matter to people and communities, and creating and expanding programs that make life...

District of Chetwynd workers ratify new contract

District of Chetwynd workers ratify new contract

February 15, 2024
CHETWYND – After a collaborative round of negotiations CUPE 3052 members, municipal workers in the District of Chetwynd, have overwhelmingly ratified a new four-year contract. The new agreement includes wage…
CHETWYND – After a collaborative round of negotiations CUPE 3052 members, municipal workers in the District of Chetwynd, have overwhelmingly ratified a new four-year contract. The new agreement includes wage...

CUPE 1978 ratifies new agreement with Greater Victoria Housing Society

CUPE 1978 ratifies new agreement with Greater Victoria Housing Society

February 13, 2024
VICTORIA – CUPE 1978 members at the Greater Victoria Housing Society have ratified a new five-year agreement that provides improved working conditions for CUPE members, as well as enhanced supportive housing…
VICTORIA – CUPE 1978 members at the Greater Victoria Housing Society have ratified a new five-year agreement that provides improved working conditions for CUPE members, as well as enhanced supportive housing...