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April 15, 2010

Powell River to privatize wastewater treatment

POWELL RIVER—Residents may soon see privatized wastewater treatment if the City’s plan goes ahead. CUPE 798 members are raising concerns about the agreement in principle the City signed with Catalyst on Friday, April 9.

The twenty-year agreement, with an option for renewal, would pay Catalyst $750,000 annually to treat the region’s wastewater. With the signing, Catalyst dropped their appeal of a court decision upholding the company's property tax rates, and agrees to pay a reduced tax rate to the City.

April 15, 2010

Turning pink in the Terrace sunshine

CUPE 2052 members say No Bullying at the Terrace school board office.TERRACE—School workers came out in force and in pink on a sunny day in Terrace to celebrate anti-bullying day on April 14.

Members of CUPE 2052 who work in the Coast Mountains School District want to encourage an end to bullying throughout the school system – including their workplaces.

Applauding the emphasis on eliminating bullying on playgrounds and other areas where students gather, CUPE 2052 president and school secretary Cerri

April 14, 2010

CUPE BC’s Convention hits Vancouver next week

BURNABY—The Canadian Union of Public Employees’ BC Division’s 47th annual convention begins Wednesday, April 21 and goes through until Saturday, April 24 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Vancouver. About 600 delegates are expected to attend the convention.

April 13, 2010

Good news also comes in threes

HOPE – CUPE 458 members have reached a new collective agreement with the Fraser Valley Regional District.

The workers at Hope District Recreation and Cultural Services (HDRCS) have ratified a four-year agreement retroactive to January 1, 2008. The contract will expire on December 31, 2011. The new deal includes a three-per-cent wage increase in each year of the contract and an increase in travel allowances and group life insurance.

CUPE 458 president Louise Piper praised the Local’s bargaining team.

April 13, 2010

CUPE members rally to build a better B.C.

CUPE members carry the flag at the Coalition to Build a Better BC rally in Vancouver, April 10. (Photo courtesy Kim Elliott,

VANCOUVER—CUPE members turned out in big numbers Saturday afternoon in Vancouver, joining more than a thousand people from a wide range of organizations to draw attention to the damage the BC Liberal government is doing to B.C.

Emceed by well-known actor and blues musician Jim Byrnes, the “Build a Better BC” rally featured speakers and music.

April 12, 2010

CUPE custodian chart surfs in the hip hop world

PENTICTON - Zane Gold is a school custodian with big dreams. A CUPE 523 member in Penticton schools since 1999, he has left and returned a few times, but it is likely his future is in the music industry. And he has lots of support from friends and family, including his dad who worked for the Okanagan-Skaha school district for 25 years.

Now in his early 30s, Zane has had a lot of experiences and some pretty big musical wins already.

April 9, 2010

Health science professionals’ talks focus on job evaluation

BURNABY—The expiry of the 2006 – 2010 Health Science Professionals collective agreement on March 31, 2010 was marked with continued discussion between the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association and Health Employers Association of BC about the principles that will be used for a thoughtful discussion in negotiating a collective agreement that protects quality health care and values the work of health science professionals.

HSPBA’s Chief Negotiator Maureen Headley said the discussion on a classifications system that reflects a modern health care team must start with the em

April 9, 2010

Layoffs, privatization for ambulance service

RICHMOND – Paramedics say proposed layoffs and privatization are a major blow to the quality of ambulance service in B.C.

Ambulance Paramedics of BC, CUPE 873, president John Strohmaier said privatization of non-emergency ambulances will only hurt the service. “We need only look to the private transfer fleets operating in Ontario and the U.S. to see the disastrous impacts that for-profit ambulances can have on patients,” said Strohmaier.

April 9, 2010

Provincial underfunding to blame for VSB budget woes

VANCOUVER—Education minister Margaret MacDiarmid was not on hand to hear the community struggle with an $18 million funding shortfall in the Vancouver school district.

“It is truly shameful that this minister refuses to come face-to-face with the trustees, parents, staff and students who are being hurt by underfunding,” said CUPE 15 president Paul Faoro. Trustees on the Vancouver Board of Education had invited the minister to attend.

April 7, 2010

Haitian activist to bring thanks to CUPE BC convention

BURNABY— The leader of Haiti’s largest union will bring greetings from his earthquake-ravaged country, and a message of gratitude for international support in the relief effort, at the 47th annual convention of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, B.C. division (April 21-24).

Dukens Raphael, secretary-general of Haiti’s Confederation of Public and Private Sector Workers, is the featured international guest speaker at this year’s CUPE BC convention, which is being held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Vancouver. Mr.