Restoring Fairness & Balance in Labour Relations (BCFED)

Please find attached the final version of “Restoring Fairness and Balance in Labour Relations: The BC Liberals Attack on Unions and Workers 2001-2016” position paper written by John MacTavish and Chris Buchanan. This was issued by the BCFED. CUPE BC participated in the process.

I have attached a Position Paper LRB and its Executive Summary. It is also posted on the BCFED website at http://bcfed.ca/news/briefs/restoring-fairness-and-balance-labour-relations.

Please feel free to share this excellent document.

In solidarity,

Paul

Paul Faoro
President
CUPE British Columbia

 

Presidential Shout Out – Facilities Services staff

Good Day, Members,

I would like to give a SHOUT OUT to our hard-working Facilities Services staff for keeping our pathways and parking lots accessible. There have been some early mornings and long hours for these folks.

Although the rest of us have endured driving, walking, busing, etc., in these challenging conditions to get to the workplace, it might have been impossible, if not for the efforts of Facilities Services staff.

Personally, I can tell you I was involved in a no-fault accident, just minutes from the Interurban campus, which involved four vehicles and a bus! Fortunately, no-one was hurt.

As always, during these difficult seasonal weather conditions – BE SAFE!

On behalf of myself, our Executive Board, and the entire CUPE 2081 membership – THANK YOU, Facilities Services staff!

Keith Todd

 

Alex’s story prompts acting representative to recommend key changes in care system

Broken Promises: Alex’s Story illustrates how the B.C. child welfare system failed to act on opportunities to find Alex a permanent home with family and instead left him to drift through 17 care placements over 11 years until he ultimately leapt through his Abbotsford hotel window on Sept. 18, 2015. Alex was alone at the time, having been placed in the hotel room for 49 days as the Delegated Aboriginal Agency (DAA) caring for him could not find a more suitable option.

RCYBC News Release: Alex’s story prompts acting representative to recommend key changes in care system

RCYBC Report

CUPE SD Fund Reminder

A reminder to submit your full application package/s to CUPE SD, c/o the Human Resources Department, Lansdowne, by February 15th for review by the CUPE SD Subcommittee. (Do not send applications or copies of applications to the Union Office.)

Don’t forget – fiscal year end is two months away! Do you have any outstanding SD applications for 2016-2017 you have not yet submitted? If so, get them in now:

 

*** Any applications for activities occurring during the period April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017 MUST be submitted before March 31, 2017 to receive reimbursement. ***

 

CUPE condemns attack at Quebec City mosque and calls for unity against hate

(reposted from CUPE National) CUPE National President Mark Hancock condemned a mass shooting at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City on Sunday, January 29, that left six dead and eight wounded, calling on CUPE members and Canadians to unite in opposition to hate and oppression.

Two hands holding a small lit candle with darkness in the background

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their loved ones, as well as the first responders who helped victims on the scene,” said Hancock. “While the authorities have not yet determined the motive for this heinous attack, whether islamophobia or an act of terror, the root cause is hate and ignorance. Together we must increase our vigilance against hate and all forms of oppression in society, and do our part to foster peace and solidarity.”

Following the US election campaign and election of Donald Trump there has been an increase in reported incidents of racism, hate crimes against mosques and synagogues and other community places of worship in many Canadian cities. This latest and deadliest attack comes at the end of a weekend in which the Trump administration decreed a ban on travel to the US from seven countries where Muslims are in the majority. While a link has not been revealed between the US executive order and Sunday’s attack in Quebec City, hate and ignorance are the underlying cause.

“Hate hurts, hate divides, and hate kills,” said National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury. “This attack in my home province is an attack on all Quebeckers and Canadians. As CUPE members we will come together to combat hate and islamophobia in all its forms, and call out governments that use fear and hatred as tools to divide people and oppress communities.”

BCNDP Joint Nomination Meeting for Saanich North & the Islands; Saanich South; and Oak Bay-Gordon Head

Upcoming NDP nomination meetings (see below), Saanich North and the Islands, Saanich South and Oak Bay-Gordon Head will be holding a joint nomination meeting on Sunday, February 5th at 2pm at the Saanich Fair Grounds Main Hall at 1528 Stellys Cross Road, Central Saanich

Saanich North and the Islands: Gary Holman is the sole candidate for the nomination, so will be acclaimed to the position. Gary was elected as the MLA for Saanich North and the Islands in May 2013. He serves as Opposition Spokesperson for Democratic Reform, Deputy Environment, Fisheries and B.C. Ferries.

Saanich South: Lana Popham is the sole candidate for the nomination, so will be acclaimed to the position. Lana was re-elected as MLA for Saanich South in May 2013. She is the Opposition Spokesperson for Agriculture and Food.

Oak Bay-Gordon Head: Bryce Casavant is the sole candidate for the nomination, so will be acclaimed to the position. Bryce served in the Canadian Forces and worked as a Conservation Officer, where he famously refused to put down two bear cubs in 2015 which ultimately cost him his job.

This meeting will be a great opportunity for you to support Gary and Lana and to meet Bryce. We hope that you and your members can make it to this meeting.

 

Stacking the deck for P3s in Victoria, BC

As the Greater Victoria region in BC proceeds with a mostly public plan for sewage treatment, after a decade of CUPE campaigning against a P3, the question remains: was a fully public option ever really available?

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2017 issue of CUPE BC’s Public Employee magazine.

After years of planning and decades of discussion, the Greater Victoria region finally made a decision on how to treat the core area’s sewage this past September. CUPE members had been advocating from the start for a publicly owned, operated and maintained sewage treatment plant—and, from the start, the fight was an uphill battle.

The planning process began in 2006, after the BC government announced that the Capital Region District (CRD) must develop a plan for sewage treatment in the core area, which includes seven of the region’s municipalities. Shortly thereafter, then-Premier Gordon Campbell announced that the project must be evaluated by Partnerships BC to see if it could be a public-private partnership (P3).

“P3s will become the new capital standard,” crowed the premier in a BC government news release. “In the future, all provincially-funded capital projects with a value of over $20 million [that amount will later increase to $50 million] will be considered first by Partnerships BC to be built as a P3 unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise.”

Despite pressure from other levels of government to privatize vital community services, CRD residents continued to voice their support for public services. In a May 2009 report summarizing public consultations, the recurring theme was of “a community desire to have locally built, publicly owned and managed treatment facilty(ies).”

Even with strong community support for a fully public solution for sewage treatment, the CRD ultimately chose a hybrid approach to procurement that includes a mix of public and private procurement. The main treatment facility and conveyance system will be owned, operated and managed publicly. The resource recovery portion of the project, which will treat and manage the biosolids that remain after wastewater has been processed, will be delivered through the P3 model by an unknown private partner for 30 years.

In 2012, funding for the project was confirmed and the implementation phase of the project began. However, in 2014 that plan fell apart and the CRD went back to the planning phase. This caused grave concern for several reasons, one being that if the CRD lost the public funding they had secured there would be no other public funding available and a new application for federal funding would be subject to an automatic P3 screen.

Ultimately the same procurement model was suggested for the revised plan that the CRD approved in September 2016. The hybrid procurement model soon to be implemented could bring significant challenges.

Renewed pressure from Ottawa

We are certainly seeing a strong push for privatization at the federal level. Last fall Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that his government was considering the creation of a “Canadian Infrastructure Development Bank”. This model would entice private companies and pension funds to invest heavily in public infrastructure. Should local governments want to access this funding, they could be forced to consider a P3.

This all begs the question of how much choice local governments have in procurement of new or updated infrastructure. While senior levels of government often try to drive decisions by imposing funding conditions like P3 screening, local governments can and do push back on their own and through their provincial and federal associations.

Now, more than ever, it is important to voice your concern over the federal government’s ‘infrastructure bank’ and insist that decisions around local services should be made by those communities – not by governments imposing their agenda on communities.

(reposted from CUPE national)