Public Inquiry Now

The United Steel Workers along with CUPE BC are asking that you take a moment and sign the petition calling for a public inquiry into sawmill explosions. Thank you for your support!


With your help we can ensure workers and their families get the answers they deserve.

What caused the explosion? Why did the policies and practises that are supposed to protect workers fail to do so? Why were the investigations so badly botched?

To date, the Premier has refused to call a Public Inquiry. But with your support we can convince Christy Clark and her government to keep their promise and stand with the workers and families of Babine Lake and Lakeland sawmills who were promised justice.

Please consider forwarding this email to family, co-workers and friends.

People can click on this link and sign the petition:

Tweet the petition

Workers & families deserve answers–Sign the petition for a Public Inquiry into the sawmill explosions. #bcpoli

Facebook the petition

Workers and their families have many unanswered questions. A Public Inquiry will get answers and could prevent another deadly explosion from happening again. Sign the petition.

Thank you very much for taking action on this most important issue. With your help, I know that we can get a Public Inquiry and help everyone get the answers that they deserve.

May is Asian Heritage Month

May is Asian Heritage Month, an opportunity to celebrate the rich and varied contributions of people of Asian descent to Canada’s social, economic and cultural fabric. It’s important for each of us to reflect on how cultural diversity today continues to strengthen us as a labour movement and in our communities.

It’s also important to remember the significant human rights struggles that Asian people have experienced in Canada since they began to arrive 200 years ago. Some of these struggles included the Chinese Exclusion Act and the so-called Head Tax, the denial of the right to vote or to run for public office, the exploitation of Chinese railway workers, and the internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War.

Recently, people of Asian decent living in Canada have faced a number of challenges, including the following:

Bill C-51, Harper’s Anti-Terrorism Act, threatens the civil liberties and democratic freedoms of all people living in Canada, putting people of colour at particular risk.

The Temporary Foreign Worker and Live-In Caregiver programs are designed to supply a source of cheap, highly exploitable labour for Canadian businesses. As of April 1, 2015, the government’s recent ‘4 and 4’ rule, which limits how long temporary foreign workers can stay in Canada, is causing what some have called the largest deportation in Canadian history.

This year, during Asian Heritage Month, take some time to learn about and celebrate Asian cultures, and learn about the struggles many continue to face.

You can:

Write to your MP to protest Bill C-51 – Despite mass protests across the country, the Harper government refuses to budge on the Anti-Terrorism Act. Learn more here.

Learn about the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the Live-In Caregiver Program and how you can get involved.

Register for CUPE’s new human rights course to develop the skills and perspectives needed to build a stronger, more inclusive and diverse union. Look for it at a CUPE school near you.

CUPE stands in solidarity with Asian workers and recognizes the enormous contributions they have made in building our communities, our labour movement and our country. Asian Heritage Month is an invitation to celebrate human rights and labour activism, within Asian communities and to engage in conversations about current struggles for human rights.

Options to help with relief in Nepal

By now I am sure that you have seen the devastation that has taken place in Nepal due to the massive earthquake that measured 7.8 on the Richter Scale. CUPE National is donating $35,000 to relief efforts.  Please read below your national union’s efforts to help.

If you feel that you want to donate to help out with the relief efforts, you may want to consider the two organizations that CUPE National (OXFAM International and Public Services International (PSI) Nepal Relief Fund) have donated to.

In Solidarity,
Tony Nelson, President

CUPE Local 2081

Camosun College Support Staff

CUPE to donate $35,000 to relief efforts in Nepal

On April 25, an earthquake devastated the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu and surrounding areas. Thousands have died and the death toll continues to rise with a further 6,500 injured, according to Nepalese officials. Women, children and elderly people sit outside in the cold and wind, while numerous people are still buried and dying under the collapsed buildings.

CUPE has pledged $25,000 to Oxfam international and another $10,000 to the Public Services International (PSI) Nepal relief fund.

“CUPE members have a long tradition of international solidarity. We support the work of Oxfam in their relief efforts in Nepal and lend our support to the relief work of Public Services International,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist.

The immediate priority now is to provide emergency shelter to those left homeless by the earthquake, as well as water and sanitation. PSI affiliates in Nepal have already started carrying out relief work.

“CUPE members are front line workers here in Canada; we understand the importance of public services like health care and clean water. Our international solidarity work is very focused on ensuring those public services are there to help,” said CUPE National Secretary Treasurer Charles Fleury.

The majority of the population of the region have fled their homes fearing the aftershocks and are gathered in the surrounding areas, some in make shift camps.

“We must continue to make it a priority to work together to pressure governments and the United Nations to increase investment in emergency services and skills training. Governments and UN agencies must involve public service workers, increase training, improve health and safety standards, and improve facilities, equipment and communications for the workers dealing with these calamities. Again and again we are proved correct in our arguments, when these disasters take huge tolls of human lives and livelihoods while governments remain inactive,” said Rosa Pavanelli, PSI General Secretary.


April 28 Day of Mourning

April 28

In 2014, 203 workers died in BC. On April 28, 2015, CUPE 2081 and the Victoria Labour Council will stand in solidarity with workers across Canada to honour the dead and fight for the safety of the living.

Join speakers from CUPE 2081 and the Victoria Labour Council at the Lansdowne campus of Camosun College to mark the day.

Please join us for the April 28 National Day of Mourning ceremony being held at the West end of the Paul Building starting at 11:00AM. Everyone is welcome.


CUPE Campaign for National Child Care

Below is the latest from CUPE National regarding its ongoing campaign for a National Child Care strategy and to make Child Care more affordable. Your union encourages you to read up on the information, tell your story about the struggles of finding quality affordable child care (if you want to) and help put child care back on the federal agenda!

Thank you for your attention,

In Sol,

Tony Nelson, President
CUPE Local 2081
Camosun College Support Staff

Study after study shows that public spending on child care should be a top priority. The wide-spread and long-lasting economic, social, and health benefits for children, families, and society far outweighs the costs. However, Canada is last among its peer countries on public spending on child care. Despite all the evidence, the federal Conservative government persists on ineffective high-cost proposals such as income-splitting and the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB).

In 2014, the Harper conservative government announced they would make good on an election pledge that they would allow couples with children under 18 to split up to $50,000 of their income each year up to a maximum of benefit of $2,000.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) report, Time To Grow up: Family Policies for the Way We Live Now, shows Canadians that the Conservative income splitting to families with children under 18 would provide no benefit to 89 per cent of all families. Meanwhile the cost to the federal government would be $2 billion in 2015.

Despite the substantial cost, the benefits are quite concentrated and exclude most families. They excluded families without children, single parent families, and two-parent families where both parents are in the same tax bracket. Only three per cent of all families in Canada will get the maximum benefit of income splitting worth $2000. The Conservatives have also promised to increase their much criticized UCCB.

The UCCB will provide $160 a month per child until they are six years of age and $60 a month for each child between ages six and seventeen. It delivers little to families in terms of its stated goal to provide choice in child care arrangements. The benefit does absolutely nothing to address the pressing crisis faced by most families in having available affordable child care.

There is a dire shortage of regulated child care for families across Canada. Canadians are offered a small array of boutique items that cost more and deliver less than a direct investment in a universal child care program would. Such a program would present parents with better options.

The combined cost of income-splitting that benefits the rich and child benefit cheques that don’t buy quality child care, the missed opportunity costs are huge. Canada could accomplish so much more. Child care is perhaps the most significant lever available to governments seeking to help parents balance work and family life. If Canadian governments are concerned about supporting families with children, they would support the growth of quality affordable child care spaces. It is time to rethink child care.


Under maintenance

The CUPE 2081 website is undergoing some changes. From April 13-18 you may see odd formatting, test posts, repeated information, and other unexpected things. We hope to have it back to normal very soon.

Thanks for your patience!

Joint Early Intervention Program (JEIP) committee representative needed

CUPE 2081 is seeking a representative for the Joint Early Intervention Program (JEIP) committee.

Details of the Program and the Terms of Reference can be found here (employee intranet link).

In a nutshell, the JEIP is a completely confidential program that is fully supported by Camosun and your Union, and it provides a proactive service that facilitates a return to work in a caring, safe, and timely manner.

Our JEIP Committee is comprised of equal representation from both the Union and the Employer.

If you are interested in being a CUPE 2081 representative on this committee, please contact your Union office at Local 3665, or at