We have a Throwback Thursday post today! We have archival footage from 40 years ago when CUPE 960 Library Workers went on strike to protect contracting out language, the long service bonus, and fair wages for women to their male comparators. These workers stood for what they believe in and were on strike for one day. They were successful in fighting off concessions, and instead of the 25 percent wage increase they were seeking, they received an 11 percent increase. "We did alright," said our 1975 local President Olga Tilk, "But next time we'll fight a little harder."
ST. CATHARINES, Ont. – Front-line Brock University workers, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), are urging Brock's administration to invest in their English as a Second Language (ESL) instructors, as both parties head back to the bargaining table on Saturday, March 14, to avert a service disruption which could happen as early as 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, March 17.
"Brock's ESL department is very important to the university, delivering popular programs that attract students from around the globe," says Dan Crow, president of CUPE 4207. "Our ESL members are highly-qualified and dedicated professionals who helped build and deliver the in-demand courses. The program attracts international students who pay high tuition fees to benefit from the skills and experience of CUPE 4207 members."
"Brock's administration seems to recognize the importance of the ESL programs and value the high revenue generated by the program," continued Crow. "We understand there are even plans to grow and invest in the ESL programs, yet the same administration is refusing to recognize the contribution of ESL instructors by refusing to offer them a fair contract that addresses our members' outstanding issues."
CUPE 4207's Unit 3 represents 60 members who are permanent and sessional ESL instructors helping international students thrive at Brock. Sessional instructors form half of the ESL instructors, and they face precarious work employment with some members working as little as two to four weeks over a semester. Job security, wages and enhancing high standards of ESL programs are the top outstanding issues.
"Other university workers at the University of Toronto and York University have been forced to walk the picket line to stand up for fair working conditions," added Crow. "We are hopeful that Brock will return to the bargaining table to seriously address the outstanding issues and avoid a service disruption at Brock."
For more information, please contact:
Dan Crow, CUPE 4207 President, 905-931-8007
Mike Stokes, CUPE National Representative, 905-641-3051
James Chai, CUPE Communications, 905-739-3999
March 8 is International Women’s Day. Across the country, CUPE will hold events to honour the accomplishments of women and renew our commitment to gender equality.
CUPE has a number of campaigns that address women’s rights as workers, community members and users of public services. We encourage you and your local to use International Women’s Day to promote and participate in these initiatives.
Host a kitchen table conversation about child care, tell us your experience and hopes, and encourage others to share their stories. Visit RethinkChildcare.ca for a guide to host conversations.
Fill out the Canadian Labour Congress-sponsored survey on domestic violence and the workplace, and encourage others to do the same. Everyone who completes the survey can enter a draw for a tablet computer.
Tell your MP why health care is a critical issue for women as workers, unpaid caregivers and patients – and fight the $36 billion planned federal cuts. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a lobby kit and find out more at cupe.ca/health-care-public-solutions.
Sign CUPE’s Enough is Enough petition calling upon the federal government to ensure Indigenous peoples in Canada have access to safe, clean drinking water. Access to clean water improves the health of families, and is central to women’s equality. CUPE has partnered with the Assembly of First Nations and the Safe Drinking Water Foundation to promote this campaign across Canada.
These are just some of the ways CUPE is recognizing women’s work and fighting for gender justice at work and in our communities.
On International Women’s Day, we applaud our sisters’ work, and we re-dedicate ourselves to gender equality.
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