Media Advisory: Oshawa community event on this Saturday to boost care for long-term care residents

OSHAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – May 25, 2017) – Oshawa seniors in long-term care need the community’s help to get the Ontario government to support increased care levels for residents and new legislation to make a daily care standard the law, says Candace Rennick a former long-term care worker and now secretary-treasurer of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario.

This is why this Saturday, May 27, 2017 between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., CUPE Ontario along with the local group ‘We are Oshawa’ are hosting a community event highlighting how “we, right here in Oshawa can all make a difference to the lives of vulnerable seniors by supporting a resident care standard,” says Rennick.

She’s encouraging Oshawa-Durham residents with aging parents, family members already in long-term care or anyone interested in the state of the system to drop by the Saturday event at the Northview Library (Nonquon Room), 250 Beatrice Street, Oshawa to learn about how Ontario underfunds resident care compared to other provinces and what they can do to change that. “We want anyone who wants to help make this better to come out to our community day on Saturday and find out how they can help,” says Rennick.

While staffing falls short in other provinces, Ontario provides less care than reported by any other province. No other province reports fewer long-term care health care staff per resident (or per bed) than Ontario. Heath data shows that long-term care residents are sicker than ever, have a much higher acuity and require much more care. The percentage of residents with heart disease are growing at a rate of 4.5 per cent per year and those with renal failure at a rate of 3.7 per cent per year. Residents with six or more formal diagnoses are growing at a rate of 4.8 per cent a year. But provincial funding for long-term care only increased by 2 per cent in the 2017 budget.

There are thousands of Ontarians who have signed petitions, door-knocked and been in touch with their MPPs calling for the Time to Care Act (Bill 33) to be made law. “Now we’re calling on all area MPPs to join MPP Jennifer French in clearly supporting this bill that will make an immense difference to the quality of life for long-term care residents”, says Rennick.

Saturday’s Time to Care event is “family-friendly” with a free community barbeque, children’s games and door prizes, says Rennick. “All are welcome.”

For more information about CUPE Ontario’s Time to Care campaign go to:

Contact Information:
Stella Yeadon
CUPE Communications

Alberta is Unstacking the Deck with Updated Workplace Laws

EDMONTON, ALBERTA–(Marketwired – May 24, 2017) – This afternoon the Alberta Government tabled Bill 17:the Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act which includes a number of amendments to both the decades old Labour Relations Code and Employment Standards Code.

“Generations of right-wing governments in Alberta stacked the deck against working people in our province, leaving us with one-sided workplace rules that favoured employers at the expense of employees,” said McGowan. “30 years without change was too long, today’s legislation was more than overdue. It will bring Alberta’s workplace legislation in to the 21st century and bring us another step closer to the Canadian mainstream.”

The Fair and Family-Friendly Workplaces Act will reform the union certification process, strengthen the right to collectively bargain, improve enforcement of our Employment Standards Code with a ticketing system, and guarantee job protected leaves for workers who are sick, caring for a family member or fleeing domestic violence.

“Today, the NDP government has taken steps towards unstacking the deck by announcing meaningful workplace law reform,” said Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour. “Bill 17 will give working Albertans an updated Employment Standards Code with some real teeth for enforcement, and a Labour Relations Code that further allows people to exercise their constitutional right to join unions and bargain collectively.”

The new union certification process borrows from the Manitoba Labour Code, which uses a hybrid of card check and ballot votes. Under the Manitoba model, a union that demonstrates it has 65 per cent support from the bargaining unit will be certified. Should the union demonstrate lower levels of support but still higher than 40 per cent, the decision will be resolved by a vote. This model will better protect workers from employer intimidation during certification drives, although not as effectively as a more straight-forward card check system.

“We are happy that the government has acknowledged that the current system for union certification is flawed and tips the scale against workers who try right to join a union,” said McGowan. “While this legislation doesn’t bring in a more democratic model of automatic card check certification at a 50% threshold, it does implement a hybrid model that allows for automatic certification in some instances.”

“While this legislation makes many positive changes to Alberta’s workplace legislation, we are disappointed that the government didn’t put a stop to employers in the construction sector using shell companies to shirk their responsibilities under legally binding agreements with their workers; a practice commonly referred to as ‘double-breasting’.”

Media Contact:

Gil McGowan will be available for comment in the rotunda of the legislature after the legislation is tabled this afternoon, or by phone at 780-218-9888.

Contact Information:
Alberta Federation of Labour
Chris Gallaway
Director of Government Relations

MEDIA ADVISORY: CUPE National President Mark Hancock to join striking Toronto Zoo workers’ picket lines tomorrow morning

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – May 24, 2017) – As the strike between the Toronto Zoo and Local 1600 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 1600) enters its third week, Mark Hancock, CUPE’s National President, will join strikers tomorrow on their picket lines.

Hancock will arrive on the picket lines tomorrow, May 25, at approximately 9:00 a.m., and remain there until approximately 11:30 a.m. He will be joined by other CUPE leadership and community allies.

Media wishing to interview Mark Hancock or CUPE 1600 President Christine McKenzie are encouraged to contact Kevin Wilson, CUPE Communications. He can be reached via mobile at 416-821-6641.

WHO: CUPE National President Mark Hancock
WHEN: Thursday, May 25, 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
WHERE: CUPE 1600 picket line outside Toronto Zoo’s main entrance
(Meadowvale Drive, just north of Sheppard Avenue)
WHY: Picket line visit by CUPE National President Mark Hancock, labour and community allies

CUPE 1600 represents more than 400 zookeepers, horticulturists, trades people, administrative and public relations staff, concession and ride operators at Canada’s largest zoo. The members of CUPE 1600 began strike action on May 11.

Contact Information:
Kevin Wilson
CUPE Communications