‘Great people are what make our libraries great’: Cornwall library workers celebrate Library Week

CORNWALL, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Oct. 19, 2017) – Public library workers in Cornwall, members of Local 3251-01 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 3251-01), and their supporters, are celebrating Ontario Public Library Week with a message that, in addition to having great patrons, great libraries depend on great workers.

“We’re very proud of the relationship we have developed with our patrons in the community,” said CUPE President Monique Branchaud.

Earlier in the day, library workers handed out buttons, postcards and other items at the Cornwall Public Library to commemorate Public Library Week, which began October 15 and runs until October 21.

Since 1985, Public Library Week has highlighted the vital contributions that public libraries make towards enhancing the quality of life for residents in the communities they serve. Across the province, CUPE library workers are marking the week with celebrations scheduled in 12 different communities.

Public Library Week is also an important opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of ensuring libraries and library workers have the resources and tools to serve their communities, while providing important services and good jobs, said CUPE Ontario Library Committee Chair Maureen O’Reilly.

“Libraries are a vital thread in the fabric of our communities. They help make our neighbourhoods great places in which to live. However, the key ingredient to a great library is great people, which is why it is so important to take a moment to pay tribute to all the great library workers across Ontario,” she said.

Contact Information:
Monique Branchaud
CUPE 3251-01 President
613-360-0494

Kevin Wilson
CUPE Communications
416-821-6641

Peterborough residents packed town hall meeting on crisis in long-term care

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Oct. 18, 2017) – Over a hundred concerned Peterborough residents packed a room at the Holiday Inn, Tuesday night, for a town hall meeting that addressed the growing crisis in long-term care.

“We’re here this evening because we have a serious crisis in long-term care in Ontario and our seniors are suffering,” said Candace Rennick, Secretary Treasurer of CUPE Ontario and a former long-term care worker in Peterborough. “It’s simply not acceptable that our loved ones, the people who spent their lives building and caring for our community, are now being neglected because of insufficient staffing levels. Bill 33 would guarantee minimum care standards and we need to make sure it becomes law.”

Town hall panelists Hugh Armstrong, a Professor Emeritus from Carleton University who is part of a research team specialized in the study of long-term care; Tom Carrothers, chair of the Advocacy Committee of Family Councils; and Donna Paris, a personal support worker at Fairhaven, spoke about the growing crisis through their direct experiences.

Also present were managers and members of the Board of Directors for both Fairhaven Home for the Aged and St. Joseph’s at Fleming, along with many families of current and past residents.

“We just don’t have enough staff to meet the growing and complex care needs of our aging residents. Daily care is rushed and lacks the compassion our seniors need,” said Donna Paris. “One very sad aspect of current care levels is that we don’t have not enough staff to answer call-bells when residents need help to the toilet and this increases incontinence levels. I love my job and break my back to do all I can, but our staff go home demoralized because we can’t provide the care our residents deserve.”

Currently the only legal guarantees Ontario’s long-term care residents have is that there will be a nurse on call in the home 24 hours a day and that they will get two baths a week.

Bill 33 (Time to Care Act) is a private members bill that was introduced by NDP Health Critic France Gélinas. If passed, it would mandate a four-hour minimum standard of daily care for aging seniors living in long-term care.

“Canada has the lowest care levels among countries with equivalent economies, and Ontario is the lowest in Canada,” said Hugh Armstrong. “If we are going to meet the needs of our seniors they must receive 4.1 hours of direct care each day.”

“This crisis is about more than the sensational headlines we see in the news,” said Tom Carrothers. “The daily reality for our family members is about neglect because there is just not enough staff to provide the quality of care our family members need.”

Family members in the room spoke passionately about their own experiences struggling to try and make sure their parents had the care they needed. They expressed great appreciation and sympathy for the long-term care workers they saw regularly, but didn’t hold back on their feelings of desperation and frustration at seeing their parent’s needs often going unmet.
“If we don’t demand that our government pass Bill 33, our seniors will continue to suffer,” said Rennick. “We all need to call our MPP to make sure he votes to support the Bill at second reading.”

CUPE is Ontario’s community union, with more than 260,000 members providing quality public services we all rely on, in every part of the province, every day. CUPE Ontario members are proud to work in social services, health care, municipalities, school boards, universities and airlines.

Contact Information:
Sarah Jordison
CUPE Communications
416-578-5638
www.cupe.on.ca

Ontario liberals follow Donald Trump’s lead on gutting government regulations

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Oct. 18, 2017) – Part of Ontario’s new omnibus legislation, Bill 154, Cutting Unnecessary Red Tape Act, 2017, appears to be modelled on an executive order signed by US President Donald Trump – an order that forces the gutting of government regulations, says CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn.

“It’s hard to believe, but the Wynne government has put forward a Bill that is very similar to a much-maligned executive order from Donald Trump, which says that every time the US government creates a new regulation, any associated costs must be offset by slashing two existing regulations,” says Hahn. “It boggles the mind that Ontario’s Liberal government has seen fit to take its legislative inspiration from the train wreck that is the Trump presidency.”

Buried deep in an omnibus Bill that is 144 pages long, Schedule 4 of Ontario’s Bill 154 stipulates that every time the Ontario government creates a new regulation, or reviews an existing one, it will have to assess the cost for business to comply with that regulation, publish the cost assessment, and then provide an “offset” to eliminate the compliance cost of the new regulation, plus 25 per cent.

Similarly, Trump’s Executive Order 13771, entitled Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs, signed on January 30, 2017, requires, in part, that “any new incremental costs associated with new regulations be offset by the elimination of existing costs associated with at least two prior regulations.” Ontario’s Bill 154 requires that new regulatory costs to profit-seeking businesses be offset by an amount equal to 125 per cent of the new assessed regulatory compliance cost.

Bill 154 is not clear on exactly how the offset will be achieved, but it is written such that a government could provide the required offsets, either through eliminating an already existing regulation or by a cash equivalent plus 25 per cent, possibly by means of a tax credit.

“Ontarians are either going to pay through the loss of an existing regulation made to protect them and their families, or they will pay out cash that should be going to support public services like childcare or hospitals,” Hahn says.

“In either case, it’s just wrong.”

“The view that government regulations are about safeguarding us should have been cemented in Ontario after the Walkerton water crisis, not to mention the financial crisis of 2008, where Canadian financial regulations were widely credited with mitigating the damage to our economy. Anyone who cares about public safety, public accountability and business not operating in the totally unregulated wild west, should be upset,” Hahn says. “This is Ontario and Trump-style policy just isn’t going to fly here.”

On October 19, Bill 154 will be the subject of public hearings called by the Ontario Standing Committee on Justice Policy. The CUPE Ontario president is scheduled to make a presentation.

CUPE is Ontario’s community union, with more than 260,000 members providing quality public services we all rely on, in every part of the province, every day. CUPE Ontario members are proud to work in social services, health care, municipalities, school boards, universities and airlines.

Contact Information:
Sarah Jordison
CUPE Communications
416-578-5638
www.cupe.on.ca