President’s Update, June 2016
I hope your summer is going well now that we have some better weather. In this update, you will find a snapshot of what has been happening.
Please share this with your locals, union membership, co-workers and friends, ask them to like us on Facebook and to follow us on Twitter.
Ask your colleagues and others sign up to get these updates through our website. Click Here
Do you know a retired member?
The Nova Scotia Federation of Union Retirees
(NSFUR) is looking for new members, so if you are soon to be retired and want to help – join them. NSFUR is in the process of creating provincial area councils to provide retirees more opportunities to participate in campaigns in their regions. NSFUR provides a voice and a vehicle for retirees and membership is only $12 per year. Call our office for information 902.454.6735
Check out new info in this Update!
Something new – Please have a look at the the sidebar in this Update
for upcoming events. Please note that the buttons and the pictures in this report will take you to the item listed. The Union logos will take you to that union’s events page and each button will take you to the story in more detail.
Sadly, the Federal Liberal government is taking a hard-line bargaining approach with unions. Both CUPW and PSAC are not getting a fair shake as they bargain. The CUPW is currently in the media but the PSAC and others are also either in or will soon be into bargaining with our federal government. It seems that the sunny ways may be over when
it comes to workers and their rights. We encourage your support for our Postal Workers as they work to get a new collective agreement.
We have been following the bargaining of the CUPW and PSAC closely and we encourage you all to do what you can to support them in getting a fair contract for their members.
Please contact your local MP and express to them your support for a negotiated settlement and that the employer should not lock out its postal workers but remain at the table. You can read the letter we sent to all NS MP’s below about CUPW.
The story of Grassy Narrows
Thank’s to PSAC for these must-see videos about the more than 100 First Nations communities who don’t have access to safe drinking water. Here is Grassy Narrow’s cry for help.
NSFL Executive meets in Cape Breton
On May 31 and June 1 the NSFL Executive Council met in Port Hawkesbury at the Unifor Hall. At this meeting, three new Executive members were elected: Jason MacLean is now our First Vice-President, Hugh Gillis is our Secretary-Treasurer and Nan McFadgen our Vice-President-at-Large.I would like to thank everybody for their input and participation at the meeting. After the Executive meeting, I headed to Sydney for the
Labour Council meeting. It was great to see a good number of members at the labour council meeting in Sydney, I got to hear a number of reports from members and their unions and I gave a brief report about the NSFL and members were appreciative that I attended to share with them.
We will continue to post and send weekly the information on secondary picket locations as we get them from HTU, the striking herald workers. These information pickets are being held weekly at different locations of business who continue to advertise in the herald. If its inclimate weather they sometimes get cancelled and we will provide the information to you as we get it from them. Lets show our solidarity and if each union can get two members to join them each week that would be great.
I met and had good discussions with NDP Leader Gary Burrill on some issues we have in common. They are doing a lot of good work to support poverty reduction, on the fight for $15 and some issues important for workers.
I spoke to the provincial NDP convention as well during the month. There were some 180 plus delegates at the provincial conference with a lot of great debate.
Later in the month we issued a statement on the National Aboriginal Day and one on International Public Services day. I hope in the future we can ramp up our work on these days with some actions.
I also met with the staff at Literacy Nova Scotia as the Board chair. It’s important that we continue working with staff as we search for new funding partners and lobbying the federal government for sustainable funding for literacy programs.
I met with our newly-elected Treasurer Brother Hugh Gillis and we spent a bit of time together with staff and went through a lot of financial files to bring Brother Hugh up to speed on our budgets, the finance committee and its role as a new committee. We will continue to
work on many fronts as things unfold and we all get used to a new structure as we work together to make positive changes.
We had a pretty good win in our long battle to get improvements to the Canada Pension Plan. (CPP) You can read what we said at the below link.
Health Care Matters
I attended a board meeting of the Nova Scotia Health Network in June. We held extensive discussions on the Network and the plan to work with the unions on the health care front in relation to fighting privatization of health care and the possibility of a new P3 hospital in the city. New co-ordinator
Chris Parsons gave his report to the Board as did the other officers of the Network. I and others are pleased with the direction of the network and the proposed work it will undertake in the next few months.
I attended the Davis day events on June 11th, in Glace Bay. United Mine Workers Representative Bobby Burchell does an excellent job at pulling the event together. I attended the church service and spoke at the memorial site in Glace Bay. This was a very good event with large crowds out including many politicians from all levels of government. Thanks to the UMWA and Bobby for doing this annually.
Minimum wage stats show we need $15 and fairness across Canada
I met with the Leader of the Conservative party Jamie Baillie and his chief of staff. It was a very good meeting and we talked about working together with the other parties on issues of workers’ health and safety and they agreed to work with us and the NDP on this by simply taking the politics out of moving the safety issue forward.
It is not acceptable that politicians just speak at April 28th events at Province House – those words must translate into real actions to protect workers.
Health care unions research and
communications staff along with Joan Wark from our office met to pull together a plan around a campaign with the Health Network to push back on health care privatization and the possibility of a for profit
private hospital in Halifax. The meeting went well and both I and Chris made a presentation to the union leaders later in the month.
I can’t emphasize enough that when we work together on such things the greater the outcome for us all. We can win when we work with one and other and this will be a great start to building in a positive way.
Share your events with us for the coming month and we can share them here.
Click on the pictures and logo to learn more about the
Tuesday July 12th
Postal Services for the 21st century.
Halifax Pride 2016
July14th to 24th.
Cape Breton Pride
August 5th to 14th
Mental Health in the Workplace (Halifax) September 25th to the 29th a week long educational.
CLC Human Rights Conference
Oct 20th to 23rd
National Young Workers’ Summit
Oct 23 to 25, 2016.
NSGEU Events Calendar
CUPE Events Calendar
Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union Events
Atlantic Labour Federations to Liberals “Fix EI”
We headed to Ottawa where the Atlantic Federation Presidents made a presentation on Employment Insurance. This was a very good meeting and I am very pleased that the Federations from New Brunswick, PEI and Newfoundland and Labrador are working together on this. The presentation was to the Liberal MPs on the Federal Committee looking at changes to EI. They told us our presentation was very good and made a number of solid points. They said our working together is seen as a powerful voice for workers in the Atlantic Region. I want to thank the other Federations for their leadership in working together on issues we have in common. Check the link below to read our presentation on EI to them.
Read More at the button links on our work in June
Remember to share this with your co-workers and other union friends. Like us on Facebook and follow us on twitter. Get your members to sign up to receive our monthly updates. Please share your comments and suggestions.
225 – 3700 Kempt Road
Halifax, Nova Scotia