The Canadian Union Of Labour Employees represents over eighty unionized staff employed in the regional offices of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC). In addition, CULE represents all employees of the Nunavut Employees Union, a Component of the PSAC.
The year 2016 has been a year of many challenges for basic Human Rights across the globe.
Tens of millions of refugees around the world continue to be forced to flee their homes due to violence, conflict and persecution. They fight for their lives and seek basic human rights such as shelter, food and water.
In the past few years we have watched the rise of hate across the world in Europe and the U.S. Sadly, even in Canada hate crimes based on race, religion and other grounds continue to be reported.
The recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission challenge us as union members and all Canadians to take part in true reconciliation between Indigenous and other people in Canada.
More recently, thousands of people stood together with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota, U.S. as protectors against the Dakota Access pipeline calling for “Respect for the Scared Land” and the right to clean water. In the years to come, we in Canada will continue to face our own struggles against development projects which threaten the environment and our future.
GLBT and women’s rights are under attack. People with disabilities continue to face barriers and discrimination in all areas of society.
The fight for a decent minimum wage continues. Precarious work continues to be used as a barrier to job security and a tool of oppression against countless women, Indigenous and racialized and other workers.
December 10 is designated by the United Nations as Human Rights Day. CULE salutes its members who are engaged in the struggle for human rights in our workplaces and communities across the country and the world.
We are also proud of our support over the years for non-profit organizations that carry out social justice work locally and internationally though the CULE International Solidarity fund and other means.
We also vow to uphold our rights in our collective agreement which protect us against discrimination in the workplace on human rights grounds such as age, race, religion, disability, sex, family or marital status and sexual orientation and our right to access social justice leave to attend events which mark various human rights days.
We call on all our members and allies to pause and reflect on this important day and continue to commit to the struggle for human rights for all. Let us commit to “keeping our ducks in a row” as we fight for human rights every day within our workplaces and communities across Canada and the world.
An injury to one is an injury to all!
Please find attached a referendum vote for the CULE strike fund. There is a ballot in English and one in French and the deadline to be received by Winnipeg R.O., attention Monika Duggal is Monday, October 31st.
The ballot must be double enveloped and CULE member’s name and work location must be indicated on the white envelope.
Anna Goguen, CULE President
Sisters and Brothers:
October 19th, CULE is celebrating its 40th anniversary. If the members in your region would like to hold an activity, such as a march, a cake, a group picture, etc. please send me the pictures or details of the activities and I’ll have it posted on our CULE website and also on our Facebook group.
Le 19 octobre, l’UCES va célèbre son 40e anniversaire. Si les membres de votre région désirent faire une activité, soit une marche, un gâteau, une photo, etc., svp, veuillez me faire parvenir les détails de l’activité et les photos et je les ajouterai sur notre site web de l’UCES et sur notre page Facebook.
In solidarity / en toute solidarité,
Anna Goguen, CULE President / Présidente de l’UCES
It is with sadness and heavy hearts that we advise you that Brother Larry Welsh has passed away following his courageous fight(s) with cancer. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Peggy and all of Larry’s family and friends.
“Lar” was an active CULE member from the time he began his employment with the PSAC. He stepped his activism up a notch when he was first elected CULE Vice-President for Unit I. He was a member of the CULE Executive for over 20 years and only stepped down when he chose to retire. Just being on the CULE Executive wasn’t enough for Lar. He also sat on the CULE bargaining team for two rounds of bargaining.
Lar, you are pain free now, rest well Brother.
June 21, National Aboriginal Day, is a day for all Canadians to celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of Indigenous Peoples in Canada; past, present and future. There are three groups of Indigenous Peoples in Canada – the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
The federal government proclaimed June 21 as National Aboriginal Day in 1996 after consultations with Indigenous Peoples groups across Canada.
The 94 Calls to Action from the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada reinforces the need for continued education, action and advocacy in the relationship between Indigenous Peoples and Canada. All Canadians need to commit to reconciliation and to closing the gap in the quality of life between Indigenous Peoples and Canadians. The time for Reconciliation is now!
The Canadian Union of Labour Employees, acknowledges the traditional territories of Indigenous Peoples, where celebrations will be taking place on June 21. We will continue to stand in solidarity with our Indigenous Sisters and Brothers from coast to coast to coast.
We invite CULE Sisters and Brothers to take the challenge of reading the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) summary report starting June 21, 2016, National Aboriginal Day. You can pledge to accept this challenge here.
Also, a reminder of the following provisions in our Collective Agreement:
Social Justice Leave 21.23
At the request of an employee, up to a total of fourteen (14) hours with pay shall be granted as follows: (This leave is not subject to carry over or to being cashed out.)
a) to attend a recognized function sponsored by an organization other than the Employer during International Women’s Week;
b) for the purposes of celebrating National Aboriginal Day on June 21 to attend a recognized function sponsored by an organization other than the Employer; and
c) for the purpose of recognition and celebration of human rights to attend a recognized function related to human rights.
Download the full decision here.
2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly proclamation of March 21 as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The date commemorates the Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa in 1960. Although this was a turning point in modern race relations, the world continues to see the rise of racism in every corner of the earth. We must ask ourselves these questions: why does racism continue to persist in our communities, workplaces, schools and neighbourhoods? How do we become part of the solution to eliminate racism from our world, so that future generations can grow up in a hate-free society?
The Civil Rights Movement of past generations have fought hard for equality in society, such as Brother Cal Best and Viola Desmond to the legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King among others. With the current American elections underway, the hate rhetoric against Muslims, Mexicans and refugees is frightening to hear. Here at home, Harper’s Conservatives were defeated in part due to their hate rhetoric against Muslims and refugees. While the new Liberal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has welcomed Syrian refugees and promised to call an inquiry on missing and murdered Indigenous women, there is much, much more to be done.
Incidents of racial discrimination continue to rise. The recent protests in Toronto against police brutality as part of the Black Lives Matter movement were met with violence from local authorities, however it is young people’s courage and determination offer us inspiration and hope.
Our global society is well established in the 21st century and how we communicate our ideas, thoughts, and feelings are rapidly conveyed through social media tools. How do we control this information age where the internet and social media are the tools used to incite hatred and misinform citizens at lightning speed? We continue to see people killed based on race and class, we continue to see discrimination in the education system and workplaces based on race and class. As on-going terrorists’ attacks take place on a global stage, Islamophobia has hit an all-time high with attacks on ordinary Muslims citizens and others have become all too common place.
As part of the larger Canadian labour movement and progressive social justice movement, CULE looks at our own workplaces as manifestations of larger Canadian society. Our own workplaces are not immune to continued racial discrimination whether intentional or not. Rather than ignore or deny the existence of racism, we encourage our members to continue to speak out, challenge and take action against racism in their workplaces and larger society as workers of colour and as allies. CULE is proud of the anti-racism and anti-oppression work we have done but know that there is much more to do. We encourage our members to continue to network with allies and support each other as workers of colour and work towards healthy and safe working environments that are hate-free, inclusive, diverse and barrier-free.
In the famous words of Nelson Mandela, the former President of South Africa and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” CULE is committed to fighting all forms of racism and injustice within the workplace and the larger community and call on all CULE members to continue the fight to eliminate racism towards genuine equality, justice and peace.
The results are in for the election of the CULE Alternate Equity Director. Congratulations to Joan-Ann Gravesande who will hold this position for 2016-2018. Thank you to Deanna Kimball for putting her name forward and to all those who voted!
Hetty Alcuitas, CULE Equity Director – firstname.lastname@example.org
I am pleased to announce the result for the Member at Large Unit II election. Please welcome Sister Kellie Loshak from the Kingston RO on the CULE Executive. I can assure that Unit II issues will be fairly represented within CULE. I look forward to working with Sister Loshak on the Executive and on the Bargaining Team. Thank you for taking the time to vote! 28 ballots were received for 38 members = 74%