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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.

Message from Kellie Loshak

November 14th, 2017

Please see the attached .pdf.

CULE Executive Elections

November 7th, 2017

Sisters and Brothers / Consoeurs et Confrères,

I would like to congratulate the following CULE members who will now be on the next CULE executive as of January 1, 2018:

J’aimerais féliciter les membres de l’UCES qui vont former le prochain exécutif à partir du 1er janvier 2018:

  • President – MaryAnne Laurico, présidente
  • Vice-President CULE I – Rebecca Thompson, vice-présidente Unité I
  • Treasurer – Sandra Goodick, trésorière
  • Secretary – Nancy Johnson, secrétaire
  • Equity Director – Hetty Alcuitas, directrice du groupe d’équité
  • B.C. Director – James Little, directeur région de la CB
  • Prairies Director – Dolly Ablitt, directrice région des Prairies
  • NCR Director – Raphaëlle Valay-Nadeau, directrice de la RCN
  • Atlantic Director – Corina Harding, directrice région de l’Atlantique

We will be having elections for the following positions with the following candidates:
Nous aurons des élections pour les postes suivants:

CULE Executive Nomination Form / UCES – formulaire de mise en candidature

October 5th, 2017

Nominations for the CULE Executive are now open.

The new collective agreements are available.

July 20th, 2017

Download the new collective agreement in english and french here.

Protected: Adopt an Organizer Report to CULE – May 2017

June 23rd, 2017
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International Solidarity update: rebuilding the Malabon Day Care

June 23rd, 2017

As many members know, CULE donated $500 towards tragic neighbourhood fires that occurred in the Philippines a few months ago. Here is an update from April 2017. CULE’s contribution went towards the rebuilding of the Malabon Day Care. This building also acts as a pseudo-community centre where community organizations hold their meetings, trainings, etc. for their membership.

Lots of photos in the .pdf sent by KAISAKA-Malabon

CULE Statement on National Aboriginal Day 2017

June 21st, 2017

CULE Statement on National Aboriginal Day 2017

As we celebrate National Aboriginal Day with our Indigenous Sisters and Brothers, the Canadian Union of Labour Employees (CULE) along with other unions in Canada must continue to stand in solidarity with Indigenous people in Canada in the fight for full equality and social and economic justice.

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.

While Canada celebrates 150 years of Confederation this year, many Indigenous people in Canada do not see this year as a reason for celebration. It is important to recognize that Indigenous peoples had been living and thriving in Canada for thousands of years before Canada became a nation. The legacy of 150 years of colonization and genocide through the Residential School system lives on today as Indigenous communities across Canada continue to face wide-spread challenges including: poverty, violence, lack of access to clean drinking water, and barriers to access to adequate housing, healthcare, education and employment opportunities. Indigenous children continue to face discrimination and live in crisis in the broken child welfare system.

Many of these problems have their roots in the intergenerational trauma faced by Indigenous people from the Residential Schools system which forcibly uprooted children from their families to face mistreatment and abuse. While the Federal Liberal government campaigned on a “renewed nation-to-nation relationship” with Indigenous peoples in Canada we have yet to see concrete gains made on the recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We call on the government to show its commitment by ending delays and pushing forward with the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

While the Indigenous community faces these challenges, we acknowledge and support the many gains made through individual and collective resistance. CULE made a recent donation towards The Circle of Life Thunderbird House – Whaka Pimadiziiwii Pinaysiiwigamic in Winnipeg, Manitoba through our International Solidarity Fund. Our Fund marks $1000 per year in donations for the Aboriginal Community within Canada to develop linkages with Aboriginal organizations, and/or assist in various ways to better the quality life of Aboriginal workers.

While Indigenous workers continue to face barriers to full participation in our workplaces, we will continue to uphold Employment Equity principles and renew our commitment to working to removing barriers and ending racial discrimination within our union and workplaces. The recent WOCAMI (Workers of Colour, Aboriginal, Metis, Inuit) conference was an important opportunity for Indigenous and racialized workers to come together to share experiences, understand our common issues and come up with concrete recommendations.

The Canadian Union of Labour Employees acknowledges the traditional territories of Indigenous Peoples, where celebrations will be taking place on June 21. Today we celebrate and continue to stand in solidarity in resistance with our Indigenous Sisters and Brothers from coast to coast to coast.

http://christibelcourt.com/canada-i-can-cite-for-you-150/

Canada,

I can cite for you

150

Lists of the dead

150 languages no longer spoken

150 rivers poisoned

150 Indigenous children taken into care last month

150 Indigenous communities without water

150 grieving in a hotel in Winnipeg

150 times a million lies

told to our faces

to steal our lands.

Canada,

I can cite for you

150

Forms of resistance

150 battles to the death

150 water warriors walking

150 naming ceremonies

150 ways we shake the ground with dance and song

150 tattooed expressions of sovereignty

150 times 2 million days faces were painted

with earth of this land.

Canada,

I can cite for you

150

Summers coming of resurgence

150 thousand babies birthed in ceremonies

150 thousand status cards burned

150 thousand youth marching for water

150 thousand children with braids and feathers in their hair

150 thousand Indigenous words being spoken without English

150 summers coming

of Mother Earth calling out to our hearts

150 summers coming

where you too, will finally come to understand

the power and spirit of these lands and waters

as our ancestors have known and have been trying to tell you for 500 years.

#WaterIsLife
#LandIsSacred
#Canada150 ?

 

Statement on Martial Law in Mindanao

May 24th, 2017

While CULE’s current solidarity project in the Philippines is not in Mindanao, your International Solidarity Committee wanted to share this statement from KILUSAN on the recent declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao. We will be keeping a close watch on further developments.

Martial Law in Mindanao, Overkill

Following clashes between government troops and alleged members of the Maute Group in Marawi City, President Rodrigo Duterte has made good his earlier threats to declare Martial Rule over the region.

The 60 day declaration came as the Maute group was said to have “set ablaze establishments” and the firefight with government troops which started 3:20 pm, Tuesday, May 23.

A closer perusal of the news brings up critical questions.

Four minutes (9:56PM) before the ten pm declaration by President Duterte, Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra was reported to have been pleading with authorities, especially the AFP to send reinforcements despite assurances that “help was on their way”.

Another report featuring Mayor Gandamra said that by 7:32 PM, the local government still has all control of the government establishments and the streets are quiet.

Mayor Gandamra’s statement is consistent with that released by AFP Public Affairs Office Chief Marine Colonel Edgard A. Arevalo in social media, declaring that “the situation (in Marawi) has stabilized” and there is “no truth to the earlier reports that Amai Pakpak Hospital has been occupied and that the people there were held hostage”, the “City Hall was not occupied” and that the “sporadic firefight heard was harassment actions by terrorist sympathizers”.

In the same statement, the AFP pointed out that reports linking ISIS to Maute are “spurious” and characterized them as a “ small, local terror group”, which is opposite of the statement made in the impromptu Press Conference in Moscow by government officials announcing the 60 day Martial Law of Mindanao branding Maute as part of or affiliated with ISIS.

Like the unjustified declaration of a State of National Emergency following the bombing in Davao Market last year which have yet to be lifted, the declaration of Martial Law for an entire region is another overkill move as the clash cannot be imagined to be either invasion or rebellion, the necessary Constitutional Basis for declaring Martial Law.

In more than a dozen instances, the President himself has articulated his preference to impose Martial Law for varying reasons, the latest of which was in the event that the conflict in Mindanao will spiral out of control. The situation has already stabilized says the AFP, logically the declaration is superfluous.

In fact, no armed group is posing as a threat against government and one cannot help but think that the Maute threat is being blown up way out of proportion.

We view this declaration as a confirmation of Duterte’s obsession with strong hand rule which he has always threatened to do every time his plans and decisions, his exercise of presidential authority, are questioned. He has said before that if he is pushed he would do. Now finding even a flimsy reason he declares martial law.

The declaration is arbitrary having not considered the report and assessment by the AFP and the local government that the situation is under control.

Furthermore, just as the open-ended “state of emergency”, this martial law declaration was announced by the presidential spokesperson not by Duterte himself. The declaration was made while the president was in Russia underscoring the fact that there was no serious and objective study of the situation. Such arbitrariness betrays Duterte’s tendency to abuse authority.

Though the declaration cited the constitutional provision stating the basis for imposing martial law, such situation however does not exist, even in Marawi city.

The declaration is too vague and therefore open to abuses. It dangerously threatens the people’s democratic and legal rights, the functions of the civilian government and the courts. In fact, it will surely further the culture of fear and impunity already besetting the nation and not to mention open doors to rights abuses that would befall the citizens of Mindanao.

We demand that this declaration be recalled immediately and make the president answer for his action.

Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya [KILUSAN]

CULE Solidarity Fund Update

April 12th, 2017

Recently CULE, through its Solidarity Fund, contributed towards rebuilding efforts of a Day Care Centre in the Philippines that had burned to the ground after a major fire in an urban poor neighbourhood. Please see below for further background on the day care and its role in the neighbourhood.

Pablo Rosales, one of the organizers, sent this message of appreciation to CULE on behalf of the Malabon Day Care

First of all thank you for your continued support of our daycare, and thank you for sending aid for initial efforts to organize and rebuild our daycare building which burned to the ground. You have my assurance that we will use it for important and immediate work, especially to re-open the daycare.

Despite the tragedy and people are working hard to recover from the effects of fire. The members of KAISAKA are happy and wish to convey their gratitude to you for your continued support.

We will communicate and update on the developments of our building by sending a report.

Once again we are grateful and wish that we are endure safe throughout these trying times.

Long live international unity and cooperation!

Background

The day care center was built 2013 by community organizations affiliated with Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan para sa Kalayaan (KAISA KA) and League of Urban Poor for Action (LUPA). KAISA KA is a national organization of grassroots women.

Since it was built, it has been managed by volunteers from the local KAISA Ka chapter in Malabon. Its program which is developed by the Teachers Center of the Philippines (TCP) has been recognized by the local government of Malabon City and can accommodate 40 kids aged 4-5 every school year . The school year runs from June and ends in March.

There are two holiday breaks, a short semester break during October and Christmas vacation in December. The daycare is highly regarded in the locality since its graduates do well when they are integrated into local public schools.  The school acts as a much needed “step up” for underprivileged children in depressed communities to be able to have an early start in pre-kinder literacy, numeracy and socialization skills.

The space also doubles as a community hall or center where locals discuss and hold forums on relevant community issues such as health rights, housing rights, women’s rights and children’s rights as well as social occasions such as community Christmas party.

All this was put to a halt when the daycare went up in flames following the February 8, 2017 fire. Suspected as eviction by fire, it started at 5pm and ended at 12:30am the next morning. The daycare was damaged along with other houses and properties spanning more than three hectares estimated to cost 70 million pesos and displaced more than three thousand families.

Ratification of Tentative Agreement

April 12th, 2017

Sisters and Brothers:

A tentative agreement was reached on March 23, 2017 on behalf of the CULE members. The tentative agreement if ratified by the membership will have an expiry date of April 30, 2019.

Unless otherwise specified, the proposed changes would become effective the date the new collective agreement is signed. Current collective agreement articles or clauses not listed here would be renewed without change. Note there will be two separate ratification votes taking place at the same time, please read the following information carefully.

Your Bargaining Team unanimously recommends the acceptance of the tentative agreement.

In solidarity,

Your bargaining team: Anna Goguen, Dolly Ablitt, Hetty Alcuitas, Kellie Loshak, Monika Duggal, Sean Glavine

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TENTATIVE AGREEMENT

March 25th, 2017

Sisters and Brothers:

After five weeks of bargaining for a total of 15 days at the Table with the Employer, CULE and the PSAC have reached a tentative agreement which will need to be ratified by both parties.

As you are aware, the Employer’s original proposals contained a high number of concessions and some of those concessions remained on the Table until the last hour.  It has been a difficult round of bargaining due to the employer’s proposed concessions, however, we are pleased to bring you a tentative agreement with NO concessions.

Below are some of the highlights of the tentative agreement which we will be voting on in the next couple of weeks.  We will also provide you, prior to voting, a more detailed ratification package.

  • 3 year contract retroactive as of May 1, 2016 expiring April 30, 2019;
  • 1.5% wage increase in 2016, in 2017 and in 2018;
  • $250 per employee per annum Healthcare Spending Account in addition to current benefit plan;
  • Employer will not amend the Welfare and Benefit Plans without the prior consent of the Union;
  • Improved language on seniority;
  • Band 11 with salary in Appendix A;
  • Revised MOA on student employment with salary increase (comparable to UNIFOR);
  • MOA to include in the bargaining unit, the Northern Grievance and Adjudication Officer;
  • Improved language on No Discrimination and Harassment (Article 5);
  • Improved language on Health & Safety in regards to worksite risk assessment;
  • Renewal of CEP and Staff conferences;
  • Increase of voluntary separation package from 18 months to 24 months for CULE I;
  • Increase in reimbursement for family care for both CULE I and CULE II;
  • $250 for luggage once every 36 months (used to be for just a suitcase);
  • One day’s leave with pay for indigenous employee to attend funeral of an indigenous community member;
  • Up to 60 hours (from 50 hours) leave with pay for family related responsibilities;
  • Stress Leave for CULE II members from three days to four days;
  • Compassionate care leave to match the current legislation and improvement in the SUB plan;
  • Increase for winter survival package to $100;
  • $500 roadside assistance (i.e. On-Star) for northern or remote locations;
  • New language for bargaining unit work around weekend courses;
  • MOA on National Working Group on Mental Health (jointly signed with UNIFOR);
  • MOA on Domestic Violence including 10 days of leave with pay (jointly signed with UNIFOR);
  • Overtime for CULE I members at National Conventions for all hours worked;
  • Nights away qualifier reduced from 35 nights to 30 nights;
  • Renewal of retiree benefit plan.

There were many other items which were concessions that the team was able to have the employer withdraw.

The bargaining team unanimously recommends acceptance of this tentative agreement.

In solidarity,
Anna, Dolly, Hetty, Kellie, Monika and Sean

CULE Statement on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, March 21, 2017

March 21st, 2017

Every year, CULE marks March 21, the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination by taking stock of our past struggles and achievements. This year’s theme is: “Racial profiling and incitement to hatred, including in the context of migration.”

The current political climate in the US poses particular challenges for racialized people and their allies in the US, Canada and worldwide. We have seen a rise in racist, xenophobic and Islamophobic hate crimes, hate speech and racial violence. From personal attacks in the streets and on public transit, to the January fatal shooting in a Muslim mosque in Quebec City, to bomb threats against Jewish community centres, to the continuing poverty and social issues faced by Indigenous people in Canadian society as a result of the impacts of colonization and the residential school system.

Now more than ever it is important to remain vigilant against the rise of racism and to continue to address the root causes to eliminate the systemic barriers and discrimination that racialized and Indigenous people continue to face in Canada.

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 racialized and Indigenous workers 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 and work towards healthy and safe working environments that are hate-free, inclusive, diverse and barrier-free.

Bargaining Update

March 17th, 2017

Sisters and Brothers:

On Tuesday, February 28, 2017, your negotiating team met with the PSAC’s bargaining team and their representatives for our fourth round of bargaining. We also met on Wednesday, March 1 and Thursday, March 2 in Montreal.

Although we have tentatively agreed on some issues, very few items have been signed off as the Employer is dealing with monetary issues as an entire package instead of individual items. Any movement on issues have been very slow and very challenging, however we made some progress on the last day.

We strongly believe that CULE’s mobilization activities have made a difference and now more than ever we need to show the Employer that we are united and are holding on to no concessions.

Our next meeting with the employer is scheduled for the week of March 20 th at which time we will also have a meeting with the other three staff unions.

Again, we want to thank each and every one of you for your continued support.

*********

Consoeurs et confrères,

Le mardi 28 février 2017, votre équipe de négo a rencontré l’employeur pour une quatrième ronde de négo.  Les rencontres ont duré jusqu’au jeudi 2 mars à Montréal.

Même si nous et l’employeur sommes d’accords sur certaines revendications, il y a très peu d’articles qui ont été signés.    L’employeur négocie des questions financières dans un paquet au lieu de négocier les articles individuels.  Ceci a considérablement ralenti le processus de négociations.  Par contre, la dernière journée, nous avons finalement commencé à faire un peu de progrès.

Nous sommes certains que les activités de mobilisation ont fait une différence et il est maintenant plus important que jamais d’être solidaire et d’insister auprès de l’employeur que nous n’accepterons pas de concessions.

Notre prochaine rencontre avec l’employeur aura lieu du 20 et 23 mars.  Nous allons aussi avoir une rencontre avec les autres syndicats le lundi 20 mars.
Encore une fois, nous vous remercions pour votre appui.

In solidarity/En toute solidarité,

Your negotiating team/votre équipe de négo,

Anna, Dolly, Hetty, Kellie, Monika & Sean

Protected: Adopt an Organizer Report – January/March 2017

March 9th, 2017
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CULE statement on the shooting at Quebec City mosque

February 6th, 2017

CULE sends our deepest sympathies to the families of the six victims killed in the mass shooting at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec in Quebec City on Jan. 29, 2017. We also send our thoughts to those injured who are still recovering.

We are horrified that something like this could happen, especially in Canada. We strongly condemn this act of extreme violence and Islamophobia. CULE defends the rights of our members against discrimination based on religious beliefs and will continue to uphold and defend the rights of all Canadians to practice their religious beliefs free from discrimination. We call on our members and the authorities to do more to fight Islamophobia.

CULE believes that diversity makes us stronger. In the face of a rise of the far-right and xenophobia, Islamophobia, racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism and other forms of oppression, we call on our members to protect and promote diversity. Rather than fearing those we do not know, we should get to know our neighbours, to respect different religions and cultures and care for each other.

We vow to continue to fight against all forms of oppression and towards equality and dignity for all workers and for all humankind.

We ask our members to reach out to our Muslim brothers and sisters and in the community and attend any vigils or events to show your support and solidarity.