Archive for the 'House of Labour' Category

UPDATED: The rally now takes place JUNE 17th at 5:30

After holding an effective series of rotating strikes, forty-five thousand members of CUPW were locked out by Canada Post yesterday. At issue are significant concessions demanded by the Corporation, including the introduction of a two-tiered wage system for new employees, a reduction in the amount of full-time employees, and roll-backs to the sick leave plan. Picket lines are now up at postal facilities across the country.

Rally For CUPW in Vancouver

  • Friday June 17, 5:30PM
  • Library Square, corner of Georgia & Richards, downtown
  • Look for the PSAC flags andbanners!

Rallies will soon be scheduled for other communities across the province – contact your Regional Office, or check back here – we will post information as it becomes available.

Other ways to support CUPW
  • Visit a CUPW picket line or attend a rally. Here is a list of picket line locations in BC – for more information about rallies and other events, contact your PSAC Regional Office.
  • Do not perform work normally done by CUPW members – for example, do not deliver or drop off packages that are normally sent between work sites using regular mail or Priority Courier.
  • Join the Support Postal Workers Facebook event and invite your friends, family, and co-workers.
  • Talk to your friends, family and neighbours about the importance of keeping Canada Post an accessible, quality public service. Fact sheets are available at the CUPW website
  • Encourage your Local to pass solidarityresolutions, and send messages of support or  strike support funds to CUPW.
  • Show your support by placing posters in your window or at your work site download the images at the Support Postal Workers website.
  • Contact Canada Post President Deepak Chopra and encourage him to drop the concessions. Tell him to negotiate solutions with postal workers.
  • Stay up to date on CUPWs struggle against Canada Post by visiting the CUPW website.

As of June 13th, negotiations between the Canadian Auto Workers Local 2002, representing sales and service agents at airports and reservation offices, and Air Canada are ongoing. The possibility of a strike at airports across Canada is high.

CAW members remain committed to achieving a fair and equitable settlement from Air Canada. This employer is asking for major concessions that cut deep into workers’ pay, benefits, pensions and job security.

If you face a CAW picket line at your workplace, you should take the following steps

  1. Ask to speak to the picket captain. Identify yourself and that you work at the airport. Find out what the major issues are.
  2. Ask for a management representative from your workplace to escort you through the picket line.
  3. Volunteer your support to CAW. Join CAW members on the picket line before and/or after work, make a donation to the Local strike or coffee fund.

What you can do to support CAW members if you do not work at an airport

  • In the event of a labour dispute, CAW is asking supporters to refrain from using Air Canada and its regional airlines. If you are flying you may wish to cancel scheduled flights or switch your ticket to an alternate carrier.
  • Air Canada has advised customers they will not charge the usual fees for making these changes. You should verify this at the time of making these changes.
  • Join CAW members on the picket lines or at Solidarity rallies.
  • Encourage your Local to make donations to the CAW strike fund and/or send a message of support to CAW Local.

For more information, visit or contact your Regional Office.

The B.C. Federation of Labour is hosting special regional meetings to strategize for the coming provincial election. At these meetings, we will discuss the HST campaign, fall pre-election campaign strategies, and key issues of importance in each community. We will also give participants a behind-the-scenes view of the BC Fed’s election campaign.

You can register for the meetings and get more information at the BC Fed website.

Meeting Schedule:

  • JUNE 16 – Vancouver
  • JUNE 20 – South Van. Island
  • JUNE 21 – North Van Island
  • JUNE 22 – Surrey/Mission
  • JUNE 23 – Burnaby/Tri Cities
  • JUNE 27 – Kamloops and area
  • JUNE 28 – Cariboo
  • JUNE 29 – Prince George
  • JUNE 30 – Okanagan

(note meetings will be held from 7:00pm – 8:30pm)

PSAC supports CUPW

Forty-five thousand members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers will be on strike against Canada Post Thursday at midnight.

In this round of negotiations Canada Post has tabled contract language that will:

  • Introduce a two-tiered wage system that pays new employees 30% less and gives them reduced benefits, an inferior pension, and weaker job security.
  • Increase the amount of temporary employees and reduce the number of full-time employees.
  • Increase the amount that retirees have to pay for their extended health care plan.
  • Replace the current sick leave plan with a complicated and inferior short-term disability plan.
  • Force letter carriers to adopt a new delivery procedure that compromises their health and safety.

CUPW members are standing up to an employer determined to roll back negotiated gains, pursue an agenda of privatization, and weaken public services.

PSAC and CUPW share Canada Post as an employer and our unions have faced the same issues and fought the same struggles. We must stand with CUPW and help them achieve an agreement that is both fair for workers and protects Canada Post as a quality public service.

What you can do:

  • Visit a CUPW picket line or attend a rally. For picket line locations or more information about rallies and other events, contact your PSAC Regional Office.
  • Join the “Support Postal Workers” Facebook event and invite your friends, family, and co-workers.
  • Talk to your friends, family and neighbours about the importance of keeping Canada Post an accessible, quality public service. Fact sheets are available at the CUPW website.
  • Encourage your Local to pass solidarity resolutions, and send messages of support or  strike support funds to CUPW.
  • Show your support by placing posters in your window or at your worksite – download the images at the Support Postal Workers website.
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local paper, or call your local radio station, to explain why you support postal workers.
  • Stay up to date on CUPW’s struggle against Canada Post by visiting CUPW’s website

As of May 25th, negotiations between Canada Post Corporation and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers are ongoing but the threat of a strike or lockout still exists.

Canada Post is asking for major concessions from its largest union and refusing to address issues around Health and Safety to CUPW’s satisfaction. Visit the CUPW website for the latest bargaining updates.

If you face a CUPW picket line at your workplace, you should take the following steps.

1) Ask to speak to the picket captain-identify yourself and that you work in that building, office, or worksite. Find out what the major issues are.

2) Ask for a management representative in your office to escort you through the picket line.

3) Volunteer your support to the CUPW. Support can take many forms: for example, you could join them on the picket line before and/or after work and during your lunch break. Your local can also make donations to their strike fund or the coffee fund. Ask what CUPW would prefer.

It is important to remember that as unionized workers we sometimes must fight to improve our working conditions. All of us working together will make the struggle easier.

The National Day of Mourning was established in Canada at the urging of the Canadian Labour Congress in 1984, and is now recognized in over 80 countries around the world. The 28th of April is the day that workers and unions mourn for the dead and fight for the living. On this day, we find inspiration to redouble our efforts to keep workers both safe and healthy.

Unfortunately, the annual observance of this day has not made Canada safer for workers. Over the past decades, successive governments have pledged their support to workers and their unions. They have announced new workplace health and safety laws and regulations — some of the best in the world. Regrettably, the resources needed to enforce those laws have not always been provided.

Canada’s workplaces have been claiming a growing number of lives every year because our health and safety laws have not been enforced. The number of fatalities is staggering, but there is opportunity for action. Special prosecutors have been appointed in Nova Scotia and in Manitoba, while in Ontario and Québec, criminal charges have been laid, hopefully putting an end to reckless employers carrying on without consequences. We need more prosecutions to send a message.


This is a call out for interest to attend the BC Federation of Labour’s Camp Jubilee – Young Workers Retreat from June 10-12, 2011.

The PSAC has once again approved funding to support young members from BC to attend. This is an annual retreat that is both fun and a great opportunity to meet other young workers wanting to learn more about their trade union movement!

Workshops that will be offered include:

  • Mobilizing Young Workers
  • Introduction to the Labour Movement
  • Green Jobs and Environmental Justice
  • Political Action

PSAC members selected to attend must commit to sharing what they experienced through a “Retreat Report Back”, ideas include submitting photos with captions to help explain what took place, a short youtube video that you create while at Camp Jubilee, basically something that we can share with others in the Young Worker Caucus on-line!

To be eligible to apply you must be a member of the PSAC and be 30 years of age or younger. Please send your expression of interest to Monica Urruita by midnight May 8th, with a paragraph of up to 300 words describing your involvement in PSAC young worker activities; any community involvement for young workers; and why you are interested in attending.


We Are One International Solidarity Rally @ Peace Arch Park, Peace Arch Border Crossing

Join union members, their families and allies from Washington, Oregon and B.C. at the international border to stand in solidarity with workers who are struggling to keep their right to collectively bargain.

We Are One is an international solidarity rally that protests the unprecedented and draconian legislation that significantly restricts the collective bargaining and workers’ rights of Wisconsin public sector employees. B.C. trade unionists have witnessed first-hand what an anti-union government will try to do, from eroding employment standards, freezing wages, selling off public assets like BC Rail, and advancing privatization. Now workers in Wisconsin need our support to protect their rights and to defend public services.


Rally attendees are encouraged to car pool to the border. The B.C. Federation of Labour will also be providing bus service to the rally from Scott Road Skytrain station. The buses are scheduled to leave Scott Road Station at 12:30 PM. Please send an e-mail message to Patrick Bragg – in order to reserve a seat. The buses will return participants to the Scott Road Skytrain station immediately after the event (starting at approximately 3:30 PM). All are encouraged to use transit or take advantage of the “Park and Ride” lot at Scott Road.

Groups on Vancouver Island are also organizing transportation from Nanaimo and Victoria – for more information contact your local District Labour Council.

ID Requirements

The staging area for the rally will be on the U.S. side of Peace Arch Park. CBSA informs us that participants could be asked for proof of Canadian residence and/or proof of citizenship/immigrant status. The easiest way to provide this would be with a Canadian passport. If you do not have a passport, please bring government issued photo id (i.e.- driver’s license) and birth certificate or Canadian immigration document.

Background – Wisconsin

In a late night session, Republican governor Scott Walker rammed a bill through the state senate that would:

  • Deny collective bargaining rights to thousands of Wisconsin public sector workers and end negotiations covering working conditions, health and safety including workers compensation, leave entitlements, seniority rules, equality provisions, grievance procedures, representation rights, and pensions and benefits
  • Restrict public sector wage increases to the cost of living (COL) and require any salary increase above the COL to go to public referendum
  • Force union members to vote annually to keep their union
  • Stop dues check-off, making unions collect dues directly from members
  • Enable the sell-off of Wisconsins public utilities, and more

On March 18, a circuit court judge temporarily blocked the legislation. But the battle for workers’ rights continues – other US states and right wing groups in Canada are watching what’s happening in Wisconsin, intent on passing similar bills of their own or lobbing for changes to Canadian laws.

2011 marks the global Centenary of International Women’s Day.

In 1977, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution calling on member states to proclaim a day for women’s rights and international peace. Following the United Nations’ lead, Canada chose March 8 as International Women’s Day. Each year at this time, Canadians celebrate progress toward equality for women and their full participation, reflect on the challenges and barriers that remain, and consider future steps to achieving equality for all women, in all aspects of their lives.

Read the PSAC Union Update – Spotlight on IWD at the national website.

Here is a listing of events in BC, check back as more will be added. Know of an event in your community? Let us know.

  • March 3: The Vancouver and District Labour Council’s Women’s Committee is holding a dinner on Thursday March 3, click here for details.
  • March 5: a parade will take place on Commercial Drive, followed by an indoor Festival at the Wise Hall on Victoria Drive in Vancouver. These events have been organized by a broad-based Planning Committee comprised of labour and community women and our organizations. The event is open to everyone and are designed to encourage family participation. To download a poster on this event click here. If you would like more information on how to enter the Parade and/or reserve a booth space at the Festival, please click here.
  • March 5: for information on Surrey’s 16th Annual International Women’s Day celebration on March 5 click here.
  • March 8: The B.C. Federation of Labour Annual International Women’s Day Breakfast will be held on March 8, 2011 at the Firefighter’s Hall in Burnaby from 7:30 – 9:00 am. For more information and to reserve your tickets, please see the poster and order form.  Order your tickets early as this event sells out each year and are sold on a first come, first serve basis.
  • March 8: The PSAC Victoria Regional Women’s Committee invites all PSAC women to “Celebrate Being a Woman” 6PM at the Victoria RO – click for details.
  • March 8: “Why Gender Matters in the Global Economy”- a lecture by Dr. Laura Parisi, Department of Women’s Studies, University of Victoria. Presented by the Wayward School – click for details.

Please attend these very important meetings being sponsored by the CLC. We will develop a strategy on how to get the Conservative government to protect pensions and expand CPP leading up to the provincial/federal finance ministers’ meeting.

  • DATE: Tuesday, March 1, 2011
  • TIME: 5:30 to 8:30 pm
  • LOCATION: Burnaby Firefighter’s Hall, 6515 Bonsor Avenue, Burnaby, BC
  • DATE: Thursday, March 3, 2011
  • TIME: 5:30 to 8:30 pm
  • LOCATION: Ambrosia Theatre, 638 Fisgard Street, Victoria, BC

For more information please contact Iris Taylor at the CLC Pacific Regional office at 604-430-6766 or via email at

Download a poster (pdf):

Reminder! The deadline for entries is February 21.

In honour of the “International Year of Youth,” identified by the United Nations General Assembly to be the year commencing International Youth Day 2010, the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) launches a Poster Contest in the hopes of highlighting the struggles young workers face today.

  • Contest Guidelines: Entries must be of original design and submitted in an original format. Participants must reside in Canada and be under the age of 30. Contest entries must be submitted by Monday, February 21, 2011
  • Contest Details: A grand prize of $500.00 will be awarded to the artist that best portrays the struggles young workers face today in the eyes of the CLC Young Workers Working Group. All entries will be accepted by mail to the Canadian Labour Congress c/o Erin Harrison-Taylor at 2841 Riverside Drive Ottawa, ON K1V 8X7. A winner will be selected by the CLC Young Workers Working Group on March 1, 2011 and notified shortly thereafter.

Visit the CLC website for more information and an entry form.

Federal Health & Safety Committee Training

  • March 9-10, 2011
  • Vancouver Airport Domestic Terminal – Room 4185, 4th Floor
  • To Register visit
  • Registration Deadline: February 23, 2011
  • Course Cost: $125.00 per person

This program aims to prepare workers and other workplace parties in the Federal jurisdiction to play an active and confident role on joint committees. Participants will discuss and develop strategies to improve working conditions through the joint committee structure. They will review relevant legislation, principles of control along with processes and strategies for inspections and investigations. The legal requirements for the development and implementation of hazard prevention programs in workplaces under federal jurisdiction is also reviewed.

In order to reserve your seat your course fees must be received 7 days prior to the course date. The minimum course size is 10 participants. Courses will be cancelled prior to course date if the minimum number is not registered. Refunds will be issued with 7 days cancellation notice only.

via BC Fed Young Workers Committee

You are cordially invited to a think-a-thon dedicated to reviving Get Your Vote On.

In the months leading up to the 2004 Federal and 2005 Provincial elections, Get Your Vote On mobilized youth across the province and registered over 20,000 new voters! There was an upswing and climbing trend in youth participation in electoral politics and getting out to vote. Through creative, fun, and sexy tactics and campaign organizing, Get Your Vote On was on to something special and youth responded. However, the momentum and capacity built up in 2004 and 2005 was lost by 2009, and the 2009 provincial election was hit with record low voter turn-out – youth included.

Now we have the opportunity to revive Get Your Vote On to it’s former and rightful glory! Municipal, provincial, and federal elections approach within the next 10 months to 2 years. The perfect time line to build capacity and youth engagement incrementally across the Province (and Country?). Even if you don’t think you’re all that knowledgeable of electoral politics, you won’t want to miss this event – it comes down to engaging and mobilizing young people to see that collectively we have a place and power in the democratic process. This is your opportunity to give voter apathy a big kick in the @$%!

Tune up your thinking caps, and bring them along! We’ll be diving into an exciting brain storm and conversation to envision what it will take to get every youth in the province to vote… to have a voice.

When: Thursday, January 20th, 2011 – 7:00pm-9:00pm
Where: Top secret local to be revealed – email to register


Canada’s Finance Ministers agree.

The best way to help today’s workers save enough for retirement is by increasing what everybody gets from the Canada Pension Plan (and the Quebec Pension Plan). The Canadian Labour Congress is proposing a gradual doubling of future CPP benefits. A modest increase in contributions today will produce thousands of dollars a year in extra benefits for workers when they retire.

But our plan has come under attack from special interest groups who are scare mongering and spreading lies about our proposal. Some have even said that the CPP won’t be there for today’s young workers when it comes time for them to retire.

This is not true. The reality is that experts have found the CPP to be actuarially sound for the next 75 years. This means it is guaranteed to deliver as promised.

Young workers have nothing to worry about, nor do their kids. What is worrying is that one-third of Canadian workers aged 24-64 have no personal retirement savings at all. The best way to help them save enough for retirement is by increasing what everybody gets from the CPP.

Move the campaign forward!

Via email – To: PSAC-BC Youth Caucus, From Monica Urrutia, PSAC Vancouver RO

Here is an upcoming young worker event in case you are in town. For those of you who were at the New Steward: A Young Worker Focus course at the Union School, you will remember Stephen as one of the panel speakers and he discussed the fun event that is raising funds for those attending the World Festival of Youth and Students.

Vancouver & District Labour Council’s Young Workers’ Committee invites you to party with the Young Workers at the Railway Club!

  • Wednesday, Dec 1, 8 pm to 12 midnight
  • The Railway Club 579 Dunsmuir at Seymour
  • Just a short walk from the BC Fed Convention
  • Tickets Only $15 – only 150 available!
  • Live Music: Billy the Kid & Gas Town Royals

All proceeds to benefit the Young Workers’ Delegation to the 2010 World Festival of Youth & Students in South Africa. For tickets, contact the VDLC. Spread the word! Download a poster (pdf).

November is Labour Film Month in BC and across Canada, and the Vancouver Regional Womens Committee is sponsoring a showing of the Canadian Labour International Film Festival “Festival In A Box” – a series of short documentary films from around the world. There are 10 films in all, each between 5 and 20 minutes long, on themes such as workers, health and safety, and social justice.

For the full program and more information visit

  • Thursday November 25th, 5:30PM
  • PSAC Vancouver RO, 2nd Floor Boardroom
  • 200 – 5238 Joyce Street

All PSAC members welcome – please forward to anyone who may be interested. RSVP to 604 430 5631 so we know how much popcorn to make!

Every year, more than 1,000 rank and file trade union members elected from their locals across B.C. gather in Vancouver to set the direction of the wider labour movement. This makes the B.C. Federation of Labour one of the most grassroots, open and democratic civic institutions in the province.

The B.C. Federation of Labour Convention is scheduled from November 29 to December 3, 2010. This year the B.C. Federation of Labour is hoping to have at least 150 young people from a variety of unions at Convention. Last year young delegates numbered nearly 100!

On Sunday, November 28th there will be a full day young worker conference that will be open to young workers that are attending the convention as delegates, alternates and observers. The conference will cover the convention process and include a “Mock-Convention”.

The PSAC BC Regional Council has committed to fully funding up to three youth delegates, including the B.C. Council Youth Coordinator. There are also subsidies available to youth delegates based on geographic location. Here is some more information about the subsidies (pdf).

If you are a worker under the age of 30 planning or wanting to attend the BC Fed Convention and need financial assistance, please send a request to Monica Urrutia by Friday, October 22nd with information briefly describing your union experience, community involvement, etc. and how you will use this experience to help the PSAC and the broader labour movement. We are mainly looking for your interest and can help with any questions you may have, as well as helping you with the process of getting delegate status.

Please also indicate if you are a member of an equity group, e.g. woman; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender; aboriginal; racially visible, member with a disability.

Young workers play a significant role in both the present and the future of our unions, ensuring that they are represented at B.C. Fed Convention will enhance their connection with the larger movement!

Think Public on Labour Day – despite the rain!

The rain didn’t stop PSAC Area Councils and the Vancouver Island Human Rights Committee from hosting booths at events in Vancouver, Victoria, and Abbotsford. Members of other unions and the public stopped by to play a game of “Spot The Public Services” and learn about the valuable work PSAC members perform in their communities. Here are a few photos …

Labour Day is just around the corner … here are some events scheduled for Monday, September 6, 2010. PSAC members and staff will be at all three events – stop by the PSAC booth or table and say hi!

  • Vancouver Labour Day Picnic – a celebration of Solidarity
  • Sept 6th – 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
  • Central Park, Burnaby, BC (map)
  • Families welcome! Come join us for food, music and games for kids.
  • Download a pdf copy of poster.
  • 22nd Annual Victoria Labour Day Picnic – hosted by the Victoria Labour Council
  • Sept 6th  – 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
  • Irving Park, Victoria, BC (corner of Menzies & Michigan – map)
  • Kids games – Clowns – Refreshments – Fun for the whole family!
  • Volunteers and Donations are Welcome! Contact the Victoria Labour Council
  • Download the poster as .pdf.
  • 1st Annual Fraser Valley Labour Day Picnic – hosted by the Fraser Valley Labour Council
  • Sept 6th – 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
  • Mill Lake Park, 2310 Emerson St. Mill Lake, Abbotsford, (Bevan Road Entrance – map)
  • East Meets West! Join members of the PSAC East and West Fraser Valley Area Councils and other Unions for entertainment, food, information booths, kids events and solidarity!
  • Contact: Fraser Valley Labour Council, phone: 604 314-9867
  • Download a poster as PDF: Labour Day Picnic Fraser Valley

Is there a Labour Day event happening in your community? Email Patrick and we’ll add it to the list!

June was a busy month around the province! Here are some photos and a video of some of the activities PSAC members participated in.

Under the theme “Step In to Something That Moves You” PSAC women activists, old and new, joined together at the 2010 BC Regional Women’s Conference in Vancouver. They heard from guest speakers and held discussions and workshops on a variety of topics including childcare, women and pensions, pay equity, work-life balance, violence against women, lobbying and political action/campaign work, and debated resolutions to be sent to the PSAC National Women’s Conference. Huge thanks to Virginia Vaillancourt for putting together a most excellent video!

In Victoria, PSAC staff and members from the South Island marched in the 2010 Pride Parade under the theme “Gay Rights are Human Rights” and hosted a booth at the festival held at MacDonald Park.

In Cumberland, a delegation of PSAC members from the Campbell River and District Area Council attended the Miners Memorial Day Weekend, where they laid a wreath to commemorate the miners who worked and lost their lives in the mines of Cumberland and other workplaces throughout BC.

Meanwhile, back on the mainland, PSAC BC hosted a Think Public! booth at the Surrey Canada Day festivities. Staff and members met with the fair goers and spoke with them about the value of strong, quality, public services and public pensions.

“Read more” for the photos and video …


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