Archive for the 'Youth' Category

Take action on student debt!

We would like to draw your attention to the latest Campaign of the Canadian Federation of Students-BC. They have a website that is raising awareness of the growing debt load that students are undertaking just to get an education.

It has some good interactive exercises, such as a debt calculator, campaign facts and action suggestions, so please pass this along to anyone you know who has a student debt, or is still amassing their student debt.

The on-line petition makes some concrete demands on the BC Government. Any person can sign on to the petition, as long as you are concerned about student debt, tuition fees, and equal access to post-secondary education.

Take some action today!

Next budget must stress good jobs – Georgetti says unemployment, low wages hurting younger workers

clc-ctc.jpgOTTAWA – When the federal government introduces a new budget in March, it must make the creation of good jobs a priority, says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress.

Georgetti was commenting on the release by Statistics Canada of labour force figures for December 2009. The unemployment rate remains at 8.5% and 1.57 million Canadian men and women are out of work.“Workers have had a dismal year and we’re not out of the woods yet,” he says.

Georgetti says that both the number and quality of jobs available are big issues for workers. “The income of most Canadian workers has dropped in the past decade, even while corporate executives saw their pay outpace inflation by 70%. Too many other Canadians are surviving on poorly paid and part-time jobs. The middle class is taking a beating and we have to turn that around.”


The Surrey Urban Youth Project is an arts-based, youth-driven, empowerment program providing training in anti-oppression, facilitation, peer-support, conflict transformation, nonviolent communication, public speaking, and community organizing for youth 14 and older; with a particular focus on engaging (im)migrant, refugee, Indigenous and “at-risk” communities in Surrey. We support participants in developing whole and healthy lives to become active leaders in their communities.

Job Description: We will be hiring two arts-based, anti-oppression youth empowerment Facilitators who will work in a team environment with SUYP Co-Coordinators and Youth Mentors to plan and deliver the 2010 Surrey Urban Youth Project. The contract will run from November 30th 2009 – September 2010.

For more information, see the attached job posting (pdf)

Updates from Young Workers Committee

Happy Saturday sisters and brothers,

Just a quick update. Our meeting with Filipino-Canadian Youth Alliance and the sisters from the Philippine Women Centre was very successful. We heard about the great work being done by these organizations and shared about the work we are doing on the minimum wage, Wal Mart and other fronts. There was a keen interest from both sides in working more closely together and having future meetings. A contact list was collected and a group picture taken which I will send around when I get it. All in all it was very positive.

Find out more about these organizations here:

We were also payed a visit by an organizer from the On to Ottawa Trek historical society who told us about that very important event in the history of the Canadian working class. The VDLC is among others working to commemorate this event on its 75th anniversary next year.

Visit the On to Ottawa Society website here:

Finally, today a group of us went to Oakridge to campaign for the $10 NOW campaign. It was a lot of fun and you can’t walk a foot at Oakridge right now without seeing a sticker or poster calling for an increase to the minimum wage. I think we were definitely noticed by workers and shoppers alike – not to mention management.

I’m sure there will be lots coming up throughout October but for the moment the next event in the works is an important action for the minimum wage campaign taking place on November 1st. Details are on the way – but mark your calendar!

In solidarity,

For Immediate Release: September 10, 2009

Toronto – In a significant victory for University of Toronto students, all criminal charges have been stayed against campus advocates Chris Ramsaroop and Oriel Varga in relation to a peaceful sit-in on March 2008. Thursday’s decision, by Ontario Court of Justice Judge Paul Reinhardt, is the outcome of a Charter of Rights and Freedoms challenge based on the right to be tried within a reasonable time (section 11 b).

Varga and Ramsaroop, known as the Fight Fees 2 were the remaining of the 14 students and their allies criminally charged after a peaceful sit-in against fee increases on March 20, 2008. Broad based community support by unions,students and over a hundred professors had decried the U of T’s blatant attempt to criminalize dissent on campus.


  • studentsslogan-eHave you been hired through a student hiring program within the federal public service?
  • Do you want to know more about your working conditions?
  • Do you want the right to join the union?

If you answered “Yes” to one or more of these questions, you are invited to join us for a pizza lunch, on us.

  • When: Friday August 21st, 1 – 2 PM
  • Where: 350 West Georgia Street, Library Square, Peter Kaye Room on the lower level

For more information or to RSVP contact Alison Timmons at (604) 430-5631 x 228 or

Sustainability: Our Challenge. Our Future.

The United Nations General Assembly declared August 12 International Youth Day welcoming the mobilization of youth globally around a common issue and theme annually.

This International Youth Day 2009, as the world continues to feel the impact of the economic crisis, youth respond by looking for solutions under the theme Sustainability: Our Challenge. Our Future.

While everyone talks about the need for a more just and sustainable economy, youth in Canada are helping to define it. Through the Canadian Labour Congress participation in the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition we are creating a united front for young people across Canada on the climate change issue.

Emphasis is focused on Our Green Dream a youth-defined sustainable green jobs strategy. The project aims to establish an active network of young people to influence the direction and debate on green jobs in Canada, the transition of our economy and to realize the potential of a more just, green national community.


Student unemployment hits almost 21 per cent, the highest on record

Twenty-year-old Siva Vimal, frustrated by the worst summer on record for student job seekers, is stressed about how he will pay his tuition this year and reconsidering his dream of studying international law.

Because we are in a recession right now, even if I do manage to find a job, I’m only getting three to four hours a week, Mr. Vimal, a third-year political science student at Toronto’s York University, said in an interview Friday after Statistics Canada confirmed the grim reality affecting Mr. Vimal and other cash-strapped students across the country.

July’s student unemployment rate climbed to 20.9 per cent, a 7.1-percentage-point increase from July, 2008, Statscan said. This was the highest July unemployment rate for these students since comparable data became available in 1977, Statscan reported.

The July unemployment survey found the two sectors that traditionally hire students in the summer hospitality and construction were particularly hard hit.

Continue reading at

On August 20th we will be hosting a presentation by Laarni de los Reyes, a trade unionist and community activist who took part in the VDLC tour to the Philippines last year. Laarni will be telling us about her experiences as part of the tour, including her interaction with a number of young workers who are union organizers in the Philippines, the second most dangerous country in the world for trade unionists.

Many of these young organizers are now sponsored by the VDLC and its affiliates, allowing them to continue and expand their crucial work in defence of workers rights and interests.

Please RSVP by August 15th.

Presentation on the Struggle of Young Workers in the Philippines

Thursday, August 20th, 6pm PSAC BC Office,
200-5238 Joyce Street, Vancouver, B.C.

To RSVP and for more info contact Stephen (778.231.4635)

Torstar news service

Nearly 3,400 Ontario students who spend their summers working in provincial parks say the government is ripping them off by $400 to $600 each by refusing to give them holiday pay a move they say is an abuse of labour laws.

For years, summer students received an 8.16 per cent top-up in lieu of having a paid vacation and statutory holidays off a practice the government says was a mistake and should never have occurred.

During bargaining talks last December with the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, the province told the union it would no longer pay the top-up amount.

Student protests took place at four provincial parks on the weekend Algonquin, Pinery, Sibbald Point and Wheatley.

Without this money, argues Seneca College student Helena Whale, most park workers make less on a statutory holiday than do employees at McDonalds.

Any other employer in Ontario has to pay compensation for these holidays, except for the government, said Whale, a shift supervisor at Sibbald Point Provincial Park.

Theyve exempted themselves. Youd think the Ontario government would be willing to pay their students, the future of Ontario, more than that.

Students employed in the Ontario public service are not eligible to receive pay-in-lieu for vacation and holidays, said Ciaran Ganley, a spokesperson for the government services ministry.

The government pays 73 per cent of OPSEU-represented summer students $11.10 an hour, he said, a higher rate than the $9.50 minimum wage.

I am pleased to share that the BC Regional Council has approved support for PSAC members to attend this year’s BC Fed Young Worker’s Conference from September 25-27, 2009 at Camp Jubilee on Indian Arm.

Last year, the Region was able to support three young workers, including James Painter and Nicole Jacobson, the Regional Council Youth Representative and Alternate.

This is what Nicole had to share about the experience:

I had an excellent time meeting other young activists and building public speaking skills. The site is gorgeous. The experience reminded me of my many happy summers spent at camp.

If you are a PSAC young worker under the age of thirty, please consider applying by August 20th, 2009. Also, you are encouraged to approach you Local/Branch, and Component (if applicable) for support as well. This will help to ensure that as many PSAC young workers who are interested in attending will be able to.

If you aren’t a young worker, please consider passing this on to young workers in your workplace.

The September conference registration form can be found here:

Please send your form to the PSAC-BC REVP’s office, Attn: Kay Sinclair at and cc myself at or via fax at 604-430-0194.

In Solidarity,
Monica Urrutia
Regional Representative
Staff responsible for Youth Portfolio

News: Out of work and going public

Like thousands of young Canadians, Tanya Forrest is charting a new career path in this recession.

The 31-year-old engineer has abandoned her chosen field in extractive metallurgy with mining and steel companies and hopes to find stable employment in nursing. That’s why the Hamilton resident is heading back to school.

It was a big decision because I had already completed five years of university. And to face down the barrel of another four years is quite depressing, financially, she says of her decision, made after she was laid off at Stelco Inc.

The worst labour market in a decade is causing young workers to radically revisit their career plans. In many cases, they’re tilting to the perceived stability of the public sector, such as health care and community services, according to enrolment data compiled by community colleges and universities.

I have to look at long-term job security. And nursing absolutely has better job prospects, Ms. Forrest explained, adding that in nursing, you’re really making a difference.

Her view exemplifies a sea change for a generation who grew up in the longest economic expansion on record a group that hasn’t exactly viewed reliable and stable as prized job attributes.

Until last year, labour shortages meant people in their 20s and 30s could have their pick of jobs, wrangle higher salaries and hop from one position to another. Now, a deteriorating job market for young people is forcing a major rethink.

Read more at:

On behalf of the Youth Caucus we are happy to share a tool recently developed from the results of the young worker course held last March 2009.

One of the exercises in the course gave us the opportunity as young workers to talk about some of our suggested “do’s and don’ts” and transformed it into checklist form (pdf). We hope that you will find it helpful to make young workers feel welcome in the workplace and in the union.

Please continue outreaching to young workers and encouraging them to self-identify so that we can contact them and also encourage their involvement.

In Solidarity,

James Painter, Regional Council Youth Representative and Nicole Jacobson, Regional Council Youth Representative – Alternate

One of the leaders of the KPD (Citizens for National Democracy) youth organization YND (youth for National Democracy) Archie Bathan has been arrested/abducted in the province of Bataan by a military unit.

This is a serous issue as many union and civil rights organizers are murdered or disappeared every year in the Philippines. The Philippines is the second most dangerous country in the world to be a union organizer after Colombia.

These people struggling for their human rights need your help!


Facing the Challenges of Youth Engagement in the Public Service

Speakers will discuss different challenges they face in engaging young workers and what we can do about it.

Lisa Banxachai is an Avant Garde Rep from PWGSC.

Matthew Miyagawa is the Western Area Youth Network Rep for CFIA.

James Painter is the PSAC-BC Regional Council Youth Rep.

Speakers will share their insights and lead into an open forum around strategies to further engage youth in the Public Service and beyond.

Register here!

Organized by Governexx, National Public Services Week, and Public Service Alliance of Canada.

VANCOUVER – On Friday, May 29 2009, Filipino-Canadian youth in Vancouver will once again speak out on issues that concern them in the 12th Annual Roots, Rhymes and Resistance (RRR), presented by the BC chapter of Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada/The Filipino-Canadian Youth Alliance (FCYA). Themed this year as Root down, Rise up! RRR addresses the need for settlement and integration of Filipinos in Canada, and calling for meaningful participation and genuine equality for the community, especially Filipino youth.

The group says that there is a need to publicly bring out the issues of racism, forced migration, family separation, barriers to education and employment, gender oppression and more as they are faced by Filipino youth in the schools, community, workplace and within their families.

This year, FCYA has been working hard to bring out the issues not only on the night of RRR. Throughout March, April and May, the group has been conducting a series of cultural arts and skills building workshops around the theme of Root Down Rise Up. Leading up to the cultural event on May 29, youth have been engaged in topics such as Tagalog lessons, hip hop writing, creative writing, theatre and performance, media writing, graphics design, Anti Racism Education, and Filipino migration.

We need to rise up and bring out our concerns as Filipino youth more and more says Eliezer Moreno, a member of FCYA. The workshops allow us to do that in a creative, engaging way.

The need to support Filipino youth and the community is crucial now that Filipinos are the 3rd largest visible minority group in Canada. The lack of settlement and integration programs in Canada forces Filipino youth to engage in anti-social activities. The group says that their workshops and ongoing program fill this gap.

The need to organize, mobilize and educate the community, and dig deep into the roots of forced migration is important in order to rise up and overcome challenges youth are facing. FCYA asserts that RRR is empowering not just the Filipino youth and their families, but is part of addressing Canadian issues and the needs of other marginalized communities.

Filipino youth have a high drop out rate in this city. Many of us are having to work to support our families, and are now becoming the next generation of Canada’s cheap labour. This is the reality! exclaims Moreno. He says that since 1999, RRR has been a venue for Filipino youth to express themselves, and is a positive force in getting Filipino youth to be engaged and active in their community.

Roots, Rhymes, and Resistance will take place this Friday, May 29, 2009
Venue: Sir Charles Tupper Secondary at 419 East 24th Avenue, Vancouver
Featuring performances by Toxic Slime Clique, Sinag Bayan Cultural Arts Collective, Kuyas United in Solidarity, Renovation Under, Fresh Groove and more!

For more Info call Carlo or Ayex: 604 215 1103 or email.
Door open 7:00 pm Please arrive early. Tickets are sliding scale $10-$20, $5 for low income and students with ID. you can find more information and a full list of performers here.

Filipino-Canadian Youth Alliance-Vancouver | Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada – British Columbia
c/o Kalayaan Centre, 451 Powell Street, Vancouver, BC, V6A 1G7
Phone: 604.215.1103 | Fax: 604.215.1905

Canadian Youth Delegation

We recommend applying for this if you are passionate about youth and environmental issues!!

Dear Friends,

This is your invitation to take part in the Canadian Youth Delegation (CYD) to the 15th annual Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP15) in Copenhagen, Denmark this December.

JOIN US! We are seeking a diverse team of thirty youth from coast to coast to coast to represent the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition at this crucial meeting. If you are passionate about the well being of your community, environment and the future of our planet, apply today as part of this important project and have a real impact on the future of international co-operation to tackle climate change.

A Canadian Youth Delegate is inspiring, active and passionate. They are leaders, learners and listeners. If you are committed to working tirelessly for youth living in Canada and having the impact of a lifetime, please apply to the CYD.

We do not expect everyone to be a policy expert and we highly encourage applicants who are brand-new to the process.

Deadline: May 25, 2009. See application. The application is also available online. Check outinfo on the last delegation to Poznan. For questions, please contact us.

Youth from Canada have long played a key role in the negotiations. The large youth presence at the Montreal Climate Change Conference in 2005 planted the seeds for both the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition and further successful Canadian Youth Delegations to Nairobi, Bali, and Poznan.

The CYD will be working with a team of passionate youth delegates from around the world to engage with the negotiations to achieve real progress on the road to Copenhagen. We will also be working hard back home to ensure that Canada plays its part and commits to doing its fair share in addressing this global challenge in a just and sustainable way. Everyone can play a role! If you are not interested in being a delegate, but passionate about being active here at home, please be in touch!

The Canadian Youth Climate Coalition

Fellowship Opportunity

Last call – Reminder that Gordon Global Fellowships are due April 15, 2009. Please help us spread the word by circulating the 2009 call for applications via email (see below) or by joining our Facebook page.

2009 Call for Applications

The Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation is delighted to announce the 2009 call for applications for the Gordon Global Fellowship programme. The fellowships are targeted towards emerging Canadian leaders who demonstrate potential to enhance role on the world stage. The fellowships will provide successful candidates with a cash award of $20,000 as well as other forms of support.

To be eligible for consideration, applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents between 24 – 35 years of age with previous international experience – paid or volunteer. They also need to demonstrate a sustained commitment to international issues through studies, career choices and volunteer activities.

Application Deadline: Wednesday, April 15, 2009 by 5:00 p.m. EST.

More information about the fellowship programme, including application forms, guidelines and information on current and past fellows, can be found on our website.

Photos: YOUR Course in Vancouver

On March 26-27, 2009 15 young workers came together for Young, Organizing, Unionizing and Resisting (YOUR). It was a great and diverse group and for many it was their first union event ever. James Painter and Nicole Jacobsen, as BC Regional Council Youth Representatives, helped organize the course and Kay Sinclair, REVP-BC came and spoke to the young workers as well.

Lots of ideas, new energy, and most importantly new faces to work with! Stay tuned to the Youth webpage for upcoming info.


The Pacific Aboriginal Network (PAN) would like to invite you to our Learning Day Event and Annual General Meeting March 5th. This event is free.

Develop Your Learning Plan – Unleash Your Brain’s Potential

The brain is different than other organs of the body. Many organs wear out with repeated and sustained use. However, the brain actually thrives on challenge. Use it or lose it is something that all cognitive scientists agree on.

In this workshop we will look at how we can use learning plans to increase our intelligence, learning skills and advance our careers. Not only will you learn how to fill them out, how to prepare for the learning plan interview with your supervisor, you will learn how to use them to keep your brain functioning very well for the rest of your life. There are practical things that all of us can use to exercise our brains.

We will also discuss options – courses, volunteering, portfolios, job shadowing, mentoring, transferrable skills, etc. that will be helpful in your career.

The workshop will be followed by a network lunch.

  • Time: 8am – 2pm (lunch included)
  • Location: Blue Horizon Hotel, Downtown Vancouver
  • Cost: Free
  • Who: Open to Metis and Aboriginal Federal Public Service Employees
  • Registration: Send an email to

Workshop Facilitator Bio

Bob Aitken is with the School of Instructional Development at Vancouver Community College. He teaches in the Provincial Instructor Diploma Program and the Diploma in Adult Education Program offered by Vancouver Community College. He has a MEd in Curriculum and Instruction. He travels extensively working with faculty in schools and colleges, leaders in corporations, government and non-profit organizations to help them realize the value of brain research to working, leading, training and living. His practical approach and sense of humour have made him a popular speaker at national and international conferences.

Space is limited so rsvp soon.

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