Gender Solidarity Working Group (GSWG)

President's Message: Gender solidarity at the University of Manitoba

We have all seen messages from David Barnard and the Administration over the last few months regarding their distress at the instances of sexual assault and harassment at the UM and their resolve to root out this behaviour, protect members of the UM community, and discipline the offenders.

It is an employer’s responsibility to ensure a safe workplace for their employees and, in the case of a university, its students. It is the responsibility of a faculty association to ensure that the employer meets its responsibilities to Members, and that Members subject to investigation or discipline are accorded due process.

If you have experienced harassment or sexual violence, our job is to ensure that the employer does their job – treats your complaint seriously, ensures you are safe and get access to the resources you need, and follows appropriate protocols. Members accused of sexual violence or harassment should contact the UMFA office immediately to ensure that the administration acts in accordance with law and the collective agreement.

Nevertheless, there is room for improvement of the administration’s actions and UMFA’s interventions. Late last fall the Board of Representatives formed a GenderSolidarity Working Group to contribute to defending and promoting working relations across genders.  That group includes representation from the UMFA executive, our professional staff, our grievance officers, our diversity and equity committee, and the Board Representatives.

One of the first, and most important, tasks of this group will be to hold gatherings in the coming months to hear Members’ concerns and suggestions about preventing sexual harassment and assault on campus.  The results of these gatherings, in tandem with solicited additional confidential/anonymous feedback, will be used to inform UMFA policy about how Members are supported, and inform demands made to the administration.

Based on that information, as well as UMFA’s past experiences, the working group will:

  • identify deficiencies in and alternatives to the current UM Respectful Work and Learning Environment and Sexual Assault Policies and Procedures;
  • In preparation for collective bargaining, identify deficiencies in and recommend improvements to the Collective Agreement related to issues of sexual harassment and violence and report them to the Collective Agreement Committee for inclusion in our forthcoming bargaining proposals and communications;
  • identify possible improvements to CAUT policies in regard to safety and health, harassment, and sexual harassment; and
  • identify deficiencies in and recommend improvements to UMFA’s Bylaws and Standing Rules in regard to sexual harassment and sexual assault, including recommendations regarding gender composition for grievance officer selection procedures and complainant choice in grievances involving sexual harassment or sexual violence.We will be in touch about the best way to meet with those who’d like to share their experience and knowledge. Please don’t hesitate to contact me or the UMFA office if you need help or have any suggestions for us.

Best wishes for the remainder of the term.

Janet Morrill
UMFA President

Knowing and Using Your CA Discrimination Harassment and Sexual Assault 1

UMFA 2016 Strike Archive

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Press Releases:

Bargaining Updates:

Labour and education in the news

Below are recent news stories on labour and education related issues.  Click the headline to be taken to the article. Some may require a subscription.

December 6, 2019

Tenured prof alleges U of M pressuring her to leave
Winnipeg Free Press
In the spring, they offered their first unsolicited buyout. It was worth about $65,000 or six months’ salary.

UTFA Instrumental in Securing 3.9% Salary Increase to Remedy Gender-Based Salary Gap for Female Librarians
UTFA
Effective December 1, 2019, all librarians who identify as women will receive a 3.9% increase to their base salary, retroactive to July 2, 2019

Concordia University’s library employees have voted for a strike mandate
CTV News
After 18 months of negotiations, library employees at Concordia University have voted for a strike mandate.

McGill University to decrease carbon intensity of investment portfolio
McGill University
McGill University is moving forward to reduce the overall carbon footprint of its investment portfolio, as part of its ongoing commitment to fighting climate change and its own stewardship role with respect to sustainability.

University of British Columbia declares climate emergency
CBC
The University of British Columbia (UBC) has joined organizations around the world in declaring a climate emergency.

MANITOBA GOVERNMENT IMPROVES SUPPORTS FOR VICTIMS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND STALKING
Province of Manitoba
The Manitoba government has amended The Employment Standards Code to broaden domestic violence leave to include victims of interpersonal violence, Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Cathy Cox, minister responsible for status of women, announced today.

Regina Co-op refinery employees locked out by management
CBC
Approximately 800 unionized employees of Regina's Co-op Refinery Complex are now locked out.

Kansas City becomes first major American city with universal fare-free public transit
435mag.com
Today, Kansas City became the first major American city to have fare-free public transit.

French workers cherish their welfare state. That’s why they’re striking
The Guardian
I
t’s shaping up to be one of France’s biggest strikes in recent memory. Responding to calls from unions to protest against the government’s proposed retirement reforms, an impressive swath of the workforce plans to walk off the job tomorrow – everyone from railway workers and truckers to judges, nurses, teachers and students.

Mass strike: 800,000-1.5m march as unions demand reply
The Connexion
More than 800,000 people are estimated to have taken part in yesterday’s strike (December 5), with protesters saying they are “ready to continue” and unions demanding a rapid government response.

Colombian Government, Unions Renew Talks But No Agreement Reached
VOA News
BOGOTA - Union leaders and Colombian government representatives met on Thursday for the second time this week but failed to reach an agreement to end protests against President Ivan Duque's economic and social policies.

December 5, 2019

Province introduces new summary budgeting act
Province of Manitoba
The Manitoba government has introduced legislation that would create more central financial accountability for entities that report to the province, Finance Minister Scott Fielding announced today.

Employers keep breaking safety laws — and government enforcement isn’t stopping them, auditor general finds
The Star
Just 1 per cent of workplaces across the province are being proactively inspected to ensure they are safe — and the Ministry of Labour’s enforcement efforts are failing to prevent employers from repeatedly violating safety protections, according to this year’s auditor general report.

Manitoba seeks to cap public service executive compensation
Winnipeg Free Press
The Pallister government is looking to cap the compensation of executives throughout the public service.

Manitoba proposes law that would set salary limits for public-sector executives
Globe and Mail
The Manitoba government is planning to set limits on salaries paid to executives in the public sector and is not ruling out cutting some current wage levels.

Private member's bill would limit nurses' mandatory OT
Winnpeg Free Press
A private-member’s bill by an NDP MLA would restrict the amount of overtime nurses are mandated to work in Manitoba, though the PC government is unlikely to support the legislation proposed by a member of the opposition.

City councillors weigh budget cuts
Winnipeg Free Press
A series of proposed cuts to City of Winnipeg firefighting services was left in limbo Wednesday, when councillors were unable to agree on what should be done with them.

Striking unions battle Macron in pensions showdown
Reuters
PARIS (Reuters) - Railway workers, teachers and emergency room medics launched one of the biggest public sector strikes in France for decades on Thursday, determined to force President Emmanuel Macron to abandon plans to overhaul France’s generous pension system.

‘A significant warning’: What a one-day Ontario teachers’ strike means
Global News
The Ontario high school teachers’ strike may have lasted just one day, but it came with a “significant warning,” according to one expert.

Hotel workers' union president Zailda Chan forges solidarity by connecting viscerally with the membership
The Georgia Straight
It's been a combative year in B.C. on the labour-relations front.

Remembering École Polytechnique: National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
National Union of General and Public Employees
“On this day, not only do we remember the lives lost to gender-based violence (GBV) and those who continue to be affected,” said Larry Brown, NUPGE President, “but we also renew our commitment to take action to eliminate GBV and misogyny.”

December 4, 2019

From Ford to Pallister, Government meddling in higher education irresponsible
The Manitoban
“Crazy Marxists” rejoice — Doug Ford’s “Student Choice Initiative” (SCI) has been shot down by Ontario courts.

Professor feels pushed to resign after filing complaint
The Manitoban
A U of M professor said she feels “offended and betrayed” after being offered several severance packages from university administration after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a fellow faculty member that was later substantiated.

Review of universities should not be influenced by misperceptions
Winnipeg Free Press
The planned review of Manitoba universities is likely to be coloured by prior impressions of post-secondary institutions held by the public and politicians. Unfortunately, too many people now judge universities by rare but highly visible events on campuses, namely demonstrations against certain speakers and even efforts to interrupt their presentations.

Most schools closed in eastern Ontario for 1-day teacher strike
CBC
A major Ontario teachers' union and the province failed to come up with a deal to avoid a high school teacher walkout today, fully or partially closing most area schools.

Manitoba's Top Employers
Winnipeg Free Press

Motherhood, social norms behind gender wage gap in Canada: Finance Canada docs
Winnipeg Free Press
OTTAWA - Motherhood and the societal expectations that come with it are major factors in Canada's wage gap between men and women, concludes an internal government analysis that suggests Ottawa should take this into account when it thinks up new ways to address the problem.

Minimum wage: Quebec's largest labour union won't demand more than $15 an hour
CTV News
MONTREAL -- The Federation des travailleurs et travailleuses du Quebec (FTQ), the province's largest labour union, has decided not to advocate for a minimum wage of $17 or $18, as some if its member unions had been demanding, but will focus instead on increasing the minimum hourly wage in Quebec to $15 as soon as possible.

Colombian unions, student groups to hold third national strike
The Guardian PEI
BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombian unions and student groups plan a third national strike on Wednesday amid fraught talks between protest leaders and the government over President Ivan Duque's social and economic policies.

December 3, 2019

We’re Fighting Back Against Doug Ford’s Cuts
hereforstudents.ca
Don’t let Doug Ford disrupt our students’ education! Email the Premier today and let him know that you stand by Ontario’s students, and that you won’t stand for his cuts to their education.

MANITOBA GOVERNMENT INTRODUCES NEW PUBLIC SERVICE ACT
Province of Manitoba
The Manitoba government has introduced legislation that would modernize the way the provincial public service is governed under the new Public Service Act, Central Services Minister Reg Helwer, minister responsible for the Civil Service Commission, announced today.

Province updates public service legislation with Public Services Act
Winnipeg Free Press
The Progressive Conservative government has introduced legislation to modernize how public-sector workers are governed in Manitoba.

Union says Canadian Border Services agents reporting physical abuse by managers
The Globe and Mail
The president of a union that represents thousands of employees at the Canada Border Services Agency says members are reporting abuse at work, including physical assault and inappropriate gestures.

France’s Nationwide Strike On December 5 Could Be The Biggest In Decades
Forbes
Even for a country with a reputation for strikes, France’s planned walkouts on Thursday, December 5, could be the biggest the country has seen in years; many are predicting the country could come to an actual standstill. What’s more, the strikes may last weeks.

U of M's economic impact pegged at $2.4 billion
Winnipeg Free Press
UNIVERSITY is expensive — but the University of Manitoba is giving back more than it’s taking.

Deadline looms for one-day strike by Ontario high school teachers
CityNews
Negotiators for the province and the union representing public high school teachers are expected to be at the table Tuesday to try and avoid a one-day strike.

Bill Kelly: Time to get serious about teacher negotiations
Global News
We’re only a few hours away from a scheduled one-day walkout on Wednesday, when public high school teachers in Ontario will withdraw their services.

Lawsuit against Concordia for alleged unpaid vacation pay
The Concordian
Residence assistants claim Concordia University owes them a combined total of $60,249.17, according to a lawsuit filed against the school by The Commission des Normes de l’Équité de la Santé et de la Sécurité du travail on Nov. 18.

Education levels stagnating despite higher spending: OECD survey
The Chronicle Herald
PARIS (Reuters) - Education performance has largely stagnated in many OECD countries over the last two decades despite higher spending, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said on Tuesday in a survey of international learning standards.

‘It Just Isn’t Working’: Test Scores Cast Doubt on U.S. Education Efforts
The New York Times
The performance of American teenagers in reading and math has been stagnant since 2000, according to the latest results of a rigorous international exam, despite a decades-long effort to raise standards and help students compete with peers across the globe.

University strikes offer a lesson in principles, pay and pensions
The Guardian
Academics respond to coverage about the ongoing disruption and suggest ways to resolve the issues

December 2, 2019

Arctic U: Yukon passes bill to create first university in Canada’s North
The Globe and Mail
Canada will finally have its first Arctic university.

UNBC faculty association suspends strike, files bad faith bargaining complaint against university
Global News
Students at the University of Northern British Columbia will head back to classes Monday, as the school’s striking faculty association (UNBC-FA) pulls down pickets.

UNBC faculty say university has presented 'unlawful' demands as strike action continues
PrinceGeorgeMatters.com
It's been more than three weeks, but there's still no deal.

Manitoba Legislative round up
Manitoba Federation of Labour
Dear Sisters, Brothers, and Friends,
This week the Pallister government introduced a number of bills that would impact labour. Some of them are brand new, and many of them are bills that have been introduced before but died in the Legislature because Brian Pallister called a snap provincial election this summer.

Lawyers threaten strike over legal-aid pay
Winnipeg Free Press
A potential strike is looming for Manitoba’s private criminal defence lawyers as they lobby the provincial government for their first legal-aid pay increase in 11 years.

A champion of workers' rights
Winnipeg Free Press
"The Wild Woman of the West" was a Winnipeg trailblazer overlooked for years by those studying the 1919 General Strike. Happily, her story is now being told as historians recognize women too often are left out of the history books, despite the important roles they play.

Adopting $15/hr as minimum wage for civic employees would cost city $350,000
Winnipeg Free Press
Giving civic employees a "living wage" would bump up city hall’s salary costs next year by $350,000.

Jason Kenney urges public-sector unions to make sacrifices in wages, benefits to avoid layoffs
The Globe and Mail
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is urging the province’s public-sector unions to come to the table with proposals to cut wages or other benefits if they want to soften the blow from potential layoffs stemming from the provincial budget.

Jason Kenney’s UCP Under Fire For Accusing High School Teachers of Being Disloyal to Oil Industry
Press Progress
Alberta’s Minister of Education is receiving low marks for her performance after she offered an anonymous, unverified high school test as proof teachers are engaging in subversive activities.

BC Labour Board asked to declare Uber & Lyft as employers – UFCW 1518
UFCW 1518
UFCW Canada Local 1518 has filed an application with the Labour Relations Board of BC to have Uber and Lyft drivers classified as employees.  Right now, drivers for ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft are classified as independent contractors, which denies them coverage under the Employment Standards Act as well as the right to unionize.

UC outsources thousands of jobs to private contractors. Is that a good idea?
Los Angeles Times
Maria Torres loves her job.
A surgical technologist at UCLA’s Santa Monica medical center, the 54-year-old mother of two makes sure operating rooms are sterile, protecting patients against wayward germs. She assists physicians as they repair hernias, operate on cataracts and fix injured knees. She comforts the fearful. She coaches medical students on how to scrub their hands.

Affiliation Announcement
Manitoba Federation of Labour
Dear Sisters, Brothers, and Friends,

We are thrilled to announce that the membership of CUPE 204 has voted to affiliate to the Manitoba Federation of Labour.

Our Federation continues to gain strength across the health care sector. As health care workers, CUPE 204 members have been on the front lines pushing back against the Pallister government’s attacks on our health care system. We are stronger as a united labour movement in standing up to the Pallister government’s cuts and moves to privatize services. 

In Solidarity,

Kevin Rebeck

President of the Manitoba Federation of Labour

November 29, 2019

PROVINCE IMPLEMENTING CHANGES TO WORKERS COMPENSATION ACT
Province of  Manitoba
The Manitoba government has introduced proposed legislation that would implement significant changes to The Workers Compensation Act, as recommended by the 2016-17 Legislative Review Committee (LRC), Finance Minister Scott Fielding announced today.

GOVERNMENT INTRODUCES LABOUR RELATIONS AMENDMENT ACT
Province of Manitoba
The Manitoba government is moving ahead with a new framework for the appointment of conciliators and grievance mediators from the private sector, Finance Minister Scott Fielding announced today.

PROVINCE INTRODUCES WORKPLACE SAFETY AND HEALTH AMENDMENT ACT THAT WOULD STREAMLINE AND STRENGTHEN PROGRAMS AND SERVICES
Province of Manitoba
The Workplace Safety and Health Amendment Act would reduce duplication, strengthen penalties for serious workplace infractions and improve the efficiency of services, Finance Minister Scott Fielding announced today.

MANITOBA INTRODUCES LEGISLATION THAT WOULD ENSURE FAIRNESS IN PUBLIC-SECTOR TENDERS
Province of Manitoba
The Manitoba government has introduced legislation that would give all companies equal opportunity to bid or work on provincially tendered infrastructure projects, Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler announced today.

PROVINCE INTRODUCES LEGISLATION THAT WOULD FACILITATE PUBLIC SECTOR COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
Province of Manitoba
The Manitoba government has introduced legislation that would help make collective bargaining more flexible and responsive to public-sector priorities, Central Services Minister Reg Helwer announced today.

PREMIER BRIAN PALLISTER WELCOMES NEW MLAS TO COMMITTEES OF CABINET
Province of Manitoba
Premier Brian Pallister welcomed MLAs taking their oaths as part of new responsibilities as members of cabinet committees, as committee meetings get underway.

Province fines trio of employers for workplace injuries
Winnipeg Free Press
The provincial government has fined three Manitoba employers a combined total of $90,000 due to unsafe workplace conditions.

Proposed Transit cuts draw public ire
Winnipeg Free Press
Improving Winnipeg’s transit system dominated a budget review session at city hall Thursday afternoon.

Fistful of bills: Tories set stage for WCB changes
Winnipeg Free Press
Manitoba's Progressive Conservative government introduced five bills in the house Thursday: four that previously died on the order paper and one that will likely help it escape some further critique from the auditor general.

It's a long way from the throne to the kitchen table
Winnipeg Free Press
Are the priorities of the Manitoba government in line with Manitobans more broadly? This is the question asked last week by a diverse group of community volunteers representing teachers, health-care professionals and those concerned about climate change, poverty and income inequality.

Labour leaders vow to fight bill on essential services in nursing homes
CBC
Public-sector labour leaders are vowing to fight the Higgs government's new bill on essential services in nursing homes, calling it the latest attack on their right to collective bargaining.

Winnipeg General Strike inspires gritty love story for the silver screen
CBC
The simmering social tensions of the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike may seem an unlikely setting for a romance film — and a musical to boot — but exactly such a movie premieres in theatres across Canada this weekend.

Pallister committed to education tax phase out
Manitoba Co-operator
Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says he’s committed to phasing out education taxes on farmland and other property over 10 years starting in 2022 when the Manitoba government’s books are expected to be balanced.

Ontario’s secondary school teachers will go on a one-day strike
The Globe and Mail
Ontario’s public high-school teachers will stage a one-day, provincewide strike next week to protest the lack of progress in contract negotiations with the government.

ICE arrests 90 more students at fake university in Michigan
Detroit Free Press
About 90 additional foreign students of a fake university in metro Detroit created by the Department of Homeland Security have been arrested in recent months.

November 28, 2019

Province Advises Employers Prosecuted for Workplace Incidents
Province of Manitoba
Manitoba Finance is reminding employers to ensure that workplaces are safe and workers are adequately trained to perform their duties after three employers were prosecuted for violations of The Workplace Safety and Health Act and Regulations.

Government Introduces Legislation that Would Change The Pension Benefits Act
Province of Manitoba
The Manitoba government is moving ahead with reforms to strengthen its current pension benefits legislation and provide Manitobans more flexibility, Finance Minister Scott Fielding announced today.

Bill to make pension plans easier to access, more flexible
Winnipeg Free Press
Manitobans will have more flexibility to manage their retirement savings, and employers offering defined benefit pension plans will face less onerous funding requirements under reforms introduced in the legislature on Wednesday.

Transit union, city at odds over start date of promised raises
Winnipeg Free Press
LESS than two months after Winnipeg Transit workers signed a new contract, their union is publicly disputing its terms.

Tentative deal gives CN workers power over rest breaks
Winnipeg Free Press
Overtired train workers would not be compelled to work past the start of their rest breaks as part of a tentative agreement in the CN Rail strike, according to a draft copy the deal obtained by the Free Press.

Newspaper, digital ads will try to woo Quebec civil servants to Manitoba
Winnipeg Free Press
The Manitoba government is taking out newspaper and electronic advertisements in Quebec that welcome civil servants there to move to Manitoba if they feel threatened by their province's ban on religious symbols in the workplace.

UFCW challenges Lyft, Uber at Labour Relations Board of BC
Yahoo Finance
Citing Lyft and Uber’s controversial labour practices, UFCW 1518 President Kim Novak said the union has asked the Labour Relations Board of BC to rule that ride hailing drivers are employees protected by law.

Special mediator appointed, students stage sit-in as UNBC strike hits 3-week mark
CBC
Students at the University of Northern British Columbia are staging rallies and sit-ins at their school's administration building, demanding a resolution to job action that has kept them out of class since Nov. 7.

Government breached Nova Scotia Teachers Union agreement, arbitrator rules
CBC
The provincial government violated the rights of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union when it took steps that effectively removed new school psychologists, social workers and speech-language pathologists from the union, an arbitrator has ruled.

Remembering the Bill 160 Protest 20 years on…
OSSTF Toronto
The protest against and subsequent passage of Bill 160 in fall/winter of 1997 can arguably be seen as both the pivotal moment for the current issues we have with education governance and funding, and for the creation of a new generation of political activists in the ranks of Ontario’s.  Not unlike the fight for the right to strike in the early- to mid-1970’s, and the fight of the 1980’s by teachers to be full partners in the running of our pension plan, end-of-the-millennium teachers were faced with a decision about whether to fight to protect publicly funded education against the destructive changes being posed by the Harris Tory government. Their decision to do just that resulted in what is still, 20 years on, the largest teacher strike in Canadian history, and in fact the largest work stoppage in the history of North America.  It is not hyperbole to suggest that today’s education union political activism was born of the Harris Tory time in power, and his government’s determination to vilify publicly funded education and its teachers.

November 27, 2019

U of M names former Asper dean as next president
The Manitoban
The U of M has announced Michael Benarroch — Ryerson University provost and vice-president academic and previous dean of the I.H. Asper School of Business — as its 12th president and vice-chancellor.

SFU Research Assistants successfully unionize after three month campaign
The Peak
Research assistants (RAs) at Simon Fraser University have successfully unionized with SFU’s Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU). Though RAs are an important part of virtually every research university in Canada, SFU’s RAs are the first in Western Canada to form a union.

Update: Special mediator to be appointed to UNBC FA strike
Prince George Citizen
B.C.'s Labour Minister will appoint a special mediator to help the sides in the ongoing dispute between the University of Northern British Columbia reach an agreement, a ministry spokesperson said this afternoon.

The Faculty Shrinks, but Tilts to Full-Time
Inside Higher Ed
The American college faculty is, once again, becoming more heavily full-time than part-time, new federal data reveal -- as professors make up a modestly smaller part of the overall higher education workforce.

Canada’s professoriate is becoming more female, but also older
BC Local News
A new survey shows Canada’s professoriate is becoming more female, but also older.

10 jobs lost, 2 departments merged as Mount Royal University grapples with budget
Global News
Ten jobs have been eliminated at Calgary’s Mount Royal University as two departments are being merged into one as “part of an overall process to reduce costs.”

Majority of Sask. education support workers face workplace violence: survey
Regina Leader-Post
Education support workers are facing a growing amount of violence in schools across the province, according to a new report released by the CUPE Education Support Workers Steering Committee.

A year after back-to-work legislation, Canada Post workers remain without a contract
The Globe and Mail
Canada Post workers remain without a contract heading into another busy holiday season – a year after the government legislated them back to work.

Vancouver transit strike averted with tentative deal
The Globe and Mail
The union representing thousands of transit workers has reached a tentative agreement with transit operator Coast Mountain Bus Company, averting a system-wide bus and Seabus strike that would have lasted through Friday.

CN Rail operations back to normal after strike ends
BNN Bloomberg
An end to a nationwide rail strike that has gripped the country for eight days is within sight, but concerns linger over the economic fallout.

November 26, 2019

PROVINCE PROVIDES BUDGET 2020 CONSULTATIONS UPDATE
Government of Manitoba
Manitoba Finance has launched on online survey for Manitobans to help shape the 2020-21 provincial budget at https://engagemb.ca/

PROVINCE INTRODUCES CHANGES TO EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS CODE THAT WOULD IMPROVE SUPPORTS FOR VICTIMS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND STALKING
Government of Manitoba
The Manitoba government is introducing amendments to The Employment Standards Code that would broaden the current domestic violence leave to include victims of interpersonal violence, Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Cathy Cox, minister responsible for status of women, said today.

Province plans to extend work leave for victims of sexual violence, stalking or their guardians
Winnipeg Free Press
The Progressive Conservative government has introduced legislation that would extend employment leave provisions to victims of sexual violence and stalking.

Ontario passes Opposition motion asking Quebec to scrap religious symbols ban for public-sector workers
The Globe and Mail
The Ontario Legislature has passed an Opposition NDP motion asking Quebec to scrap its law banning many public-sector workers from wearing religious symbols or clothing such as the Jewish kippah or the Muslim hijab.

Union releases recording of tired CN conductor as strike enters second week
Winnipeg Free Press
The union representing striking Canadian National Railway employees has released what it says is a recording between a supervisor and a conductor that demonstrates the dangerous working conditions at the company.

Teamsters say they have reached a tentative deal with CN, work set to resume
Winnipeg Free Press
MONTREAL - Teamsters Canada says it has reached a tentative agreement with Canadian National Railway Co. to renew the collective agreement for over 3,000 conductors, trainpersons and yard workers.

The CN rail strike: A guide to how it started, how it ended and what it’s cost Canadians so far
The Globe and Mail
A week-long train operators’ strike severed the bonds of Canadian commerce, stalling shipments of fuel, grain and fertilizer before a tentative deal was announced. Here’s a primer on what it was about and the damage that’s already been done

McDonald’s agrees to $26M settlement with California workers
Winnipeg Free Press
McDonald’s has agreed to a $26 million settlement of a long-running class-action lawsuit over wages and work conditions at corporate-run locations in California, the parties said Monday.

‘A historic day for students’: CFS celebrates court ruling quashing Student Choice Initiative
The Fulcrum
The Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) and the York Federation of Students (YFS) took to the halls of Queen’s Park on Friday to celebrate the court ruling quashing the provincial government’s controversial Student Choice Initiative (SCI), saying the decision marked “a historic day for students.”

CANADA: Universities failing to protect athletes from abusive coaches, students say
SooToday.com
Meredith Goldhawk has loved hockey since she was four.
But she says since a coach at the University of Windsor harassed and bullied her, she can't even bring herself to play a pickup game with friends.

University of Northern B.C. offers students credit as faculty strike continues
CBC
The University of Northern British Columbia says it will provide a non-refundable financial credit to all students who have been out of class since a strike by faculty began earlier this month.

News You Can Use: Bill 28

Update (Nov. 2019) - This fact sheet contains information on both Bill 28 and Bill 2, which was introduced in the fall of 2019:  Public Services Sustainability Act Fact Sheet - Manitoba Federation of Labour

Bill 28, the Public Services Sustainability Act was introduced by the Pallister government earlier in the Spring of 2017. This legislation will freeze the wages of 120,000 public-sector workers for two years and cap their pay for another two years. UMFA submitted a letter to the Standing Committee on Bill 28, which can be found here, and also appeared at the hearings on May 8.

The Partnership to Defend Public Services (PDPS) is a group of unions representing over 100,000 workers in Manitoba. The group was formed to challenge the Pallister government's Public Services Sustainability Act, and to defend public services and their employees. Since entering office, the Pallister government has been unwilling to consider suggestions from Manitoba unions on ways to reduce spending and has instead chosen to move forward with legislation that inherently undermines the bargaining rights laid out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

July 4, 2017
The PSPD filed for an injunction against the Act. See statement of claim below (click on the image to access the entire document), as well as a press release issued by the Manitoba Federation of Labour on behalf of the Partnership.

October 20, 2017
The PDPS officially filed an injunction against the PSSA along with evidence that the Act will infringe on the bargaining rights of Manitobans. An expert’s opinion on the damage caused by the legislation was also submitted. To read the press release, click here.

STATEMENT OF CLAIM filed

pdfSTATEMENT OF CLAIM  filed in the Court of Queen's Bench on July 4

Legal Challenge Launch News Release