Latest Labour News

Sonography Week October 7 to 13, 2019

Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals -

Sonography Week is October 7 to 13, 2019 which celebrates the important role sonographers play in delivering quality health care to Canadians.

A sonographer is a health care professional who specializes in the use of ultrasonic imaging devices to produce diagnostic images, scans, videos, or 3D volumes of anatomy and diagnostic data, frequently a radiographer but may be any health care professional with the appropriate training. The requirements for clinical practice vary greatly by country. Sonography requires specialized education and skills to view, analyze and modify the scan to optimize the information in the image. Because of the high levels of decisional latitude and diagnostic input, sonographers have a high degree of responsibility in the diagnostic process.

For more information, please visit the Sonography Canada website.

Unifor National Council 4000 ratifies deal with CN transportation Ltd.

Unifor -

CNTL members voted overwhelmingly to adopt a new collective agreement.

“The members of Unifor Local 4000 at CNTL work long, thankless hours to deliver the goods that Canadians rely on. I congratulate them, and the bargaining committee for this collective agreement that recognizes their worth,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

The new deal builds on strong benefits including a leading fuel subsidy, bonuses for safety and fuel conservation, and increased bereavement leave. Owner-operators will also see mileage and wait time increases in every year of the agreement.

“CNTL owner-operators are asked to drive great distances, delivering cargo right across our country,” said Scott Doherty, Executive Assistant to the Unifor National President. “A contract like this one not only raises the bar for Unifor members, but lays down the gauntlet in the trucking industry, asking employers to deliver more for drivers.”

Unifor represents 1006 CNTL members who are dependant owner-operator truck drivers who haul cargo for CN’s Intermodal business, including local pick-up and delivery service, regional and long-haul delivery across Canada, and truck service at Canada’s ports in Vancouver, Montreal and Halifax. 

CNTL membership is truly pan-Canadian, with members based in Newfoundland and Labrador to Vancouver Island.

2019 Voter's Guide Factsheet: Pharmacare

NUPGE -

National Union releases a Voter's Guide factsheet on pharmacare. With 3 of the 4 national political parties committed to pharmacare, the outcome of this election will be critical to the future of public health care in Canada.

World Teachers’ Day: “Young Teachers -- The Future of the Profession”

CAUT -

(Ottawa – October 4, 2019) Tomorrow is World Teachers’ Day (WTD) and the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) joins with the global education community in celebrating the many accomplishments of the teaching profession, and highlighting the need to ensure the profession is attractive to and supportive of new teachers.

“The success of education at all levels rests upon the foundation of a highly qualified, talented and committed teaching corps,” says CAUT executive director David Robinson. “Today, particularly in Canada’s colleges and universities, the growth of precarious and insecure academic jobs is undermining the attractiveness of academic work and turning away young talent at a time where there is a pressing need for faculty renewal.”

CAUT is urging governments in Canada to make faculty renewal and decent work a core priority, and to adhere fully to the principles of fair employment embodied in both the ILO/UNESCO Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers (1966) and the UNESCO Recommendation Concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel (1997).

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Poll shows Sask residents want wages to rise with inflation

Unifor -

These are the findings of a survey conducted by Unifor from September 30 to October 3, 2019 with a representative sample of 800 online Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. The poll is accurate to within +/- 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The Angus Reid Forum is Canada’s most well-known and trusted online public opinion community consisting of engaged residents across the country who answer surveys on topical issues that matter to all Canadians.

For more information about bargaining at Saskatchewan Crowns, visit myCrowns.ca.

Metro workers ratify new collective agreement

Unifor -

Enhanced wages and new full-time jobs mark milestone improvements in a new collective agreement for Metro stores across Ontario, the second group of supermarkets to renew agreements with the grocery chain this year.

“I’m proud of the work we’ve accomplished at the bargaining table. We entered this round of negotiations with a clear vision: to improve conditions for our members” said Gord Currie, Local 414 President. 

Creating good full-time jobs, increasing wages and improving pension benefits was a priority for the bargaining committee.

The new four-year contract follows the pattern agreement Unifor established earlier this year for the grocery retail sector, which prioritizes the creation and protection of good full-time jobs. This new agreement at Metro (formerly Dominion Sav-A-Centre stores) also includes leave and return-to-work protections, the elimination of wage tiers for department managers, and a new paid personal day for senior part-time workers. 

“Over the past four years, our union has laid the foundation for high-standard wage and working conditions in a sector that has become notorious for low-pay, precarious work,” said Christine Connor, Unifor National Staff Representative. “The tireless work of our bargaining committee continues to ensure substantial gains for our members.”

The new agreement also contains an improved student leave of absence, an expanded shoe allowance, and a renewed commitment to Unifor’s Women’s Advocate program, to assist members and their families facing domestic violence.

The new collective agreement covers more than 500 workers at four Metro locations in Ontario. Members ratified the agreement by 90 per cent.

Unifor members at Vopak to return to work with heads held high

Unifor -

Unifor members at Vopak have voted 80 per cent in favour of their new collective agreement, putting an end to just over three months of strike action.

“We can be proud of this outcome and of our members’ unwavering commitment and support for their bargaining committee throughout the labour dispute,” said Renaud Gagné, Unifor’s Quebec Director. “We were able to obtain significant improvements in our working conditions, bringing them into line with those in the industry. I want to thank all the local unions that offered financial and moral support to our members at Vopak,” he added.

Highlights of this agreement include a salary increase from $27.55 to $35.20 an hour for employees with three or more years of service, which represents 85 per cent of the workforce. More junior employees will join their co-workers on a salary scale spread over three years. This is a four-year labour contract, with more than two years already elapsed. It runs from June 1, 2017 to June 30, 2021. A signing bonus of $12,000 for full-time employees was obtained, while part-time and probationary employees will receive $4,000. Other important gains include:

  • Double time for overtime starting July 1st, 2020;
  • Contribution of $0.05/hour for the Paid Education Leave (PEL) program;
  • Increase to 5 per cent (from 4 per cent) for the employer’s contribution to the pension plan upon signing, rising to 6.5 per cent as of July 1st, 2020.

Vopak Terminals of Eastern Canada employs some 30 Unifor members working at the company’s oil terminals in Montreal and Quebec City.

Former Marystown Shipyard workers excited for a ‘new beginning’ as aquaculture hub

Unifor -

Members of Unifor Local 20 at the Marystown Shipyard in Newfoundland and Labrador are excited a deal with new owners has finally been approved by the province.

“I’m proud of how Local 20 worked tirelessly and diligently to secure a fair working agreement for the reopening of the long-dormant former shipyard facility,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “It took years of perseverance and solidarity, but now we see real opportunity for the workers, the people of Marystown and the entire Burin Peninsula.”

The shipyard was a Crown asset for over twenty years and then changed owners many times after it was privatized. The yard has been idle for the past four years.

Local 20 negotiated and ratified a collective agreement with this new company, Marbase, back in January of this year.

“The sale to Marbase hit a few roadblocks since we signed the new agreement, but Premier Ball gave the government’s blessing and funding for additional cleanup, which means we can look forward to getting members back to work,” said Rick Farrell, President of Unifor Local 20.

Marbase will turn the site into a service hub for the province’s growing aquaculture industry that will include a lumpfish hatchery. Lumpfish have been proven to help farmers deal with sea lice infestations in their salmon sea cages, avoiding pesticide use.

The company expects 100 workers will be employed initially, and then grow to about 300 people in two to three years. The announcement comes at a good time, as it coincides with the construction of the largest fish hatchery in the world in Marystown.

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