About CUPE
Media Room
2001 Annual Report on Privatization
Canadian Union of Public Employees
Sectors: Postsecondary
Issues: Education
The Agreement reached January 8, 2001 between the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE Local 2661) and the University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières.

CUPE activists will continue to speak out against the privatization of post-secondary education. We have prepared speaking notes that may be used in our community campaigns against private for-profit universities.

On October 19, 2000, the Conservative government of Mike Harris introduced Bill 132 into the Ontario Legislature. As University workers, CUPE members see Bill 132 as part of a concerted effort on the part of the government and corporations to:
  • lower our wages;
  • undermine our working conditions;
  • increase the number of temporary workers who have few benefits and insecure contracts;
  • eliminate unions in the new institutions;
  • move our jobs in public institutions to non-union contractors.
CUPE sees Bill 132 as a serious threat to working people in Ontario. It will entrench a two-tiered post-secondary education system according to the demands of corporations.

Issues: Privatization

On September 19, 2000, the Ontario Government announced the Formation of the "Investing in Students Taskforce". The Government will release the Taskforce’s Report in the very near future. As CUPE members in the University Sector, we must be ready to take on this government’s latest round of privatization of Ontario Universities.

The education ‘industry’ is high on corporate shopping lists, and Ontario’s private university law lets them set up their own shop. A growing number of private education businesses are setting up campuses both virtual and real. Despite corporate and government claims, public funds will be diverted into private institutions – everything from student loans to research grants and tax breaks.

Public money to boost corporate power – and profits. That’s how critics see the announcement by the Ontario government that an estimated $1.4 billion will be spent on the province’s colleges and universities.

Issues: Bargaining
Early on January 31, 1999 pickets went up at BC universities. Frustrated with the lack of progress at the bargaining table, 7,000 support staff exercised their right to withdraw their services. By noon the strike was over and CUPE members had won – ‘big time’.

A new study comparing the teaching load and salaries of sessional lecturers and faculty at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières (UQTR) shows that sessional lecturers earn 72 per cent less for the same teaching load.

Campaigns: Women's wages
Getting women’s wages onto the bargaining table is crucial to eliminating the wage gap. So is smart bargaining! Over the years, CUPE’s creative membership and staff have devised and employed many successful bargaining strategies to raise women’s wages. Here are some strategies that work!

Media Room: Story Ideas
CUPE sees Ontario’s effort to introduce for-profit universities as a serious threat to working people. Bill 132 will undermine our rights as education workers and make it very difficult for working families to have access to high quality and accessible education.

News: Organizing
In another time, it may have been called The Case of the Invisible Workers, for a recent Vancouver organizing drive was fit for Sherlock Holmes. But CUPE’s team of organizers didn’t hire a detective to find 600 workers scattered across an area the size of France with no common hours or place of work. They got creative.

News: Strikes and Lockouts

News: CUPE News

Conciliation talks are not going well for part-time faculty at Saint Mary’s University, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 3912. The union will commence a strike vote Tuesday.

CUPE 4600 president Aalya Ahmad will give a news conference today at 10:30 am at Carleton University in Ottawa to announce a tentative agreement between the 1200 teaching and research assistants and the university. Press release announcing co-ordinates for the press conference

Sessional lecturers at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières accepted a mediation report January 8 that brings an end to their longstanding dispute with the university.

CUPE 3903 pickets are holding strong, despite management’s attempt to break their lines by ordering picket lines off university property.

York University’s 2,100 contract faculty and teaching and research assistants begin a strike today for smaller classes, higher wages, and job security for contract faculty.

Media Room: News Releases

Part-time faculty at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax will be in a legal strike position March 30.

HALIFAX – Part-time faculty at Saint Mary’s University have given their bargaining committee a mandate to strike.

Conciliation talks are not going well for part-time faculty at Saint Mary’s University, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 3912. The union will commence a strike vote Tuesday.

Teaching and graduate assistants have voted to ratify York University’s latest offer, ending its 78-day strike. The new agreement was ratified by 95%.

A tentative settlement has been reached in the 11-week long strike at York University. CUPE 3903, representing teaching assistants, graduate assistants and contract faculty, has negotiated a tentative agreement after three intense days of bargaining, winning a victory not just for their members but for accessible post-secondary education. For more information visit the CUPE 3903 strike site

Conciliator Thomas Hayden has temporarily adjourned talks to end the UQTR lecturers’ strike.

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Next 7 days:
03/27/2001: Launch of CUPE’s third Annual Report on Privatization
03/29/2001: Local 500 Retirement Planning
03/31/2001: Labour Law for CUPE Members
03/31/2001: Stress in the Workplace
03/31/2001: Bargaining Skills Workshop
04/01/2001: Labour Law for CUPE Members
04/02/2001: Local 3550 Winter School