May 3, 2013

Volume 43, No.17


CAW Reaches New Deal for Toronto School Bus Drivers

An eleventh hour agreement was reached between the Stock Transportation and the CAW just before the midnight deadline on April 30, averting a school bus strike.
 
CAW Local 4268 represents 600 school bus drivers in Toronto north and Toronto east, who drive buses for the Toronto District School Board and the Toronto French School Board, Toronto District Catholic School Board. Details of the new agreement will be released upon ratification.
 
Montgomery said that even though the union they were able to reach an agreement, the union will continue pressing for changes to the provincially-mandated Request for Proposal system, which is having the consequence of pushing down wages and working conditions for school bus drivers across Ontario.
 
"The government must seriously re-examine the entire RFP process," said Montgomery. "Clearly there is something wrong when school bus drivers have to push this hard for even a small increase in pay. They serve our community. They have a great deal of responsibility, have our children under their care, and do everything they can to get them to school safely. They deserve a reasonable wage."
 
The drivers voted 93 per cent in favour of strike action if necessary. Negotiations had been ongoing since March.

Climate Awareness Event Brings David Suzuki to Windsor

By Ken Bondy, CAW Co-ordinator

Progressive grass-roots environmental organizations joined with the CAW and other affiliated labour unions to host Dr. David Suzuki in Windsor, Ontario on April 25, to remind us that climate change is the biggest challenge of our times.
 
The event called "Wake Up Canada" brought more than 8,000 students and activists to the Windsor Family Credit Union Centre to hear how after 150,000 years of human development and 100 years of ever accelerating industrialization and urbanization, we are just a decade or two from irreversible environmental damage. According to Suzuki, it's up to this generation to apply the brakes.

Suzuki, whose address will be aired across Ontario on TV Cogeco, said that for the first 150,000 years of human existence, people lived within the laws and exigencies of the natural world - their existence dependent on their relationship to the environment. That, he said, began to change with industrialization and the pace picked up steam as a result of mass urbanization in the last century. Instead, society focuses on the economy.   The economy was not designed to sustain the environment - it was designed for relentless growth which has no concern for the very real necessities that sustain human life. 
                                                                                                        
Afterwards, CAW event organizers CAW Co-ordinator Ken Lewenza Jr, CAW Local 444's Melisa Larue and Rob McGuffin and CAW Local 200's Tracey Ramsey joined with Dr. Suzuki to officially open the "Canvas Campus Educational Initiative" where activists and students will come together to work in mutual respect within the diversity of our communities in order to educate, inform and establish a commonality of environmental sustainability.
 
For more info and pictures visit: www.canvascampus.com


Not an Individual Problem: Rethink Child Care

The CAW has joined the campaign to engage members and the public in rethinking the way we collectively conceive of child care.
 
The CAW is working with the Canadian Labour Congress, other unions and community allies on a new multi-year child care campaign, leading up to the 2015 federal election.
 
Phase 1 of the campaign starts with kitchen table conversations to share stories and experiences related to child care in Canada.

Check it out the new CAW campaign page, where you'll find everything you need to get started: http://www.caw.ca/en/12054.htm

Getting out the Vote - in B.C. - May 14

CAW members in B.C. are engaging in a member to member campaign for the upcoming provincial election on May 14.
Thousands of CAW members will receive calls about the critical election and the new union. Six members of CAW 2301, 111 and 2200 working full time on the CAW campaign.
Need information on how to vote or where you cast your ballot? Visit:
http://www.elections.bc.ca/
 

New Deal with GFL
 

The CAW has ratified a new agreement with Green For Life Environmental, approving the new deal by 94 per cent. The vote took place on April 20.
 
The group of 120 drivers collect residential waste and recycling under contract for the City of Hamilton and commercial and industrial waste from Halton through the Niagara region, in Ontario.
 
 "I was very impressed with the integrity shown by our bargaining committee in recognizing that some classifications needed to achieve different gains in these negotiations - particularly the lowest paid," CAW Local 4268 Local President Debbie Montgomery.
 
There were a number of gains included in this new deal, including much improved health and safety language, overtime premiums, incentives to upgrade licences, an additional tier of vacation pay, new clothing allowance and wage increases ranging from 8-18 per cent by classification. The lowest paid classification receives a 12 per cent increase in year one of the collective agreement.
 
 "These are great gains for our members," said unit chairperson Paul McKee. "The investment made by the company in a natural gas-fueled fleet also makes our fleet one of the lowest emission fleets in Canada."  It is the group's second collective agreement with the CAW, after joining three years ago.
 
"A lot has changed for these workers; three years ago before becoming members of the CAW, they all worked for a temp agency without seniority, regular hours and benefits and we dealt with that in their first collective agreement," said CAW National Representative Len Poirier.


Upcoming Conferences- CAW Centre, Port Elgin 
 

Employment Insurance and CPP Conference-May 31- June 2
Learn about EI rules, policies and practices from Service Canada representatives and get a better understanding of Canada's pension system and benefits at the upcoming EI and CPP Conference. The conference will include key note addresses, informative workshops and many other opportunities to learn. For more information or to register, please
visit: http://www.caw.ca/en/11938.htm
 
National Environment Conference  - June 7-9
The 2013 CAW Environment Conference "Green Chemistry - Protecting Ourselves, Protecting our Environment" will focus on creating a blueprint for safer chemical products and processes in workplaces, homes and communities.  The conference will include plenary sessions and workshops which offer interactive tools, information, thought-provoking exercises and much more. For more information or to register, please visit: http://www.caw.ca/en/12075.htm
 
Women's Conference -  August 25-28
With the theme, "Celebrating our past and preparing for the future" this year's CAW Women's Conference will offer the opportunity to reflect on the rich history and achievements of women in the union and to start charting a course for the years to come. The conference will focus on building connections between women in the union through a combination of plenaries, creative activities and classroom sessions.  For more information or to register, please visit: http://www.caw.ca/assets/images/2013_WC_Call_Letter_REV.pdf


CAW Group Insurance Contest Winners!
 

By referring a CAW colleague to the union's group home and auto insurance program for a comparative quote, members will enter a draw to win $100! Draws will be held each month in 2013.
 
Congratulations to Paul Lora (Local 636), Rebecca Sham (CAW National Office), Greg Mason (Local 7378) and Dale Delisle (Local 444) - prize winners for January and February.
 
For more information on contests and insurance education, visit: www.cawinsurance.ca
 


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