Neoliberal rampage in Canada 3

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Neoliberal rampage in Canada 3
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130 people at the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board to be laid off

The Nova Scotia Government & General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE) strongly condemns the layoff of more than 130 people at the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board, including the elimination of 54.6 full-time equivlent positions. Union representatives learned during a meeting last night the full extent of the school board’s cost-slashing measures.

Elementary school libraries? Gone. Resources for students with behavioural or development issues? Reduced. Good, productive jobs in Central Nova Scotia? Slashed.

“This is going to be devastating. Taking libraries out of schools is like taking food out of the cafeteria,” says NSGEU President Joan Jessome. “There is simply no question these cuts will have a terrible impact on the education received by thousands of Nova Scotia children.”

School board staff are beginning to meet today with employees who will be laid off. Some will be out of work by the end of June 2012. The job cuts are targeted at a variety of different board employees, including 54.6 NSGEU/NUPGE positions, 20.5 Canadian Union of Public Employee (CUPE) positions, 51.8 Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU) positions, and 4 non-union positions....

http://www.nupge.ca/content/4903/130-people-chignecto-central-regional-s...

Fidel

I think the subject title will prove to be misleading by post no. 100, because in all likelihood this thread will be narrowly focused on bashing a handful few NDP provinces while diverting readers attention away from the indicated topic of discussion, which we are led to believe is the unwritten policy for the new liberal capitalism orchestrated by Ottawa since approximately 1975. 

Why not move this to an appropriate forum, like Atlantic Provinces? Laughing

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

fidel

..my posts for the most part are guided by the reporting that is done. the fed scene pre the budget there was a lot of media activity but since has dropped off to really low levels. the focus has shifted to the provinces where the austerity is being implemented. the reaction from labour at this level is immediate thus a lot more media material is available. a lot of what i have been posting lately is coming from unions because my interest is mostly focused on resistance.

..i resent your accusations that i am engaging in some personal attack on the ndp. i make my positions clear only you don't respond to them yet you have arrived at a point where you are trying to what? sabotage my posts when they contain reports on what is going on with an ndp government? you need to back off my friend.

Slumberjack

We should be freed up to reference all the neo-liberal never never lands across the country.  I don't even think it's curious anymore the fact that we'd be hearing high dungeon being raised by the NSNDP itself if they were in opposition, and it was a conservative or liberal government on the rampage with misguided austerity measures.  But maybe the NS Politics thread is lacking the services of a full time apologist, and so instead of moving such material there perhaps Fidel might take up residence.

Fidel

Neoliberal weather forecast for Canada is calling for drought of federal transfers and further downloading, offloading, slashing and general all around market ideology foisted on provinces and territoires. Same old same old. But we shouldn't be surprised - it's been happening for decades.

So, why doesn't the NSNDP simply raise corporate taxes and export jobs to larger provincial economies where taxes are limbo-low as a result? 

Or alternatively they could simply spend themselves into a bottomless debt hole in subsidizing "green energy' power generation and distribution projects for rich friends of the party shooting fish in a barrel on electricity rates, like they've done here in Ontario.

And it boggles my mind why Dexter doesn't simply start printing Nova Scotia dollars to fund socialism in one province. 

It's both frustrating and disappointing. 

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..see what i mean fidel? you just keep moving forward like i don't exist. it's the bad old feds you declare. this was pointed out to you in rampage 2 yet you are not willing to respond to it.

Alternative Budget Moves Nova Scotia Forward, Not Back

HALIFAX – The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – Nova Scotia released its 2012 alternative provincial budget today. In contrast to the Nova Scotia government’s 'back-to-balance' plan of across-the-board cuts, the Nova Scotia Alternative Budget 2012: Forward to Fairness makes strategic investments; and finds creative ways to save money and increase revenue.

“Our alternative budget puts the people of Nova Scotia at the centre,” says Christine Saulnier, CCPA-NS Director. “Budgets, like all public policies, are about choices, and we’ve chosen a path towards a more fair and equitable province where people have better access to education, jobs, and are able to share the province's collective resources.” A minimum “tax cut” to a few individuals does not have the same “bang for the buck” as the provision of public services to all of the residents of Nova Scotia.

The Nova Scotia Alternative Budget’s plan to move Nova Scotia “Forward to Fairness” include:

  • Strengthening primary healthcare by investing in ten 10 community health centres, 10 new nurse practitioners, and 12 more midwives;
  • Investing $45 million to begin to phase-in an Early Learning and Child Care System that is affordable and accessible;
  • Investing $14.5 million in special needs education and $6 million for African Nova Scotian and Aboriginal students;
  • Increasing the personal allowance for income assistance, creating new affordable housing stock, and supporting additional housing supports;
  • Reducing tuition fees for the Nova Scotia Community College by 50 percent;
  • Investing $30 million in water and wastewater infrastructure to ensure access to clean drinking water;
  • $20 million in start up funds to create a provincial transit system for rural Nova Scotia.

The provincial NDP government has taken an austerity approach to balance the budget in 2013-14 by cutting $772 million in public spending (over four years). Government spending impacts GDP growth and employment. The estimated impact of the government’s $772 million in cuts is the loss of well over 10,000 jobs. These job cuts will be compounded by federal public service cuts, estimated to result in 5,400 jobs cut in Atlantic Canada.

The alternative budget suggests the elimination of the annual deficit in 2015-2016, instead of 2013-14. It does not try to balance the budget to fit the timing of the electoral cycle. According to NSAB contributor and Economist, James Sawler, "This budget reflects the actual fiscal situation in Nova Scotia. Over the past 10 years, the province’s debt-to-GDP ratio and debt charges as a percentage of total government expenditures have decreased substantially."

“Austerity does not come for free,” continued Saulnier. “The alternative budget’s approach of investing in the people of our province is a balanced approach suited for long-term forward progress, instead of a short-sighted obsession with balancing the budget.”

http://www.policyalternatives.ca/newsroom/news-releases/alternative-budg...

Slumberjack

And hey...Fidel Castro called Pierre Elliot Trudeau "a brilliant and courageous politician." How do you like them apples?

Fidel

As I said before in the the rampage 2 thread, good post, epaulo.

And thank goodness for PET. He was only on-side with the neolib program after about 1982 or whatever. Good for him for holding out so long. In the meantime we were sunk by the BoC operating at "arm's length" from the feds if you can believe. I tend to remain on the other side of the fence because believing requires a leap of faith. I remember being a youth and tearing ligaments in my left ankle after leaping the rubicon, or I think it was someone's bicycle laid on its side. Anyway, it was a painful experience.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i believe it is important to understand where the pain is coming from. the issue of the ndp is small in comparison to the struggle we face and what is needed to beat back this rampage. whether the ndp can be "better" than the cons or not becomes irrelevent if capital remains firmly in charge of the agenda. if indeed it continues to exist. the struggle in the form of the occupy movcement globally, of the que students and the grassroots organizing against the pipeline is where the battle is most fierce. it's what will determin what value people place on the ndp. i'll tell you militarily they are in deep shit. this does not bode well for a change of direction. what do you think of my position fidel?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

The Electro-Motive Lockout and Non-Occupation:
What did we lose? What can we learn?

Along with everything else, the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath created new openings and potentials for working people in the struggle against neoliberalism. A number of struggles initially opened up, including factory occupations, efforts to defend pensions and the rights of younger workers. There were important political struggles, as well, as in Wisconsin, along with newer projects to link labour and communities, in the Occupy movement.

But this has to be placed in the context of the dramatic and ongoing pressure of restructuring, concessions bargaining and slack job markets in the private sector. While this has been an ongoing characteristic of the neoliberal period, the state-guided restructuring in auto, steel and other sectors have deepened a process which is still working itself through. Austerity budgets at all levels of government and political attacks have targeted public sector works, as well. The current moment is a rather bleak one for unionized workers in Canada.

This is the political setting that has driven a number of recent conflicts in Canada, most notably the Caterpillar (CAT) owned Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) lockout and closure. This experience is particular to the changes in the larger transportation sector in North America. But it is also characteristic of the pressures facing the manufacturing industries, and therefore its unions and workers....

http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/615.php#continue

 

Fidel

epaulo13 wrote:
whether the ndp can be "better" than the cons or not becomes irrelevent if capital remains firmly in charge of the agenda.

We can liken Canada to a pedestrian run over by a car about 30 years ago, and they still lie there in the road bleeding and run over by passing cars, year after year.

First we have to get to the scene of the accident in Ottawa and stop the bleeding. Then we can begin to plot-out recovery and convalesence.

They want Jesus but are going to have to settle for the NDP. It's tough all over.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..your to shifty for me fidel. i recommend #10 it's not bad. just finishing it up.

Fidel

I commented on EMD-Caterpillar in those threads. The two old line parties together have allowed three times as much foreign ownership and control of Canada's manufacturing sector as any other rich country has dared to.

And that part of the neolib ideology has clearly not worked well for Canadians. Not at all.

We need a foreign investment review agency. That former watchdog agency was fought-for by the NDP and scrapped during the Mulroney era. 

Doug

Capital has less leverage on government when it's not borrowing money from them. 

Fidel

Come to think of it only Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, France, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany and eight more rich OECD nations collect more tax revenues as percentages of their GDP's than Ottawa does. 

Our corrupt stooges in Ottawa would rather borrow money from and pay tens of billions of dollars in debt service charges to their filthy rich friends in Canada and abroad. 

If they were CEO's of corporations, they'd have been fired for racking-up so much debt while corporate raiders siphon-off the energy and raw materials.

Fidel

The feds could have another $35 billion a year if they taxed at just the OECD average rate. Not the top rate just the average. Billions more if they were to tax overall like at the average of EU-15's. And we can only dream of what Canada would look like if the feds raised overall tax revs to Nordic country levels. We could think of Canada as a real country at that point.

skip2 skip2's picture

Doug wrote:

Capital has less leverage on government when it's not borrowing money from them. 

and government would have less need (excuse?) to mire itself in private capital if it simply lent money to itself...

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/ND04Dj06.html

"... a publicly owned bank returns the interest to the government and the community, while a privately owned bank siphons the interest into its capital account, to be re-invested at further interest, progressively drawing money out of the productive economy. "

which makes the Libyan uprising all the more interesting:

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MD14Ak02.html

skip2 skip2's picture

my shaky knowledge on the subject notwithstanding, but aren't those "Nordic country levels" based, primarily, on their unhesitating development of (and rich revenue gathering from) Crude Oil Extraction?

Maybe that's exactly what the Con 'dream of what Canada would look like" is!

Fidel

That's Norway. But their's is a net creditor nation whereas Canada is in the hole to the tune of $581 billion thanks to a relentless parade of corrupt stoogeaucracies at the helm in Ottawa since Mulroney.

And Norway's Petroleum Fund is worth $570 billion, which is more than three times the combined value of CPP "investment" fund and Alberta's pathetic Heritage Fund.

Socialist Norway also has: well-funded socialized medicine, a national daycare program, and free university tuition for all Norwegians.

Other than those minor differences, both Canada and Norway are countries situated in the Northern Hemisphere, and it's said that we compare fairly well in that regard. 

 

skip2 skip2's picture

haha - that much I knew.... whoa! CPP + AHF = a paltry $166B total!? to be split 35 million ways?  phhht! 'pathetic' is right! but, surely, there's hope, given the rise of "laissez-faire" Mulcair, right? okay, so socialism may not happen overnight, but given enough time (and tarsand...)?

Fidel

Well it's either Mulcair or the corrupt stooge feigning impotence in the PMO ever since seizing 121% of power with 24% of eligible voter support.

Choose wisely. Wink

skip2 skip2's picture

Fidel wrote:

Well it's either Mulcair or the corrupt stooge feigning impotence in the PMO ever since seizing 121% of power with 24% of eligible voter support.

Choose wisely. Wink

hmmmm... good point

but is that 'impotence' being feigned? or 'omnipotence'? hard to determine, in an ultra-nuanced, Machiavellian neo-liberal rampage...Undecided

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Food-safety workers among hardest-hit by Harper budget cuts

Veterinarians and other inspectors responsible for food recalls and ensuring the safety of Canadian meat are among the hundreds of federal public servants who will be told this week their jobs are at risk.

The Globe and Mail has learned that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Agriculture Canada will be among the hardest-hit departments as Ottawa rolls out where it will cut 19,200 jobs across the country.

Union leaders say the sheer volume of affected staff working in food safety directly contradicts the Conservative government’s claims that budget cuts will largely be limited to “back office” efficiencies.

According to the CFIA’s own website, its team of veterinarians form “the first line of defence against the spread of many diseases among animals, and between animals and humans.” The agency says its work includes inspecting and certifying animals and meat products for domestic and international markets, as well as food recalls and emergency response....

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/food-safety-workers-among-h...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Health Canada to cut 840 jobs, DND to cut 1,119 jobs, as public servants brace for more cuts

Uncertainty was rife in the federal public service last week, as thousands of workers were told they might lose their jobs in the coming months and tens of thousands more awaited news of their fate in two more rounds of announcements expected in April.

Last week, employees at Health Canada were told that the organization would be cutting 840 jobs. Those losses don’t include contract workers, term employees or positions that are already vacant and will be eliminated, according to a source within the department.

Health Canada’s DM Glenda Yeates held a department-wide videoconference on April 4 to discuss the coming cuts. Following that call, meetings will be held this week with branch management teams in Health Canada and letters will be sent out on April 11 notifying  “impacted” employees. Health Canada will cut $309.9-million by 2014-215 from departmental spending.....

http://www.hilltimes.com/civil-circles/2012/04/09/health-canada-to-cut-8...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Student, faculty unions worry about future of Nova Scotia fine arts university

HALIFAX - A report recommending fewer professors and higher tuition fees at Nova Scotia's fine arts university is generating a backlash from the school's student and faculty unions who say such measures would harm the classroom.

Alvin Comiter, president of the faculty union for the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, said the board of governors report would be a setback for the cash-strapped school if the provincial government were to accept it.

"I think people are going to be very angry when they read it and they're going to feel betrayed," Comiter said in an interview Monday.

"We were told over and over and over again in public meetings and in private conversations with representatives from the board that there would be ... no layoffs of employees."

The report, released last Thursday, recommends reducing the school's workforce by 26 employees in this fiscal year through early retirement incentives and severance packages. It says of those 26 positions, the majority should not be replaced, and those that are should be paid at a lower rate....

Global Regina | Student, faculty unions worry about future of Nova Scotia fine arts university

Fidel

skip2 wrote:

Fidel wrote:

Well it's either Mulcair or the corrupt stooge feigning impotence in the PMO ever since seizing 121% of power with 24% of eligible voter support.

Choose wisely. Wink

hmmmm... good point

but is that 'impotence' being feigned? or 'omnipotence'? hard to determine, in an ultra-nuanced, Machiavellian neo-liberal rampage...Undecided

 

I'm afraid that the "new" liberal capitalism is just a re-hash of that which failed in North America by 1929 after a 30 year run in the sun. 

Laissez-faire failed in the very next world experiment there in Chile after just 16 years by 1985. 

And the new liberal capitalism is proving to fail yet again here in North America after another 30-year trial, from 1980-2008.

Polanyi said that laissez-faire was planned whereas planning was not. And I agree. All economies are centrally planned to varying degrees.

When the Harpers and their predecessors say that the markets should be allowed to operate unfettered by government intervention, it is a lie. Our corrupt stooges intervene on behalf of capital and big business constantly. Harper's perceived political impotence to properly fund social programs or fix the whopping infrastructure deficit is a lie. The cult of powerlessness in Ottawa is a deliberate policy that is centrally planned and carried out on behalf of their wealthy friends and privateers in Canada and around the world. Alas, Harper's political impotence and reluctance to intervene on behalf of millions of ordinary Canadians is not a real medical condition - it's a condition that exists between his ears and nowhere else.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Agriculture cuts hit Saskatchewan

Union representatives say a number of agriculture programs, including some associated with the federal Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration, will be ending due to budget cuts.

The PFRA, which was created as a response to drought on the Prairies in the 1930s, provides a number of supports to farming.

A shelter-belt tree nursery, which recently celebrated its 100th anniversary, has also been a part of the department.

According to PSAC, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, a total of 385 workers for the federal agriculture department were impacted by cuts affecting the prairie region and the production of shelter-belt trees in Indian Head will be ended.

The union said PFRA pastures were being closed as part of the cuts.

Exact numbers of job losses were not immediately available for Saskatchewan, but union leaders estimated that it could range from 225 to 270, with Regina-based workers bearing the brunt of the cuts.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/story/2012/04/11/sk-federal-a...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

CUPE, poverty activists take aim at Ontario budget

"Cutting services doesn't help anyone. Working people, poor people all access services under our budget," said CUPE member and health-care worker Patti Jo Encinas. "We're suggesting that freezing the rates, poor people will become sicker."

The government wants to freeze social assistance and delay planned increases in child benefits. The decisions are expected to save the province $90 million.

The maximum someone on social assistance can earn in Ontario is $599.

John Clarke, of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, said the $599 per month hasn't changed much since 1995. If it had been adjusted for inflation people would could receive a max of $938 each month, he said.

"A freeze has a terrible impact on people's health, people's ability to feed themselves and to stay housed," Clarke said.

The government had intended to increase the child benefits by $200 a month. Instead, it will phase in that raise at $100 each month in each of the next two years....

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/story/2012/04/11/wdr-cupe-poverty-...

NDPP

Harper Throws National Council of Welfare on the Scrap Heap - by Carol Goar

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1160732--harper-...

"...Deeply buried in an attachment to the 2012 budget was a one sentence announcement that the National Council of Welfare had been axed. For a few days anti-poverty activists thought low-income Canadians had been spared. By the time they discovered the truth, all they could do was mourn the demise of another once-proud social agency..."

Uncle John

Who benefitted from the National Council on Welfare? Is anyone who is poor going to get less money because the National Council on Welfare is over? Or was it a few Stalinist bureaucrats on high salaries who lost their jobs? In all their time of existence, did the poor benefit once from what they said? I am going to be called an ignorant fool here (a debating tactic which shows such intelligence and class from certain leftists who know who they are) but the first time I ever heard about the National Council on Welfare was when it was shut down.

Welfare is a provincial responsibility, if you check the division of powers in Canada. The feds have no more business promoting welfare than the provinces have promoting national defence and diplomacy. What is REAL in Ontario is that McGuinty has cut REAL rates of welfare, with shitty jobs, high rents, and bad healthcare, the lot of the poor in this country is worse than it ever has been.

Whining about rich lawyers and bureaucrats who have lost their jobs shows real compassion for the poor, or just the standard hypocrisy which is common to all political people.

Slumberjack

Uncle John wrote:
Or was it a few Stalinist bureaucrats on high salaries who lost their jobs?

You're going to have us crying uncle with this slapstick.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Buyer to union: Take deal or leave it

PORT HAWKESBURY — In a marathon meeting Thursday night, hundreds of unionized workers of the idled NewPage pulp and paper plant pored over a contract ultimatum from potential buyer Pacific West Commercial Corp.

During breaks from the meeting at the Port Hawkesbury firehall, workers stepped outside to turn their backs to a cold April wind and discuss what they’d heard about the offer that would slash more than half the workforce.

"It’s like they’ve got a gun to our head and it’s just a matter of them choosing what kind of ammunition they want to put in it," one longtime mill employee said.

"By the looks of things, it’s a shotgun."

The final offer comes after more than two weeks of negotiations, with the help of a provincial conciliator.

Pacific West, of Vancouver, wants a 10-year deal under which it would rehire 229 of the 550 laid-off workers and operate just the supercalendered paper machine and not the newsprint one.

Archie MacLachlan, vice-president of Local 972 of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union, said the employees would be divided into six groups, from clerical to operations to maintenance workers.

MacLachlan said 80 per cent of the hiring in each group would be based on seniority and the remaining 20 per cent would be at the owner’s discretion.

The company’s pension plan would be discontinued and replaced with a new defined-contribution plan, with matching contributions of five per cent.

The offer says the company would set aside $12 million over 10 years for severance payments and retiree and long-term disability benefits for former employees.

But outside the meeting, some workers were worried that Pacific West isn’t willing to take over responsibility for the existing pension liability, estimated to be over $100 million.

"You work for 30 years with the pension hung in front of you like a carrot, and then when you get there, it’s half-eaten," one man said.

"The premier has said our pension liability isn’t the province’s responsibility, but when he bailed out the (public service) pension plan, he did it with our tax dollars."...

http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/83957-buyer-to-union-take-deal-or-...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Illegal job action by Air Canada pilots leads to cancellations at Pearson

Air Canada has issued a nationwide travel alert warning of delays after an "illegal job action" by some of its pilots affected dozens of flights at Pearson International Airport on Friday.

“This morning we started receiving a higher number than normal of sick calls from pilots — it’s a small group,” Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick told CityNews.

“This small group is causing some disruptions.”

More than 60 flights set to depart or arrive at Pearson were cancelled, while scores of others were delayed, according the airport's website.

Passengers were also disrupted in Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg.

A source told CityNews that a group of pilots planned to book off sick on Friday in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver to protest recently implemented back-to-work legislation that forced the pilots into binding arbitration.

"We just want to talk with the airline and work out a fair deal," the source said.

http://www.citytv.com/toronto/citynews/news/local/article/200504--cancel...

NDPP

Uncle John wrote:

Who benefitted from the National Council on Welfare? Is anyone who is poor going to get less money because the National Council on Welfare is over? Or was it a few Stalinist bureaucrats on high salaries who lost their jobs? In all their time of existence, did the poor benefit once from what they said? I am going to be called an ignorant fool here (a debating tactic which shows such intelligence and class from certain leftists who know who they are) but the first time I ever heard about the National Council on Welfare was when it was shut down.

Welfare is a provincial responsibility, if you check the division of powers in Canada. The feds have no more business promoting welfare than the provinces have promoting national defence and diplomacy. What is REAL in Ontario is that McGuinty has cut REAL rates of welfare, with shitty jobs, high rents, and bad healthcare, the lot of the poor in this country is worse than it ever has been.

Whining about rich lawyers and bureaucrats who have lost their jobs shows real compassion for the poor, or just the standard hypocrisy which is common to all political people.

NDPP

 

No? 'Stalinist bureaucrats'?

You mean they're not all gone yet?

So then it sure sounds like tragedy to me!

Could easily be just as you say Uncle John. I'd never heard ot it either.  Of course this is but one of the many 'surgical strikes' in the latest  budget butchery and hardly 'the unkindest cut of all'  - as you suggest. The intent of the posting is simply sampling one more knock  from a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block. The point is the amputations are extensive is all...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Health strike ‘scary’ risk

If Local 42 of the Nova Scotia Government & General Em­ployees Union strikes at the end of the month, there won’t only be a shortage of doctors and nurses.

The local represents more than 150 job classifications at Capital Health, from nutri­tionists to youth health-care co-ordinators and X-ray tech­nicians to morgue attendants.

Tracey Fisk, president of Local 42, said a fair offer and a fair contract is vital to members of all professions.

These people, Fisk said, are “excruciatingly important" in ensuring the best care for pa­tients. She said it’s the people, not the machines, who make health care possible.

“You can’t just go up to a machine and say, ‘Oh, X-ray me,’ because that just doesn’t work."

Holding signs reading We Save Lives and We Prevent Suffering, members rallied at various locations across Halifax at noon on Friday.

Fisk stood in front of her workplace, the Nova Scotia Rehabilitation Centre, in Hali­fax. She wants to go back to the negotiating table as soon as possible.

“It’s a scary time for every­body that works at Capital Health," said Fisk. “They’re starting to cut services. They’re cancelling services."

Fisk said members of the union held the information picket and rally to put a face on the 3,600 Capital Health work­ers who are members of Local 42.

“A lot of people don’t know who we are and what we do," said Fisk.

A news release said members of the local voted 91 per cent in favour of a strike if Capital Health doesn’t improve its wage offer. In a three-year con­tract, the union proposed a 5.1 per cent raise in the first year and cost of living increases for the remaining years. As of Fri­day, the offer stood at a one per cent increase for each for the next three years....

http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/86475-health-strike-scary-risk

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Underfunded NewPage pensions plans to be abandoned

The British Columbia firm looking to restart the NewPage Port Hawkesbury mill is walking away from the mill's underfunded pension plan, signalling bad news for hundreds of retirees.

Pacific West Commercial Corp.'s offer to take over the mill in Point Tupper does not include inheriting the mill's four pensions plans, which are underfunded by approximately $130 million.

"It's quite a shock," said Roddie MacDonald, a NewPage retiree.

"You never anticipate that when you've worked for 30 to 40 years and paid into your pension plan, you never think this is going to happen."

The lapse in funds will affect MacDonald and about 1,000 active and former employees, according to the provincial Department of Labour and Advanced Education.

"They would be looking at a 30 per cent reduction," said Nancy MacNeil-Smith, Nova Scotia's superintendent of pensions....

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2012/04/13/ns-newpage-pe...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Labour tribunal declares 'sick out' by Air Canada pilots illegal

quote:

The pilots caused havoc in airports across the country when they skipped work as part of the organized action. The disgruntled pilots apparently were upset about federal anti-strike legislation passed last month, as well as recent threats by Air Canada to fire two of their union's top executives.

As a result, some pilots called in "sick" in a protest not officially sanctioned by their union.

"On Friday, the Canada Industrial Relations Board granted, at Air Canada's request, an order declaring that certain pilots were participating in an illegal strike; ordering ACPA, the pilots' union, to take all reasonable steps to bring to an end the illegal strike; and requiring all pilots participating in the illegal strike to immediately return to work and perform their duties in the normal manner," the airline said in a news release Friday evening. "As such, Air Canada expects to resume its normal schedule effective Saturday, April 14."

Earlier Friday, government had a strong message for Air Canada pilots who caused dozens of flight delays and cancellations on Friday morning — get back to work.

"It's a dangerous move," said Ian Lee, who teaches business at Ottawa's Carleton University. "All they're doing is diminishing the brand of Air Canada and sending passengers to other airlines. We don't teach in business schools that it's a good thing to alienate and send to competitors."

Air Canada said at least 30 flights were cancelled Friday morning, and that more were delayed.......

http://www.canada.com/business/Labour+tribunal+declares+sick+Canada+pilo...

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Uncle John wrote:

Who benefitted from the National Council on Welfare? Is anyone who is poor going to get less money because the National Council on Welfare is over? Or was it a few Stalinist bureaucrats on high salaries who lost their jobs? In all their time of existence, did the poor benefit once from what they said? I am going to be called an ignorant fool here...

Let's let the reading public decide that one, shall we?

Quote:
Since 1962, the National Council of Welfare had held up a mirror to the nation, highlighting the pockets of poverty and warning policy-makers of the consequences of neglecting those in need. It gave non-profit groups the facts they needed to speak credibly about hardship in a land of plenty. It tracked the emergence and growth of a crack in society between the comfortably well-off and the struggling. And it brought together social policy thinkers to find solutions to poverty — or at least keep the debate alive. - [url=http://www.guelphmercury.com/opinion/columns/article/704701--conservativ... Goar[/url]

Quote:
The council’s annual report on welfare incomes in Canada is the only comprehensive analysis of social assistance across the country and how it interacts with federal benefits, he said. The council has also produced authoritative reports on child care, child benefits and low incomes in Canada.

Its latest report, “The Dollars and Sense of Solving Poverty,” released in August, showed that it would cost $12.6 billion to give some 3.5 million poor Canadians enough money to live above the poverty line. However, the economic and social consequences of poverty cost Canadians twice as much, the report found.

“So, I guess we don’t want to know anything about poverty or how to solve it,” said NDP MP Olivia Chow (Trinity—Spadina). - [url=http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1154445--federal-bud... Monsebraaten[/url]

Quote:
“The National Council of Welfare should not be eliminated,” says Laurel Rothman, National Coordinator for Campaign 2000.  “With the termination of the long form census and now the National Council of Welfare, Canadians who want to see a reduction in, and the eventual eradication of poverty in Canada are being denied access to information that is pertinent to their work. The Council does not duplicate the work undertaken by anti-poverty organizations in Canada. The decision to axe the Council is a blow to the social policy work that needs to be undertaken by the federal government.  The government’s decision is unwarranted and shows the lack of interest in the well-being of people living in poverty in this climate of austerity.” - [url=http://www.cwp-csp.ca/2012/04/decision-to-cut-national-council-of-welfar... Without Poverty[/url]

Quote:
“Just like the long-form census, the National Council of Welfare provided credible data on poverty rates and now the Conservatives have gutted the funding for the organization, effectively shutting it down,” said Carol Hughes, MP for Algoma-Manitoulin and vice-chair of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. [url=
">http://www.ndp.ca/press/cuts-to-national-council-welfare-will-hurt-low-i...

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..txs m. spector!

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Mill workers weigh challenge

PORT HAWKESBURY — The future of one of Nova Scotia’s largest economic engines will be at stake Saturday.

Hundreds of laid-off workers from the Point Tupper pulp and paper plant will pack into the Port Hawkesbury firehall at 2 p.m. to direct their union’s response to the contract ultimatum that potential buyer Pacific West Commercial Corp. delivered Thursday.

“Our job is to inform and their job is to decide,” said Archie MacLachlan, vice-president of Local 972 of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union.

“We’re laying all the cards on the table.”

The union executive is not making a recommendation on whether the workers should vote for or against Pacific West’s contract proposal. The floor will be open to any motions from union members. If the membership decides to vote on the contract offer, a separate meeting will be held in the near future.

Pacific West spokesman Marc Dube said the Vancouver company wants an answer by next Thursday.

The workers’ initial reaction after learning details of the offer was not good.

“It’s been a long, hard winter on the families who rely on this mill, and nobody expected this to be easy,” one mill employee, who didn’t want to reveal his name, said Friday.

“But we were hoping for something better than this.” 

eta:

According to the contract, Pacific West would only operate the newer and more efficient Paper Machine 2, which produces high-gloss paper products. Employment at the mill would be reduced by more than half to 229. Wages would stay nearly the same but there would be no increases over the 10-year life of the agreement.

The deal would also give the company the right to contract out some services that unionized mill employees once performed....

http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/85319-mill-workers-weigh-challenge

Slumberjack

I haven't yet seen anything on what the NDP government anted up in the form of subsidies and tax breaks as part of the deal.  Likely nothing resembling the winning mega-bucks-for-life scratch ticket the Irvings are holding onto, but probably substantial enough to persuade the buyer away from investing someplace else with a better rate of return, like offshore.

Fidel

Slumberjack wrote:

I haven't yet seen anything on what the NDP government anted up in the form of subsidies and tax breaks as part of the deal.  Likely nothing resembling the winning mega-bucks-for-life scratch ticket the Irvings are holding onto, but probably substantial enough to persuade the buyer away from investing someplace else with a better rate of return, like offshore.

 

Are you suggesting the Harpers might have shopped elsewhere for the $25 billion dollar contract like they did with the F-35? Surely there are cheaper offshore alternatives.

We could have built new planes in Canada if it hadn't been for a federal Conservative Government exporting an entire aircraft industry and 50,000 Canadian jobs to the U.S.A. in the 1960s.

In that case, the NS NDP appear to have made the largest investment in job training and job creation in Nova Scotia's history.

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Thousands in the Street in Support of Alma's workers
Worldwide Solidarity against Rio Tinto.
Glorious Day in Alma Affirms the Need to Build the New and Stake Our Claim on the Future

On March 31, more than 8,000 workers and people from all walks of life answered the call of the locked-out Rio Tinto workers to join them in a mass demonstration in Alma, Quebec to defend their rights and the rights of all. Locked-out for three months, the Rio Tinto workers in Alma are militantly rejecting Rio Tinto's dictate to subcontract jobs and thereby establish two-tier wages and a non-union plant.

Recognizing that this fight is their fight, workers came from many regions of Quebec, as well as from Kitimat, British Columbia, Hamilton and Toronto. They joined workers' families and members of local communities whose future is affected by the dictate of Rio Tinto to use local resources without making commitments to the community or the region. Many workers from Alma came with their families highlighting that their fight is to build a future for the coming generations. Students on strike in defence of the right to an education for all also came from many regions of Quebec....

http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/story/thousands-street-support-almas-worke...

eta:

Amidst the sea of people were numerous signs denouncing the secret deal signed in 2007 between the Charest government, Hydro-Québec and Rio Tinto that among other things declares a lockout a force majeure that allows Rio Tinto to violate any contractual obligations and states that Hydro-Québec is to buy all unused hydro by Rio Tinto Alcan during the lockout therefore financing Rio Tinto for locking out its workers. Many others bore slogans condemning the Charest government's sell out of Quebec's interests and its resources to the monopolies and demanded that this government be held to account.

Slumberjack

Fidel wrote:
Are you suggesting the Harpers might have shopped elsewhere for the $25 billion dollar contract like they did with the F-35? Surely there are cheaper offshore alternatives. We could have built new planes in Canada if it hadn't been for a federal Conservative Government exporting an entire aircraft industry and 50,000 Canadian jobs to the U.S.A. in the 1960s.  In that case, the NS NDP appear to have made the largest investment in job training and job creation in Nova Scotia's history.

This is Capitalism in the 21st century Fidel.  Everyone granted a position of authority over the population through election cycles, including those seeking authority, must take their place within it and conform so that a share of the pie is not withheld from the citizenry.  I think it's well understood that this is the smoking gun being held against everyone's head nowadays; smoking because it occasionally goes off wherever there's an issue with compliance.  When we critique the NDP and other parties, we are in fact critiquing Capitalism, along with what it takes to function within it in good standing.  We critique the increasingly impossible suggestion of there being a substantial difference from one management team to the next.

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Battle lines being drawn


Capital Health workers erect a countdown banner in front of their strike headquarters near the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Cen­tre on Monday. NSGEU Local 42 members can strike as early as April 25.  (PETER PARSONS / Staff)
Health board, union set up plans for possible strike; patients may be shuttled around

A FORMER FUNERAL home near the corner of Robie Street and Quinpool Road has been converted to strike headquarters for Local 42 of the Nova Scotia Government & General Employees Union.

The union representing Capital Health workers will be in a strike position as early as April 25 and preparations have begun on all sides.

Management and the workers aren’t the only ones drawing up contingency plans and holding meetings to figure out how to handle a partial shutdown of the Halifax-area health system, inevitable if 3,600 Capital Health workers walk out over disagreements on wage raises....

http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/87503-battle-lines-being-drawn

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Unions protest at Rio Tinto AGM against its lockout of workers in Canada

17 April 2012

Unions are protesting at the Rio Tinto shareholders’ AGM in London on Thursday 19 April against the four month-long lockout of 780 union members of the United Steelworkers (USW) in Alma, Quebec, Canada.

WHAT: Protest at Rio Tinto AGM
TIME: 10 am
DATE: Thursday 19 April
PLACE: The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Broad Sanctuary, Westminster, SW1P 3EE

The protestors will bring to shareholders’ attention Rio Tinto’s unethical and illegal actions in Canada and the damage this is doing to the company’s reputation and its sponsorship of the London Olympics.

Rio Tinto, one of the sponsors of the 2012 London Olympics, is providing 99 per cent of the metal for minting the London Olympic medals, tarnishing them with the company’s reprehensible labour practices.

The locked-out members of USW are supported in this action by the UK union Unite, the London Mining Network and three global union federations: International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM), International Metalworkers’ Federation (IMF) and International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).

This action is part of a sustained global campaign of ICEM and IMF against Rio Tinto demanding the company clean up its act towards workers. On the same day, miners’ unions from around the world attending an ICEM mining conference will be making the same demands at a protest at the Australian Securities Exchange in Sydney at 13:00 (EST) on Thursday 19 April (vision available on request).

http://www.itfglobal.org/press-area/index.cfm/pressdetail/7289

Fidel

Slumberjack wrote:

Fidel wrote:
Are you suggesting the Harpers might have shopped elsewhere for the $25 billion dollar contract like they did with the F-35? Surely there are cheaper offshore alternatives. We could have built new planes in Canada if it hadn't been for a federal Conservative Government exporting an entire aircraft industry and 50,000 Canadian jobs to the U.S.A. in the 1960s.  In that case, the NS NDP appear to have made the largest investment in job training and job creation in Nova Scotia's history.

This is Capitalism in the 21st century Fidel.  Everyone granted a position of authority over the population through election cycles, including those seeking authority, must take their place within it and conform so that a share of the pie is not withheld from the citizenry.  I think it's well understood that this is the smoking gun being held against everyone's head nowadays; smoking because it occasionally goes off wherever there's an issue with compliance.  When we critique the NDP and other parties, we are in fact critiquing Capitalism, along with what it takes to function within it in good standing.  We critique the increasingly impossible suggestion of there being a substantial difference from one management team to the next.

Yes, it is true that the NDP is a capitalist party. The difference is that it has always sought to reform capitalism toward social democracy. That was also true of the Liberal Party from about MacKenzie King to Trudeau's time with a lot of falling off the wagon in between, pushing and prodding by the CCF-NDP. Some of us may laugh and jeer, but where else do we wade into it? Do we sit idly by while capitalist greed and lust enslaves and destroys humanity? Or do we roll-up our sleeves and help people to understand just how undemocratic the whole thing really is?

The point is, it's not even capitalism anymore - it's neofeudalism. Today's capitalists make mock of their own gods of capitalism: Smith, Locke, Hamilton, Ricardo etc. The former Marxian relationship between worker versus capitalist-industrialist parasite has become one of worker versus absentee corporate landlord and marauding international capital. Capitalist industrialism of Marx' era and Lenin's era has been overthrown by capital itself. It may seem to be a step backward in time, but there are some who say we need to revisit the relationship between worker and national owners of the means of production. We need, as Keynes said, to disarm international capital for the sake of world peace and democracy. I think it is a good fight. Any fight against capital is a good one. But we with few resources in comparison to power and that only grows stronger, need to choose our battles wisely. 

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73% of teachers vote to adopt resistance strategy on Bill 22

A decisive 73% of teachers have voted in favour of a resistance strategy to oppose Bill 22, the controversial Education Improvement Act.  In a province-wide vote conducted April 17–19, 2012, a total of 21,625 teachers voted yes and 7,846 voted no.

BCTF President Susan Lambert characterized the result as a strong vote of confidence in the action plan crafted by delegates to the BCTF’s Annual General Meeting in March.

“This vote sends a powerful message to government that they must rethink Bill 22, listen to the concerns of teachers, respect our rights, and invest in services to students,” Lambert said. “Teachers are united in opposition to this terrible piece of legislation, the twentieth bill passed by the BC Liberals since 2001 targeting teachers’ professional and labour rights. We simply have to take a strong stand.”

Lambert noted that Bill 22 virtually wipes out class-size and composition limits. Coming into a school year when public education will face a $100 million funding short fall, learning conditions will undoubtedly suffer. “How can anyone teach to individual student needs under such conditions?” she asked.  

Lambert acknowledged that the vote was emotional for teachers because the decision to withdraw from extra-curricular activities is so wrenching. “Teachers struggle with this because these activities bring so much joy to our engagement with students. We know this will mean the loss of some highly-valued activities, and we sincerely regret that. But we have to look at the bigger picture and the longer term,” she said.

The plan also calls for other actions including: mounting a public awareness campaign to educate British Columbians about the impact of Bill 22 and to mobilize opposition to it; the possibility of another future vote on a full withdrawal of services; and working in advance of the May 2013 election to bring in a new government that will repeal Bill 22.

Lambert said that one of the most corrosive elements of Bill 22 for teachers is its mock mediation process. “It adds insult to injury by requiring teachers to be complicit in the stripping of basic rights and protections in our collective agreement,” Lambert said.

The BCTF has made application to the Labour Relations Board to quash the appointment of Dr. Charles Jago as mediator due to clear apprehension of bias. The teachers are awaiting a ruling on a government challenge of the LRB’s jurisdiction before a decision can be made on the substance of the complaint....

http://www.bctf.ca/NewsReleases.aspx?id=26736

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Teachers Rally against Cuts to Education

pics

Cole Harbour - About 300 teachers rallied against cuts to education outside premier Darrell Dexter's constituency office Friday afternoon after the end of the school day.

The rally was one of 18 across the province targeting MLAs from the governing NDP. A rally at finance minister Graham Steele's Halifax office attracted 200 teachers, according to the CBC

A press release from the Nova Scotia Teachers' Union says that $65 million will have been cut across the province come September, and that this "will result in larger class sizes and less individual attention for students."

Teachers chanted "Kids not cuts!" and "Cut to the core! Don't take more!" to the frequent honks of supportive motorists at the busy intersection. A few young children at the rally branded signs concerned about the increases in class size for the coming school year. 

Premier Dexter did not make an appearance at his office.

http://halifax.mediacoop.ca/photo/teachers-rally-against-cuts-education/...

NDPP

Monetary and Credit Reform Empowers Happiness: Professor Mark Anielski Explains: (and vid)

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/04/monetary-credit-reform-empowers-h...

"The 99% must achieve factual command of the basic facts how money and credit are created, or else continue their debt-damned existence under an oligarchic and Robber Baron-era structure. The US and Canada do not have a money supply; we have its Orwellian opposite as a debt supply. Canada had public money and surrendered this power to oligarchic interests in 1974, Economics, can, and should be designed to enlighten, inform and empower accomplishment of human happiness.."

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