CUPE Local 1356 Blog

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1356. We have three Collective Agreements as Local 1356, 1356-01, and 1356-02. The membership is comprised of the full-time and part-time workers of York University the Local website is at This Blog will include Local information and information garnered from sources other Universities, Colleges, Post Secondary/Tertiary Education and news sources supplying information.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Support for CUPE Local 3903

The Local Executive is requesting that members contribute non-perishable foods towards a food bank focused upon the members of CUPE Local 3903.

More details to follow.

We do expect to be collecting at our Regular December 2008 Membership Meeting scheduled for Sunday 14 December 2008, as the economic consequences would still be affecting their membership.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Arthurs' Commission Report on Pensions Needs Close Study Says Ontario Federation of Labour

"The labour movement will be carefully studying and fully
participating in the discussions and review of the Ontario Expert Commission
on Pensions Report that was released today," said OFL president Wayne

"The Report's recommendations are complex and interdependent and deserve
serious consideration by government. The current crisis in financial markets
should not drive long-term reform efforts.

"While we assess the Report the labour movement will be keeping two
priorities in mind - strong regulation to enhance security for those with
defined pension plans and the need to expand pension plan coverage for those
without," Samuelson said.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

University Federal Funding from Statistics Canada

Interesting data from Statistics Canada that was not announced publicly by the Harper government, showing a decline in spending on research and development in the university sector in 2008/09, particularly in the social sciences and humanities. The throne speech contained no mention of the word “university” and one mention of the term “post secondary education.”

Sue Lott
Research Officer
CUPE National Office

Federal government spending on science and technology
2008/2009 (intentions)

The federal government will spend an anticipated $9.9 billion on science and technology in the fiscal year 2008/2009.

This will be a decline of about 3% (in current dollars) from the previous fiscal year, and the first decline after five years of increases.

About 63% of this total will go to research and development, and the remaining 37% to related scientific activities.

Of the total, natural sciences and engineering will receive just under $7.5 billion, most of which will go to research and development. Social sciences and humanities will get an anticipated $2.4 billion.

Toby Sanger
Canadian Union of Public Employees
1375 St Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, K1G 0Z7, Canada


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Restroom Innovation

today's restroom care manufacturers are using touch-free technology to solve many common concerns.

And, new players have entered the field with outside-the-box thinking and are now offering touch-free technology in the areas of self-cleaning toilets, waterless urinals, programmable odor control options, and touchless door openers.

Today's restroom experience can be virtually touchless from entrance to exit.

For cleaning crews, the potential for cross contamination and risk are lowered with modern equipment.


World Toilet Day

SINGAPORE (AFP) – A Singapore-based non-profit organisation proclaimed World Toilet Day on Wednesday, but said it was no laughing matter.

The World Toilet Organisation, founded in 2001, aims to make sanitation a key global issue.

"Each year lack of toilets causes 200 million tons of human waste to go uncollected and untreated around the world, fouling the environment and exposing millions of people to diseases," the organisation said on its website.

"November 19th is World Toilet Day, a day on which we can remind others the importance of better sanitation for EVERYONE."

The group, known by its initials "WTO" says it is a global network of 151 toilet and sanitation organisations in 53 countries.

World Toilet Day "is now being celebrated by members all over the world," the website said.

In its Toilet Day message, the WTO said 2.5 billion people in the world lack access to proper toilet facilities.

The WTO was founded by Singaporean entrepreneur Jack Sim, who has described himself as "something like an evangelist" when it comes to toilets. He could not be reached on Wednesday.

WTO has also organised World Toilet Summits for academics and other experts to discuss toilet-related issues. Sim is also director of the World Toilet College which offers training in toilet maintenance and related matters.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The BadgerHerald UWisc - Virus spreads across campus

University of Wisconsin officials scrambled Friday to respond to an apparent growing breakout of norovirus on and near campus.
The virus is commonly mistaken as the stomach flu, and symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, headaches and nausea.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Spending on health care to reach $5,170 per Canadian in 2008

Health expenditure as a proportion of GDP grows to an estimated 10.7%

November 13, 2008 —
Canada’s health care spending is expected to reach $171.9 billion in 2008, or $5,170 per person, according to new figures released today by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). This represents an increase of $10.3 billion over estimated expenditures for 2007, or a growth of 6.4%. These figures are featured in National Health Expenditure Trends, 1975 to 2008, Canada’s most comprehensive source of information tracking how dollars are spent on health care in this country.

When looking at health care spending as a proportion of Canada’s overall economy, health expenditure is expected to reach 10.7% of the gross domestic product (GDP), the highest share ever recorded. This rate has climbed gradually, from 10.0% in 2002, to an estimated 10.6% last year.

“Health care spending is expected to grow faster than Canada’s economy, outpacing inflation and population growth,” says Glenda Yeates, President and CEO of CIHI. “In the context of recent changes in the economy, it is important to keep monitoring these trends in order to better understand how our dollars are being spent and how we compare to other countries.”

After adjusting for inflation and population growth, spending is expected to grow by 3.4% in 2008, which is similar to adjusted annual growth rates of recent years: 2.8% in 2007 (estimated), 3.7% in 2006 and 2.8% in 2005.
Spending on drugs growing faster than spending on hospitals or physicians

Hospitals continue to make up the largest component of Canada’s health care spending; however, their share of total health expenditure has steadily declined. In 2008, hospitals are expected to account for 28.0% ($48.1 billion) of total health care spending, down from 30.7% in 1998 and 44.7% in 1975.

Since 1997, pharmaceuticals have consumed the second-largest share of health dollars. In 2008, spending on drugs (including both prescribed and non-prescribed medications) is expected to account for 17.4% of health care spending ($29.8 billion), up from 15.0% a decade ago and 8.8% in 1975. Payments to physicians represent Canada’s third-largest share of health expenditure, accounting for an estimated 13.4% of total spending in 2008 ($23 billion), a share that has remained relatively stable since 1999. This year spending on drugs is expected to grow faster (8.3%) than spending on hospitals (5.8%) or physicians (6.2%).

Public - and private-sector spending shares remain unchanged

Since 1997, the public- and private-sector shares of total health expenditure have remained relatively stable, with governments accounting for 70% of total spending and the private sector (including privately insured and out-of-pocket expenses) for 30%. In 2008, public-sector health care spending is expected to reach $120.3 billion in 2008 (70.0% of total spending), compared to $51.6 billion spent by the private sector (30.0% of total spending).

Prescribed drugs and dental care account for the largest shares of private health care spending, while hospitals and physicians represent the largest shares for the public sector.

In 2006, the latest year of available data, out-of-pocket expenses by individual Canadians represented 15% of total health expenditure, or $22.1 billion. Private insurance accounted for 12%, or $18.2 billion.
Spending on health varies from province to province

Total (public and private) health spending varies across Canada. Spending per person is expected to be highest in Alberta and Manitoba, at $5,730 and $5,555, respectively, and lowest in Quebec ($4,653) and British Columbia ($5,093).

Provincial and territorial government health expenditures will account for just over 64% of total health expenditures in Canada in 2008. Provincial and territorial government spending per person ranges from lows of $3,006 in Quebec, $3,270 in Ontario and $3,300 in Prince Edward Island to highs of $3,962 in Newfoundland and Labrador and $3,817 in Alberta.

“Each province has its own unique environment that will influence decisions around health spending,” says Francine Anne Roy, Director, Health Services Information at CIHI. “Variations in models of care, salary and benefit levels, health needs and the geographic distribution of a province’s population are all factors that can affect health system expenditures.”

Total provincial health expenditure as a percent of provincial GDP ranges from 6.9% in Alberta and 8.8% in Newfoundland and Labrador to 14.6% in Nova Scotia and 15.3% in P.E.I. in 2008.

Spending highest on infants and seniors

In 2006, the latest year available for age-specific data, per capita health care spending by provincial and territorial governments was highest for infants younger than 1 ($7,891) and people 65 and older ($9,967). In contrast, health care spending on Canadians between the ages of 1 and 64 averaged $1,832 per person.

Among seniors, there was also great variation. For those age 65 to 69, the average per capita spending was $5,369 in 2006. For those age 85 to 89, per person spending reached an average of $21,209.

CIHI’s figures show that Canadians age 65 and older accounted for an estimated 44% of total provincial and territorial government health care spending in 2006, a proportion that has not changed significantly since 1998, when national data broken down by age group first became available. Infants (younger than 1 year) account for about 3%.

International comparisons

Among 25 countries that have comparable accounting systems in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2006, the latest year for which data are available, spending per person on health care remained highest in the United States (US$6,714). The U.S. was followed by Norway (US$4,520), Switzerland (US$4,311) and Luxembourg (US$4,303). Canada was in the top fifth of countries in terms of per person spending on health, spending US$3,678 per person, which was similar to seven other OECD countries, including France, Germany, the Netherlands and Austria. The lowest per capita expenditures were seen in Turkey (US$591) and Mexico (US$794).

National Health Expenditure Database

The data released today are from CIHI’s latest report, National Health Expenditure Trends, 1975 to 2008, which provides an overview of health care spending trends from 1975 to 2006, as well as forecasts for 2007 and 2008. The report draws upon data compiled from CIHI’s National Health Expenditure Database, Canada’s most comprehensive source of information on health care spending. Where appropriate, National Health Expenditure Trends, 1975 to 2008 provides data in both current and constant dollars. Current dollars measure actual expenditure in a given year. Constant dollars remove the effects of inflation to measure expenditure based on price levels prevailing in a base year. In this report, the term “constant dollars” refers to amounts in 1997 prices. Real growth rates measure annual changes of data reported in constant dollars.
About CIHI

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) collects and analyzes information on health and health care in Canada and makes it publicly available. Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments created CIHI as a not-for-profit, independent organization dedicated to forging a common approach to Canadian health information. CIHI’s goal: to provide timely, accurate and comparable information. CIHI’s data and reports inform health policies, support the effective delivery of health services and raise awareness among Canadians of the factors that contribute to good health.

The report and the following figures and tables are available from CIHI’s website, at

Table 1
Total Health Expenditure, Canada, 1975 to 2008—Summary (Table A.1 in the report)

Table 2
Total Health Expenditure by Use of Funds, Canada, 1975 to 2008—Current Dollars (Table A.3.1.2—parts 1 and 2 in the report)

Figure 1
Public - and Private-Sector Shares of Total Health Expenditure (Figure 8 in the report)

Table 3
Total Health Expenditure, by Province/Territory and Canada, 1975 to 2008—Current Dollars (Table B.1.2 in the report)

Table 4
Provincial/Territorial Government-Sector Health Expenditure, by Province/Territory and Canada, 1975 to 2008—Current Dollars (Table B.4.2 in the report)

Figure 2
Total Health Expenditure per Capita in U.S. Dollars, 25 Selected Countries, 2006 (adapted from Figure 35 in the report)


How Bleach Kills Bacteria - new research at UM

"At high temperatures, proteins begin to lose their three-dimensional molecular structure and start to clump together and form large, insoluble aggregates, just like when you boil an egg," said lead author Jeannette Winter, who was a postdoctoral fellow in Jakob's lab. And like eggs, which once boiled never turn liquid again, aggregated proteins usually remain insoluble, and the stressed cells eventually die.

Jakob and her research team figured out that bleach and high temperatures have very similar effects on proteins. Just like heat, the hypochlorite in bleach causes proteins to lose their structure and form large aggregates.

further in the article there is discussion on how the body has cells that also create hypochlorite
These findings are not only important for understanding how bleach keeps our kitchen countertops sanitary, but they may lead to insights into how we fight off bacterial infections. Our own immune cells produce significant amounts of hypochlorite as a first line of defense to kill invading microorganisms. Unfortunately, hypochlorite damages not just bacterial cells, but ours as well. It is the uncontrolled production of hypochlorite acid that is thought to cause tissue damage at sites of chronic inflammation.

also reported in the journal Cell

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The vet/janitor with the Medal of Honor

NEWNAN, GA — The Veterans Day program at Madras Middle School featured Texas Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Donald Harvel telling an inspirational story about a janitor, according to the Times-Herald.

The late Bill Crawford took great pride in his work cleaning Air Force Academy dormitories, but cadets considered him "just an older gentleman with a crooked smile and a shuffle in his step who, aside from an occasional nod of acknowledgment, faded into the background," the story stated.

Then cadets found out the rest of the story — as an Army private, Crawford took out three machine gun nests on September 14, 1943, near Altavilla, Italy, was seriously wounded, and held prisoner by the Germans for 18 months, the story noted.

Crawford had been presumed dead, and the Congressional Medal of Honor had been given to his father, the story added.

When cadets asked Crawford why he didn't tell them about his Medal of Honor, he humbly replied: "It was one day a long time ago. I didn't think it was that big a deal."

Harvel told the schoolchildren: "Be cautious of labels. After all, Bill Crawford was just a janitor. Don't sell your people short. Any one of them may rise to the occasion when duty calls."

Click here to read Crawford's Wikipedia entry and Medal of Honor citation.


Case for Recycling - The Pacer - U Tenn Martin

recycling actually saves the university money by reducing garbage fees. He said $10,000 was made last year by recycling


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

UCSB - Janitors Get Green Award

UCSB custodians recently received the prestigious Grand Award for their environmentally friendly cleaning practices.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

The York University Staff Association (YusApuY) and CUPE 1356 Joint Communication

The York University Staff Association (YusApuY) and CUPE 1356 Joint Communication

We are writing this communiqué to our respective memberships to advise you of your right and responsibilities in the event that CUPE 3903 is on strike.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact you union through regular channels; voice mail and email will be checked regularly.

It is expected that you will report to work at your regularly scheduled time. It is likely that you will encounter delays at all of the entrances of the University – please exercise patience and understanding while waiting to gain entrance to the University.

In the event that you are late as a direct result of the labour dispute, please contact your Supervisor upon your arrival. You will not suffer any loss of compensation, nor will your time be deducted.

It is important that you recognize the legal right to strike of our CUPE 3903 brothers and sisters.

We should all recognize that this action is not the first choice of CUPE 3903, or that of any union. After many months of negotiating with this employer, similar to that of YusApuY and CUPE 1356, this employer continues to demand concessions.

All of the bargaining units have been under attack in recent months and it is crucial that we demonstrate to this employer our support and solidarity for our fellow community members.

In Solidarity,

Jack McCann.......Joanie Cameron Pritchett
CUPE 1356...........YusApuY

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Results of the Ratification Meetings

The membership of CUPE Local 1356 has during it's meetings on 4 November 2008 voted upon the proposed settlement.

The members have Ratified the recommendation of the Negotiation Committee of our Local with the result of the votes being 95.7% - In Favour of the Settlement, 281 members voted in these meetings.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

1356 Ratification Meeting

Ratification Meeting only 1356 Collective Agreement members

Dayshift only: 9:00 a.m.
TUESDAY November 4, 2008
102 Accolade Building East

A secret ballot vote will be conducted on the Tentative Settlement over the two meetings.

Evening and Night Shifts only: 8:00 p.m.
TUESDAY November 4, 2008
Senate Chamber, Ross Building

Night shift will be starting their shift four hours early to be accommodated for this important meeting.