Every week, OPSEU's We Own It campaign publishes a newsletter called The We Own It Weekly. It's a round-up of news and information about the growing movement to protect communities from privatization.
And here's the latest issue:
Spring in the air, and a spring in our step!
Spring was definitely in the air this week in Southern Ontario. And what's a surer sign of spring than a happy, hopping wabbit?
The We Own It Wabbit was part of a large crowd of Ontarians rallying at Queen's Park for better long-term care.
The "Time to Care" rally was in support of a proposed law that would ensure long-term care workers have the time they need to provide quality care to the people who depend on them.
Another way to improve long-term care: make it public!
In the news
In the communities just north of New Sudbury, there's a growing movement to establish a public ServiceOntario Centre in the wake of the abrupt closure of a private centre.
People have been sending emails to Government and Consumer Services Minister Tracy MacCharles. And on Feb. 26, Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas brought the issue to the attention of Queen's Park.
"The people of Valley East are not taking this sitting down. They want ServiceOntario to re-open and they want it to be public not private. They are writing to my office and signing petitions demanding that this government open a public ServiceOntario Centre to replace the privately managed one that closed," said Gélinas in the house. "The people of Valley East know that Public services should be provided by the government, not a private company focused on the bottom line."
Burned by years of huge cost overruns and massive problems for hundreds of thousands of civil service workers, the federal government said this week that it will pull the plug on the privatized Phoenix payroll system.
During his budget speech on Feb. 27, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau vowed to replace the disasterous pay system.
"I see this as a glimmer of hope in a long two years of constant stress and financial worry for our members," Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) President Debi Daviau told the Canadian Press.
"We told them our members had lost confidence in Phoenix. We said nix Phoenix — we deserve better and they have listened."
Leaders of the American Legion are taking a hard stand against the privatization of the health care system serving military veterans.
“Privatization is a very real issue right now,” American Legion executive director Verna Jones told Federal News Radio. “This isn’t something we can sit idly by and hope that it doesn’t happen,” she added. “We have to make sure that we’re out creating programs, talking to our lawmakers to make sure that privatization doesn’t happen.”
Political and labour leaders in Turkey are warning that a scheme to privatize more than a dozen sugar plants will cost Turkish citizens money, and perhaps even their health.
"In our country, consumption of liquid sugar is at 11 percent. It could increase in the coming periods," said Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu in The Hurriyet Daily News. "All honorable scientists say these starch-based sugars cause obesity, breast cancer, colon cancer and liver problems."
We Own It Events
Rally for Quality Public Developmental Services
Friday, March 2, 11 am to 1 pm, Minister Michael Coteau's office
Kingston Forum for Public Pharmacare
Thursday, March 8, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, Ambassador Hotel
Kenora Town Hall on Public Services
Wednesday, April 4, 6:30 p.m., Lakeside Inn, Kenora