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TORONTO, ON – CUPE Ontario will celebrate three major accomplishments in the LGBTQ rights movement at Sunday’s Pride Parade in Toronto, and will also demonstrate against the Premier’s ongoing bullying of school board workers, says Fred Hahn, President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario.
“We’re taking this year’s Pride theme – Celebrate and Demonstrate – to heart,” says Hahn. “We’re celebrating the all-party passage of Toby’s Act, and we’re celebrating Bill 13, the Accepting Schools Act. We’re also calling on the Premier to follow up the anti-bullying bill by stopping his bullying of school board workers. Workers who protect students from bullying every day should not themselves be bullied.”
In provincial discussions, the Liberals are trying to bully education staff into accepting reductions in working conditions or facing more cuts, and are threatening new legislation that will undermine the legal collective bargaining process.
“The Pride Parade originated as a political demonstration – a show of strength and solidarity as well as a demand for equality. These are values CUPE Ontario members believe in strongly,” says Hahn, the first openly gay leader of a major union in Canada. “I’m incredibly proud CUPE members in Ontario chose me as their president, and so proud of them for creating a new LGBTQ position on our provincial executive.”
At their convention in May, CUPE Ontario members voted to create a new position on their provincial executive, a Diversity Vice-President, LGBTQ. CUPE Ontario the first union in Canada to create a dedicated LGBTQ executive position.
WHO: CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn and CUPE members
WHAT: Pride Parade
WHERE: From along Bloor from Church to Yonge, down Yonge, then across Gerrard to Church
WHEN: Begins at 2:00 p.m., Sunday July 1
CUPE Ontario is the province’s largest union. It represents more than 230,000 workers in five main sectors: health care, school boards, municipalities, social services and universities.
For more information, please contact:
Craig Saunders, CUPE Communications, 416-576-7316