CUPE Ontario retirees are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees currently retired and living across Ontario.
When our public services, pensions, benefits, and public healthcare system are threatened by all levels of governments and their corporate allies, we strongly believe that we as retirees need to come together to fight to protect our hard won-rights and to express our solidarity to the current unionized and non-unionized workers who are fighting for better working conditions and to build a better society.
To join our network, fill out the form at the bottom of this page or simply call us at 905-739-9739 or e-mail us at [email protected]
Current chair/executive board rep of our Retirees Network, Stephen Seaborn of CUPE Local 1281.
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Retirees’ Semi-Annual Meeting
More that 40 retirees represented locals and district councils across Ontario were at CUPE Ontario’s 2nd Semi-Annual Retirees Meeting in November. It was the largest ever gathering of CUPE retirees in Canada!
CUPE Ontario President, Fred Hahn, spoke of the importance of retiree activism and answered our questions about the extremely serious danger posed by the Ford Conservatives’ bill which will gut key aspects of Ontario’s Employment Standards Act.
Retirees presented and exchanged various successes (and barriers) is the formation of retiree capacity at each of our locals and district councils. Some locals have begun tracking members as they transition to retirement. Many do not. Not as yet.
- Local 5167 (Hamilton city workers) sent their retiree rep who writes regularly for the local’s newsletter and offered to share these articles with other Retirees Network members.
- Local 1281 (cultural, radio and university campus workers) is not yet tracking retiring members from 32 different employers. They do, however, elect a Retiree Rep annually to sit on the local’s Membership Committee and to attend conventions and district council meetings.
- Local 217 (London Library) sent two reps to the meeting in order to learn about what other locals are doing to engage their retirees.
- Local 870 (Rideau Veterans Hospital) sent a retiree rep to the meeting who reported that there are not, as yet, any avenues for retiree engagement in their local.
- Local 79 (city workers) has a longstanding Retirees Committee with its own budget and retired members sit on the local’s committees and havea voice (and no vote) at monthly membership meetings.
- The Local 4000 (Eastern Ontario Healthcare Workers) rep asked to connect with other retiree activists wanting to join him in pressing for climate justice and the fight to end private delivery of health and long-term care.
- Local 2316’s (Children’s Aid) Retirees Committee Chair described his local’s 1st training workshop aimed at assisting members as they transition to retirement. (This local’s amended By-laws have the elected Retiree Committee Chair as a member of the local’s Executive Committee. -see third column =>)
- Local 2191 (Community Living) is working on amending their By-laws based on the 2316 model.
- The chair introduced 3 retiree reps from district councils noting that these councils elect a retiree rep to their council’s executive board.
Delegates were urged by the Retirees Network Chair to seek delegate status from each of our locals for the upcoming CUPE Ontario Convention in April.
View Fred Hahn’s presentation and more here.
Friday October 1st was the International Day of Older Persons. Each year, this day allows retirees to reflect on the situation we are facing across Ontario.
Here are four observations by our Retirees’ Network Chair, Stephen Seaborn, of Local 1281:
- Long term care, community-based health services and supports for older workers living with disabilities–these are of course the very services older workers and retirees depend on. Yet these are the services facing the prospect of accelerated cutbacks as the Ford Conservatives roll out their plans for economic recovery.
- The impacts of age discrimination in the workplace and in retirement are of major concern for our union.
- While we are encouraged that the Ontario Human Rights Code designates age and ageism as a specified protected ground, discrimination based on age is not taken as seriously as other forms of discrimination.
- However, ageism can have very similar workplace, economic, social and long-term psychological impacts as other forms of discrimination for older workers and retirees–notably, when it is combined with discrimination based on gender and gender identity, racialization, ability, sexual orientation and language.
The cutbacks to public services for older and retired workers are also in direct violation of Canada’s international treaty commitments under the UN declaration on the Human Rights of Older Persons.
• Serious cuts are being made to the services delivered by the now-retired members of CUPE
• Ford’s cuts directly violate the human rights of older persons as defined by the UN Independent Expert on older adults.
• Cuts in our communities impact CUPE’s retired members across Ontario. Our reliance on long term care facilities, hospitals, municipal health service supports for disabilities are increasing just as those services fall victim to dramatic cutbacks.
“Recycling” our members back into activism provides huge potential in the age of Doug Ford. ♻️
One of the ways locals and district councils are supporting their retiree members (and, importantly, drawing retirees back into the work of our union) is by establishing, via a local meeting motion, a Retiree Council or Committee.
- Support from CUPE Staff Reps is, of course, really important for promoting retiree engagement by setting up Retirees’ Committees.
(Two locals and one district council have chosen to take this a step further by modelling their bylaws on CUPE Ontario’s Constitution. See below.)
• CUPE Retirees Network member Ed Thomas of local 5167 (pictured here on the right) has shared “terms of reference” and model By Laws for Retirees Committees at locals. Get your copy of each to share with your local. Contact [email protected]