The Value of Public Services

For decades, the right has flooded the airwaves and taken over the political podiums with its anti-tax hysteria.  But Canadians are waking up to the simple truth that taxes are the price we pay for civilization, and that scrimping on taxes means scrimping on civilization.‘ – Linda McQuaig, author and Journalist

Life in the 21st century as we know it, would not be possible without public services. They form the backbone of a civilized and safe society.  Every Canadian uses an average of $41,000 worth of public services annually (Mackenzie and Shillington 2009:3). If they had to pay for those services via user fees, with the average Canadian income for a single person at about $32,000, they would not have any money left for food, shelter and clothing.

Unions are Good

Having a union on your side makes your job and your workplace safer and fairer. Your employer pays you better and is more likely to provide benefits that help you balance work with life at home. Your health and ability to do your job become important, and your right to fair treatment gets enforced.

Unions make a difference both at work and in the quality of life you earn. We call that difference the union advantage.

In Canada unionized workers earn almost $5 more an hour than non-union workers. All together, that union advantage is worth $785.8 million each week to the country – money that gets spent in communities and supports our economy. But this advantage doesn’t just belong to union members. It benefits everyone.

Workers in unions are an important part of the local community and economy because that’s where they spend their paycheques. Their incomes support local businesses (who create local jobs) and bolster the local tax base, which supports public works and community services that add to everyone’s quality of life.

The benefits enjoyed by unionized workers (dental insurance, extended health care coverage and legal insurance, to name a few) attract and support dentists, opticians, chiropractors, therapists, health specialists, and family lawyers whose services are available to everyone in the community.

When unions stand up for fairness, they raise the bar for everyone. Many of the things first won by unions are enjoyed by all workers today – minimum wages, overtime pay, workplace safety standards, maternity and parental leave, vacation pay, and protection from discrimination and harassment.

Communities with more union members enjoy relatively higher incomes overall. They support a richer mix of business and services that diversify the local economy, and add to the quality of life.

They are better places to work and live.

You are a ‘Taxpayer’

Since the 1940’s think tanks have engaged in a battle of ideas.  One of their main tactics in this battle, is to provide reports, accompanied by news releases, to the media. They make the work of the journalist easier by reducing the time and resources which must otherwise be committed to a story.

We have: the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, the Fraser Institute, the Coalition of BC Businesses, the Business Council of BC, Labour Watch, etc.

In the climate of mistrust they create, it is easier to convince a ‘taxpayer’ that they are being made to pay for waste. Very little is mentioned in these reports about how tax revenue supports social services, education, health, policing, firefighting, or infrastructure such as city streets, multi-lane highways, overpasses, bridges, sidewalks, street lights, ferries, sewage systems, and on and on. Very little is mentioned about how our civilization is stronger because of these services.

CUPE Publications

CUPE likes to stay in touch with it’s members and offers all sorts of communication and help.  Please visit the page below by clicking on the link.  On the same link,  if you have ever wondered who is ‘CUPE’ and what do we do?  Check it out.  Great information available to you:

CUPE Publications

And be sure to visit your very own local CUPE 716 on Facebook. ‘Like’.  How could you not like? Stories from your own District and schools, inspiring and timely. A link to our Facebook page can be found by scrolling to the bottom of this webpage.

BC Liberals want to sell school properties

The BC Liberals are trying to force the closure of 19 Vancouver schools. These schools are at the centre of communities and closing them will harm our children’s education. Selling these public assets means never getting them back.

These schools and the property they are built upon belong to the people of British Columbia. They do not belong to the Liberal government and are not theirs to sell. Speak out now before these vital community assets are gone forever.  If you wish to sign a petition to stop school closures please go to this website:

Petition To Stop School Closures