Charlottetown – This Tuesday, May 8, CUPE PEI held a press conference to demand that the provincial government proclaim Bill 102, An Act to Amend the Workers’ Compensation Act. The bill aims to provide added support to workers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder by providing presumptive coverage to workers when they apply for compensation for PTSD.
CUPE PEI President Leonard Crawford and Jason Woodbury, President of CUPE Local 3324 and Miscouche’s Fire Chief, made their demand clear: “Bill 102 must be made law immediately. Despite the unanimous support of the legislature, going through all three readings and receiving Royal Assent in December 2017, somehow, it’s not yet law,” said Leonard Crawford.
“After four months, it’s clear this sluggishness is deliberate. This standstill is unacceptable. We demand Premier MacLauchlan act now,” said Crawford.
Rumours that a snap election might be called this summer worry union members, who fear Bill 102 may never see the light of day.
“The Government has a plan to put in its own PTSD legislation, Bill 2, which is basically Bill 102 with a broadened scope. That sounds great, but until Bill 2 goes through all the legislative hoops like Bill 102 did, we should err on the side of caution and protect the gain we should already have,” said Woodbury.
“Doing otherwise than enacting Bill 102 sends the worst message to PEI workers. It means injured workers are less of a priority for this government than crass partisanship,” denounced Woodbury.
CUPE PEI notes that Bill 2 is not without flaws. The proposed changes make it so only psychiatrists and psychologists can deliver a PTSD diagnostic to make compensation possible. The ongoing psychologist and psychiatrist shortage on the Island means there will remain significant barriers to eligibility.
“Proclaim Bill 102, and then, we can talk about making it better through a Bill 2 after”, concluded Crawford.
The Prince Edward Island government released its 2018-19 budget on April 6, 2018. Though CUPE members have cause to celebrate in some respects, the budget falls short of the recommendations CUPE PEI submitted in February 2018.
Our submission contained 9 recommendations, under the themes of increasing support for newcomers, labour law reform, long-term care & healthcare, pharmacare, seniors and child care. To read the submission in its entirety, click here.
We have carefully analyzed the budget, and want to share how the announcements measure up to our recommendations.
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On April 28, many ceremonies will be held on the Island to remember the workers killed or injured on the job.
“Every April 28th, workers across the country and around the globe gather to remember workers that were killed or injured at work. In Canada, on average, a worker dies every eight hours.”
It was CUPE’s National Health and Safety Committee who in 1984, first proposed the idea of a day to remember workers injured or killed on the job. Soon after, CUPE at the national, provincial and local levels, along with the Canadian Labour Congress, began to recognize April 28th as the Day of Mourning.
“We are inviting all members and Islanders to take the time to remember those workers on April 28th and if possible, participate in the flag raising ceremonies on this day.” Below are the scheduled ceremonies and the times.
Flags raising ceremonies:
City Hall, Summerside at 9:30am
City Hall Charlottetown at 11:30am
Province House, Charlottetown at 12:00pm.
St. Paul’s Hall, 101 Prince Street, Charlottetown at 7:00pm, organized by the Federation of Labour