Unions call on government to halt the anti-equality agenda



    OTTAWA, Dec. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - Several major unions are stepping forward
to give financial support to women's organizations that have been punished
under the Conservative government's anti-equality agenda. Their announcement
coincides with the 26th anniversary of Canada's ratification of the UN
Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women.
    "This government's decision to stop funding research and advocacy by
women's organizations was short sighted, and our unions will continue to push
for its reversal," says John Gordon, Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC)
National President. "In the meantime, it's imperative these groups stay
alive."
    PSAC has donated $100,000 and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW)
has donated $25,000 to be divided equally among four national women's
organizations: the Centre for Research on the Advancement of Women, the Child
Care Advocacy Association of Canada, the National Association of Women and the
Law (NAWL) and the Feminist Association for International Action. PSAC is also
contributing $15,000 to the Fédération des femmes du Québec, the key women's
equality organization in Québec.
    The Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) has committed
$30,000 in the upcoming year to assist these four national organizations, as
well as two provincial groups, the Ontario Association of Transition and
Interval Houses and the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care.
    "One year after the Harper government eliminated Status of Women Canada
funding for advocacy and research, local, regional and national women's
organizations are struggling to carry on this vital work," says Deborah
Bourque, CUPW National President.
    NAWL has already been forced to close its office and lay off most of its
staff. Women's organizations, like NAWL, have supported the efforts of unions
to obtain pay equity, maternity and parental benefits and improve conditions
for women in precarious jobs.
    "Twenty-six years after Canada's ratification of the UN Convention, women
are still not receiving equal treatment," says Ken Coran, OSSTF President.
"It's the responsibility of democratic governments to ensure the research,
policy and advocacy work carried out by women's organizations continues."
Statistics show women haven't achieved equality yet. Women earn 71 per cent of
what men make, many women can't participate in the workforce since only 15 per
cent of children aged 0-12 are in regulated child care and violence against
women is still a reality for too many women.




For further information:

For further information: Louise Laporte, PSAC Communications, (613)
558-4975; Ken Coran, OSSTF President, (416) 751-8300, 1-800-267-7867; Richard
McGrath, CUPW Communications, (613) 222-3952


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