National President, Canadian Union of Public Employees
Paul Moist is the National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, first elected in 2003. Leading Canada’s largest union with over 615,000 members, Moist has intensified CUPE’s commitment to building strong communities with quality public services.
He has used his leadership to speak out on all issues affecting Canadian workers; most recently focussing on pension reform and the defence of free collective bargaining rights.
He is a regular national commentator on the economy, globalization and trade. He first became a CUPE member in 1975 and was a national staff representative for ten years.
In many ways the Canadian Union of Public Employees is a much different union than it was 50 years ago, as evident from the photos from our founding convention. The delegates who gathered in Winnipeg...
Labour Day is about more than a well-deserved day off. It is a time to celebrate the important contributions working people make to our economy. It is also a good time to reflect on what is needed to improve the economic and social well-being for all workers. Economic recovery is being undermined by federal government actions over the last two years that erode workers wages, including: exploitation and fast-tracking approval for business to employ temporary foreign workers at wages below market rates; cuts to Employment Insurance and forcing workers to work at lower wages, continuous interference in the collective bargaining process on the side of employers, as well as attacks on unions and labour rights.
When Canada's premiers meet for the annual Council of the Federation this week, the future of health care is a critical item on the agenda. The role of a premier is to stand up to federal government bullying on behalf of all Canadians. We are asking them to send a strong message to the Harper Conservative Government: Get back to the table and get back on board to support public health care for all in Canada.
A full doubling of CPP benefits would mean Canadian seniors retiring with adequate income, less fiscal pressure on federal and provincial programs for low-income seniors, more spending money and a stronger, fairer economy. That is something we can all benefit from.
At CUPE we agree with the Fraser Institute's suggestion that we should to have a conversation about wages and inequality. However the real inequality problem lies between regular Canadians and the rich CEOs the Fraser Institute works with. There are several major problems with the Institute's analysis of public and private sector wages.
On March 29, the Harper Conservatives have a choice. They can continue with this failed and destructive experiment in their 2012 federal budget. Or they can recognize that economic growth is best achieved by putting more spending power in the hands of workers.
At Davos last week, the EU stated it wants to protect its policy space when it comes to water, but Canada is seeking no such protection. It's a case of European private water giants having their cake and eating it too. In other words, they protect public services at home, but want their own firms to lay siege to public systems abroad.
Whether it's labour rights, the long gun registry, the Canadian Wheat Board, approaches to combating crime or illegal drug use -- the list can go on and on and on -- the message from the Harper Conservatives is clear: if you don't agree with us, we will come after you.