OneCity calls on Liberals to Arbitrate

backtoschool.JPGCity Council candidate RJ Aquino released the following statement this morning on behalf of OneCity.

Today, teachers around the province are taking a vote. With this vote, they will tell the Premier once again that they want to go back to work, back to the students whose lives and educations are so important.

What they won’t do, however, is agree to give away their Charter rights. They will not resign themselves to classrooms getting bigger, to students receiving fewer supports.

Today, teachers will make sure the Premier knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that their job action is a commitment to their students and to our community as a whole. Throughout this dispute they have advocated for the compensation they deserve, but more important they have fought for improved education services for every child in British Columbia.

I am a father of two children. In just a few years, both will be enrolled in public school. What happens between the government and teachers matters to me. I stand with our teachers. OneCity stands with our teachers. OneCity calls on the provincial government to agree to binding arbitration with the BCTF in order to end the dispute and to get children back to school.

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OneCity Supports a Living Wage in Vancouver

OneCity endorsed the Living Wage for Families Campaign today and is calling on the City of Vancouver to become a certified Living Wage employer – and encourage other employers to become certified.

"The City of Vancouver can make a real difference in people’s lives by becoming a Living Wage employer and working with the business community to follow suit," said city council candidate RJ Aquino. "That is why OneCity is endorsing the Living Wage for Families Campaign."

The current living wage rate for metro Vancouver is $20.10/hour, which is the hourly amount a two-parent family needs to cover basic expenses and avoid poverty.

As in New Westminster, becoming a certified Living Wage employer would mean that the City of Vancouver must pay their workers, including contractors and subcontractors working in City facilities, the Living Wage or better. Vancouver should also follow the lead of Burnaby and North Vancouver by adopting a "fair wage" policy for City construction projects, ensuring these worker are paid no less than the prevailing union rate.

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Meeting Courage with Courage: Valuing Women's Lives in Politics

Of the fifteen OneCity Organizing Committee members, seven of us are women under the age of forty. Needless to say, the sudden resignation of Trish Kelly as a Vision Vancouver Park Board candidate has, as they say, hit close to home.

The seven of us are the daughters of women who, since the sixties and seventies, have fought for a seat at the table – and in many cases, won. We are recognized for our work and are valued for our participation in our communities. Many of us have partners who do their share of the housework, and most of us have or will take maternity leaves and other hard-won benefits. We see people like us in positions of power. We also know that there are fights yet ahead. Women working in and out of politics face judgment based on their appearance, age, family situation, gender identity and sexuality, far more than men do. As younger women, many of us have had to fight harder than men do to legitimize ourselves in the workplace and in our community lives. This struggle broadens our perspective, sharpens our compassion, and brings us together. We simply can not afford to remain silent on this matter. There is too much at stake.

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