Lucy Alderson, Co-ordinator and teacher at the Carnegie Learning Center, sent out a mass e-mail last Thursday, August 30th: “Hi, Everyone! Well, things are not looking good for re-opening the Learning Centre at the beginning of September.â€
The Learning Center is run jointly by Capilano College and the Carnegie Center. Alderson actually works for Capilano College and is not a CUPE member, but most staff at Carnegie are members of CUPE Local 15. The Learning Center specializes in adult literacy, including computer literacy. Aldersonâ€™s e-mail reveals her support for CUPE as well as her need to put in a little time on the Mavis Bacon typing tutor to get the hang of the space bar:
“We have been talking about the situation withCUPE members, Ethel [Carnegie Director], the CCCA [Carnegie Community Center Association], our own union at Capilano College and ourDean. Right now, we have a short-term, 2 week plan to respect the strikeand strongly urge a resolution to the dispute. Hopefully, we are headingin that direction but it is very hard to tell. If the strike continues, wehave many issues to consider and we will bring everyone together to helpformulate a plan.I know that some of you have been helping out in other areas of theCarnegie and some of you have been away, or anxious to get back tovolunteering. We will try and keep you as up to date as possible. I amconcerned about our current students and all the people who regularly usethe facilities of the Learning Centre and the Comunity [Luuuuuucy! Spell check!]Centre. We are alsoconcerned about Carnegie staff who have been on the picket line for almost2 months.I am wondering if anyone has any ideas about bringing pressure to secure aresolution. Do we want to have an email discussion or get together atCarnegie next week?Tomorrow there is a rally at City Hall organized by CUPE. I am going to goafter I have completed some work at the College. It is from 12noon until2:30pm. Also, there is a march from Science World starting at 10am. Let me know any thoughts, ideas or concerns, Lucy”
Typing errors and the strike may prove to be the least of Alderson’s troubles, though. The Carnegie Learning Center has become the focus of controversy since Alderson worked with CUPE members to bar a homeless man, Bill Simpson, for allegedly blogging. Alderson told Simpson that the blog he was accused of posting on was “derogatory” — bloggers were squealing to taxpayers when Alderson and CUPE members locked doors of the Learning Center during times when it was scheduled to be open. The barring with nothing put in writing — despite a request from Simpson — and no appeal process has led to accusations against Alderson of human rights abuse.
More strike-related posts at Downtown Eastside Enquirer