Provincial budget increases costs for Saskatchewan people through privatization and cuts

Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan_background_WEB

Tom Graham, President, CUPE Saskatchewan

“Costly privatization and cuts to seniors, students and the most vulnerable do not build a strong province,” said Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan, responding to the 2015-2016 provincial budget released yesterday. “Whether it is expensive privatization or a reduction in funding for key public services and programs, Saskatchewan people are getting less from a budget that otherwise could have delivered more.”

The public sector union noted that child care workers will see their wages fall behind the cost of living, and promised child care spaces will remain unrealized and lagging behind the demand of Saskatchewan families. Community based organizations and the caregivers for the most vulnerable citizens, after a wage freeze last year, won’t receive the raise they need. Bearing the brunt of cuts in the budget, the University of Saskatchewan took a $20 million cut and the University of Regina received less than half of the new funding it requested, leaving students to pay higher tuition and the University of Regina already confirming jobs will be eliminated.

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Highlights: 50th Annual Convention

Master Slide_Convention 2015CUPE Saskatchewan welcomed over 250 registered delegates and guests to its 50th Annual Convention held on March 4 – 6, 2015 in Regina. The following are highlights of the proceedings.

For over 50 years, CUPE Saskatchewan has united CUPE locals to advance fairness and defend the public services that make our communities great places to live.

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CUPE Local 4980 Member Action Committee honoured with Woodrow Stanley Lloyd Award

CONVENTION 2015_CUPE 4980 MAC_WSL AWARD_WEB

Award recipients: Erica Cherney, Tracy Gulka, Sharon Haylock, Jenelle Lubiniecki-Borus, Cindy McGregor, Crystal Peters, Les Scharfenberg, and Evelyn Stachura

“The Sisters and Brothers of CUPE Local 4980’s Member Action Committee have spent countless hours drawing attention to the issues of privatization and the need for a renewed health accord to prevent cuts to Saskatchewan’s health care system,” said Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan, while presenting the Woodrow Stanley Lloyd Award for Collective Action on March 5, 2015 during the 50th Annual Convention of CUPE Saskatchewan.

CUPE Local 4980 award recipients included: Erica Cherney, Tracy Gulka, Sharon Haylock, Jenelle Lubiniecki-Borus, Cindy McGregor, Crystal Peters, Les Scharfenberg, and Evelyn Stachura.

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Saskatchewan Activist Award recipient: Jackie Christianson

CONVENTION 2015_CHRISTIANSON_ACTIVIST AWARD_WEB

Award recipient Jackie Christianson (right) with Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan (left)

Jackie Christianson, President of CUPE Local 3766, received the Saskatchewan Activist Award on March 5, 2015 at the banquet held during the 50th Annual Convention of CUPE Saskatchewan. The annual award recognizes CUPE members who display outstanding dedication in representing their fellow members and advancing greater economic fairness and social justice.

“Sister Jackie Christianson is known for her passion, the time she devotes to members, and her tireless commitment advocating on their behalf,” said Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan, while presenting the award.

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Graham: Saskatchewan people paying high price for government’s privatization agenda

TOM GRAHAM_CONVENTION 2015_MARCH 4 2015

Tom Graham, President, CUPE Saskatchewan

REGINA – “From the outright privatization of health care laundry to the aggressive expansion of public-private partnerships (P3s), Saskatchewan people are paying a high price for the provincial government’s privatization agenda.” That was the opening message from Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan, in his remarks welcoming over 250 registered delegates and guests of CUPE Saskatchewan’s 50th Annual Convention.

“Putting people out of work, increasing costs for Saskatchewan residents, and handing over control of vital community infrastructure and services does not make a stronger province.”

“Saskatchewan people can count on CUPE to be a strong unyielding voice for the community ownership and control of public services, and pointing to the overwhelming evidence that costly P3 mistakes in other jurisdictions are not worth repeating,” concluded Graham.

The two-and-a-half day convention runs from March 4 – 6, 2015 and the full agenda is available online at www.cupe.sk.ca. Media are invited to attend, and are asked to register on-site at the Delta Hotel, Campania A.

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CUPE Sister Carla Smith honoured for community service

SDLC Laour Community Service Award 2015_CARLA SMITH_WEB

Myra Potter, Interim CEO, United Way of Saskatoon & Area (left); Carla Smith (centre); Kelly Harrington, President, Saskatoon & District Labour Council (right)

CUPE 974 member, Carla Smith, was awarded the 2015 Labour Community Service Award at the 17th Annual Labour Community Service Award Dinner held on February 6, 2015 in Saskatoon. Sponsored by the Saskatoon and District Labour Council and the United Way of Saskatoon, the Labour Community Service Award honours a union member who has demonstrated outstanding service and dedication to the community through volunteer work.

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Keep Saskatchewan Public – Activist Training Conference: April 20 – 21, 2015

KEEP SK PUBLIC ACTIVIST TRAINING_APR 20 - 21, 2015_CALL_FINAL (Feb 9, 2015)Saskatchewan has lost public services to privatization, and many more are under threat.

Privatization increases costs, hands over control to for-profit corporations at the expense of Saskatchewan people, and threatens good jobs in our communities.

It’s time we all got more active and talk with our neighbours, friends and family members about the impact of privatizing our public services – before it is too late.

Each and every one of us can help protect public services from privatization.

Register today for the Keep Saskatchewan Public – Activist Training Conference.

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Graham: Supreme Court decision on Saskatchewan’s unconstitutional legislation no joke

Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan_background_WEB

Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan

“The Supreme Court of Canada ruling that determined the provincial government’s essential services legislation to be unconstitutional and severely infringing on the rights of workers is no joke,” wrote Tom Graham in a letter to the editor responding to the Premier’s twitter post last week making light of the recent decision.

“While Premier Wall chooses to joke, The Canadian Union of Public Employees stands prepared to seriously discuss public safety and workers’ rights.”

 

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CUPE Saskatchewan applauds Supreme Court decision restoring balance to collective bargaining; calls for more consultation

Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan_background_WEB

Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan

REGINA – CUPE Saskatchewan applauds the historic Supreme Court of Canada decision handed down today which recognizes the constitutional right of public sector workers to go on strike and has determined the Saskatchewan Party Government’s essential services legislation to be unconstitutional.

“We are very pleased that Canada’s highest court has ruled to restore balance to collective bargaining by recognizing that the right to take strike action, if necessary, is critical to maintain balance during collective bargaining,” said Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan.

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