Sask. Party refusal to delay school start is putting students and staff at risk

Education support workers are asking the provincial government to take immediate steps to stop the spread of the newest wave of COVID-19, including pausing in-class learning.

“Jurisdictions across Canada have paused in class learning as the next wave of the pandemic hits. Here in Saskatchewan universities have delayed the start of the winter term, but students and staff in the K-12 education sector are back in full force with no additional safety measures,” said Rob Westfield, an education support worker and chairperson of the CUPE Saskatchewan Education Workers’ Steering Committee. “We know there has been classroom transmission of COVID-19 – now you are putting children in crowded classrooms while an even more contagious variant of the virus sweeps across our province. It is unacceptable. We have already lost too many people to this government’s inaction.”

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Season’s greetings from the frontline of Saskatchewan’s public services

Before and since the pandemic first hit, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in Saskatchewan have been on the frontline and behind the scenes caring for you in health care, long-term care and home care – and delivering the many public services we all rely on to keep our communities safe, healthy and strong. As we face yet another wave with the Omicron variant of COVID-19, we know many challenges are yet to come in keeping our communities safe and to prevent further loss of life. We also know just how vital our public services and the workers who deliver them are in the fight against the coronavirus.

Click to read the full year-end message from CUPE Saskatchewan.

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CUPE Saskatchewan brings prairie solidarity to Local 1630 picket line in Minnedosa, Manitoba

Judy Henley, CUPE Saskatchewan President, and Kent Peterson, CUPE Saskatchewan Secretary-Treasurer, joined striking frontline custodians and cleaners on the picket line outside the Rolling River School Division School Board (RRSD) office in Minnedosa, Manitoba, on Thursday for a rally of support in their fight for a fair contract – together with CUPE National President Mark Hancock, Canadian Labour Congress President Bea Bruske, CUPE Manitoba President Gina McKay, and many more labour leaders and area students.

“CUPE Local 1630 can count on your CUPE Saskatchewan neighbours to be with you in solidarity as you fight for a fair contract and respect.”

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International Human Rights Day: Reducing inequalities, advancing human rights

Seventy-three years ago today, on December 10, 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to recognize the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family around the world. The declaration serves as a foundation for freedom, justice and peace, yet the pandemic has highlighted the devastating impacts of the failure to protect human rights and deep-rooted inequalities.

This year’s United Nations theme for the recognition of this day is: “Equality – Reducing inequalities, advancing human rights”, relating to Article 1 of the declaration which states: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. The theme highlights the principles of equality, inclusion and non-discrimination that must be at the heart of pandemic recovery and the UN approach to sustainable development.

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CUPE Local 5430: Private surgeries not a solution to wait time backlog

Throughout the pandemic, the Moe government has shown its reluctance to listen to medical experts to enact public health measures in a timely way. This mishandling has directly contributed to today’s current backlog of surgeries. CUPE Local 5430 is concerned about the backlog for surgical procedures and diagnostic services, but improvements can and must be made within our public and universal health care system.

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December 6, 2021: National Day of Remembrance and Action to End Violence Against Women

December 6 is the 32nd anniversary of the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre. We pause to remember all those who have lost their lives because of gender-based violence. CUPE Saskatchewan joins in renewing our resolve to stop sexual and gender-based violence in the workplace and in our communities.

Join the outdoor candlelight vigil at 5:00 p.m. in front of City Hall in Regina on December 6, 2021 (bring a mask and dress warmly). Facebook event link:

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CUPE Local 5430 demands action on short staffing

Front line health care workers from CUPE Local 5430 attended Thursday’s session of the Legislature to call attention to the chronic staffing issues in Saskatchewan’s health care system.

“Short staffing was an issue before COVID-19, but the pandemic has made the situation much worse for health care workers,” said Bashir Jalloh, president of CUPE Local 5430 and a Nuclear Medicine Technician at the Pasqua Hospital. “Staffing shortages have an impact on patients and residents. We have seen a shortage of cooks result in weeks of soup and sandwiches for long-term care residents. We have seen patients in Prince Albert denied home care – even though they qualify and are facing medical needs.”

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Unions question government claims about hiring of Continuing Care Assistants

SGEU, SEIU-West and CUPE – three Saskatchewan unions representing health care providers – are concerned by the legitimacy of a recent statement by Premier Scott Moe who claimed his government has followed through on a commitment to hire additional Continuing Care Assistant (CCA) positions for home care and long-term care services.

Earlier this month, the government issued a news release and the premier claimed on Twitter that his government has filled 95 of the 108 CCA positions they committed to hiring in the 2020-2021 provincial budget. These additional health care staff were meant to address understaffed home care and long-term care services across the province but were far less than the 300 new CCAs Moe promised during the 2020 election campaign.

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CUPE Saskatchewan endorses Candace Rennick for National Secretary-Treasurer

Ahead of elections at CUPE’s National Convention being held virtually on November 22 to 26, 2021, the Executive Board of CUPE Saskatchewan has endorsed candidate Candace Rennick for the position of National Secretary-Treasurer.

“Candace Rennick has the proven experience, skills and vision needed in a Secretary-Treasurer to ensure Canada’s leading union can continue to build a better life for workers,” said Judy Henley, President of CUPE Saskatchewan.

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Town of Esterhazy moving the clock backwards on workers rights

CUPE Local 5428, the union representing workers at the Town of Esterhazy, is filing for intervention from the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board for assistance with negotiating a first collective agreement.

“Workers at the Town of Esterhazy voted to join CUPE in April 2019. Since then, the Town administration has been attempting to strip away our members hard-earned rights and benefits,” said Jan Goy, CUPE National Representative. “It is absolutely ridiculous that the Town is rejecting any improvements to working conditions or compensation and is instead moving backwards.”

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