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On January 24, 2019, CUPE Local 5430 organized a standing room only town hall meeting in Grenfell to talk about the closure of Grenfell Pioneer Home and the impact the loss of jobs and residents has had on the community. Speakers included NDP MLA and health critic Vicki Mowat, NDP seniors’ critic Danielle Chartier, CUPE 5430 President Sandra Seitz and community residents Lois Warner and Joyce Maier. The event was emceed by Region 3 General Vice President Scott McDonald.
Talks between the University of Saskatchewan and CUPE Local 1975 have further deteriorated after the Employer tabled a proposal to eliminate the Defined Benefit Plan and replace it with an inferior Defined Contribution or Target Benefit Plan. The local has informed the provincial Mediator that bargaining is at a standstill.
On January 18, 2019 representatives from CUPE Local 5430 met with Greg Ottenbreit, Yorkton MLA and Minister for Rural and Remote Health to discuss our concerns with workload and chronic under-staffing.
CUPE is inviting applications for temporary relief secretary clerical support positions in CUPE National Offices in Saskatchewan located in Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert.
Late last year, the Government of Saskatchewan conducted a secretive library review. They held a series of meetings with employer groups, but library workers and the public were not included in the process.
The Government of Saskatchewan has finally decided to let the public have a say. They are accepting public comments on the future of our provincial libraries until January 24.
The survey covers eight themes, as identified by the review panel: Funding Structure and Predictability, Provincial Public Library Strategic Plan, One Card, One Province, Communication with Provincial Library, Governance Training, Indigenization, Value of Public Libraries and Legislation.
While the report outlines several important areas, there are important issues that the government did not include in its report. It is important that we raise our voice now to ensure that the government’s library review reflects the issues facing front line workers.
We would like to ask our members and supporters to include statements on the following issues:
- Develop library specific OH&S strategies for workers;
- End precarious work and create stable full time jobs;
- Amend legislation to create elected, publicly accountable library boards;
- The government should investigate how the closure of STC has impacted libraries and compensate libraries for any extra shipping and delivery costs incurred;
- Let the government know how important stable, long term provincial funding is for libraries.
You can complete the survey here: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/public-consultations/report-of-saskatchewan-public-libraries-engagement-survey
Members of CUPE Local 9-01 have strongly approved a new three-year contract. At a ratification meeting this week, members voted 85% to approve the new deal. Although management decided to use a labour relations consultant, the negotiation process was described as respectful.
The new contract will see all classifications receive a 40 cent per hour raise in each of the three years (2018, 2019 and 2020). In agreeing to the pay increases, both sides felt that any wage increases should be based on an hourly rate.
“Many of our members are working for very low wages,” says Stacey Landin, President of Local 9-01. “If we fought for a wage increase based on percentage, many of our members would not have received much of an increase at all. This new contract ensures that over the next three years, every one of our members will see more money for their families.”
The decision by Regina and Saskatoon Public Board Trustees to give themselves hefty raises, while at the same time presiding over budget cuts to education, is completely unacceptable, according to the Chairperson of the CUPE Saskatchewan Education Workers Steering Committee (EWSC).
“The timing of the raises couldn’t be worse”, says Jackie Christianson, Chairperson of the CUPE SK EWSC. “We have watched tens of millions of dollars cut from our classrooms at a time when thousands of new students have entered the system. For them to vote so easily on a big pay raise while at the same time freezing teachers’ and support workers’ wages and asking them to wait two years for a tiny raise shows a lack of respect.”
A recent survey conducted for CUPE Saskatchewan has revealed that 85.1% of residents across the province believe the Moe Government should increase investments in green energy. Only 9.8% of Saskatchewan residents are opposed to more green energy in the province.
The surprising results were just a small part of an annual poll conducted for CUPE Saskatchewan and is part of their ongoing efforts to consult with workers and the public. It also comes at a time when Premier Moe has joined other conservative governments in federal court to aggressively oppose the federal government’s plan to address the issue.
The survey is also timely because a recent report from The Saskatchewan Environmental Society strongly criticized the Moe Government for not taking important action to reduce carbon emissions. This survey shows that most people in this province want action as well.
Last year, the provincial government originally announced its plan to cut nearly $5 million in funding to libraries across Saskatchewan, a decision that was later reversed after much public pressure and read-in protests that were held in front of MLA offices across the province. After the funding cuts were restored, the provincial government announced it would hold a review of library funding led by Canora-Pelly MLA Terry Dennis.
CUPE is deeply concerned to learn that this provincial library review is reportedly occurring in the absence of any consultation with the public, library workers and the unions that represent library workers.
In correspondence issued to Library Boards across Saskatchewan, CUPE is urging for consultation with library workers. After all, library workers are on the frontline and understand the day-to-day needs of their patrons, their workplaces and the impact of implementing changes to library structures, governance and systems.