Canadian Lawyer’s Top 25 Most Influential 2019 winner, Meara Conway. Photo credit: Canadian Lawyer Magazine.
Legal Aid Saskatchewan staff lawyer and CUPE Local 1949 Vice-President, Meara Conway, has received professional recognition for her contributions to community advocacy as Canadian Lawyer’s Top 25 Most Influential in 2019, in the Government/Non-profits/Associations category.
The Top 25 Most Influential list is published annually by Canadian Lawyer magazine for the past 10 years. This year’s Top 25 Most Influential were chosen from among 149 nominees and determined by the votes of more than 6,000 lawyers across the country. The list highlights lawyers who have made an impact over the past 18 months to either influence public opinion, earn the respect of their peers or contribute to the strength and quality of legal services.
After 25 bargaining sessions that took place over the course of two years, Legal Aid workers with CUPE Local 1949 have signed a tentative agreement.
“This is not just good news for our members, it’s a major victory for our most vulnerable citizens, who rely on legal aid services in Saskatchewan,” said Wanda Towstego, president of CUPE Local 1949. “Our bargaining committee fought tirelessly to bring this about, and we are hopeful that our members will support this deal.”
For the second time in less than three weeks, workers of the Regina Public School Division have voted overwhelmingly in favour of job action. In a meeting held July 17, 2019, members of CUPE Local 650 voted 93 per cent in favour of a strike mandate. Members of Local 3766 recently approved a similar vote by 95 per cent.
CUPE Local 650 represents 175 Maintenance and Tradespeople in the Regina Public School Division.
“Our members are being ignored,” says Glenn Douglas, president of CUPE Local 650, “Every other school division in Saskatchewan has been able to reach a collective agreement, and yet Regina Public won’t even make a reasonable offer. In fact, over the last two years, they have only bargained with us for three days.”
Back to Batoche Canoe Trip on the South Saskatchewan River, hosted by CUPE Saskatchewan Division. Photo credit: Arthur Rachul
Participants from across the province have launched canoes into the South Saskatchewan River today, embarking on a three-day voyage that will navigate more than 70 Kilometres of waterway by canoe and land at the Métis community of Batoche. Hosted by CUPE Saskatchewan and its Aboriginal Council Committee, the annual canoe trip has been held since 2003, as river conditions allow, and coincides with the Back to Batoche festival held at the historic site of the Battle of Batoche during the Northwest Resistance of 1885.
Members of CUPE 1975 have voted to ratify the collective agreement reached with the University of Saskatchewan.
“We want to thank all of our members for staying strong and united through a difficult round of bargaining. The gains we made at the table would not have been possible without the strong strike mandate from our members, their ongoing support, and the positive essential services ruling on our behalf,” said Craig Hannah, president of CUPE 1975.
The union was able to achieve a number of monetary and non-monetary improvements. The new term of agreement is from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2020.
Volunteers from CUPE Locals 2268, 3730 and 8443, along with members of the CUPE Saskatchewan Executive Board, delivered pizza lunches this Friday to children and people of all ages at six parks in Saskatoon’s core neighbourhoods.
The pizza lunch day, sponsored by CUPE Saskatchewan, is part of a larger coordinated effort by the Saskatoon and District Labour Council’s Summer Snack Program dedicated to relieving hunger and providing support to those in our community who might otherwise go hungry with free lunch, seven days a week, during July and August. The program is funded in large part by donations made by unions, as well contributions from local businesses, community-minded organizations such as the United Way, and the City of Saskatoon.
“The employer is coming after a long-standing retirement benefit, pushing a wage freeze in the first two years of the agreement, and trying to divide us by offering deals that hurt some of us more than others,” said Dave Stevenson, CUPE national representative. “The message we heard from our membership was loud and clear. We are standing united against these concessions and miniscule wage offers. We deserve and demand more respect than the employer has been showing us.”
Education support workers in the Regina Public School Division have voted 95 per cent in favour of job action. The local has been bargaining for over two years, and little progress has been made.
“The Regina Public School Board continues to push concessions that will hurt our members,” said Jackie Christianson, president of CUPE Local 3766. “They are attacking our health and dental benefits, our severance/retirement gratuity, and trying to limit our ability to present grievances to the Board of Trustees.”
Support workers at the University of Saskatchewan who have been working without a contract since 2015 reached a tentative agreement with the administration today.
“This deal has been a long time coming but, in the end, we were able to come an agreement that serves our members now and, in their future,” said Craig Hannah, President of CUPE Local 1975. “After seeing very little movement for so long, we were glad the university agreed to our request to come back to the table this week. We were even happier when they agreed to move toward a deal.”
Members of CUPE Local 47 have voted to reject the City of Saskatoon’s latest contract offer.
Local 47, which represents 130 workers at Saskatoon’s Meter Shop, Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants, and Environmental Protection Officers, conducted a two day ratification vote on June 24th and 26th. During this vote, 93% of members rejected the City’s offer.