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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Tentative agreement reached with Town of Maple Creek – no lock out on the horizon

CUPE Local 2714 and the Town of Maple Creek have reached a tentative three-year agreement after an emergency bargaining session with a provincial mediator.

“We are pleased that the town removed their harmful concessions,” said Dave Stevenson, CUPE National Representative. “We were able to achieve a collective agreement for our members without the town imposing a disruption of services.”

The union will be conducting their ratification vote on October 19, 2021 and the Town Council will be considering the matter at their October 26, 2021 council meeting.

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Lack of statutory holiday recognition for truth and reconciliation in Saskatchewan a disgrace, says CUPE

CUPE Saskatchewan calls on the provincial government to make truth and reconciliation a statutory holiday and a priority this upcoming fall legislative session.

The first-ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is being observed across Canada today on September 30, 2021. In June of this year, the federal government passed legislation to establish the statutory holiday in response to Call to Action number 80 of The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. The date also coincides with Orange Shirt Day – a grassroots initiative that has grown over the years to honour Survivors and to remember all the children who didn’t return home and lost their lives during the harmful, tragic legacy of residential schools and violence through colonialism.

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September 30, 2021: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

The implementation of a federal statutory holiday to observe September 30 as a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada on an annual basis is an important part of the reconciliation process. In June of this year, the federal government passed legislation to establish a new statutory holiday in response to Call to Action number 80 of The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. The date also coincides with Orange Shirt Day – a day which was first observed during the St. Joseph Mission Residential School Commemoration Project in Williams Lake, British Columbia, and an annual day that has grown into a grassroots movement inspired by the story of residential school survivor Phyllis Jack Webstad. As a young girl, Phyllis was given a new orange shirt by her grandmother before being taken to a B.C. residential school. The shirt was confiscated and destroyed by her teacher on the first day of class. The destruction of Phyllis’ shirt has come to symbolize the colonial goal of residential schools to assimilate Indigenous peoples.

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CUPE education workers need to see more action from government

Yesterday, Premier Scott Moe announced new health measures to stem the surge of COVID-19 cases that is endangering Saskatchewan residents’ lives and threatening the integrity of our health care system. Unfortunately, the premier is still not taking the fourth wave seriously enough. Education workers in this province welcome these measures but need the province to know that they are not enough.

“The education system is already seeing outbreaks all over the province,” said Rob Westfield, an education support worker and chair of CUPE Saskatchewan’s Education Workers’ Steering Committee. “Our provincial leaders have failed to protect children and the people who work with them every day.”

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Reinstating masks right move for public safety after dangerous delay, more leadership needed

Getting vaccination numbers up will require more concerted efforts for education, availability and employer cooperation, says CUPE.

“Public sector workers have been on the frontline of the pandemic since day one and have been warning that more must be done to support them and control the growing infection rates in our health care system, and in our schools, and classrooms. After ignoring all the danger signs of a fourth wave, the provincial government has shown up too little too late to provide the leadership we need during the latest pandemic crisis point,” said Judy Henley, President of CUPE Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan was among the first to re-open and ditch restrictions and the last to urgently reinstate public health measures with the announcement today of an interim province-wide mandatory masking order for all indoor public spaces effective September 17.

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Registration now open: CUPE SK Indigenous Peoples Conference on November 4 – 5, 2021

Registration is now open for the CUPE Saskatchewan Indigenous Peoples Conference to be held in-person, subject to any public health restrictions, on November 4 to 5, 2021, in Saskatoon. The annual conference seeks to build union activism with a focus on equality and rights for Indigenous people in our workplaces and in our communities.

Find out more about the conference here.

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