Stand Against the Cuts – Saskatchewan

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The Sask Party government’s budget makes devastating cuts to public services, life harder and more expensive for Saskatchewan families, and puts people out of work.

Yet, while you pay a high price, the government is giving a tax break to already profitable corporations and the wealthy.

It’s the wrong priority, and it’s bad for the economy and the people of Saskatchewan.

Together, let’s Stand Against the Cuts.

Click here for the latest in events, actions, and resources.

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CUPE Local 600 to fight plans to dismantle bargaining unit

MOOSE JAW: CUPE Local 600 is fighting back against the Government of Saskatchewan’s plans to apply to the Labour Relations Board (LRB) to abolish its union and move approximately 500 members into the SGEU Public Service/Government Employees bargaining unit.

Representatives of the Public Service Commission informed CUPE Local 600 of the provincial government’s intentions at a meeting held June 19, 2017. The employer requested that the union make a joint application to the LRB to amend the certification order to allow this to happen. When the union rejected this request, the employer indicated it would make its own application to the LRB.

“CUPE Local 600 is seriously concerned that the main motivation behind this plan is to get out of promises of enhanced severance to Valley View Centre and Sask Hospital employees who opt to voluntarily resign or retire when job eliminations are announced in the future,” said Jacalyn Luterbach, president of CUPE Local 600.

Over the last few years, more than 80 people have been laid off from Valley View Centre, a care home for people with disabilities. In 2012, the provincial government announced it was going to close the facility. It is expected the closure will happen in 2018.

“CUPE is strongly urging the government to reconsider its plans to submit an application to the Labour Relations Board to change the union jurisdiction of our bargaining unit. This move will create unnecessary disruption and uncertainty for CUPE Local 600 members, and it creates an unsettling precedent of government interfering in the internal matters of unions,” added Luterbach.

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Estevan Aboriginal Day

CUPE Local 5999 hosted Estevan’s first ever National Aboriginal Day celebration on June 21, 2017. The event featured a free barbeque lunch, Aboriginal dances, and many community tables. The event was open to everyone in the community.

“Our union is proud to celebrate National Aboriginal Day and to host this event in Estevan,” said Wanda Edwards, Acting President of CUPE Local 5999. “Today and every day it is important to celebrate the vibrant and unique cultures of Indigenous peoples and to commit to the reconciliation process.”

Over 700 people participated in this event, including many school aged children.

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Celebrate National Aboriginal Day: June 21, 2017

National Aboriginal Day is time to celebrate the vibrant and unique cultures of Indigenous peoples, as First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities graciously share their ceremonies, customs and heritage with us all.

CUPE Local 5999, along with CUPE Saskatchewan and in partnership with the City of Estevan, Affinity Credit Union, and Pheasant Rump Nakota First Nation is hosting Estevan’s first Aboriginal Day celebration from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Centennial Park. Featuring a free barbeque lunch, Aboriginal dances, Métis jiggers, and many community tables, the event is open to everyone in the community.

Upcoming events: From July 18 – 20, 2017, CUPE Saskatchewan will be holding its annual Back to Batoche Canoe Trip coinciding with Back to Batoche celebrations. The annual canoe trip offers an opportunity to learn about Métis culture, history and traditions while building fellowship. CUPE Locals and members are also encouraged to register for the annual CUPE Saskatchewan Annual Aboriginal Council Conference to be held October 23 – 24, 2017. The annual conference seeks to build union activism with a focus on equality and rights for Aboriginal people in our workplaces and communities.

In addition to a celebration of vibrant indigenous cultures, National Aboriginal Day is also a time for us to recommit ourselves to promoting truth and reconciliation.

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Aboriginal Council Conference: October 23 – 24, 2017

Advance Notice: The annual Aboriginal Council Conference will be held on October 23 and 24, 2017, at the Gold Eagle Lodge in North Battleford, SK.

Early registration deadline: September 22, 2017

Open to all CUPE members, and members of other unions, the CUPE Saskatchewan Aboriginal Council Conference seeks to build union activism with a focus on equality and rights for Aboriginal people in our workplaces and communities. Elections will be held for positions on the CUPE Saskatchewan Aboriginal Council Committee: Two (2) committee positions, each with a term length of two (2) years.

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Union surprised by sudden layoffs at the Saskatoon Public Library

SASKATOON: CUPE Local 2669 is reeling from the Saskatoon Public Library’s decision to lay off 20 staff members, just months after a hard fought campaign to restore provincial funding to the library.

“This was a completely unexpected and very upsetting decision by the Saskatoon Public Library,” said Lindsay Johnston, acting president of CUPE Local 2669 and a worker at the Saskatoon Public Library. “Though we felt like our jobs were safe when the funding was restored, we have become another casualty of the Sask Party’s budget.”

Although the provincial funding to public libraries was restored, that only accounted for three per cent of the Saskatoon Public Library’s total budget. The Saskatoon Public Library receives 97 per cent of its budget from the City of Saskatoon, which had its budget slashed as well. There is also considerable uncertainty about what funding will look like in 2018 as the provincial government only said it would restore funding for this year.

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CUPE welcomes dozens of new members to Local 4254 following organizing efforts in Prairie Spirit School Division

SASKATOON: More than 30 caretakers, educational assistants, bus drivers, and administrative staff in the Prairie Spirit School Division have successfully voted to unionize with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). This month a new certification order issued by the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board brings 20 additional workers into CUPE Local 4254, which represents hundreds of education support workers in the Prairie Spirit School Division. These new members followed a dozen administrative staff who voted to join the union in the fall of 2016.

Standard concerns around job security, wages, and benefits have been heightened for workers in K-12 education since last fall when the provincial government commissioned a report on education restructuring. Nowhere were these concerns greater than in the Prairie Spirit School Division, which laid off dozens of support workers last year.

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Back to Batoche Canoe Trip: July 18 – 20, 2017

The annual CUPE Saskatchewan Back to Batoche Canoe Trip will be held on July 18 – 20, 2017, coinciding with the Back to Batoche celebrations of the Métis Nation in Saskatchewan.

During this annual voyage, participants navigate the waters of the South Saskatchewan River by canoe beginning at Clarkboro Ferry crossing (formerly Warman Ferry crossing) and arriving at the historic Métis community of Batoche – learning about Aboriginal culture, history, and traditions along the way.

After the canoe trip, participants are encouraged to attend the Back to Batoche festivities that run July 20 – 23, 2017.

Early registration deadline: June 16, 2017

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CUPE Local 1975 concerned about potential contracting out at the U of S

SASKATOON: CUPE Local 1975 is concerned that the University of Saskatchewan’s interest in negotiating an incentivized exit with union employees may lead to contracting out of key university services.

“Under the current collective agreement, the employer is prohibited from contracting out our work as a result of layoffs,” said Craig Hannah, president of CUPE Local 1975. “We believe that incentivized exits should provide the same assurance, but the university has yet to provide us with that assurance.”

Privatization may seem like a quick way to save money, but other jurisdictions and institutions are steadily contracting services back in house to save money and improve quality, including the University of Toronto, which just took over responsibility for food services at its downtown campus.

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CUPE Health Care Council elects new president

Left to right: Gordon Campbell and Sandra Seitz, CUPE Health Care Council; Tom Graham, President, CUPE Saskatchewan

REGINA: Today, delegates at the annual CUPE Health Care Council Conference elected Weyburn resident Sandra Seitz as the new President for the CUPE Saskatchewan Health Care Council.

Seitz is the President of CUPE Local 5999, and has been involved with the CUPE Health Care Council since 2003. She started her career as a continuing care aid at Tatagwa View long term care facility. She has been active with the union for 30 years and is passionate about health and safety, tackling workload, and improving public health care for everyone.

“The health care system is facing many challenges right now. Today, I am proud to commit to continuing the fight for our members,” said Seitz. “We will stand strong and fight back against understaffing, funding cuts, privatization, and a government that wants to slash the wages of working people.”

Seitz is replacing Gordon Campbell, who is retiring after 19 years of service with the council, including the last 12 years as president. Prior to this, Campbell was a long-time activist and President of CUPE Local 3967, representing health service providers working for the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region.

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Pride Season 2017: Pride in our union and communities

Pride festivities across Canada and around the world held annually in June offer an opportunity to celebrate diversity, to promote inclusiveness and to highlight the human rights issues that affect Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, and Intersex (LGBTTI) members of our union and our communities.

In the workplace and in our communities, unions are at the forefront in protecting LGBTTI workers from discrimination and harassment, and supporting human rights, dignity and equality for all workers.

As Saskatchewan’s community union, CUPE proudly celebrates Pride and the role unions play in making our country a more fair and inclusive place for everyone.

Attend a pride parade near you!

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