Back-to-school plans fall short of protections needed for students and staff

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The province’s largest union representing education support workers says the government’s approval of back-to-school plans in September announced today with eight common main components does not provide the conditions necessary for a safe return in these far from normal times.

“The plans to return back-to-school by the provincial government lack the overall prerequisite safeguards and resources needed to protect against virus transmission before full in-classroom learning begins,” said Judy Henley, president of CUPE Saskatchewan. “The rushed implementation and lack of key details leaves significant doubt that education staff and students will be properly protected.”

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CUPE’s letter to the Minister of Education ahead of final school re-open plans: Education support workers left out and lack the conditions for a safe return

CUPE Saskatchewan and its Education Workers Steering Committee have written a letter to the Minister of Education expressing concern over the final stages of planning to re-open schools this upcoming school year in September, highlighting the conditions that prevent a safe return with full in-classroom learning. The letter was issued today as The Regina Leader-Post reports that Saskatchewan is experiencing the most severe surge of COVID-19 cases in Canada.

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Time running out to allow safe start to the school year, government leaves out largest education support workers union in re-open planning

With the province set to announce finalized K-12 education plans after the August long weekend, the province’s largest union representing over 7,000 education support workers says that a return to in-classroom learning for the upcoming school year in September is too rushed to ensure the safety of staff and students – especially since education support workers have been left out of the Education Response Planning Team reviewing those final plans.

“The final review of the re-open plans from school divisions set to be announced next week leaves out the very support workers that are key to the effective and practical operations of those plans – from cleaning, to supervision, to the transportation home in the school bus. You can have plans on paper, but the fact is the government has left out front-line support workers and there is inadequate time to receive orientation, prepare and test these so-called final plans,” said Jackie Christianson, chair of the CUPE Saskatchewan Education Workers Steering Committee and an educational assistant.

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Notice of Appointment Opportunity: Task Force on Member Engagement

The Saskatchewan Division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE Saskatchewan) is currently accepting applications from members of affiliated Local Unions to serve on the Task Force for Member Engagement. Applications for consideration of appointment must be received by no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 21, 2020.

CUPE members in good standing of affiliated Local Unions are eligible to apply.

 

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New report highlights the experience of CUPE members working in P3s

A new report from the Canadian Centre of Policy Alternatives (CCPA) looks at the long-term issues of public-private-partnership (P3s) infrastructure builds.

A new report A Partnership in Name Only: How the public sector subsidizes the P3 model, written by Simon Enoch, CCPA Saskatchewan Director, examines the multiple issues public sector workers face in Saskatchewan’s P3 buildings.

The findings of the report, which was commissioned by CUPE Saskatchewan, is based on interviews with CUPE members working at P3s in municipalities, schools, and health care.

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CUPE Local 3766 ratifies new collective agreement with Regina Public School Division

CUPE Local 3766 is pleased to announce that its members have ratified a five-year collective agreement after more than four years of bargaining.

“The collective agreement reflects fair compensation increases,” said Jackie Christianson, president of CUPE Local 3766. “Thank you to our CUPE Local 3766 bargaining committee for their steadfast commitment to the bargaining process and resolute belief that our members are worthy.”

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CUPE Saskatchewan celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21, 2020

National Indigenous Peoples Day is an annual opportunity to honour and celebrate the diverse cultures of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. Saskatchewan’s largest union is committed to making workplaces and our union inclusive, fair, and welcoming for our Indigenous and Métis members.

In the workplace, we have led the way with partnership agreements to improve job opportunities and collective agreement language that recognizes and accommodates cultural practices, guards against discrimination, and provides support for improving cultural understanding and respect for diversity at work.

In the community, we celebrate the diverse cultures of our Indigenous members.

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CUPE Saskatchewan celebrates Pride 2020

June is Pride month in many communities across Saskatchewan. While the marches and events that usually bring our communities together for Pride have either been cancelled or postponed with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and restrictions on gatherings, we continue to celebrate Pride and stand in solidarity for equality.

As Saskatchewan’s community union, CUPE proudly celebrates diversity and the role unions play in making our country a fair and more inclusive place for everyone. In the workplace and in our communities, unions have been and continue to be at the forefront in protecting LGBTQ2S+ workers from discrimination and harassment, advancing human rights, promoting inclusion, and securing dignity and equality for all workers through collective bargaining and political action.

Click continue reading for a list of upcoming virtual (online) Pride events in Saskatchewan!

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Public services and workers short-changed by provincial budget, forestalling recovery from COVID

The 2020-21 provincial budget from the Saskatchewan government does little to help families and working people that are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, says CUPE Saskatchewan.

“This budget seems to be all about helping corporations as there is actually little in it for Saskatchewan families,” said Judy Henley, president of CUPE Saskatchewan. “There is nothing to help workers who are struggling through the closures and economic lock downs we have faced. And there is nothing to ensure that Saskatchewan people are put to work first, before hiring out of province contractors.”

Many of the measures included in the budget have already been announced, and rely heavily on funding from the federal government, such as the Temporary Wage Supplement, the Accelerated Site Closure Program and the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance.

CUPE is also concerned about the funding allocated to municipalities, universities, libraries, community-based organizations, and other public services.

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CUPE Saskatchewan adopts resolution pledging its solidarity against racism and police brutality

Photo credit: Tria Donaldson

The Executive Board of Saskatchewan’s largest union met this week and adopted a resolution to publicly express its solidarity in challenging systemic racism and denouncing police brutality.

In its resolution, the union adds its voice to the growing call for all levels of government to invest in Black and Indigenous-led alternatives to policing.

CUPE Saskatchewan encourages Local Union members to circulate and support the resolution adopted as follows:

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