Hosted by CUPE Saskatchewan, join this webinar with featured guest speakers for a panel discussion about anti-racism and building solidarity to confront oppression.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
More than 250 members of CUPE Local 5435 have ratified their first collective agreement after almost eight months of bargaining made more difficult by the COVID-19 pandemic. The agreement will provide higher standards for working conditions in private group homes, where the majority of the local’s members work.
The group homes run by CBI, where members of the local are employed, experience some of the highest staff turnover rates in the province because of pay disparity, the state of relationships between workers and management, and other issues. Alex Osei-Owusu, president of Local 5435, said members are optimistic this agreement will give them the tools to change these longstanding items.
The pandemic has made clear that we depend on public services and the workers who provide them to keep our communities safe and strong.
We owe so much to our front-line heroes for their courage and commitment delivering vital services, and we have many more unsung heroes to recognize and appreciate for their efforts – often working behind the scenes, and far too often taken for granted.
Amid a fourth wave and a federal election, this Labour Day is as much a celebration of hard-fought past achievements for workers as it is a time to join in solidarity, to demand better for all workers and to call for stronger public services. The fight against the coronavirus demands that employers and governments take care of the workers who are taking care of all of us and our communities, and a recovery from the pandemic must not go back to the way things were – but the structural change long overdue for greater economic, social and climate justice.
The report, Caring in Crisis, shows how Parkside Extendicare failed its residents and workers on several fronts: supply and use of masks, physical distancing, ventilation and air flow, staff screening, testing, and cohorting. Most damning perhaps, is the finding that Parkside Extendicare did not have a pandemic plan in place to deal with an outbreak months into the COVID-19 pandemic. Parkside Extendicare was not in compliance with the November 18, 2020 public health order for two weeks leading up to the outbreak.