Registration is now open for the annual CUPE Saskatchewan Indigenous Peoples’ Conference to be held on November 16 – 17, 2023, at Wanuskewin Heritage Park.
Early registration deadline is October 16, 2023.
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CUPE 882 has filed an unfair labour practice with the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board seeking a ruling on the City of Prince Albert’s conduct during bargaining.
On September 29, 2023, CUPE 882 and the City of Prince Albert held a meeting to discuss a return-to-work agreement in the event the union membership voted to ratify the tentative agreement. During this meeting, the employer verbally notified the union that a call centre had been created at City Hall to manage calls during the strike. Immediately upon returning to work, employees would be told that the call centre would remain in place. This change would impact at least four employees in the Clerk Steno classification and at least five employees in the Secretary II classification.
“CUPE 882 was blindsided by this decision. The employer did not disclose any information about restructuring at City Hall or the formation of a call centre at any point during bargaining,” said Mira Lewis, National Representative. “The employer advised that it had no intention and no obligation to negotiate this change. This despite having discussions at the table regarding a City Hall restructuring Letter of Understanding which the employer proposed deleting. They told us the restructuring was complete all the while knowing they were planning this call centre and choosing not to mention it.”
Eden Care Communities announced its decision to close Regina Lutheran Home on Monday, September 25, 2023. The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) has said they will not take over the facility, leaving 62 residents and over 100 staff reeling. Now the union representing staff at the facility is calling for the SHA to take over the facility.
“The closure of Regina Lutheran Home is yet another example of how this government is failing seniors. Their lack of planning on this file is absurd,” said Bashir Jalloh, president of CUPE 5430. There is a low vacancy rate for long term care spaces in Regina. This closure will cause ripple effects throughout the Regina area. Wait lists that are already too long will grow longer, not to mention that over 100 staff will be impacted.”
Statement by Mira Lewis, National Representative, on behalf of CUPE 882.
PRINCE ALBERT: On September 29, 2023, during negotiations around vote ratification and the framework of a potential plan to bring employees back to work in the event both sides ratified the tentative agreement, the City of Prince Albert’s negotiation team alerted the union about a number of sweeping technological, structural, and organizational changes.
The employer announced it intended to implement these changes immediately upon a return to work.
Under the Saskatchewan Employment Act, employers must give “written notice to the bargaining agent and the Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, when proposing an organizational change or technological change that will likely affect the terms, conditions, and tenure of employment of a significant number of employees.”
None of the proposed changes had been disclosed to the union prior to the September 29th negotiations. As a result of this last-minute disclosure, the union felt it had no choice but to notify the employer that they would be halting the ratification vote and destroying the ballots already cast. We cannot in good faith have our members carry out the vote knowing that the employer withheld vital information.
The third annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a day for reflection, healing, and hope. We honour Survivors and families who courageously share their stories. We remember and grieve the children who never came home.
After two days of face-to-face negotiations, CUPE 882 and the City of Prince Albert have reached a tentative agreement.
Today, CUPE Saskatchewan issued the following statement responding to the so-called “1 Million March 4 Children” protests scheduled to take place across Canada this week:
“There is no space for hate in our classrooms, our province, and our hearts. CUPE Saskatchewan condemns this week’s protests that seek to spread anti-trans hate and undermine the rights and dignity of the 2SLGBTQI+ community. As Saskatchewan’s largest union we unequivocally condemn the hateful anti-2SLGBTQI+ protests known as the ‘1 Million March 4 Children’ that only cause harm to youth, and we call on the Government of Saskatchewan to do the same.
The Sask. Party must be held accountable for contributing to the rise of hate with its harmful anti-trans and anti-education policy that dangerously places marginalized youth at risk of violence and ostracization, opens the door for non-consensual outings, and limits information to protect students’ health. The government is using the term ‘parental rights’ attempting to disguise an agenda of hate and intolerance. A provincial government that panders to far-right hate and disinformation must be challenged. Hate has no place in Saskatchewan.
Instead of harmful and dangerous policies that falsely pit parents against public sector workers delivering education, the government has a responsibility to ensure safe and inclusive spaces for students and every Saskatchewan resident they serve. The term ‘parental rights’ is being falsely used to protest 2SLGBTQI+ inclusive education policies in the classroom.
On behalf of over 30,000 CUPE members delivering public services across Saskatchewan, we say loudly and proudly today and every day: there is no space for hate in our classrooms, our province, and our hearts.
CUPE Saskatchewan and CUPE’s National Executive Board stands with CUPE 882 members who have been on strike for fair wages since September 11. The local represents over 100 inside workers at the City of Prince Albert.
“Over 715,000 CUPE members from across the country stand with Prince Albert municipal workers. We want each of our members that are out on the line to know they are not alone, and that Canada’s largest union has your back,” said Judy Henley, President of CUPE Saskatchewan and General Vice President of CUPE National.
The longer the picket line – the shorter the strike. One day longer one day stronger!
The City of Prince Albert has refused requests to return to the bargaining table since the end of July. As a result, CUPE 882 members will be exercising their rights for a full withdrawal of services.
“This is the first CUPE job action in over 12 years in Saskatchewan, and the first strike in CUPE 882’s 70-year history,” said Cara Stelmaschuk, Vice President of CUPE 882. “It is unbelievable that the city has refused to meet with us to negotiate a fair deal.”
In an attempt to reach a deal before a full withdrawal of services, CUPE 882 submitted a new offer of settlement on Friday.
“Based on the limited costing information provided by the City on Friday, the union reduced the monetary costs of our proposal by reducing additional duty pay and vacation entitlements, and re-directing our wage improvement proposal,” said Mira Lewis, CUPE National Representative. “We put forward a reasonable offer which we believed would be a good starting point for re-opening discussions. However, on Sunday afternoon, the employer rejected the union’s latest offer and continues to refuse to negotiate with us.”
“CUPE 882’s bargaining committee is ready and willing to sit down at the table and do the work needed to reach a deal before the strike deadline,” added Lewis. “A deal cannot be reached without both sides talking to each other.”
Workers at the City of Prince Albert have been working to rule since August 10 by refusing to train management, co-workers, and contractors and ignoring dress codes. The union gave notice that it plans to move forward with a full withdrawal of services on September 11, 2023.
Sixty-seven workers at Phoenix Residential Society in Regina are the latest members to join the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
Phoenix Residential Society staff work at providing psychosocial (psychiatric) rehabilitation services to persons in Regina with psychiatric disorders, concurrent disorders (psychiatric & substance abuse) and persons who are chronically homeless, persons with acquired brain injury (ABI) and other cognitive disabilities. The staff who work at Phoenix HOMES program provide immediate access to housing for individuals who are chronically homeless along with intensive support services once in housing.