Speak up for Saskatchewan’s education system – Have your say on Bill 63

The Saskatchewan government’s plan for K-12 education is harmful to our children and our schools.

In April, the Government of Saskatchewan introduced Bill 63, which amends The Education Act to give the Minister of Education more power and reduce the autonomy of school divisions.

Bill 63 effectively removes the ability of locally elected school boards and educators to make decisions about education, and it places all decision making power in the hands of the Ministry of Education.

It is clear that the Sask Party plan for education is leaving our children behind. Please send a letter to your MLA and the Minister of Education, Don Morgan, today.

Take action today by sending a letter here: www.wheresthefunding.ca

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Administrative Professionals Day

Where would we be without administrative professionals?

Administrative professionals are an integral part of the health care system. Their smiling faces are the first point of access for Saskatchewan residents entering the health care system. Their organizational skills and expertise keep the whole health care system functioning!

Today is Administrative Professionals Day. So take a moment to thank the members of the health care team who answer the phones, schedule shifts, welcome patients, and manage all of the little details.

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Big win for library funding – but what does it mean for workers who were already laid off?

Tom Graham, President, CUPE Saskatchewan

REGINA: The Government of Saskatchewan has reversed the drastic funding cuts for public libraries, a move that is welcomed by the Canadians Union of Public Employees (CUPE). However, there are still questions about what this means for the library workers who already received pink slips.

“Close to 15 library workers were laid off due to funding cuts. Now that the funding is restored we hope the regional libraries will do the right thing and welcome these workers back to work,” said Tom Graham, president of CUPE Saskatchewan.

CUPE was one of the many organizations which joined the campaign to save libraries.

“This is a victory for the thousands of people across Saskatchewan who stood up for our libraries,” said Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan. “We are glad that the provincial government recognized its mistakes, but there are a lot of mistakes in its budget that it still needs to account for.”

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National Medical Laboratory Week 2017

Medical laboratory professionals are a critically important part of the health care team. They sort, prepare, and analyze samples from a variety of tissue and fluid samples to provide accurate and timely information that helps guide medical decisions.

CUPE medical laboratory professionals work hard every day, but during National Medical Laboratory Week let’s show the public what medical laboratory professionals do, and show our support for this important work!

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CUPE concerned about what cuts to Chinook School Division mean for students

SWIFT CURRENT: Chinook School Division is laying off at least nine staff due to a 7.3 percent, or $6 million dollar, reduction in funding from the provincial government. CUPE is concerned about the impact the cuts will have on students in the Chinook School Division.

“Layoffs will have an impact on the support available for all students and will specifically affect those students who need extra help to succeed,” said Omar Murray, president of CUPE Local 4754, which represents support workers in the Chinook School Division. “The provincial government’s decision to cut funding from education while lowering the corporate tax rate puts their own big contributors ahead of our children.”

Workers are being laid off in the areas of speech language pathology, occupational therapy, counselling, and educational psychology.

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Ministry of Education’s wage mandate unfair

REGINA: CUPE, the union that represents the majority of education support workers in the province, is ready to fight the Ministry of Education’s mandate to roll back wages for education workers by 3.5 per cent with a three year freeze.

“The government is punishing the poorest workers while ignoring the basic principles of labour relations, which is that we reach a negotiated collective agreement at the bargaining table,” said Tom Graham, president of CUPE Saskatchewan. “This is an assault on our rights to collectively bargain under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and flies in the face of current labour law. The premier and his government need to know that CUPE will vigorously demand our members’ rights and their collective agreements as well as fight for adequate funding to the K-12 education system.”

Support workers in the education system are some of the lowest paid public servants. The average wage for CUPE members in education is $22,000 a year. The government mandate represents a 9.5 per cent reduction in spending power for workers over three years.

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Thousands rally for libraries at Drop Everything and Read events across Saskatchewan

CUPE members joined over 4,000 people in over 70 communities participating in “Drop Everything and Read” actions on April 7, 2017, to stand up against the devastating library cuts from the provincial government.

In the latest budget, Brad Wall and his Sask Party government cut 58 percent for regional libraries and completely eliminated funding for libraries in Regina and Saskatoon.

CUPE represents over 700 library workers across Saskatchewan and many have already been impacted by the funding shortfall. Members have been given pink slips at Parkland Regional Library, Palliser Regional Library and Southeast Regional Library. More cuts are coming at libraries across the province.

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Drop everything and read – A day of action for libraries: April 7, 2017

A “Read In” will be taking place at MLA offices across the province on Friday, April 7, 2017.  All residents of Saskatchewan who value their public library are encouraged to gather outside their MLA’s office and read a book. There are over 50 events happening across the province. Unless otherwise noted, all events are happening from 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday.

The Saskatchewan Government has eliminated funding for public libraries in Regina and Saskatoon and has cut funding for regional libraries by $3.5 million. CUPE is concerned about the impact this will have on libraries across the province and for the municipalities that suddenly have to plan for the downloading of services.

CUPE represents over 700 library workers across the province of Saskatchewan and encourage members to attend an event near them.

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Cuts at Regina Public Schools will hurt most vulnerable children, says CUPE

REGINA: The Regina Public School Division is cutting important programs that will impact children’s quality of education, including programs that serve the most vulnerable and youngest children.

Discovery Preschool, Communication Preschool, and Socialization, Communication, and Education (SCEP) programs are all getting cut to try to address the $9.5 million shortfall the Regina Public School Division is facing. These programs help promote inclusion to vulnerable children age five and under and their families during the most formative years for language acquisition, communication, independence, and social skills.

“Cuts to these programs are targeting the most vulnerable children who need a head start in school. This is needed as it gives them the best opportunities to succeed when entering kindergarten. These cuts will widen the learning gap instead of creating a level playing field,” said Jackie Christianson, president of CUPE Local 3766, which represents support workers in Regina Public Schools.

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Parkland Regional Library moves forward with layoffs and service reductions

YORKTON: The Parkland Regional Library is reducing services and laying off eight people to deal with the 58 per cent budget reduction from the provincial budget. Seven CUPE members are among the workers facing a layoff.

“The Sask Party has put our regional libraries in an impossible situation. Facing a 58 per cent deficit with no warning means our communities lose out on the important programs and services our libraries provide,” said Alex Lenko, CUPE national staff representative. “Our members who work in the library system love their jobs and are proud of the important work they do to provide an amazing service to the people of Saskatchewan. CUPE will fight these cuts and stand up for our members’ jobs.”

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