June is Pride month. As Saskatchewan’s community union, CUPE proudly celebrates diversity and the role unions play in making our country a more fair and inclusive place for everyone. In the workplace and in our communities, unions are 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.
Join CUPE at a PRIDE parade near you!
After two years of attempting to negotiate with an employer that has been stalling and demanding significant concessions, CUPE Local 1949, which represents the more than 130 lawyers and administrative staff who work at Saskatchewan Legal Aid offices across the province advised the Minister of Labour that negotiations have reached an impasse.
CUPE is proud to support the Brighter Future education survey launched by Saskatchewan’s NDP yesterday.
“This survey will amplify the voices of students, families, and the people who work in and around Saskatchewan’s schools and help to lay out the roadmap to rebuilding the education system,” said Jackie Christianson, Chairperson of the CUPE SK Education Workers Steering Committee. “While the government is ignoring the facts, we’re happy to see the NDP is listening to not only hear the problems but also build the solutions.”
A new ratified agreement between the Moose Jaw Board of Police Commissioners and workers represented by CUPE takes important steps forward and extends through 2020.
“Although our members don’t patrol the streets, they are an integral part of the Moose
Jaw Police Service. We take pride in the work they do to help keep Moose Jaw safe,”
said Stacey Landin President of CUPE Local 9, which represents police support
workers in Moose Jaw. “Sask. Party cuts to municipalities are still hurting all services
but the pay increases we were able to get are a good start.”
Community workers represented by SGEU, SEIU-West, and CUPE Saskatchewan are asking Saskatchewan people to lend their voices in support of their call on the Saskatchewan government to provide multi-year funding to our province’s Community-Based Organizations (CBOs).
“CBOs provide vital services to some of the most vulnerable people in our province,” says SGEU President Bob Bymoen. “Despite this, our CBO sector has been shamefully underfunded for decades. It’s time for government to ensure that stable programming and adequate staffing levels are available to meet the diverse needs of Saskatchewan people.”
CBO workers care for people living with disabilities, respond to domestic violence calls, engage in suicide intervention, provide emergency child care, help people find employment, and more. Since December 2012, the Saskatchewan government has had a scatter-shot approach to budgeting in the CBO sector, but this inconsistent funding model is not enabling CBOs to provide stable, reliable programming for Saskatchewan’s most vulnerable people.
This week, families across Saskatoon learned that the Sask. Party’s refusal to properly fund Saskatchewan’s classrooms is again causing more support workers to be taken out of their children’s schools and thrown out of work.
On top of cuts to teacher-librarian and other teaching positions, 16 secretaries in elementary schools across Saskatoon Public Schools are being laid off and will apparently be replaced by “absence reporting software.”
“The people who work in and out of classrooms are more than just numbers on a spreadsheet. They’re committed members of the school community and an important part of our young people’s education,” said Scott Barrett, President of CUPE Local 8443, representing 1,100 support workers in public schools across Saskatoon. “When you take these people out of our schools, all students suffer. Workload becomes an issue as well. The work to support classrooms doesn’t just go away when you take away crucial support staff. It inevitably means all students get less support in the classroom. All our support reinforce the classroom in one form or another.”
CUPE Saskatchewan joins the Labour Movement in commemorating 100 years since the Winnipeg General Strike.
Telephone calls in the city of Winnipeg went unanswered and patched through in the morning of May 15, 1919. Women telephone operators would be the first among many brave workers to walk off the job and withdraw their labour in solidarity for a greater cause. By 11 a.m., Winnipeg was grinding to a halt as courageous workers, both unionized and those not represented by a union, walked off the job with their fellow co-workers in numbers that grew up to more than an estimated 35,000 people strong. The strikers and supporters demanded living wages and the recognized right to collectively bargain better pay and conditions from their employers and government. This historic mass demonstration in Canada’s history, known as the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike, lasted six weeks and ushered in a legacy of reforms, labour rights, social programs and subsequent hard-fought gains made by workers organizing together in unions. It made clear that workers have power when they stand together in solidarity. While the strike ended in violence and repression, its legacy lives on and the courage of those who risked their livelihoods and life for a better world should not be forgotten.
Greeted at the front doors with a surprise reception of their own by the union representing university support workers and their allies, the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) President was reminded during his visit to Regina yesterday that denying a fair deal and attacking workers’ pensions are not an acceptable vision for Saskatchewan’s largest university based in Saskatoon. The U of S President, Peter Stoicheff, was visiting Regina for a special event billed as an opportunity to network and hear about the bold vision from the university’s top official. For the workers at the U of S, the wine and cheese closed-door networking event a city away from its main campus appeared glaringly out-of-touch with the labour discontent and strike looming at the university caused by the cuts its top brass is demanding from workers.
“The U of S President and the board should be reminded that they are being reckless and misguided in their attacks to the pensions of university support workers and wage freezes that deny the reality of a rising cost of living,” said Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan. “Dedicated university workers deserve much more respect than what they are getting from the USask President and the board of governors.”
Happy International Workers’ Day, also known as May Day!
Today on May 1, 2019, workers and their unions celebrate the achievements of the labour movement. Unions have fought hard and enduring struggles to establish collective bargaining and democracy in the workplace to bring decency, fairness and safety standards to work. Because of the labour movement, workers in Saskatchewan and Canada can rely on basic employment standards, occupational health and safety legislation, the right to join a union to bargain better working conditions and pay, pension plans, reliable and accessible public services and much more we sometimes take for granted. Workers have made gains by gathering together in their unions for solidarity in the workplace, at the bargaining table, on the picket line and by raising their voices together in their community and legislatures for justice, for dignity and for the interests of workers and their families before private profits.
Check out the May Works events hosted by the Regina & District Labour Council (Click read more).
Municipal employees from the Town of Esterhazy are the latest members to join the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
“We are thrilled that the workers at the Town of Esterhazy voted to join our growing union,” said Guy Marsden, National Representative. “We are proud to represent municipal workers from all across Saskatchewan: from Creighton to Kamsack, to Wilkie and Wadena.
The newest members of CUPE voted to join the union in a mail-in ballot that was counted on April 9, 2019. The Labour Relations Board issued the certification order on April 29, 2019.