Saskatoon Public School support staff making a difference during COVID-19

Public sector workers are the backbone of our communities. CUPE Saskatchewan wants to shed a light on the hard work our members are doing during the COVID-19 pandemic. If your local has a story they would like to feature, please contact your national staff representative.

Today we are highlighting the members of CUPE Local 8443, who are education support workers with the Saskatoon Public School Division.

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Small steps forward to protect long-term care residents in Saskatchewan, but more is needed

After weeks of pressure from CUPE and other health care unions, the Government of Saskatchewan has finally announced a continuous masking policy for health care providers, and a transition to single site employment for workers in acute and long-term care. This move puts in place protections for the at most risk demographic: long-term care residents.

“Long-term care homes have been at the centre of major COVID-19 outbreaks in other provinces and account for the majority of deaths attributed to the virus,” said Sandra Seitz, president of CUPE Local 5430. “Halting multi-site work will help stop the spread of COVID-19 by limiting movement between seniors’ care facilities.”

COVID-19 has put a spotlight on some of the most serious issues in health care: underfunding and short staffing.

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CUPE Local 47 members keeping our community safe

Public sector workers are the backbone of our communities. CUPE Saskatchewan wants to shed a light on the hard work our members are doing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today we are highlighting the members of CUPE Local 47, the local representing 130 workers at Saskatoon’s meter shop, water and wastewater treatment plants as well as environmental protection officers.

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CBO workers need protections during COVID-19 pandemic

“Our members in the CBO sector provide vital services to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our members are still working on the frontlines, putting themselves at risk to provide these services to Saskatchewan residents who need them,” said Bob Bymoen, SGEU President. “We need to recognize these workers for their dedication and ensure they have access to proper personal protective equipment (PPE).”

CBOs are non-profit agencies that fill in the gaps when direct government programs don’t meet the needs of Saskatchewan people. They provide services in areas such as addictions counselling, group homes, women’s shelters, daycares and mobile crisis agencies.

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Organizing drive in Northwest School Division successful as new members join CUPE Local 4797

CUPE Local 4797 is welcoming new members into its ranks after a successful organizing drive in the Northwest School Division.

CUPE’s organizing drive, which started in November, has added 43 workers in numerous classifications at the Turtleford Community School and wellness coordinators across the school division to the CUPE Local 4797 bargaining unit.

“In these uncertain times, it is more important than ever that workers have a voice in the workplace,” said Tony Head, CUPE National Organizer. “By joining CUPE, our new members will benefit greatly from being part of Canada’s largest union with job security, enhanced benefits, and many other collective agreement rights.”

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Irresponsible approach to COVID-19 by some school divisions is putting education support workers at risk, says CUPE Saskatchewan’s Education Workers’ Steering Committee

According to CUPE Saskatchewan’s Education Workers’ Steering Committee, the patchwork approach to staffing that Saskatchewan’s school divisions are taking is putting support staff at risk from COVID-19.

“As of Monday, March 30th, there will be more than 200 different scenarios on how education support staff will be reporting for work. Some are being allowed to work from home, some have to physically report to schools, and in some cases, it is completely up to the discretion of the principal,” said Jackie Christianson, Chair of CUPE Saskatchewan’s Education Workers’ Steering Committee. “It puzzles me as to why some school divisions in our province insist on using their local autonomy to have their education support workers’ physically report to work during a pandemic.”

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Childcare centres facing COVID-19 crunch; CUPE Saskatchewan calls for immediate action

The Saskatchewan Government’s approach to childcare centres amidst COVID-19 is causing widespread confusion for childcare providers.

“Saskatchewan’s childcare centres are struggling with the impacts of COVID-19 – including declining enrolment, loss of income and uncertainty about potential closures,” said Judy Henley, president of CUPE Saskatchewan. “And there has been no clear direction from this government to childcare centres, and the message they are delivering to our members is different from centre to centre.”

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CUPE stands with you during provincial state of emergency to reduce COVID-19 transmission

Statement by Judy Henley, president of CUPE Saskatchewan, for CUPE Local Unions.

On March 18, 2020, the province of Saskatchewan declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The large-scale impact of the coronavirus on our communities, our jobs, our families, and on our day-to-day life is unprecedented.

We all share the responsibility to do our part, in an effort to flatten the curve and to ensure that our health care system can provide life-saving treatments for everyone who needs it. Provincially, this means implementing drastic measures to reduce the spread of the virus. Closures to schools, universities, libraries, municipal facilities and other public sector infrastructure have been announced. Child care centres may be next to shut down in the near future.

Many CUPE members are facing economic uncertainty due to closures and strict public health measures. Many CUPE members are also working hard on the front line to support the delivery of vital public services such as health care and long-term care, group home caregiving for people living with disabilities, support services for vulnerable people and those with addictions, municipal services, and the often unacknowledged work of facility maintenance and environmental cleaning services in public buildings, workplaces and health facilities.

The work CUPE members do to deliver public services for our communities and neighbours is more important than ever to keep us safe. We commend all CUPE members for the important work they do to support our communities.

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CUPE members in Saskatchewan on the front-line of the COVID-19 pandemic have the support of their union

Statement by Judy Henley, president of CUPE Saskatchewan, for CUPE Local Unions.

CUPE members work hard every day to deliver quality public services that our communities can rely on across Saskatchewan. We want to thank all members who are working on the front lines of the current coronavirus outbreak. At this time, we know that public services and the workers that deliver these services are more important than ever as we face a global pandemic. CUPE Local Unions and CUPE Saskatchewan have been monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic closely. The situation is evolving quickly, and we know that this is causing stress and confusion for our members as facility closures, school closures and service restrictions are being put in place in an attempt to curb the outbreak.

We remind CUPE members and all workers that it is the responsibility of employers to ensure the health and safety of their employees, and that you have the right to refuse unsafe work. Your union’s resources and expertise are available to help you. Contact your CUPE Local Union or area CUPE office should you have questions.

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