Ban on Replacement Workers Needed in Saskatchewan to Restore Balance and Encourage Quicker End to Disputes, says CUPE

-Tom Graham, President, CUPE Saskatchewan

CUPE Saskatchewan is calling on the provincial NDP to follow the lead of the Federal NDP and other provinces by introducing a ban on replacement workers (otherwise referred to as anti-scab legislation) during a lockout or strike.

“When employers are allowed to replace the jobs of their workers during a labour dispute, it creates an imbalance in the collective bargaining system that gives an unfair advantage to employers by allowing bosses to avoid negotiating,” said Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan. “The Co-op Refinery dispute is a clear example of an employer that locks-out its own employees and spends more time, money and effort flying in scabs by helicopter to lengthen and escalate the dispute they created then actually getting back to the table to negotiate with their own workers. Why should employers be allowed to replace the very workers they are legally obligated to negotiate with?” questioned Graham.

CUPE Saskatchewan is encouraged the provincial NDP is open to consultations, but more needs to be done to support the ability of workers and their unions to negotiate fairly with deep-pocketed employers by banning scabs.

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CUPE members in Saskatchewan don green squares in solidarity against Islamophobia


CUPE members and staff at the union’s Winter School being held in Moose Jaw this week are wearing green squares in solidarity against Islamophobia and to recognize those who continue to suffer the consequences of hateful violence. Today marks the third anniversary when, on January 29, 2017, an Islamophobic white supremacist shot dead six Muslim men as they prayed at a Quebec City mosque. These innocent people were killed because of hateful intolerance. Many more were injured. The terrorist attack affected many families, friends, neighbours, and communities across Canada. In Saskatchewan, January 29 has been proclaimed a Day of Action Against Hate and Intolerance.

“We are reminded today that we must speak up for equality and dignity for everyone, and we must not allow people to divide us as workers and communities,” said Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan.

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Government of Saskatchewan walks away from a deal with CUPE Local 600

Talks between the Government of Saskatchewan and the union representing social services workers have come to a halt after the Employer walked away from the table.

CUPE Local 600 represents 380 members who work directly for the Community Living Service Delivery (CLSD) branch of the Ministry of Social Services and Ministry of Central Services.

“The Government of Saskatchewan has stated repeatedly that they want Saskatchewan to be the best place to live for persons with disabilities. But the lack of respect for front line workers is shocking,” said Nancy Seman, president of CUPE Local 600. “We are urging the government to take bargaining seriously and work with us to find a solution to address the health and safety issues we are facing.”

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CUPE joins Unifor on the Co-op Refinery picket line in Regina to deliver pledge of solidarity

Mark Hancock, CUPE National President, joined CUPE’s provincial union leadership in Regina today at the Unifor Local 594 picket line in front of the Co-op Refinery to bring a message of solidarity from Canada’s largest union. Today marks day 49 of the lockout imposed by the management of the highly profitable Co-op Refinery in what has become a flash point in the fight against employer-led attacks on workers’ pensions since police escalated tensions by arresting Unifor’s National President and union officials on the picket line Monday night in Regina, Saskatchewan.

“The fight for good pensions and a decent retirement is going on right here, right now. And CUPE will stand with you in this fight, because we know our pensions are under the same threat, and because it is what we do in the union movement. We stand with each other!” said Hancock.

Nearly 800 members of Unifor Local 594 at the Co-op Refinery in Regina have been locked out in freezing conditions since December 5, 2019. Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) owns the Co-op Refinery Complex in Regina. The employer has locked out its workers in an attempt to force through concessions and gut the pension plan promised to workers at a time the company itself is hugely profitable.

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CUPE Saskatchewan stands with locked out workers at Co-op Refinery amid escalation caused by police arrests yesterday

Photo from @UniforTheUnion


Members are encouraged to join the Solidarity Rally on January 22, 2020, at 12:30 p.m. in front of Gate 7 at the Co-op Refinery in Regina to bolster the picket line and to demand Co-op get back to the bargaining table!

“The Co-op Refinery is giving a black eye to Co-ops across Saskatchewan by locking out their workers and demanding unnecessary cuts when the company already makes huge profits,” said Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan. “Everyone knows that the Co-op Refinery is to blame for this dispute with their unwillingness to get back to the table and bargain a fair deal with their workers. Unifor Local 594 members have the support of CUPE Saskatchewan in their fight against concessions and defending their rights to protest corporate greed.”

CUPE members are encouraged to join a Solidarity Rally on Wednesday, January 22, 2020, beginning at 12:30 p.m. in front of Gate 7 at the Co-op Refinery Complex in Regina on Fleet Street, North of McDonald Street. Mark Hancock, CUPE National President, and Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan, will be joined on Wednesday by CUPE members to bolster the picket line and show support for Unifor Local 594. Solidarity rallies are also being called today on the picket line at 12:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. in front of the Co-op Refinery Complex.

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Regina Public School Board: Stop being a grinch!

Support workers at Regina Public Schools have not had a raise in over four years — even though our bosses have given themselves huge pay increases.

Our schools work because we do. We provide support for students each and every school day. We deserve a FAIR deal, not zeros and attacks on our benefits. It’s time to get back to the table and offer a fair deal for school workers.

Please contact your Regina Public School Board Trustee this holiday season to say: stop being a grinch!

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Many CUPE Local 3766 education support workers not safe at Regina Public Schools, but trustees refuse to meet

The Regina Public School Board has refused to meet with members of CUPE Local 3766 to talk about the high levels of violence members are facing.

The results from CUPE’s new violence in the workplace survey, called At the Breaking Point, shows that workers at Regina Public Schools are facing higher incidents of violence in the workplace in comparison to their provincial counterparts.

The CUPE Local 3766 executive requested a meeting on December 17th, in closed session with the Regina Public School Board Trustees, to have discussions on the survey results and the root causes.

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Crumbling Away: New report on the state of long-term care in Saskatchewan paints startling picture

A new report sponsored by CUPE Local 5430 shines a light on the Sask Party’s failure to properly plan for, or invest in, Saskatchewan’s long-term care system.

The report, entitled Crumbling Away: Saskatchewan’s Long-Term Residential Care Policy and Its Consequences was written by Dr. Susan Braedley, Tara McWhinney, Asia Barclay and Kiersten Jensen of Carleton University.

“Our analysis shows that over the last decade, despite demographic trends that predict needs for more capacity, Saskatchewan long-term care policies have both reduced the number of beds available and eroded service provision by removing staffing requirements that allow for dedicated care hours per resident,” said Dr Susan Braedley, an associate professor at Carleton University. “Failures to plan for and dedicate sufficient funding to replacing, renovating, repairing and maintaining the physical infrastructure of publicly owned and operated Special Care Homes, have left the sector in disrepair, and literally crumbling away.”

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CBO workers submit petitions to government, calling for multi-year funding for Community-Based Organizations

Frontline workers representing CUPE, SEIU-West and SGEU were at the Saskatchewan Legislature today to present petitions calling for multi-year funding for Community-Based Organizations (CBOs). Nicole Rancourt, NDP MLA for Prince Albert Northcote and Opposition Critic for Social Services and Community-Based Organizations, introduced the petition with over 1,300 signatures gathered from residents across the province. Rancourt also pressed the government on the issue during question period.

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