Show your support for CUPE Education Support Workers

This year has been incredibly challenging for staff, students and parents in the education system.

CUPE education support workers around the province are on the frontlines making sure your children have access to a quality education. Our members took the same risks as teachers to be there for students ,but did not get the same level of public accolades. We want to change that.

Help us show education support workers some love.

We are asking folks to send a short video message, photo, or original artwork to Tracey Gramchuk (tgramchuk@cupe.ca) and/or post online with the hashtag:  #ThankYouEdSupportStaff.

Submissions will be shared over social media and shared directly with education support workers. Please submit by June 16, 2021.

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Education assistants speak out: Cuts to staff at Saskatoon community schools devastating to staff and students

Saskatoon’s community schools are facing staffing cuts, which will negatively impact some of the city’s most vulnerable, warns CUPE Local 8443.

“Community School Education Assistant III (EA) is a classification specifically designated to work within community schools to bridge the gap between students, their families and the broader community,” said Dene Nicholson, president, CUPE Local 8443. “By completely eliminating this position, Saskatoon Public Schools is cutting from the most vulnerable to balance their budget.”

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CUPE Saskatchewan mourns victims of Kamloops Residential School

Like millions of people across the country, CUPE Saskatchewan and the CUPE Saskatchewan Indigenous Council were saddened and heartbroken to learn of the news that 215 graves were discovered upon the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, located in the traditional territory of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc. These were the graves of children from the school whose deaths were not reported, nor were their families notified.

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Cuts coming to Saskatoon public schools’ libraries

Library technicians who work for the Saskatoon Public School Division are having their hours cut to deal with a projected budget shortfall of $8 million. CUPE Local 8443, the union representing these workers, are speaking out about the impacts these cuts will have on students.

“Library technicians are an integral part of the library experience for all students. We are the face of the library, working daily to keep it accessible and ready for students and staff,” said Dene Nicholson, president of CUPE 8443 and a library technician. “Library technicians add and process new books, circulate and file existing books, and help find the perfect book for each student.”

Staff were given notice that their hours for the 2021-22 school year would be reduced by a total of 4.7 full-time equivalent positions. This reduction will impact dozens of staff in elementary schools across the division. Continue reading

Public Works Week: Highlighting municipal public services and infrastructure

In May, National Public Works Week is dedicated to highlighting the importance of public infrastructure and the municipal workers who build, maintain, and operate this infrastructure which form the foundation of the public services that sustain our communities and enhance our quality of life.

Each and every day throughout the challenges of the pandemic, municipal workers have been on the frontline building and maintaining critical infrastructure and delivering the public services that keep our communities going.

As CUPE members, we are proud of the work we do to help make each of our municipalities a great place to live.

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New campaign highlights the work of education support workers in Saskatchewan

The CUPE Saskatchewan Education Workers’ Steering Committee (EWSC) has launched a new campaign to highlight education support workers and to renew the call for adequate funding for K-12 education.

“This year has been incredibly challenging for all of us in the education sector,” said Rob Westfield, an education support worker and chair of the EWSC. “COVID-19 has turned the lives of our children upside down. Education support workers have repeatedly put their health on the line to give our children the quality education they deserve.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has driven home the importance of well-funded public education.

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Asian Heritage Month 2021: United to stop Asian hate and racism

May is Asian Heritage Month, dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the diversity of our communities and within our union of our sisters, brothers, and friends whose origins are connected to the many vibrant cultures of East Asia, Southern Asia, Central Asia, Western and Southeast Asia. It is also a time to recommit as fellow union members to the important role of speaking up against racism in our workplaces, online, and in our home communities.

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Infection rate amongst youth a cause for concern

Rob Westfield, Chair, CUPE SK Education Workers’ Steering Committee

As an education support worker, and chair of CUPE Saskatchewan’s Education Workers’ Steering Committee, I am deeply concerned about the number of children in Saskatchewan that have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks.

We all know that COVID-19 has turned the lives of our children upside down. We have told our kids they cannot hug their grandparents or play with their friends. Schools have shut down and re-opened, and children have had to adapt to online learning, physical distancing and other safety protocols.

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CUPE Saskatchewan to Education Minister: Ignoring the role of childcare workers and their safety concerns by denying vaccine priority inexcusable

Judy Henley, President, CUPE Saskatchewan

Responding to the education minister’s recent comments, CUPE Saskatchewan President Judy Henley makes the following statement:

“Working in close contact and a critical service since the beginning of the pandemic by supporting families and our front-line responders and essential workers, it is inexcusable for the government to continue denying childcare and early learning workers priority for COVID-19 vaccination.

CUPE, as the union representing many childcare workers across the province, has made repeated calls along with Opposition NDP and others urging the government to fast track all workers on the frontlines of the pandemic left out of the previous vaccine priority eligibility by the government. These calls deserve a better answer than the one given by the education minister.

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International Workers’ Day 2021: Demanding more support for our front-line heroes and a just recovery

On May Day 2021, CUPE Saskatchewan stands in solidarity with workers and their unions around the world in the demand to turn appreciation for our front-line heroes and all the workers who build the real economy into greater action. The fight against the coronavirus demands that employers and governments take care of the workers who are taking care of all of us and our communities. A recovery from the pandemic must not go back to the way things were, but the structural change long overdue for greater economic, social, and climate justice.

One year into the public health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of strong public services and the workers who provide them. While workers have stepped up to deliver the services on which we rely, employers and governments have been slow to act on providing the safety protections and support workers deserve. Too many workers are getting ill at work and losing their lives because of their jobs, as faster-spreading variants pose new danger. Too many workers are still without access to paid sick days. Too many workers are still without a living wage and retirement security. The pandemic has exposed long-standing inequalities that must now be redressed. It has also exposed the failure of handing over public services such as long-term care to privatization and for-profit companies, which we must now demand be fixed by making long-term care part of our public universal health care system.

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