More than 250 members of CUPE Local 5435 have ratified their first collective agreement after almost eight months of bargaining made more difficult by the COVID-19 pandemic. The agreement will provide higher standards for working conditions in private group homes, where the majority of the local’s members work.
The group homes run by CBI, where members of the local are employed, experience some of the highest staff turnover rates in the province because of pay disparity, the state of relationships between workers and management, and other issues. Alex Osei-Owusu, president of Local 5435, said members are optimistic this agreement will give them the tools to change these longstanding items.
The pandemic has made clear that we depend on public services and the workers who provide them to keep our communities safe and strong.
We owe so much to our front-line heroes for their courage and commitment delivering vital services, and we have many more unsung heroes to recognize and appreciate for their efforts – often working behind the scenes, and far too often taken for granted.
Amid a fourth wave and a federal election, this Labour Day is as much a celebration of hard-fought past achievements for workers as it is a time to join in solidarity, to demand better for all workers and to call for stronger public services. 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, and 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.
CUPE Local 5430, the union representing public health care providers in Regina, says the ombudsman’s report released today shows how private, for-profit long-term care has failed seniors.
The report, Caring in Crisis, shows how Parkside Extendicare failed its residents and workers on several fronts: supply and use of masks, physical distancing, ventilation and air flow, staff screening, testing, and cohorting. Most damning perhaps, is the finding that Parkside Extendicare did not have a pandemic plan in place to deal with an outbreak months into the COVID-19 pandemic. Parkside Extendicare was not in compliance with the November 18, 2020 public health order for two weeks leading up to the outbreak.
Saskatchewan’s lower-than-expected deficit for the 2020-21 fiscal year is a false economy and belies under-investment in the front-line workers and public services that got us through the worst of the pandemic, says CUPE Saskatchewan in response to the final results released by the provincial government for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021.
This Canada Day, we pause for somber reflection after the recent tragic discovery of the unmarked graves of children buried at the sites of former residential schools. We stand united in collective grief to mourn the Indigenous lives lost to the painful legacy of violence through colonialism. These recent events, and the effort to conduct more searches at former sites, are a painful reminder of our past and the ongoing harm of colonialism that must now be a turning point for truth and reconciliation. Canada Day is also a time to reflect on the many long-standing inequalities exposed by the pandemic that must now be redressed – as we stand up for workers’ rights and demand access to paid sick leave for all workers, a living wage, and stronger public services to build more fairness and better living standards in our communities.
Our solidarity as workers in demanding action for justice, for truth and reconciliation, for fairness in our workplaces and society, and for access to quality public services will build a future that we can all celebrate.
National Indigenous Peoples’ Day on June 21 is an annual opportunity to honour and celebrate the diverse cultures of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. The annual celebrations are also a time to call for greater action for truth and reconciliation, after a challenging year that has exposed long-standing structural injustice through the pandemic and the painful legacy of violence through colonialism faced by Indigenous peoples as we collectively mourn the recent tragic discovery of 215 Indigenous children buried at a mass grave site at the Kamloops Residential School in Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc territory, British Columbia. CUPE Saskatchewan stands in solidarity to mourn the victims of Kamloops Residential School, and we join the collective call for greater action for truth and reconciliation.
Click here for a list of events and resources.
June is Pride month in many communities across Saskatchewan – a time to celebrate our LGBTQ2+ members and renew our resolve to advance and organize for equality in the workplace and in the community. Many of the events usually held in-person to celebrate Pride have been moved to virtual formats to keep safe during the pandemic. Click here for links to Pride events in Saskatchewan.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
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.”
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.