Last year, the provincial government originally announced its plan to cut nearly $5 million in funding to libraries across Saskatchewan, a decision that was later reversed after much public pressure and read-in protests that were held in front of MLA offices across the province. After the funding cuts were restored, the provincial government announced it would hold a review of library funding led by Canora-Pelly MLA Terry Dennis.
CUPE is deeply concerned to learn that this provincial library review is reportedly occurring in the absence of any consultation with the public, library workers and the unions that represent library workers.
In correspondence issued to Library Boards across Saskatchewan, CUPE is urging for consultation with library workers. After all, library workers are on the frontline and understand the day-to-day needs of their patrons, their workplaces and the impact of implementing changes to library structures, governance and systems.
Yesterday, hundreds of members of CUPE 1975 joined together with friends and supporters at the University of Saskatchewan’s University Bowl to tell members of the Executive Board to keep their “Paws off our Pensions”.
The rally comes after a recent arbitration ruling in the university’s favour, which the U of S has insisted gives them the right to make unilateral changes. Unless they are able to negotiate the terms of their pensions, this will be the first time that CUPE 1975 members will HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO SAY on the amounts and guidelines of their life-long retirement savings.
The “Rally at the Bowl” event began at the University Bowl and included speeches by CUPE Saskatchewan President Tom Graham, and former CUPE National President Paul Moist. The event concluded with members of CUPE 1975 peacefully delivering hundreds of “Paws off our Pensions” postcards, which were signed by concerned members of the public, to a meeting of the U of S Board of Governors.
Through a mediated process and with the assistance of retired Justice William Vancise, Q.C., Saskatchewan Legal Aid and CUPE Local 1949 have reached an agreement about issues in the Saskatoon Area Office.
CUPE Local 1949 filed an unfair labour practice claim with the Labour Relations Board after Legal Aid management moved to contract out duty counsel work to the private bar and to lay off several Legal Aid employees. Upon the resolution of this matter, the union is withdrawing its unfair labour practice.
The agreement, which was signed on November 22, 2018, resolves the claim by bringing some duty counsel and support work back in-house and creating mechanisms for reviewing issues.
“This agreement is a positive move for Legal Aid Saskatchewan and will increase staffing levels at the Saskatoon office, says Wanda Towstego, co-president of CUPE Local 1949. “We look forward to providing services to our clients and appreciate the recognition that a staff based system works best.”
University of Regina food service workers in the Chartwells bargaining unit of CUPE Local 5791 are being confronted with harmful management decisions that erode their livelihoods and working conditions. These include: the reduction of working hours, staff cuts, layoff notices sent to all workers over the November class break, lack of attention to health and safety in the workplace, and the presence of managers doing work of the bargaining unit.
Chartwells is part of Compass, a multi-billion-dollar multinational corporation. Tell Chartwells to address the issues above and help to restore morale in the workplace by providing satisfactory hours of work and improved working conditions.
CUPE members and staff delivered solidarity to the strike lines of postal workers in Regina today by donating one thousand dollars and joining the picket line to show support. Members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers have been on rotating strikes since October 22, 2018. Rotating strike locations in Saskatchewan were announced in Moose Jaw, Saskatoon and Weyburn locals earlier this week, and today in Regina.
“CUPE members across Saskatchewan are with you in the fight for fairness,” said Judy Henley, Secretary-Treasurer of CUPE Saskatchewan. “We urge Canada Post to return to the bargaining table and meaningfully address the needs of postal workers for improved job security, working conditions, service expansion and equality,” said Henley.
CUPW has been negotiating collective agreements with Canada Post for almost a year for the Urban Postal Operations and Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers (RSMC) bargaining units.
CUPE members and staff arrived at the UFCW 1400 picket line today to deliver lunch and bolster the fight against concessions and pay inequality at the Moose Jaw Co-op.
“CUPE members from across Saskatchewan stand in solidarity with UFCW 1400 Moose Jaw Co-op workers in the fight against two-tier wages and pay inequality,” said Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan. “We are all impacted when employers force concessions at the bargaining table instead of bargaining forward for fairness.”
In 2017, workers and residents of Colombia’s principal Pacific port of Buenaventura launched a three-week civic strike that forced the Colombian government to negotiate solutions to the city’s social and human rights crisis. This historic moment and action highlights the many challenges to economic and social justice that remain in Colombia, a country with among the highest poverty and inequality rates in Latin America. While the Colombian government signed peace agreements in the autumn of 2017, violence connected to large landowners and corporate economic interests remain active throughout the country, and privatization, land grabs and massive dislocation of the rural population continue to be commonplace.
Take the opportunity to meet the Buenaventura, Colombian Strike Committee, in a reception hosted by the CUPE Saskatchewan Global Justice Committee.
- When: Thursday, October 25, 2018, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
- Where: Copper Kettle, 1953 Scarth Street, Regina, SK
As the legislature resumes, let’s continue our fight against public service cuts, rollbacks, and government mismanagement. CUPE will rally in solidarity with other unions for accountability.
When: Thursday, October 25, 2018 at Noon
Where: Rally at the legislature, Regina, SK
RSVP to get on the bus in Regina or request a ride from out of town at: www.WhereDidTheMoneyGo.org
(Weyburn) CUPE Local 90 has ratified a new collective agreement with the City of Weyburn. The Union membership voted 90 per cent in favour of ratification.
“The Union was adamant throughout bargaining that they would not accept concessions, and we did not back down on that,” said Sherri Blackburn, President of CUPE Local 90. “It is unfortunate that it took until mediation for the Employer to realize that the Union was serious about not accepting the Employer’s concessions.”
Denis Ouellette, award recipient (right)
(North Battleford) Glaslyn resident Denis Ouellette, President of CUPE Local 4797, has been awarded the CUPE Saskatchewan Education Workers’ Steering Committee activist award.
Ouellette works at the Northwest School Division as a caretaker. He has been a CUPE member for 12 years, and has served as a steward, a member of the executive, and as the president of his local.
Ouellette has participated in four rounds of bargaining and achieved gains for his members each time. He has spent countless hours traveling across the school division and on the phone informing his members and making sure they understood the issues and knew the bargaining committee was there for them.