International Human Rights Day: Addressing inequality to recover better from the COVID-19 pandemic

Seventy-two years ago today, on December 10, 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to recognize the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family around the world. The declaration serves as a foundation for freedom, justice and peace, yet the pandemic has highlighted the devastating impacts of the failure to protect human rights and deep-rooted inequalities.

Today, CUPE Saskatchewan reaffirms its commitment to stand in international solidarity with fellow workers and their unions for global justice that protects and advances human rights – including the fundamental right to join a union without fear and to collectively bargain, to bring an end to systemic and deep-rooted inequalities, and to organize and demand a better, more just recovery from the pandemic.

Continue reading

International Day of Persons with Disabilities highlights need to address accessibility and inequality

“Not all Disabilities are Visible” is the theme and call to action around the world on December 3, 2020, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. CUPE Saskatchewan renews its commitment to advocate for equality and disability rights in our workplaces, our union, and our communities – and to build a recovery from the pandemic that is more accessible, inclusive, and promotes the full participation and greater economic security for people living with disabilities.

Continue reading

Saskatchewan’s government needs to step up and expand supplemental pay for workers on the frontline

Judy Henley, President of CUPE Saskatchewan

CUPE says the announcement by the provincial government on Wednesday introducing a new phase of the Saskatchewan Temporary Wage Supplement Program for workers providing care for seniors is a welcome first step, but the union calls for the program to be urgently expanded.

“We are at a critical stage of a second wave in this pandemic. The government must urgently expand the wage supplement program to the many other caregivers and workers on the frontline facing increasing workload demands while caring for Saskatchewan’s most vulnerable during the pandemic,” says Judy Henley, president of CUPE Saskatchewan. “Far too many front-line workers are left facing this pandemic with low pay and far too little provincial government support, and the need to expand this program is now without delay.”

Continue reading

Lack of action on COVID-19 putting workers at risk, CUPE demands province-wide mandatory masking policy

REGINA – CUPE Saskatchewan is deeply disappointed in the Sask Party government’s unwillingness to take immediate action to protect workers and families from the spread of COVID-19.

“The provincial government’s so-called ‘return to basics’ approach to COVID fails to implement even the most basic regulations to prevent the spread of the virus,” said Judy Henley, president of CUPE Saskatchewan. “Closing hookah bars and shutting down bars earlier will not do enough to curb the ballooning rates of infection.”

CUPE is also concerned that the province is only implementing mandatory masking for indoor public spaces in communities with a population of over 5,000 people.

Continue reading

Regina mayoral candidate Sandra Masters campaigning on cuts

One candidate for Regina’s mayor, Sandra Masters, is campaigning on making sweeping broad-based cuts to our city’s operating budget that funds the delivery of public services and the jobs of civic workers delivering those services. Masters is one of nine candidates vying for the job of mayor in the upcoming election on November 9, which also includes incumbent mayor Michael Fougere.

Master’s platform promises to: “Conduct an operations efficiency review within the first six months, and am committed to finding 15 % in savings from increased operational efficiencies.”

It’s a reckless cut that would undoubtedly put at risk the very services we rely on in Regina. To put the cut into perspective, a 15% reduction in city operations would mean approximately $70 million in cuts to Regina’s overall operational budget of over $472 million.

Continue reading

Misleading claims of a gold-plated Saskatoon library reveals misguided platform of cuts by Norris

Far from offering fresh eyes and new perspective, Saskatoon mayoral candidate Rob Norris is campaigning on cuts to public services with misleading claims about the new central library planned to open in 2026.

In his platform, Norris pledges to: “Shelving Charlie Clark’s gold-plated $134 million downtown library.” Is the plan to build a new central library in Saskatoon really “gold-plated”? Not when you look at the business case and the facts. 

Continue reading

Recognizing the courage, commitment of CUPE Health Care Workers

Our public health care system and its over 14,000 CUPE Local 5430 health care workers on the frontlines and behind the scenes have shown incredible courage, commitment, and compassion in the unprecedented fight against the coronavirus pandemic, and caring for patients and residents during a public health crisis. During Health Care Providers’ Week in Saskatchewan from October 26 to November 1, 2020, let’s recognize and extend our deepest gratitude for our health care workers keeping our loved ones and communities safe, cared for, and strong.

From licensed practical nurses (LPNs) to continuing care assistants, medical laboratory and diagnostic technologists to technicians, food service workers to environmental service workers, administrative to clerical, maintenance to security, and so many more classifications. Let’s take a moment to applaud all the work that they do.

Continue reading

Sask Party fiscal approach appears penny-wise, actually pound-foolish

We can’t afford a government that insists on behaving in a financially irresponsible manner by outsourcing the financing and maintenance of our public infrastructure for private profit and public loss, writes Angella MacEwen, CUPE Senior Economist.

The Sask Party has a history of making decisions they claim are fiscally responsible but end up costing the people of Saskatchewan more in the long run.

Their track record on building infrastructure is a prime example. It’s cost us more, delivered less, and pushed out local businesses in favour of larger firms from Alberta or overseas.

A truly financially responsible decision considers the benefits along with the costs. By investing in infrastructure through the failed P3 model, the Sask Party has shown they embraced privatization without fully evaluating the costs and consequences, even when the auditor makes them show their homework.

Continue reading