Aboriginal Council Conference: October 23 – 24, 2017

Advance Notice: The annual Aboriginal Council Conference will be held on October 23 and 24, 2017, at the Gold Eagle Lodge in North Battleford, SK.

Early registration deadline: September 22, 2017

Open to all CUPE members, and members of other unions, the CUPE Saskatchewan Aboriginal Council Conference seeks to build union activism with a focus on equality and rights for Aboriginal people in our workplaces and communities. Elections will be held for positions on the CUPE Saskatchewan Aboriginal Council Committee: Two (2) committee positions, each with a term length of two (2) years.

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Union surprised by sudden layoffs at the Saskatoon Public Library

SASKATOON: CUPE Local 2669 is reeling from the Saskatoon Public Library’s decision to lay off 20 staff members, just months after a hard fought campaign to restore provincial funding to the library.

“This was a completely unexpected and very upsetting decision by the Saskatoon Public Library,” said Lindsay Johnston, acting president of CUPE Local 2669 and a worker at the Saskatoon Public Library. “Though we felt like our jobs were safe when the funding was restored, we have become another casualty of the Sask Party’s budget.”

Although the provincial funding to public libraries was restored, that only accounted for three per cent of the Saskatoon Public Library’s total budget. The Saskatoon Public Library receives 97 per cent of its budget from the City of Saskatoon, which had its budget slashed as well. There is also considerable uncertainty about what funding will look like in 2018 as the provincial government only said it would restore funding for this year.

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CUPE welcomes dozens of new members to Local 4254 following organizing efforts in Prairie Spirit School Division

SASKATOON: More than 30 caretakers, educational assistants, bus drivers, and administrative staff in the Prairie Spirit School Division have successfully voted to unionize with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). This month a new certification order issued by the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board brings 20 additional workers into CUPE Local 4254, which represents hundreds of education support workers in the Prairie Spirit School Division. These new members followed a dozen administrative staff who voted to join the union in the fall of 2016.

Standard concerns around job security, wages, and benefits have been heightened for workers in K-12 education since last fall when the provincial government commissioned a report on education restructuring. Nowhere were these concerns greater than in the Prairie Spirit School Division, which laid off dozens of support workers last year.

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Back to Batoche Canoe Trip: July 18 – 20, 2017

The annual CUPE Saskatchewan Back to Batoche Canoe Trip will be held on July 18 – 20, 2017, coinciding with the Back to Batoche celebrations of the Métis Nation in Saskatchewan.

During this annual voyage, participants navigate the waters of the South Saskatchewan River by canoe beginning at Clarkboro Ferry crossing (formerly Warman Ferry crossing) and arriving at the historic Métis community of Batoche – learning about Aboriginal culture, history, and traditions along the way.

After the canoe trip, participants are encouraged to attend the Back to Batoche festivities that run July 20 – 23, 2017.

Early registration deadline: June 16, 2017

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CUPE Local 1975 concerned about potential contracting out at the U of S

SASKATOON: CUPE Local 1975 is concerned that the University of Saskatchewan’s interest in negotiating an incentivized exit with union employees may lead to contracting out of key university services.

“Under the current collective agreement, the employer is prohibited from contracting out our work as a result of layoffs,” said Craig Hannah, president of CUPE Local 1975. “We believe that incentivized exits should provide the same assurance, but the university has yet to provide us with that assurance.”

Privatization may seem like a quick way to save money, but other jurisdictions and institutions are steadily contracting services back in house to save money and improve quality, including the University of Toronto, which just took over responsibility for food services at its downtown campus.

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CUPE Health Care Council elects new president

Left to right: Gordon Campbell and Sandra Seitz, CUPE Health Care Council; Tom Graham, President, CUPE Saskatchewan

REGINA: Today, delegates at the annual CUPE Health Care Council Conference elected Weyburn resident Sandra Seitz as the new President for the CUPE Saskatchewan Health Care Council.

Seitz is the President of CUPE Local 5999, and has been involved with the CUPE Health Care Council since 2003. She started her career as a continuing care aid at Tatagwa View long term care facility. She has been active with the union for 30 years and is passionate about health and safety, tackling workload, and improving public health care for everyone.

“The health care system is facing many challenges right now. Today, I am proud to commit to continuing the fight for our members,” said Seitz. “We will stand strong and fight back against understaffing, funding cuts, privatization, and a government that wants to slash the wages of working people.”

Seitz is replacing Gordon Campbell, who is retiring after 19 years of service with the council, including the last 12 years as president. Prior to this, Campbell was a long-time activist and President of CUPE Local 3967, representing health service providers working for the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region.

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Pride Season 2017: Pride in our union and communities

Pride festivities across Canada and around the world held annually in June offer an opportunity to celebrate diversity, to promote inclusiveness and to highlight the human rights issues that affect Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, and Intersex (LGBTTI) members of our union and our communities.

In the workplace and in our communities, unions are at the forefront in protecting LGBTTI workers from discrimination and harassment, and supporting human rights, dignity and equality for all workers.

As Saskatchewan’s community union, CUPE proudly celebrates Pride and the role unions play in making our country a more fair and inclusive place for everyone.

Attend a pride parade near you!

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Ring Those Phones – Call your MLA!

The funding cuts in the last provincial budget are putting the public services Saskatchewan people rely on at risk.

We need to take action to ensure these funding cuts are reversed.

May 18 is the last day the legislative assembly is sitting. We need to send a strong message before this session ends: that the people of Saskatchewan demand the government to reverse the harmful budget cuts, reinstate the corporate tax rate, and protect local jobs.

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Celebrate National Nursing Week!

This week is National Nursing Week. The Saskatchewan government has proclaimed May 12 as Continuing Care Assistants Day and May 13 as Licensed Practical Nurses Day.

CUPE licensed practical nurses and continuing care assistants are key members of the nursing team. It is an important time to recognize the tremendous work CUPE members do every day to deliver high quality patient care as part of the nursing team.

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