Rally at the Legislature on October 25, 2017.
11:30 a.m. MARCH FROM ROYAL SASK MUSEUM
12:00 p.m. (NOON) RALLY AT THE LEGISLATURE
As the legislature resumes for the fall sitting, let’s continue to stand against cuts, rollbacks, waste, scandal and mismanagement.
Join us as we rally in solidarity with other unions and concerned residents of Saskatchewan.
“As education workers, we are deeply invested in the well-being of the communities we serve every day,” said Scott Barrett, President of CUPE Local 8443. “As the President of the CUPE local that represents workers at École Dundonald, I want to be very clear that we stand with the family affected by this tragedy. We stand with our community today and are thinking about the children, parents, and staff who are grieving right now. We also want to be very clear that this tragedy isn’t about cuts — in fact, this school was one of the lucky ones that didn’t receive any cuts this year, so far. Instead, right now it is about us coming together as a community to support everyone affected by this tragedy, and to find ways to do better so that this cannot happen again.”
“Our thoughts today are with the family who is grieving the loss of their young child,” said Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan. “At some point, you have to look across partisan lines and look for solutions in a spirit of collaboration. I would say that now is definitely one of those times.”
REGINA: A new school year begins today across Saskatchewan, and CUPE represented education support staff are welcoming new and returning students to their first day of classes.
“CUPE education workers are facing a challenging year ahead of us. With a 6.5 per cent increase in student enrollment and over $500 less per student to educate them, our education workers are going to have to find creative solutions to continue the level of care we are accustomed to delivering,” said Jackie Christianson, chair of the CUPE Education Workers’ Steering Committee. “Our government cut more than $54 million, and this will make it more difficult for us to continue to help with the first day jitters and make time at school a successful and safe experience. CUPE education workers are dedicated to supporting the learning of all Saskatchewan students throughout the school year, and we will continue to provide the best possible learning environments for our province’s future.”
Labour Day is more than just a great day to get together with friends and family. It is also a day to celebrate the important contributions of unions in making life better for everyone.
Attend a Labour Day celebration in your community on Monday, September 4, 2017:
Click here for a list of Labour Day celebrations hosted by unions in your community.
Whether it’s improving standards, defending workplace rights, or championing public services that make our communities great places to live – unions stand up for everyone.
Happy Labour Day to all workers and their families!
Residents of Ituna, SK, gather on August 31, 2017, to save lab services facing cuts.
Over 200 residents of Ituna, Saskatchewan, gathered on Thursday, August 31, 2017, to save their community’s lab services from being cut from five days a week to only two – significantly reducing access to health care for the town and surrounding area.
Residents of the central Saskatchewan town located 165 kilometres north of Regina gathered for a barbecue, signed petitions, and heard from speakers including the Mayor of Ituna, representatives from CUPE 4980 and CUPE 4552, and CUPE Saskatchewan President, Tom Graham, about the negative and far-reaching impact the cut to lab services will have on Ituna residents in accessing such tests as blood work, X-rays, ECG tests and pacemaker checks as well as the Ituna Health Centre lab’s role in coordinating the tests and results critical to cancer treatments.
REGINA: Documents obtained through an access to information (ATI) request by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) show that the Saskatchewan government is still spending tens of millions of dollars on Lean or Kaizen staff across the province, despite the public backlash and poor track record.
The Ministry of Health documents show that there are 17 continuous quality improvement offices (formerly known as Kaizen Promotion offices) in health regions that employed 175.4 full time equivalents (FTEs) in 2016. Salary and benefits for these teams from 2012 through to December 31, 2015 total $54.24 million. In 2015, there were 190 FTEs in health care working in Lean or Kaizen positions.
“It is appalling that the government is still spending money on the failed Lean initiative instead of investing in frontline health care workers,” said Sandra Seitz, president of the CUPE Saskatchewan Health Care Council. “How can they justify wasting tens of millions of dollars on Lean initiatives while they are charging patients for more services, laying off frontline workers, and demanding wage rollbacks?”
In early June, staff at the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild (SWG) initiated a union drive hoping to secure more respect in the workplace and a greater voice in their conditions of work.
Unfortunately, the Board of Directors of the Writers’ Guild chose to respond to the union application, filed on their behalf of CUPE, by hiring an expensive management lawyer well-known in Saskatchewan for representing Wal-Mart against workers’ attempts to unionize.
Take Action today and support SWG staff.
Sign the petition at the following link: https://www.change.org/p/sask-writers-guild-board-sask-writers-guild-respect-your-workers-right-to-unionize
Left to right: CUPE 4777 President Helen Sawatsky; CUPE 4980 President Pearl Blommaert ; CUPE 5111 President Brian Manegre; CUPE 5999 President (Acting) Wanda Edwards; & CUPE 3967 President Scott McDonald
Saskatchewan’s five CUPE health care locals will be merging into one CUPE provincial health union of over 13,600 members.
The final two merger votes were held August 14. Members of Local 4980 (Sunrise Health Region) voted with a 91 percent majority to merge with other CUPE health care locals in the province, while members of Local 3967 (Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region) backed the merger with 69 percent voting in favour.
Members of the three other CUPE health care locals representing health services providers also endorsed the merger earlier this summer.
REGINA: A new report commissioned by the Canadian Union of Public Employees has found that the proposed taxation changes in the 2017-2018 budget will disproportionally impact low income families and individuals.
The report, titled: Out of Balance: Saskatchewan’s 2017-18 Budget, found that the proposed taxation changes significantly erode tax fairness. One of the most substantial changes in the budget was the increase to the generally regressive Provincial Sales Tax (PST), which increased from 5% to 6% and was extended to tax items such as insurance premiums and goods such as snack foods, children’s clothing, and restaurant meals.
“The government says that the proposed tax changes will ‘ensure that Saskatchewan’s taxes remain fair to all residents.’ However, the tax changes proposed by the government disproportionately affect those who are least able to pay,” said Robin Shaban, the economist and public policy consultant who authored the report. “Meanwhile, Saskatchewan’s highest-income earners face very little change in the taxes they pay, relative to how much they earn. Some of Saskatchewan’s high-income earners may even enjoy a tax cut in the coming year.”
In fact, if the Saskatchewan government’s tax changes are fully implemented, the typical family that earns between $17,800 and $24,100 will see a tax increase of almost the same magnitude as the tax break that families with incomes over $186,700 will receive.
The report also shows that enhancements to the Low-Income Tax Credit (LITC) do not completely correct for the inequitable effects of the government’s tax changes.
This Labour Day, Ride for Respect! CUPE members and fellow union members from across Saskatchewan who ride motorcycle are invited to join in the Labour Day Ride for Respect on September 4, 2017. The Ride for Respect is dedicated to promote respect for workers and their rights. Participating motorcycle riders will travel from Regina to Saskatoon, arriving at the Labour Day celebration hosted by the Saskatoon and District Labour Council in Saskatoon. All proceeds are dedicated to support the Unemployed Workers Help Centre.
Pre-register by August 28, 2017 to guarantee a free t-shirt.