Cuts at Sask Rivers continue to hurt students

PRINCE ALBERT: Support staff in the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division are facing a further reduction in hours. This comes on the heels of the recently announced closure of programs to support students with learning disabilities.

“The provincial cuts to education are hurting our children,” said John Kunard, President of CUPE Local 4195, which represents support workers in the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division. “Our students deserve better than program cuts and reductions in staffing time.”

Last year, the division reduced 1,000 hours for many support classifications, including social workers, office administration, language assistants, library technicians, cooks, and educational assistants. This matter is subject to an upcoming labour arbitration. This year sees further reductions for many classifications, including 12 month employees who are losing two months of work.

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Passing of Bill 63 a sad day for education in Saskatchewan, say CUPE education workers

Education Counts Rally: May 3, 2017 in Regina, SK at the Legislature

REGINA: The Government of Saskatchewan has passed Bill 63, which amends The Education Act to give the Minister of Education more power and reduce the autonomy of school divisions.

“This government has shown little respect for our children’s education and for the voices of communities and local officials,” says Jackie Christianson, chair of CUPE Saskatchewan’s Education Workers’ Steering Committee. “Bill 63 will decrease transparency and accountability and concentrate power into the hands of the Minister of Education.”

CUPE was just one of the organizations expressing concern about Bill 63. Thousands of people joined rallies about this issue and wrote letters to their MLAs.

“The lack of public consultation around this bill has been appalling, and the government did not listen to the many, many concerns that were raised by the public,” said Christianson. “From bus routes to what kind of toilet paper divisions buy, the Ministry of Education now has complete control of our children’s education and the ability to ignore our locally elected school board trustees thus eliminating the voices of parents and the community.”

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Caretakers in Nipawin schools vote overwhelmingly to join CUPE

MELFORT: Caretakers in public schools in the town of Nipawin have voted overwhelmingly to unionize with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). On May 2, 2017 the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board issued a certification order that brings a dozen more workers into CUPE Local 4875, which represents more than 300 education support workers in the North East School Division.

Since last fall, when the provincial government commissioned a report on education restructuring, standard concerns around job security, wages, and benefits have been heightened for workers in K-12 education.

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Day of Mourning: April 28, 2017

April 28 is a National Day of Mourning to remember those who tragically lost their lives while at work and recognize those who endured an injury or acquired an illness as a result of their work. We remember those we have lost, and renew our resolve to defend and improve workplace safety standards.

Attend a ceremony in your community. Click here for events. 

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Speak up for Saskatchewan’s education system – Have your say on Bill 63

The Saskatchewan government’s plan for K-12 education is harmful to our children and our schools.

In April, the Government of Saskatchewan introduced Bill 63, which amends The Education Act to give the Minister of Education more power and reduce the autonomy of school divisions.

Bill 63 effectively removes the ability of locally elected school boards and educators to make decisions about education, and it places all decision making power in the hands of the Ministry of Education.

It is clear that the Sask Party plan for education is leaving our children behind. Please send a letter to your MLA and the Minister of Education, Don Morgan, today.

Take action today by sending a letter here:

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Administrative Professionals Day

Where would we be without administrative professionals?

Administrative professionals are an integral part of the health care system. Their smiling faces are the first point of access for Saskatchewan residents entering the health care system. Their organizational skills and expertise keep the whole health care system functioning!

Today is Administrative Professionals Day. So take a moment to thank the members of the health care team who answer the phones, schedule shifts, welcome patients, and manage all of the little details.

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Big win for library funding – but what does it mean for workers who were already laid off?

Tom Graham, President, CUPE Saskatchewan

REGINA: The Government of Saskatchewan has reversed the drastic funding cuts for public libraries, a move that is welcomed by the Canadians Union of Public Employees (CUPE). However, there are still questions about what this means for the library workers who already received pink slips.

“Close to 15 library workers were laid off due to funding cuts. Now that the funding is restored we hope the regional libraries will do the right thing and welcome these workers back to work,” said Tom Graham, president of CUPE Saskatchewan.

CUPE was one of the many organizations which joined the campaign to save libraries.

“This is a victory for the thousands of people across Saskatchewan who stood up for our libraries,” said Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan. “We are glad that the provincial government recognized its mistakes, but there are a lot of mistakes in its budget that it still needs to account for.”

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National Medical Laboratory Week 2017

Medical laboratory professionals are a critically important part of the health care team. They sort, prepare, and analyze samples from a variety of tissue and fluid samples to provide accurate and timely information that helps guide medical decisions.

CUPE medical laboratory professionals work hard every day, but during National Medical Laboratory Week let’s show the public what medical laboratory professionals do, and show our support for this important work!

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CUPE concerned about what cuts to Chinook School Division mean for students

SWIFT CURRENT: Chinook School Division is laying off at least nine staff due to a 7.3 percent, or $6 million dollar, reduction in funding from the provincial government. CUPE is concerned about the impact the cuts will have on students in the Chinook School Division.

“Layoffs will have an impact on the support available for all students and will specifically affect those students who need extra help to succeed,” said Omar Murray, president of CUPE Local 4754, which represents support workers in the Chinook School Division. “The provincial government’s decision to cut funding from education while lowering the corporate tax rate puts their own big contributors ahead of our children.”

Workers are being laid off in the areas of speech language pathology, occupational therapy, counselling, and educational psychology.

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Ministry of Education’s wage mandate unfair

REGINA: CUPE, the union that represents the majority of education support workers in the province, is ready to fight the Ministry of Education’s mandate to roll back wages for education workers by 3.5 per cent with a three year freeze.

“The government is punishing the poorest workers while ignoring the basic principles of labour relations, which is that we reach a negotiated collective agreement at the bargaining table,” said Tom Graham, president of CUPE Saskatchewan. “This is an assault on our rights to collectively bargain under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and flies in the face of current labour law. The premier and his government need to know that CUPE will vigorously demand our members’ rights and their collective agreements as well as fight for adequate funding to the K-12 education system.”

Support workers in the education system are some of the lowest paid public servants. The average wage for CUPE members in education is $22,000 a year. The government mandate represents a 9.5 per cent reduction in spending power for workers over three years.

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