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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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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