Health and Safety Award

Do you know a member who has made a significant contribution in the area of health and safety in Alberta?  If so, we would like to hear from you!

Closing date for nominations: December 31, 2016

Click here for more information.

Gift to Morinville Library in memory of Ruth Shymka

In August, CUPE lost Sister Ruth Shymka. Ruth was President of CUPE Local 2550 (St. Albert Catholic Schools) and a member of the CUPE Alberta Executive and CUPE Alberta Literacy Committee.

CUPE Alberta provides gifts to long serving executive members when they leave the board. President Marle Roberts spoke with Ruth before her passing and she indicated she wanted the value of that gift donated to the Morinville donation-to-morninville-libraryPublic Library. As a long time supporter of literacy programs, Ruth was active with her local library.

As per those wishes, CUPE Alberta Vice President David Graham recently presented this gift to Cheryl, the Assistant Manager of the Morinville Public Library in memory of Sister Ruth Shymka.



50/50 Draw a “WIN” for WIN House

A 50/50 draw held during the 2016 CUPE Alberta Division Convention with all the proceeds going to the WIN House was very successful. CUPE National and the Alberta Federation of Labour both matched the funds raised.

Glynnis Lieb, CUPE Alberta Secretary-Treasurer, had the opportunity to visit the shelter this month and see the “shop” which they’d re-stocked with our donation.


Sister Tracie Eleniak sent this message:
“I cannot thank you enough for the monetary donation which we received. I had the privilege to restock our clothing room. I also was able to purchase runners also. Please thank National and Alberta Division and thank you!”

Fort McMurray managers get overtime for emergency but front line workers left out – CUPE

FORT MCMURRAY – The union representing front line Fort McMurray municipal workers is crying foul after Wood Buffalo municipal councillors voted today to reward non-unionized staff overtime during the spring fire evacuation.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees, Alberta Division is upset that management staff will be paid overtime for all time worked over 44 hours per week, while CUPE members had to work up to twelve hours per day at regular pay rates.

CUPE Alberta President Marle Roberts pointed out that the motion passed before council today says unionized employees must be paid according to their collective agreement, which has special provisions for emergency work. According to those provisions, regular overtime rules do not apply, and staff must work up to 12 hours per day at regular wages.

“Council rightly recognizes that municipal staff worked very hard during the fire and evacuation,” said Roberts. “But they are enforcing two sets of rules, one where managers get rewards, while the union staff don’t.”

CUPE bus drivers, who have a different contract, are not bound by the 12-hour rule – although the city tried to enforce it in the middle of the fire.

Roberts said even with the more punitive overtime rates, most CUPE members have not been paid overtime wages for work done in May and June.

“We’ve been repeatedly raising these issues with city managers and we’ve been shut down every time,” said Roberts. “We can’t get any issues resolved, and our members are furious.”

“This is just an additional slap in the face to people who moved heaven and earth during the fire to look after their community.”



Contact: Marle Roberts, President CUPE Alberta




Labour Day Message

DavidDear Brothers and Sisters,

As is always the case in Alberta, fall is coming up faster and sooner than we’d like. But we do get one last taste of summer on the Labour Day weekend.

I expect you will take the weekend to have fun with family and friends, and not be too concerned with the issues of working people. That’s part of what Labour Day is about – a well-deserved rest. If you are interested, there are a number of labour day events taking place around the province. I encourage you to check out the one in your area.

But if you are reading this, I ask you to think about how far we’ve come in previous years, and what advances we as working people can make in the year ahead.

In the last year, Alberta’s farmworkers have won a long hard battle for the right to join a union, be protected by Employment Standards, and to be covered by Workers’ Compensation and health and safety legislation. This was a battle taken on by unions when almost no one else would speak up for these workers.

In the coming year, CUPE and other unions will work hard to get improvements to our labour laws, so it’s easier to join a union, so fewer workers are injured or killed on the job, and so that Workers’ Compensation better serves the workers it’s supposed to help.

We will also keep up the battle to have better control over our pension plans, so future governments will not be able to take our pensions away with the stroke of a pen.

We have a lot of work ahead of us. CUPE Alberta is ready for that challenge. I hope you will help us.

In Solidarity,

David Graham, Vice President (North) CUPE Alberta

It is with great sadness that we inform you that Sister Ruth Shymka passed away on August 22nd, 2016.  Sister Ruth was the President of Local 2550, a member of the Alberta Education Employees Committee, a former CUPE Alberta Area VP Northeast,  member of the CUPE AB Division Literacy Committee and CUPE National Literacy Committee.

Ruth’s funeral was held on Tuesday, August 30th at St. Jean Baptist Church in Morinville. Donations may be made to the Morinville Community Library’s Legacy Program.

We are sure you join us in expressing our deepest sorrow to the members of Sister Ruth’s family and her friends.


Ruth is pictured here receiving the 2016 Equal Opportunities Award at the CUPE Alberta Division Convention.
(from left to right, Ruth, Marle Roberts, Garry Lehmann)