CUPE hosts Bannock Lunch on Aboriginal Day

June 2015 Aboriginal Day

CUPE Alberta and the CUPE Aboriginal Council partnered with the Elizabeth Friday Society to provide a Bannock Luncheon at the Society on Friday. About 45 people attended, including Elder Elsie Paul, who said an opening prayer and greeted the group with a song.

The union worked in conjunction with Aboriginal Women’s Program Coordinator Rebecca Cardinal.  National Representative Audrey Barr and Gloria Lepine, Alternate Senator to the National Aboriginal Council, attended on behalf of CUPE.

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National Aboriginal Day – June 21st

June 21st is National Aboriginal Day, a day to recognize the contribution and the struggles of our Aboriginal peoples.

Earlier this month, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada reported details of the shocking and deeply disturbing history of residential schools.  It would be challenging to find a more shameful chapter in Canadian history than the forced separation of Aboriginal children from their families and the physical and sexual abuse that accompanied it.

The death rate of residential school students was often double, triple, or even quadruple the death rate among children in the population at large. Worse still, reasons for the deaths were not kept and parents were often never told of the details of their child’s death, or even where their children were buried.

Ripped from their homes and communities, Aboriginal children were treated harshly, without love, malnourished, and forced to abandon their language, culture, and way of life. Even their Aboriginal clothing was taken away from them.

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CUPE Alberta Weeklong School- Red Deer College

Alberta Weeklong 2015 - Group photo

RED DEER — Over 100 CUPE members from across Alberta participated in the 2015 Weeklong School at Red Deer College May 25-29th.

Four workshops were provided this year: Collective Bargaining (facilitated by National Representatives Tony Miotti and Jennifer Chretien), Parliamentary procedures and Public Speaking (facilitated by National Representative Rachna Singh) and two Steward Learning Series courses facilitated by Rodger Oakley, Rosanne Pazuik, Aneen Albus and Stephanie Lustig.

Acting Education Representative Audrey Barr was enthusiastic about this year’s group of students. “It was a fantastic group who were completely engaged in learning to assist their Local members when they finished the week.”

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CUPE researcher elected in Alberta

Ricardo MirandaCALGARY – The ‘Orange Chinook’ that washed over Alberta on May 5th included the election of CUPE Research Representative Ricardo Miranda as MLA for the riding of Calgary Cross.

Miranda was one of 54 NDP MLAs elected as part of Rachel Notley’s surprise victory in the Alberta provincial election.  Miranda won a squeaker, defeating PC star candidate, and former Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson by only 100 votes.

Previously considered Canada’s most conservative province, Albertans surprised pundits defeating a 44 year old government and electing a Premier and party committed to better health and education funding, fighting climate change, a higher minimum wage and a review of the provinces energy royalty system.

A parent of two, Miranda worked as a flight attendant with Air Canada for 15 years, serving as President of CUPE 4095, joining CUPE’s staff in 2012. With CUPE, he worked as a National Representative, researcher and as an organizer, helping to bring employees into the CUPE family.

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CUPE Alberta welcomes government announcement on education funding

CUPE Alberta President Marle Roberts today said the NDP government’s education funding announcement is good news for students, their families, and workers.

“With 12,000 new kids entering the system in the fall, we need this additional funding,” Roberts said. “This will ensure we have well-maintained schools, with the support students need.”

Under the previous government, boards were ordered to cut their budgets, Roberts said. Boards were also told no new provincial funding would be available for the next three years, despite Alberta’s soaring enrolments.

“The previous government cut the amount of funding available to be spent on each student,” Roberts said. “This would have meant increased class sizes, more portable classrooms, program and staff cuts, less money on maintenance and student support – it would have been a disaster for students, for the learning environment, and for Alberta’s investment in our future.”

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CUPE Alberta thanks Premier-designate Rachel Notley for extending school board budgets

Canadian Union of Public Employees Alberta President Marle Roberts today thanked Premier-designate Rachel Notley for keeping a campaign promise to support Alberta’s education system.

“By extending the deadlines for school boards to submit their annual budgets, the provincial government has provided critical breathing space for boards to prepare for the thousands of new students coming into our system,” Roberts said. “We are pleased to see the Premier-designate take this matter seriously and respond to it as a priority.”

With more than 12,000 new students entering the system this fall, school boards have been scrambling to figure out how to supply the classroom space, teachers, and support staff necessary. The Calgary Board of Education contemplated reducing its cleaning operations, legal services, and other supports to manage the shortfalls. We have seen cut backs of support staff in many schools all across this Province.

“It’s obvious to Albertans that we need to inject more funding into our schools,” Roberts said.

“I am very happy that Premier-designate Notley is keeping her campaign promise to make this happen.”

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CUPE Alberta President congratulates Premier-elect Rachel Notley

Alberta Division President Marle Roberts today congratulated Premier-elect Rachel Notley and her new caucus on their ground-breaking victory in Alberta.Marle Roberts

“I am thrilled that Albertans chose a government which supports public health care and education, strong and sustainable municipalities, and fair treatment for workers,” Roberts said.

“And I am excited that 26 of the 53 MLAs elected to the government caucus are women, the highest percentage of any government in the country,” Roberts said.

The PC government, first elected four years before Richard Nixon resigned as President of the US, had entered the election with a budget that slashed health services, failed to provide schools or staff for the increasing numbers of students this year, and threatened to erode the social fabric of the province through cuts. They also threatened to bring in regressive essential services legislation and anti-labour bargaining tactics.

“We look forward to working with a government that cares about the same things Alberta’s working families care about,” Roberts said. “Fairness, respect, accountability, and justice.”

CUPE Alberta President statement on the death of City of Edmonton worker


CUPE Alberta President: Death of City of Edmonton worker affects us all

CUPE Alberta President Marle Roberts today said workers across the province are grieving after the death of a City employee and CUPE Local 30 member from an accident last week.

“I join with my union brothers and sisters across Alberta in offering our deepest condolences to this young worker’s family, and to his friends and co-workers,” she said.

“When one of us is hurt, we all feel the loss,” Roberts said. “We all pause and think about the times we’ve had near accidents, and about how our families would be affected.”

Roberts pointed out that April 28 was the International Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job.

“We gathered this week to remember those we’ve lost over the past year,” Roberts said. “We also recognized the importance of improving workplace safety. It’s said that workplace accidents are almost always preventable, so it’s especially tragic when they still happen”.

“We have lost a friend, a brother, a worker, and a valuable member of our community. We are diminished by our loss,” Roberts said.

 

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