Calgary long term care facilities to reduce staffing levels: Union lack of funding cited

While the fifth wave of the COVID pandemic has caused most jurisdictions to require higher staffing levels at most long term care facilities, some local operators are being forced to reduce hours to make up for government funding gaps.

CUPE Alberta says its members working at Intercare Corporate Group Inc. are having their hours reduced and some positions are being eliminated. Over 75 part time employees and 41 full time employees working at Chinook Care Centre, Southwood Care Centre and Brentwood Care Centre are losing hours. Most of the reductions are happening in housekeeping and laundry, but some dietary positions are also being reduced and one unit clerk position is being eliminated.

CUPE Alberta President Rory Gill says funding for long term care facilities has not increased since before the pandemic, even as costs go up.

“The Kenney government’s budget and approach to COVID continues to cause needless pain and suffering,” said Gill. “The UCP learned nothing from early outbreaks at seniors’ facilities and are continuing to pinch pennies and force seniors to make do with less.”

Gill noted that a government review of continuing care released last May called for increases in staffing levels at seniors’ care facilities. Then Health Minister Tyler Shandro claimed in the Legislature that the government was working on an action plan to implement those recommendations.

“Eight months after promising seniors higher levels of care, we’re seeing cuts,” said Gill. “As usual, the UCP says one thing, does another and lies through its teeth.”

CUPE passes emergency motion to fight bad legislation from Jason Kenney

CUPE passed an emergency resolution at our National Convention to use ‘all means necessary’ to fight Jason Kenney’s Bill 81. The bill makes it near impossible for unions to comment on public issues.

Alberta delegate Lee Ann Kalen called Bill 81 “Another tactic from Jason Kenney to silence unions.”  Appealing to delegates from other provinces, Kalen said “Alberta needs your support – because other conservative governments are taking note.”

CUPE Alberta President Rory Gill called Bill 81 “Yet another law curtailing free speech. The UCP is trying to shut down debate.”

Gill continued: “The UCP are going to fail. They are going to fail because things are changing in Alberta in ways I never thought possible. The union movement is getting stronger every day.”  “You can’t shut the union up. You can’t shut CUPE up.”

The motion was passed by 97% of delegates.



CUPE Alberta Division Executive endorses Candace Rennick for CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer

The CUPE Alberta Division Executive is proud to endorse Candace Rennick for CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer.

“Candace has spent her entire working life fighting for workers’ rights. She has walked the walk for decades and demonstrated a fierce dedication to the labour movement. She has a vision for a future where CUPE is an even stronger, more inclusive and diverse union. The CUPE Alberta Division Executive is proud to lend our support to Candace Rennick, who will help lead our organization into the next chapter,” said CUPE Alberta President Rory Gill.

Candace Rennick has served as the Secretary-Treasurer to CUPE Ontario for the last 11 years. In her role she has positioned CUPE Ontario to support a strong and effective fight back campaign against government austerity.  She has served on CUPE’s National Executive Board since 2003 and is a member of the Canadian Council of the Canadian Labour Congress.

“The CUPE Alberta Division Executive is confident that Candace will work in the best interests of all workers and their families,” said Gill.

The National Secretary-Treasurer election will take place at the CUPE National Convention, which will be held virtually November 23-26, 2021.

This endorsement is made on behalf of the CUPE Alberta Executive and does not represent the endorsement of individual CUPE locals.

CUPE Alberta recognizes and acknowledges the intergenerational trauma of Canada’s Indigenous communities. In recent years, Canadians have been coming to terms with the horror of what happened at residential schools, a truth that survivors and their families have always known. We share in the deep pain and anger of Canada’s Indigenous communities, and we recommit ourselves, today and every day, to the process of reconciliation.

September 30th, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, is an opportunity to reflect on the history of our country and the legacy of residential schools. The Alberta Government’s decision not to recognize the day is an attack on Indigenous communities and sends the wrong message to all Canadians. CUPE Alberta is observing the day and calling on the UCP government to step up as a true partner to Indigenous peoples.

The road to reconciliation is painful but we must walk it together: we must listen, learn, and take action to support the healing of our Indigenous communities. CUPE Alberta, with the support and guidance of the Alberta Aboriginal Council, will be taking a number of concrete steps that support the education, consultation and training of our members. Reconciliation is an essential component in solidarity building across Canada and we all have a role to play. We encourage all members to find opportunities to learn and reflect on our shared history as we work together to build a more equitable and inclusive society.

In solidarity,

Sherry Elliott
Senator, CUPE Alberta Aboriginal Council


Rory Gill
CUPE Alberta President

CUPE 4070 members ratify new contract with Swoop

CALGARY, Alberta- CUPE Flight Attendants working at Swoop, WestJet’s ultra low cost carrier, have signed off on their first collective bargaining agreement. Members voted today to ratify the tentative collective agreement reached in September. The five-year agreement includes wage improvements, and momentum towards industry-standard scheduling and pay rules.

“This is the first ever collective agreement for our membership at Swoop. Ratification of this deal is proof positive that certifying with CUPE has been instrumental in our members’ pursuit of fair working conditions,” said CUPE 4070 President Chris Rauenbusch. “Reaching this deal was not easy in light of the circumstances caused by the global pandemic. I’d like to thank both our union and our bargaining committee for working so hard to find a path forward despite the challenges of the past 18 months.”

CUPE represents over 200 Flight Attendants at Swoop. The parties have been engaged in collective bargaining towards a first union contract since February 2020.

CUPE also represents cabin crew at WestJet mainline and its subsidiary WestJet Encore.