Roberts urges delegates to keep up the good fight for working people

CUPE Alberta President Marle RobertsDelegates welcomed outgoing President Marle Roberts with a standing ovation. Roberts is retiring after serving eight years as CUPE Alberta’s president.

“I’m proud of the progress we’ve made over the last eight years,” said Roberts. “And I’m humbled and grateful for the support and friendship you’ve given me over that time.”

She talked about significant changes for workers in the second half of her term, with the election of an NDP government in Alberta. “Since the Notley government was elected in 2015, we’ve seen improvements for workers, for parents, for patients in hospitals, and for all Albertans,” said Roberts.

Roberts told delegates that the Notley government has made 257 legislative and Labour Relations improvements, citing pension changes as being “huge” for CUPE members. Agovernment can no longer simply pass an order in council to wipe out or erode pension plans, as the Conservatives tried to do in 2013.

March 1, 2019 was ‘Pension Freedom Day’ – the date CUPE members’ pension plan legally became jointly run. This means that changes to the pension plan have to be negotiated between the government and all the representatives of workers in the plan, so CUPE has a veto over any future changes.

Roberts welcomed CUPE 4070 delegate, Kruti Sutaria, one of 3,100 Westjet employees who voted to join CUPE last fall.“Welcome WestJet! Together we are stronger. Welcome to the family!”

Comparing Conservative Jason Kenny’s promises and approaches to public services with those of Rachel Notley and the NDP government, Roberts told delegates that CUPE members need to mobilize and take action.

Roberts closed by telling delegates, “Never stop fighting for a better province, for better lives for working people, and for everything that you do for your members.

“It has been an honour to be part of this great union and lead you. The work we do makes this province the powerhouse it is.”

All Presidents Meeting & Engagement Workshop Information

 All Presidents Meeting – February 1, 2019

CUPE Alberta Division invites you to participate in the All President Meeting 

Click here for more information and registration forms

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 Engagement Workshops February 2, 2019

CUPE Alberta Division invites you to participate in Engagement Workshops

Click here for more information and registration forms

 

 

 

Pension reform introduced by NDP government

EDMONTON – Historic reform of public sector pension plans was introduced in the Legislature this week and is expected to be law by early December.

After months of discussion with unions and other stakeholders, Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci introduced Bill 27, making the Local Authorities Pension Plan (and two other plans) fully ‘joint trusteeship’ plans.

“Joint Trusteeship means changes to our pension plan have to be negotiated between our employers and us,” explained CUPE Alberta President Marle Roberts. “In the past, when the government wanted to change our plan, usually for the worst, they could do it with the stroke of a pen. No more.”

The Notley government actions are based on best practices for pension plans. Other provinces in Canada have accepted joint trusteeship of their plans because they know that when employees have more control over their plans, everyone benefits.

“We know that CUPE and other unions have a lot of knowledge about how to run pension plans and keep them healthy,” said Roberts. “Jointly trusteed pension plans are almost always better off financially.”

Roberts said Conservative governments have been promising this change since as far back as 1992, but have only delivered broken promises.  “Bill 27 is a recognition of best practices adopted by other Provinces and an end to years of broken promises.”

All Presidents Meeting -Young Workers Forum & Political Action Workshop – February 1-2, 2019

CUPE Alberta is inviting all Local Presidents and in addition; one Local Executive Officer and one Young Worker to attend to our Annual All President’s meeting on February 1, 2019. There will also be a Young Worker’s Forum and Political Action workshops on February 2nd.

That’s right, up to three members per Local may attend, one of which must be a Young Worker.  We look forward to seeing you in Calgary on February 1 and 2, 2019!

(Registration fee will be waived for the Young Worker to attend the All President meeting. Event details will be forthcoming.)