WIN House and CUPE ratify two-year agreement

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For immediate release September 30, 2015

EDMONTON – Edmonton Women’s Shelter Ltd. and CUPE Local 3341 are pleased to announce the ratification of a new agreement that provides employees of an Alberta women’s shelter with their first pension plan.

The deal covers some 45 workers at all three facilities operated by Edmonton Women’s Shelter Ltd., also known as WIN House. The employees include crisis intervention workers, outreach workers, housekeepers, child support staff and administrative staff.

“A pension plan gives our employees further job security,” says Tess Gordey, Executive Director of WIN House. “We understand gender-equity issues women face in the workforce and have always strived to seek and secure monetary resources necessary for promoting equity in our sector. Success in this direction assists us in recruitment and retention of skilled workers and brings stability to our workplace. Ultimately, women and children fleeing family violence will benefit through increased expertise, best practices and leadership. It’s a win-win for WIN.”

The pension plan –a Multi-Sector Pension Plan (MSPP) – is a unique plan that CUPE and the Service Employees International Union innovated nearly 15 years ago to address the lack of retirement benefits in largely female-dominated workplaces.

It has taken CUPE Local 3341 nine years to champion the merits of a multi-sector plan pension for the shelter employees it represents.

Pension plans are rare in the non-profit sector and this is especially true for sheltering organizations,” says Marle Roberts, President CUPE Alberta. “The multi-sector pension plan makes this possible, creating an all around victory. Pensions allow people to retire with dignity. These are typically under-paid workers who do the job out of a calling to help others because they care,” said Roberts. “CUPE has and will continue to advocate for retirement security for “all” by continuing to negotiate workplace pensions and supporting expansion of the CPP.”

For more information, please contact Paula Arab at 403-889-9128

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Labour Day

Friends,

Labour Day is usually a time for CUPE Alberta members to enjoy one last blast of summer before school starts, and before we dig in for another prairie winter.

It’s also a time when I reflect on the battles won by working people and look ahead to what battles are coming.

For the first time in generations, Alberta workers don’t have a government actively working against them. Instead, the provincial election of May 5th brought us a government promising an increased minimum wage, better labour laws for farm workers, and a tax system that doesn’t put all the work on the backs of lower and middle income earners.

I admit this new reality is taking some getting used to! But we have to remain vigilant in fighting for the things that matter: better wages and working conditions, strong public services, equality for all people, and an environment that allows us to reach our full potential as individuals and as a province. Even with a friendly government, there are strong forces in our province working over time against positive change.

So have a happy and safe Labour Day weekend, because our fights have not ended. They just got a whole lot more interesting.

In solidarity,

 

Marle Roberts, President
CUPE Alberta

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Working people call on Airport Authority to clarify role of temporary foreign workers

Working people at the Fort McMurray International Airport are calling on the Airport Authority to identify what role, if any, temporary foreign workers are being used to play in privatizing custodial services. Having replaced long-serving working people with temporary foreign workers would seem to represent a direct contravention of the terms of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). … Read more…

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.

Click here to see more photos.

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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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