Mental health awareness day

January 25, 2017
Local 2157 President Lise Comeau and
Vice President Karli Matthews sit to talk at
Keyano College for mental health awareness day.

WIN House and CUPE ratify two-year agreement

small logo  small win logo 2

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


pk cope#491

CUPE Alberta’s pre-budget submissions

Greetings Sisters and Brothers,

I am pleased to share with you CUPE Alberta’s pre-budget submissions for the historic 2015 provincial budget, the first to be brought down by the new NDP government.

In the few short months that Premier Rachel Notley and the NDP have been in power, they have already brought forward substantial and progressive legislation. We commend them for moving so quickly to enact real change that brings more fairness in Alberta’s highly regressive taxation system, increases the minimum wage and reduces user fees for public services. We applaud these and other swift changes that show the NDP government understands and values the importance of dignity in all workplaces.

Still, there is much more to be done during these difficult economic times. CUPE Alberta’s position is that the government can deal with its deficit while still having room to increase investment in quality public services. Specifically, our budget recommendations include:

  • Implementing major initiatives from the NDP platform, including a greater public investment in child care and increasing supports to the Family and Community Support Services. This is also a good time to call a commission to look at how to phase-out coal-generated electricity while investing more in green energy. CUPE specifically recommends the commission include the principle of Just Transition, to make sure workers and communities dependent on these legacy industries are treated properly.
  • Create jobs by investing in government services, infrastructure, child care and public education.
  • Adopt buy-local policies for procurement around infrastructure development and maintenance, and adopt an Alberta First policy for purchase of government supplies and food.
  • Invest in infrastructure renewal across towns and cities in the province suffering from years of deferred maintenance under previous governments.
  • Renew the province’s rural broadband strategy, audit the current Public-Private Partnership infrastructure programs and engage in a comprehensive review of tax expenditures and loopholes.

Please read our full submissions and recommendations below.


vt cope#491

Flawed studies shouldn’t stop CPP expansion: President Paul Moist

CUPE National President Paul Moist at Convention
CUPE National President Paul Moist at Convention

Statement by Paul Moist in response to the Fraser Institutes’ recent report on the expansion of the Canada Pension Plan:

Encouraging Canadians to rely heavily on voluntary savings schemes for their retirement incomes is a fools’ errand that will only deepen this country’s pension crisis. Yet the Conservatives, banks and other financial institutions, and right-wing think tanks keep promoting RRSPs and other individual savings vehicles over the far more effective, efficient and affordable way of helping the over 11 million Canadians without a work place pension – expanding the Canada Pension Plan.

The latest CPP roadblock comes from the Fraser Institute. The right-wing think tank claims expanding the CPP would lead to Canadians contributing less to RRSPs.

The simple response to their less then vigorous analysis is – so what?

While individual savings are an integral part of Canada’s pension system, relying heavily on RRSPs for retirement income is a risky strategy. RRSPs are insecure, subject to high management fees, and are often funded without any contributions from employers. These factors leave retirement savings at risk of being wiped out by financial market instability, and pose the very real threat of people out living their savings.

And the statistics clearly show Canadians aren’t contributing to RRSPs. In 2013, only 23 per cent of people filing taxes reported any contributions. Canadians have almost $900 billion dollars in unused room to contribute. After decades of stagnant wages, most Canadians are just trying to make ends meet.

So why should we prop up the obviously flawed RRSP by forsaking a much better and fairer solution?

By expanding CPP benefits with modest, affordable phased-in increases to the contributions made by workers and employers, we can ensure millions of Canadians have a secure, reliable pension, indexed for inflation for their entire retirements.

This is the best plan. And as repeated polls showing overwhelming public support for CPP expansion, Canadians already know it.

– CUPE National President, Paul Moist