CUPE contributes over $200,000 for fire relief

FORT MCfood-bankMURRAY – The Canadian Union of Public Employees handed cheques totalling over $200,000 to four local organizations helping local residents rebuild their lives after the wildfires swept though this city last May.

CUPE Alberta President Marle Roberts said the money was collected from locals across the country. With over 600,000 members, CUPE is the largest union in Canada.

“We put the call out and CUPE Locals and their members delivered,” said Roberts. “CUPE is about helping each other, and there is no better time to put that to the test than after a natural disaster like the wildfires.”

The funds were divided equally between four local organizations, Stepping Stone Youth Home, Pastew Place Detoxification Centre, Unity House and the Wood Buffalo Food Bank. The funds will go towards local programming in each of those organizations.

“Alberta is strong and Albertans are strong,” said Roberts. “We’re already seeing the community rebound, and CUPE will do what we can to help with that recovery.”


See more photos.

December 6th National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada

Every year on December 6th, women and men and families gather across the country to commemorate the 14 young women who were murdered by a gunman chanting “I hate feminists” on December 6, 1989 at École Polytechnique in Montreal.

In 1991 the Parliament of Canada established the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada as an annual day of mourning and remembrance for those 14 young women and all the other victims of gender based violence.

The statistics are horrifying:

  • Half of all women in Canada have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16.
  • Approximately every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner. Out of the 83 police-reported intimate partner homicides in 2014, 67 of the victims—over 80%—were women.
  • On any given night in Canada, 3,491 women and their 2,724 children sleep in shelters because it isn’t safe at home.
  • On any given night, about 300 women and children are turned away because shelters are already full.
  • There were 1,181 cases of missing or murdered Aboriginal women in Canada between 1980 and 2012, according to the RCMP.  However, according to grassroots organizations and the Minister of the Status of Women the number is much higher, closer to 4,000.
  • Aboriginal women are killed at six times the rate of non-aboriginal women.

CUPE Alberta is committed to recognizing and combatting gender based violence in all its forms. We ask you to do what you can as well.

Cyber violence, which includes online threats, harassment, and stalking, has emerged as an extension of violence against women. Young women are most likely to experience online harassment in its most severe forms, including stalking, sexual harassment and physical threats.

Dec 3, international day for persons with disabilities


December 3rd is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Since 1998, the United Nations has sanctioned this day to promote an understanding of people living with disabilities and to encourage support for their dignity, rights and well-being.

CUPE aims to break down barriers to the disabled. We work with employers to make reasonable accommodations for disabled workers, develop policies that create employment opportunities for the disabled, and educate our members and the public about the value to our communities disabled persons can add.

The Alberta Premier’s Council on the status of persons with disabilities is hosting events across the province. Click here to find out what’s happening in your community.


Union starts trust fund for Edmonton civic worker killed on the job

The union representing an Edmonton City employee killed at work earlier this month has started a trust fund for the worker’s family.

CUPE Local 30 President Mike Scott said the union decided to act to support the member’s family. The Local has contributed $5,000 and is asking other members of the community to contribute.

“Our union is a family, when one of us falls, it hurts us all deeply,” said Scott. “We can never bring our brother back, but if we can help his family with a few bills, it’s the least we can do.”

Saturnino Sonson, a 44-year-old employee was killed earlier this month while working in a municipal sewer tunnel.  Scott said Sonson left behind a wife and two daughters aged 9 and 11.

The trust fund has been set up for the family of the member who died on the job. The account is at River City Credit Union.  Donations can be made by email transfer to, cheque made payable to Local 30 Trust Fund or in person at River City Credit Union using account number 722420166414.


Contact: Mike Scott

December 1st, World AIDS Day

dec-1-aids-day-imageDecember 1st is World AIDS day – one of eight global public health campaigns observed by the World Health Organization. The date also marks the beginning of Aboriginal AIDS awareness week.

Although much has been done to curb the spread of AIDS, an estimated 1.1 million people died in 2015 from AIDS related illnesses, and 36.7 million people still live with HIV.

Scientific advances should be reducing these numbers, however, much of that progress is limited to patients living in prosperous countries with good health care systems.  HIV and AIDS patients among the poorer populations throughout the planet do not fare well.

If you want to support World AIDS Day, wear a red ribbon (or post one on your social media profile).  You can also check this website for activities in your city, or to donate to AIDS research or assistance.

Child care spaces a great move in the right direction – CUPE Alberta

The President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Alberta Division (CUPE Alberta) is congratulating the Notley government for establishing 1,000 public child care spaces.

“Working people need quality, affordable childcare options,” said Marle Roberts. “At $25 per day for licenced care, the NDP is making this affordable for a wide range of parents.”

Roberts noted that the pilot project mirrors programs in Manitoba and Quebec and urged the government to move as quickly as possible to expand the program.

“What I really like is the fact the government is recognizing the need for child care that caters to rural residents, shift workers and others who can’t access child care on a 9 to 5 basis,” said Roberts.

Roberts said CUPE has pushed for better public child care options in Alberta for decades, and while the program announced this week was just a start, it moved in the right direction.

“We know the economy isn’t great right now and there’s not a lot of money,” said Roberts. “But there are 1,000 more spaces than last week. This is something to build on.”

“Public child care works. It helps educational outcomes and increases the productivity of the economy. CUPE Alberta is happy and proud to support this project.”



Scholarship Winner


Scholarship recipient Cedar Albus is presented her scholarship cheque by CUPE Alberta President, Marle Roberts.  This second scholarship was made possible by the support of Personal Insurance.


Congratulations Cedar, we wish you the best in pursuing your post secondary studies.

Read her essay

CUPE disappointed with lack of progress on long term care

losingground_coverEDMONTON – A union representing 2,600 long term care workers in Alberta is disappointed by the lack of progress being made reforming the province’s system of seniors’ care.

CUPE Alberta President Marle Roberts reacted today to the release of “Losing Ground: Alberta’s Residential Care Crisis” by the Parkland Institute.

The report, which updates a 2013 report finds that Alberta continues to rely upon private, for-profit providers of seniors’ care, even though all the research indicates public care produces better outcomes.

“Nothing has changed since 2013,” said Roberts. “The system is still in crisis, and if anything, it’s getting worse.”

Roberts said CUPE has repeatedly asked the previous and current Alberta governments to shift the focus to publicly delivered services.

“This study confirms what others have indicated before it – caregivers in public facilities have more time for patients, and deliver better outcomes,” said Roberts.

“We are disappointed that the number of private beds continues to increase, while the number of public beds has dropped,” said Roberts. “We are letting patients down by not offering them the care they need.”


Contact: Marle Roberts

Download the report here.