What’s wrong with the word ‘public’?

CUPE suspects UCP has an agenda

CUPE Alberta President Rory Gill smells a rat.

“Taking the word ‘public’ out of the names of public-school districts makes no sense, and is of such little value I have to believe something else is at play.”

The leader of the 38,000 member union was reacting to the news Alberta Education Minister Adriana LaGrange issued a Ministerial order striking the word ‘public’ from all Alberta School Division names.

Gill believes it’s a subtle change aimed at getting Albertans ready for more private schools.

“The term public implies ‘open to anyone’ and ‘in the broad community interest’ and said there is great value in keeping the term in the names of Alberta school divisions.”

“Who could be against a word that implies inclusion and community benefit?” asked Gill. “Why would a government want divisions to spend tax dollars on rebranding?”

“The Kenney government has already sent strong signals it wants to increase the number of private, elite schools in the province, and this move is clearly a means to hide them among other schools in our communities.”

“Instead of taking the public out of public schools, let’s just be honest about the other schools and call them what they are – schools for the rich and privileged.”


Alberta spending report a recipe for suffering and hardship

Today’s report into spending by the Alberta government is “a recipe for hardship and suffering of everyone but the super-rich,” said CUPE Alberta President Rory Gill.

The McKinnon report, commissioned for the Kenney government makes radical recommendations to cut 20% to health spending, close some post-secondary schools, sharply reduce the size of the public sector, and sell off public assets.

“A growing province needs strong public services,” said Gill. “The Kenney government should reject this approach.”

Gill pointed to the $4.5 billion tax cut Kenney gave to profitable corporations as the real culprit for the government’s deficit.

“Jason Kenney is giving breaks to the super rich, while laying off middle class Albertans, closing hospital beds and over-crowding schools,” said Gill. “His priorities are all wrong.”

Gill said CUPE will resist radical cuts and warned that his members will not accept wage cuts, pointing out that courts have ruled as recently as last month that signed contracts cannot be legislated away.

The McKinnon report charts a path to a debt free government, but it doesn’t look at the fact we are the lowest taxed province in Canada by a mile.

“Under the previous government, we were three years away from a balanced budget without hurting patients, students, parents and working people,” said Gill. “If Kenney wasn’t so determined to help out millionaires, his government could adopt a better approach that helps all Albertans.”

CUPE is Canada’s largest union, representing 680,000 members nationwide, including almost 38,000 Albertans.


The rain will not stop us.  Alberta’s workers are fighting for what’s right and against the UCP government’s attacks on workers’ rights, healthcare, education and other services we all rely on.

Alberta’s labour movement is united and we showed it again today at Edmonton’s Misericordia Community Hospital.

Edmonton Eskimos vs Calgary Stampeders Labour Day Classic

Solidarity & Football!

It’s time again for the Labour Day Classic.

While Edmonton and Calgary get ready to go head-to-head on the field, the Stampeders are standing shoulder-to-should with unionized workers across the province.

The labour movement gave a long week-end, and the Stampeders are giving us a deal.

To get your discounted tickets
(inlcuding a free beer)
click here to order 








Workers and supporters across the province are making this summer The Summer of Action and we are standing together against Bill 9.

To join the fight against the UCP’s Bill 9 attacks on all Albertans – our contracts, our wages, and our rights – come out on your non-work time and join on the info-pickets being organized across Alberta!

UPCOMING info-pickets across Alberta Schedule:


Monday – August 19, 2019
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
St Michael’s Healthcare Centre
1400 – 9 Avenue S, Lethbridge



Friday –  August 30, 2019
11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Misericordia Community Hospital
6940 – 87 Avenue NW, Edmonton



Friday, September 13, 2019
11:30 am – 1:00 pm
St Mary’s Hospital
4607 – 53 Street, Camrose


Wood Buffalo continues to push for fly-by-night contractors over employees

FORT MCMURRAY – As the lockout of Wood Buffalo Housing (WBH) employees reaches the two-month mark, bargaining between CUPE 1505 and the housing authority continues at a slow pace.

Earlier today, Wood Buffalo Housing issued a news release outlining its perspective on how bargaining has progressed.  CUPE 1505 President Judy Collier was unimpressed. “They did not provide accurate information” said Collier.  “For instance, three members have been moved to the Rotary House Collective Agreement, not two.”

Collier said CUPE remains committed to fighting for employees who are committed to the region instead of replacing them with “low wage contractors.”

“The union is committed to increasing its pressure campaign.” Collier said.  Union advertising was expanded on Friday to movie theatres, and that they are looking at bringing pressure on WBH board members.

“The WBH board members have been too quiet,” said Collier. “They can take a stand and end this mistreatment of their employees. We’re not prepared to let them hide much longer.”


Wood Buffalo Housing bans public from “public meeting”

FORT MCMURRAY – Last night Wood Buffalo Housing (WBH) closed its public meeting and relocated behind closed and locked doors in a transparent attempt to avoid coming face to face with its employees.

The corporation locked out employees on May 10th as part of an attempt to replace long time employees with fly-by-night contractors.

“The meeting was scheduled for a public location and the board moved it without notice,” said CUPE Local 1505 President Judy Collier.  “Their ‘public’ meeting ended up at the provincial building behind locked doors.”

Union representatives learned of the move and set up a picket line in front of the building hoping to have a few words with board members as they crossed the line.

“Most board members, including Chair Maggie Farrington, crossed the picket line without agreeing to talk to their employees,” said Collier.

Collier said one board member did stop to talk and indicated that he thought management was trying to meet with the union’s bargaining team.

“He looked surprised when I informed him that they were not trying to meet with us,” Collier said.

Collier said employees wanted to let board members know fourteen (14) management positions cost WBH a similar amount to thirty-nine (39) union positions they are trying to replace with fly-by-night contractors.  CUPE asked WBH management to confirm these numbers on June 6 and has not yet received a response.

“Many residents have reached out to us with stories and pictures of unmanaged properties that are falling into disrepair, including garbage cans overflowing, unsightly yards that haven’t been mowed in weeks,” said Collier. “One resident even got stuck in a broken elevator.”

Collier said residents are complaining that it is nearly impossible to get in touch with WBH regarding their concerns.

“Our members care about the residents,” she said. “They just want to go back to work and serve the residents and their community.”

Wood Buffalo Housing pays only lip service to talks – CUPE

FORT MCMURRAY – The union representing 46 locked out employees of Wood Buffalo Housing (WBH) says the employer is still refusing to engage in serious discussion to end the lockout, despite finally agreeing to meet face to face.

CUPE 1505 President Judy Collier said her union met with WBH today at the request of the company, but they wouldn’t engage in meaningful bargaining.

The employees have been locked out since May 10th in a dispute over the future of 26 positions WBH wants to contract to fly-by-night operators. Until today, Wood Buffalo has refused to engage in negotiations to end the dispute.

“Wood Buffalo Housing is clearly intent on damaging our community by replacing family supporting jobs with fly-by-night contractors,” said Collier. “Residents of the WBH properties are already seeing a dramatic drop in the level of service and care of their homes.”

Collier said CUPE went to the bargaining table to discuss the employer’s financial situation and find ways to avoid eliminating positions but said the Employer will still not consider keeping all 26 CUPE members and wants the right to replace additional CUPE members with contractor as the positions become vacant.

Wood Buffalo Housing wants more and more non-unionized, fly-by-night contractors. This hurts our members and it hurts our community.”

Negotiations have broken off but CUPE says it will return to the table anytime if WBH is willing to talk seriously about saving unionized positions and preserving the level of care and service to the community.