Christmas message from Marle Roberts

christmas pic

Dear friends,

On behalf of the Alberta Division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, I’d like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season.

To our 35,000 members and to all Albertans – I hope the holidays allow time for family, friends, rest and relaxation.

As is tradition – I hope you will find time to reach out to those with less and provide a helping hand.  A donation to a charity of your choice, a few hours of volunteer time, or even a kind word or deed can do a lot towards making our communities stronger and better places to live.

2015 has been a busy and historic year for our province and our union.  Come January, we will return to the hard work of representing our members in our workplaces, and building a province where everyone shares in peace and prosperity.  Until then, have a safe and happy holiday.


Marle Roberts, President CUPE Alberta

CUPE Alberta Equality Award

InukshukIn addition to being a work of art, inukshuk means “to act in the capacity of a human.”

CUPE Locals in Alberta are invited to submit nominations for the CUPE Alberta Equality award.

The Equality award recognizes CUPE members whose work on equality issues has made a difference.

Deadline for nominations is February 12, 2016.  Click here for more details

CUPE Alberta Health & Safety Award

Nominate a member who has made a significant contribution to the area of health and safety in Alberta.

Click here to find out more details and a nomination form.

December 6 – National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

On December 6, 1989 at École Polytechnique (a post secondary school in Montreal) a shooter went on a rampage.  After separating women from men, the shooter killed fourteen women and injured ten others.

Since then, December 6th has been named “White Ribbon Day” as a day to remember those women, and all others who experience violence.

white ribbonWhile massacres like the one in 1989 are thankfully rare, the statistics around Canadian violence against women are shocking:

  • Half of all women in Canada have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence after the age of 16.
  • On average, every six days a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.
  • On any given day in Canada, more than 3,300 women (along with their 3,000 children) are forced to sleep in an emergency shelter to escape domestic violence. Every night, about 200 women are turned away because the shelters are full.
  • Each year, over 40,000 arrests result from domestic violence—that’s about 12% of all violent crime in Canada. Since only 22% of all incidents are reported to the police, the real number is much higher.

Learn more here.

December 6th event in Calgary

December 6th event in Edmonton


International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Dec 3 Disability picDecember 3rd is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.  This is a United Nations sanctioned day that aims to help promote an understanding of people living with a disability and to encourage support for their dignity, rights and well-being.

 As a Union, CUPE aims to break down barriers to the disabled wherever possible. 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.



Climate change plan will be good for Alberta

EDMONTON – CUPE Alberta’s President is adding her name to the list of people endorsing the province’s plan to address climate change.

Marle Roberts says the plan announced in November and endorsed by oil patch CEOs and environmentalists will help combat climate change and open new economic opportunities for Alberta.

“This plan will change the world view of our oil sands, and the view of Alberta,” said Roberts. “It will develop greener energy sources while at the same time, open up new markets for our oil and gas products.”

CUPE Alberta represents 35,000 public sector employees in the province.  Roberts says that while her union only represents a small number of energy workers – like all Albertans – CUPE members rely upon the industry.

“When the price of oil is high, Albertans have done well, and when oil is low, our economy suffers,” said Roberts. “This plan is first real attempt in a generation to diversify our economy and get us off the roller coaster dependence on oil prices.”

“Climate change is real, it is manmade, and we have to address it.  This plan does so while tackling our economic problems at the same time.  It deserves our support.”


pk cope#491

World AIDS Day – December 1st

red ribbonDecember 1st is World AIDS day. It is a day to unite in the fight against AIDS and HIV.

More than 35 million people have died of AIDS or HIV since the virus was identified in 1984. There are 34 million people living with HIV globally.

Scientific advances have been made that make it possible for HIV positive persons to live long, productive lives.  However, much of that progress is limited to patients living in prosperous countries with good health care systems.  There is much to do for HIV patients in the third world, and among the poorer populations throughout the west.

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.