It’s now official. Saskatchewan’s five CUPE health care locals will be merging into one CUPE provincial health union of over 13,600 members.

The final two merger votes were held August 14. Members of Local 4980 (Sunrise Health Region) voted with a 91 percent majority to merge with other CUPE health care locals in the province, while members of Local 3967 (Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region) backed the merger with 69 percent voting in favour.

Members of the three other CUPE health care locals representing health services providers also endorsed the merger earlier this summer.

On Wednesday, August 16 at 6:30 p.m., the CUPE Health Care Council will be holding a union town hall meeting on the telephone to discuss important bargaining updates for our members.

During the town hall, you will be able to ask questions and make comments to your bargaining committee. The session will be recorded for those unable to attend.

All you have to do to participate is answer the phone when we call or call in to the members-only line. Further details will be emailed, so please updated your contact info at www.cupesaskhcc.ca.

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CUPE Local 4777 has voted with a 96 per cent majority to merge with other health care locals in the province.

Local 4777 president, Helen Sawatsky, is excited to join one strong provincial health care local.

Dear Health Care Member:

 Your SEIU-West, CUPE, and SGEU bargaining committees met with SAHO from July 25 to August 1 in Regina. We were originally scheduled to bargain from July 25 to 27, but we worked through the weekend and into August 1 in an effort to build on momentum that we believed was being generated.

As mentioned in our most recent joint update, we presented a comprehensive proposal package to SAHO, which included a letter of understanding (LOU) on the creation of a bargaining association for all three unions and articles designed to bring us to a collective agreement.

Dear CUPE Health Care Member:

 Your SGEU, CUPE, and SEIU-West bargaining committees met, both with our coalition partners and individually, from July 24 to July 30 (inclusive) to develop a comprehensive proposal package for SAHO in an effort to accelerate the bargaining process. The package contains common proposals and some individual union proposals.

REGINA: The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is urging the provincial government to implement an integrated, fully public ground emergency medical response system.

The government is currently undertaking a system review of ground emergency medical services (EMS) in Saskatchewan. Submissions are due by July 31, 2017.

The announcement in January of this year that the provincial government will replace the 12 existing health regions with one single provincial health authority has prompted CUPE to respond in kind with its own restructuring.

On March 7, 2017, Premier Wall announced that the government had set a target to cut overall public sector worker compensation by 3.5 per cent.

Government officials have stated that the 3.5 per cent reduction target “is an expectation of school divisions, the post-secondary sector, health regions, crowns, ministers, and other government agencies.”

These rollbacks come on top of a provincial budget that hurt working families and rewarded corporations and high income earners with tax cuts. The government’s cuts to K-12 education, municipalities, post-secondary education, and the Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC) will have devastating consequences for working families in this province. The government could have chosen to support public services and to grow and diversify the economy without making drastic cuts.