Season’s Greetings!



Greetings CUPE 1975 members,

It has been a while since my last message to you and I thought I would provide a update on some of the things happening with our local. First of all, I would like to thank all of you who voted for me to become your next President.  I’m fortunate to have some really good help on our Executive and this position cannot function without the experience, knowledge and drive that other members of our Executive bring with them.  I truly believe that the most important thing we do as a CUPE 1975 Executive, whether its me or one of the other Executive members, is to represent, advocate and support you when you need assistance.

We will be having one more election in the new year to elect a new 1st Vice President. Two people are running for this position and I encourage you to cast a vote to determine who will fill this vacancy.  It is a very important position and role within our local.  Our bylaws state that if anything happens to the President, in their absence, the 1st Vice President will assume the President’s role. This happened when Craig experienced his medical issues this past February and I assumed his position.

Jeff Theis shared with us at the last General Membership Meeting on Tuesday, that 49 people had applied for and received a cheque from our local who had been placed on a temporary lay off.  This is something our members wanted done and we listened to you.  We have been told that between 30 and 40 of our CUPE members remain on temporary lay off with no recall date in sight.  We continue to advocate to get all of our members back to work as soon as possible.

Our Grievance Chair, Leanne Ooms has been extremely busy over the last number of months. She has been able to problem solve some of the many grievances that have been filed with the employer and we have hopes that this can continue to happen in the upcoming year.  Leanne works closely with our National Servicing Rep, Ann Iwanchuk.  Ann was, at one time, tasked with doing a number of outstanding arbitrations for different CUPE locals in Saskatchewan.  This took place over 2 years and she was successful with a number of them.  We are fortunate to have Ann as a resource and Leanne and her have worked well together.

Mental health continues to be a real concern not only for our members but also for those people that are in their lives.  The pressures and anxiety that many of you have felt over health concerns to yourself and your family members and the decisions that you have had to make were not without some anxiety.  Concern about your job or your spouse’s job.  Financial concerns.  Working from home.  Aging parents and not being able to visit them. The holidays season is difficult for some and these other things will only compound it.  EAP is available for anyone working at the University and for your family members also.  Please take advantage of this free service offered by the University.  Reach out to a family member or friend if you’re feeling low.  One thing I heard today that someone was doing thru this difficult period, was trying to reach out to someone who they haven’t talked to or seen for a while.  They sometimes have different perspectives and help you to see things in a different light.

Our new admin person, Heather Richinski, has been progressing in her new role. This role would be daunting for anyone, and its only been compounded with COVID. She had been tasked with holding our first online event, our election, and it appeared to go off fairly seamlessly.  Thanks Heather.  I suspect we will continue to use this method in the future for anything requiring a vote.

In closing, this break is coming at a time when we all could use it.  I acknowledge that shift workers will not get the full benefit of the time away.  The work you do is very important and it’s recognized whether you are treating someone’s pet, patrolling campus, providing heat to the buildings, feeding animals, or the many other things on campus that require daily intervention.  I feel this break will hope to slow the cycle of COVID that we are in.  The first inoculations in Saskatchewan have taken place and my hopes are that everyone will be able to receive an inoculation in the next few months if they choose to.  It was shared with me today by Mark Hancock, our CUPE National President, that 8 CUPE members in Canada have died by COVID, which they acquired  in the workplace.  Some of these were members working in facilities caring for our elderly.  Let’s all make an effort to slow this cycle down.  This will pass.  We will have other holidays to celebrate once we get past this.

Wishing you all the best during the Holidays and for the upcoming year. Be kind to others.

Bob Jones
President, CUPE 1975
Room 21, McLean Hall
106 Wiggins Road
Saskatoon, SK S7N 5E6