Join Our Upcoming Union Education Courses!

tjohnston Uncategorized

Have you been thinking about getting more involved with CUPE but haven’t been sure where to start?

Have you been involved for years but want to sharpen your skills or get a quick refresh?

We have classes for you! CUPE is running six classes for CUPE NL members in April. They’re open to all CUPE NL members so register today!

April 9 – St. John’s Area Office – Leading as a Team – 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

April 10 – Online – Introduction to Stewarding (Part 1) – 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

April 11 – St. John’s Area Office – Conflict Ready Executives – 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

April 13 – St. John’s Area Office – Financial Essentials – 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

April 14 – St. John’s Area Office – Financial Officers – 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

April 17 – Online – Introduction to Stewarding (Part 2) – 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Government spending should be on public services, not private companies

tjohnston News Release

CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador is pleased to see increased spending in health care, public housing, and the cost of living; however, it is pivotal that this money be invested in strengthening and expanding our already existing public services and not on lining the pockets of private companies.

“This new budget saw increased spending in the health care system that is desperately needed; however, there is more to health care than doctors and nurses. Our system cannot function without the thousands of people working behind the scenes and alongside our doctors and nurses, and the government needs to invest in them too,” said CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador President Sherry Hillier.

The Furey government’s budget focuses entirely on hiring nurses and physicians, dedicating millions of dollars to recruitment and training of nurses. However, health care professionals, such as personal care attendants, are once again left behind despite the ever-expanding list of duties undertaken in an effort to fill gaps left by understaffing.

“The solution to the housing crisis impacting our province isn’t giving money to private businesses to build more rental properties that will just end up priced at ‘market value.’ Just this month in B.C., we saw the results of this type of plan with tiny, 330 square foot apartments going for over $1,600. That’s not affordable to anyone and we can’t let that happen here too,” said Hillier. “We need expanded public housing built and maintained by the public sector. Our tax dollars shouldn’t be going to line the pockets of private investors looking to make a profit off our housing crisis.”

The Federal Apartment Construction Loan Program, much like the Rental Housing Development Loan Program announced by the Furey government in this budget, aimed to encourage private developers to build more affordable housing. Though it did result in more units being built, their pricing was determined by the current rental market, making them largely unaffordable to those who need homes.

The Furey government’s announcement to integrate Newfoundland and Labrador Housing into core government does not ease these concerns. While Housing Minister Hutton says there will be no job losses or reductions as a result of the integration, we have little information at this point to reassure CUPE NL members whose jobs are impacted by this decision.

“Housing relief is greatly needed in Newfoundland and Labrador, but bringing the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation under government control is not the solution we were hoping for as they have a history of contracting out the work of our members. We want to see the expansion of public housing that is publicly funded and maintained, not private corporations offering housing that is subsidized by public money. We will work with the NL government to ensure that the money promised in this year’s budget is used to bolster public services, not cut them.”

CUPE NL will not cross a protest line to hear the provincial budget

tjohnston News Release

As a sign of respect to the fish harvesters currently gathered outside the Confederation Building, CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador will not be crossing their protest line to attend any budget announcements or lockups. Instead, CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador will attend an alternate budget watch hosted by the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour.

“Every year, CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador attends the budget lockup so that we can be informed on the government’s spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year, but not this year,” said CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador President Sherry Hillier. “As long as the fish harvesters are gathered outside the Confederation Building in protest, we will not cross their protest line. As union activists, it’s our duty to show solidarity with fellow workers.”

The fish harvesters have expressed their frustrations with how local fisheries process fishing licenses and have called on the government to resolve the issue. Today, they gathered in protest to express their dissatisfaction in the lack of action taken by the provincial government thus far.

CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador hopes to hear that the Furey government is taking the protests seriously and begins addressing the concerns of the workers and their union rather than just forcing out the protesters or rescheduling the budget to another day.

“Pack the Pub” Event for the Community Food Sharing Association a Success

tjohnston Uncategorized

CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador was happy to see such an amazing turnout for VOCM Cares’ Pack the Pub event over the weekend that raised money for the Community Food Sharing Association. As a sponsor of the event, we are thrilled that so many families will now have access to more support in their time of need. For anyone who was unable to attend or would like to offer a new donation, VOCM Cares is accepting donations through the end of the week at

50th Annual CUPE NL Convention

tjohnston Uncategorized

CUPE NL invites all locals to join them at the Delta Hotel, St. John’s on May 5st-8rd, 2024 for their 50th annual convention.

Registration will be held on Sunday, May 5th at 4:00 p.m. at the Delta Hotel. Locals are requested to make their own reservations, but a block of rooms, named “CUPE,” will be held for delegates at a rate of $149.00 plus taxes per night.

To send delegates, locals must have their per capita to CUPE National and CUPE NL up to and including April 2024.

For more information, please see the full Convention Call available for download here.

Release: Provincial government must keep public services public in new 10-year education plan

tjohnston Education, News Release

CUPE Newfoundland & Labrador welcomes the provincial government’s announcement of a 10-year plan to modernize and improve the province’s education system.

“We look forward to working with the employer to develop a plan that will improve public education across the province that values our members working in this sector, and that will keep public education public,” said CUPE NL President Sherry Hillier.

“In the past four years, the Furey administration has continued to push public-private partnerships across the province. This government has tried to contract out much of our current public service work, targeting hospitals, housing, and even snow removal in our towns, and we don’t want that to affect our schools more than it already has. The children of Newfoundland and Labrador deserve an education system that prioritizes their learning, not profit.”

CUPE NL is prepared to fight for a high-quality, public education system for our members, and for the people of Newfoundland & Labrador. They will be holding town halls with members across the province to ensure that this plan incorporates the expert knowledge of those working in education and reflects the issues and concerns that are important to CUPE NL members.

CUPE NL logo

Higgins Insurance Offers CUPE NL Members a Discount

tjohnston Uncategorized


A message from Higgins Insurance:

As a member of CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador, you can get a 15% or more discount on your home and auto insurance if you switch to Higgins Insurance. There has never been a better time to get a quote, because our 7th annual Sweepstakes is underway. Several people have already won a prize, and we have many more to give away! You could win an Atlantic Canada long weekend getaway, a grocery gift card, or an annual CAA membership (to help you save on gas!)

Entering is simple, just fill out our quick form and a broker will be in touch as your renewal dates approach with a quote!

Click here to Enter and Save

We have been proudly servicing members within Atlantic Canada for 30 years, and we want to thank you all for your trust and support.

Look forward to hearing from you. Good luck!

CUPE Atlantic Education Workshops

gmcneil Uncategorized

If you are a member of a local executive these FREE workshops are for you! Register soon as there is significant demand for CUPE workshops.

Health and Safety—An Introduction

November 4–5, 2023

An introduction to the world of health and safety, this course explores basic concepts such as:
• identification of hazards;
• hierarchy of controls;
• the role of health and safety committees;
• basics on the right to refuse.

LOCATION: CUPE St. John’s Area Office

Introduction to CUPE (online)

November 18, 2023 9:00am-12:00pm (NL)

In this workshop you will:
• explore union values;
• learn about CUPE’s structure;
• find out how unions solve problems ;
• gain skills that will help you play a stronger role in your CUPE local.


Financial Essentials

November 25-26, 2023

Whether you are a trustee or a member of the executive, learning about the basics of the local union’s finances is a priority. In this workshop, you will learn about your duties regarding the finances of the union, budgeting and how to be transparent and accountable to members.

LOCATION: Glynmill Inn, Corner Brook

Introduction to Stewarding

November 25-26, 2023

If you are a new steward and want to learn how to help CUPE members solve workplace problems, this introductory workshop is for you!

In this workshop, you will learn:
• investigating workplace problems;
• filing a grievance;
• meeting with management;
• dealing with workplace complaints.

LOCATION: Glynmill Inn, Corner Brook

Staff at The Gathering Place are newest members of the CUPE family

gmcneil Uncategorized

Employees at The Gathering Place, a community health centre in St. John’s, have voted overwhelmingly yes to becoming members of CUPE. The 84 employees provide services, meals and an overnight shelter to people in the community who struggle with daily living.

Aaron Brickman, a CUPE organizer, says everything happened quickly, with voting taking place in June and July. “When the votes were finally tallied this week, it was a whopping 89 percent in favour of joining the union,” he says.

Jon Bennett leads the Guest Support team at the centre and is interim president of the new CUPE Local, 5478. He says the rapid growth of the organization in response to increasing needs was one reason the employees felt the need to form a union.

“The expansion of services has been happening so quickly that we haven’t had an opportunity to voice our concerns,” he says. “There is a lot of complexity to the work, and a lot of stress. The staff are feeling the need to have more protections and support.”

He says the rapidly rising cost of living makes the ability to sit down and bargain compensation even more important.

“Ultimately, a union creates stronger workplaces and more collaboration between staff and management,” he says. “We can build the future of the organization together. As front line staff, we have a lot to contribute, and we need a stronger voice in these conversations.”

The new CUPE members include the Guest Support team, kitchen staff who serve up three meals a day, social workers, administrative and maintenance staff, dental assistants, volunteer co-ordinators and boutique and guest empowerment staff. The evening staff assist with the overnight emergency shelter which is open 8 pm- 8 am daily.

Workers at NL Housing Corporation say “Let us do our jobs”

gmcneil Uncategorized

Maintenance workers at Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation are incredulous that their work is being contracted out as a solution to the housing crisis, instead of filling job vacancies and paying overtime.

“Everybody knows that contracting out costs a lot more than doing the work in house,” says Jerry Butler, president of CUPE Local 1860, which represents approximately 210 employees at NLHC. “In fact, a joint study done years ago by CUPE and the Housing Corporation showed that contractors charge between 25-30 percent more to do the work.”

He also wants to know why the government has taken this long to address homelessness.

“There are housing units that have been vacant for years, while shelters are bursting at the seams, and waitlists grow longer,” he says. “Often these units only need a small repair, but they are left vacant so long they require intensive remedies.”

Butler says the Housing Corporation has been reducing staff through attrition and leaving positions vacant, and has been letting contractors remove the inventory maintenance workers need to do their jobs.

He is also concerned that contractors are being hired arbitrarily instead of by tender, and says they often have to go behind contractors and fix their work.

“Private contractors are not accountable to the tenants the way we are,” he says. “A contractor will tear down a ceiling in a unit that has had a leak and not come back for weeks, allowing mold to grow. Whereas we would remediate water damage immediately.”

Butler says the work could all be done in house if the Housing Corporation would fill the vacancies, and be willing to pay overtime. “Let our members do their jobs,” he says.