Health and Safety Committee Support Sessions. September 2020. For CUPE members in CUPE Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador.

NEW – Health and Safety Committee Support Sessions via Zoom!

creynolds Occupational Health & Safety, Webinar

Open to CUPE members in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador

The COVID-19 pandemic has created new Health and Safety challenges in workplaces across all sectors. CUPE members on health and safety committees have been working hard to represent their members concerns and address the risks they face.

Recognizing the unique challenges these members face, CUPE is developing new approaches to support the important work of our health and safety activists. CUPE members in the Atlantic Region now have access to Health and Safety Committee Support Sessions via Zoom.

These one-hour sessions will be held multiple times each week and hosted by CUPE’s Atlantic Region Health and Safety Representative Jenna Brookfield. Members can get direct support and advice on the issues they are currently working on.

These sessions are ideally suited for CUPE members that are:

  • On a workplace health and safety committees and/or
  • Are a health and safety activist within their CUPE local

To participate, members will need access to a computer or electronic device that can support Zoom. For tips on setting up Zoom, please refer to this link:

The resource materials referred to during the sessions are available at

Please note: There is a separate link, meeting ID, and password for each session.


Monday September 14
3 – 4 pm AST (3:30 – 4:30 pm NDT)
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 831 0501 0605
Passcode: 666551

Thursday September 17
11:30 am – 12:30 pm AST (12 – 1 pm NDT)
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 865 9414 7103
Passcode: 281625

Tuesday September 22
9 – 10 am AST (9:30 – 10:30 am NDT)
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 895 2955 9394
Passcode: 438546

Thursday September 24
12 – 1 pm AST (12:30 – 1:30 pm NDT)
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 882 1753 1284
Passcode: 201011

Monday September 28
3:30 – 4:30 pm AST (4 – 5 pm NDT)
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 826 5239 6637
Passcode: 783004

Wednesday September 30
12:30 – 1:30 pm AST (1 – 2 pm NDT)
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 835 4389 3444
Passcode: 930631

Web banner: COVID-19

Preventing exposure to COVID-19: Sector-specific resources

creynolds COVID-19 Fact Sheets

Web banner: COVID-19As the global pandemic of COVID-19 persists, CUPE wants to ensure that employers and members continue to implement leading practices to prevent workplace exposure to the virus which causes COVID-19.

The guidance in these documents is specific to the hazard related to COVID-19.  It is intended to assist CUPE health and safety activists in their efforts to ensure that adequate protections are in place for members.  In the case of those workplace that have suspended operations, the guidance is intended to assist in implementing effective controls prior to the resumption of normal operations.

It remains vital that employers continue to work with their (joint) health and safety committee about the best way to control sector-specific hazards during this pandemic.

Web banner: Happy Labour Day from CUPE Newfoundland Labrador

Unions play an important role in making work and society more equal for everyone

creynolds Advertisement, Article

Labour Day 2020

To mark Labour Day this year, CUPE Newfoundland Labrador is running a radio ad on stations across the province.

Listen to CUPE’s radio ad

In recent months, the gaps in our society have become more noticeable than ever.

Women, young people and marginalized communities are more likely to be jobless, earn low wages, or work in unsafe precarious jobs.

They have been impacted the most by COVID and the economic crisis.

Unions play an important role in making work and society more equal for everyone.

Let’s work towards an inclusive, gendered economic recovery plan, with quality public services, where no one is left behind.

A message from CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Celebrating 100 years of labour history in Newfoundland and Labrador

Today the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour (NLFL) launched their Plan for a Worker-Centered Economic Recovery at the Grand Falls-Windsor Heritage Society. The event took place with union leaders from across the province on location (with social distancing measures in place) and was live streamed via the NLFL Facebook page.

Grand Falls-Windsor Labour Day event hosted by the NL Federation of LabourIf you missed the event, you can watch the event video. Please click here (start watching at the 13-minute mark).

Grand Falls-Windsor is the birthplace of the NLFL and home to a strong labour movement for over 100 years. Since 1920, the town has held an annual Labour Day parade, only missing one year. Today marked the historic 100th anniversary!

NLFL President Mary Shortall hosted the event and launched the plan for a “worker-centred economic recovery” plan.

“It is workers who have built strong economies and will continue to do so, and their unions that have contributed to greater equality and fairness in workplaces and society,” says Shortall. “Without an economic recovery that is focused on working people, fairness and equality, we will not see the strong sustained recovery that we need and deserve.”

“On behalf of the members of CUPE NL, I would like to say we are proud to stand in solidarity with our brothers, sisters and friends of the Federation of Labour,” says Sherry Hillier, president of CUPE NL, “fighting for fairness for all workers!”
“Congratulations to the thousands of union members who – over a century – have worked so hard to make our province more equal and more affordable, for all workers and their families,” adds Hillier.

Happy Labour Day! 


Banner: 2020 Long Term Care Workers' Survey

Participate in the 2020 Long-Term Care Workers’ Survey

creynolds Article

Make your voice heard!

The CUPE-supported 2020 Long-Term Care Workers’ Survey will improve knowledge about long-term care (LTC) work in Canada by exploring the experiences of all those who do paid work in LTC homes.

You can help researchers understand LTC work and working conditions in our province by completing this 30-minute survey.

Participation is completely voluntary and all information provided will be held in confidence. The results of this survey will inform research, policy and practice improvements in Canada’s LTC homes.

Thank you for your support!

Click here to begin the survey:

Banner: 2020 Long Term Care Workers' Survey

School re-entry plan sketchy on details

gmcneil COVID-19 Announcements, Education, Occupational Health & Safety

Returning to school without a more detailed plan is a mistake says the union representing school custodians, secretaries and bus drivers. Sherry Hillier, President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Newfoundland and Labrador says she has serious concerns about the government’s school re-entry plan, and wants to see more engagement with stakeholders prior to the beginning of the school year.

“While the plan addresses many actions that can help make our schools safe, it leaves many questions unanswered,” says Hillier. “For example, in the Western Region, there are bus drivers who are also school custodians. What are the protocals for keeping them safe if they are traveling between schools? And how can they just leave 6000 children to their own devices to find a way to school? That’s not right.”

Hillier says the plan lacks details on cleaning protocols and what personal protective equipment will be provided to custodians. “What is the cleaning protocol if there is a positive infection at a school?” she asks. “Is it just soap and water?”

CUPE Health and Safety Representative Jenna Brookfield says the plan lacks the direction and prioritization necessary to ensure the most effective safety measures are consistently applied in all schools across the province. “In addition, the guidelines for assessing hazards are not measurable or even enforceable,” she says, “and the plan suggests that plexiglass separations are optional. Who is making this decision and what criteria will they be using?

“What are priorities for frequent cleaning throughout the day and how will the flow of students be organized to ensure they are absent from common areas in order to clean high touch surfaces? This work will be essential in ensuring a safe school environment and warrants being fully planned and articulated ahead of time.”

Hillier outlined these and other concerns last week in a letter to NL English School District Director Tony Stack but has not heard back. CUPE represents about 1500 school board workers in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Click on the link below to read the NLESD’s school reopening plan.

Safe Return to School Reopening Plan

Banner: Health and Safety Resources - CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador

Health and Safety resources for CUPE members

gmcneil COVID-19 Fact Sheets, Occupational Health & Safety

There is much talk in the media lately about returning to school, and understandably we are all anxious about what this will look like — staff, students and parents alike.

While much of the attention appears to be on masking and physical distancing in classrooms, rest assured that we have been having regular discussions with government and the English School District on how custodians, bus drivers and school secretaries, and others, can return to work safely, during an ongoing pandemic.

Let’s return to school safely

CUPE wants to ensure that all members in the education sector have a safe and healthy workplace. An important component of that is ensuring our members are able to recognize unsafe situations and are empowered to take steps to address them.

Understanding COVID-19

The Novel Coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, is primarily spread through the respiratory droplets of infected persons when they cough or sneeze (some droplets are also produced when an infected person speaks or breathes but those typically do not travel as far). More information on the virus is available at

Masks and facial coverings

The best protection from the spread of COVID-19 is by preventing contact with the respiratory droplets of other people. Maintaining a safe physical distance (two meters) is the most effective way to achieve this. When physical distance cannot be maintained, masks are an effective means of capturing the wearer’s respiratory droplets, while also protecting the nose and mouth from contact with another person’s respiratory droplets. More information on masks and face coverings is available at

Physical barriers and other personal protective equipment (PPE)

Other preventative measures include physical barriers, such as Plexiglas, at points of frequent contact. Depending on the tasks being performed, additional personal protective equipment may be required. A guide to PPE use and care can be found at

Cleaning and disinfecting

The cleaning and disinfecting of schools will be a critical component in keeping schools safe. This includes regular comprehensive cleaning, a thorough disinfecting process, and regular sanitizing of high touch surfaces. All three processes are described in detail at

Guide to preventing COVID-19 exposure

CUPE members in the education sector should expect some combination of these protections when schools reopen. A full guide to preventing exposure to COVID-19 in the education sector can be found at

Right to Refuse Unsafe Work

There may be situations where members feel that their employer has not taken appropriate precautions to prevent exposure to COVID-19, and in those situations there are recourses under the Occupational Health and Safety Act that members can utilize. CUPE encourages members to be active participants in their workplace health and safety systems by immediately reporting to your supervisor any unsafe conditions you witness or experience at your workplace.

In the event of a dangerous situation, workers have the right to refuse dangerous work under section 45 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Further information on COVID-19 and the right to refuse is available at

Good hygiene practices

These are unprecedented and challenging times for everyone in Newfoundland and Labrador, and CUPE members should all be proud of the vital public services they continue to provide to the people of this province. It will be through our collective actions that we protect the most vulnerable people in this province. Here are some steps we can all take to protect ourselves, our workplaces, and our communities:

Illustration of large crowd of diverse workers

Member update: 2020 Newfoundland and Labrador Fiscal Update

creynolds Article

Today, the provincial government released the 2020 Fiscal Update and, as expected, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are facing tough times, as are many across the country.

COVID-19 and falling oil prices this year have made the situation even more difficult. As predicted, we are burdened by heavy interest payments for major projects that have added to the deficit and most are over budget, behind schedule, or in some cases put on hold.

The federal government deserves credit for its response to the pandemic. The provincial government must do everything it can to represent Newfoundland and Labrador in negotiations with the federal government to ensure we get our fair share, as we work together to restart the economy.

Illustration of large crowd of diverse workersMinister Tom Osborne said he would deliver the fiscal update before the election of the new Liberal leader/premier. The Liberals will elect their new leader on August 3.

CUPE will remain vigilant to make sure that economic recovery plans always include workers, and that workers have what they need to return to the new normal and/or re-enter the workforce.

The province must realize that child care plays a critical role in our economic recovery. A $15 minimum wage can help boost local spending and help retain young people. Delivery of safe, quality education – in schools, colleges and universities – will also be important for long-lasting recovery. They must look to reduce expenditures and create efficiencies by cancelling P3 deals. Maintaining strong public services will make live more affordable for everyone. And if we are to do better in the next wave of the pandemic, government must increase capacity in acute care, long term care and community services.

The budget will likely be released in September and CUPE will be watching for these supports for public services and for the workers who provide them.

Recognition is due to thousands of essential workers in Newfoundland and Labrador, including CUPE members, for their service during the pandemic and we won’t let the Province forget. To our members, I would like to say: we see your hard work and the sacrifices that you and your families are making to keep us all safe and healthy. Thank you.

Sherry Hillier
CUPE NL President

Online workshop

Registration open: Introduction to Stewarding workshops

creynolds Uncategorized, Workshop

Online Introduction to Stewarding workshops (non-certificate)

Workshop schedule (choose one):


SK Time


NL Time


Thursday, July 30

1 PM – 4 PM

4:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Wednesday, August 5

9 AM – 12 PM

12:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Register online at

Limit: The registration limit will be 25 participants for each session.

Deadline: The deadline for registration is seven days prior to the event.

The purpose of these online Introduction to Stewarding workshops is to bring new stewards to understand the basics of their work and role within their union.

Online workshopThis three-hour workshop, via Zoom, will give new stewards an introduction to the following topics:

  • The Duty of Fair Representation, under which stewards and the unions operate
  • What are the roles of stewards in general?
  • The six W’s/getting the facts
  • Basic grievance writing

Because this is a shortened version of the Introduction to Stewarding workshop offered by CUPE Education Branch, it cannot be used as a prerequisite for participation and attendance in workshops from the Steward Learning Series. Participants will not receive a certificate of completion for CUPE’s Introduction to Stewarding.

Materials will be sent to your home address – please provide your home mailing address when registering. Please register as early as possible to ensure receipt of materials.

Please have a copy of your collective agreement available for reference.

Note: Registrants will be emailed a link to the “Zoom” meeting the day before the webinar to the email provided at registration.

Sherry Hillier, CUPE NL president

All essential workers deserve to take part in provincial Essential Worker Support Program

creynolds Bargaining Update, COVID-19 Announcements

Sherry Hillier, CUPE NL president

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

On June 15, Premier Ball announced that the provincial government would be partnering with the federal government to provide essential workers with a one-time, lump sum payment. The program provides income to some essential workers but ignores others. The program parameters work to restrict access to many frontline workers who have provided essential service during this pandemic.

CUPE strongly feels that ALL essential workers deserve to be recognized for their service during this difficult time. All essential workers have been on the front lines, providing necessary, sometimes life saving, support to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Many of them have done so at tremendous personal cost. CUPE members have sacrificed a great deal to serve the people of this province. And, they have been proud to do so. Some have had to make the difficult choice to send their children away for the duration of the pandemic to keep them safe.

Health care workers in every classification have showed up every day, knowing that their actions will help to keep long term care residents safe, will help to keep our hospitals and patients safe and will help to slow the spread of the virus. They have been in health care facilities knowing that their work was essential to do all of this and to care for all those who were hospitalized with the virus.

CUPE health care workers have been at the bedsides of the ill, the frail and the elderly since the pandemic began. They are the ones that have provided care, comfort and support to every resident and patient in their facilities when family members could not be present.

The Ball Government has ignored many of these workers. Many CUPE members feel left out, disrespected and ill treated by this fact.

CUPE calls on the provincial government to recognize the service of all those who have been on the frontline of this pandemic providing necessary services to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.  Without the services of these essential workers where would the people of the province be?

CUPE members deserve better. They deserve to be recognized for the sacrifices and difficult work that they have done to help the Province navigate these difficult times.

In Solidarity,

Sherry Hillier
CUPE NL President

Lilies on white background

CUPE NL mourns passing of Debra Nichol

creynolds Article

Debra NicholCUPE Newfoundland Labrador is sad to announce the passing of sister Debra Nichol on June 11, 2020.

Debbie was a well-respected and active member of CUPE 2329 and a library worker for more than 25 years. She was also a trustee for CUPE Newfoundland Labrador and sat on a number of national union committees. She will be dearly missed.

Rest in Power sister.

Debra “Debbie” L. Nichol

September 25, 1955 – June 11, 2020

NICHOL, Debra “Debbie” (nee Broderick) – Passed away suddenly at the Carbonear General Hospital on Thursday, June 11, 2020, Debra “Debbie” Nichol age 64 years. Predeceased by her parents: Silas and Pearl Broderick; sister Patricia Warren (Ron). Leaving to mourn with fond and loving memories her husband Gary Nichol; son Adam Nichol (Andrea); grandsons: Jackson, Liam and Asher; sisters: Carol Parsons and Rose Smith; nephews: Jody Warren and Chris Parsons; niece Tracy Parsons; also many other relatives and friends.

There will be a family visitation followed by a memorial service on Monday, June 15, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. The service will be live streamed from Barrett’s Chapel on Monday, please visit and open the link provided to view service. Burial service to follow at Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

As expressions of sympathy donations in her memory may be made to a charity of one’s choice.

Visit to send a message of condolence at this time of social distancing.