Web banner. OCHU study - Sacrificed: major study of health care workers during the time of COVID. Image of a male and a female health care worker wearing scrubs and a face mask.

Academic study finds Ontario health care staff worked under psychological distress in pandemic, feeling “sacrificed” and violated

creynolds Article, Occupational Health & Safety

On November 24, 2020, a study entitled “Sacrificed: major study of health care workers during the time of COVID” was released by the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions-Canadian Union of Public Employees (OCHU-CUPE). The study was published in New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy.

The research was done in collaboration with OCHU-CUPE, based on extensive interviews with 10 health care workers. The study interviews were supplemented by a poll conducted by OCHU-CUPE involving 3,000 members about their concerns regarding personal protection. About 91 per cent of those polled said they felt the government had abandoned them.

Web banner. OCHU study - Sacrificed: major study of health care workers during the time of COVID. Image of a male and a female health care worker wearing scrubs and a face mask.Download a copy of the study at: https://ochu.on.ca/2020/11/24/sacrificed-major-study-of-health-care-workers-during-the-time-of-covid 

Healthcare workers (HCWs) in Ontario, Canada have faced unprecedented risks during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have been infected at an elevated rate compared to the general public.

HCWs have argued for better protections with minimal success. A worldwide shortage of N95s and comparable respirators appears to have influenced guidelines for protection, which stand at odds with increasing scientific evidence.

In-depth interviews were conducted with ten frontline HCWs about their concerns. They reported that the risk of contracting COVID-19 and infecting family members has created intense anxiety. This, in conjunction with understaffing and an increased workload, has resulted in exhaustion and burnout.

The research sheds light on how the systemic weaknesses in Ontario’s health system adversely impacted nurses, personal support workers (PSWs), cleaners and other front-line health care workers in COVID-19 wave one. Co-author Michael Hurley says that “the study findings lead to important recommendations:”

  • Raising staffing levels in hospitals and in long term care
  • Legislated protection to allow staff to speak out about conditions at work without reprisal
  • The urgent need to rebuild a regulatory system that has failed health care workers
  • Providing access to the protective equipment staff require to be safe
  • Greater support from management and access to mental health supports

HCWs feel abandoned by their governments, which failed to prepare for an inevitable epidemic, despite recommendations. The knowledge that they are at increased risk of infection due to lack of protection has resulted in anger, frustration, fear, and a sense of violation that may have long-lasting implications.

Download a copy of the study at: https://ochu.on.ca/2020/11/24/sacrificed-major-study-of-health-care-workers-during-the-time-of-covid

Dr. James Brophy and Dr. Margaret Keith, academic researchers affiliated with the University of Windsor led the in-depth, investigative study on health care workers’ experiences in Ontario’s hospitals and long-term care homes.

Web banner: Call to participate in the development of a National Anti-Racism Strategy for CUPE

Call to participate in the development of a National Anti-Racism Strategy for CUPE

creynolds Article, Event

Web banner: Call to participate in the development of a National Anti-Racism Strategy for CUPEPlease join us for a virtual session that is being hosted for Black, Indigenous, and racialized members in the Atlantic and Maritimes regions to participate in the development of a National Anti-Racism Strategy for CUPE.

CUPE National’s Human Rights Branch and Union Education Branch are hosting these Zoom meetings in regions across the country.

History

The National Committee on Anti-Racism, Discrimination and Employment Equity, also known as the National Rainbow Committee, drafted a resolution calling for CUPE to develop a National Anti-Racism Strategy. The resolution was unanimously adopted at the 2019 CUPE National Convention in October 2019. This Strategy is meant to build on and replace CUPE’s 1999 Anti- Racism Policy.

Purpose

It is important to hear from you as this Strategy is developed. You are invited to share your thoughts on CUPE’s ongoing and future anti-racism work which will be outlined in the Anti- Racism Strategy. The sessions will be structured to welcome you into a safe and comfortable space. All feedback and recommendations harvested throughout the consultations will help inform the strategy.

What is a National Anti-Racism Strategy?

This strategy will be a framework for the coming years that guides CUPE National in the actions we take regarding anti-racism work across our members’ workplaces, our union and our communities. The Anti-Racism Strategy will be presented at CUPE National’s Convention in 2021.

Reflection

If you have the time to review the following questions in advance, please feel free to explore:

  • What do we want to achieve through this strategy?
  • What would success look like? (How can we aim for a 10/10)?)
  • Where do you think that we are now?
  • What are the challenges, issues and barriers?
  • What are the opportunities for anti-racism work?

Date and time

As we come together to inform this process, we humbly request your voice, your presence, and your lived experience for a three-hour consultation.

Monday, November 23

6:00 p.m. Atlantic
6:30 p.m. Newfoundland and Labrador

Please RSVP by November 13 to antiracism@cupe.ca if you would like to register for this event.

Note that space is limited and priority will be given in order of RSVPs received.

 

An upset woman holding her head with a jar of pennies on her desk labelled pension

Don’t buy into NL Government’s risky proposal to unlock pensions

creynolds News Release

“The Liberal government’s plan to further unlock pensions could lead to even greater financial hardships and rob Newfoundlanders and Labradorians of their retirement security,” says Sherry Hillier, president of CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador. “Governments, not individual retirement savings, should be sustaining those in need during the pandemic.”

“Our shared public health emergency demands a fair, public response from our governments. We should not be making public policy decisions that unfairly shift this responsibility to individuals, particularly at the expense of their future retirement security,” says Hillier.

An upset woman holding her head with a jar of pennies on her desk labelled pension“The existing provisions of the Pension Benefits Act are reasonable and flexible enough to assist persons in medical need of their pension funds,” says Hillier. “The proposed changes are unnecessary and could do much harm.”

In presenting this issue to the public for comment, Government has failed to outline any of the negative outcomes which could arise for individuals from a further loosening of unlocking rules, such as:

  • Individuals may not understand that their locked-in retirement funds have always been sheltered from tax and that any withdrawals will be subject to income tax.
  • Funds in locked-in accounts are generally protected from creditors, but withdrawals from those plans are likely not similarly protected.
  • Spousal benefits, survivor benefit entitlement and pension income splitting rules that are used in separation and divorce negotiations in family breakdown situations will be negatively impaired.
  • Pension plan members who spend deferred pension benefits now, may negatively affect spousal benefits and shared pension benefits, and negatively effect dependent children.
  • Serious conflict of interest issues may arise if financial advisors or financial institutions are given a legislated role in unlocking decisions. They are not always obligated to represent the best interests of their clients and may favour more unlocking, particularly if they are able to extract fees.
  • Workers and retirees often experience financial strain during economic downturns, and financial markets and asset prices are similarly suppressed. By unlocking pensions during downturns, today’s lower market values will effectively be locked-in as cash is withdrawn.
  • After the economic crisis, when markets rebound, these individuals will miss out on asset price gains. Their pensions will be worth much less than they are estimated to be worth today.

“We recognize the financial hardships faced by many in the province due to COVID-19; however, we do not agree that it is good policy to facilitate a process where individuals might resort to draining their retirement savings to sustain themselves during a public health crisis,” says Hillier.

The provincial government should advocate for increased federal social transfers, additional COVID-19 emergency funds, and access to federal borrowing guarantees and capacity to provide a critical backstop for Newfoundland and Labrador residents in this time of crisis.

COVID-19 is a shared, public crisis which demands fair, public solutions. CUPE NL strongly opposes the government’s choice to pursue pension unlocking as a public policy response to the pandemic.

Read CUPE NL’s submission to the Province at: https://bit.ly/38A6PDd.

Photo of person mopping floors. Text: Safe at Work, CUPE Newfoundland Labrador

November 17: CUPE members are invited to a 30-minute webinar on occupational health and safety

creynolds Event, Occupational Health & Safety

CUPE members across Newfoundland and Labrador are heavily involved in the work to make their workplaces safe and healthy and they face many challenges in advancing this agenda. Some employers are not cooperative and joint workplace health and safety committees can easily be dominated by the employer’s priorities.

Education is the tool that can level the playing field and allows for worker engagement in occupational health and safety.

Tuesday, November 17 at 7 p.m. 

In this 30-minute webinar we’ll explore the options and best practices for safety training for CUPE members. Hosted by CUPE’s Atlantic regional health and safety representative and CUPE’s education representative.

Please register in advance for this webinar at: 

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_YJ5QMhPyR6eJQ3gdZ9iryA

*After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join the webinar.


Web banner: safe at work. CUPE Newfoundland Labrador

Photo of person mopping floors. Text: Safe at Work, CUPE Newfoundland Labrador

October 27 – COVID-19 and occupational health and safety

creynolds COVID-19 Announcements, Event, Occupational Health & Safety

Web banner: safe at work. CUPE Newfoundland Labrador


To all CUPE members in Newfoundland and Labrador:

COVID-19 has created countless health and safety challenges for public sector workers in Newfoundland and Labrador. In this webinar we will explore the emergence of modern OH&S practices and how responding to COVID-19 is leading to a new series of health and safety challenges.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 at 7 PM

Register in advance for this webinar at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_JoimXIK0SIWhG0Cx7CEOEg.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

 

Photo of a black umbrella in the rain.

Change to Disability Pension Benefit Medical Advisory Provider: Provident10

creynolds Uncategorized

The following message was sent to CUPE by Provident10’s director of pension administration on October 16, 2020. The Provident10 website will be updated with the following changes for the effective date of November 1, 2020.

Dear Public Service Pension Plan Participating Union:

After many years of valuable service with our current Medical Advisory partner for the Disability Pension Benefit under the Public Service Pension Plan (PSPP), Provident10 underwent a request for proposal (RFP) to consider and evaluate other possible partners to provide impartial third-party medical advisory services.

This RFP was administered to review competitive options available and to ensure that Provident10 can continue to provide exceptional service in support of the Plan member for the Disability Pension Benefit. Some enhancements include an online resource sheet and access to the application form through our website.

Manulife has been selected as our new partner for these services. Manulife is a leader in the Canadian marketplace for disability adjudication services.

The process of completing the changeover to Manulife will be effective November 1, 2020. It is important to note:

  • There are no changes to the benefit itself
  • There will be no disruptions in service to Plan members
  • New online resources will be available to Plan members
  • And the request for a new partner was to ensure that Provident10 continues to
  • support and enhance the Plan member’s experience.

If you, or any Plan members have questions regarding the changeover, please contact the Pension Administration Team at pensions@provident10.com or by phone: 709.701.3355 or 1.844.247.1237.

This benefit is administered under the Plan Text of the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Service Pension Plan and certain legislative requirements are provided under the Public Service Pensions Act, 2019 (the Act).

Download a copy of the letter from Provident10.

Web banner: The Dangers of Public-Private Partnerships: Another Muskrat Falls in the Making?

Video: The Dangers of Public-Private Partnerships. Another Muskrat Falls in the Making?

creynolds Event

Updated October 15, 2020

CUPE NL hosted an online panel discussion on October 6, to discuss the new research report “Many Dangers of Public-Private Partnerships in Newfoundland and Labrador” by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Speakers included the report’s author Christine Saulnier, director of CCPA-NS, as well as CUPE Atlantic Researcher Govind Rao andCUPE NL President Sherry Hillier.

Residents of our province need to make an informed decision about whether building so much important infrastructure as private-public partnerships (P3s) makes sense, or whether these projects will negatively affect the public services we all need access to and are a brewing storm that will wallop us in some years’ time.

Read the report or download a copy on the CCPA-NS website.

Watch the video

Web banner: Provincial Budget Highlights

Provincial Budget 2020 Highlights

creynolds Article

Web banner: Provincial Budget HighlightsHere are some of the highlights from the 2020 Provincial Budget of interest to CUPE NL members.

Health Care and Education

In two of the biggest areas of the budget, Government barely increased funding. K-12 Education and Early Childhood Development received less than a 1% increase – not enough to relieve the problems of years of cut spending, and not enough for the extra needs of the pandemic. This increase does not even keep up with inflation.

In Health Care, the budget was essentially unchanged from 2019-2020. This raises questions about whether there are sufficient resources budgeted to respond during this pandemic.

In both Education and Health Care, management services and the budget for top management and professional consultants increased by more than 10%. This is not the increased spending our members need.

Child Care

Budget 2020 provided $25 a day child care starting in 2021, which will ease pressures on young families and allow parents to enter or return to the workforce. Also, committed $62 million for early childhood development programs that support families, educators and operators of child care services.

While CUPE NL applauds the expansion of publicly funded child care, at $25 a day it is still out of reach for workers earning below a living wage in NL. At the minimum wage of $12.15, a worker would have to work two hours of an 8-hour shift to pay for child care – losing 25% of their daily pay! CUPE NL believes child care should be free, public and universal. If Government wanted to start with a user fee it should have been much lower to allow people to afford it – for example, $10/day or $5/day.

In addition, Government did not announce any support for increasing the pay and benefits of early childhood educators (ECEs) who do this important work. Surely, there are no more important jobs in our province than those to whom we entrust the care of our children? ECEs deserve a big raise.

Public Housing

Budget 2020 provided $3.6 million to renovate and modernize public rental housing, which includes addressing accessibility needs.

This is only a small part of the overall investments that the Province should be making into public rental housing to provide safe, inclusive and good quality housing for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who need this support. CUPE members working for NL Housing need more resources to catch up on the infrastructure and repair deficit so that units can be as safe and healthy as possible for all residents of NL Housing.

Public Libraries

Budget 2020 provided $11.3 million for the Provincial Information Library Resources Board.

The $11.3 million the Government announced to fund local library services in the province is wholly inadequate for the unique and pressuring demands on library services during the pandemic and doesn’t even keep up with inflation. $11.3 million is the same as what was spent last year.

CUPE library workers are committed to supporting their communities during this health emergency. There are so many people who are essentially shut up in their houses with no ability to safely get out to their local library. CUPE NL believes Government should be funding our libraries properly so that they can bring more books and magazines to people that can’t come to the library and that digital services can be increased to meet the increased online and digital demand.

Municipal

Budget 2020 provided $10 million under the Municipal Capital Works Program to support projects that prioritize water, wastewater, disaster mitigation, and regional collaboration.

Municipalities desperately need support to upgrade aging water and wastewater systems.  Some municipalities need to upgrade to make their water systems safer for everyone who relies on public water. Other municipalities need to upgrade wastewater and storm runoff systems to comply with changes to federal environmental regulations.

$10 million dollars this year is a drop in the bucket of what the province should be spending to upgrade water and wastewater systems. Now is the time, when we need job-creating investments all over the province, to use public borrowing power and federal support to invest in public water which will serve residents of the province safely for decades to come.

Social Services

Budget 2020 provided close to $3 million to improve access and affordability of transportation. This includes $2.1 million to provide Metrobus or GoBus passes to Income Support clients in St. John’s, Mount Pearl, and Paradise.

CUPE NL was happy to see Government invest in important transportation services such as GoBus to improve access for lower income clients and others with mobility challenges. CUPE NL members who serve clients everyday as GoBus drivers want to be able to provide the best levels and quality of services for the community.

 

Newly elected CUPE NL Division Board being sworn in Sept 25 2020

CUPE NL elects new executive board

creynolds Uncategorized

Delegates to the CUPE Newfoundland Labrador Division Convention elected a new executive board at the 46th annual division Convention held in St. John’s on September 25, 2020.

Newly elected CUPE NL Division Board being sworn in Sept 25 2020


Photo, from left to right: Nicole Dunphy, Theresa Gillam, Mike Tobin, Eileen Morgan, Theresa Antle, Jason Tarbett, Sherry Hillier, Ernest Green and Tracey Pinder. Missing from photo: Suzanne Hiron and Stacey Lucas.


The executive board now has representation from seven sectors of work including health care, long-term care, libraries, post-secondary education, K-12 education, and the addition of an executive officer from NL Housing and from the City of Mount Pearl (municipalities).

The new board also reflects the geography of province. Seven of the ten positions on the board are now held by women.

Women hold 70% of the positions on the CUPE NL Executive Board. Only 20% of members in the House of Assembly are women.

President Sherry Hillier and Vice-President Ernest Green were both acclaimed for another term, as were Recording Secretary Theresa Gillam, and Executive Officer Theresa Antle. Mike Tobin, who was formerly an executive officer, is now the secretary-treasurer.

Joining the executive board for their first term are Jason Tarbett and Nicole Dunphy, who are both now executive officers, as well as Eileen Morgan who is now a trustee (three-year term).

The newly elected board members took the oath of office, sworn in by CUPE’s new Atlantic Regional Director Tracey Pinder.

As per the CUPE NL Constitution, the term of office for the president, vice-president, recording secretary, secretary-treasurer and three executive officers will be for two years. The term of office for the trustees will be between one and three years.

Thank you to all the members who ran for an executive board position and to all delegates who participated in voting.

The full executive board for 2020-2021 is as follows:

PRESIDENT
Sherry Hillier

VICE-PRESIDENT
Ernest Green

SECRETARY-TREASURER
Mike Tobin

RECORDING SECRETARY
Theresa Gillam

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
Theresa Antle
Nicole Dunphy
Jason Tarbett

TRUSTEES
Suzanne Hiron
Stacey Lucas
Eileen Morgan

Photo of man in grey suit with blue tie using a hammer to break open a piggy bank.

CUPE NL Submission on the Unlocking of Pensions

creynolds Article

On behalf of CUPE Newfoundland Labrador, the following submission was sent to the provincial government on September 25, 2020, as part of the public consultation on potential amendments to the Pension Benefits Act, 1997, otherwise known as the on the “unlocking of pensions”.

CUPE NL has long been opposed to relaxation of pension unlocking rules, and our union is opposed to these proposed amendments.
CUPE’s Position on the Proposed Amendments

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is again proposing to amend the Pensions Benefit Act “to facilitate unlocking pension funds for financial hardship.” These changes are being considered “for persons who have transferred funds from a registered pension plan into a locked-in retirement savings arrangement.” Government states these changes will not apply to active plan members, or defined benefit plan members. Presumably, this means the changes under consideration would apply to retired or eligible deferred members of defined contribution plans, or eligible members who have taken commuted values out of defined benefit plans and transferred them to locked-in vehicles.

CUPE Newfoundland Labrador (NL) notes that the Government consulted on this same topic in 2009 in the wake of a similarly severe financial crisis and did not make major changes to pension unlocking policy in the province.

CUPE NL has long been opposed to relaxation of pension unlocking rules, and our union is opposed to these proposed amendments. The existing provisions of the Pension Benefits Act are reasonable and flexible enough to assist persons truly in medical need of their pension funds.

Pension law in the province already permits plans to offer exceptions to the “locking in” requirements where a person has accumulated a small balance in the pension plan or if someone’s life expectancy is likely to be shortened considerably. CUPE NL believes the narrow exceptions to “locking in” are appropriate and should remain.

The proposed changes to enable “financial hardship” unlocking is intended by government to be a public policy response to the COVID-19 crisis. The government’s news release stated that “The COVID-19 pandemic led to massive lay-offs and job losses, creating financial pressures for many individuals. Since its onset, the Provincial Government has received numerous emails and calls from individuals with locked-in pensions seeking access to retirement assets to assist with financial hardship due to COVID-19.”

CUPE NL of course recognizes the financial hardships faced by many in the province due to COVID-19. Our union has strongly advocated for public income and social support programs for those facing various personal pressures due to the pandemic. COVID-19 is a shared, public crisis which demands fair, public solutions.

CUPE NL strongly opposes the government’s choice to pursue pension unlocking as a public policy response to the pandemic. We do not agree that it is good policy to facilitate a process where individuals should have to resort to draining their retirement savings to sustain themselves during a historic public health crisis. Governments at all levels are much better positioned to respond to the financial and other challenges which individuals are facing during the midst of the pandemic.

CUPE NL believed retirement savings unlocking was wrong before the pandemic and we continue to believe so. Governments, not individual retirement savings, should be sustaining those in need during the pandemic.

If the Newfoundland Government does not feel it has the capacity to provide increased supports itself, there is another solution. The Newfoundland Government should be vocal in public and active behind the scenes to advocate on behalf of Newfoundland and Labrador residents. We need increased Federal social transfers, additional COVID-19 emergency funds, and access to Federal borrowing guarantees and capacity to provide a critical backstop for NL residents in this time of crisis.

Failure to Identify Drawbacks in Consultation Process
In presenting this issue to the public for comment, Government has made no effort to outline any of the negative outcomes which could arise for individuals from a further loosening of unlocking rules.

Instead, the consultation is framed around individuals who apparently “feel government regulation is preventing them from having access to their money, which is usually required for some urgent financial reason.” The consultation then goes on to ask individuals how much of “their money” they would like access to and how quickly. There is no discussion of any of the serious downsides of pension unlocking.

Pension unlocking is a very complex issue with far-ranging outcomes for working people. In our view there are many downsides and complications which must be weighed in discussing this policy change. The government consultation has done nothing to identify these complications.

Specifically, the government has failed to discuss the following issues:

  1. The downsides of using pension funds for purposes for which they are not designed, and
  2. Fairness, Bias and Equity Issues this proposal raises.

We describe these issues in turn.

The Downside of Using Pension Funds for Purposes for Which They Are Not Designed
  • The value of funds withdrawn from a locked in account will decline significantly on withdrawal, as these withdrawals will be subject to a withholding tax.Based on the information in the consultation, individuals may not understand that their locked in retirement funds have always been sheltered from tax, and that any withdrawals will be subject to income tax.
  • Unlocking funds from a retirement account seriously reduces an individual’s ability to retire with security and dignity.Government suggests withdrawals would only be available to those experiencing “sufficient financial strain.” It is more likely workers and retirees will be experiencing such financial strain during recessions, when labour markets are more challenging. However, during such economic downturns, it is often the case that financial markets and asset prices are similarly suppressed.Facilitating more unlocking during economic downturns would effectively lock in these market losses permanently for individuals who make withdrawals. When markets do rebound, these individuals would also miss out on important asset price gains, as well as years of future market gains. Locking in a market downturn and missing out on any subsequent rebound will make the goal of achieving a decent retirement even more difficult to achieve.
  • Funds in locked-in accounts are generally protected from creditors, but withdrawals from those plans are likely not similarly protected. This can be an important loss of financial security associated with unlocking withdrawals, particularly for individuals experiencing financial strain.
Fairness, Conflict of Interest and Equity Issues This Proposal Raises
  • Spousal benefits, survivor benefit entitlement and pension income splitting rules that are used in separation and divorce negotiations in family breakdown situations will be negatively impaired.Pension plan members who spend deferred pension benefits now, may negatively affect their spouses, who, in the event of marriage breakdown would otherwise be entitled to spousal benefits and shared pension benefits. CUPE is also concerned about the possible future negative effect on dependent children.
  • In the questionnaire, the government asks if advice from a financial advisor or financial institution should be a pre-requisite to financial hardship unlocking. In our view, there are serious potential conflict of interest issues if these for-profit actors are given a legislated role in unlocking decisions.Financial industry professionals, who do not always have fiduciary duties to represent the best interests of their clients, may favour more unlocking, particularly if they are able to extract fees to manage the newly unlocked funds. CUPE sees this as an important conflict of interest that the government should carefully consider.
  • The government refers to pension regulations in several different provinces and asks if any of these provisions should be adopted in Newfoundland and Labrador. However, the province has simply linked to the text of the legislation or regulations in these jurisdictions without providing any plain language explanation of what these provisions say. In our view, this is not a real engagement on these issues, as the text of pension laws and regulations can often be very technical and difficult to understand.

The government has clearly failed to outline all the serious drawbacks that unlocking can provide. Instead, government has simply asked individuals via a short online questionnaire how much of “their money” they want access to, without engaging on the substantive issues. In our view, this will produce consultation responses which will likely favour more unlocking due to the consultation’s failure to properly outline all sides of this important issue.

Transparent and open government requires that on such a complex issue people are given enough information to make an informed decision. We suggest, given these shortcomings, the government re-start this flawed process with a properly fulsome discussion of the complicated issue of unlocking.
Conclusion

CUPE NL is opposed to further easing of pension unlocking rules. We are opposed to allowing more unlocking in normal times, and we are opposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our shared public health emergency demands a fair, public response from our governments. We should not be making public policy decisions that unfairly shift this responsibility to individuals, particularly at the expense of their future retirement security.

The government’s consultation process fails to properly outline many of the serious downsides to pension unlocking. In our view, this failure will severely limit the effectiveness and reliability of this consultation’s results. As such, the government should re-start this process, complete with a more fulsome discussion of all sides of this complicated issue.

CUPE thanks the government for the opportunity to participate in this consultation. We remain available to discuss these issues in more depth with government representatives at your convenience.

Sherry Hillier
President
CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador