Sherry Hillier and Gerry Quilty

CUPE NL Division and CUPE Local 1615 present strike fund cheques to Town of Placentia municipal workers

creynolds Collective Bargaining, News Release

Sherry Hillier and Gerry QuiltyCUPE Newfoundland Labrador President Sherry Hillier presented a $1,500 contribution today to striking municipal workers, members of CUPE 1761, who are employed by the Town of Placentia. As well, CUPE 1615 President Theresa Antle presented a $500 cheque to the strike fund on behalf of members at Memorial University.

“CUPE members across the province stand in solidarity with Placentia municipal workers in their struggle for a fairly negotiated collective agreement,” says Hillier. “Going on strike is a last resort and a difficult decision that these members had to make, but CUPE 1761 members felt that after 14 months, with no end in sight, they had no option. Hopefully, the employer will listen and return to bargaining a fair collective agreement.”

Former Placentia mayors Bill Horgan and Wayne Power Jr. with CUPE membersFormer Town of Placentia mayors, Wayne Power Jr. and Bill Hogan also stopped by the picket line today to offer words of encouragement and best wishes to the 15 members of CUPE 1761. During their tenures as mayor, collective agreements were successfully negotiated within a four to five-month period, as normally expected.

There has been little or no progress on issues surrounding wages, scheduling and work-life balance. The employer has proposed three years of zero wage increases followed by a one per cent increase in the fourth year of the contract. “We’re asking that our wages increase with the cost of living. We think that’s fair and reasonable,” says CUPE 1761 President Gerry Quilty. “Little or no wage increases mean ‘real wage losses’ that will impact our members, their families, and the local economy.”

“The employer has proposed creating a rotating weekend shift for the current five water treatment operators, where each operator would work the weekend every five weeks. However, the language proposed by the employer guarantees two consecutive days off each week,” says Mark Cunningham, CUPE national representative. “How can a person have two consecutive days off if they must work seven days in a row every fifth week? The employer needs to present clear language on scheduling.”

Negotiations began May 14, 2018, when both sides met to present their first proposal package.

Placentia municipal workers joined on picket line by CUPE NL president

gmcneil Collective Bargaining, News Release

PLACENTIA – Striking municipal workers in Placentia, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1761, were buoyed by a visit from CUPE Newfoundland Labrador President Sherry Hillier this morning.

“I am proud to stand with these hard-working members who did everything in their power to avoid withdrawing services,” Hillier says. “But when an employer won’t sit down and bargain, and then sends in hired consultants to further delay the process, the members felt they had no choice. This seemed to be the only way to get the employer back to the table.”

The local made the decision to withdraw services a few days before the mayor suggested a meeting on July 18, says CUPE Local 1761 President Gerry Quilty. “We would have been happy to meet before our chosen strike date of July 16, but the employer indicated once again they were not available. This is just one more example of how the employer refuses to take the bargaining process seriously.”

After more than 14 months of drawn-out negotiations there has been little or no progress on issues surrounding working conditions, such as scheduling, says Quilty. “For example, they have yet to explain how a proposed seven-day work schedule for public works will impact a department that has only five employees.”

The issue of wages has also not been resolved. “We are appalled at the zero wage increase being offered by the town,” says Quilty. “A zero wage increase is basically a pay cut. Our members go above and beyond to deliver quality services to the residents of Placentia, and they deserve better.”

CUPE municipal workers walk off the job in Town of Placentia

gmcneil Collective Bargaining, News Release

PLACENTIA – Municipal workers in the Town of Placentia, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1761, have walked off the job after 14 months of disappointing negotiations with their employer.

“The decision to withdraw services was not taken lightly,” says Local 1761 President Gerry Quilty . “But the members are completely frustrated with the bargaining process which has seen delay after delay and a total lack of commitment on the part of the employer to reach an agreement.”

The local has been in bargaining since May of 2018, and voted 100 percent in favour of strike on April 17. Quilty says the members were extremely reluctant to disappoint residents who rely on town services, but they do not feel respected and enough is enough. “We know the importance of maintaining services but obviously the mayor doesn’t,” he says.

CUPE National Representative Mark Cunningham says the fact the town hired outside consultants to do its bargaining resulted in unnecessary delays. “In the past we have bargained directly with town officials,” he says, “and in fact,  in the last two rounds of bargaining — in 2012 and 2015 — we were able to conclude negotiations in 19 weeks or less.”

CUPE 1761 represents 15 workers employed as clerical staff, arena attendants, maintenance/water treatment operators, labourers and municipal enforcement officers.

Kyung Kyu Yang Executive Director, Education Center 'Wum" Korean Public Service and Transport Workers' Union

Letter from Kyungkyu Yang of the Korean Public Service and Transport Workers’ Union

creynolds Article

Kyung Kyu Yang Executive Director, Education Center 'Wum" Korean Public Service and Transport Workers' UnionThe following letter is from Kyungkyu Yang, KPTU Education Center ‘Wum’ Director and KPTU Advisor, to the members of CUPE Newfoundland Labrador. He was a special guest speaker at CUPE NL’s first-ever Global Justice Conference held in May 2019. 

Download a copy of the letter from KPTU.

Learn more about the Korean Public Service and Transport Workers’ Union at .


CUPE public sector employees will mobilize in St. John’s ahead of the next round of bargaining

creynolds Collective Bargaining, News Release

Media advisory 

Members of CUPE Newfoundland Labrador will descend on St. John’s Friday, May 31 to attend strike school, with components which will include a march to Confederation Building and practicing maintaining an effective picket line.

CUPE NL President Sherry Hillier says, “Our members will start mobilizing now. We will insist on fair and equitable negotiations in 2020. We have fought hard over decades for our collective agreements. We refuse to accept concessions. We will insist that this government treats our members with respect. We will be heard. We will have boots on the ground.”

What: Rally at Confederation Building

When: May 31 at 11:45 a.m.

Mobilization Campaign Slogan Contest

creynolds Collective Bargaining

The CUPE NL Division is sponsoring a contest to create our campaign slogan for the next round of bargaining.

The winning local will receive two iPads!

One for the member who created the winning slogan. And one for the Local to use as they see fit.

All CUPE NL locals are invited to participate. Even if they’re not part of the master bargaining sector.

With the assistance of our staff communications rep, the Division Executive will choose the winning slogan.

The winning local will be announced at our upcoming Strike School.*

Send your entries to Sherry Hillier at

All entries shall be submitted by Friday, May 24, 2019.

*For details about the Strike School, please contact your Local Executive. 

Four issues to discuss with your local candidates

creynolds Election


What’s at Stake? Election 2019

May 16 is Election Day!

The NDP offers a better choice for the people of our province. It is a choice that puts people first. Priorities in the NDP platform include fixing healthcare staffing shortages, increasing the minimum wage to $15, closing the gender wage gap, making post-secondary education affordable, creating a regional public transit system, and democratic reform.

The platform promises to work for the people of the province by making everyday life more affordable and improving health care and seniors care. Read the NDP platform at

Support your local NDP candidate by volunteering. For more information visit their website at

Four issues to discuss with candidates

Training and Recruitment of LPNS and PCAs

Both the Eastern and Western Health Regions are facing a shortage of qualified licensed practical nurses and personal care attendants. Because of these shortages, hospital and long-term care administrators have placed restrictions on workers’ annual leave, sick leave and other time off requirements. This situation has created unhealthy workplaces, where LPNS and PCAs are overworked and stressed. Workers are concerned about meeting the needs of patients in a timely fashion.

The province desperately needs more LPNS and PCAs. Unions are in discussions with employers about the creation of additional courses to train new LPNs and PCAs, and about improving recruitment efforts.

Ask the candidates in your district about solutions to address recruitment and training of LPNs and PCAs.

$15 and Fairness

More than a third of workers earning less than $15 per hour are women aged 25 to 64. And 80% of them are not students. It’s time for bold action. A $15 minimum wage is a concrete way to help reduce growing inequality, the rise of precarious work, and help move families and individuals out of poverty.

The public has been told that higher minimum wages kill jobs, but in fact there’s growing evidence that increasing the minimum wage helps create good jobs. Also, increases in the minimum wage put more money in the pockets of working people, that will be spent in the local economy.

Ask the candidates in your district to support a $15 minimum wage.

P3 deals and the right to know how our money is spent

Public-private partnerships waste scarce public dollars and turn over ownership and control of our health facilities to private for-profit companies. The Ball Government is now using seven P3 deals to build our public infrastructure, while providing sweet deals to consultants, corporate executives and private investors. We need to stop the drain on our finances.

There should be no secrets when public money is spent on public infrastructure and services. We have the right to know.

Ask the candidates in your district to stop the use of wasteful and secretive P3 deals.

Diversity in representation

The Newfoundland and Labrador government should implement policies and legislation to make appointments to agencies, boards and commissions more inclusive.

Selection and hiring practices should remove barriers and support under-represented populations, such as Indigenous peoples, women, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ2+ and racialized groups.

Ask the candidates in your district what measures they support to make the province’s agencies, boards and commissions more inclusive.


To All Newfoundlanders and Labradorians:

I believe Dwight Ball’s Liberal government is not listening to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

Time and again, the choices made by the Ball government have been out of touch with the needs of workers, their families and our communities.

The Ball government deserves to be defeated.

On Thursday, May 16 you have the opportunity to vote for progressive NDP candidates who will stand up for working people and their families.

Let’s stop flipping between red and blue, expecting different results.

Let’s elect a new government that works for all of us!

Sherry Hillier
President, CUPE Newfoundland Labrador

Follow CUPE Newfoundland Labrador for updates

Facebook: CUPENLFD

Get a copy of this flyer





P3 deals and the right to know how our money is spent – public town hall May 6

creynolds News Release

A public town hall meeting will be held on Monday, May 6, from 7 to 9 p.m. to be held at the Greenwood Inn & Suites in Corner Brook. The topic of discussion will be the Ball Government’s controversial use of public-private partnerships (P3s) to build public infrastructure. Special guest speakers will include Angella MacEwen, CUPE national economist.

P3s are a type of privatization in which the private sector forms a consortium that will design, build, finance, operate and maintain each facility. Eventually, what we call the “P3 effect” will kick in and hospital administrators will be forced to make cuts. But the only parts of the budget that are not tied up in contracts for 30 years are the number of beds and staff.

Why are private companies financing these projects? Why hand over maintenance and operation to private interests? What are the interest rates we are borrowing at? What are taxpayers really on the hook for?

“There is a lack of access to information, hiding the true costs of these deals,” says CUPE NL President Sherry Hillier. “Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans should demand new disclosure requirements and reporting standards for P3 contracts.”

The presentation will be followed by a question and answer period.

Town of Placentia municipal workers vote 100% in favour of strike action

creynolds News Release

On April 17, the members of CUPE 1761, municipal workers employed by the Town of Placentia, voted 100 per cent in favour of a strike. Fourteen of the fifteen members were in attendance.

“Now that the membership has voted in favour of going on strike the workers could go out at any time, if necessary, or be locked out by their employer,” says CUPE National Representative Ed White.

“After we reviewed the employer’s latest offer, the members were understandably disappointed,” says CUPE 1761 President Gerry Quilty. “The members are frustrated with what they see as unnecessary delays by the employer.”

“In this round of bargaining, the Town hired outside consultants, who are not from Placentia, and requested a conciliator be appointed to the negotiations,” says White. “Using consultants to do their bargaining has been a waste of time and money.”

Historically, bargaining of a new contract between the municipal workers and their employer took place directly with town officials and the union’s bargaining committee. In 2012 and again in 2015, the two sides exchanged four proposals and completed negotiations in 19 weeks or less.

Eleven proposals have been exchanged and 46 weeks have passed, so far, since negotiations began in May 2018.

CUPE NL President Sherry Hillier also attended the membership meeting on Wednesday. “Local 1761 has the full support of CUPE Newfoundland Labrador’s 6,300 members. These workers deliver quality public services and deserve a fairly negotiated collective agreement. We’ll be there to stand side-by-side with our members.”

CUPE 1761 represents 15 municipal workers employed as clerical staff, arena attendants, maintenance/water treatment operators, labourers and municipal enforcement officers.