Budget passes on responsibilities and debt to future generations in Newfoundland and Labrador

creynolds News Release

The Ball government’s 2019 budget does not address many of the problems Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are facing right now,” says Sherry Hillier, president of CUPE Newfoundland Labrador. “Instead, it passes the responsibility of providing public services and debt to future generations.”

“It does not even keep up with inflation when it comes to funding health care,” says Hillier. “I’m very disappointed that it does not address the needs of health care workers, who are exhausted and working short-staffed. As well, our aging population is growing and this budget does not address their needs.”

CUPE NL is alarmed at the dangerous road the province is taking by building privately-contracted health care facilities. “We agree that we need to replace worn out facilities and we need more long-term care beds, but not in the expensive and wasteful way that the Ball government has taken by using public-private partnership deals,” says Hillier.

“Publicly-owned and operated is the way we have always built our infrastructure before this government. It works best and costs less. Dwight Ball is locking us into 30-year contracts that will have our children paying for expensive private contracts for years to come,” states Hillier.

“P3 projects have a track record of going well over budget and delivering less than what was promised. Because they wind up costing more
than publicly-built facilities, they usually result in cuts to jobs and services,” says Hillier.

“This budget also failed to address issues staff are facing in group homes and transition houses. Workers are overworked and exhausted,” says Hillier. “There is some welcome new money for Iris Kirby House, but nothing for the rest of the sector.

Know your rights

creynolds Fact Sheet, Health and Safety

All Canadian workers have these four rights to health and safety in the workplace.

The Right to Know

Workers have the right to know what health and safety hazards are related to their work. It is an employer’s legal obligation to tell workers of any hazards they may encounter, the likelihood of being exposed, and the severity of harm if they are exposed. Additionally, employers must ensure that workers know how to keep themselves safe when they deal with hazards that cannot be avoided.

The Right to Participate

Workers have the right to participate in decision-making that impacts their health and safety. This is done by workers selecting a union health and safety representative to discuss health and safety issues with the employer, or by having worker committee members on the Health and Safety Committee. The right to participate also means that workers must report hazards they become aware of to their supervisor, health and safety representative or committee member.

The Right to Refuse

Workers have the right to refuse to perform work that they believe is unsafe either for themselves or for their co-workers. While procedures and circumstances around the right to refuse may be different between provinces and jurisdictions, just about all workers have the legal right to say no to dangerous work.

The Right to No Reprisal

All jurisdictions have language in their laws that makes it illegal for employers to punish workers when they are following the occupational health and safety laws in good faith. This includes reporting hazards, participating on a committee, and exercising the right to refuse dangerous work. This is an important right because a worker who fears punishment for protecting their health and safety will be less likely to participate in the employer’s system.

Download a copy of the four rights poster.

Read the guide to refusing unsafe work.

For more information, please visit cupe.ca/health-and-safety.

CUPE declares impasse in talks with Town of Placentia

creynolds Newsletter

Negotiations between the Town of Placentia and municipal employees represented by CUPE Local 1761 have reached an impasse. The local has been attempting to reach a negotiated settlement with the help of a conciliation officer from the provincial department of labour. Talks broke off Wednesday, March 20, 2019.

CUPE National Representative Derrick Barrett says, “We have been trying to bargain a fair collective agreement with the employer since May 2018. Yesterday [March 20] talks broke off and we have asked the conciliation officer to file his report with the Minister.”

The local membership is extremely frustrated with what it sees as unnecessary delays in the bargaining process.

Historically, bargaining took place directly with town officials and the local’s bargaining committee. However, this time around the Town is using an outside consulting firm, which has resulted in unnecessary delays and additional costs to the residents of Placentia.

Barrett says, “We will be meeting with our membership early next week to bring them up to date. From there, the members will decide what their next course of action will be.”

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

JES Classification Appeal

creynolds Article, News Release

The following notice is to update CUPE members about the JES classification appeal. If you have any questions, please your Local and CUPE staff representative.

Our records indicate that you wish to appeal the decision of Classification and Organizational Design Division with respect to the Review of your position. Please ensure you read all of the email below as the process has now been determined and it may affect your appeal or parts thereof.

Enclosed please find:

  1. 1)  a copy of your appeal file with all pertinent information prepared as a result of the classification review for your review and comment within 14 days of receiving this file;
  2. 2)  a copy of the new Classification Appeal Form; and
  3. 3)  a summary of the Classification Appeal Process.

The complete JES Classification Appeal process can be viewed in your collective agreement and additional information can be found at www.psc.gov.nl.ca/psc/commission

The appeal process is restricted to those Factors identified as being challenged and sufficient reasoning (rationale) provided. The appeal of specific factor(s) shall not be accepted based job content information which differs from that reviewed by Classification & Organizational Design Division. It is very important to be specific with the rationale for each Factor you are appealing using job content information from your PDQ.

For example:

Compensable Factor


Degree Rating



Development & Leadership


The degree should be 2 because I provide on the job training to summer students and work term students. On page 26 of my PDQ, under Development and Leadership, Question 2, I stated that I provided on the job training to university students on work terms. The application guidelines for Development and leadership states that for degree 2, the reference to student employees includes co-op students. University work term students are co-op students.

NOTE: Remember to provide a full and complete answer as the Classification Appeal Adjudicator may render a decision based on the information provided.

If you did not identify the factor(s) being challenged and provide sufficient reasoning, please complete PART 3 of the enclosed Form and submit same to classificationappeals@gov.nl.ca within 14 days of receiving this communication.

If you are satisfied that you have specifically identified the factor(s) being challenged and given the rationale for each factor, no further action is required as it will be assumed you are satisfied that you have met the requirements for appeal if Part 3 of the new form is not received within 14 days.

Some Highlights of the JES Appeal Process include the following:

  1. 1)  The request for appeal must identify which factor(s) is/are being challenged and the associated rationale for each factor(s). The appeal process is restricted to those factors identified as being challenged and sufficient reasoning provided.
  2. 2)  The Classification Appeal Adjudicator shall only consider information that was reviewed by Classification & Organizational Design Division. If the job content is different from that reviewed by Classification & Organizational Design Division, the employee or group of employees shall first approach Classification and Organizational Design Division seeking further review on the basis of the new circumstances involved.The job content information reviewed by Classification & Organizational Design Division is that found in the PDQ.
  3. 3)  The Classification Appeal Adjudicator may render decision on the written documentation provided or may hold hearings if deemed necessary.

Download a printable copy of this notice here.

Newsletter – March 2019

creynolds Newsletter

Download a printable copy to share with your local and members: CUPE NL Newsletter March 2019 (PDF).

Download a text-only version of the newsletter (Word): click here.

Put copies on your bulletin boards!

Download a printable copy to share with your local and members: CUPE NL Newsletter March 2019 (PDF).

Download a text-only version of the newsletter (Word): click here.

Sherry Hilier

CUPE Newfoundland Labrador Celebrates International Women’s Day

creynolds News Release

International Women’s Day has been celebrated for over 100 years and is rooted in the labour movement. Union’s have long been on the frontline of the fight for gender equality with CUPE leading the way in Canada. In 1975, the United Nations declared March 8 as International Women’s Day.

Sherry HilierThere is still much work to be done to achieve gender equality. In almost every aspect of life, women continue to experience discrimination. Women continue to earn less than men and they experience gender-based violence at work and at home far more often than men. Women are still expected to be the caregivers for children and parents and carry most of the burden of household work, even when they work outside of the home full time. The situation for racialized women is even worse. In addition to the discrimination they face as women, they have the added layer of racial discrimination. And if you’re an Indigenous woman, you are dealing with the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women, as well as the lack of real change as a result of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations. Indigenous women are among the most disadvantaged in our society.

Sherry Hillier, president of CUPE Newfoundland Labrador, says, “On this International Women’s Day, CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador is committed to the struggle for gender equality. We will not take one step back! CUPE and other unions have played a key role in advancing the issue of gender equality. Collective agreements contain provisions to eliminate or alleviate discrimination. As a woman union leader, I am personally dedicated to the cause of equality. On this day we celebrate the accomplishments of women while keeping always in our minds the road ahead. There is lots to be done, and we will not stop until all Canadians are equal in every aspect.”

In Newfoundland and Labrador, the situation is dire. Although the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives report “The Best and Worst Places to be a Woman in Canada 2019: The Gender Gap in Canada’s 26 Biggest Cities”, ranks St. John’s second of the 26 cities studied, the gender wage gap is the highest in Canada, according to a Conference Board of Canada 2017 report.

“I celebrate our accomplishments on this day and am happy to acknowledge that our capital city is a great place for women to live, but it is time for women to earn at the same rate as men. We have been fighting for pay equity far too long. And it is time for all women to feel safe at work, at home and in public,” says Sherry Hillier. “CUPE Newfoundland Labrador looks forward to assisting our members, and all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, to achieve a truly equitable Newfoundland and Labrador.”

CUPE NL Global Justice Conference May 4 – 5

creynolds Event

We are pleased to announce the first ever CUPE NL Global Justice Conference will take place in May, prior to the opening of our Division Convention!

May 4 and 5, 2019
Greenwood Inn & Suites
Corner Brook, NL

Building International Solidarity: ‘Come from Away, Here to Stay’

The theme of the conference is International Solidarity and Migrant Workers Rights. We will be having a mix of speakers, workshops, panels and film presentations to facilitate the discussion amongst attendees about the current and historical struggles of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and workers in other countries.

The main focus of our conference will be migration and migrants. Why do people move, and what challenges do they face in a new home? What as trade unionists can we do to make migrants feel at home on Newfoundland and Labrador, and to support migrants at home and abroad?

Conference Objectives

To expose members to workers’ struggles around the world and to highlight our shared experiences of migration, union busting, unemployment, poverty and precarity.

To provide information about CUPE’s international solidarity work and to discuss how members can support and advance this work in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Who should attend?

Any member with an interest in global solidarity and migrant issues. We especially encourage locals to approach members who may be migrants or immigrants themselves.  We want to share our stories of migration and its challenges – whether it is working out West or moving to NL for study or work.

There is no limit on the number of members a Local can register.

Conference Details

Registration fee is $50.00 per delegate.

Registration will take place at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 4, 2019.

The conference will begin on Saturday at 9 a.m.

It will end on Sunday at 12 p.m.

Greenwood Inn & Suites
48 West Road
Corner Brook, NL
Tel: (709) 634-5831 or (800) 399-5381
Email: greenwoodcb@whg.com

For more information and the conference, please contact:

Keir Hiscock
Global Justice Committee Chairperson
Email: khiscock@cupe1615.ca

CUPE Indigenous Members Gathering Sept. 5-6

creynolds Event

CUPE Nova Scotia, CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador, CUPE Prince Edward Island and CUPE New Brunswick are hosting an inaugural gathering of Indigenous members from across the Atlantic and Maritimes regions.

CUPE Indigenous Members Gathering
September 5-6, 2019
Truro, Nova Scotia (Wagobagitik, Mi’kma’ki)

For more information on the gathering and to participate, please email indigenous@cupe.ca before June 1.

To download a copy of the flyer click here.

Mayor Bernie Power, Take your head out of the sand

creynolds News Release

CUPE Local 1761, representing municipal workers employed with the Town of Placentia, launched a new radio and print ad today.

Listen to the radio ad

CUPE represents municipal workers who provide important public services to the residents of Placentia.

We’re focused on achieving a fair contract for our members and the Town of Placentia.

We wish the Mayor was too.

He needs to stop delaying negotiations. Stop trying to strip away our contract.

Every provision is something that bargaining teams of the past have fought hard to achieve.

We will not bargain backward.

Mayor Power: send your negotiators back to the table and settle this contract.

A message from the members of CUPE Local 1761.




Calling all CUPE locals: Help support the Community Food Sharing Association

creynolds News Release

We are challenging all CUPE locals to assist us in supporting the Community Food Sharing Association! CUPE Newfoundland Labrador has pledged to donate $1,000.

Please consider making a donation to the CFSA warehouse that was recently claimed by fire, destroying hundreds of thousands of dollars of food.

To donate to this worthy cause, please click here.

Thank you,
Sherry Hillier
President, CUPE NL


About the Community Food Sharing Association (CFSA)

It’s natural in a privileged society to think hunger can’t affect our community. But it does. Today, right now, in Newfoundland and Labrador, there are thousands of people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. They are adults living in your neighbourhood, in your community. Many of them are working in low-paying jobs as they struggle to make ends meet. They are children distracted by hunger on the bus or in school with your children.

The CFSA is the pivotal agency for food distribution to the hungry in Newfoundland and in Labrador. From their St. John’s office and Mount Pearl warehouse, a five staff (with the help of hundreds of caring volunteers and community-minded businesses) manage the collection and distribution of food through 54 food banks to 27,000 children, women, and men throughout Newfoundland and Labrthe province. To learn more about the good work done by the CFSA, visit the website at cfsa.nf.net.