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

For more information and the conference, please contact:

Keir Hiscock
Global Justice Committee Chairperson

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 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

Opinion: Doubling CPP contributions is crucial

creynolds News Release, Opinion

The following letter to the editor by CUPE NL President Sherry Hillier appeared in The Telegram on January 25, 2019.

Russell Wangersky’s column on Jan. 18, entitled “Businesses should share the pension pain”, was quite thoughtful and offered a concrete suggestion that is very appealing – obligating employers that have no workplace plan to pay “double or triple” the employee contribution rate to the Canada Pension Plan. For many years, CUPE and the labour movement have been calling for much the same – to double CPP benefits for all employers.

As we pointed out repeatedly between 2009 and 2016, the doubling of benefits would not actually require a doubling of contribution rates. Rather, the roughly five per cent of payroll currently flowing from employers would only need to increase to about eight per cent, alongside a similar increase to employees’ contribution.

In the end, the partial improvement that was agreed in 2016 will only involve a one per cent of payroll increase for each “side” and a 33 per cent increase in the benefit level. While modest, this improvement was important, as this columnist points
out, especially for workers with no pension plan at work.

Canadians had an opportunity to realize Wangersky’s proposal back in 2016 when the federal and provincial governments reached agreement on a plan to expand CPP in this limited manner. Had they followed through on the labour movement’s more ambitious proposal, we would now have a pension arrangement that would be more efficient and extend coverage much more broadly.

It is still possible to do this, either through returning to the labour movement’s “benefit doubling” proposal, or through some combination of that, along with expansion of the Old Age Security benefit.

These changes will be crucial, as the Ball government and private employers continue to attack pension plans. We hope the federal and provincial government take
up these recommendations.

Fund the Future – Provincial Day of Action February 6

creynolds Post-Secondary Education

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

On Wednesday, February 6, the Canadian Federation of Students- Newfoundland and Labrador (CFS- NL) will be holding a Provincial Day of Action demanding increased funding to post-secondary education in the province.

RSVP for the march on Facebook

We are a proud supporter of the “Fund the Future” campaign and the upcoming Provincial Day of Action, and we encourage all members to participate in events happening at campuses across the province.

Be sure to sign the postcard.

Or text FUNDTHEFUTURE to +17098003937.

Visit the website for more information.

Through cooperation on the Provincial Day of Action, and beyond, we can win investment in public education that will ensure a more just and equitable society for everyone in our province.

In solidarity,
Sherry Hillier
President, CUPE Newfoundland Labrador

Join students on our campuses across the province in fighting for:

Reinstatement of the needs-based grants program
In the last five years funding to grants and subsidies has been cut by over 35 million dollars. Newfoundland and Labrador was once a model for accessible education with the full needs-based grants program, which allowed more students from vulnerable economic positions to attend post-secondary institutions without high-interest loans.

Increased funding to the College of the North Atlantic and Memorial University
Over the past several budgets there have been successive cuts to the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour. These funding cuts have resulted in an overall reduction in the quality of education that is being offered at both institutions with program closures, job loss, reduced supports, and increased fees.

Progressively reduce education fees to the point of elimination
Regardless of where you are born, how old you are or the background you come from, everyone should be able to access higher education and skills training without the barrier of cost or the fear of incurring debt.


Radio ad: Placentia municipal workers are there when you need them

creynolds Bargaining Update, Collective Bargaining

The members of CUPE Local 1761, municipal workers employed by the Town of Placentia, ran a radio ad from January 10 to 16, 2019.

Placentia municipal workers are there when you need them.

When you call the town office for help with water issues, pothole repairs or account inquiries, you are benefitting from our work.

We’re proud to serve the residents of Placentia, but a zero wage increase is a step backward. It takes hard work and dedication to provide the best services possible to the citizens of our town.

All we want in return is a decent wage, positive working conditions and respect at the bargaining table.

A message from the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1761.

Listen to the ad

Provincial employees bear the burden of poor fiscal management says CUPE

gmcneil Uncategorized

ST. JOHN’S – 4500 public sector workers represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees have ratified a contract with the provincial government, but that doesn’t mean they are happy. After many long months of bargaining CUPE members accepted the deal which contains zero wage increases and eliminates severance packages.

“Taking severance away from people who are retiring or who have to leave a job for any reason is downright shameful,” says CUPE national representative Dawn Learning. “It’s hard enough for seniors to get by. Now people leaving the workforce will lose the financial support they used to count on as they transition to life without a paycheque.”

Learning says the contract will be hardest on new hires, who will not only lose severance but will pay more for group insurance benefits.

“We are very disappointed that this government has chosen to balance its books on the backs of workers,” says CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador President Sherry Hillier, “And then turn around and brag about how much money they are saving. Taking $25 million out of the pockets of retirees is not something to crow about.”

The new agreement covers CUPE members who work in health care, school boards, public libraries, housing, group homes, transition homes and Government House. It expires in 2020.

CUPE NL calls for transparency legislation governing public-private partnerships

gmcneil News Release, Privatization

CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador released several recommendations to government this week, calling for transparency and accountability legislation to govern public-private partnerships. The recommendations are based on research and discussion coming out of a panel discussion on P3s and transparency held in St. John’s on November 14, 2018.

“With the government signing contracts for a P3 hospital and long-term care facility, we are concerned about the lack of transparency in disclosure and reporting,” says CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador President Sherry Hillier. “There should be no secrets when public money is spent on public infrastructure and services.”Read More