My name is Jason Fenske and I am your current CUPE Local 46 President. For those of you that don’t know me I will give you a brief insight into my career.
I started working for the City of Medicine Hat in November of 2004 as a Pump Operator for what was then called Water and Sewer Dept.
We had moved to Medicine Hat area because it was such a beautiful and clean City. Parks were green and manicured, streets were always clean, there were flowers and flower beds all over City properties, weather was beautiful, and the City was vibrant. There were care homes, retirement villas, libraries, museums, concert venues, and affordable housing. We had family and friends in Redcliff which was also clean and vibrant. Neither location was too big for a Saskatchewan country boy to adapt to, but they were big enough to supply more than any person could ever want in a city. Taxes and utilities were low then, and we had an advantage of being the Gas City.
Of course, some things have changed over the years, the gas fields are mostly sold off, some of the advantages are gone, budgets have changed the services we can provide, but we still have beautiful communities. I am proud of how CUPE members keep trying to do more with less to keep Medicine Hat and Redcliff beautiful and functional. Both outside and inside workers continue to serve the public every day and make our communities great places to live.
The pension was the main reason I took the job, I had seen many in my family try to retire with limited means and we wanted better than that. When I got my first pay stub I saw the union deductions and decided to figure out what they all were for. I attended my first Union meeting in January 2005 to see where those dues were going. I had also been hired into a position that was undergoing a JJEC review so wanted to ask what that process was like. Everyone was welcoming and I decided to attend all the meetings I could as I learned quickly that this was where many decisions were made that would affect me and my career.
By the time September 2005 rolled around I was comfortable asking questions and speaking at meetings. I was nominated for the Executive and elected in April 2005.
I have held many positions in CUPE Local 46 over the years and have learned something from all of them. Outside of Local 46, I have been the Treasurer for the Alberta Municipal Employees Committee for close to 15 years, and sit on the CUPE Alberta Division Executive.
I spent many years learning the roles, building relationships, and networking before I decided it was time to run as the President of CUPE Local 46 and have been in this role since April 2022.
When I’m not working, I enjoy fly fishing, camping, travelling, and playing music. A fun fact that many of you don’t know; I play a 5-string banjo. Well, I try anyhow!
That is my short, quick self-introduction. If you ever want to talk or need anything from CUPE Local 46, just reach out and I will do my best to help you out.
Hello, I’m Cori Topliffe and I am your current CUPE Local 46 Vice-President. I grew up in Central Alberta, and spent time in the Medicine Hat/Cypress County area every summer visiting my Aunt and Uncle on their ranch. When my husband, and I were looking at where we should move, the idea of re-locating to this area was not a hardship. I started with the City of Medicine Hat in 2009, as a 911 Communications Operator, after working in the insurance restoration industry for 10+ years.
After many years of being a dispatcher, I was promoted to a Team-Lead position in January 2022. Being a Team-Lead has taken me off the dispatch floor, doing more teaching, training, and skill development within the department; as well as other various administrative duties. Early in my career I was interested in the happenings of the Union, and where my union dues went; but didn’t actually get involved until our Local helped us with some issues/concerns in 911. I was elected as your VP in April 2022, and this role has had a large learning curve for me, but I have loved every moment so far.
I am also a member of our Joint Job Evaluation Committee (JJEC) which is one of many committees we have within our local. This committee is comprised of members from the union (inside/outside workers), as well as members from Labour Relations, and 1 department manager. Collectively, we are responsible for assessing and evaluating job descriptions and wages for all union positions in the City of Medicine Hat.
My husband and I are avid lovers of the outdoors. We really enjoy hiking, camping, and fly fishing in the mountains. I cannot tell you how many hours I have spent clearing my mind, while standing in cold mountain water…there is nothing better!! I look forward to getting to know more of you during my tenure as VP.
Chief Shop Stewards
Cypress View Foundation
Medicine Hat Community Housing Society
Medicine Hat Public Library
Town of Redcliff