Updates from CUPE National

Greetings, fellow members of CUPE Local 46 (and visitors to our website). We’re pleased to share the following information with you from CUPE National.

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Highlights of the December 2019 National Executive Board meeting

Distribute the information throughout your local to keep your members up-to-date on what’s happening within the union.

 

National President’s Report and National Secretary-Treasurer’s Report to the December 2019 National Executive Board meeting

Circulate the reports to members of the executive and make them available to interested members for their information.

 

Notice – 2020 Trustees’ Report Package

New for 2020! The Trustees’ Report Package will be sent electronically in the coming weeks. The e-mail will be sent to the Local Secretary-Treasurer as well as your local’s default contact with links to the CUPE website in order to download the necessary documents.

Monitor your inbox to ensure your local complies with Article B.3.12 of the CUPE Constitution.

 

Letter and materials – April 28th National Day of Mourning for Workers Killed or Injured at the Workplace

Circulate to members of your executive and order materials. Show your support by prominently displaying the materials in your workplaces. Observe a moment of silence and lower flags to half-mast.

Fair Deal Panel in Medicine Hat (Friday, January 17)

The Fair Deal Panel is hosting a meeting in Medicine Hat on Friday, January 17th, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. in the Auditorium at the Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede Grounds. The Fair Deal Panel’s mandate is to listen “to Albertans and their ideas for the Alberta’s future.” (Fair Deal Panel Mandate Letter from Premier Kenney)

The meeting provides the opportunity for union members and interested individuals to have their say on several topics that matter to them and, as such, CUPE Local 46 would like to encourage all interested individuals to attend.

The Fair Deal Panel will be discussing topics such as:

– Creating an Alberta Pension Plan by withdrawing from the Canada Pension Plan.

– Opting out of federal cost share programs with full compensation, such as the federal government’s proposed pharmacare program.

More information is available on the Fair Deal Panel webpage. Preregistration is available at Eventbrite : Fair Deal Panel tickets.

Seating is limited and requires preregistration.

Are you a Medicine Hat & Area business owner? Consider offering a discount to CUPE Local 46 members!

Business owners: if you or someone you know in Medicine Hat and Area are interested in potentially generating new and/or more business while also offering a discount to CUPE Local 46 members, we’d like to get in contact with you!

We welcome any unique offers for our CUPE Local 46 members — from savings at restaurants to retail discounts – anything is appreciated. If this interests you, we would welcome your suggestions (Website Contact Form).

Thank you & Season’s Greetings

The CUPE Local 46 Executive would like to thank everyone who attended our Annual Retirement Christmas Banquet & Dance on Saturday, December 14th, and would also like to wish everyone Season’s Greetings and a Happy New Year!

Thanks for all your dedicated work this past year. Enjoy the holidays!

National Day of Remembrance & Action on Violence Against Women (Friday, December 6th)

In partnership with the Medicine Hat Women’s Shelter Society, the Medicine Hat & District Labour Council and the Students’ Association of Medicine Hat College, CUPE Local 46 would like to invite and encourage all members (both current and previous) to participate in the National Day of Remembrance & Action on Violence Against Women events at Centennial Hall (Medicine Hat College) on Friday, December 6th.

What’s Happening to My Pension? : a discussion about recent pension changes and how these may impact members of CUPE Local 46

Image located at: https://pixabay.com/photos/penny-pennies-coins-coin-money-164543/

User: PublicDomainPictures @ Pixabay.com

If you’re a member of CUPE Local 46, there’s a good chance that, when you started your position in Medicine Hat and area, you spoke with someone in Human Resources. Part of that conversation focused on the Local Authorities Pension Plan (LAPP). Specifically, you would’ve been told that you were now a contributing member of LAPP.

In the United Conservative Party’s election platform document, Getting Alberta Back to Work, the only mention of pension changes is found on page 99 where the UCP states that they will “End Alberta’s agreement to increase the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) payroll tax by $1,624 per family”. Additionally, when the Honourable Travis Toews, President of Treasury Board and UCP Minister of Finance, delivered the Budget Address: A plan for jobs and the economy on October 24, 2019, there was no mention of changes to Albertans pensions, something that the 2019-23 Government of Alberta strategic plan similarly avoids.

While the Budget 2019 Highlights document contains one mention of pensions in reference to “consolidating investment funds managed in the public sector . . . [to] protect the funds and returns to pensioners” (p. 10; bolding mine), the 2019-23 fiscal plan contains forty-eight. This includes references to reversing “changes by the previous government . . . to enhance governance provisions for public sector pension plans” (p. 113; bolding mine) and how the UCP “government intends to reverse the option of public sector pension plans leaving AIMCo as a fund manager” (p. 120; bolding mine).

In December 2018, the former Alberta government passed legislation that would “transition public sector pension plans to a joint governance structure and give more control to employer and employee groups” (Joint governance of public sector pension plans; bolding mine). This was an important change… a positive advance for public sector employees because, as former CUPE Alberta Division President Marle Roberts quipped, “In the past, when the government wanted to change our plan, usually for the worst, they could do it with the stroke of a pen. No more.” (Pension reform introduced by NDP governmentbolding mine)

Bill 22: Reform of Agencies, Boards and Commissions and Government Enterprises Act, 2019 ($), was introduced on November 18th and received Royal Assent on November 22nd, effectively reversing the changes mentioned above. During this time, a jointly-penned opinion piece (signed by the presidents of the Alberta Federation of Labour, the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, the United Nurses of Alberta, the Health Sciences Association of Alberta, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE Alberta Divisions), and the Alberta Teachers’ Association) was published by several major newspapers and other media agencies. The opinion piece can be found at the following links:

Opinion: Hands off our retirement funds, say Alberta union leaders (November 21; Calgary Herald)

Opinion: Albertans’ retirement funds don’t belong to Kenney gov’t (November 22; Edmonton Journal)

For the most accurate information on what’s happening with your LAPP pension, we suggest getting in touch with LAPP directly, either by phone (1-877-649-5277) or by sending them an email at memberservices@lapp.ca.

If you have concerns about the changes, please consider contacting your local Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA):

Mr. Drew Barnes (United Conservative Party), MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat

Constituency Office
Trans Canada Place #5
1299 Trans Canada Way
Medicine Hat, AB
Canada T1B 1H9

Phone:403.528.2191   Fax:403.528.2278   Email: Cypress.MedicineHat@assembly.ab.ca

Ms. Michaela Glasgo (United Conservative Party), MLA for Brooks-Medicine Hat

Satellite Office
537 – 4th Street SE
Medicine Hat, AB
Canada T1A 0K7
Phone: 403.527.5622
Email: Brooks.MedicineHat@assembly.ab.ca

 

Other Websites and Documents that were accessed:

Government of Alberta – Budget Documents (accessed 4 December 2019)

Government of Alberta – Budget 2019 : a plan for jobs and the economy (accessed 4 December 2019)

Budget Low Lights — How Jason Kenney’s Budget Hurts Everyone

The Fall 2019 Budget has a number of implications for many Albertans. CUPE AB’s Communication team has put together a list of many of the ways it will be affecting us, our family and friends, our neighbours and communities. Original Text here

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Budget low lights – how Jason Kenney’s budget hurts everyone

During the provincial election, Jason Kenney promised to ‘maintain or increase’ public services, lower taxes and bring down the deficit. His first budget breaks all three of those promises.

Here are some of the details.

Pensions

  • The provincial budget takes control of public service pension plans away from workers. The UCP wants to make decisions about benefits and investments of the plan. Just this year, workers gained full partnership in the management of our pensions (like every other province). Jason Kenney’s budget wipes out that gain and grabs power over our retirement funds.

Education

  • Base instruction funding for grades 1-3 students in metro/urban areas is cut from $8,201 to $6,883, a 16% cut.
  • Funding for increased enrollment will continue this year but be stopped after that.
  • Funding for Educational Assistants (who provide help to kids with special needs) has been cut.
  • Class size reduction funding has been cut.
  • The programs to keep school fees low have been cut.

Health Care

  • A $100 million cut in funding for nurses.
  • A $90 million cut to drug coverage.
  • At least 46,000 seniors will lose drug coverage.
  • Ambulance services will be cut by $11 million.
  • Less funding for acute care services in hospitals.
  • A delay in the building of a new hospital in south Edmonton, and delays to much needed improvements at the Royal Alex and Misericordia.
  • Delay in building the new cancer center in Calgary.
  • Work on a new hospital for Red Deer has stopped.

Municipal services

  • Jason Kenney has broken his explicit platform promise to maintain the city charter with Edmonton & Calgary and the funding arrangements included it in.
  • Alberta will no longer pay property tax on its buildings, meaning a cut to municipal funding of about $81 million.
  • Municipalities with a population of under 5,000 will go from paying nothing for police services to paying 70% of those costs.
  • Funding for new LRT lines are delayed without a renewal date. Funding for Calgary’s Green line is being cut from $555 million to $75 million – putting 20,000 construction jobs at risk.
  • Badly needed Edmonton projects like the Terwillegar interchange and the Stadium Station safety upgrades are on hold.
  • Funding for flood mitigation in Calgary is being cut between $30-$50 million.
  • Other regional infrastructure projects are being cut by $50 million.
  • The amount of fines and penalties collected by municipalities has been cut and kept by the province.

Post Secondary education

  • The tuition freeze has been lifted. Tuition is expected to increase by 21% over three years.
  • The education tax credit has been removed.
  • Interest rates on student loans have been increased by 1%.
  • The Kenney government reduced funding for post-secondary institutions but maintained funding for five private, religious universities.

Taxes & fees

  • Every single Albertan will pay higher provincial taxes as Kenney has not indexed tax brackets. This is a $600 million tax increase.
  • Car insurance fees are increasing.
  • Vehicle registration and recreational vehicle registration fees are increasing.
  • Caps on electricity prices are being removed.
  • Municipal taxes will likely increase to cover lower transfers from the province.
  • New fees on tourism levies – like hotel rooms and Airbnb accommodations.
  • Increased tobacco and vaping taxes.
  • A provincial capital cost allowance has been adopted, meaning a further lowering of corporate taxes by about $370 million.
  • Fees for immigrant programs go from $0 to $500.

Assistance for low income Albertans

  • Employment and income support programs are being reduced by 20% over four years.
  • $45 million in rent supports are gone.
  • $44 million in housing supports have been cut.
  • About 165,000 families living just above the poverty line will see lower child and family benefits – including 55,000 families who will lose them completely. These benefits were credited with cutting child poverty in half in Alberta.
  • AISH funding will be de-indexed. As of January, that will mean a reduction of $30/month. In four years the difference will be closer to $120/month for people with disabilities.

Job creation

  • Elimination of the scientific research and experimental development credit, which will reduce research into new technologies.
  • Removal of the interactive digital media credit, which targeted job creation in software design.

Other

  • Putting lottery funds into general revenue. Previously these funds were used for numerous not-for-profit and charitable organizations.

What are the alternatives? Don’t we have to balance the budget?

Jason Kenney says he will balance the budget by 2023 – the exact same timeline the Notley NDP government was working toward without all the cuts. Under Kenney – the budget deficit is expected to increase by $2 billion this year!

What’s the difference?

  • The Kenney government gave a $4.7 billion tax cut to already profitable corporations. They claimed this would create jobs, but companies like Husky merely pocketed the windfall while laying off hundreds in Calgary. In fact, since the corporate tax cut came into effect on July 1, 27,000 jobs have been lost in Alberta.
  • The UCP has cut the oil by rail plan, which according to their own documents would have brought in $1 billion in revenue this year, or $8.5 billion over four years. And that’s not even factoring in the $1.5 billion it cost to cancel the contract.

The Kenney cutbacks save $1.3 billion. The corporate tax give-away cost $4.5 billion. Cancelling oil by rail cost $2.5 billion this year alone. And our deficit is growing higher under Jason Kenney than it would have been under the NDP.

These are the choices Jason Kenney has made.

CUPE 46 Members, Family and Friends Save $5 on Select Seats for Paw Patrol Live (Canalta Centre, Jan. 2020)

Greetings everyone!

Deborah, a group sales representative for Paw Patrol Live has reached out to us (CUPE Local 46) with an offer for our members, their family and friends to take advantage of in case they’re interested. Paw Patrol Live will be at Canalta Centre on January 14-15, 2020 (one show per night), and the documents below contain codes that can be applied to get a $5 discount on select seats.

Paw Patrol Live – CUPE 46 Discount (docx)

CUPE 46 Members, Family and Friends Save $5 on select seats! (Poster Link)

PAW Patrol Live! The Great Pirate Adventure Tickets (Ticketmaster Link)

 

Please be aware that, while there is information within the poster indicating that the discount isn’t available for P1, P2 or P3 seating, there’s also some light gray text near the bottom that seems to indicate that P7 doesn’t qualify for the $5 discount either.

#VOTECDNLIBRARIES

We are proud to support the many members of CUPE Local 46 working in the Medicine Hat Public Library Unit as well as all other library workers represented by CUPE AB and CUPE Canada.

Our local library workers within the Medicine Hat Public Library Unit have requested that CUPE Local 46 share the following resource with you (created by the Canadian Federation of Library Associations) in advance of Monday’s polls. We encourage you to have at look at CFLA-FCAB’s current campaign, “Vote Libraries”.

Vote Libraries (language selection page)

CFLA-FCAB Homepage