President’s Christmas Message

“With the holiday season fast approaching, Christmas Day is not far away. As President of Local 21 and on behalf the Executive members, I would like to wish you, along with your families, the best of this joyous season. We hope this season will bring happy reunions, celebration, and new memories to cherish as we approach another New Year.

Christmacenters on the spirit of peace, and on the message of hope and goodwill to others. We hear that message in many ways at Christmas, and it never loses the power to lift our hearts.

The holidays can also deepen our sense of gratitude for life, and for family and friends who fill our lives. We remember how much we have been given, and how much we have to share.

We think of those among us who spend the holidays in sadness or solitude. We think of those facing illness, or the loss of a loved one, or the hardships of poverty or unemployment. Across the city, caring Local 21 members young and old are reaching out to those in need by volunteering their time. By serving a cause greater than themselves, Local 21 members spread hope in our community and make our city a better place to live.

At Christmas we also think of the Sisters and Brothers of Local 21 who are working shifts insuring the taxpayers are driving on safe streets, have clean water to drink, and recreation facilities to use, something we all take for granted. We are grateful for the commitment of our Sisters and Brothers, and we are safer because of their skills and sacrifice.

Separation from loved ones is always difficult, especially at this time of year. All Sisters and Brothers that must work over the holidays know their families miss them.

All Local 21 members who serve others or volunteer their time are living out the true spirit of the Christmas season. The story of Christmas is familiar to us all, yet it still brings inspiration and comfort and love to people everywhere.

Whether we are watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the 100th time or watching our children or grand children inhale the Christmas spirit for the first time.

May the spirit of the season be with you today and throughout the New Year, from our family to yours, Merry Christmas and happy healthy prosperous New Year.

In Solidarity,
Tim Anderson
President          

Image result for christmas pictures

                                 Image result for 1940 santa claus and reindeer pictures                                                                                                                                       

Health Spending Account (HSA)

⇒ The end of the year is fast approaching you must use your HSA before the end of the year. 

1)    the HSA is only applicable to those current Local 21 members who are covered by the Medical Plan which includes all permanent staff and those casual staff who previously opted to join the Plan;

2)    the HSA can only be accessed starting April 15, 2017 (as some time is required to set up the list of eligible participants with Blue Cross);

3)   claims are to be submitted directly to Blue Cross the same way that current claims are made however there is a spot on the claim form to identify that the claim is for the HSA;

4)    that the initial year (2017) will cover eligible receipts dated from January 1, 2017 so staff should retain them; and

5)   we will hold some information sessions between March 27th and April 15 to explain how the HSA works.

Union Notifications

Within the L21 office we are going green. Although it is not possible to have a completely paperless office, we have begun the process of converting in-office documents to digital format.

What this means to you is this:

• all meeting notices
• periodic updates
• upcoming functions
• events or action alerts … will be posted online at: local21.ca

Notifications will be displayed:

  • on the front page
  • within the website calendar (under Menu / Calendar / Upcoming Events)
  • or provided to you via your personal email addresses, which we ask that you kindly provide us with at your earliest opportunity.

You are requested to visit the website regularly, as well as monitoring your email in order to ensure that you are aware of any and all of the above-mentioned notifications.

Some advantages to this direction are:

• better office organization
• cost effective
• better service to our members
• beneficial to the environment.

Please provide us with your personal email address by sending it to: local21@sasktel.net

Your privacy is important to us / confidentially will be respected and protected.

Problems at Work?

If you have a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) question, possible violation or other workplace concerns, contact the Union office at:

• (306) 352-8282
• Main office email: cupe.local21@sasktel.net

Leave a brief message and a contact number.

Here are the 6 W’s to remember when filing a grievance:

Depending upon the nature of your problem, a grievance may be filed on your behalf. It is important that the grievance is presented factually when filing. As a member who is filing a grievance, you need to ensure that you give as many of the facts as possible.

1. WHO: is involved? The members full name, employer, branch or division, title and job classification. Name and title of supervisors or witness’s need to be accurate.

2. WHAT: happened that caused the violation? Disciplinary action? Substitution pay not given? Safety violations? You need the story of what occurred in chronological order.

3. WHEN: did the violation occur? Ensure dates and times are included. Include how often and how long?

4. WHERE: did it occur? Give exact location or locations if event occurred in different places. Have pictures or drawings if applicable.

5. WHY: is this considered to be a grievance or complaint? Was there a direct violation of an article(s) in the collective agreement? A violation of an Act or Code, an arbitral award, past practice issue?

6. WANT: this relates to adjustments that are required by the union to correct the injustice. Always ask for “full redress” in order to make the member whole, ie., all wages lost, file cleared, vacation returned

New Rate Increases

Communication Update:

  • New pay rates will be visible within EmpCenter on March 19, 2017.
  • Retro will be paid on the April 7, 2017 pay date.

If you have any questions or concerns; please contact the union office at: 306-352-8282.

 

Town of Taber takes over water and sewage services from EPCOR

Taber Town Council has decided to end its 20-year utilities contract with EPCOR just nine (9) years into the agreement. EPCOR was under contract to provide Taber with its water and sewage services.

The move to end the working relationship comes after the company proposed to increase utility rates by 68%.

All 10 EPCOR employees will now work for the Town of Taber to ease the transition.

“We brought the employees in-house,” Town of Taber CAO Cory Armfelt said. “There are certain savings we will see by not going to a third party, and we will be able to provide the same service that EPCOR has done.”

“It’s closer to home, it’s more hands-on (now),” Taber Mayor Henk De Vlieger said. “We have our own departments in place that have the knowledge to deal with this and I think the hands-on approach will benefit the town.”

Details about how the contract was broken were not released, however, both the town and EPCOR said the move wouldn’t result in any penalties or buyouts. The town also said there will be no utility increases for this year.

In a recent release, The Town of Taber expressed gratitude for all of the work EPCOR did in the community since the initial agreement was signed in 2008. The company financed a number of large infrastructure projects, including a wastewater treatment facility and the North Storm Pump Station.

City reaches tentative agreement with CUPE 21

Published on: January 31, 2017

Leader Post

CUPE 21, which represents outside city workers, finally reached a tentative agreement with the City of Regina on Monday night. The agreement, which was approved by council, will see a general wage increase of 1.9 per cent per year from 2016 to 2018. “It is good news,” Mayor Michael Fougere said. “It is always good news when you have a collective agreement. It is good news for everyone who pays taxes and uses services in our community.”

The previous collective bargaining agreement between the city and CUPE 21 expired on Dec. 31, 2015. Notice was served to commence collective bargaining two months prior on Oct. 1. Three weeks later, the elected officials for the union were cleared from their positions. Such a move is only done in an emergency and in the best interest of the local and its members.

Bargaining officially commenced on March 29, 2016.

“Both the union and our administration did a very fine job negotiating and brought in an agreement that is fair for both sides,” Coun. Bob Hawkins said. “This agreement will improve working conditions and promote good relations with our employees.”

Along with the wage increase, there will be a new management’s right clause that will recognize the rights of management to direct the workforce. In addition, there will be a health spending account for eligible employees currently covered by the medical plan to the amount of $100 in 2017 and $200 in 2018 and beyond.

There will be a minor enhancement to the bathing suit allowance for lifeguards, paid medicals for employees whose job descriptions require Class 1A or Class 3A licences and language for what is permissible to be posted on union notice boards.

Over the course of the three years of the agreement, the total cost to the city will be $6.9 million. “It is a good news story,” Hawkins said. “It is a fair agreement for the city, the taxpayers, and especially the workers.” Coun. Barbara Young felt that the agreement helped to build a strong relationship between the city and its workers.

“One of the most important things in this is that we made progress building a positive relationship,” she said. “Kudos to everyone who sat down at the table.”

Coun. Mike O’Donnell also praised the work of the city and the union.

“This is about the relationship with the people who work with us and the relationship with the people who work with the people of Regina,” O’Donnell said. “We make sure our staff are looked after and treated well.”