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Thursday, May 10, 2001 (Charlottetown) The PEI Division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) will hold its annual convention May 10 and 11 in Cornwall. More than100 delegates from all parts of the province will be in attendance.

Workload, or really, work overload will be a major focus of this years convention, says Donalda MacDonald, President of CUPE PEI. We work through our breaks. We work through our lunches. We are working longer hours and additional unpaid hours. Enough is enough. Our members are telling us that workload is going to be a major issue in negotiations and in our workplaces.

From coast to coast, our members are telling me that the pressures of excessive workload is costing them their health. We know of one member who experienced such incredible stress from work overload that he took his own life, adds Judy Darcy, CUPEs National President. It is unacceptable that workers should have to choose between their jobs and their health. It is unacceptable that Premier Binns can brag about a budget surplus, yet he cant find the funds to address the workload crisis. In PEI, our members are fed up and we arent going to take it any more.

Some highlights of the convention agenda:

  • The Convention will open Thursday evening with a program that will include a performance of Enough! a play by the Iron Dale Ensemble Project on the subject of workload and work overload.
  • CUPEs National President, Judy Darcy, will address the convention on Friday, May 11 at 11:00 am. Ms. Darcy will be available to the media for further comment immediately following her speech.
  • The Executive of CUPE PEI will introduce an Emergency Resolution to the convention floor that will make workload a major priority for campaigns and negotiations.

    It is time to demand more staff, take our breaks and refuse to work unpaid overtime. It is also time to be compensated for the damage workload and stress are wreaking on our bodies and our lives, says Judy Darcy. The Canadian Union of Public Employees is declaring war on work overload.

    The convention will be held at the Howard Johnsons Dutch Inn, Cornwall, PEI.

    CUPE is the one of the largest unions in PEI, representing more than 2200 workers.

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    For more information: Laurie Kingston, CUPE Communications, (613) 266-1415 (cell)