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CUPE Saskatchewan is putting on a two-day workshop in Regina on August 30-31 for all CUPE activists in the province. The purpose of the workshop is to develop a strategic plan for the union as it heads into 2011 – an election year.

Over the last three years the province has seen some dramatic changes under the government of Premier Brad Wall, leader of the Saskatchewan Party.

The workshop will provide leaders and activists an opportunity to discuss some of these changes and develop plans for responses.

High on the list of issues to be addressed will be the Public Services Essential Agreement Act (Bill 5) and the Act to Amend the Trade Union Act (Bill 6).

Both bills were passed into law less than six months after Wall took office and have had significant negative effects on CUPE’s ability to organize and bargain effectively.

Also of great concern are recent cuts to education assistant (EA) positions across the province. The government continues to push school boards toward a “professional-based” model, which would hire more psychologists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists and other similar positions, all at the expense of EA positions.

One government report suggests that as many as 75 per cent of the provinces EAs could be cut.

Members wishing to attend are encouraged to contact the CUPE Saskatchewan office at (306) 757-1009 or cupesask@sasktel.net.