Soft focus image of a small group of women with their arms raised, touching handsEleven workers at the South West Crisis Services Inc. (SWCS) are the latest members to join the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

Based in Swift Current, SK, the SWCS is a non-profit, community-based organization that operates a safe shelter for women and children leaving abusive situations.  SWCS also operates a confidential 24-hour help line for anyone needing support and provides outreach support counselling to help women, men and children who are at risk of abuse or need assistance with interpersonal issues.

“The workers at the SWCS provide an indispensable service for the entire southwest corner of Saskatchewan,” says Guy Marsden, CUPE National Organizer.  “We are very pleased to welcome these members into our union.”

Marsden says the membership of the new Local, to be identified as CUPE Local 5398, will elect a bargaining committee and executive soon.  Work will also begin on developing proposals for a first collective agreement.

“CUPE looks forward to sitting down with SWCS management to negotiate a first collective agreement that fairly compensates our members for the critical work that they perform and addresses other key workplace concerns,” says Marsden.

CUPE represents 30,000 members in Saskatchewan, including 850 workers employed with group homes, child care centres, shelters and other community-based organizations.