For more than 25 years, Pearl Blommaert, CUPE’s 2015 National Health and Safety Award winner, has worked tirelessly to improve health and safety standards for workers in Saskatchewan and across Canada.
In the early 1990s, Blommaert was instrumental in forcing her employer, the Sunrise Health Region of Saskatchewan, and then the entire province of Saskatchewan, to adopt violence prevention policies and legislation. This was a first in Canadian Health and Safety Law; since then, all provinces except one have adopted similar legislation.
Blommaert, a continuing care assistant by trade, plays many roles within CUPE. To name only a few, she’s currently president of her local, CUPE 4980 representing health care workers. She’s also the health sector representative on the CUPE Saskatchewan executive and sits on the national health and safety committee.
“It is with recognition for the tremendous support of my local and CUPE members in Saskatchewan that I accept this award,” said Blommaert. “I want to thank CUPE National’s Health and Safety committee and staff – who taught me that violence is not part of my job and for helping us improve health and safety regulations in Saskatchewan.”
Blommaert has influenced provisions in the provincial collective agreement for health care workers, and and in provincial health and safety regulations. She’s made improvements in areas like musculoskeletal injury prevention, rules for working alone, shift work, and psychological harassment.
A passionate leader, Blommaert is also the first woman to win CUPE’s health and safety award. She continues to work tirelessly for members. CUPE is proud to salute her ongoing efforts.