On April 12th wear pink to stop bullying

You might notice more people wearing pink on April 12 than usual. That’s because people around the world wear pink to mark the second Wednesday in April as The International Day against Bullying, Discrimination, Homophobia and Transphobia.

In communities across Canada and around the world, people are wearing pink to call for an end to bullying in all its forms, especially bullying targeting members of the LGBTTI community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, or intersex persons).

Bullying is a serious problem in our workplaces, our schools and our communities. It’s an aggressive, persistent form of harassment that hurts people of all ages, stemming from a misuse of power to make someone else feel small and insignificant. The health fallout can be devastating, from depression and trauma to suicide in the worst cases. The ripple effects can extend to witnesses, friends, families, co-workers and even to entire organizations.

Still, people fight back. In January 2012, Christin Milloy filed a human rights complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission after numerous failed attempts to have her gender designation with the Social Insurance Number (SIN) program and the Social Insurance Register changed. On January 25, 2017, Milloy finally reached a landmark settlement with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), the agency responsible for updating the Register.

CUPE applauds Milloy and other transgender and gender variant individuals and activists who continue to challenge bullying and systemic and institutional gender discrimination.

After years of hard work by former NDP MP Bill Siksay and current NDP MP Randall Garrison, the federal Liberal government introduced Bill C-16 in May 2016. Bill C-16 will amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to ensure that gender identity and expression are included as prohibited grounds of discrimination. The Bill will also amend the Criminal Code to make it a hate crime to target people because of their gender identity or expression. Unfortunately, as of April 2017, the Bill remains stalled in the Senate. CUPE will continue to actively push for the successful passage of this Bill – and for full legal equality for all.

The labour movement has long been at the forefront of struggles for LGBTTI rights. At CUPE’S 2015 National Convention, our members adopted resolutions to negotiate gender identity and gender expression protections into collective agreements, and to promote education and awareness about the barriers faced by LGBTTI people as they age.

On April 12, take a stand against bullying. Wear pink and encourage others to wear pink.

CUPE Alberta Committee Application Form

Are you interested in joining a committee for CUPE Alberta?  Attached is the Committee form.The following Committees are with CUPE Alberta. If you have any questions please speak to Lee-Ann.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It is a pleasure to be your president and a position that I do not take lightly.  Your executive works hard for members and with our employer to improve the working conditions for all involved. We will continue to work with the Board through Labour Management Meetings and Board Liaison Meetings to ensure that our voices are heard.

Our schools are so lucky to have the dedicated individuals working the front lines for education. The daily routines that are carried out by all the support staff goes above and beyond what is expected, and without these core jobs in place, our schools would not run as effective as they do.

As 2016 comes to an end I want to wish all of CUPE Local 1099 members and families a Merry Christmas.  I hope that you enjoy the holidays with your families and friends.  I wish you all the very best in 2017.

Lee-Ann Kalen        



December 10 – Take action on Human Rights Day

Dec 4, 2015

Human Rights DayThe UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. The declaration came in response to the events of World War II, and the continuing colonialism that was rife at the time. It contains thirty articles on human rights that remain as strong today as they were over 65 years ago.

Each year, on the anniversary of the declaration, we observe International Human Rights Day. Events are held worldwide and many of us take time to speak out against human rights abuses, towork together for social justice, and to take action.

For International Human Rights Day 2015, CUPE members are encouraged to:

  • Donate to support Syrian refugees. The Canadian Council for Refugees is collaborating with the Canadian Labour Congress and its affiliates on a Syrian Refugee Support Fund to help support the settlement of Syrian refugees in Canada.
  • Sign a petition to support migrant workers. The Coalition for Migrant Worker Rights Canada is calling on the federal government to untie work permits so that workers can leave exploitative employers without facing deportation.
  • Sign the LEAP Manifesto. The manifesto calls for an approach to combatting climate change that achieves justice for Indigenous peoples, creates more and better jobs, restores our social safety net, welcomes more migrants and refugees to Canada, and reduces inequalities.

CUPE applauds all members who champion human rights causes in their workplaces and their communities.

December 6 – National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

December 6 – National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

On December 6, 1989 at École Polytechnique (a post secondary school in Montreal) a shooter went on a rampage.  After separating women from men, the shooter killed fourteen women and injured ten others.

Since then, December 6th has been named “White Ribbon Day” as a day to remember those women, and all others who experience violence.

white ribbonWhile massacres like the one in 1989 are thankfully rare, the statistics around Canadian violence against women are shocking:

  • Half of all women in Canada have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence after theage of 16.
  • On average, every six days a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.
  • On any given day in Canada, more than 3,300 women (along with their 3,000 children) are forced to sleep in an emergency shelter to escape domestic violence. Every night, about 200 women are turned away because the shelters are full.
  • Each year, over 40,000 arrests result from domestic violence—that’s about 12% of all violent crime in Canada. Since only 22% of all incidents are reported to the police, the real number is much higher.