Message #3 to Members

March 26, 2020

Dear Members,

I would once again like to acknowledge and Thank all those who are working, providing those services to Islanders that have been deemed essential by our Chief Health Officer.
UPSE continues to be in daily contact with your employers, keeping the safety of our members first and foremost during our discussions, your safety is our number one concern.

Given that we still don’t know everything we need to know about this virus, we are urging the employer to err on the side of caution and provide our members the protective equipment required, to keep you safe in your work sites. This is something we include in our daily discussions with the employer. I have also brought my concerns about this in my discussions with both the Minister of Health and the Premier.

We urge all our members to follow the directions of our Chief Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison and Chief Nursing Officer Marion Dowling to help ensure your safety, your family’s safety and the safety of all Islanders, especially those that are vulnerable. I know there are many questions how COVID-19 is affecting your work sites. The issues change daily, as new situations arise and UPSE has told the employer that communication is key for our members, to ensure best practice and protocols are followed.

We are working collaboratively with other PEI Unions and our national union, NUPGE, to keep us up to date on not only what is happening across the Province, but what is happening across the Country, and the challenges other provinces are facing.

I would like to thank you all for the skills, dedication and support you are providing to Islanders during this unprecedented time. We’re adapting to uncertain conditions, and everyone is doing their very best to meet extraordinary demands in a rapidly changing environment.

I just want to remind members that although our office is closed to the public, our UPSE LRO's are in the office Monday to Friday 8:30-4:30 and are available by phone or email. I have asked them to provide weekend coverage as well, as we move through this challenging time. Please don’t hesitate to contact your Union if you have any concerns.

Thank You again and Stay safe everyone

Karen Jackson, President of UPSE


Voicemail at the UPSE Office is having issues

March 24, 2020

Please be advised that we are experiencing problems accessing voicemails at our office today. Please call back to the office if you have not gotten a callback from one of our Labour Relations Officers within a timely manner.

Thank you for your patience!

Message #2 to Members

March 20, 2020

Dear Members,

First and foremost, I would like to thank all our essential employees who are delivering the valuable services that Islanders need, and for keeping Islanders safe, during this evolving crisis. I know many of you have been working tirelessly over the past few days to ensure that Islanders continue to receive the much needed services they are accustomed to, as well as putting into place new initiatives that the Government has announced to help ease the economic burden to Islanders.  As members, you provide important services to Islanders, and those who protect the safety and health of Islanders and ensure the delivery of government programs, are of the utmost importance during this time of crisis.

I understand the level of anxiety that many of you must be feeling but be assured that your Union is here to address any concerns that may arise during this COVID-19 crisis. We can and will get through this crisis and your union will be advocating on your behalf every step of the way to ensure the safety of our members.   Our grievances have all been put in abeyance, with the employer, until we get through this crisis, to allow our resources to focus on the most pressing developing issues.  The situation remains fluid and the safety of our membership is of our utmost concern.  Our Labour Relations Officers are here to help you if you have any questions, concerns or issues that arise in your worksites.  This includes weekends for now. Please call UPSE at 902-892-5335 or toll free at 1-800-897-8773. 

Thank you all once again for your dedication and patience.  We are asking questions on your behalf and sometimes the answers are not as timely as we would like, but everyone, the employer included, is in uncharted waters with this crisis and we are all learning as we go.  UPSE is also working collaboratively with PEINU, CUPE and IUOE to lobby for safe working conditions on behalf of all our members and are in constant contact as issues that affect our members arise.  We will also continue to try and keep our social media updated as much as we can for our members, but my most important message to everyone is to heed the advise of the Chief Health Officer, who is doing a wonderful job to keep us all informed of what is happening here on PEI. 

Karen Jackson, UPSE President  

Joint Statement: Unions call for Adequate Protections for Workers

March 20, 2020


The PEI Union of Public Sector Employees, the PEI Nurses Union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the International Union of Operating Engineers are calling on the Government of Prince Edward Island to uphold the precautionary principle when it comes to providing personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers and all members who may be at risk (see full release).

Latest Update from Chief Health Officer, Heather Morrison

March 18, 2020

Non-essential businesses on P.E.I. should close immediately in wake of COVID-19, says Morrison

Click here for March 18th update from Dr. Morrison

In light of this announcement, the UPSE Office is now closed until further notice.

Our Labour Relations Officers, Essential Employees, are available via phone and email and will be responding as normal to any issues or questions from our membership.

Please contact us at 902-892-5335 or peiupse@peiupse.ca

We want to thank our Members for your patience as we navigate through this difficult time.

Message to Members

March 17, 2020

Dear Members,

Many of us are feeling anxious considering what has been evolving over the past week with COVID-19. UPSE has been in constant contact with Health PEI, the Public Service Commission and our other employers to ensure that the safety of our members and all Islanders is first and foremost. Cooperation is key to being able to effectively manage the spread of the virus, so we must all do our part.

We urge our members to follow the directions given by Government and the Chief Health Officer, to help ensure the safety of your loved ones and our most vulnerable community members.

I know many of you have important questions regarding the issues as they evolve in your worksites. Everyday is different as new issues are identified, but be assured, we are talking to the employers to stay on top of new information that emerges daily. Although our office is closed to the public, our staff are here, still available by phone and email, so please, do not hesitate to contact us.

We are working with other Unions collaboratively to ensure the best practices, protocols, procedures and communication plans are implemented, keeping our members safe and at reduced risk. This is an evolving situation and we want to hear of any concerns that arise in your workplace relating to COVID-19. Please don't hesitate to contact Your Union!

I would like to Thank each and ever one of you for your dedication and commitment to delivering critical public services to Islanders during this difficult time.

Karen Jackson
UPSE President

Latest Update from Chief Health Officer, Heather Morrison

March 17, 2020

'Stay home if you can,' says Dr. Heather Morrison

Click here for latest update video from Dr. Morrison


March 17, 2020









Please be advised that due to the declared Public Health Emergency on Prince Edward Island, our office will be closed to the public effective immediately.

Our staff are still here to service our members via phone and email. Please contact the office at 902-892-5335 or email peiupse@peiupse.ca


UPSE Cancels All Upcoming Educationals in Response to COVID-19

March 13, 2020

As of today, and in relation to the announcement made by PEI’s Chief Public Health Office (see announcement), UPSE is cancelling its upcoming educationals to minimize the risk associated with COVID-19. UPSE will keep any names already put forward for the courses on a list and will contact members as rescheduling new dates occurs. Until then, UPSE must remain proactive and ensure the health and safety of the membership is top priority.

Karen Jackson,
UPSE President   


March 13, 2020

The Chief Public Health Office is providing regular updates regarding the COVID-19 virus and to ensure you are well-informed, please find all available information on the following resource page: www.princeedwardisland.ca/coronavirus

The PEI Public Service Commission sent the following information to Civil Service employees via email to address concerns regarding COVID-19 (see info).

Social Work Month

March 11, 2020

dUPSE recognizes the important contribution Social Workers make in PEI every day. Social Workers provide support, healing, and advocacy to individuals, families and communities. They also manage risk and uncertainty working in community based settings as they help people improve the quality of their lives and achieve their goals. UPSE thanks you for your dedicated service.

Karen Jackson,

President, UPSE

The Accent

March 10, 2020

Check out the latest edition of The Accent. Register for UPSE's upcoming education sessions and save the date for the Steps for Life walk on May 2, 2020 (The Accent).

UPSE President Asks Province About Their Plan to Protect Members in Case of a COVID-19 Outbreak

March 9, 2020

dsPEI UPSE President, Karen Jackson, has asked the province to provide the union with information concerning the processes and policies that are in place for our members to ensure they will be protected from (and able to treat) those people with COVID-19 should the virus arrive in PEI.   Jackson said "there are many aspects of this that will affect our members if an outbreak does occur, and there needs to be good communication so that everyone is on the same page."

See more info: Advisory - Coronavirus Infection

Introducing a new Discount

March 9, 2020

PEI UPSE is part of the Atlantic Canada Health Care Coalition, which means UPSE members now have access to The Cooperators Group Auto and Home Insurance. Details are listed on our discount page or you may click here for more information.

International Women's Day Event!

March 6, 2020

dOn Sunday, March 8, 2020 the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women hosts their annual International Women’s Day event from 3:00pm - 5:00 pm at the Trinity United Church Hall in Charlottetown.

For more info: https://bit.ly/2IsFogB





March 8 is International Women's Day!

March 6, 2020

dMarch 8 is International Women's Day! PEI UPSE supports equality and believes that women and girls should have equal access to opportunity whether that applies to education, training, career opportunities or pay levels.

On March 8 and throughout the year let’s do our part to promote equality for women and girls.

UPSE Board Retreat!

February 28, 2020

dSetting the direction for UPSE! A huge thankyou to Paula Matheson who recently retired and was an outstanding activist for many years, serving Local 2 as Director and Steward and Chairperson for the UPSE Education Committee. Thank you for your dedication to UPSE Paula - you will be missed.

Thanks to all the Board Members for a great meeting!

Karen Jackson, UPSE President



UPSE Closing at 3:30 (Feb. 27, 2020)

February 27, 2020

UPSE is closing as of 3:30 pm today (Feb. 27, 2020) due to poor weather.

Pink Shirt Day!

February 26, 2020

dToday is Pink Shirt Day! By wearing pink UPSE sends a strong message of support to victims of bullying so that they know they are not alone, and that bullying will not be tolerated anywhere.

(Back L-R): Mark Barrett (Communications), Melissa Bruce (Resource and Organizing), Mary MacLean (Education and Meetings), Karen Jackson (President), Jackie McCaughey (Accounting and Technology), and Troy Warren (Labour Relations).

(Front L-R): Andrew Jack (Labour Relations), Blair Weeks (Research, Education and Policy) and Andrew Nielsen (Lawyer, Pink Larkin).

The Accent

February 25, 2020

Check out the latest edition of The Accent. See UPSE on social media; acceptable computer use policy at work; and save the date for Family Fun Day. For more information see (The Accent).

Save the Date: UPSE Family Fun Day (July 19, 2020)

February 24, 2020

dThe Union of Public Sector Employees is pleased to announce that Family Fun Day will take place on Sunday, July 19, 2020 at Shining Waters Family Fun Park. Save the date and UPSE will release an Accent with all the registration details in June.



Job Opportunities

February 24, 2020

Job Opportunity at PEI Union of Public Sector Employees Office - Click here for link

Job Opportunity at PEI Federation of Labour Office - Click here for link

Chief Stewards Meeting!

February 19, 2020


Karen Jackson, UPSE President, joined the Chief Stewards for a meeting in Charlottetown today. UPSE Stewards play an important role by helping members deal with difficult situations at work. They make sure members are protected by their collective agreements and they provide a bridge between management and employees.

UPSE Has A Heart!

February 14, 2020

dUPSE proudly donated $11,500 to non-profit community organizations across PEI through the UPSE Has a Heart campaign on Valentine's Day. Karen Jackson, UPSE President, says "the campaign is about supporting non-profit organizations that make a difference in the lives of Islanders. We at UPSE believe that unions have a role to play in helping to strengthen our communities by supporting these wonderful organizations that provide valuable community support across the Island."

L-R Karen Jackson (UPSE President), Chris MacPherson (PEI Special Olympics) and Chrissy Murphy (Chair, UPSE Rec Committee)

Wear Purple Day!

February 12, 2020


UPSE President, Karen Jackson, and staff are wearing purple today to remember victims of violence and their families; and to show that violence in any relationship is not acceptable.

Pic (back L-R) Mark Barrett, Norma Jarvis, Jackie McCaughey, Mary MacLean, Hans Connor, Troy Warren and Karen Jackson.
(front L-R) Blair Weeks, Andrew Jack, and Melissa Bruce

Wednesday, February 12 is Wear Purple Day!

February 11, 2020

dWednesday, February 12 is Wear Purple Day in Prince Edward Island. Islanders are encouraged to wear purple:

• to raise awareness of Family Violence Prevention Week;

• to remember victims of violence and their families; and

• to show that violence in any relationship is not acceptable.

National Union's Scholarship Program: 2020

February 10, 2020

dEach year, the 390,000 member National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) offers scholarships of $2,500 each that reflect its pursuit of equal opportunity for workers. Entrants must be the children/grandchildren or foster children/grandchildren of members or retirees of the National Union’s Component unions or its affiliates and who are planning to enter the 1st year of a Canadian public post-secondary educational institution on a full-time basis in 2020.

All scholarships awarded will be based on the best 750–1,000 word essay. Essays will be marked on the basis of content and style. The deadline for applications and essays is July 6, 2020 and the 8 scholarships may have additional requirements (see topics and more information here).

UPSE Closed Due to Weather Conditions

February 7, 2020

PEI UPSE is now closed (1:40 p.m.) due to worsening weather conditions. The office will open on Monday, February 10 at 8:00 a.m.

Job Opportunity at PEI UPSE Office - Senior Staffing Officer

February 6, 2020

Please see attached link to the job opportunity for Senior Staffing Officer for the PEI UPSE Office.

The Accent

February 6, 2020

Check out the latest edition of The Accent. Family Violence Prevention Week is February 9-15, 2020. Join the Walk in Silence at a location near you to raise awareness and show support for family violence survivors. Also, please wear purple on Wednesday, February 12 to show that violence in any relationship is not acceptable. For more information see (The Accent).

Education Sessions for the New Workplace Harassment Regulations

February 2, 2020

dEffective July 1, 2020 Prince Edward Island employers must comply with new Workplace Harassment Regulations. The OHS Act and  Workplace Harassment Regulations require that every employer establish a policy on Workplace Harassment as well as a procedure to investigate any complaints.

The Workers Compensation Board of PEI offers a number of educational sessions to support healthy and safe workplaces across PEI. Workshops are provided free of charge. The session on Workplace Harassment will introduce participants to the new Regulations and will outline the employer and worker responsibilities in establishing a harassment free workplace.

Contact the Occupational Health and Safety division (WCB) to register for a public workshop or schedule one at your workplace. Phone: 902-368-5697, Toll free: 1-800-237-5049 or
email: ohs@wcb.pe.ca

Pharmacare: Add Your Voice!

January 30, 2020

dfdCanada’s unions are proud that we’ve won health insurance coverage for many of our members. But we believe anyone with a health card should have coverage for the medicines they need. That’s why we’re working to win a universal prescription drug plan that covers everyone in Canada, regardless of their income, age or where they work or live. Add your voice (here)!

Today is Bell Let's Talk Day!

January 29, 2020

dBell will donate more towards mental health initiatives in Canada by contributing 5¢ for every applicable text, call, tweet and retweet, social media video view and use of Bell's Facebook frame or Snapchat filter. Let’s work together to create positive change. See more info (here).

The Accent

January 28, 2020

Check out the latest edition of The Accent. Winter Family Fun Day will take place on February 16, 2020. Register for events in Summerside or Charlottetown (see Accent).

Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in PEI

January 22, 2020

dfdPlease see the sixth Annual Prince Edward Island Child Poverty Report Card (click here). This year, after 18 months of the Canada Child Benefit (CCB), it is clear that the CCB helped somewhat to ease poverty, although its resources are far from sufficient. The PEI Child Poverty Report Card is prepared by the MacKillop Centre for Social Justice, a non-profit research/education and action centre, and the PEI Coalition for a Poverty Eradication Strategy which is composed of over 20 Island groups.

Activity Professionals Week: January 19-25, 2020.

January 20, 2020

dActivity Professionals Week is January 19-25, 2020. Activity staff are vital to the health and well being of residents in Long Term Care facilities on PEI.

UPSE congratulates and recognizes the importance of activity professionals for their contribution each and every day!


UPSE Members with Health PEI

January 20, 2020

dThe UPSE Health Development and Training fund is available to PEI UPSE members who are employed with Health PEI and are covered under the Health PEI Collective Agreement. The fund provides employees with monies to improve required skills to better perform current job responsibilities as well as future job opportunities. You will find the application and guidelines on the PEI UPSE Website. Click here: https://bit.ly/37d887R

Please ensure you are using the current application form found on our website for all of your development & training requests. Contact Melissa Bruce at mbruce@peiupse.ca or (902) 892-5335 for questions & inquires about the fund.

The Accent

January 15, 2020

Check out the latest edition of The Accent. UPSE has put out a call for members to form a Young Workers Committee; is seeking proposals for the UPSE Has a Heart Campaign; and is looking to organize new members (see Accent).

Former UPSE Board Member (Lynn Parker) Passes

January 15, 2020

dfWe are saddened to hear of the passing of member and former Board of Director member, Lynn Parker.  Lynn was a strong Union advocate for her members who served many roles on various committees over the years, and was a longtime Board member. UPSE would like to send our sincere condolences to her family at this sad time.

Funeral details can be found here (details).



Are you a Non-Profit or Charitable Organization?

January 7, 2020

ddAre you a non-profit or charitable organization seeking financial support? The "UPSE Has a Heart" team is looking for a proposal/presentation from your organization. If interested, please call the UPSE office (902-892-5335) or email (peiupse@peiupse.ca) by Friday, February 7, 2020. Your presentation should be no longer than 5 minutes long. Presentations will be made on February 10 and 11 (storm dates Feb 11 and 12).

Please note that administrative funding will not be considered.

UPSE Supports Morell and Area Early Learning Centre!

January 6, 2020

dUPSE President, Karen Jackson, was happy to present a $500 Cheque to the Morell and Area Early Learning Centre on behalf of UPSE!

Our members provide valuable services for families and their children in communities across the province!





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