2020 News and Announcements Archives

Year: 2020

The Advocate

December 31, 2020

Check out the latest edition of The Advocate (see Advocate).

UPSE Wishes All Happy Holidays!

December 23, 2020

dfOn behalf of the Board and Staff of PEIUPSE, I wish all our members joy, peace and good health this holiday season and throughout the coming year. You have all stepped up during these challenging times to provide vital services Islanders rely on.

Thank you for all that you do!! A heartfelt thank you to those working over the holidays missing time with family. Thank you for your dedication to Islanders!

On behalf of our 5000 UPSE members who make PEI a better place to live and work every day, I sincerely wish all Islanders a Happy and Safe Holiday Season.

Karen Jackson, UPSE President



UPSE Partners with Cooke Insurance to Fund Nonprofits across PEI

December 23, 2020

dUPSE is pleased to partner each year with Cooke Insurance to fund donations for Island non-profit groups across Prince Edward Island.

Missing from pics are donations to Don DesRoches for $500 (sponsoring families for Christmas) and $500 for St. James Parish (Angel Tree Program).

See Pics here






Update regarding Health PEI policy for COVID-19 Vaccination

December 18, 2020

Today, UPSE received the new Health PEI policy regarding vaccination for Covid-19 applicable to all Health PEI employees including UPSE members.  We are currently reviewing the policy to ensure compliance with the Collective Agreement and applicable legislation.  We want our members rights to be protected. We have spoken with other unions and in collaboration have requested officials at Health PEI to engage in consultation about this policy.  In this process, we will be raising concerns brought forward by our members.  If you have any concerns or questions about the policy, please contact the UPSE office at 902-892-5335 or peiupse@peiupse.ca

Bargaining Update: Health PEI

December 15, 2020

dThe collective agreement between UPSE and Health PEI expired on March 31, 2020. The UPSE bargaining team exchanged packages with Health PEI on October 6, 2020. Negotiations took place from October 21-23 and November 12-13. Dates scheduled for November 25-27 were cancelled due to revised COVID-19 restrictions being put in place. New dates for negotiations are being scheduled for early in the new year. Stay tuned.

Human Rights Day: December 10, 2020

December 10, 2020

dDecember 10, 2020 is International Human Rights Day. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly.

Under the Declaration all people are entitled to basic human rights including equality, freedom, life, and security of the person.



UPSE Supports the Feed a Family Campaign 2020!

December 8, 2020


PEI UPSE has donated $1,500 to the CBC Feed a Family Campaign for a total of 35 turkeys which will go to families in need across PEI.  Karen Jackson, (UPSE President), said “this time of year under normal  circumstances is challenging for many Islanders.  However, with the ongoing pandemic there is even more pressure on people to make ends meet and to stay safe while doing so.  UPSE believes in giving back to our Island Communities on behalf of our members and is Proud to support the Feed a Family Campaign. If we can help in any way to make things a little easier, than it is a worthwhile cause”.

UPSE Members of the Year!

December 8, 2020


I was proud to present the 2020 UPSE Member of the Year Award this week to two deserving UPSE activists. We had two nominations submitted, Susan Harris from Local 5 and Bruce Horne (posthumously) from Local 1, and the Board of Directors approved a motion to give the award to both nominees. Kenzie Horne, Bruce’s son accepted the award on behalf of his father. Watch for a more complete write up in our Advocate that best describes the valuable contributions these members have made over the many years in their involvement with UPSE. We cannot Thank them enough for all they have done to support the members in their own locals and for being a strong voice for all. Congratulations Susan and Bruce and Thank You Kenzie for accepting on behalf of your father, I know he would be so proud. ❤️

Karen Jackson, UPSE President

Pic L-R: Steve Mollins (Co-Director Local 5), Karen Jackson (UPSE President), Kenzie Horne (Bruce Horne’s son), Susan Harris (Co-Director Local 5), Laurie Hiscock (Chief Steward, Local 5), and Hazel Birch (Local 5).

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women (December 6, 2020)

December 4, 2020

dThe Prince Edward Island Union of Public Sector Employees commemorates the 14 young women who died because they were women on December 6, 1989 at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal.

It is important that we remember this tragedy and consider the women and girls for whom violence is a reality. As a community it paramount that we work together to eliminate violence against women.

Register: Online Viewing of the Montreal Massacre Memorial Service Video (December 6, 2020)

December 2, 2020

dRegister (here) for an online viewing of the Montreal Massacre Memorial Service commemorative video.

Remember the 14 women murdered in Montreal in 1989 because they were women, and the 10 women on PEI who were murdered by men who knew them since 1989.


The Accent

December 1, 2020

Check out the latest edition of The Accent. UPSE supports the 2020-21 Purple Ribbon Campaign to end violence against women and children. The Montreal Massacre Memorial Service will be held online this year on December 6, 2020 (see Accent).

Overwhelming Support for Childcare!

December 1, 2020


In a new poll, commissioned by the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), 86% of Canadians said it is important to them that all Canadian families have access to quality child care regardless of income (see more).



International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

November 25, 2020

dNovember 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of #ViolenceAgainstWomen. Today is also the launch of the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women Purple Ribbon Campaign to support survivors and raise awareness about violence against women and children here on PEI, across Canada, and throughout the world.



UPSE Mourns Loss of Long Time Activist

November 23, 2020


UPSE mourns the loss of long time activist and friend Anita Verreault. Anita was a true activist who championed workers rights and was always there for her members. Over the years Anita served as shop steward, chief steward and a valuable Board member in local 11. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family at this sad time, especially to her husband Alain and her two sons Jaysen and Ethan.

Rest In Peace Anita....you will be missed

Masks to Become Mandatory in PEI as of November 20, 2020

November 19, 2020


Effective November 20, 2020, non-medical masks or face coverings will be mandatory in all indoor public spaces in Prince Edward Island (see more)


Remembrance Day: November 11, 2020

November 10, 2020

dPEI UPSE salutes the men and women of our armed forces who through the generations have represented our Country with pride and honour.

Thank you to our veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice and those who continue to defend and fight for our freedoms.

Lest We Forget.



Happy Early Childhood Education Week!

November 2, 2020

dUPSE salutes Early Childhood Educators and recognizes all they do to support families across PEI especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. They provide safe, caring and stimulating learning environments for our children to learn and grow in. On behalf of all Islanders, UPSE thanks you for your dedication and commitment.

Karen Jackson,
UPSE President

UPSE proudly represents ECE's at the Holland College Early Learning Centre and the Morell and Area Early Learning Centre.


National Survey on Violence and Harassment in the Workplace!

October 27, 2020

ddThe Canadian Labour Congress, in partnership with the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children at Western University and the University of Toronto, has launched a survey on violence and harassment in the workplace (see here).

The survey is directed to workers, 18 years or older, of every gender whether or not they have experienced or witnessed workplace violence or harassment. It takes approximately 10 to 30 minutes to complete and participants will remain anonymous. It will remain online for 6 months.

The National Union and UPSE are encouraging its members and Canadians to complete the survey and to encourage others to participate. The information garnered from this survey will assist in highlighting that harassment and violence does occur in the workplace. It will provide statistics that can be used to stress to governments and employers that protections must be put in place to protect workers.

UPSE Winter Hours

October 22, 2020

The UPSE office in Charlottetown is currently closed to the public due to the ongoing situation concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. However, UPSE staff are in the office and are available to assist members on the phone between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

The Accent

October 21, 2020

Check out the latest edition of The Accent. UPSE has issued a call for nominations for the Member of the Year; issued RFPs for the replacement of fluorescent lighting with LED lighting; the creation of a new website; and a snow clearing tender (see Accent).

UPSE and Tremploy Sign New Collective Agreement!

October 14, 2020

ddUPSE and Tremploy have signed a new three year collective agreement with a 100% ratification vote in support of the new contract.  Karen Jackson, UPSE President, thanks the bargaining team for their dedication and hard work in negotiating a fair wage and benefit package for the membership.

Pic L-R: Karen Jackson (UPSE President) and Joel Dennis (Executive Director, Tremploy)


UPSE Masks Available Soon!

October 9, 2020

dUPSE has purchased a limited number of face masks for our members. Members can pick them up through their local Director at a location and time to be announced on a first come/ first serve basis. Stay tuned for dates and times. Members need to present their UPSE union card to receive a mask (one per member) and if you haven’t filled out your membership card please contact the office at 902-892-5335 or Email peiupse@peiupse.ca. Masks will not be available at the UPSE office. Also, in fairness, members can't pick up masks for other members due to the limited supply.

Food Drive: Y's Men's Club!

October 7, 2020


Y's Men's Club 34th Annual Food Drive (Drive-Thru Edition) in Charlottetown and Cornwall on Monday October 26 from 5 - 8 p.m.

Non-perishable food items or monetary donations are appreciated. Please follow The Upper Room Facebook and Instagram pages for the latest on Drive-Thru location details. For more information call Nicole (event coordinator) at 902-892-7092.

Bargaining Update: Tremploy

October 6, 2020

dUPSE and Tremploy have ratified a new three year collective agreement with 100% support from the membership.

Karen Jackson, UPSE President, thanks the bargaining team for their dedication and hard work in negotiating a fair wage and benefit package for the membership.


Reminder to UPSE Members!

October 5, 2020

Our office is closed to the public, however, we are open to members with pre-arranged meetings with any of our staff members. Please call the office if you need to set up a meeting.

UPSE Women's Committee Helping Women and Girls across PEI

October 5, 2020


The UPSE Women's Committee has made a $3,000 donation to food banks across the Island for the purchase of feminine products. Many women and girls in PEI do not have adequate finances to purchase these products, and so UPSE is giving back to our communities on behalf of the membership.

Pic L-R: Karen Jackson (UPSE President), Tracy Baker (UPSE Women's Committee) and Mike MacDonald (Upper Room Hospitality Ministry).

Bargaining Update: Health PEI

October 5, 2020

dThe collective agreement between UPSE and Health PEI expired on March 31, 2020. The UPSE bargaining team met in February to review the membership's proposal forms in order to develop a comprehensive bargaining package. UPSE will exchange packages with Health PEI on Tuesday, October 6, 2020. Negotiations are scheduled to begin from October 21-23 and will continue on November 12-13 and 25-27, 2020.


The Accent

October 2, 2020

Check out the latest edition of The Accent. UPSE and NUPGE donate to Island food banks, UPSE issues call for a member to sit on the Correctional Workers Committee; and see details about UPSE's bursary program (see Accent).

Orange Shirt Day

September 30 , 2020




September 30 is Orange Shirt Day. UPSE encourages all of its members to wear an orange shirt to recognize the impacts of the residential school system on indigenous people (see more).



PEI UPSE and NUPGE make donations to PEI Food Banks

September 28, 2020

(click on picture for all pictures)

The PEI Union of Public Sector Employees (UPSE) along with the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) donated $5000 to food banks across Prince Edward Island recently.

Karen Jackson, UPSE President, thanked NUPGE for their contribution and stressed how important food banks are in our communities. She said “the pandemic has put increased demand on our Island food banks and UPSE and NUPGE are proud to give back to our Island communities on behalf of our members.”





2020 UPSE Bursary Applications now available

September 28, 2020

Union members, spouses or dependents who are in full-time attendance at an accredited College or University are invited to submit an application for an UPSE bursary. Twelve of the bursaries are $500 and one, the Laurie Jenkins Memorial, is valued at $1,000 as well as another valued at $1,000

For more information, click here



Peace Officers Memorial 2020

September 24, 2020

dThe 2020 Canadian Police and Peace Officers' Memorial Service will be a virtual ceremony this year. It will be live streamed from Parliament Hill on Sunday September 27, 2020 at 11 a.m.

The link to watch will be posted on the Canadian Peace Officers' Memorial Association's website: (here)



Gender Equality Week: Sep 20-26, 2020

September 23, 2020

dGender Equality Week was legislated in June 2018, designated as the 4th week in September.

It is a time to celebrate advancements on gender equality, take stock of where we must go from here, and recommit ourselves to tackling sexism and misogyny.

See more: (Gender Equality Week)

Chief Steward Meeting Rescheduled to October 14, 2020

September 21, 2020


Due to the impending storm UPSE is rescheduling the Chief Steward meeting from September 23 to October 14, 2020 at 9:15 a.m.

Please contact the UPSE office to confirm your attendance.

Call 902-892-5335 (toll free 1-800-897-8773 or email peiupse@peiupse.ca

CCOHS Offering Free Online Resources until September 30, 2020

September 14, 2020

dfTo help support workplaces during the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) is offering free online resources available until September 30th.

Their collection of pandemic-related online courses and publications includes pandemic planning, mental health, business continuity planning and ergonomics.

Click here: https://bit.ly/3hCjVB7

Provinces Have Key Role in Post-COVID Economic Recovery

September 9, 2020

dfThe post-COVID economic recovery presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rebuild our economies to be more sustainable, healthier, and just. Getting “back to normal” is not good enough.

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is releasing its vision for the post-COVID economic recovery in the new publication, The Provincial Role in Canada’s Post-COVID Economic Recovery (download here). Provincial governments have an essential role to play in Canada’s post-COVID economic recovery and in ensuring that it does not reproduce the long-standing gaps and inequities that were exposed and exacerbated by the pandemic.

Labour Day Message to Members

September 4, 2020

On behalf of the Union of Public Sector
Employees I am pleased to extend Labour Day
greetings to all Prince Edward Island workers
and their families.

UPSE thanks the membership and all Islanders
for their work during these difficult and uncertain
times. Our greatest resource is our people.
Let’s work together to strengthen our economy and build greater social and economic well being for our province.

A Special Thank You to all those who have to work the holiday providing valuable services to Islanders. 

Please have a safe and enjoyable long weekend.

Karen Jackson,
President, PEI UPSE

Job Opportunities

August 31, 2020

Job Opportunity at PEI Union of Public Sector Employees Office -

Attn: UPSE Members of the Civil Service - Survey is now closed. Thank you for your Feedback.

August 5, 2020


Dear UPSE Member of the Civil Service:

As the union who presents most employees of the Civil Service, we would like to receive feedback on what a compressed work week would look like for you. There has been a motion submitted to the PEI Legislative Assembly urging the government to study the feasibility of PEI’s Civil Service adopting a four-day work week where practicable. If the government proceeds with this study, PEI UPSE will be able to provide feedback from the members and have any issues or concerns addressed.

To complete the survey, click (here) or on the picture. This will take you directly to the survey and the password has been sent to you in an email. If you did not receive the email, call (902) 892-5335. The survey will remain open for fourteen (14) days from August 5th to 19th, 2020. Your participation in the survey is important. Please note that all survey responses are anonymous.

If you have trouble accessing the survey contact Melissa Bruce at mbruce@peiupse.ca or (902) 892-5335.

Heat Warning and Precautions

July 29, 2020


UPSE reminds members and all Islanders to take precautions during hot and humid weather. Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for Prince Edward Island as temperatures are expected to reach 28 degrees Celsius this week. Workers (both indoor and outdoor) are at risk for illness due to the conditions.  Heat related disorders include sunburn, heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

For more information on the signs and symptoms, treatment and prevention of the above see WCB’s Guide to Prevention of Heat Stress at Work. It is the employer’s duty (OHS Act, section 12) to ensure “that every reasonable precaution is taken to protect the occupational health and safety of persons at or near the workplace.” 

Happy Pride Week!

July 27, 2020


UPSE is proud to support the PEI Pride Festival which runs from July 26 to August 2, 2020.

Let's work together to promote human rights and end all forms of discrimination.

Karen Jackson,
President, UPSE

Pic: L-R (Troy Warren, UPSE Labour Relations Officer and Karen Jackson, UPSE President)

Paid Sick Days Must Become a Permanent Feature of the Workplace across Canada

July 22, 2020


Canada has done a good job curbing the COVID-19 curve, and after a months-long shutdown many people are eager to resume regular routines. In order to keep transmission rates low while we reopen, many regions are implementing preventative public health measures, such as mandatory masks in indoor public spaces. Paid sick days and paid sick leave are an essential component of a safe re-opening, to protect workers and mitigate future outbreaks (Broadbent Institute: see more).

UPSE Mourns the Loss of Bruce Horne

July 22, 2020

UPSE mourns the loss of long time activist and friend Bruce Horne. Bruce was a true activist who championed workers rights and connected with UPSE members on a personal level.

Over the years Bruce served as shop steward and chief steward in local 1, as well as serving on numerous committees. He was well respected by his union brothers and sisters for always speaking up for what was right and mentoring our new activists. He will be remembered fondly for his infectious smile and laugh.....he so loved a good laugh, and his willingness to share his musical talents with his friends, at convention and other union functions, never asking for anything in return, but just for everyone to enjoy themselves. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this sad time, especially to his boys Kenzie and Keaton.
Rest in Peace Bruce....you will be missed.

Karen Jackson,

UPSE President

New Workplace Harassment Regulations for PEI

June 30, 2020


As of July 1, 2020 Prince Edward Island employers will have to comply with the new Workplace Harassment Regulations.

UPSE provided feedback to WCB through the stakeholder consultation process regarding the new Regulations.

See the new (Regulations).

Celebrating a Belated Administration Professionals Day!

June 24, 2020


Celebrating Administration Professionals Day here at UPSE. COVID 19 delayed our celebration of these ladies who are appreciated everyday and especially for keeping our office up and going during these difficult times. Thank You, Mary, Jackie and Norma!



Canadians Strongly Support a Post COVID Wealth Tax on the Rich!

June 23, 2020


Canadians strongly support implementing a wealth tax of Canada's wealthiest people to help pay for the recovery of a post COVID economy.

See more info here (wealth tax)



Long-Term Care Under the Canada Health Act

June 18, 2020


The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on our lives and work, and Canadians want to see changes made to the way our long-term care system works.

A national poll, commissioned by the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) and conducted by Abacus Data, found that 90% of Atlantic Canadians want to see long-term care under the Canada Health Act.

National Public Service Week

June 15, 2020


In recognition of National Public Service Week 2020, I thank all public service employees for making a difference in the lives of Islanders by ensuring our communities are safe, secure and healthy. This is a difficult and uncertain time for Islanders, especially for those who work in delivering essential public services. UPSE members have gone above and beyond delivering new programs announced during the pandemic to ensure Islanders get the supports they need. I want to acknowledge workers for the contribution they make every day. Our public services are tied directly to the quality of life we experience as Islanders and Canadians.

Karen Jackson
UPSE President

Note: the province has informed UPSE that provincial celebrations for public service week will take place starting the week of September 14, 2020.

Labour Law changes in PEI for Workers to take Unpaid Leave

June 12, 2020












Labour law changes have been made in PEI allowing workers to take unpaid sick leave due to emergencies, e.g., workers having to self isolate because of the COVID 19 pandemic (see more).

World Day against Child Labour (June 12, 2020)

June 12, 2020


June 12, 2020 is World Day against Child Labour. In 2016 the Canadian government ratified the ILO’s Minimum Age Convention which states that countries must set a minimum age for employment at 15 years. 

In 2017 approximately 152 million children were involved in child labour across the world (ILO).  Although the incidence of child labour has decreased since 2000; the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to undue this progress. The pandemic has resulted in lower family incomes which increases the risk of resorting to child labour (see more).

UPSE Summer Hours

June 10, 2020

The UPSE office in Charlottetown is currently closed to the public due to the ongoing situation concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. However, UPSE staff are in the office and are available to assist members on the phone between 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday.

NUPGE Calls on Federal Government to Provide Stability for Pension Plans

June 9, 2020


The National Union is suggesting that federal government loans cover up to 12 months of pension payments. These loans should be available to all pension plans needing help, regardless of whether they are federally or provincially registered. Including provincially registered pension plans reflects the fact that the financial capacity of the federal government is far greater than that of most provinces (see full story).


June 3, 2020

Greetings Members,

Hope you are all keeping safe during these uncertain times we are experiencing.

As you know there has been no announcement of large gatherings made by the Chief Health Officer or the Premier at this time.  We have been  holding back the mail outs in preparation for our 2020 Convention for this reason, but we are at a point now that we needed to make a decision. 

There are many unknowns with COVID, the second wave is predicted to come in September and I would hate to have our convention planned, contracts signed and then have to cancel with a financial cost to the Union. 

Our constitution does allow the Board of Directors to make that decision with a 2/3 majority vote. It is article 13.1.3 as follows:

13.1.3 Notwithstanding article 13.1.1 above, should world events be such that convening on the scheduled dates could result in physical and/or health-related danger to delegates, the Board of Directors shall have the ability, by 2/3 majority vote, to postpone and reschedule the convention in its entirety to a time when such physical and/or health related dangers are no longer present.

Your Board of Directors voted Unanimously to postpone and reschedule the 2020 Annual Convention to 2021.

Thank you all for your continued support!

In Solidarity,

Karen Jackson, President PEI UPSE

Faces of the Frontlines!

May 26, 2020

dfdUPSE thanks the membership (Faces of the Frontlines) for providing the essential services Islanders need during this challenging time. Stay Safe!

Karen Jackson, UPSE President



UPSE Summer Family Fun Day - Cancelled

May 19, 2020

UPSE's Family Fun Day previously scheduled to take place on July 19, 2020 at Shining Waters Family Fun Park is now cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions put in place to promote safety for the community at large.




UPSE Welcomes the Atlantic Tourism and Hospitality Institute Inc.

May 13, 2020

dThe PEI Union of Public Sector Employees is delighted to welcome Instructors at the Atlantic Tourism and Hospitality Institute Inc. (ATHI) to our membership.  Subsequent to applying to the PEI Labour Relations Board, a vote was held, with 86 percent of instructional personnel supporting unionization.  Consequently, the Board issued an Order dated May 11, 2020 certifying PEI UPSE to act as the bargaining agent for this new bargaining unit.  ATHI is affiliated with Holland College and provides training to students in fields such as tourism, recreation, business, hospitality and culinary arts.  PEI UPSE is the largest union in Prince Edward Island and represents members at Holland College and throughout government institutions and the broader public sector in all parts of the province.  Our membership continues to grow as interest in strengthening public services gains momentum across Canada. 

Karen Jackson, UPSE President

National Nursing Week: May 11 - 17, 2020

May 11, 2020









National Nursing Week is a time to celebrate nurses and their dedication to patient care and to our healthcare system. Never before has the role of our members been more vital than during the COVID-19 pandemic. UPSE thanks the LPNs and RNs we proudly represent, who provide excellent care to Islanders in our hospitals and nursing homes, in corrections, and in the community during these challenging times.
Let’s stand together in recognizing all nurses for their essential contribution to the health and well being of Islanders.

Karen Jackson, UPSE President

International Child and Youth Care Week: May 4 - 10, 2020

May 6, 2020

dfUPSE would like to thank and acknowledge our dedicated caring members who assist our most vulnerable children and youth with their personal and educational development, and provide therapeutic care to those that have experienced developmental challenges or mental health issues. Our Child and Youth Care Workers help Island children and youth become productive citizens of tomorrow. Your work is challenging, especially in these unprecedented times. Thank you for all that you do for those in your care.

Karen Jackson, UPSE President

Faces of the Frontlines!

May 5, 2020

dfdUPSE thanks the membership (Faces of the Frontlines) for providing the essential services Islanders need during this challenging time. Stay Safe!

Karen Jackson, UPSE President


Happy May Day to all Workers!

May 1, 2020



Today is International Workers' Day; a day to recognize the contributions of working people.

A heartfelt thankyou to those who have fought for the wages, benefits, rights, and working conditions we enjoy today and those who continue to fight.


Day of Mourning: April 28, 2020

April 28, 2020

ddIslanders will be marking the National Day of Mourning with all Canadians, on April 28th with a virtual candlelight vigil.  Every year more than 1,000 workers lose their lives in the workplace in Canada. This is unacceptable. The enduring message of Day of Mourning – “to mourn for the dead and fight for the living” – is more important than ever.  We owe it to all workers to make sure they have the protections and supports to work safely. The COVID-19 pandemic emphasizes the need to strengthen and renew our commitment to preventing further tragedies for all workers.

Pic: Karen Jackson, UPSE President, lays a wreath at the Day of Mourning Monument in Charlottetown, April 28.

Administrative Professionals Day: April 22, 2019

April 22, 2020


The Union of Public Sector Employees recognizes the support and expertise Administrative Professionals provide in the workplace. On April 22 let’s
celebrate these hard working, multi-tasking individuals for the important work they do every day.

Karen Jackson, UPSE President

Thoughts and Prayers to our Sister Union - NSGEU

April 20, 2020








Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the tragic events in Nova Scotia. Our hearts break for all the families that have lost loved ones. Thinking of our sister Union NSGEU and all your members, we are here in solidarity. ❤️

Celebrate RCW Week - April 13th - 19th

April 14, 2020

I would like to recognize our Resident Care Workers, Patient Care Workers and Home Support Workers as you celebrate RCW Week. Never has the role of our RCWs, PCWs and HSWs been more vital.  As we celebrate RCW week, I would like to personally Thank each and everyone of you that are going over and above during this pandemic.  Not only are you providing excellent care to Islanders, you are also filling in for family members who cannot visit their loved ones during this challenging time. There are no words that can Thank You enough for the many things you are doing that may go unseen to the public, but we know are making a huge difference to our vulnerable Islanders.

You all play such an essential role in the delivery of health care in many areas and are essential members of Nursing teams in both the Public and Private sectors. The work you do has such a positive impact on people’s lives and healthy outcomes every single day. You personify Excellence in Care despite the many challenges you face daily!!! Thank You for everything you do for your patients, residents and clients ❤️

Karen Jackson, UPSE President

Message #4 to Members

April 9, 2020


Dear Members,

Once again, I would like to Thank our members for your delivery of valuable services that Islanders need and for keeping Islanders safe, during this ever-changing world we live in right now.  Every day brings new challenges that we have never had to address before.  UPSE is a diverse Union representing 5000 members from 15 different collective agreements, and our staff have been working tirelessly dealing with our members’ issues since the onset of this pandemic.  I want to acknowledge and Thank our staff who are continuing to service our members.  I cannot Thank our Labour Relations Officers (LROs) enough for the work they are doing on your behalf.  They are being creative and trying to find solutions with employers on evolving issues daily.

One of the issues that we are hearing loud and clear is about access to  proper personal protective equipment (PPE).  You can be assured that I have been lobbying the employer along with the CUPE, IUOE, PEINU Presidents, to ensure the safety of our members is first and foremost, since the onset of COVID 19. I have written a letter to the Premier, Minister of Health, Minister responsible for Labour, Dr. Morrison, Marion Dowling and Denise Lewis-Fleming advocating that protecting the health and safety of our members is critical to preventing exposure to, and transmission of COVID 19.  CUPE, IUOE, PEINU and UPSE are strongly advocating on behalf of all our members that you have access to the appropriate PPE.  The employer is fully aware where UPSE stands on this issue! I have daily contact and a weekly conference call with Health PEI.  

Other issues we have been dealing with since my last message include accommodating our members who may be immunosuppressed or have a family member at home who is at a higher risk if exposed to COVID 19.  We are dealing with those on a case by case basis.  We have developed guidelines on staff deployment in Health and are developing guidelines for the Civil Service.  We are working with the employer to get essential members who can work from home accommodated.  We have worked out an agreement for schedule changes regarding shift premiums for our non-shift employees, ensuring that our members who have been redeployed are getting their benefits in their collective agreement. I have worked with the employer to ensure that safety protocols were put in place for our LCC members to ensure their safety on their return to work. Last weekend I had discussions with the employer about return to work for our 750 Seasonal Recall members.  These are just a few of the issues we have been dealing with.

On a personal note, as your President, I have had many conversations with different levels of Government including the Premier during this pandemic.  Those that know me well, know that I take my position to heart, and I deeply care about my members.  To say the past few weeks have been trying at times would be an understatement.  Our members look to their Union for answers, help and solutions to issues that we really were not prepared for, during this unprecedented time.  I worry about the safety of my members every day, and that is always first and foremost in my conversations with employers.  I worry about our health care workers who face this pandemic on the frontlines with the fear of not being properly protected.  I worry about all those members who are delivering the extra services announced by the government on top of their regular duties to ensure that Islanders are getting much needed help.  I worry about our seasonal recall members and about our members who are dealing with an increase in social issues.   I worry about our correctional and enforcement officers, our group home workers who are working during this stressful time and keeping Islanders safe.  I worry about all our members who are working extended hours. I am so proud to be your President and acknowledge the vital services you are providing Islanders. You are doing incredible work!

To close I just want you to know that our LRO’s will be available over the Easter weekend if you have an urgent matter that needs to be addressed.  Please call the office number or email and you will reach one of our LROs.  Our number is 902-892-5335. Many of our members will be working this weekend and we send our heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of them.  I also want to acknowledge all the essential employees, union or not, who are working to provide the essential services Islanders need. We are all in this together. Every job matters, and we could not do this without all of you! They are going to work for us, so please stay home for them!

Karen Jackson
UPSE President

UPSE Thanks Essential Employees in Both Public and Private Sectors!

April 9, 2020



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

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!