2017 PEI UPSE News & Announcements Archives

Year: 2017

PEI UPSE Bursary Winners for 2017

January 2, 2018

Each year, UPSE proudly awards a scholarship and nine bursaries to students attending college or university. UPSE believes in the power of education, and understands the importance of working towards a degree or professional designation. UPSE’s bursary and scholarship program helps reduce some of the economic burden that students face.  Kristen Strongman is the winner of the Laurie Jenkins Scholarship for 2017 valued at $1000.  Jimmy Rogers is the winner of the Julie MacKay Bursary for 2017 valued at $500.  All other bursaries are valued at $500.


Pic L-R: Karen Jackson (President, UPSE), David Miller, Kristen Strongman, Kayla Strongman, Joseph Weatherby, Brooke Smallman, Krista Gillis, Miah Donahue and Chrissy Murphy (Chair, Public Relations and Recreation / Convention Committee).

Winners not in the picture are: Iman Taha, Jimmy Rogers and Tara Garnhum-Acorn.  


UPSE E-mail Difficulties

January 2, 2018

UPSE is currently not able to view any incoming e-mails because of technical problems. To communicate with UPSE staff in the meanwhile, please call the union office at 902-892-5335 or toll free at 1-800-897-8773.

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2017









UPSE Holiday Hours

December 21, 2017



The union office will close on Thursday, December 21 at noon (12 p.m.) and will reopen on December 27, 28 and 29 (8:30 - 4:30 p.m.), and then back to regular hours on January 2, 2017 (8:00 - 4:30 p.m.).

The Accent

December 20, 2017

Check out the latest edition of The Accent: Karen Jackson, on behalf of UPSE's executive, board of directors and staff, wishes all members a happy and safe holiday season (see Accent).

Highlights: UPSE's 56th Annual Convention

December 20, 2017


Check out the highlights from UPSE's 56th Annual Convention including key issues facing the membership, guest speaker presentations, resolutions, member of the year, executive election results, UPSE giving back and more (see highlights).


UPSE Supports CBC Feed a Family Campaign

December 13, 2017

dfPEI UPSE donated 34 turkeys to the CBC Feed a Family Campaign. UPSE's Board of Directors set the pace with a $500 donation and the UPSE membership matched this with another $500. Karen Jackson, (UPSE President), said "our union believes in supporting communities and we recognize that this time of year can be hard for a lot of people. If we can help in any way to make things a little bit easier then it is a worthwhile cause."

Pic L-R: Jay Scotland (CBC), Karen Jackson (UPSE President), and Kevin Gotell (UPSE Secretary Treasurer)

2017 Montreal Massacre Service

December 7, 2017


Karen Jackson (UPSE President) and Eileen LeClair (PEI Silent Witness program), lit a candle in memory of Sonia Pelletier who died in the Montreal Massacre in 1989. The memorial service is coordinated by the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women as part of the Purple Ribbon Campaign Against Violence.

First mourn, then work for change

Please keep your purple ribbons to wear during PEI Family Violence Prevention Week, February 11 to 17, 2018.


National Day of Remembrance and Action to End Violence Against Women

December 6, 2017

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 is paramount that we work together to eliminate violence against women.

The Accent

November 23, 2017

Check out the latest edition of The Accent: UPSE Christmas parties; East and West Prince and Charlottetown and area (see Accent).

UPSE President Speaks on Workplace Violence

November 16, 2017


Karen Jackson, UPSE's President, spoke today at the Health PEI Leaders Community Meeting. Her goal was to bring awareness to the leadership of Health PEI about the increase in frequency and severity of workplace violence. She explained that "UPSE members play an integral role in providing care to patients, and because of their level of interaction with patients, they are the primary victims of workplace violence (see more).

The Accent

November 16, 2017

Check out the latest edition of The Accent: UPSE Supports Purple Ribbon Campaign; UPSE encourages the province to implement paid leave for domestic violence, and infornation on preventing violence if you are a bystander (see Accent).

UPSE Supports 2017-18 Purple Ribbon Campaign

November 16, 2017

dIt's the season of purple! Everyone has a part to play in ending violence against women. PEI UPSE recently attended the annual pinning bee at the Confederation Centre Public Library. Participants at the pinning bee worked together to pin ribbons for distribution to schools, community groups, and individuals across PEI.

Picture (L-R) Karen Jackson (UPSE President), Michelle Jay (Program Coordinator, PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women) and Chrissy Murphy (UPSE Steward, Local 7).

Remembrance Day, November 11

November 10, 2017


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 fight for our freedoms - lest we forget.

Karen Jackson,

President, UPSE


UPSE will be closed on Monday, November 13 for Remembrance Day 2017.

The Advocate

November 9, 2017

Check out the latest edition of The Advocate: President's Message, 56th Annual Convention, Executive Elections, Resolutions, Bargaining and Grievance Update and more (see Advocate).

UPSE Supports Early Childhood Development Week

November 9, 2017

PEI UPSE Supports Early Childhood Development Week (November 6-10, 2017). UPSE salutes Early Childhood Educators and is proud to recognize their valuable contribution to our society. 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,

President, UPSE

Snow Clearing Tender

November 6, 2017


Please submit tenders for a seasonal contract agreement for the 2017/18 Winter Season.

The services will include snow removal from UPSE’s upper and lower parking lots by 7:30 a.m., as well as shoveling, sanding and salting of entrance areas. Return visits may be required on the same day depending on conditions. Preference will be given to members and the lowest tender may not necessarily be accepted.

Please send tenders by November 17/2017 to:

Union of Public Sector Employees
c/o Kevin Gotell, Secretary Treasurer
4 Enman Crescent
Charlottetown, PE
C1E 1E6

Purple Ribbon Pinning Bee (November 9, 2017)

November 1, 2017

dIt’s the season of purple! The 2017-18 Purple Ribbon Campaign theme focuses on the power of bystanders: Don't stand by. Stand with. Everyone has a part to play in ending violence against women. Be a part of the solution by speaking up and taking action when you see violence occurring or have concerns that someone may be harmed. Be a part of the solution by wearing a purple ribbon to show your support for women and girls and your commitment to ending gender-based violence. Be a part of the solution by joining others to pin ribbons for distribution to schools, community groups, and individuals across PEI.

The annual pinning bee will be held Thursday, November 9, 6:30 - 8:00 pm at the Confederation Centre Public Library, 145 Richmond Street, Charlottetown.

UPSE Welcomes City of Charlottetown Employees

October 24, 2017


The PEI Union of Public Sector Employees is now the official union representing the City of Charlottetown workers who were formerly represented by the Voluntary Association of Charlottetown Employees (see more).

(Bottom, L-R) Vada Fernandez (former VACE Co-Chair), Karen Jackson (UPSE President) and Cindy Merritt (former VACE Co-Chair). (Top, L-R) Cathy MacKinnon (UPSE Resource and Organizing Officer) and Troy Warren (UPSE Labour Relations Officer).


The Accent

October 19, 2017

Check out the latest edition of The Accent: Empolyee Innovation Awards Program; Bargaining Update for Tremploy; Steward Level I and II, and more (see Accent).

Seniors Advisory Committee

October 16, 2017



Dr. Michael Cormen, Principal Advisor to Seniors Health, Department of Health and Wellness, met with UPSE's retirees in Local 19 recently at the union office in Charlottetown. Dr. Cormen is currently involved in creating the Island's first senior's health and wellness strategy. He has set up a Seniors Advisory Committee to compile data to learn more about the needs of Seniors in our province.


Pic (L-R): Carol McGrath, Dr. Michael Cormen and Eileen Brown.  

Happy Thanksgiving from UPSE

October 6, 2017






I would like to wish all the members of UPSE a Happy Thanksgiving.  I hope your weekend is filled with family time and Thankful Blessings.  To all our members who have to work the holiday, Thank You for your dedication and time away from your family during the holiday, in providing exemplary care for those Islanders under your watch. 

Happy Thanksgiving

Local 19, Guest Speaker (Dr. Michael Cormen) October 10/17

October 4, 2017

Dr. Michael Cormen, Principal Advisor to Seniors Health, Department of Health and Wellness, will be the speaker at Local 19 Retiree's meeting on October 10th at 2:00 p.m. UPSE invites All UPSE Retirees and those nearing retirement to attend. Dr. Cormen and his team are creating the Island's first senior's health and wellness strategy. He has set up a Seniors Advisory Committee to compile data to learn more about the needs of Seniors in our province. 

The Accent

October 3, 2017

Check out the latest edition of The Accent: Call for nominations (Member of the Year), reminder of upcoming educationals, and the union's 56th Annual Convention (see Accent).

Bargaining Update: Tremploy

September 29, 2017

The collective agreement between Tremploy and UPSE expired on June 30, 2017. Negotiations took place over the summer and a tentative deal was reached in August.  The ratification process was completed in September and members voted unanimously in favour of the new deal on September 28, 2017.  The new collective agreement runs for a three year term until June 30, 2020.

Pic: (L-R) Joel Dennis (Executive Director, Tremploy), Kevin Gotell (UPSE Secretary Treasurer), Karen Jackson (UPSE President), and Hans Connor (UPSE LRO)

Employee Innovation Awards Program - 2017 Suggestion Drive

September 25, 2017

Do you have an innovative idea to help improve your workplace? The Employee Innovation Awards Program aims to encourage and recognize employee ideas which reduce costs, improve service or result in significant improvement to workplace safety and wellness. Each submission for an innovative idea made to the Employee Innovation Award Program prior to November 3, 2017 will be entered for a chance to win a prize. If your suggestion is implemented and reduces costs, you may be eligible for a cash award up to $5,000! Contact Pam Webster, Program Coordinator, at EIAC@gov.pe.ca or Room 141, 1st Floor Sullivan Building for more information.

Application Deadline: November 3rd, 2017

Police and Peace Officers Memorial Service in Ottawa

September 25, 2017

This is the 20th year that UPSE and Community and Correctional Services Division has co-sponsored attendance at the Police and Peace Officer Memorial Service in Ottawa. This service provides an opportunity for professional development, networking, and honouring fallen colleagues.

In 1998, the federal government officially proclaimed the last Sunday of each September as Police and Peace Officers' National Memorial Day. This service gives Canadians an opportunity to express their appreciation for the ultimate dedication of these police and peace officers.

Pic (L-R) Chris Oatway, Brendon Ellsworth, Jeff MacDonald, Pierre Gaudet and Mike Chaisson.

The Accent

September 22, 2017

Check out the latest edition of The Accent: Call for Federation of Labour Annual Convention, Update on Directors elections, and upcoming UPSE educationals (see Accent).

UPSE Mourns Loss of Long-Time Activist and Life Member Kenny “Trixie” Dunn

September 22, 2017

We are saddened to hear the news of Trixie’s passing.  Trixie was a wonderful union activist who connected with his union brothers and sisters on a personal level. He will be remembered fondly for his infectious smile, hearty laugh, and bone crushing hugs which put many members at ease over the years, when dealing with difficult issues. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sharon and his family at this sad time. 

Rest in peace Brother (see more).


Results of Recent Local Director Elections

Local #1 (Connie Smallman), Local #3 (Arlene Bowness), Local #5 (Steve Mollins), Local #7 (Kim Stewart), Local 9 (Melanie Cahill-Gallant), Local #11 (Anita Verreault), Local #15 (Jane Young), Local #17 (Terrance McGaughey) and Local #19 (Carol McGrath and Eileen Brown).

Congratulations to all the candidates and thank you for offering to serve on our Board of Directors. I look forward to working with you all as we work together to meet the challenges and opportunities for the membership.

Many thanks to outgoing Directors Lynn Bovyer and Susan Harris for their dedication and hard work while sitting on our Board. I look forward to working with you both in your other roles with UPSE.

In Solidarity,

Karen Jackson

President, UPSE

Convention Call: PEI Fed of Labour Annual Convention

September 19, 2017

The PEI Federation of Labour is hosting its 53rd Annual Convention on Friday (evening) October 27 and Saturday, October 28, 2017 at the Loyalist Lakeview Resort in Summerside. UPSE is entitled to send 45 members. Mileage and meals will be paid. Hotel rooms will be provided to those who reside over 40 km away from Summerside. Please advise the UPSE office if you require a hotel room.

Please contact the UPSE office by October 6, 2017 to express interest in attending the Federation of Labour’s Annual Convention. Call 902-892-5335 or toll free 1-800-897-8773, or e-mail peiupse@peiupse.ca.

Bargaining Update: Health PEI

The UPSE bargaining team met with the employer in January in Charlottetown at the UPSE office. Parties were not able to find common ground on key issues such as monetary items (premiums), wages, union business and travel for medical appointments.  Parties then moved to Conciliation on May 25 and 26, 2017 but were unable to reach an agreement.  Subsequently dates for arbitration have been set for February 13-15, 2018. Representatives working on behalf of the negotiating teams have selected Bob Breen to act as Arbitrator.  Stay tuned to the UPSE website for further updates as they become available.

2017 UPSE Bursary Applications now Available

September 13, 2017

For more information, click here

Take A Break Walk sponsored by PEI UPSE Women's Committee September 16, 2017

September 13, 2017

The Women’s Committee is hosting a “Take a Break” walk on September 16, 2017 (10:00 a.m.) at the O'Leary Confederation Trail. It is free and open to UPSE members and their family and friends!

Snacks and prizes will be provided. Everyone welcome!

Please note: In Case of rain, the walk will be cancelled.

Former Board of Director Member, Merilla Crossman passes away

September 1, 2017

President Jackson along with all of the members of UPSE is saddened to hear of the passing of member and former Board of Director member, Merilla Crossman. Merilla was a strong Union advocate for her members who served on various committees 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 at here


Weeklong Labour School 2017

August 31, 2017

The 2017 Weeklong Labour School is being held from Sunday afternoon on October 15th until Friday afternoon October 20th. PEI UPSE will be sending 4 members and asking for interested members in good standing to submit an application to be returned to the UPSE office by 4pm on September 22, 2017.

Please see the latest Accent for details on the courses being offered and complete the application linked here.

Applications are also available at the UPSE office

The Advocate

August 25, 2017

Check out the latest edition of The Advocate: Holland College Tour, Bargaining and Grievance Update, Home Care and Staff Shortages in Health (see Advocate).

Annual Labour Day Picnic: PEI Federation of Labour

August 24, 2017

Date: Monday, September 4, 2017
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Location: Joseph Ghiz Memorial Park, Charlottetown

Drop by to celebrate Labour Day 2017! There will be face painting, a magician and a bouncy house for children. Hot Dogs, Corn, French Fries and more will be served.

UPSE Proud of members for helping fight the BC Wild Fires

August 8, 2017

For 14 days, Nick Thompson’s workplace was dry, dusty, hot and smoky. The air quality had never been so poor. “It was a lot worse than any other fire I had been to,’’ says Thompson, 37, of Stratford. Thompson, a provincial forest technician, has fought dozens of forest fires in P.E.I., Nova Scotia, Alberta and Montana. He was one of 12 Island forest firefighters – all employees with the province’s Department of Communities, Land and Environment - that teamed up with six firefighters from Newfoundland/Labrador to help contain wildfires in British Columbia (see story).

Addressing Concerns in Home Care

August 2, 2017

The union has been made aware from many concerned members, that government is looking at privatization options for homecare services in PEI.  President Jackson asked Minister Henderson about this, as well as the Human Resource Department responsible for Home Care Services.  HR informed the Union that they are unaware of any changes to services. Minister Henderson in his reply to the President explained that  "I can assure you that the current function and funding for home care is not being changed. We are working with the federal government on what the requirements will be for their targeted home care funding. It is my understanding that the new health accord dollars (which is above our normal allocation of funding,) must be used on new and innovative initiative(s).  Our home care team provides a tremendous service to Islanders. Whatever this new initiative looks like, it will not interfere or overlap with the work that we currently have going on; I anticipate it will be an increase in services and most likely a new way to collaborate or integrate home care with other areas of our continuum of care." UPSE will continue to monitor the situation and is looking into the federal funding requirements for the new health accord dollars, and that these new initiatives do not lead down the road of privatization of our public services. 

UPSE Supports Pride

August 1, 2017

UPSE was out in full colour on the weekend supporting fellow Islanders at the annual Pride Parade in Charlottetown. The parade started at the government buildings and ended with Pride in the Park at Rochford Square. This was the largest event in recent years and more than 70 groups were registered.

Pic: (L-R) Carolyn Knox (Director, Local 8), Benjamin Pettipas, Bruce Constable, Lynn Bovyer (Director, Local 9), and Karen Jackson (UPSE President)

UPSE Golf Tournament Full

July 28, 2017

UPSE's annual golf tournament is now full. This first twelve teams to contact the union have received bookings. This year golfers will be playing at the beautiful Brudenell River Golf Course.


Pride Parade: July 29, 2017

July 26, 2017

President Jackson invites UPSE members to take part in the Pride Parade on Saturday, July 29th (rain or shine), with marshalling at 12:00 p.m. in the Government Buildings Parking Lot with the Parade beginning at 1:00 PM. This year's event will feature a prominent Islander as parade marshal (TBA), street closures at key corners along Euston and Great George Streets, and feature the return of the Pride in the Park Celebration, an all-ages party at Rochford Square when the parade finishes.

Location: Government Buildings Parking Lot, 16 Fitzroy Street, Charlottetown

The Accent

July 20, 2017

Check out the latest edition of The Accent: 2017 Police & Peace Officers Memorial Service, UPSE Annual Golf Tournament, and Island Forest Firefighters off to B.C. (see Accent).

Island Forest Firefighters in B.C.

July 17, 2017

Karen Jackson, UPSE President, extends thanks and best wishes to provincial firefighters who are battling wildfires in British Columbia. Firefighters with the department of Communities, Land and Environment left Prince Edward Island today and will be joining other firefighters from Newfoundland and Labradour as part of a joint effort to combat the serious wildfire situation in western Canada.

2017 Police and Peace Officers Memorial Service in Ottawa

July 17, 2017

This is the 20th year that UPSE and Community and Correctional Services Division will co-sponsor attendance at the Police and Peace Officer Memorial Service in Ottawa. This service provides an opportunity for professional development, networking, and honouring fallen colleagues.

This year, a total of 4 will be selected from the front line of Youth Workers, Correctional officers, Probation officers, and the Sheriff Department to attend the March. Representatives will be departing Charlottetown on September 22nd, 2017 and departing Ottawa September 24th, 2017 after the March returning to PEI on the evening of September 25th.

Click here for complete details

Click here for application

CLC/UWCC Post-Secondary Scholarship

July 10, 2017

Please follow the attached link for information on the first annual CLC/UWCC Post-Secondary Scholarship presented by CLC Young Workers Program and the United Way Centraide Canada. Deadline for receipt of application is August 9, 2017.

Scholarship Link

Mental Health and the Workplace

June 29, 2017

UPSE's third educational on mental health and the workplace was a great success. The course looks at mental health conditions in the workplace and provides insight about how to address mental health challenges. Members learned about the nature of stress and its effects on employees and the workplace. UPSE members shared experiences at work that have caused stress. The conversation was engaging and productive. Guest speakers from EAP and Canadian Mental Health were on-hand to offer information and strategies to help members.

The Accent

June 27, 2017

Check out the latest edition of The Accent: Call for nominations for First and Third Vice-President, Upcoming events, and Holland College Tour (see Accent).

Strait Crossing Bridge Limited Signs New Collective Agreement

June 26, 2017

Strait Crossing Bridge Limited signed a new collective agreement in June 2017. Pic L-R top: Troy Warren (UPSE LRO), Andrew Noonan (UPSE bargaining team), and Eric Stewart (UPSE bargaining team) Pic L-R bottom: Kevin Gotell (UPSE Secretary Treasurer), Karen Jackson (UPSE President), Michel Le Chasseur (General Manager, SCBL) and Keith Sigsworth (Toll Traffic Supervisor, SCBL)

Holland College Tour

June 26, 2017









President Jackson recently toured Holland College and met with members in Georgetown, Alberton, Summerside and Charlottetown.. The union also held a special Welcome to UPSE educational for Holland College members which was met with great enthusiasm from the membership. A special on Holland College will be included in the next edition of The Advocate.

Pics L-R top: Kevin Arsneault (Program Coordinator/Learning Manager for Basic Fire Fighting), Corey Marchbank (Quartermaster Atlantic Police Academy, Slemon Park), Heather Profit (Service Worker), Sherri Roberts (Instructor of Administrative Assistant Program Alberton HC Centre), and Rick Cheverie (Welding and Fabrication Instructor Holland College, Alberton Centre)

Pics L-R bottom: Scott Lacey (Welding Instructor), Debbie Duncan (Interdisciplinary), Phyllis MacPhee (Admin.), Kent Morrison (Welding Instructor) and Josh Silver (Heritage Retrofit Carpentry Learnning Manager)

In Case of Rain: Take A Break Walk on June 24, 2017

June 23, 2017


The Women’s Committee is hosting a “Take a Break” walk on June 24, 2017 (10:00 a.m.) at the O'Leary Confederation Trail. It is free and open to UPSE members and their family and friends!

Note: In case of rain the walk will be cancelled.

Snacks and prizes will be provided. Everyone welcome!


Public Service Week - June 11 - 17, 2017

June 14, 2017

In recognition of Public Service Week 2017, I want to thank all provincial government employees for your valuable service. Public services improve quality of life for everyone and make PEI a better place to live and work every day. They reduce social and economic inequality and provide our communities with public infrastructure, a skilled and healthy workforce, and a safe, clean environment.

As President of the Prince Edward Island Union of Public Sector Employees, I am proud to recognize your contribution, both at work and in your communities, to the health, safety and well being of all Islanders.

In Solidarity,
Karen Jackson
President, UPSE

Take A Break Walk sponsored by PEI UPSE Women's Committee June 24, 2017

June 13, 2017

The Women’s Committee is hosting a “Take a Break” walk on June 24, 2017 (10:00 a.m.) at the O'Leary Confederation Trail. It is free and open to UPSE members and their family and friends!

Snacks and prizes will be provided. Everyone welcome!



Complete Labour Survey for Chance to Win an iPad

June 9, 2017

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), of which PEI UPSE is a component, is conducting research into what generational change means for unions and the labour movement in Canada. The research will begin with a short survey of members of NUPGE components. The purpose will be to help recruit participants for an upcoming online study. The survey will take under 10 minutes to complete. Member perceptions and feelings through the lens of generational differences are some of the information that will be analyzed. A subset of respondents will then be recruited to participate in the online community study made up of millennial (age 18 to 35) members. 
Members' views will be reported with complete anonymity, and questions will explore a number of themes:

  • Perceptions of union trust
  • Perceptions of union value
  • Perceptions of youth in the workplace and within the union

Members' views will be extremely valuable in mapping out what can be expected during the next worker-cohort transition and will provide advice for communicating with and engaging young members. This survey is open to members of all ages, and all are encouraged to take part. We are especially encouraging young workers, under 35, who have been less active or less vocal within the union. All members who participate in the survey will have a chance to win a new iPad in an upcoming draw. Those chosen from the survey to participate in the online community will receive a $100 incentive. Participation in this online community will take about an hour. To access the survey, please click on the following link: Survey

National Union 2017 Scholarships

June 9, 2017

Please see the link to follow for information about the 2017 National Union Scholarships for the children / grandchildren of current / retired members. The application deadline is July 7, 2017.

National Union Scholarships

Governor General's Canadian Leadership Conference

June 9, 2017

UPSE participated in the Governor General's Canadian Leadership Conference through hosting a study group on June 7, 2017 at the union office in Charlottetown. The conference was created to broaden the perspectives of future leaders in business, unions and public administration so that their decisions are based on a practical understanding of the influence of their organizations on the general welfare of the community. President Jackson presented to the study group about labour issues in Prince Edward Island including the importance of creating a culture of civility in our workplaces, and the need to implement legislation on domestic violence leave. Other presenters included speakers from the PEI Federation of Labour and the Cooper Institute.

The Accent

June 9, 2017

Check out the latest edition of The Accent: Summer Family Fun Day is July 23, 2017 ... see Accent for important details. Also, the union is calling for Director nominations in odd numbered locals. See The Accent for important dates (see Accent).

Steward Conference 2017

June 1, 2017

UPSE held its 2017 Steward Conference recently in Summerside. The full day event included sessions on the stewards role in meeting with employers, what a steward needs to know about just cause for discipline, how to fairly represent members and other key topics. Kimberly Turner and Andrew Nielsen of Pink Larkin lead the sessions.

Pic on left: Kimberly Turner, Q.C., Andrew Nielsen and Mike Lyriotokis (UPSE Chief Steward).

UPSE Summer Hours

June 1, 2017

The Prince Edward Island Union of Public Sector Employees' summer hours are Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Front Line Staff and Patients Need Protection

June 1, 2017

Karen Jackson, UPSE President, speaks about the need to protect front line staff and patients in health care facilities. President Jackson says the union hears about the violence front line workers are experiencing in the workplace on a regular basis. She cites Hillsborough Hospital as a prime example where more needs to be done to ensure worker and patient safety (see article).

The Accent

May 24, 2017

Check out the latest edition of The Accent: The union is offering two upcoming educationals ... Steward Level II on June 16, and Mental Health and the Workplace on June 29, 2017 (see Accent).

2017 Police Officers of the Year Awards

May 23, 2017


Karen Jackson, UPSE President, attended the 2017 Police Officers of the Year Awards which is held in conjunction with National Police week. Crime Stoppers holds the event to acknowledge and thank all the fine members and support staff of our Island Police Services that work 24-7 year round to make our communities safe.

Pic (left): Karen Jackson (UPSE President) with Don Reid (UPSE member and President of PEI Crime Stoppers) and UPSE Board members Pic (right): Karen Jackson with Cst. Kim Dudley (runner up of the 2017 RCMP Officer of the year award and former UPSE member), and UPSE Board members.

The Advocate

May 23, 2017

Check out the latest edition of The Advocate: In this edition see the latest update on UPSE's campaign to support provincial liquor store employees, a special on mental health week, bargaining / grievances and more (see Advocate).

The Accent

May 16, 2017

Check out the latest edition of The Accent: The union is offering a Welcome to UPSE course for Holland College on June 8, 2017 (see Accent).

UPSE Campaign: Supporting Provincial Liquor Stores and Employees

May 9, 2017

The union is launching phase II of a positive campaign to support public liquor stores and their employees in Prince Edward Island. UPSE is looking for volunteers to participate at local liquor stores between May 15 and May 20 by carrying a sign of support for our public liquor stores and employees. If you are able to volunteer for an hour or two please contact the UPSE office at 902-892-5335 or e-mail peiupse@peiupse.ca The campaign encourages the public to shop at provincial liquor stores for better customer service and selection, and knowing that profits are reinvested into public services like health and education.

The Accent

May 5, 2017

Check out the latest edition of The Accent: The union is planning to hold another educational on Mental Health and the Workplace in late May, also, see information on the upcoming Stewards Conference (see Accent).

Mental Health and the Workplace

May 4, 2017


UPSE held two workshops on Mental Health in the Workplace during CMHA's Mental Health Week. The educational was delivered to a full house on both days. Presenters talked about mental health conditions in the workplace and provided insight about how to address mental health challenges. Members learned about the nature of stress and its effects on employees and the workplace. Jo Power, a Consumer and Family Support Worker with CMHA delivered her personal story to the members about how she suffered and survived from mental health challenges. Her talk was moving and inspired members to share their stories as well.

Pic: Jo Power, Consumer and Family Support Worker with CMHA.

Mental Health Week (May 1-7, 2017)

May 2, 2017


CMHA’s Mental Health Week is an annual national event that takes place during the first week in May to encourage people from all walks of life to learn, talk, reflect and engage with others on all issues relating to mental health. (See more)

Grass Cutting Tender

May 1, 2017


PEI UPSE is calling for tenders regarding grass cutting services for the union office located at 4 Enman Crescent, Charlottetown. Services are required from May 15 to October 31, 2017. Grass should be cut once per week or as needed (also includes weeding, edging and maintaining flower beds).


Please submit tenders by May 5, 2017 marked Grass cutting tender to:

Union of Public Sector Employees
c/o Kevin Gotell, Secretary Treasurer
4 Enman Crescent, Charlottetown
PE, C1E 1E6

Us and Them (May 9, 2017)

May 1, 2017


The United Way of PEI has been provided with a wonderful opportunity to host a community film screening of Us and Them in Charlottetown! The much buzzed about film, Us and Them, is set to screen in Atlantic Canada. Filmmaker Krista Loughton chronicles her personal experience befriending four chronically homeless people. Using the First Nations Medicine Wheel, she sets out to help them, but in the end they end up helping her. The story digs deep into the root causes of homelessness and addiction.

The United Way of PEI and the Cooper Institute are partnering to host this event on Tuesday May 9th, at the University of PEI (Don and Marion McDougall Hall, Rm 242, 3-5 pm). Following the screening of the event, Krista Loughton will answer questions from the audience. And to wrap up the event, several local experts will share their perspective of homelessness and poverty issues on PEI, including their recommendations for collective action.

International Workers Day

May 1, 2017


Today is International Workers Day, a day to celebrate and acknowledge workers in PEI, Canada and the world. International Workers Day reminds us about the importance of maintaining and improving the rights of workers, and improving the workplace as a whole. The day originated from the now famous Haymarket Affair in Chicago in May 1886. A strike was organized for the eight hour work day and in recognition of protesting workers who had been killed by police.

Day of Mourning Ceremony: April 28

April 26, 2017


All Islanders are invited to the Day of Mourning Ceremony for workers killed or injured on the job. In Canada hundreds of workers die from workplace injury and illness each year, and hundreds of thousands experience a workplace injury or illness. On April 28 it's important to remember those who have died and to think about the families affected by these tragedies.


Where: Memorial Hall, Confederation Centre, Charlottetown

When: Friday, April 28, 2017

Time: 7:00 pm

Administrative Professionals Day

April 26, 2017


The Union of Public Sector Employees recognizes the support and expertise Administrative Professionals provide in the workplace. On April 26 let's celebrate these hard working, multi-tasking individuals for the important work they do every day. Today we celebrate our admin staff at UPSE who provide excellent service to our members daily!

Pic: (L-R) Jackie McCaughey (UPSE Accounting and Technology Coordinator), Tammy Laybolt (UPSE Membership and Records Coordinator), and Mary MacLean (UPSE Education and Meetings Coordinator).

Moving Toward Bully-Free Workplaces in PEI

April 26, 2017

UPSE President, Karen Jackson, comments on the importance of creating bully-free workplaces in Prince Edward Island. Statistics indicate that 40% of Canadian workers experience bullying on a weekly basis, and 45% of targets suffer stress-related health problems.    

(see article)

The Accent

April 20, 2017

Check out the latest edition of The Accent: UPSE Grass Cutting Tender and Dementia Care Certificate Program for PEI Health professionals (see Accent).

RCW Week: April 16-22

April 20, 2017

Resident Care Workers (RCWs) and Patient Care Workers (PCWs) are an integral part of the health care team in PEI. They improve our quality of life and provide first rate, front line health care for our loved ones. UPSE thanks RCWs and PCWs for their commitment and valuable contribution to health care in Prince Edward Island.

Karen Jackson
President, UPSE

Subway Sluggers Heading to World Masters

April 13, 2017


The Subway Sluggers is one of two squads from P.E.I. making the journey to the World Masters Games, which take place in Auckland, New Zealand, from April 21 to 30. UPSE members on the team include Wilma Ramsay (OHS Officer), Darlene Hackett (RCW) and Doris MacKinnon (Addictions Worker) See story.

pic (L-R) Wilma Ramsay and Carol Wayne

The second squad heading to New Zealand is the Cheers ladies masters softball team. Dawn Moase is the coach and also a proud UPSE member. Dawn is a Traffic Manager in West Prince. See Story.

Att: healthcare professionals - Dementia Care Certificate Program - 101

April 12, 2017

The Dementia Care Certificate Program is a comprehensive educational program offered by the Alzheimer Society of PEI for healthcare professionals, personal support workers, home care support workers and professional caregivers (read more).

Steward Level II scheduled for April 26th is CANCELLED

April 5, 2017

Steward Level II educational scheduled for April 26, 2017 has been cancelled and will be re-scheduled to a future date.

The Accent

March 27, 2017

Check out the latest edition of The Accent: UPSE Educational (Mental Health and the Workplace), Retirement Planning Workshop, and BridgeFest 2017 (see Accent).

Congratulations to Newly Elected Directors for Locals 1, 14 and 20

March 21, 2017

Elections for locals 1 and 14 are now complete and UPSE would like to Welcome new Local 1 Director, Connie Smallman, and new Local 14 Director, Trevor MacKinnon.

Welcome as well to new Local 20 Director, Don DesRoches, who won by acclamation as he was unopposed.

Announcement: Director Election - Local 14

March 3, 2017

Linda Clarke has withdrawn her nomination form from the Local 14 Director Election, and subsequently is no longer running for the position. Linda's ballot will appear in the election kits in the mail; however, please disregard her ballot. Your choice will be between Jeff MacDonald and Trevor MacKinnon. The deadline to return your ballots to the UPSE office is March 17, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.

Lynn Bovyer (Chair, Membership Services and Communications Committee)

International Women’s Day, March 8th: Be Bold for Change

March 3, 2017

Dancing! Resistance! Food and Fun! For International Women's Day 2017, a fabulous committee is organizing an evening of celebration and bold action for equality. There will be demonstrations of group dances from a variety of cultures, which everyone can participate in. There will also be the opportunity to creatively express ideas for acting boldly together to bring about the equality of women everywhere. Quotations from women and art supplies and materials will be provided.

We will boldly sing Bread & Roses together, and Advisory Council Chairperson Mari Basiletti will read her International Women’s Day Opinion piece. And of course there will be refreshments! All ages and genders are very welcome. Festivities from 4:30pm –7:00pm, Wednesday, March 8, 2017at the Jack Blanchard Centre7 Pond Street, Charlottetown This is a wheelchair accessible space.

For details, contact Michelle at info@peistatusofwomen.ca or call 902-368-4510.

Att Members: MHCSI Preferred Pharmacy Provider Program

March 3, 2017

UPSE is still participating in the Preferred Pharmacy Provider Program offered by MHCSI that delivers enhanced value for our Health Benefit Plans (see more).

The Accent

March 3, 2017

Check out the latest edition of The Accent: CLC Convention, Educational opportunities (Welcome to UPSE, Steward I and II) and pension literacy (see Accent).

Update on "Reasonable Lateness"

February 27, 2017

We all remember how terrible the weather was in the winter of 2015 and the problems it caused for many of us to get to work.  As a result of these challenges, the Union wound up filing a number of grievances with Health PEI to ensure that members were being treated fairly in meeting the challenge of getting to work in a timely manner in spite of adverse weather and storm conditions when travelling to work (read more).

Members Enjoyed Winter Family Fun Day!

February 27, 2017


UPSE members had a great time at the union's Winter Family Fun Day in Mill River recently. There were sleigh rides, tobogganing, skating and a host of fun outdoor activities. The union believes in getting members together for both fun and making PEI a better place to live and work every day.



Pink Shirt Day 2017

February 22, 2017


UPSE's President, Karen Jackson and staff are wearing pink today in support of the victims of bullying so they know they are not alone and that there is help and support available. Pink Shirt Day reminds us that we have the ability to spread kindness and that we can put an end to bullying. The union offers a Bully Free Workplaces Program throughout the year to members across the province. For more information contact Cathy MacKinnon (Program Coordinator) at 902-892-5335 or toll free at 1-800-897-8773.

Picture (Top L-R) Jackie McCaughey, Hans Connor, Tammy Laybolt (Middle L-R) Cathy MacKinnon, Karen Jackson, Mary MacLean (Bottom L-R) Blair Weeks, Mark Barrett. Andrew Jack

Rural Strong

February 21, 2017


Karen Jackson (UPSE President) and Kevin Gotell (UPSE Secretary Treasurer) attended the"We are Rural Strong Walk" in support of rural Islanders and keeping public services available for all.






Extended - Call for Vacant Director Positions: Locals 1, 12, 14 and 20

February 17, 2017

Due to the weather related office closures this week, the Call for Vacant Director Positions for locals 1, 12, 14 and 20 has been extended to Friday February 24, 2017 at 4:00pm.

Nomination forms are available to print on the union’s website (www.peiupse.ca), or call UPSE at 902-892-5335, or toll free at 1-800-897-8773.

To be eligible for nomination as a Director a member must:

• be in good standing for at least the previous twelve months
• be nominated by a member in good standing of the applicable local
• have completed the Welcome to UPSE or equivalent course
A biography must be included with the nomination form (mandatory).

Walk: We Are Rural Strong (Feb 20, 2017)

February 17, 2017















Benefit for Danny Connolly (Local 12) on February 25, 2017

February 15, 2017


There is a benefit party being held for Danny who has recently been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) also known as Lou Gehrig ’s disease. The diagnosis has significantly impacted Danny and his family physically, emotionally, and financially. Thus, his family and friends have joined together to support Danny and his two daughters Kara, age 17 and Molly-Rose, age 8. On February 25, 2017, a benefit will be held to support Danny and his family through this difficult journey ahead. The benefit will be held at the Murphy Community Center on Richmond Street and will include entertainment and a silent auction. Richie Bulger and his band “The Wannabeez” will be playing starting at 7:00PM. There with be a dance, silent auction and 50/50. If you have any questions or would like to make a donation, please feel free to contact Tara Connolly at connollytara15@yahoo.ca or cell 1-902-786-1108, or Patti-Lynn Jenkins at 1-902-626-6689.

Danny’s friends and family have created this Go Fund Me page for those who wish to lend your support, moral or financial.


UPSE Has a Heart Cheque Presentations scheduled for Tuesday February 14th

February 13, 2017

Please note that cheque presentations are scheduled for Tuesday February 14th from 10am to Noon.

In the event of inclement weather, our office follows with Civil Service Charlottetown Area. Please check weather delays/cancellations for an update as to whether our office is delayed or closed.

You may find this at PEI Government Weather Cancellations or CBC Storm Centre

If our office is delayed or closed Tuesday February 14th, we will re-schedule the cheque presentations.

PEI Family Violence Prevention Week (Feb 12-18, 2017)

February 10, 2017


Family violence affects, or will affect, all people in Prince Edward Island. Family violence is connected to abuse of power and control, and to injustice based on sex, race, age, class, sexual orientation, and physical or mental ability. Individual history, family history, and current circumstances play a role in family violence.

Communities across the Island are planning events and activities to help raise awareness of family violence including walks in silence, awareness presentations, family activities and more. See the full schedule

Wednesday, February 15 is Wear Purple Day

Weather Cancellations and Re-Scheduling to make note of

February 7, 2017

With the weather forecast for Wednesday, February 8th, please note the following:

UPSE HAS A HEART presentations scheduled for Wednesday February 8th have been re-scheduled to Thursday February 9th at the same time that were scheduled for Wednesday.

If you have a conflict and cannot make the presentation time on Thursday, please call the UPSE office at 902-892-5335

LOCALS 7, 9 and 12 scheduled for Wednesday February 8th have been Cancelled and will be re-scheduled to a future date

UPSE Members Giving Back to Communities

February 7, 2017


Each year the union supports non-profit and community organizations in PEI through the PEI UPSE Has a Heart campaign. Karen Jackson, President of UPSE, says “the campaign is about the membership helping community organizations that make a difference for Islanders. In February organizations will present their proposals to the UPSE PR and Rec committee.

Pic (L-R) Joyce Paynter (UPSE Retiree), Karen Jackson (President, UPSE) and Gwen Taylor (CNIB Volunteer).

Joyce, is a true example of UPSE proud. Once an UPSE member always an UPSE member.

- she continues to belong to local 19

- she looks forward to reading her quarterly publication of The Advocate

- she continues to give back to her community by volunteering at CNIB

Joyce is a fine example of how UPSE members across the Island are giving back to their communities. She is an inspiration to us all!

Kimberly Hagan (Local 8) Wins Dr. J.H. O'Hanley Award

February 3, 2017


Kimberly Hagan, a Social Worker at QEH, has received the Dr. J.H. O'Hanley Award. Kimberly helps families that face financial, emotional and other turmoil as a result of having a sick child. She helps up to 4o sick children and their families each month in her job. Kimberly's compassion and resourcefulness in regard to helping sick children and their families is being recognized through this award (see more).


The Advocate: Winter 2017

February 2, 2017

Check out the latest edition of The Advocate for a report on the union's 55th Annual Convention and more (see more).

Can Work Be Safe, When Home Isn't?

February 1, 2017


Karen Jackson (UPSE President), Dina DesRoches (Co-Chair UPSE Women's Committee) and Cathy MacKinnon (UPSE Resource and Organizing Officer) recently attended the Canadian Labour Congress’ Domestic Violence at Work Facilitator Training session in Nova Scotia. The course trained participants to facilitate workshops on domestic violence at work and the role of unions and the labour movement in addressing it. UPSE will continue to work with the CLC and will develop a two day workshop in the near future. Stay tuned …

Pic (L-R) Cathy MacKinnon (UPSE Resource and Organizing Officer), Barb MacQuarrie (Community Director of the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children at Western U.), Mary MacNeil (PSAC Atlantic Rep), Karen Jackson (UPSE President), Dina DesRoches (Co-Chair UPSE Women's Committee), Vicky Smallman (Director of CLC Women's and Human Rights Department) and Becky Kent (Provincial Coordinator of Transition House Nova Scotia). 

Health PEI: Latest Bargaining Update

January 25, 2017


The bargaining team met with the employer on January 23 and 24 at the union office in Charlottetown.  Parties have not been able to find common ground on key issues such as monetary items (premiums), wages, union business and travel for medical appointments. The union will now move to conciliation to try and reach a deal that is beneficial for the membership and acceptable to the employer. Conciliation is the final step before binding arbitration.

UPSE Supports Members at Mill River

January 25, 2017


Karen Jackson, the President of UPSE, says “with the announcement of the sale of the Mill River complex, the union will support its members in their bid to apply for positions within the new ownership group, and or the public service, and will look into possible successor rights.” President Jackson and Hans Connor (UPSE LRO) met with Mill River employees on January 19, 2017 and assured the membership they will be supported throughout this transition. The union believes that provincial parks should remain open and Mill River should not be a model for other provincial properties in the future. Pic: Karen Jackson, UPSE President, and UPSE members at Mill River.


January 24, 2017

Winter Family Fun Day, Cancer Benefit for Bruce Horne, Call for Vacant Director Positions, and Upcoming UPSE Educationals (see Accent).

Bell Let’s Talk Day is on January 25, 2017

January 24, 2017


On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell will donate 5¢ more towards mental health initiatives in Canada, by counting every text, call, tweet, Instagram post, Facebook video view and Snapchat geofilter.

  • For every text message you send on January 25, Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives.
  • For every mobile and long distance call you make on January 25, Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives.
  • Each time you tweet on January 25 using #BellLetsTalk, Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives.
  • Each time you post on January 25 using #BellLetsTalk, Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives.
  • Every time you watch our Bell Let’s Talk video on January 25 we’ll donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives.
  • Each time you send a snap using the Bell Let’s Talk geofilter on January 25, Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives.

UPSE Photos: 55th Annual Convention

January 19, 2017

Check out some of the photos from the union's 55th Annual Convention (see more).

Workplace Violence Survey for Health PEI Employees

January 16, 2017


President Karen Jackson encourages all UPSE health care members to participate in the following important survey about workplace violence. She encourages full participation in the survey as it provides an opportunity for the membership to have their concerns heard.

From Health PEI: Health PEI takes its responsibility for providing a safe workplace seriously, including preventing and reducing violence in the workplace.   You are being invited to take part in this survey so that we can make improvements to our health and safety policies and practices. The results of this survey will help prevent injuries and illnesses at your work site.

This survey will take 15 minutes of your time to complete. Please note that you will not have to provide your name or contact information. All responses will remain anonymous and confidential and no question is mandatory; however, the more accurate and complete the information you provide, the more useful the data.

The survey is currently open until January 27, 2017. Take the survey here: (Survey)

UPSE Supports Members at Mill River

January 12, 2017

President Jackson says "there are 49 employees affected by the sale of Mill River. This includes nine permanent employees, thirty nine casual employees, and one special projects staff. They have been contacted by the employer and informed of the news, and we will be meeting with our members to discuss their options as provided under the collective agreement” (see more).

Cancer Benefit for Bruce Horne (February 22, 2017)

January 11, 2017

A cancer benefit for Bruce Horne (Chief Steward, Local 1) will be held at the Elmsdale Community Centre at 7 p.m. on February 22, 2017. Bruce has undergone chemotherapy and radiation treatments in Charlottetown, and thoracic surgery in Halifax. He has been off work since September 2016 and is expected to return to work in the spring. Any donations or money raised will help Bruce with travel costs and any other costs associated with cancer treatments. The benefit will feature an auction, a 50/50 draw, and tickets will be on sale for a gift basket. There will be a canteen and some great local entertainment.

Donations can be made at the credit union #33004-101.

UPSE Has A Heart

January 9, 2017


Are you a non-profit or charitable organization seeking financial support? If so, the UPSE Has a Heart team is looking for a proposal from your organization.

To present your proposal please call the UPSE office at 902-892-5335 by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, February 3, 2017 to reserve your time. The presentations will take place on February 7 and 8, 2017.