CUPE MB Condemns Alberta Premier Danielle Smith’s Attack on Trans and Gender-Diverse Youth

CUPE Manitoba joins CUPE National in strongly condemning the recent measures introduced by Premier Smith of Alberta regarding gender policies for children and youth.

CUPE Manitoba Executive Board representative for 2SLGBTQIA+ members Daniel Richards says, “This is a direct attack on the 2SLGBTQIA+ and trans and gender-diverse community rooted in hate, bigotry, division, and distraction.”

“These oppressive measures clearly contradict expert guidance and evidence. The policy is a direct violation of the constitutional rights of Alberta youth. These policies will lead to serious personal suffering and damage for affected young people,” says Richards.

CUPE National’s statement notes, “These policies will rob teenagers in Alberta of information they need to make choices about their health, and the freedom to be their authentic selves at school.”

“Premier Smith must understand that she does not get to pick and choose what human rights to respect and what rights to and trample on,” says Richards.

CUPE Manitoba President Gina Mckay says “Canada’s labour movement will always stand united with marginalized people under attack, and this is no exception. Premier Smith must stop playing politics with the marginalized youth of Alberta and do the right thing and rescind these extreme measures.”

In Winnipeg today, February 05, there is a Rally for Trans Youth at the Legislative Building at 6:20 PM in protest of Alberta’s reactionary and bigoted policy plans. CUPE Manitoba encourages attendance at this event.

For more background and information, see CUPE’s Frequently Asked Questions sheet:
“RESIST ATTACKS THAT DIVIDE US: CUPE stands with trans people”

CUPE Manitoba condemns Sask Premier’s use of Notwithstanding Clause to override Human Rights of students

CUPE Manitoba President Gina McKay is joining labour leaders from across Canada today outside the Saskatchewan Legislature in Regina to condemn Premier Scott Moe’s attempt to override the human rights of students by using the notwithstanding clause of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

On September 29, an injunction was granted temporarily blocking legislation in Saskatchewan that would require teachers to disclose to parents if students were using different pronouns. In response, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe announced that he would be reopening the legislature on October 10 to pass the homophobic legislation through use of the notwithstanding clause of the Charter.

“Premier Moe is attempting to trample the Charter rights of children for partisan reasons that are based in ignorance and homophobia,” said McKay. “This has nothing to do with ‘protecting children’; in reality, it’s about targeting vulnerable people and making them less safe.”

“In Ontario, we saw the Conservative Ford government threaten use of the notwithstanding clause against striking education support workers. And now we have Premier Moe using it to try to override the rights of Queer, Trans, Non-Binary, and Two Spirit students” said McKay.

According to Daniel Richards, CUPE Manitoba’s 2SLGBTQI+ Diversity VP, “Premier Moe must understand that he does not get to pick and choose what human rights to respect and what to override and trample. Human Rights are not optional, they are universal and inalienable, and Canada’s labour movement will always stand united with marginalized people under attack, and this is no exception.”

“Regardless of what province or territory, conservative leaders like Moe must understand that the rights of Trans people are not up for debate,” said McKay. “Good people will never sit idly by while the rights of vulnerable people are under attack.”

At the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) Convention in May, delegates unanimously passed an emergency resolution calling on Unions to condemn hate across Canada. CUPE Manitoba has signed on to the action team to defend the rights of 2SLGBTQI+ workers and communities and will actively condemn the rising hate in all communities where CUPE members work and live.

To learn more about the ways that Unions and communities are working to condemn hate, click on the following links below:

Both Gina McKay and Daniel Richards are taking on active roles in Manitoba, alongside numerous 2SLGBTQI+ activists from CUPE and the labour movement, and encourage Union members to join the movement.

To learn more about the ways that you can show your support for 2SLGBTQI+ rights, visit:


For Information, contact Andrew Loewen, CUPE Manitoba: 204.259.0323 /

CUPE Manitoba Recognizes National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 30th is the National Day for Truth & Reconciliation. CUPE Manitoba is committed to support reconciliation and justice for all Indigenous Peoples. It is also the tenth Orange Shirt Day, a chance to honour the memories of the Indigenous children whose lives were lost in the residential school system, and recognize the strength of the survivors and their families.

CUPE Manitoba is committed to decolonizing through leadership. Today, our members are honoured to join people throughout this province and our country on this day of reflection and learning. And we are committed to working year-round in pursuit of meaningful, lasting reconciliation.

Action is needed to honour the children who didn’t make it home. Click below to learn how to build meaningful ReconciliACTION into your Local:

#OrangeShirtDay #EveryChildMatters #NationalTRCDay

If you are a residential school survivor or family member and require emotional support, there is a 24-hour Residential School Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419.

Statement from CUPE Manitoba President Gina McKay on Premier Stefanson’s Truth and Reconciliation week political ad campaign

Image of Progressive Consevative "Stand Firm" election billboard

Photo Credit: Alex Karpa, Winnipeg City News


Any leader who chooses to launch ad campaigns to ‘stand firm’ against finding the remains of missing and murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two Spirit Persons during Truth and Reconciliation Week is not worthy of being elected to the highest office in the province.

As a proud Métis, I’d like to remind Premier Stefanson that Manitoba was founded by Métis leader Louis Riel. The contrast between his legacy and her choices this week make it clear, she is unfit to be the leader of this province. She’s not qualified to represent the First Nations, Inuit, Métis, and Indigenous people of Manitoba who deserve respect, justice, and a commitment to all calls to action for Truth and Reconciliation and to find Manitoba’s MMIWG2S.

– 30 –
For information, contact: Katherine Norton, CUPE Communications at 306-510-6706

Statement from CUPE Manitoba President Gina McKay on anti-trans hate actions across Canada

It’s been deeply troubling to witness the surge of anti-trans hate movements across the country. Worse, to see self-interested right-wing politicians use the safety of children as tokens in their calculated games.

The safety of kids and the 2SLGBTQI+ community has to be paramount in the face of fear, conspiracy theories, disinformation and hate rallies, like the ones being held across Manitoba today. Now, more than ever, the labour movement needs to reaffirm our commitment to support the 2SLGBTQI+ community.

The Conservative politicians who are using the safety of children as a justification for hate are hypocrites.
In Manitoba – where one in five children live in poverty, where child hunger rates lead the nation, where cuts to classrooms leave kids without the support they need and where emergency rooms families used to rely upon are shuttered – any actions veiled as concern for kids from the Stefanson PCs needs to be rejected outright.

CUPE Manitoba will always reject hate and bigotry in all their forms. Our Union fully supports 2SLGBTQI+ inclusive education, which helps to represent the diversity of families in Manitoba and upholds the rights of children, youth, families, and workers.

As Unionists, “we should neither condone nor tolerate behaviour that undermines the dignity or self-esteem of any individual or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment” (CUPE Equality Statement).

Together, we will add our voices and our solidarity by joining peaceful counter-protests throughout Manitoba and Ontario. We will unite as CUPE members to put our Equality Statement into action on September 20th, 2023.

We can use our voices, activism, and allyship to counter misinformation, advocate for safer & inclusive spaces, and condemn the hate housed in the parental rights movement the PC Government is campaigning on.

In Manitoba, and across Canada, many organizations are working hard to educate workers on creating safer communities. Click below to learn more:

Let’s work together and commit to condemning hate in our workplaces and communities, together.




Black History Month in Manitoba

As Black History Month 2023 comes to an end, I Karen Brown – CUPE Manitoba’s elected Representative for Racialized Workers – want to thank all the volunteers and organizations that work to make this short month a time of great celebration   and learning, filled with music, great food and company. With the Youth Symposium and Debate, basketball clinic, history lessons with crafts and music and all the other opportunities to share, teach and learn it has truly been another great month. Thank you all.

Those of you who missed activities you can check out the Black History Month (BHM) website at or the cooking classes with Chef Rob Thomas on YouTube! Past years’ classes are also accessible.

Recognizing History, Celebrating Black Achievement

These celebrations are so very important, but so is understanding why BHM even exists. Unfortunately, history classes and books rarely talk about the accomplishments and contributions Black people have made to our local communities or the world at large. The books and discussions have historically glossed over the fact Canadians were involved in the enslavement and ownership of peoples from many African nations and it was not until 1834 that legislation was passed to abolish slavery (less than 200 years ago).

This year in celebration of Black History, CUPE recognized and highlighted Dr. Jill Brown, Ph.D, a Black, queer MPP in Ontario. She is the first Black, queer person to be elected in Ontario and reportedly in Canada. She has been a strong voice for the constituents that elected her on social justice issues and has introduced many pieces of legislation to further enshrine the rights and liberties of all. Find out more about her here:

The Canadian Mint celebrated BHM by commemorating the No. 2 Construction Battalion. Prior to 1916, Black men could not volunteer to serve their country in the forces in Canada. In 2022 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau formally apologized for the racist policies and the failure to recognize, honour and commemorate the Battalion that were denied dignity in life and in the death. Hear the apology to their descendants here:

And on January 30th of this year, Canada Post celebrated Chloe Cooley, an enslaved woman living in Upper Canada in the late 18th century. She tried to escape enslavement, and her act of resistance when caught on March 14, 1793 led to legislation that would change enslavement in Canada. Find more here:

In 2008 Senator Donald Oliver, the first Black man appointed to the Senate in Canada introduced the motion to recognize the contributions of Black Canadians and it received unanimous approval. Learn more about him here:

As with so many celebrations and recognitions, the list of Black people who helped form Canada in so many ways is endless and going forward it will hopefully be in the history books and celebrated and recognized not just in February but all year long.

Taking Anti-Racist Action

In order to accomplish equitable representation and recognition we must all take steps to end the anti-Black racism and white supremacy models that prevent, repress and oppress.

CUPE National adopted its Anti-Racism Strategy at convention in 2021. It features 10 strong goals, and timelines for reporting were developed after consultations with Black, Indigenous and racialized members. You can read it here:

Your Local can help achieve these goals-be prepared to participate in an equity audit, track grievances and complaints that involve racism, be sure BIPOC folks are represented and have full voice at every level and celebrate the accomplishments of Black, Indigenous and racialized members. You can support their advancement with employment equity plans, using an anti-racist lens to review all policies and procedures in your workplace and Local.

I was elected as the first Diversity Representative for racialized members on the CUPE MB executive in 2020 and re-elected in 2022. I want to hear from and support racialized members so I can continue to advocate for change and promote processes that are transparent, equitable and recognize the need to be progressive and fluid.

So, take the time to celebrate in February and then roll up your sleeves to keep the work alive and moving forward.

Abortion rights are human rights!

The U.S. Supreme Court has made a decision that directly targets the health & safety, human rights, and reproductive health rights for those accessing abortion and reproductive health services in the United States.

The court’s decision is rooted in politicizing and legislating the rights and decisions away from those needing safe and legal abortion and reproductive health services in their home communities.

All people needing access to abortion services are impacted, as this decision ensures that their bodily autonomy is no longer their own decision. Instead, individual states will have decision making power over what reproductive health services will be available, based on oppressive control measures.

The deep rooted oppressive measures taken are reflective of classism, sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and discriminatory governance and control.

As Manitoba’s largest union, we share our voice and solidarity with the labour movement, reproductive health clinics, 2SLGBTQI+ organizations, and community organizations in the United States that are advocating and opposing the dismantling of these rights.

We will advocate for everyone who needs abortion services, regardless of race, class, socioeconomic status, gender or identity.

For those who are forced to access abortion services and care in a non regulated or private program, we know that the risks are great for infection, complications, and even death. Public service reproductive care centres and clinics are crucial to ensure all humans have access to inclusive health care services in 2022.

If travel and access to reproductive health care increases in Manitoba as a result of this decision, CUPE & unionized workers stand with anyone seeking reproductive health care in our province.

The following resources and services are available for immediate support:

The Women’s Health Clinic:

Sexuality Education Resource Centre (SERC)

Winnipeg 204-982-7800
or Brandon 204-727-0417

For Teen Health information and a list of Teen Clinics in Manitoba visit:

Klinic Crisis Line
204-786-8686 or 1-888-322-3019

Services in the Northern Health Region:

To donate to abortion services in Manitoba, visit:

Manitoba health care support workers report facing racism during COVID-19

WINNIPEG – A new survey reveals many health care support workers on the frontlines of the
COVD-19 pandemic are experiencing anti-Asian racism.  It’s one of the findings of a Canadian Union of Public Employees membership survey of 1,877 CUPE health care workers.

One in five members responding to CUPE’s poll who self-identified as being of Asian heritage have personally experienced racism/bigotry in the workplace in the past month.  Comparatively, only one per cent of respondents who did not identify as being of Asian heritage reported experiencing racism at work in the same time period.

“Racism in the workplace and in the community is not acceptable – ever,” said Debbie Boissonneault, President of CUPE Local 204, representing health care support staff in the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) and Shared Health.  “Our Union stands with all front-line health workers who are experiencing racism.  CUPE is calling on all Manitobans to confront racism in the workplace, at home, and in the community,” said Boissonneault.

Over the past several months, anti-Asian racism and xenophobia have spiked across North America in the context of the outbreak of COVID-19.  This spike is a pattern of refueled racism towards the Asian population, much like what transpired during the SARS pandemic.

CUPE Manitoba is amplifying health officials in making it perfectly clear that ethnicity, background, or country of origin have nothing to do with COVID-19, in fact it is often marginalized communities that bear the brunt of pandemics due to systemic or institutionalized discrimination and colonization.

“There are other curves we need to flatten besides COVID-19,” said Abe Araya, President of CUPE Manitoba. “Manitoba is not immune to racism.  But we can fight it together.”

CUPE is urging members facing any form of harassment, discrimination and or racism to contact their employer, and let CUPE know.  “CUPE does not tolerate racism or discrimination, and our Union is dedicated to supporting our members who are targeted by ignorance and hate,” said Araya.

The online survey was conducted between March 30th and April 5th.  CUPE invited members to participate through email and member-only CUPE Facebook pages.

Respondents are CUPE members, and work in the WRHA, Shared Health, Northern Regional Health Authority, and Southern Health-Santé Sud.  The survey also showed health care support workers are not getting enough training, personal protective equipment, or support from the government.

Members are encouraged to learn about how to intervene against racism.

April 8, International Day of Pink: Show Virtual Solidarity

The International Day of Pink is recognized annually on the second Wednesday in April.

Its sole purpose is “…to create a more inclusive and diverse world.”

It began when the youth at Jer’s Vision (now the Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity) were inspired by the actions of David Shepherd and Travis Price, students in Nova Scotia.  They witnessed another student being bullied because they were wearing a pink shirt.  Travis and David quickly mobilized other students and pink t-shirts so the following day they could demonstrate their support of the target by wearing pink t-shirts to school.

News of their actions spread quickly and now, worldwide, people stand in solidarity, in pink, against bullying, discrimination, homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, and trans misogyny.

CUPE Manitoba members understand the principles and values of solidarity.

Because of COVID-19 this year we cannot physically stand together in pink, but we can participate in the virtual campaign/rally.

If you are able, put on a pink shirt, take a selfie and share the picture on your social media using #VirtualDayofPink.

We all know that we are strongest when we stand together. We can shape our world. Let’s help ensure there is safe space for everyone in our human family.

Take action against bullying.

Abe Araya Elected as President of CUPE Manitoba

BRANDON – Delegates at the 2019 CUPE Manitoba Convention in Brandon elected Abe Araya as President of the province’s largest union. Abe Araya comes from CUPE Local 110, representing custodians, maintenance, and painters at the Winnipeg School Division.

“Our union is focused on fighting back against cuts to health care, education, social services, and privatization,” said Araya. “Despite Brian Pallister’s attempts to divide working people, we will be uniting workers from across Manitoba to put a stop to Pallister’s austerity agenda.”

Delegates at convention voted in support resolutions, ranging from health and safety in the workplace, anti-oppression training for activists, pushing back against privatization, fighting against health care and education cuts, and supporting the Green New Deal.

“CUPE is an incredibly diverse union,” said Araya. “With the strength of Manitoba’s largest union, we will be on the front line defending public health care and education, public Hydro, and fighting for properly funded childcare and social services for all Manitobans.”

CUPE’s annual convention featured guest speakers, including NDP leader Wab Kinew, NDP Critic for Infrastructure and Municipal Affairs Matt Wiebe, NDP Member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre Leah Gazan, Winnipeg School Division Trustee Yijie Chen, and Manitoba Health Coalition Director Breanne Goertzen.

CUPE National President Mark Hancock and CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury spoke to delegates, committing the full strength of CUPE’s 700,000 members to fight against cuts and privatization.

Manitoba Federation of Labour President Kevin Rebeck provided updates on labour’s united front against Bill 28 (The Public Services Sustainability Act) and committed to fight against the Pallister government’s unconstitutional wage freeze.

Two hundred people rallied outside Brandon City Hall with CUPE Local 69 on Wednesday evening, voicing concern over the contracting out of work at the Wheat City Golf Course.

Gord Delbridge, President of CUPE Local 500 served as interim CUPE Manitoba President throughout 2019. Delbridge continues to serve as Vice-President of CUPE Manitoba. Barb Gribben of CUPE Local 737 was this year’s recipient of the prestigious Jack Rodie Award, recognizing dedication and activism in the union.

“Our union is stronger, and more united than ever,” said Araya. “Manitobans can count on CUPE to defend good jobs, and fight for our public services.”

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canada’s largest union representing more than 700,000 members.  In Manitoba, CUPE represents over 36,000 members working in health care facilities, personal care homes, school divisions, municipal services, social services, childcare centres, public utilities, libraries and family emergency services.