CUPE PEI "declares war" on work overload

Delegates vote to make workload an issue in upcoming negotiations this year

PEI members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) have voted on a resolution to “declare a war” on work overload. They will make it an issue in upcoming negotiations this year.

“We work through our breaks. We work through our lunches. We are working longer hours and additional unpaid hours,” said Donalda MacDonald, President of CUPE PEI. “Workload is going to be a major issue in negotiations and in our workplaces.”

The vote was taken at the annual convention of CUPE PEI, which was attended by more than 100 delegates representing 2,200 members across the province.

The resolution stated that CUPE members are dealing with increased stress caused by chronic government underfunding, privatization, staffing shortages and workplace amalgamations. It calls work overload a “modern-day epidemic” that leads to unhealthy levels of stress and work-related injuries.

The resolution called for CUPE PEI to make workload a major focus for campaigns and negotiations this year.

A cross-Canada poll of Canadian workers conducted by Ekos earlier this year revealed that 52 per cent of public sector workers identify heavy workload as a significant problem. The poll also found that public sector workers work more overtime than those in the private sector. Stress arising from workload is of particular concern in the education sector (74 per cent) and the social services sector (72 per cent).

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