Education should not be forgotten in this election

Charlottetown – CUPE Local 3260, which represents over 800 Education support workers in PEI, is calling on politicians of all stripes to hear what front-line staff have to say to improve the quality of education on the Island.

“Political parties, particularly the PCs, have been rather quiet in this election on what measures they will take to improve K-12 education. There are a lot of challenges in the sector that are unnecessarily happening. Why did Premier King let our bargaining situation degrade to the point where we are at this very moment in the arbitration process?” asked Carolyn Vandaele, President of CUPE Local 3260. “We should have had a new contract by now, but instead, the Education Minister has let the situation fester because apparently, they don’t believe in wages that go above inflation for front-line workers,” added Vadaele.

The Educational Support workers have been without a contract since April 1, 2021. The union is seeking better contract language and better wages to tackle recruitment and retention in their sector.

“When inflation is this high and our pay cheques are going behind, the government should not be nickel-and-diming the people making inclusive education possible on PEI,” said Vandaele.

Local 3260 conducted internal polling, which showed that over 50 percent of members need a second job in order to put gas in their cars and food on their tables for their families.  One member shared just how this affected her: “I am really feeling the brunt of the last 5 years of constantly holding down after-school and summer jobs.  The mental toll that it takes to organize, schedule and complete the after-school jobs that I do is huge.”  

“Our members need to hear from each political party what measures they would put in place to improve working conditions in our sector. It’s not easy making a living when you are only promised about 6 hours a day for 10 months a year,” concluded Vandaele.


CUPE Local 3260 represents over 800 Educational Assistants and Youth Service Workers, Student Attendants, Workplace Assistants, and Education Interpretation Workers in the PEI school system.

Global People Power: Building worker solidarity in a global economy

April 5, 2023 [6:30 – 9:30 pm AST]


This workshop explains the role that capitalism plays in workers’ lives, and examines the links between local and global issues. We will explore how building solidarity with workers in other countries makes the labour movement stronger in Canada and around the world. This workshop will be offered virtually on April 5, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. Atlantic. If you would like to register for this course, click the link

CUPE PEI Would like to hear from you!

Now accepting nominations for the Leo Cheverie Activism Award

The nomination committee is looking to recognize a member who meets the following criteria:

Whose activities have benefitted social justice causes
Brought focus to environmental issues
Brought focus to social justice issues
Is a CUPE PEI member in good standing

Please submit an email that outlines who you’re nominating, to which local they belong, and how they meet the criteria, to by April 21, 2023.

The Leo Cheverie Activism Award is presented at CUPE PEI’s Annual Convention.  The award winner will have their name added to a commemorative plaque, and CUPE PEI will make a $100 donation to a social justice organization of their choice.

PEI Schools Must Remain Inclusive and Welcoming to All

Charlottetown, PEI – Recently, some parents are making propositions at home and school association meetings to remove the province’s guidelines for respecting, accommodating, and supporting gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. CUPE Education Locals (CUPE 1145, CUPE 1770, CUPE 1775, and CUPE 3260) are unanimous in their support for the existing guidelines.

“We see these guidelines as something positive for students, our communities, and our members. Making public services safe and welcoming for all is something to celebrate, not to tear down,” said Carolyn Vandaele, President of CUPE Local 3260. The provincial guidelines are aimed at ensuring schools are safe and welcoming for all students, and that children’s and staff members’ sexual orientations and gender identities are respected.

“The guidelines are 100% in line with our unions’ stance on respectful workplaces. We salute the Public School Branch’s recent public statement of support for the guidelines,” said Robert Geiss, school bus driver and President of CUPE 1145.

“We call on our Education Minister Natalie Jameson to do the same, and issue a public statement,” said Tracy Campbell, President of CUPE 1770.  “Clearly, the Department must do a better job at raising awareness and helping parents understand why these guidelines exist,” concluded John Doucette, President of CUPE 1775.

CUPE represents over 1,600 education workers on the Island. CUPE 1145 represents school bus drivers and aids. CUPE 1770 represents education administrative and support staff. CUPE 1775 represents school board maintenance staff. CUPE 3260 represents educational assistants, youth service workers, workplace assistants, student attendants, and educational language interpreters.


Black History month

Black History Month is a time to celebrate and highlight the best of Black History and culture, and to honor the ancestors and leaders of Black communities, their accomplishments and their continued fight for liberation.