CUPE is Canada’s largest union
Protecting Ontario’s Public Health
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) represents more than 82,000 municipal workers across Ontario, including 5,000 public health workers.
In public health, our members work every day to keep our communities healthy and safe including:
- community workers
- dental assistants
- emergency planners
- public health workers
- public health inspectors
- tobacco enforcement officers
- registered nurses
- office and clerical workers
CUPE is Canada’s largest and fastest-growing union, with more than 700,000 members from coast to coast, working in municipalities, health care, social services, universities, school boards, transportation, communications, and more. In the last two years alone, our membership has grown by more than 50,000.
Why join CUPE?
CUPE will fight to protect your rights as a worker, for fairness in your workplace and ensure respect from your employer.
Being a CUPE member means you have the materials, information, programs, and staff expertise needed to meet the employer on equal terms, and negotiate better working conditions.
Each member has the assistance of a CUPE national representative. Representatives provide assistance with collective bargaining, grievances, health and safety, arbitrations, and other work-related issues.
Our staff also includes specialists who provide members with expertise in labour law, research, education, communications, job evaluation and pay equity, discrimination and equality, health and safety, technology, and more.
In CUPE the members are in charge. In each CUPE local, the members democratically elect their leadership and bargaining committee members, and decide their priorities for bargaining, when to settle a new contract, and how to manage funds.
CUPE’s strength comes from individual members working toward common goals. Together we maintain and improve wages and benefits, improve health and safety conditions, and make your workplace better.
In order to join CUPE you must complete, sign and date a CUPE membership card. Once you have completed it, mail it in to the postage paid envelope. Signing a membership card is a requirement under the Ontario Labour Relations Act.
Once CUPE has received cards from at least 50% of employees, CUPE will file an Application for Certification. When CUPE files the Application the membership cards are sent to the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) with the Application. The cards are completely confidential and the employer will never know who signed a card.
When CUPE files the Application for Certification the Employer is served with a copy of the Application (not the membership cards). Five business days following the filing of the Application an Officer from the OLRB comes out to the workplace and holds a secret ballot vote. No one will ever know how you voted. The vote is what determines whether CUPE is successful or not. It is a simple majority vote, so if 100 people come out to vote and 51 vote in favour of joining the union then everyone will become part of the union.