CUPE BC – Seeking Members’ Writing, Photos, Graphics, Recipes

Original Letter From

Karen Ranalletta, President, CUPE British Columbia
Trevor Davies, Secretary-Treasurer, CUPE British Columbia

Are you a hobby photographer? A poet or musician? Perhaps you’re a storyteller who has a way with words, a talented illustrator who does animation, or a gourmet chef with a great recipe to share. If you’re any of these things—and many more—we want to hear from you!

Next spring, CUPE BC will be publishing a special May Day edition of Public Employee magazine as a supplement to the regular issue. Produced in time to celebrate International Workers Day, this issue of our flagship publication will feature content—articles, photos, and graphic images—generated entirely by our members. We want to feature CUPE members from all sectors and all corners of the province by having you share your hidden talents while telling us your own stories of work, life, culture, and community. Perhaps there’s another member you’d like to tell us about—or even interview: someone with a cool job most people wouldn’t think is CUPE work, a member who’s involved in international solidarity issues like migrant farm worker advocacy, or one who’s well known as an event organizer for concerts, arts festivals or Pride parades. Perhaps it’s an amateur archivist who has great stories or old photos to share about their local’s history. Or a CUPE member who has served in public office—or still does—and wants to reflect on their political action experience.

For submissions, we’re looking for written contributions of up to 250 words in length and high-resolution photographs of two megabytes (MB) or higher. Depending on the volume of contributions, not all submissions may be published. But every participant will receive CUPE swag and be entered into a prize draw.

Please send your contribution by February 1, 2022 and e-mail it to:

CUPE BC Childcare Campaign

Original Letter From

Melissa Schuurman, CUPE local 4879
On behalf of the CUPE BC Public Childcare Now campaign


I am writing to you on behalf of CUPE BC’s Childcare campaign, which recommends implementing a universal public childcare system that is integrated into our public school system.  As David Fleming noted at the OMDC meeting last Saturday (Nov.20th), I am a local representative from CUPE local 4879 (Thompson Rivers University) in Kamloops, B.C. and I am helping to make local connections and awareness about this provincial campaign.

The provincial government is committed to $10 per day childcare, a model CUPE BC strongly supports and advocates for. The federal government is committing significant resources supporting childcare for kids aged 0-5, but what’s missing is new spaces for school-aged kids.

CUPE BC began the campaign for universal public childcare by promoting the “Seamless Day” model for kindergarten-aged kids. Now that that model is being piloted, in more than 20 districts, it’s time to take the next step: before and after school childcare for all school age children.

An email was recently sent out from Karen Ranaletta, CUPE BC President, to Local Presidents and those on CUPE BC’s directory with a link to the campaign website.  If you haven’t had a chance to review the campaign website and sign the petition, I would encourage you to do so now.  I would also encourage you to share this information with your Local and fellow CUPE members so that we can bring more awareness to this important issue.  I have attached some informational sheets for your reference.  If you would like a presentation at your next general meeting or further information about how you can support this campaign, please do not hesitate to contact me.  For those locals who have members working with school districts, I would like to work specifically with you on reaching out to about DPAC and Parent outreach.

Thank you in advance for your contribution and support.



Local 8911: CUPE Emergency Dispatchers

CUPE’s emergency dispatchers reborn as Local 8911

VANCOUVER— More than twenty years after being brought into the Canadian Union of Public Employees as a sub-local of the Ambulance Paramedics of BC (CUPE 873), B.C.’s 9-1-1 call-takers, emergency dispatchers and their support staff have been reborn as a brand new, standalone CUPE local.

Now known as CUPE Local 8911 – Emergency Communications Professionals of British Columbia (ECPBC), this newly chartered local represents nearly 600 communications professionals who provide call-taking and dispatch services, information technology, and support services to 34 police agencies and 40 fire departments, as well as 99 per cent of initial 9-1-1 call response in B.C.

“On behalf of the members of CUPE Local 8911, we want to thank our parent local, CUPE 873, for bringing us into the labour movement and supporting us over the past two decades, and for helping us build the capacity to stand as our own CUPE local,” said CUPE 8911 President Donald Grant.

“While our members now belong to separate locals, we look forward to working with ambulance paramedics, police, fire, and all first responders, along with all CUPE members, as we continue the fight to improve social and economic conditions for all workers in B.C. and beyond.”

Grant cited the expansion of emergency communications services in recent years, and the unique working environment of 9-1-1 call centres, as the main reasons members voted for self-advocacy through their own CUPE local. While carrying over the collective agreement of its predecessor, CUPE 873-02, the new Local will continue tackling major issues such as increased call volumes, workload stress, understaffing, and underfunding of the service.

“We look forward to working with all stakeholders in the near future to provide a fully funded emergency response service that meets the needs of British Columbians while recognizing the critical importance of our members’ work,” said Grant.

Save the PNE Campaign

Federal government action needed to save the PNE

VANCOUVER – A century old tradition of summer in the lower mainland of BC is being threatened by a loophole in the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 public health crisis. The largest union representing workers at the Pacific National Exhibition says long-term survival of the Exhibition – and the jobs of over 4,200 people – are at risk due to its exclusion from federal emergency financial aid.

“While many Canadians and businesses have had support to weather the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pacific National Exhibition is being left behind,” says Andrew Ledger, president of CUPE 1004, representing over 4,000 PNE workers. “Without immediate action from the federal government we may lose this important public institution, along with over $200 million of economic benefits to the region and the jobs of 4,200 people it employs every year.”

While the PNE is owned by the City of Vancouver, it operates as a year-round not-for-profit organization with no government funding. But municipal governments are excluded from accessing the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy, the federal government program subsidizing partial wages for businesses affected by COVID-19. While financially independent, the PNE affiliation with the City has meant it cannot access the CEWS. Without this assistance, and revenue losses due to COVID-19, the long-term survival of the PNE is threatened.

“Even with cost cutting measures, the Exhibition is staring down at project debt of up to $19 million by the end of the year. For a non-profit organization, this could be a fatal blow,” says Ledger. “We desperately need the CEWS or some other support from the federal government to save the PNE.”

In June, CUPE 1004 and the other unions representing PNE workers wrote to Finance Minister Bill Morneau urging federal government action, outlining the historic and ongoing significance of the PNE, the economic benefits it provides to the region, and the impact COVID-19 is having on the over 4,200 people the PNE employs every year. To date, there has been no response from the federal government.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a serious toll on CUPE members at the PNE, and even through these tough times they are still dedicated to this 110-year-old institution,” says Ledger. “But we need the federal government to step in, or there won’t be a PNE for CUPE members to help rebuild.”

In an effort to mount pressure for federal government action, CUPE 1004 has launched a Save the PNE campaign. The union is urging British Columbians to visit, where they can send messages to Finance Minister Morneau calling for federal action. (Please note that this communication is a direct re-print from CUPE National. In very recent news, Mr Morneau has resigned from his position as Federal Finance Minister.)

For more information:


+ Andrew Ledger, CUPE 1004 President:
604-324-2440 or
+ Greg Taylor, CUPE National Communications Representative:
604-842-7444 or

Pride 2020 Events


Pride 2020 Events | Resources & Calls to Action | Pride Swag

Dear members,

Please see the updates below and accompanying attachments.  All listed events and resources are virtual and accessible to the public:


Webinar | Global Queer and Trans Rights in a COVID-19 World | July 30th, 2020

Please join LGBTIQ leaders from around the globe for a series of conversations on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on human rights movements in their countries and regions. This panel brings together four leading activists from different parts of the world facing increasing challenges today.

This CUPE-sponsored event is being hosted by the Vancouver Pride Society in partnership with Dignity Network / Réseau Dignité, Fierté Canada Pride.

Date: July 30th, 2020 | Time: 6:30-7:30pm

Facebook Event Link:



2020 Vancouver Virtual Pride Parade | August 2nd, 2020

This year’s Vancouver Virtual Pride Parade will feature a combination of live hosted events, activities, and photo/video submissions sent in by participating organizations. A Live Stream will be held on August 2nd, 2020 featuring an hour-long, professional live stream event edited by DailyHive.  For more information about this year’s Vancouver Pride Parade and other Pride events in BC, please visit the Vancouver Pride Society website (click here) and the What’s On Queer BC website (click here).


32nd Annual Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF) | August 13th, 2020

This year’s VQFF, which officially opens on August 13th, has adapted to an online format to offer at-home audiences the best in independent queer cinema, along with workshops, artist Q&As, panels, and networking opportunities. Tickets for VQFF 2020 will be available to the public on July 13th , with special COVID-19 access pricing. Please visit the VQFF website (click here) for ticket and screening information.


Pride at Work Canada | Webinars and Virtual Events

Click here for a complete listing of upcoming webinars designed to promote inclusive workplaces and foster connections among LGBTQ2S+ professionals and allies.


Dignity Network Webinars

Dignity Network Canada is a network of Canadian organizations involved in supporting the human rights of LGBTQ2S+ people globally.  Please click here to access their virtual event listings.


Canadian Labour Congress | Workers in Transition Guide

The CLC has designed a practical guide (attached) for trade union leaders, union staff representatives, local executive, committee members and shop stewards. We all have a role to play to better protect the rights of our trans members and ensure they have the support they need in our workplaces, in our unions and in our communities. For additional information, please visit the CLC website (click here).


Egale | Resources, News & Campaigns

Egale is Canada’s leading organization for LGBTQI2S+ people and issues, improving and saving lives through research, education, awareness, and by advocating for human rights and equality. Please visit Egale’s website (click here) for a list of resources, news updates, and information on current action campaigns in support of LGBTQI2S+ people in Canada and around the world.


No Conversion Canada – Open Letter | Ministry of Justice and Diversity, Inclusion, and Youth

No Conversion Canada is a national grassroots coalition dedicated to banning conversion therapy in Canada.  Conversion therapy (or reparative therapy) is any treatment, including individual talk therapy, behavioural or aversion therapy, group therapy treatments, medical or drug-induced treatments, which attempt to change someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.  Please consider signing No Conversion Canada’s Open Letter (click here) to better protect Trans and Gender Diverse Communities from Bill C-8.


CUPE BC Pride “Welcome Place” Stickers

CUPE Locals interested in ordering “Welcome Place” stickers (sample attached) may do so by emailing the CUPE BC Division Office (


Rainbow Masks | Labarang Designs

To place an order for Rainbow masks, please inquire with Labarang Designs ( and explore their online catalog (click here).

Should you have any questions regarding this update, please email for additional information.

In solidarity,

Paul Faoro, President
Trevor Davies, Secretary-Treasurer
CUPE British Columbia
#410-6222 Willingdon Avenue
Burnaby, British Columbia
V5H 0G3
P: 604.291.9119

BC Libraries Need You

A message from CUPE BC’s President, Paul Faoro

Almost 1,000 British Columbians have sent messages to community leaders expressing their support for reopening our vital public libraries. We need your help to build on this momentum for CUPE BC’s campaign.

Across the province, from large centres like Metro Vancouver to small communities like Grand Forks, several public libraries have successful adapted their programs and services to safely reopen. Others have accelerated plans to reopen sooner than previously expected, such as five branches of the Vancouver Public Library.

These reopenings show that public libraries can adapt and innovate to serve the public who depend on them, and shows that our engagement with local government is making a difference.

We know you share CUPE’s passionate support for public libraries, and we know many in your community feel the same.

If you haven’t already, please visit and send your own messages of support.

If you already have sent a message, please help spread the word by sharing this campaign with your friends, family and neighbours.

Post to Facebook ►Share on Twitter ►Share by email ►

Brothers, sisters and friends, our work to reopen libraries is supporting one of our most important public services. Thank you so much for your continued support.


In solidarity,

Paul Faoro

President – CUPE BC

New Pedestrian Mall in Downtown Salmon Arm

The Downtown Salmon Arm Association has recently been given City approval for a portion of Alexander Street to be used as an open- air pedestrian mall.

The new Alexander Plaza will be running Saturdays, July 4 to September 5, 9:00am – 3:00 pm, between Hudson Avenue and Lakeshore Drive. The Farmer’s Market at the Ross Street Parking Lot is also every Saturday 9:00-1:30pm.

The DSA hopes to encourage more visitation by our locals, provide more space for outdoor dining/sidewalk sales, and encourage physical distancing while being outdoors.

EVENTS planned for opening day, July 4:

Live air music in front of RBC, playing 10:00-11:30 am, and again from 1:30-3:00pm
Plein-air painting by a local artist
Artisan craft vendors, 6 metres apart in the middle of the street
Salmar Classic Theatre popcorn giveaway, 11:00-3:00pm, by donation to a Charity (yet to be determined)
Bright and colourful street painting

HEALTH and safety:

Sanitization stations at the two ends of the Plaza (at Lakeshore and Hudson)
Sanitizer hand pump at the top of the breezeway
CoVid – 19 Health and Safety signage along the street
CoVid – 19 Safety Plan
Public Washroom signage

ACCESS and information:

Bistro table/table chair sets for the public
Shuswap Community Foundation Youth group (YPAC0 as ambassadors – giving directions, helping visitors
On-site Manager
Loading Zone area beside TD Bank on Lakeshore
Social media parking blasts to let people know of alternative parking areas

As always it would be great to see you there!

COVID-19: Community Support and Engagement Opportunities


Dear members,

Please find information below on ways to support your local community during the COVID-19 outbreak.  These are just some ways in which you can help. If you would like to see another organization featured on future email updates, please contact us at

Canadian Red Cross: Local Emergency Field Hospital Support for COVID-19 Patients

Several weeks ago, the Canadian Red Cross Field Hospital Unit began mobilizing medical supplies and technical personnel to support a backup care facility at the Vancouver Convention Centre.  These resources provide the local health authority with additional space for essential care and free up hospital beds for COVID-19 patients. Please consider a donation to the Canadian Emergencies & COVID-19 Response Appeal (click here) and/or the Canadian Red Cross Covid-19 Global Appeal (click here), and support the delivery of critical services both internationally and in our local community. More information on the Canadian Red Cross’ domestic COVID-19 initiatives can be found here.

Union Protein Project Partnership: Supporting Local Food Banks

CUPE BC Division is a proud affiliate of the Union Protein Project (UPP)a non-profit society formed by unions and the United Way in 2006 to address protein-based food shortages at BC’s food banks. The UPP, in partnership with 50 Million Meals, is currently running a campaign to alleviate local food insecurity through the sale of Kampot Pepper, a globally renowned pepper variety produced in Cambodia. They recently announced that 50% of all proceeds will go towards subsidizing protein-based foods for Food Banks across Canada.

Another benefit of this campaign is to mobilize in solidarity with small scale, Cambodian pepper farmers devastated by the Pol Pot Regime, who now face greater precarity due to the influence of large multinational agricultural companies.

During this difficult time, local Food Banks are in desperate need of help to provide healthy food to those in need.  By purchasing Kampot Pepper, individual members can help Food Banks secure protein-based food at greatly subsidized rates and maximize their buying power.  A ten dollar purchase can yield up to $20.00 in protein for a local Food Bank and provide critical support to vulnerable populations both locally and abroad.

If you are exploring ways to give back to your community at this time, please consider purchasing Fair Trade Kampot Pepper in support of your local food bank.  Please also encourage your local and employers to become involved and purchase Kampot Pepper for corporate gifts.  More information on Kampot Pepper and how to purchase it can be found here.

Food Banks BC: Direct Donations & Virtual Food Drives

Another way to support individuals and families in need is through a direct donation to your local Food Bank (listed here).  Please consider a monetary or food donation to the food bank, and also consider organizing a Virtual Food Drive with your colleagues, friends, and family. More information on ways to give and organizing fundraising campaigns can be found here.

United Way of Canada: Direct Donations & Volunteerism

United Way Centraide Canada has launched a national fund to support on-the-ground services that communities need right now. Click here to donate to the Local Love in a Global Crisis campaign.

United Way of the Lower Mainland is also seeking 20 volunteers to assist with distributing meals to those in need through their neighborhood houses.  Specifically, volunteers are needed to serve as greeters and assist with line management while observing physical distancing guidelines. If you are healthy and interested in helping, please contact Gabriel Avelar by email ( or by phone at (778)-838-7478).  Alternatively, please sign up for a specific neighborhood house online by clicking one of the following areas:  North Vancouver, South Vancouver, and Downtown.

Migrant Rights Network: COVID-19 Petition for Worker and Migrant Justice

The rise of COVID-19 cases across Canada has been concurrent with growing levels of xenophobia and racism.  This disproportionately affects migrant, poor, and racialized communities, who have been the most significantly impacted by the economic downturn. At this time, the Migrant Rights Network is calling on federal, provincial, and municipal leaders via petition to ensure worker and migrant justice informs the COVID-19 response at all levels.  Please visit the Migrant Rights Network petition here, and/or support the Migrant Rights Network’s efforts in uniting against racism through a monetary contribution (click here).

Should you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please address them to our office by email at

In solidarity,

CUPE BC Division
#410-6222 Willingdon Avenue
Burnaby, British Columbia
V5H 0G3
P: 604.291.9119 F: 604.291.9043