CUPE is welcoming new members in Powell River and Nelson following two successful votes in the past month.

CUPE 476, representing K-12 workers in Powell River, welcomed two information technology (IT) workers into their local. President Aileen O’Keefe noted that these members had worked alongside CUPE K-12 members for 25 years – initially as contractors, – before being absorbed into excluded staff.

“After so many years we are pleased to bring IT department workers into our bargaining unit,” said O’Keefe. “We appreciate the support from CUPE National staff who did so much to bring these workers into our local.”

The IT workers join 150 CUPE 476 members who support students in Powell River schools, including education assistants, clerical, custodians, bus drivers, maintenance and other support staff.

Following a representation vote, the Labour Relations Board also granted CUPE 3999’s application to vary their certification to include 25 workers from Nelson CARES Society at Stepping Stones Emergency Shelter—a 24-hour emergency shelter for those who lack safe housing in Nelson. These workers support people during homelessness and link them to other social service providers to assist with broader issues such as employment, health concerns, substance use, and community supports.

“CUPE 3999 welcomes our newest members with open arms and open hearts,” said President Sherry Errett. “I look forward to getting to know each and every member and to share our enthusiasm to be part of B.C.’s largest union.”

CUPE 3999 represents more than 400 members providing social services in the Kootenays (Trail, Cranbrook and Nelson), Okanagan and Shuswap regions, as well as Smithers. They work in the community to support employment opportunities for people with diverse abilities, staff group homes, and run day programs for adults with diverse abilities. CUPE 3999 members also work in community kitchens and support people with diverse abilities in volunteer, recreational and educational opportunities.