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Long-time union activist Catherine Peters is the winner of this year’s CUPE national disability rights activism award.

Peters, a member of the Hospital Employees’ Union, has been relentless in her push  to improve the working conditions of members with disabilities.

In honouring Peters, national president Paul Moist recognized her as someone who can “disarm people with her gentle grandmotherly ways” but has a “will of steel” when it comes to doing the right thing for workers.

She has worked for graduated return to work programs, and has pushed for better long term disability benefits. Peters also helped develop HEU’s Blue Poppy button campaign  to remember workers killed or injured on the job, and played a key role in the union’s  disability rights handbook.

She has worked as a licensed practical nurse and a unit clerk, and held many union positions including chairperson of her unit at Vancouver’s children’s hospital.