CUPE offers a full range of bilingual services to assist members and to equip locals to fight for their rights.
Through a network of regional and area offices, locals receive support from CUPE Representatives . Representatives assist locals in developing bargaining proposals and negotiating contracts. As well, they provide assistance and advice when the local is having difficulty enforcing their collective agreement. And they serve as a link with the specialized staff available to support local action.
CUPE’s specialist staff includes:
- Researchers, who offer technical analysis on bargaining proposals and model contract language, industry trends and government policies. With the largest union Research branch in Canada, CUPE offers expertise by sector and province, ensuring that locals have the information they need to negotiate the best possible contract and to ground political action in support of their bargaining demands.
- Health and safety experts, who help workers identify and prevent workplace hazards, assure occupational health standards and advocate improved legislation and enforcement. Whether the risks arise from unsafe equipment or environmental spills, repetitive strain, stress or workload, CUPE has the facts and the tools to address these problems and to press for remedies.
- Equality specialists, who have experience in tackling discrimination, racism and harassment and understand the issues related to pay and employment equity. Working closely with locals, they can recommend an approach that can address problems of inequality in the workplace, in our collective agreements, within our union and in the broader community.
- Job evaluation experts, who know how to compare apples and oranges and can help locals ensure that the value of their members’ work is recognized and fairly compensated. With pay equity and as job categories are shuffled with restructuring and amalgamations, locals require technical support to ensure that their members’ interests are protected.
- Lawyers, who give advice and technical assistance to locals in interpreting the collective agreement and relevant legislation, in handling grievances and arbitration cases and in preparing submissions to labour boards and the courts. Ready access to expert legal opinion can play a decisive role in equipping locals to use the law as a tool in defence of workers.
- Educators, who work with local members to build their skills and confidence, tackling the full range of issues that affect members day to day. Courses on topics as diverse as handling grievances and handling toxic substances, fighting privatization and fighting racism, building class consciousness and building an internal communicators network are offered directly to locals and in special schools.
- Communicators, who assist in developing campaigns to avert strikes or win them, attract or divert media attention, influence the public or politicians. With support for newsletters, pamphlets and ad campaigns, media releases and public rallies, locals can mobilize their members, demonstrate community support and put employers and governments on the defensive.
- Organizers, who help organize new workplaces and sign up unorganized workers. By increasing union membership, we all win. Those with first contracts can count on improved wages and working conditions. And for those who are already organized, there is less threat their job will be contacted out to a low wage employer.
- Accountants, who can help locals with financial systems, accounting and reporting. By calling the Secretary-Treasurer’s Help Line at 1-800-363-CUPE, you’ll get the support you need.