2021-2023 Executive Board

Below are the names of your new Executive Board for COPE Local 96!

TREASURER: Bonnie Cava
SECRETARY: Heather Del Ben
VP TBRHSC: Amanda Hulst
VP LU: Karen Anderson

COPE Local 96 Executive board nominees

hi all

here are the bios that I received from the members who are letting their names stand for the COPE Local 96 Executive Board

Tracey Robinson

Hi, my name is Tracey Robinson. I have been employed at TBRHSC for 22 years. The majority of my time has been in ICU as a Ward Clerk but I have also worked casual positions in a variety of other depts. The opportunity to work in these different areas of the Hospital has given me an appreciation for the value of a Collective Agreement. I realized how important it is to start speaking up for the members of COPE, our voices are not always heard as loudly as others. I became more interested in the work of the union and enjoy the ability to support other members with labour relations issues.

Over the last 4 years I have been an active Union Steward, had the honor of attending Health Coalition as a COPE 96 Representative. To better my education within COPE 96 I have joined the following Committees: Constitution and By- Laws, Job Evaluation and the Bargaining Committee at TBRHSC. I have also attended many COPE educational courses including; Steward Training, Art of Negotiations and Grievance and Arbitration. Approximately 18 months ago I stepped in to the role of Sergeant-at-Arms and would like to continue in the role. I am additionally, running for the Executive Vice-President. The role of Vice-President would allow me greater opportunity to address our members concerns and as I mentioned earlier, make sure our voices are heard. Thank you for your support and I hope I can count on your vote!

Karen Anderson

– 2020 Human Rights and Duty to Accommodate
– 2020 The Art of Negotiations
– 2020 Bylaws and Constitution Committee
– 2019 First Aid Training
– 2019 The Basics of Being a COPE Union Representative
– 2018 Mid-Term National COPE Conference Delegate
– 2018 Effective Union Leadership
– 2018 Grievance & Arbitration Part 1 & 2
– 2018 Coalition of Post-Secondary Workers on Ontario Fall Conference Delegate
– 2015 Worker Health and Safety Awareness in 4 / 5 Steps
– 2014 AODA Training
– 2011 Frontline Conference
– 2000-2010 Certified member, Joint Health and Safety
– 2009 Business Writing Basics for Professions
– 1991 Seminar “Increase Productivity/Reduce Tension in Your Office”
– 1991 Seminar “Power Communication Skills for Women”
– 1990 Seminar “The Four Essentials of a High-Performance Secretary”
– 1985 Ontario Business College “Word Processing Applications”
– 1985 Graduated Hillcrest High School
WORK EXPERIENCE Lakehead University
2021- Administrative Assistant, Faculty of Business
2004-2021 Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Education, Lakehead University
1994-2004 Administrative Assistant, Physical Plant
1991-1994 Secretary II – Department of Civil/Mechanical Engineering
1990-1991 Secretary I – School of Engineering
1988-1989 Secretary I – Reference and Information Services in Library
1985-1988 Library Clerk II and I, The Chancellor Paterson Library
– 2018-2021 COPE Health and Wellness Committee
– 2017-Present COPE Bargaining Unit for Lakehead University
– 2015-Present COPE Job Evaluations Committee
– 1995-1996 Re-Engineering Purchasing/Accounts Payable

My History of Involvement in the COPE Union

My first involvement with the Union was in 2015 when this announcement came out: Lakehead University lays off 6 full-time workers from library. Many, including myself, were very upset with the comments from our President at the time.
I remember when we had our Lakehead University Unit meeting, asking the following questions:
– “Can’t we train them for another job?”
– “What can we do to support them?”
– “Why is the University dealing directly with the impacted employees and using a “gag” order on them?”
– “What is going to happen to these members?”
I have been paying my union dues for thirty years. In the early years as a member, I would go to meetings if we were voting on ratifying our collective agreement [which I never read]. I had no idea what happens behind the scenes. I had attended meetings in the past and we would be there for hours listening to the hospital updates/debates and not much reporting from Lakehead University.
If you are still reading, GREAT, because those are definitely the past. Our meetings run seamlessly and I really cannot remember when they have been longer than one hour. In an effort to become more involved, I joined the job evaluation committee and after many years, I am still sit on the committee.
And to satisfy my desire to learn more, in 2017 I joined the Bargaining Unit – and then you are forced to read the Collective Agreement – -insert laughter here–
My main objective was to change the wording/process when jobs become redundant and bumping takes place. I am happy to say that some language was removed, to help on the side of union members.
I honestly can’t recall how many Collective Agreements we have signed in the last 36 years. But, I do remember our past Unit Vice President putting up information on the overhead projector –aging myself—and rolling my eyes thinking get on with it…. “how much money are we getting?”
Through my experiences, I now know that the wording in YOUR Collective Agreement is ESSENTIAL to help our members.

So who is Karen Anderson and what does she stand for?

I try every day to be the best person I can be. I take pride in my work, and I am a dedicated employee. I have overcome so many obstacles in life (professionally and personally) but from every failure, I try to find the good in it. However, I have witnessed many things over my career and I have experienced being treated unfairly. During our Bargaining Unit meetings, I have shared some of the horrific stories from the past.
The key takeaways of my election platform:
– Open lines of communication

– Agenda and minutes shared with members
– Regular meetings of the Bargaining Unit
– Regular Unit meetings
– Fair treatment for all employees.
– Information sessions. eg. Job Evaluation, the importance of doing this = job security, postings under review.
– PD for Employees
– Executive members are paid a monthly per deem to represent you. Stewards are not, I think they should be compensated for the work they do for the members.
I am compassionate but I am also a realist. I am a person that forgives but never forgets. I know I cannot change the past, but I can aim to positively influence it. In closing, I am acutely aware of the importance of standing strong for what I believe in, if appointed Vice President I will work hard to represent those whose voices need a platform to be heard.

In solidarity, Karen

Amanda Hulst

I have been an employee of TBRHSC and a member of COPE Local 96 since 2014. In 2018 I decided to complete my Grievance & Arbitration training and became a union steward. In 2019 I was elected to the Executive Board as the Sergeant at Arms, which is a position I held for a year. I am a Biller in the Patient Billing Department. My job takes me to multiple areas of the hospital on a daily basis where I am in frequent contact with my fellow members. I feel this has provided me the opportunity to understand the different areas of the hospital, and the challenges we all encounter. My goal as the unit VP would be to create a transparent relationship with the membership, increase union support including growing the number of union stewards, and working to strengthen our Collective Agreement for the betterment of all of us.

I have been an employee of TBRHSC – Patient Billing Department, and a member of COPE Local 96 since 2014. In 2018 I decided to complete my Grievance & Arbitration training and became a union steward. In 2019 I was elected to the Executive Board as the Sergeant at Arms, which is a position I held for a year. As the Local 96 Treasurer, I will keep accurate financial records, present the financial reports in a clear and concise manner with full transparency, and work towards strengthening our Local.

Alexis Paulusma

Alexis Paulusma is the mother of one spunky and outgoing five year old, Charlotte. She has been working at Lakehead University as a Library Assistant for twelve years. Alexis has been active in the union for the past four years most recently as Unit Vice President at Lakehead University. She has also been a union steward, a member of the bargaining committee and on the internal relations, job evaluation and labour relations committees at Lakehead University. Alexis has attended many workshops and educationals put on by COPE Ontario because she believes in being well informed when it comes to labour law and the role of a union. Our members are the most important asset in the union and I look forward to hopefully serving as your Executive Vice President.

Ann Forget

Employed at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Center

Current position at the Covid Assessment Center
I also hold a PPT in Switchboard since 2016
I have been fortunate to have worked in Healthcare for the past 25 years. The last 4 years at the TBRHSC.
I understand completely the challenge our members face and the different experiences our members have throughout our healthcare system. I will be proactive in dealing with management regarding our local issues in order to create a unified voice for all.

At present, I am an Union Steward and I would like to be more involved representing COPE LOCAL 96.
I will ensure all our members are represented at the union level and will strive to increase union membership involvement.


Heather Del Ben

I am running for Secretary of our Union. I am married, a mother of 3 and have 32 years of employment history in the medical field. I have been employed at the TBRHSC since 2012 starting as an Admitting Clerk and transferring to my current position as OHIP Biller in Patient Billings. I have been involved in the Union for the past 3 years as a Union Steward and I have taken many training courses, including Steward Training I and II, Human Rights I and II and Psychosocial Hazards and Workplace Mental Health. I have also been involved with the Bylaw Committee and assisted with the Union Christmas Party. I would like to continue to grow my knowledge of the Union and to help you, the members, in the upcoming years. Please give me your vote in the upcoming election and let me help make a difference.

Bonnie Cava

Hi to all the COPE 96 members. If you don’t know me, I am Bonnie Cava
and I am the current Treasurer, running for re-election of the Treasurer
position on our executive board.
I have worked at Thunder Bay Regional HSC since 1986, first in Dietary as
a Dietary Assistant and currently in the Renal department since January
I have been active in the Union since 1999.
I have served as a Guide, Trustee, Health & Safety Rep, long time
Bargaining Committee member, Elected Delegate to both Provincial and
National Conferences/Conventions, Recording Secretary, multiple
Executive Board Committees and finally Treasurer for the last 4 years.
I thoroughly enjoy serving the members, especially as the incumbent
Treasurer and hope to continue to serve for the next Executive Board. I
know that I have a lot of experience and knowledge that could help with the
transition of a newly elected Board and I hope you take that into
consideration when voting for the next Treasurer.

Thank you,
Bonnie Cava,
Treasurer COPE Local 96

Rob Bell

Hi all

My name is Rob Bell and I’m running for President of COPE Local 96. I currently sit as the Executive Vice President of the local. I have been active with my local for @ 28 years, starting as a Trustee back when I first started working at the University in 1994. I have been active with my unit ever since, I have sat on the bargaining, Pension, as well as the Job Evaluation committees. The last 4 years I’ve been your Executive VP helping assist our smaller units with their bargaining and assisting the executive board when needed. I enjoy what I’m doing and I look forward to the next two years – whatever may become.


COPE Local 96 has received concerns from our members about workplace health and safety. The Executive Board has discussed Covid 19 and debated these issues thoroughly and feel the best way to protect our members is to follow the advice of the public health experts, protect personal privacy and promote healthy workplaces while defending our members rights.

The executive board is committed to following Public Health’s advise. The board is committed to keeping our members and their family’s safe. The Executive Board reaffirms its support for personal health choices and the protection of people’s personal medical. COPE Local 96 will always defend its members and advocate for appropriate PPE and effective policies to ensure their health and safety in the workplace.
COPE Local 96 supports the rights of an individual’s personal health choices and protection of private and personal medical information.

COPE Local 96 Executive

Jack Elwert bursary

Now that spring is here it is the time that grade 12 students should be looking forward to their high school graduation but unfortunately COVID 19 has put that on hold. COPE Local 96 provides three bursaries each year (Jack Elwert Bursary Award) that is based on academic performance and a short essay.

We understand the difficulty of providing the union with academic transcripts especially due to the interruption in the school year. Therefore, for this year we will accept a copy of your report card from last semester in lieu of your transcript”

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me and I will be glad to assist you.

Rob Bell

Executive Vice President

COPE Local 96

rwbell @lakeheadu.ca

Jack Elwert Bursary Letter and Application to Members.final

Threads of Life

lets all gave a huge shout out to Heather for spear heading this great initiative – THANKS Heather

Heather Bouley, a Dietary Assistant at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre says NO to workplace injuries and YES to Health and Safety.

Threads of Life is a Canadian Registered Charity that provides support to families who are living with the aftermath of a workplace fatality, life-altering injury, or occupational disease. This program provides free access to peer support and links to community resources. Currently, Threads of Life are supporting over 2,900 families across Canada. Threads of Life’s mission is to “help families heal through a community of support to promote the elimination of life-altering workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths.”

Threads of Life

Christmas Union Social

Good Morning All

I just wanted to touch base with everyone as we have not been able to have any General Membership
meetings since Covid 19 started. We are still having our eboard meetings with social distancing. No one
is working in the COPE office here in Thunder Bay or in the Toronto area. But our reps are working from
home if we do need to contact them.

Each VP in COPE 96 is still available if there are any problems that need to be dealt with.
Unfortunately this year we will not be able to have our annual Christmas party.
The eboard met last night and have decided that with all we have been through this year we still wanted to do something, so
as you know that at the Christmas party we do a draw for 50 – $25 gift cards. So this year we are still going
to do the draws but we will have 200 – $25 gift cards and all members in good standing will have their
names put in a hat and we will draw the names at our next eboard meeting on November 10 th . We will
either call you or mail your gift card to you if your name is drawn.

Hopefully things will change in the next few months and we will be able to get back to life as we knew it.
Please Take Care and Stay Safe

Aldra Pawson
President COPE Local 96

Victory for Patients Over Private Clinics in B.C. Court Challenge: Historic Victory Against Profit-Driven Health Care

Some good news about public health care.

Victory for Patients Over Private Clinics in B.C. Court Challenge:

Historic Victory Against Profit-Driven Health Care

Toronto – A ten-year legal attack launched by one of the largest private for-profit surgical centres in Canada seeking to strike down key protections for single-tier health care has reached a critical juncture. Today a B.C. Court ruled on the case upholding the provisions in British Columbia law that protect our system of public health care without extra user fees for patients.

The landmark ruling by Justice Steeves dealt a strong blow to the efforts of Dr. Brian Day and others advocating for-profit privatization of health care to undermine Canada’s publicly-funded health care system. This decision ensures that access to health care will continue to be based on need and not on wealth. It has implications for the whole country and the Ontario Health Coalition has been following the case closely.

Canada’s public health care system is based on foundational principles of equity and compassion that underlie the principles of the Canada Health Act and provincial legislation that is built upon it. The recent public health emergency caused by COVID-19 has underscored just how important our public health care system is. This decision protects our ability to endure crises without financial ruin and to care for one other into the future.

The B.C. Health Coalition and Canadian Doctors for Medicare were Intervenors in the court challenge. This is what they said: “This is a historic victory against profit-driven health care in Canada,” said Dr. Danyaal Raza, Chair of Canadian Doctors for Medicare. “We know that single-payer publicly-funded health care is the fairest way to pay for health care, rather than forcing patients to pay out-of-pocket or buy private insurance. This case was never about wait times – it was always about profit.”

The sections of BC law that the private clinic operators sought to strike down are in place to preserve a public health care system for in which access to necessary medical care is based on need and not an individual’s ability to pay. This case has always been about increasing profits for doctors and investor-owned health care facilities.

“As a group of patients, doctors and health care advocates, we became involved in this case in order to defend and protect public health care,” said Edith MacHattie, co-chair of the BC Health Coalition. “This is a victory for everyone who uses health care in Canada. Even though the attack had been launched in BC, it took aim at the very heart of the Canada Health Act and every provincial health care insurance plan.”

Cambie case release

Bill 195

This Explanatory Note was written as a reader’s aid to Bill 195 and does not form part of the law.
Bill 195 has been enacted as Chapter 17 of the Statutes of Ontario, 2020.

The Bill enacts the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.

The Act continues orders made under sections 7.0.2 and 7.1 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act in relation to COVID-19. Continued orders will cease to apply after 30 days but can be extended by the Lieutenant Governor in Council for additional periods of up to 30 days.

Orders may be amended by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, subject to limitations. A continued section 7.0.2 order may be amended if the amendment would have been authorized under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and if it satisfies other specified requirements. Certain continued section 7.0.2 orders listed in the Act may not be amended. Any continued order may be amended to address transitional issues. Orders may also be revoked.

The power to extend, amend or revoke orders can be delegated to a Minister.

The powers to extend or amend orders cease to apply after one year but the Assembly, on the recommendation of the Premier, may extend those powers for additional periods of up to one year.

Enforcement provisions are included to provide for court orders to restrain contraventions and to provide for offences. Those provisions are based on provisions of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

The Premier, or a Minister, is required to report regularly to the public and, at least once every 30 days, appear before, and report to, a standing or select committee of the Assembly. The Premier is required to table a report in the Assembly after one year and after any extension of the power to extend or amend orders.

If the COVID-19 declared emergency has not already been terminated, the Act provides for its termination.

The Act comes into force on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor.

Ontario Bill 195

Pandemic Pay Rally

Thank You to OPSEU for arranging a for all of the Health Care workers at TBRHSC.
We appreciate the effort that Jesse Kuluski put into this for all of us also a big THANK YOU to all of our COPE Local 96 members for coming out in support of this rally.

Thanks Holly Molnar for keeping us motivated and up to date on what is happening.