Upcoming Events

all-day International Day of the World’s...
International Day of the World’s...
Aug 9 all-day
On 23 December 1994, the United Nations General Assembly decided, in its resolution 49/214, that the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People shall be observed on 9 August every year. The date marks the …

Welcome to COPE 96 – Message from the President

Our history is colourful!  We were born in 1906 in Indianapolis, USA as Charter 1 and received the first clerical charter by the American Federation of Labor.  It was not until the Wagner Act in 1955 that organizing really gained momentum.  In 1965 our union changed its name to Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU).

Since we left OPEIU in 2004 and became a Canadian Union, we have continued to grow all across Canada with our national office in Vancouver.
Our local represents members from 6 different sectors throughout Thunder Bay.

I have been a proud member of this Union for 28 years now and as your new president I am ready to help build and strengthen our Union.
I, along with the rest of your executive, will support, grow, and make this a better organization to be a part of.

In Solidarity,

Robert Bell,

President, COPE Local 96


Why Unions Need Stewards:

“An employer has its supervisors and managers. Policy decisions in an organization are usually made by higher levels of management in the organization. Information about what is happening in the workplace is relayed to upper management by supervisors and managers.

The union cannot deal effectively with management unless it has a similar structure. The union steward system is that similar structure! It provides the union with its strength and gives the union the structure that places it on an equal playing field with management.”

Canadian Office & Professional Employee’s Union – COPE Ontario – Union Steward’s Handbook

Together We Are Stronger!

COPE Local 96 is a composite union representing over 400 members at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, Lakehead University, Northern Credit Union, office staffs of Construction & Allied Workers Local 607, Carpenters’ & Joiners Local 1669 and CUPE Local 87. Our members are valued employees working in a variety of positions across these employers.

You are the union and together we can make a difference! We elect members to sit on the Executive Board who are entrusted to take care of the day to day business of the Local and to represent you as a union employee. The Executive Board consists of the President, Executive Vice-President, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, Sargent-at-Arms, Vice-President TBRHSC, Vice-President LU, Bargaining Chair NCU. All positions are for held for a two-year term.

Our general union meetings are held quarterly on the 3rd Tuesday of the month (September, every second November for election of officers, March, June). Unit meetings are also held quarterly which are specific to your workplace. Special meetings can be called at any time if information needs to be shared or a vote is required.

We urge you to participate and have your voice heard. Together we are stronger!



  • Respect for all members
  • Patience
  • Willingness to do the right thing
  • Sense of humour
  • Honesty & Vision
  • Ability to Listen
If you are interested in becoming a steward, education is available.  Commitment to helping your fellow union members is required.

15 Reasons to Thank Unions

  1. Parental leave
  2. Statutory holidays
  3. Employment standards
  4. Health and safety regulations
  5. Right to refuse unsafe work
  6. 40-hour work week
  7. Paid vacation leave
  8. Bereavement leave
  9. Pay equity
  10. Same sex benefits
  11. Minimum wage
  12. Pensions
  13. Anti-harassment protection
  14. Sick leave
  15. The weekend

Unions have always been a positive force in society

Unions create greater workplace democracy

Through unions, working people have a collective voice at work and an avenue to equality, fair treatment and economic security.

They provide a powerful check to the almost total power of management in the workplace and ensure workers have a voice in workplace decisions that affect them...

Unions help strengthen democracy of nation states

Unions have been, and continue to be, an important force for democracy, not just in the workplace, but beyond, in the community – locally, nationally and globally. Unions make democracy work better. They press for better social, economic and environmental policies, through various forms of political action and through coalitions with others who have common aims...

Unions promote greater economic equality

Not only do democracies benefit from unions, so do economies. Unions have historically been a major force in humanizing and democratizing the economies of nations. Unions promote higher levels of economic equality and social rights for all citizens...

Labour rights 
– a key component of economic and social justice

The growing body of evidence shows that laws and practices which promote unions and the right to collective bargaining make a major contribution to higher economic productivity to the benefit of the community as a whole...

Fact Sheets on Violence Against Women

Fact Sheets on Violence Against Women from the CRIAW (Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women)

Despite decades of research, education, lobbying and activism, violence against women and girls continues to be widely tolerated in Canada.  In recent years, Canada has seen dramatic cuts in funding to organizations that support victims of violence or who advocate for better policies and protections on their behalf.  We have seen little commitment or effort by governments to eradicate violence against women.

As part of the ongoing struggle to end violence against women, CRIAW/ICREF is announcing the launch of its latest publication – a comprehensive, accessible, free fact sheet on violence against women in Canada. The fact sheet is a compilation of the most recent research and statistics on women’s experience of violence, the forms it takes and the varied impact on women.

Visit the CRIAW/ICREF website or download the Fact sheet.

* also visit Leaderhip, Feminism and Equality in Unions in Canada

Tanning and its Effects on Your Health

The most up-to-date scientific evidence shows there is no such thing as a safe or healthy tan, whether under the sun or in a tanning bed. It is important to take steps to avoid overexposure to ultraviolet radiation. Exposure to ultraviolet A and B  radiation can cause sunburn, damage to your eyes and other health effects, including an increased risk of skin cancer.

Health Canada does not recommend the use of tanning equipment (especially for people under the age of 18). However, if you choose to sun tan or to use tanning beds or lamps, you should be aware of the health risks so you can take steps to protect yourself.

The Big Burn

Helpful Links