Elections – Bios for executive board nominees

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

Running for Treasurer in the November 2021 Election:

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