Covid-19 Update

As this is a very difficult and uneasy time for all of us, I wanted to reach out to you, as we have heard some unsettling news regarding another Union that you may hear about in the next while. 

We have been told that UNIFOR will be moving to lay off staff in the coming weeks, due to the rise of unemployment in the sectors they represent.  As this is a very troubling decision for UNIFOR to make, I am sure this may bring fear and uncertainty to our members as well.  Just to clarify, this is UNIFOR the Union having to lay off staff, not UNIFOR members that work for CUPE. 

We know that all unions, organizations and governments, including CUPE will be impacted by the financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

There has been discussion with Mark Hancock regarding UNIFOR’s decision, the situation facing CUPE currently and what efforts are being made to alleviate the decrease in revenues that they are going to face in the next few months, maybe longer. 

Our understanding is that CUPE will be re-evaluating its finances, which will include preparing a revised budget for the year.  This budget will be presented to the NEB once it is completed. 

CUPE has indicated they are committed to protecting the jobs of all staff as much as possible and at the present time they are not contemplating layoffs. 

There will be further discussions with CUPE in the coming weeks, and we will continue to share any new information as it becomes available.  We also keep in close contact with CSU and continue to support each other through these difficult times. 

We need to continue to be available to provide assistance to the Staff Reps, as the work they are doing is crucial right now for the CUPE members, and their communities. 

These are very unsettling and uncertain times for all of us, and we need to support each other as co-workers.  COPE is committed to providing information to you all as soon as the facts become available, in order to be as prepared and informed as possible. 

In the meantime, please reach out to your RVP’s at any time with questions or concerns.  We need to continue to build solidarity for each other, the members and our communities. 

In Solidarity,

Trish Sinclair
President, COPE Local 491

Covid-19 Questions/Concerns

We know this has been a difficult time for COPE members, but please be certain, that we are trying to address questions and concerns as they arise.  One of the concerns that was brought forward, was a question as to how we are going to be paid.  We currently have members working in Payroll to ensure that we are all paid as per our regular scheduled payday.   We would like to thank all of our members, who are working to make sure it is business as usual during these unprecedented times.

As previously mentioned, please continue to send any questions or concerns through your RVP’s.  If there are any new updates, we will continue to get information to you all in a timely fashion.  Thanking you all for your patience and understanding during this time!


We are aware that members may have some concerns and questions surrounding COVID-19.  COPE has sent a letter to the Employer asking for an urgent meeting/response to our concerns and questions.  We have asked to work with the Employer on direction and policy around this declared pandemic and we will provide information as soon as it is available. 

In the meantime, please refer to Canadian Health Organization and/or other credible sources for information on best practices and updates on the pandemic progress.