Election Call January 2022

Between March 1 to 7, 2022 members will elect one (1) Table Officer and three (3) RVP’s and one (1) Trustee in accordance with the COPE 491 Bylaws.  

Officer Positions:
National Vice President *By-election 1 year term
Elected by a vote of the full membership.  

Regional Vice-President Positions:
Region 1 – British Columbia
Region 7 – Maritimes
Region 8 – Atlantic
Elected by a vote of the membership in their respective regions  

Trustee Positions: 3-year Trustee
Elected by a vote of the full membership.  

Nominations will open January 25, 2022 and must be submitted to the Returning Officer by 4:00 P.M. on February 7, 2022; the day nominations close.  

To be eligible for a nomination and election, a member must be in continuous good standing for twelve (12) consecutive months prior to date of nomination.

No nomination shall be accepted unless the member nominating has signed the nomination form and the member nominated has indicated on the form, or by other means, their willingness to stand for office. Nominations must be sent in during the nomination period. Any nominations received before or after the nomination period will not be accepted.

A complete list of candidates for office will be posted on the Local Union website on February 8, 2022.

After the closing of nominations all duly nominated candidates will be extended an opportunity to have a maximum of one (1) article included in the electronic voting system and posted on the Local Union website. The article may reference candidate websites but shall not contain any active links to external websites.

Mary Elizabeth Archer will serve as Returning Officer during the election. Voting will be conducted using electronic voting over seven days, March 1 to March 7, 2022.

Your participation as a candidate or as an informed voter in Union elections is crucial because those you elect will help administer the affairs of the Union.

Personal email addresses should be received by the Returning Officer, Mary Elizabeth Archer via your RVP and no later than January 18, 2022, to ensure receipt of ballots.

In solidarity,

Brandi Kehoe
President, COPE Local 491

Campaign Rules

Campaigning cannot occur during work time.

Use of the Employer’s voice mail or email to
circulate election material is not permitted.

Candidates are asked to always conduct themselves with dignity.

Any behaviour or material that undermines
the dignity or self-esteem of any individual
or creates an intimidating, hostile or
offensive environment will not be tolerated.

Each duly nomination candidate may submit a maximum of one (1) article to be published on the Local Union Website and included in the electronic voting system.

Website posting of articles begin February 9, 2022.

Mary Elizabeth Archer
Returning Officer, COPE Local 491


January 11, 2022

  • Election Call

January 18, 2022

  • Personal email address deadline

January 25, 2022

  • Nominations open

February 7, 2022 4:00 p.m. EST

  • Nominations Close

February 8, 2022

  • Complete list of candidates will be posted on the Union’s Website

February 9, 2022

  • Website posting of articles begin

March 1 – 7, 2022


Vacation Carry-Over


As you all know, COPE currently has a policy grievance filed regarding vacation/.vacation payout.  As we are actively working on this grievance, we are advising all members that as per Article 13.09(b) of the Collective Agreement, if you have any remaining vacation that you will not be using before the end of the year, that you wish to carry over for use next year, that you put this in writing and send it to your RD/ARD. 

We would also like to advise that this be done as soon as reasonably possible, as HR usually needs all forms to be submitted before the first week of December.  If you have any difficulty getting your request approved, please advise your RVP right away. 

We will keep you all apprised of any resolution to this matter. 

All Blood is Equal

COPE National has adopted a resolution to support the campaign to end the “blood ban” at Canadian Blood Services (CBS).  Currently CBS discriminates against gay men and trans women from donating blood.  

The blood ban is not based on science, just old discriminatory ideas.  All blood in Canada is tested and is safe.  

For more information, please visit: www.allbloodisequal.ca 

COPE National President, David Black, has sent a letter calling for support from our local and our members.  We are asking members to visit the above website and add your voice to end this discrimination; share the campaign with your friends, family, neighbours and fellow allies; and consider making a donation to the campaign so they can do more public outreach.  

The link to the campaign is also available on COPE 491’s facebook group.  

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. 



Vacation Statements

As many of you are starting to receive the vacation statements from HR, COPE is asking that you do NOT sign or return the statement yet. 

There have been numerous issues reported with vacation banks and payouts.  We have filed a policy grievance on vacation issues. 

Please do not sign the statement and send in until we have the opportunity to address the vacation issues with the Employer. 

Please contact Sandra Lenuik, NVP (sandral@telus.net) if you have signed the form and submitted already OR if you have any issues with vacation that you have not reported to her yet. 

Thank you for your cooperation. 



COPE Local 491 is registered with the Union Savings Program.  This program helps to save union members money when shopping and traveling and more.  Union Savings is Canada’s only not-for-profit, union-run, members’ benefit program. By working with almost 2 million members across Canada and using economies of scale, discounts are negotiated for union members, retirees and their families. 
How it works:
1. Go to www.unionsavings.ca
2. Find your Union on the list
3. Create your free account
4. Start Saving!
To learn more, check out the guide to the discounts and savings
During the Ontario Federation of Labour convention, COPE was able to confirm our local’s registration in the program and secure a place in the program for all of our members. 

The program is open to all of our members, retirees and their families. Members simply need to create an account on the Union Savings website or call the 1800# to access the discounts. Both are available in French and English.

We hope that you find this great program useful, especially during the upcoming shopping and traveling season! 

Canadian Equity Council Delegate – COPE National

We are happy to announce that Sister Rachel Roberts has put her name forward to COPE National and has been chosen as one of the delegates to sit on the Canadian Equity Council. She will be one of four (4) delegates representing Region 2 (which Local 491 is part of). 

Congratulations to Sister Rachel, we look forward to hearing from you when the CEC has news or events that can be shared.

In solidarity,

Trish Sinclair
COPE Local 491

Button Campaign

COPE491 is starting a campaign regarding Hours of Work.  Soon you will be receiving buttons to wear at work to stand in support of members who feel pressured to work through lunch hours and work in excess of 6 hours with no overtime as per our collective agreement. 

We work 6 hours a day.  We have 1 hour for lunch.  We should not have to take calls or direction during our lunch hour.  We should not be working more than 6 hours a day without being paid for overtime. 

These issues may not affect you or your workplace, but we want everyone to wear the buttons to show our support and solidarity with our sisters and brothers across the country who are faced with these issues. 

If you have any questions or concerns with this, please contact your RVP. 

In Solidarity,
COPE491 Executive