Powerpoint Presentation for New Member Orientation

To the Canadian Office and
Professional Employees Union
Local 378
Local 378 of the Canadian Office & Professional Employees Union
(COPE) represents around 14,000 union members at public and
private sector employers such as:
- Accenture Business Services
-BC Hydro
-BC Transit
-Capilano University
- Coast Mountain Bus Company
- Fortis BC
- Greyhound
- Hastings Entertainment
- Translink
- Yellow Pages
And many more, including car rental companies, credit unions, taxi
companies, union offices, insurance companies, housing societies,
and others.
Largest local of our Canadian union
which represents over 33,000
Affiliated to the BC Federation of
Labour, the Canadian Labour
Congress and District Labour Councils.
Union Mandate
Promote democratic and collective action to
improve working conditions and the standard
of living for workers
Social Unionism means we strive to reconcile
a community perspective with workplace
interests: what we wish for ourselves, we
desire for all
We Are the Union
Through the Labour Relations Board, COPE 378 is certified
as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent to represent our
members in all matters of employment during the duration of
the collective agreement and during collective bargaining.
As an employee here, you are now a member of COPE 378.
The union is not a third party. It is made up its members, who
democratically elect their leaders from amongst their peers to
direct the affairs of the organization. We are all “the union”.
Why Unions?
A union represents and provides security in
the workplace, dignity on the job, and
provides the means to create a better life.
This is achieved
through our
collective strength.
As the saying goes:
united we stand,
divided we fall.
Collective Agreement
John P. Sanderson, in the book The Art of
Collective Bargaining, wrote:
“In a general sense, a collective agreement is a collection
of commitments in writing by an employer, a union, and
group of employees to do certain things and not to do
other certain things. More importantly, it is a living record
of the continuing relationship between an employer, a
union, and a group of employees, binding on them all, to
be respected or reviled but, in any event, to govern the
relationship of the parties and to provide a code of
conduct for them to follow and enforce against each
Collective Bargaining
•Both sides, union and employer, enter the process with
definite goals they want to accomplish.
•The contest comes from the fact that labour and
management have clearly opposing interests, and different
points of view.
•Each collective agreement has a specified term (usually 1,
2, or 3 years) and must be renegotiated each time it expires.
•A member of the full-time staff usually leads negotiations,
assisted by a committee elected by, and from among, the
Stewards and Executive Officers of your bargaining unit.
Structure of COPE 378
Executive Council
•Senior policy making body of the union. Council members
are responsible for policy, the annual budget and all major
financial decisions.
•1 Executive Councilor per
80-100 members.
•Minimum 5 meetings/year.
•Bring forward suggestions
from stewards and members on
how the union can improve
policies and member services.
•Act as Chief Job Stewards, recruiting and advising job
stewards in their constituency.
The Executive Board
The Executive Board is made up of 20 members. The
board is the executive management body of the
union and meets monthly to discuss administrative
and operational issues. The board reports to Council
on policy and financial matters.
The Executive Board suggests ways the union can
improve its policies and services to members. Board
members must represent the interest of all members
in their respective workplaces. They also sit on the
union negotiating committee during bargaining and
hold workplace membership meetings.
The President assigns all staff
responsibilities, manages the union office,
chairs meetings and acts as the union's
representative to all outside organizations
Table Officers
The President, the three Vice-presidents and
Secretary Treasurer are the Table Officers. They
represent the interests of all union members in
discussions at Executive Board and Council
meetings on matters regarding administration,
policies and financial decisions of the union.
Union Representatives
Union Reps are full-time employees in the union office who provide
technical advice to stewards and Councilors and teach new stewards
how to handle complaints and stage one grievances. Reps handle more
complex grievances, keep members up-to-date on grievance status,
take members' cases to arbitration and act as coordinators of bargaining
teams during contract negotiations.
Administrative Support Staff
The Administrative Support Staff are responsible for ensuring
membership, steward and councilor address and phone lists are up-todate, recording information on grievance files, advising members about
meetings, ensuring that union officers have appropriate forms, bulletins
and union booklets to perform their duties. Professional and
administrative support staff are employed in the union office.
Your Representatives
Vice President
Union Rep
Executive Board Members
•Arbitration Review
•Constitution &
•Events & Social
•Health & Safety
•Human Rights
•Political Action
•Staff Relations
•Youth Action
If You Have a Problem
Anything to do with your employment;
wages, promotions, overtimes, benefits,
discipline, etc. See your Job Steward.
It is very important that you enlist the
steward’s aid in processing your
Just Cause
Just cause is the proof the employer must
produce that discipline is warranted and
necessary. The onus or the burden of proof is
on the employer to prove a case not on the
employee to prove s/he is not guilty.
It is only after the employer has presented
the proof that the employee is called upon to
Grievance Procedure
A grievance procedure ensures an orderly and
timely process for resolution of a problem in
the workplace.
Members should read over the grievance
procedure and let their job steward know if
they have any questions.
The Union movement fought long and hard to
establish the principle of seniority.
Seniority is your length of continued service
within a bargaining unit as a member in good
standing of Local 378.
Seniority plays an important role in shift and
holiday sign ups, as well as job competitions.
As a member of COPE Local 378, you will pay
dues at a rate of 1.5% of earnings.
These dues are the primary source of income for
our organization. They allow the union to run its
office, employ its Union Representatives,
Administrative Staff, and Elected Officials, fight
grievances, hire arbitrators, fight strikes, and carry
out all other activities that are fundamental to our
ability to protect and serve the members of the
Member Responsibilities
Member’s Bill of Rights and
•Attend union meetings
•Abide by your Collective
•Do not make private
deals with management
•Do not cross picket lines
•Support your fellow union members
•Abide by our Constitution and By-laws
•See your job steward if you have any questions or concerns