Welcome to CUPE 389

People depend on public services; services depend on people to deliver them. City workers touch every part of life: they fix roads, provide emergency care, test drinking water, connect us with library resources, run ice rinks, work at daycares, lead community workshops, and much more. We’re facing tough economic times, and that’s when we need affordable, reliable public services most.


Children’s Christmas Party

Santa’s elves are hard at work preparing for this year’s Children’s Christmas Party…

Head Elf Donald McQueen delivering presents for the big day!

Head Elf Donald McQueen delivering presents for the big day!



North Vancouver Public Employees Society &



Saturday, December 5th, 2015

Place:      Mountainside Secondary School

3365 Mahon Avenue

North Vancouver, BC

Time:     1:30pm to 4:30pm

 Doors open at 12:30pm

Registration is now closed



From Your Christmas Party Coordinators,

Cindy McQueen, Carol Nordby, Joyce Griffiths, & Kathy McMahon



CUPE National Convention 2015!

CUPE National Convention is on!

Livestream the video from anywhere: https://t.co/G0cDMCYv7k

At its 27th National Convention in Vancouver, CUPE will rally with environmental, indigenous, labour and social justice organizations, calling for fundamental change in the wake of the federal election.

In partnership with leapmanifesto.org, CUPE National President Paul Moist will join author and activist Naomi Klein and others to talk about a Canada based on caring for each other and the planet. Here are a few snapshots from The Leap…

Climate Action CindyKathy and Father Nature

Congratulations to Mark Hancock, CUPE’s newly elected national president. #cupe2015

Thank you as well to Fred Hahn for his candidacy and leadership.



WorkSafeBC Tips!

Things to Remember When Dealing with WorkSafeBC

By Sarah O’Leary, Rush Crane Guenther, Barristers & Solicitors , 300 – 111 Water Street Vancouver BC V6B 1A7 Tel: 604.687.5611/Fax: 604.681.0912


Report Report Report

You may be tired of hearing it but I’ll say it again: if you have an injury at work or if you start to develop pain or symptoms that you think are from your work activities, you MUST report it to first aid and you should also file a WCB claim. Too often we hear workers say, “Well I had two weeks vacation coming up” or “I thought if I just iced and rested it over the weekend, it would get better on its own.”

If you have not reported it and it develops into something serious later on, you may not be able to prove how it happened or when the symptoms started, or you may be out of time. You do not have to miss time from work in order to file a claim. When in doubt, report! I have seen literally hundreds of workers who lost out on benefits, healthcare and pensions because they didn’t report their injury.


The WCB (also known as WorkSafeBC) has a system that allows injured workers to call a toll-free number and talk to a WCB employee who fills out the claim form for you. All too commonly we see Teleclaim forms which have been improperly filled out and which do NOT reflect what the worker says she/he told the Teleclaim clerk. If you want to fill out your own claim form you can get the Form 6, Application for Compensation online at:


If you have questions about filling out the form or what to expect once you’ve filed a claim, you may want to call your union or the Workers Advisors Office which can be reached tollfree at: 1 800 663-4261

Back Strains / Repetitive Strain Injuries / Soft Tissue Injuries

 A large percentage of injuries appear to be small or insignificant at the time they occur. It’s not usually the catastrophic injuries, resulting in crushed limbs or amputations that have the problems early on. The WCB can hardly deny that you’ve lost your leg! But they can, and often will deny that your bad back pain, tendonitis or sore neck or foot or elbow etc., is related to anything that happened on the job.

For soft tissue injuries the most common problem in getting the claim accepted is where a worker has had previous or ongoing problems with, for example, her back, shoulder or elbow, etc. but a particular incident has made the pain much worse. For example: reaching out to grab something away from your body, slipping and almost falling but twisting your back or a limb, lifting and turning at the same time, or having a piece of equipment that is malfunctioning and causing you to use more force than normal. Even just having extra volume that day that made you work harder and faster can be enough. Any of these situations can be considered a “specific incident” for the purposes of getting a claim accepted by the WCB.

It is much simpler to get a claim accepted if there was a “specific incident” that caused the pain (or made it worse). In these cases, it is vital to tell the WCB about the specific incident that caused the pain or made it worse even if you had previous pain in the same region. The WCB will ask you whether there was anything “different” about your job or the way you were doing your job at the time of the injury. Any change in your working conditions may have been enough to turn those pre-existing symptoms in to a disability. Think carefully about what you say to your doctor as well. If you mention to your family physician or the Emergency Department doctor that “maybe this comes from playing hockey with the boys on the weekend”, this will go down in the doctor’s notes and believe me when I say that the WCB will tag you with a “hockey injury” for the rest of your life, even if you were just thinking aloud when you mentioned it. Think carefully about what you say.

Create a Paper Trail

Always think in terms of what you will need in the worst case scenario, that is: if your claim is denied and you end up having to do a WCB appeal. Filing reports, seeing your doctor, making notes to yourself, keeping a calendar of doctor’s visits, shifts worked and days when your symptoms were particularly bad. This will help document your claim and will also help refresh your memory when it is time to give evidence in your appeal. Evidence made at the time of the injury and symptoms (such as your calendar or diary notes) have much greater weight than your evidence a year later when you are just trying to remember.

Don’t Work if you are Injured

In this system, stoic people, and workers with a very strong work ethic, who just keep going to work in pain, always fare worse. Going to work injured packs a double-whammy. Not only may your condition continue to get worse if you don’t take the time to get proper treatment, but the WCB will take your attendance at work as proof that there is nothing wrong with you. The WCB does not believe that people work when they are injured.

Take Your Injury Seriously.

Go and see a doctor right away. If treatment is recommended or if your doctor tells you to take time off work, do it! Don’t wait so long that by the time you get treatment it is just too late and you will never fully recover. We see this happening to injured workers all the time.

Continue to see your doctor regularly. If the employer tells the WCB that there are appropriate light duties available for you and you don’t feel they are suitable given your restrictions and limitations, see your doctor. Make SURE he or she knows the particulars of the light duties offered and documents that you have been told to take time off work. Get your doctor to send regular reports to the WCB.

If Your Claim is Denied, APPEAL


CUPE 389 does not do appeals however, we have a representative designated to assist you with filling out the forms.

 If you have a work-related injury or occupational disease and the WCB denies your claim, you have the right to appeal. If you don’t appeal, you may live to regret it.

All too frequently we hear the same story: “I only missed a day or two of work so I didn’t think it was important enough to bother appealing.”

It is always important enough to appeal. If you do not appeal and then start to have similar problems later on, you will be considered to have a “non-work-related pre-existing condition.” If, for example, you had tendonitis in your right wrist and filed a claim, which the WCB denied. You may find that the symptoms are minor – although you have to protect that wrist now when doing your work. During a particularly heavy shift your wrist flares-up again, this time disabling you for several weeks. If you did not appeal the prior denial of your right wrist claim, the WCB is likely to simply say that your pre-existing condition has flared-up and that it is not likely related to your work duties. That will mean another appeal and one that may be harder to win.

Do not underestimate the importance of appealing that WCB letter which denies your claim, or cuts you off benefits or refuses to give you a pension. It is all appealable.

Always err on the side of caution when dealing with the WCB. If you question what they tell you, talk to your union or the Workers’ Advisors Office. It may save you a lot of grief later on.


Labour Day Fun at Swangard Stadium!

September 7, 2015 – Burnaby, BC

CUPE Local 389 took part in the Labour Day celebration at Swangard Stadium this weekend. Hosted by the BC Federation of Labour and Affiliates, Vancouver and District Labour Council and the New Westminster District Labour Council and sponsored by CUPE BC and USW, the day was a success!

There was fun for all ages and Chilliwack made a special appearance for the event.

Thanks to everyone who came out and supported the festivities! We look forward to seeing you next year!


Locked out Qualicum Beach workers accept LRB proposal

QUALICUM BEACH – Locked out municipal workers in Qualicum Beach have voted to accept a mediator’s recommendations for a new contract. The vote was held this afternoon by members of CUPE 401.

The BC Labour Relations Board mediator’s recommendations were made after a meeting with the town and its union employees this week. The Qualicum Beach Town Council says it plans to discuss the recommendations at a special in-camera meeting early next week.

The 65 workers were locked out of their jobs a month ago and have been without a contract since 2013.

Vote Childcare 2015

Families deserve quality, affordable child care they can rely on. Yet too many families pay more for their monthly child care than they do for housing – up to $2,000 a month.

Like and share this video from CUPE and make a point to #votechildcare2015


Labour Landscapes: A Storytelling Walk

Saturday August 1, 2015

2 PM-4 PM

 With featured storytellers: Audrey Kobayashi, Audrey Siegel, Doris Chow, Herb Varley, Jean Swanson, Kate Milberry, Lorene Oikawa, Naveen Girn, and Tom Delvecchio.


A collaboration between Right to Remain/Revitalizing Japantown? and Centre A

In association with the Powell Street Festival, with support from Gallery Gachet.

Come walk between past and present, through labour landscapes of the Downtown Eastside (DTES) and Chinatown, and listen to stories of intercultural presence, solidarity and resistance. This walk will re-claim, enliven and connect some of the labour histories of the neighbourhood, those which have been erased from dominant histories, by the forces of colonization, racism, and gender and class prejudice. It will illuminate and prioritize present-day inhabitants and labourers “Right to Remain” amidst rapid social and environmental change. This walk is a special collaboration between Right to Remain/Revitalizing Japantown? and Centre A, with support from Gallery Gachet and the Powell Street Festival.


Saturday August 1, 2015, 2 PM-4 PM


Starting Point: 2PM – Meet in front of the Vancouver Buddhist Temple. 220 Jackson Avenue (corner of Jackson Ave and Powell Street).

Ending Point: 4PM – Centre A. 229 E. Georgia St. Refreshments and tour of Goonj: Being Brown in Chinatown with curator Naveen Girn.

More Info: During the Powell Street Festival, visit the Nikkei National Museum booth at the Vancouver Buddhist Temple, 220 Jackson Avenue.


Facebook Event:https://www.facebook.com/events/1013528785348183/





Support COPE 378 members locked out by BCAA!

On July 21st, 2015, CUPE Local 389 showed their support by attending the rally for the COPE 378 BCAA locked out members in Burnaby.

The B.C. Automobile Association locked out approximately 70 tow truck dispatchers on June 8th, after contract negotiations between the company and the dispatchers’ union fell apart. The primary issue between the two parties is compensation. According to the union, employees of BCAA’s car sharing company, who do similar tasks, work 35 hours a week and are paid the same wages as the COPE 378 members, who work 40 hours a week. But the company feels the compensation it is offering is adequate.

‘Solidarity forever, for the Union makes us strong!’

If you’re a BCAA member, please call their Corporate Communications number at 604-268-5339 and tell them you aren’t happy with being put in the middle and want them to negotiate a fair deal for the COPE 378 members!