Dec 08, 2015

CUPE 951 benefits from steward, RTWA campaign

VICTORIA – At the end of a member engagement effort, CUPE 951 came away with a new Return to Work and Accommodation officer (RTWA), several people interested in being stewards, a mapped workplace, and members who now have a face to their union and know who to call.

“We wanted to bring in awareness of what we do and invite members to get more active,” said CUPE 951 President Kara White.

When the number of Stewards and Return to Work and Accommodation officers (RTWA) declined, CUPE 951 launched the campaign to reach out to members.

Stewards discussed the issue at their weekly meeting and came up with the idea of doing a membership campaign. They had done a campaign earlier to distribute water bottles during their lunch break and found that didn’t work as well since members were also at lunch. So this time the local booked off nine stewards and executive officers to visit members at their worksites on two afternoons.

One goal was to map worksites and visit members in as many University of Victoria worksites as possible.  On the two afternoons, the local was able to cover more than two-thirds of the buildings.

“Members were very happy to meet us and be able to ask questions,” said Chief Steward Laurie Whyte.

Human Resources helped by calling offices to let them know CUPE 951 would be visiting and asked that they be welcomed.

Stewards talked with members in their offices, asked them to put up a poster, and gave out a brochure about the responsibilities and support for stewards and RTWA along with a CUPE 951 orientation brochure. Members were also given a CUPE 951 pin and CUPE National’s “Welcome to your Union” booklet.

Everyone got a chance to win one of 11 university ONECards, to be used like a no-fee debit card at the University of Victoria bookstore or food outlets. CUPE 951 wanted to give more members the opportunity to win, so rather than having one large prize, members had the chance to win $10, $20 and $25 denominations.

Members who didn’t get a visit from a Steward or Officer were given a draw ticket at the following general membership meeting, where the draw was done. Congratulations to the draw winners:


Sheila Adams — Medieval Studies 


Tom Harrison — Distribution Services


Sam Tejada — Printing Services


Siobhann St. Jean — Library (Access Services)


Ruth Gale-Bishop — Child Care Services


Sarah Dixon — Child Care Services


Marion Will — Ocean Networks Canada


Tammy Welch — Ocean Networks Canada


Justine Wendland — Undergrad Scholarships


Julianna Wells — Continuing Studies


Tanya Threlfall — Electrical Engineering


The Local wanted to keep the draws for something on campus. They also had all campaign materials printed on campus.

“This was a great opportunity to engage our members and they now know where to go if they have questions,” said Whyte.

CUPE 951 appreciated the efforts of the stewards and officers who did the face-to-face member outreach campaign. Joining Chief Steward Laurie Whyte in the campaign were stewards Dale Whitford, Barbara Gordon, Teresa Dixon and Jeta Rugova Platolli. Executive Officers Diana Foreland, Ted Godwin and Kirk Mercer along with CUPE 951 President Kara White also participated.

“This was so successful, we may make it an annual event so that we can also touch base with new members,” said CUPE 951 President Kara White. 

COPE 491