The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

With over 680,000 members CUPE is Canada’s largest union.

As a strong and democratic union, CUPE is committed to improving the quality of life for workers in Canada. Women and men working together to form local unions built CUPE. They did so to have a stronger voice – a collective voice – in their workplace and in society as a whole.

CUPE members have been together for over 50 years.

We do different jobs that require different skills. We are diverse – from all sorts of backgrounds in all corners of the country. But we’re connected by a common purpose. Together we’ve fought for the things that matter most.

Why should you join CUPE?

CUPE will fight to protect your rights as a worker, for fairness in your workplace and ensure respect from your employer.

Being a CUPE member means you have the materials, information, programs, and the staff expertise needed to meet the employer on equal terms, and negotiate better working conditions.

Each member has the assistance of a CUPE national representative. Representatives provide assistance with collective bargaining, grievances, health and safety, arbitrations, and other work-related issues.

Our staff also includes specialists who provide members with expertise in labour law, research, education, communications, job evaluation, discrimination and equality, health and safety, and technology. Our strength

In CUPE the members are in charge. In each CUPE local, the members democratically decides their priorities for bargaining, when to settle a new contract, and how to manage funds.

CUPE’s strength comes from individual members working toward common goals. Together we maintain and improve wages and benefits, improve health and safety conditions, and make your workplace better.

What workers does CUPE represent?

CUPE represents workers in many different job classifications and types of employment.

Education workers

More than 111,000 CUPE members work as support staff (everyone except teachers and management) in 284 school board sector locals in elementary and secondary schools.

University workers

Academic and support workers in most universities are represented by CUPE. We have 57,172 members from 126 locals in the post-secondary education (PSE) sector. Our members work in universities, colleges, and student-led organizations.


CUPE represents full and part-time municipal workers and librarians. CUPE’s 185,000 members in the municipal sector take care of water, roads, planning, public health, recreation and more. They make up 29 per cent of CUPE’s membership and are identified primarily as inside or outside workers.

Child care workers

CUPE represents early childhood care and educators, assistants, cooks, and cleaners in the sector. Employers are parent-run boards or for-profit employers. CUPE represents many early childhood educators (ECE) delivering child care programs in other sectors.

Heath Care Workers

CUPE represents care workers, hospital workers, & long-term care in the health care sector. CUPE is the largest bargaining agent of health care workers, (excluding registered nurses and doctors). We represent 40 per cent of unionized staff in the sector. CUPE’s health care members are a diverse group. Around 83 per cent are women and a significant number work part-time.

Social Services

CUPE represents workers who provide social services & supports for vulnerable people. Our members assist women and children fleeing domestic violence, working with adults with developmental disabilities, protecting children from harm and neglect, employment counselling, administering social assistance, staffing shelters.

Transportation Sector

CUPE represents approximately 23,000 members in the transportation sector, including workers in airlines, airports, ferries, port authorities, rail, roads and highways, as well as public and private transit systems.

The airline division is the largest segment of the transportation sector, representing almost 9,200 members in seven airlines. Air Canada, which includes Air Canada mainline and the low-cost leisure carrier Air Canada Rouge, is the largest of two regularly-scheduled operators in the division with almost 6,400 flight attendants, followed by Cathay Pacific with over 360 members. Over 2,000 members work at leisure carriers Air Transat and Sunwing Airlines. The remaining members, just over 200, are employed at regional airlines: Calm Air, First Air, and Canadian North. The airlines are publicly-traded corporations with the exception of privately-held First Air and Sunwing Airlines.

Fairness. Equality. Dignity.

There’s still much to be done before we have a truly just society. Empowering young workers, women’s rights, racial equality, dignity for the disabled, as well as justice for First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples.

We have made Canada a better place for millions of workers and their families. We will keep fighting for a Canada where ALL workers have a decent wage, retirement security, dignity and a safe workplace.

As we move forward, we are undertaking an unprecedented initiative to speak with every rank and file member in order to re-create our movement.

We are 680,000 public service workers. We will back each other up. We will speak with one voice.