About us

Executive and Stewards

President: Tiffany McLaughlin

1st Vice-President: Jannine Grant

2nd Vice-President: Kim Warkentine
250-753-3245 Local: 2229

Treasurer: Shannon McKenzie

Lead Steward: Quinn Ramsay

Deputy Lead Steward: VACANT

Membership Secretary: Mary McGeragle


Recording Secretary: Alice Joe
250-753-3245, local 6209

Executive Member-at-Large, General: Stephen Doering
250-753-3245, local 6209

Executive Member-at-Large, Indigenous Workers: Melisa Bergeron
250-753-3245, local 6209

Executive Member-at-Large, Racialized Workers: Koren Bear
Koren.Bear@viu.ca (until further notice)
250-753-3245, local 6580


  • Vacant
  • Sue Culver (to 2025)
  • Judy Morris (to 2026)


  • Quinn Ramsay –Lead Steward, Nanaimo
  • Mary McGeragle - Cowichan
  • Melisa Bergeron - Nanaimo
  • Jennifer Calder - Nanaimo
  • Carol Creighton - Nanaimo
  • Jannine Grant – Nanaimo
  • Alice Joe – Nanaimo
  • Shannon McKenzie - Nanaimo
  • Bill Schmidt - Nanaimo
  • Kim Warkentine – Nanaimo
  • Michael Witcomb - Nanaimo
  • Elyse Freeborn - tiwšɛmawtxʷ
  • Tarra Tipton-  tiwšɛmawtxʷ




Many CUPE members serve their union as well as VIU by sitting on various committees. Some of these committees are institutional committees where we sit as representatives of CUPE or as representatives of the support staff constituency, such as Senate or Joint Occupational Health and Safety. In addition, CUPE 1858 has its own committee structure that is specifically designed to directly serve the interests of the membership.  Finally, from time to time, the executive are asked to find CUPE members to participate as part of institutional hiring panels.

We strive, whenever there is an opportunity for CUPE to give input into what is happening at VIU to find a member that is willing to take on that role. When opportunities present themselves, we will contact the membership and ask for volunteers.  Serving on committees is a great way to add skills to your resume as well as learn more about the operations at VIU. For more information on 1858's committees, keep reading.

CUPE 1858 Committees

Education Committee

CUPE believes in the power of education to change the world. As a Local, we believe in creating a powerful membership by providing union training in a variety of topics to our members, our stewards, and our Executive.  The Local has access to a variety of courses through CUPE National and CUPE BC from health & safety and stewarding training to union supervisor and women in leadership training.  The Local sends out information about training opportunities regularly. If you are interested in taking training that hasn't yet been offered by the Local, please contact CUPE@viu.ca for more information.

CUPE National Education Information

CUPE BC Education Information

Sunshine Committee

Here at CUPE 1858 we are dedicated to supporting our fellow members.  The Sunshine Committee provides recognition for those special events like births, weddings, retirements and even reaches out in cases of extended sick leave and loss of immediate family members.

If you know a member who is in need of some sunshine, please e-mail the Sunshine Committee representative for your campus (if no one is in that position, please email Jennifer Calder).  If you would like to volunteer for the position on your campus, let an executive member know and we can get you set up.

Click here for the Sunshine Committee Guidelines_2014

Grievance Committee

The Grievance Committee acts as a second set of eyes on grievances that have failed at Step 3 of the grievance procedure.  The purpose of the committee is to review cases that has been denied at Step 3, but that a steward believes should be taken forward to arbitration.  The steward presents the case to the Grievance Committee, in the presence of our National Rep, and argues why this case should be taken to the next level.  The Committee then discusses the case and makes a decision about whether the case will move forward, or if it will be closed.

The Grievance Committee is made up of the Chief Steward, the 1st Vice President, one general member, and the steward who is representing the member in a particular case that is being reviewed.

Bargaining Committees

Local 1858's Bargaining Committee is struck as needed. Bargaining Committee members for the next round of negotiations (2025) will be elected by the fall of 2024.

Local 1858's Strike, or Defence, Committee is convened at the start of each round of bargaining as mandated by CUPE National.

CUPE Cares Committee

Committee members are in charge of managing the social and community engagement activities of the local—for example, planning the Summer Social and the Holiday Social.

The Terms of Reference are currently under development, and the new committee members will participate in the development process.

The general goals of the committee are:

  • to provide social activity opportunities to members and their immediate families;
  • to provide community outreach and engagement activities;
  • to organize and implement membership recognition activities and programs;
  • to ensure offered activities and/or resources are sufficiently disbursed to be inclusive of all membership regions.

Joint VIU/CUPE 1858 Committees

CUPE Learning and Development Committee

The Committee will enable all CUPE members to actively participate in Professional Development.  The CUPE L&D Committee:

  • promotes professional development and provides access to professional development opportunities;
  • provides access to courses throughout the institution;
  • provides access to quality training;
  • fosters the commitment of Supervisors to Professional Development opportunities;
  • promotes collaboration of the institution approach to Professional Development.

See the CUPE L&D site for more details or contact the CUPE T&D Assistant, Marg Taylor (marg.taylor@viu.ca).

Employee and Family Assistance Program Committee (EFAP)

We currently do not have a CUPE representative on the EFAP Committee.

Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee

CUPE Members Jannine Grant and Ashley Faulkner are the CUPE representatives on the JOHS Committee.

Joint Rehabilitation Committee/Return to Work Committee

The Joint Rehabilitation Committee (JRC) and the Return to Work (RTW) Committee work in concert with each other to provide resources to members who are off work due to illness or injury.  The work of these committees is performed in complete confidence and committee members sign confidentiality agreements before joining.

The JRC works to administer the Joint Early Intervention Program (JEIP) which provides resources to members who are off work due to illness or injury. Union and Management committee members help maintain contact with employees who are off work to reduce issues arising from isolation. For illnesses or injuries that will result in long-term absence from work, the JEIP helps smooth the process into long term disability coverage.

The RTW Committee is the counterpart to the JRC and helps plan and implement transitions back to work for members who have been off work for a significant period of time.

The CUPE Representatives on both these committees are Melisa Bergeron, Tiffany McLaughlin, and Marg Taylor .

VIU Committees

Board of Governors

The Board of Governors of Vancouver Island University is empowered by the University Act of British Columbia. The management, administration and control of the property, revenue, business and affairs of the university are vested in the Board. Consistent with the University Act, Vancouver Island University Board members do not receive any remuneration for their services. The Board membership is comprised of 15 members as follows:

  • the chancellor;
  • the president;
  • two faculty members elected by the faculty;
  • eight persons appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, two of whom are to be appointed from among persons nominated by the alumni association;
  • two students elected by the students; and
  • one person elected by and from the employees of the university who are not faculty members.

For a current list of Board of Governors members, go to this page - Board of Governors Membership.

Please note that due to the adoption of Bill 18 (23 g) a person who is an employee of the university and who is a voting member of the executive body of, or an officer of, an academic or non-academic staff association of the university who has the responsibility, or joint responsibility with others, to negotiate with the board, on behalf of the academic or non-academic staff association of that university, the terms and conditions of service of members of that association, or adjudicate disputes regarding members of the academic or non-academic staff association of that university is not eligible to be a member of the Board of Governors. CUPE does not have formal representation on the Board, there is however one position for "support staff" to be elected to sit on the Board.


The Senate is the academic governing body of Vancouver Island University. Senate is constituted under the University Act and is chaired by President and Vice-Chancellor Deb Saucier. Senate conducts its business through six Standing Committees, each with specific Terms of Reference.

The senate of a special purpose, teaching university is composed of the following:

  • the chancellor;
  • the president, who is its chair;
  • the academic vice president or equivalent;
  • the deans of faculties;
  • the chief librarian;
  • the registrar;
  • two faculty members for each faculty, elected by its members;
  • four students elected by the students;
  • one alumni member who is not a faculty member, appointed by the president on nomination by the alumni association;
  • two support staff elected by the support staff;
  • one non-voting member of the senate, if appointed to the senate by the board to serve for one year.

CUPE does not have formal representation on Senate, there are however two spots for "support staff" to be elected to sit on senate. You can see who the members of Senate are by checking this page - Senate Membership.

Curriculum Committee

Curriculum Committee is a Senate subcommittee that has the authority for the following recommendations to Senate:

Decisional Mandates:

  • setting and revising curriculum content for courses and programs, including those leading to certificates, diplomas and degrees;
    setting qualifications for admission to specific courses and programs;
  • Advisory Mandates:
    the establishment, revision or discontinuance of courses and programs at the special purpose, teaching university;


  • the financial and resource implications, if any, of proposals for new and revised courses and programs;
  • setting policy for the curriculum development and approval process;
  • other matters as assigned by Senate.

You can see a list of the members of the Curriculum Committee by checking this page - Curriculum Committee Membership.

Educational Standards Committee

Educational Standards Committee is a Senate subcommittee that has the authority for the following recommendations to Senate:

Decisional Mandates:

  • setting criteria for awarding certificates, diplomas and degrees;
  • setting qualifications for admission to the university;
  • setting policies concerning examinations and evaluation of student performance;
  • setting residency requirements for awarding credentials for courses and programs;
  • setting policies concerning student withdrawal from courses, programs or the university;
  • setting criteria for academic standing, academic standards and the grading system;
  • setting policies and procedures for appeals by students on academic matters;
  • setting policies on curriculum evaluation for determining whether:
  • courses or programs, or course credit, from another university or body are equivalent to courses or programs, or course credit, at the university, or
  • courses or programs, or course credit, from one part of the university are equivalent to courses or programs, or course credit, in another part of the university

Advisory Mandates:

  • the setting of the academic schedule;
  • setting of educational policies on the qualifications for faculty members;
  • setting of educational policies on the adjudication procedure for appealable matters of student discipline


  • other matters as assigned by Senate.

You can see a list of the members of the Education Standards Committee by checking this page - Education Standards Committee Membership.


What we do

CUPE Local 1858 represents approximately 400 staff members working at Vancouver Island University. The work of these employees ranges from research and administrative support to red seal skilled trades and ancillary services.

CUPE National

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) represents half a million workers in a wide range of occupations across Canada. CUPE National represents our interests on a national scale by promoting desirable legislation, educating the public about labour issues, and increasing our collective power by maintaining connections to various national and global labour organizations.


As the provincial arm of CUPE National, CUPE BC represents 80,000 workers in more than 170 local unions across many different sectors in British Columbia. Nearly every community in the province has at least one CUPE local, and CUPE BC acts as the political voice of these locals. CUPE BC provides CUPE locals with:
  • a strong and respected voice both in the community and in the province;
  • a united voice in CUPE National and the BC Federation of Labour;
  • a voice in deciding the policy and activities of CUPE BC;
  • active and committed working committees that ensure the diversity of CUPE members’ interests are represented on a provincial level;
    support for organizing strikes and campaigns in your Local and your community;
  • information about what governments and other employers are doing, and how their decisions affect workers and public services;
  • access to a network of activists across the province who can provide mutual support on issues you are dealing with in your Local and, like you, are committed to building a strong community where they live.
https://cupe.ca/ - CUPE National
http://www.cupe.bc.ca/ - CUPE BC official website
http://www.cupe.bc.ca/resources - Education and Workshops (Interested in a course? Contact cupe@viu.ca)
http://www.cupe.bc.ca/committees - CUPE BC Committees: what they do, and how you can get involved!


Equality statement

Union solidarity is based on the principle that union members are equal and deserve mutual respect at all levels. Any behaviour that creates conflict prevents us from working together to strengthen our union.

As unionists, mutual respect, cooperation and understanding are our goals. We should neither condone nor tolerate behaviour that undermines the dignity or self-esteem of any individual or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.

Discriminatory speech or conduct which is racist, sexist, transphobic or homophobic hurts and thereby divides us. So too, does discrimination on the basis of ability, age, class, religion, language and ethnic origin.

Sometimes discrimination takes the form of harassment. Harassment means using real or perceived power to abuse, devalue or humiliate. Harassment should not be treated as a joke. The uneasiness and resentment that it creates are not feelings that help us grow as a union.

Discrimination and harassment focus on characteristics that make us different; and they reduce our capacity to work together on shared concerns such as decent wages, safe working conditions, and justice in the workplace, society and in our union.

CUPE’s policies and practices must reflect our commitment to equality. Members, staff and elected officers must be mindful that all persons deserve dignity, equality and respect.