What positions are available on my executive?

Interested in running for one of our vacant positions? We are currently seeking a Recording Secretary.
The position of Recording Secretary keeps our Executive and General Meeting records accurate and current. Your responsibilities will include taking minutes, sending out the notices of upcoming General Meetings, and performing as much stewarding for members as you like. Recording Secretary is an excellent way to ease into union activism and learn about the activities of the Executive. If you have excellent note-taking abilities and attention to detail, we want you!
We will also be holding elections at our December AGM for positions whose term is being renewed. Those are:
President, January 2022-December 2023 (incumbent Tiffany McLaughlin)

2nd Vice President, January 2022-December 2023 (incumbent Jenn MacPherson)

Deputy Chief Steward, January 2022-December 2023 (incumbent Deb Roe)

Recording Secretary, January 2022-December 2023 (vacant)

Trustee, January 2022-December 2024 (incumbent Wendy Kennedy)

Email cupe@viu.ca for more information, or to nominate one of your fellow members!

How can I get involved with my union?

The CUPE 1858 Executive has been receiving a lot of inquiries lately about how members can get involved and help strengthen our union. One great way to do that is by becoming a steward.

Stewards perform services for members such as sharing when and where general meetings will take place, assisting members with questions about their rights under the Collective Agreement, and attending and taking minutes at manager and Human Resources meetings in support of a fellow member.

As a new steward, you’ll receive tons of support from other stewards and Executive members. You’ll have access to training sessions with CUPE BC, you can shadow other stewards in their meetings, and you can simply talk to another steward and ask questions. It’s very rewarding work, doesn’t take a lot of time, and means so much to the strength of our union.

To get started, email cupe@viu.ca, or visit cupe1858.org for more information.

Your 2019-2022 Collective Agreement is Signed

Good day and good news, Friends. Our fully signed Collective Agreement was sent to me yesterday afternoon, not too long before our General Meeting. I will be posting a copy of it on our Resources page.

On behalf of the Local, I want to thank our Bargaining Chair, Deborah Hopper, and the rest of the members who served on the 2019 Bargaining Team with me – Quinn Ramsay, Steve Schmidt, Rob Campbell, Judy Morris. I am also very grateful for the support of the National Reps who worked with us – Rob Hewitt and Cameron Eby – and the Regional Office staff who produced the numerous drafts of the final agreement – Kelli Lawrence and Mark O’Hare. Every single one of these people helped us get to this point.

In Solidarity,

Tiffany R. McLaughlin
President, Local 1858

COVID Hardship Fund

Reminder – the next application deadline is 11:59pm on Sunday, August 15, 2021

Fund Management & Confidentiality

This Fund is run by a Committee of volunteers who have developed processes to ensure that the Fund is managed in a fair, equitable way that effectively utilizes the money in the Fund to support the members hardest hit by the pandemic. The application processes have been set up to maintain confidentiality and to strictly limit access to applicant information.  All applications will be submitted to the Committee’s confidential email (1858hardship@gmail.com) which, currently, will only be accessed by the Committee Chair, Deborah Hopper.

COVID Hardship Fund Applications-2021 – Fillable


Any member in good standing who lost casual, temporary or regular “CUPE” hours at VIU due to the pandemic is eligible to apply.  To be considered a member in good standing, you have to have been a dues paying member at the time of your loss of hours, with no outstanding assessments from the Local, and your last date working “CUPE” hours at VIU (if you lost all your hours) has to have been less than 18 months prior to the application deadline.

Fund Maximums

The COVID Hardship Fund is limited, so it is requested that members only apply if they are in significant financial need. The Committee will determine whether applications are approved or denied. The Committee will also then determine the amount of support approved applications will receive.  Members who have lost less than 0.5 FTE of hours may be granted up to $300 in assistance; members who have 0.5 FTE of hours or more may be granted up to $500 in assistance.

If an applicant’s financial circumstances change, they can request a reassessment by the Committee.


The initial application deadline is 11:59pm on Monday, March 15, 2021.  All applications will be submitted through the Committee’s email – 1858hardship@gmail.com 

The applications will be assessed and applicants will be notified of the results and, if applicable, issued a cheque by the end of the month.  The Committee will continue to accept applications until the pandemic ends or the Fund is depleted, whichever comes first. Subsequent application deadlines will be the 15th of each month.

Supporting the Fund

The initial influx of money for the fund came through votes by the Local’s membership to utilize some of the strike hardship funds and to redirect some unused budget lines from 2020.  As noted, these funds are limited.

Some members who have not lost hours during the pandemic have asked how they can contribute to the CUPE 1858 COVID Hardship Fund. There are a couple of options for this that are in the works:

  • Personal cheques made out to CUPE Local 1858 with “Hardship Fund” in the memo line may be mailed to PO Box 39038, Nanaimo, BC V9R 7B7
  • The Committee is working with the Executive to set up a GoFundMe page for direct contributions to the Fund. More information about this will be sent out shortly.
  • Members interested in spearheading fundraising activities for the Fund should connect with the Local’s Executive.


The Committee is only able to do so much to spread the word about the CUPE 1858 COVID Hardship Fund. So, if you know a member who was financial impacted by the loss of hours at VIU, who may not be checking their VIU email regularly, please forward this information to them.  It will also be posted on the Local’s website and social media.  Remember – applications are strictly confidential and the initial application deadline is Monday, March 15.

We hope this email finds you and yours well. Any questions about the Fund or the application process should be directed to the Committee’s email which is checked weekly by the Chair.  Be safe and take care of each other!

In solidarity,

CUPE 1858 COVID Hardship Fund Committee

Kamloops Residential School

The discovery of the remains of 215 children at the Kamloops Residential School was shocking and heartbreaking, but it was not unexpected, sadly. There are many ways in which we can show our compassion for and support of Indigenous people in British Columbia and across Canada. Wear an orange shirt, take shoes (children’s ideally) to the Royal Bank Plaza on campus, or find some other way to show your support. Displaying children’s shoes is a visual expression of the enormous losses Indigenous people have suffered through the residential school system.

We also encourage you to write a letter to your MP demanding that the federal government fund forensic archaeological investigations of all residential school sites in Canada and that they follow through on their promise to provide clean drinking water for all indigenous communities.

Congratulations, Jannine!

CUPE 1858’s First Vice-President, Jannine Grant, has some good news to share with us.

“I graduated from VIU with BA in English and Creative Writing (2021) with the financial support of VIU tuition waivers, and CUPE Training and Development Committee funding for which I am truly grateful! When we work together as unionists, our actions of solidarity not only protect our rights but also lift us all up by providing opportunities to reach our full potential.  

Thanks to all of you, CUPE 1858 members for your support! I stand with you in solidarity, and will do my best to serve you & our collective interests.”

Congratulations on your accomplishment, Jannine. We look forward to working with you.

News of Sunshine, Hearts & Rainbows

While times of great pressure can bring out the worst in some people, it also brings out the best in many more.  So, in this time of constant change when too many things are out of our control, let’s all try to focus on the positive, on the stories of kindness, solidarity and good will happening within the membership every day.

If you have a story to share, whether you want to be known or remain anonymous, click HERE to email us.

General Meetings Information

Please Note: Due to COVID-19 Restrictions, we will be holding General Meetings (GM) via Zoom until further notice.

Local 1858 holds GMs each month during the academic year (September – June). We do not hold meetings in July or August. Your attendance and participation at these meetings is important because they give you a way to keep up-to-date on events that could impact you. They also give you a space to voice your opinion regarding how the Executive manages the business of the Local.

Throughout the year, there are important meetings to note:

September GM – President’s Activity Report (April – July) – The President presents an activity report to membership three times per year, sending it out via email in advance of the GM. Members are welcome to bring questions to the meeting. For more information on what you can expect from this report refer to these Guidelines.

October GM – Annual Budget – At this meeting, the Executive presents the proposed budget for the next fiscal year (Jan-Dec). Members debate the budget and vote on whether or not they approve it.

November GM – Mid-Year Trustees’ Audit Report – The Trustees present their 6-month Audit for the current fiscal year.

December AGM – Executive & Trustee Elections – Members elect their Union Officers who will work to fulfill the Local’s legal responsibilities as a trade union, and to complete the other work required to function as an organization.

CUPE Cares Service Awards – Annually, members nominate their colleagues for service awards from the Local. The Local presents awards for professionalism, community service and service to the union. Information on the Awards can be found HERE. If you wish to nominate a colleague use this FORM.

President’s Activity Report (August – November) – The President presents an activity report for the period of December – March, sending it out via email in advance of the AGM. Members are welcome to bring questions to the meeting.

April GM – President’s Activity Report (December – March) – The President presents an activity report for the period of December – March, sending it out via email in advance of the GM. Members are welcome to bring questions to the meeting.

June GM – Committee Elections – Members are elected to act as representatives on the Local’s standing/general committees, joint VIU-CUPE committees, and affiliated labour committees/councils.

Annual Trustees’ Audit Report – The Trustees present their completed Audit from the previous fiscal year.

Bargaining Team Elections (as appropriate) – The year before a Collective Agreement term ends, members elect representatives to act on their behalf in the next round of negotiations.

When a committee or elected officer resigns. we hold a by-election at the next possible GM to fill that position.

CUPE 1858 gets a website overhaul

The Weebly site CUPE1858.org has served Local 1858 well over the years but with a sharp new logo in production, Tiffany McLaughlin, President, turned her sights toward revamping the local’s website.

“CUPE National provides web-hosting services for free and I liked the look and functionality of the templates they offer. Our redesigned logo has sharp lines that will complement the website’s designs and we can incorporate our colours into the new website’s format.” Tiffany explained.

“I feel that the new logo and website, which are more consistent with CUPE branding, make us look and feel like a part of the bigger CUPE family.”

Local 1858’s new website will go live in February 2021.