COPE Day 2023


Celebrate COPE Day!

In June of 2004, several Canadian members of the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) presented their American labour leaders with a shocking letter. It stated that 74% of OPEIU’s 24,000 Canadian members had voted in support of forming their own autonomous union.


Canadian members of OPEIU had long felt left out of the union, often not receiving any international representation or campaign support from the largely American-based union. Frustrated with the lack of support, the Canadian members decided it was time to create the union they wished to be a part of.

This is how the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union (COPE-SEPB
) began and, since its formation in 2004, COPE has grown its membership to over 34,000 members.  COPE-SEPB represents members across the provinces and territories, expanding into new sectors such as non-profits, credit unions, and healthcare. As a union composed primarily of women, COPE plays a critical role in fighting issues of inequality in workplaces. Most recently, we saw the ground-breaking language for menstrual leave at Planned Parenthood Ottawa. Victories such as these remind us that when we come together in solidarity, change happens.

Each year, on June 20th, we celebrate COPE Day and mark COPE’s beginnings as an autonomous union!


Celebrate COPE Day with us, by clicking here to download our COPE Day graphic and posting a photo of yourself, your colleagues and other members holding the sign. Make sure to tag COPE Ontario on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram and use the hashtag #COPEDay



Clipping from Summer 2004 OPEIU newsletter:


Latest posts

May 30 – The Fightback is On


Either we save our public medicare now, or we are going to lose it

Giant march & protest. Send a message to the Ford government & Ontario's Legislature that cannot be ignored.

In Toronto: Gather at 12 p.m. noon at the south side of Nathan Phillips Square across from the Sheraton, 123 Queen St. W. We will march to the Ontario Legislature at Queen’s Park which is in session — local Members of Provincial Parliament from across Ontario will be there.

There is a designated space at Queen’s Park for people with mobility issues who cannot join the march. Meet us at Queen’s Park in front of the Ontario Legislature. The march will arrive at Queen’s Park at 1 p.m.

Across Mid- & Southern Ontario: There will be buses/transportation to the Toronto protest. Look on the Ontario Health Coaltion website for details about buses and how to reserve a space or email [email protected].

In Northern Ontario (N. Ontario locations where it is too far to travel in to the Ontario Legislature):

Sault Ste. Marie: Gather at 12 p.m. noon at Roberta Bondar Pavilion for protest and march. Contact Al Dupuis at the Algoma Health Coalition [email protected].

Thunder Bay: Gather at 12 p.m. noon at mini Queen’s Park. Contact Jules Tupker [email protected].

Dryden: Rally outside of MPP Greg Rickford's office (429 Government Road) at 11:30 a.m. CDST

In Eastern Ontario

Ottawa: Gather at 12 p.m. noon at Faircrest Heights Park, 550 Smyth Road. Contact the Ottawa Health Coalition at [email protected]

Cornwall: Gather at 4 p.m. (note the time is different than elsewhere) outside MPP Nolan Quinn’s office, 120 Second St. W. Contact Louise Lanctot at [email protected] or Elaine MacDonald at [email protected].

COPE Fights for Homecare Workers

COPE joined other unions at Queen's Park to call on the Ford government to halt a plan that will cause further chaos in the home care sector – for both patients and workers. 

Bill 135 – rushed through the legislature with little oversight – demolishes existing governance structures and paves the way for privatization of vital health care services. 

The measure would dismantle the existing system of 14 Home Care and Community Support Services organizations across the province and turn them into one unwieldly structure. Unions have asked the government to consult with them on how to avoid the labour relations turmoil that will result. 

COPE Local 550 represents workers at Home Care and Community Support Services – Toronto. 

COPE Ontario Interim Director Glenn Wheeler (centre) joined OPSEU President JP Hornick, ONA President Erin Ariss, CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn and NDP Health Critic France Gelinas at a media conference at Queen's Park.




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