CUPE is the largest union in Canada with over 635,000 members in various occupations across the country.

CUPE is a democratic union governed by a constitution and by-laws. This means that each local’s members make the decisions and set how the Local functions within these guidelines. It is the members who determine the majority vote on what the Union does.

Since 1987, Local 3223 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has represented the many dedicated front line and support and administrative workers at the Durham Children’s Aid Society. We are the people who serve the families and community and are committed to the safety, protection and well-being of children and youth in our community.


Unions make a difference both at work and in the quality of life you earn. That is what we call the union advantage. This advantage doesn’t just belong to union members. It benefits everyone.

The labour movement was created by ordinary workers standing up together for fair wages, safe workplaces and decent work hours. Many of the benefits and standards won are what current members and all workers receive today, such as minimum wage, health and safety regulations, and overtime.

Having a union on your side makes your job and your workplace safer and fairer. Generally, you get paid better and are more likely to have benefits that help you balance work with life at home. Your health and ability to do your job become important and your right to fair treatment gets enforced.

When unions stand up for fairness, they raise the bar for everyone. Many of the things first won by unions are enjoyed by all workers today – minimum wages, overtime pay, workplace safety standards, maternity and parental leave, vacation pay, and protection from discrimination and harassment.