Welcome to CUPE 391


Welcome to CUPE 391

CUPE Local 391 represents the more than 750 employees of Vancouver Public Library, Sechelt Public Library and the Gibsons and District Public Library.

We acknowledge that the work we do is on the ancestral, traditional and stolen territories of the Coast Salish Peoples. In particular, the territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), shíshálh (Sechelt), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh).

GreenShield Unionized Staff on Strike March 2024

The members of Unifor Local 240 (Windsor) & Local 673 (Toronto), working at Green Shield Canada, have commenced in job action as of March 1st 2024. The 600 members of Unifor Local 240 and Local 673 are adjudicators, call centre representatives, accounting workers, client administration and IT services. These members have withdrawn all labour from Green Shield Canada. The priority issues they are on the picket line for include a fair wage increase to address the affordability crisis many of us are currently facing, job security and contracting out. This strike will affect plan members.

Their Employer, GreenShield, plans to continue processing claims and maintaining essential services going forward through the online web portal and the self-service interactive voice response phone system. They have currently suspended all call centre and email system services. These services will not be attended to due to the strike.

“This is the first time in 65 years in GreenShield’s existence there has been a strike.” Says Unifor 673 President Maryellen McIlmoyle.

We are all facing a cost-of-living crisis and unfortunately not all employers share a goal of achieving an agreement that adequately supports their employees. During this period, we ask for patience, and we recommend you direct your concerns to GreenShield Canada. We encourage GreenShield Canada to get back to the bargaining table to bargain in good faith towards a fair and equitable collective agreement for these members.

Message from the Executive

Dear members,

The CUPE Local 391 executive would like to address the recent disheartening and distressing Instagram post made by and involving numerous exempt staff at Vancouver Public Library. While the post was deleted after the Union brought it to Christina de Castell’s attention, it continues to have significant impacts on the safety, health and well-being of our members.

We acknowledge the gravity and impact of this situation for all our members, but in particular for our Indigenous and racialized members. Actively seeking and listening to the truth about Canada’s colonialism and Indigenous genocide is central to CUPE Local 391’s work towards reconciliation. We hope that our employer shares those principles, as they have previously stated, although our faith in their commitment to reconciliation has been deeply shaken by this event and their subsequent inaction.

We want members to know that we are in active discussions both internally at CUPE Local 391 and with the Employer to identify the best ways to address this situation and move forward. The safety and well-being of all our members in their workplaces and as Vancouver Public Library employees has always been, and continues to be, a priority for our Local.

We recognize the impact this event may have had on our mental health and well-being, and want to share some resources available to offer support during this time. In addition, the Local is always accessible to all members; we encourage you to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.

In Solidarity and support,

The Executive Committee

CUPE Local 391

Vancouver, Gibsons, and Sechelt Public Library Workers

Resources and Contact info:

Indian Residential School Survivors Society Crisis Line 

Phone: 1-800-721-0066

Online: Indian Residential School Survivors’ Society (irsss.ca)

Homewood Health Employee and Family Assistance Program available to all VPL employees

Phone (24 hours) 1-800-663-1142

Online: https://homeweb.ca/

WorkSafeBC Crisis Support Line

Phone (24 hours): 1-800-624-2928

You don’t need a WorkSafeBC claim to call for help.

CUPE Local 391 Contact: 

email: info@cupe391.ca

Phone: 604-322-4879

Message from the Executive about the removal of tents at the Hastings Encampment

Library workers in Vancouver (occupied Indigenous territories) are concerned about the current removal of tents and structures and people who survive in them from sidewalks in the Downtown Eastside. Members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 391 bear witness to the struggles that people face in the Downtown Eastside and across the city and offer support that more often than not falls outside of their job descriptions. People who are unhoused are surviving in tents and other structures because there are no dignified shelter options. This is a human rights issue. The City is now removing those living spaces by way of increased police force. The Local urges the City to stop this process and create dignified housing options now. 
In Solidarity,
Executive Committee, CUPE Local 391