CUPE History

CUPE National

We’ve been together for over 50 years.

We do different jobs that require different skills. We are diverse – from all sorts of backgrounds in all corners of the country. But we’re connected by a common purpose. Together we’ve fought for the things that matter most.

Fairness. Equality. Dignity.

There’s still much to be done before we have a truly just society. Empowering young workers, women’s rights, racial equality, dignity for the disabled, as well as justice for First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples.

We have made Canada a better place for millions of workers and their families. We will keep fighting for a Canada where ALL workers have a decent wage, retirement security, dignity and a safe workplace.

As we move forward, we are undertaking an unprecedented initiative to speak with every rank and file member in order to re-create our movement.

We are 650,000 public service workers. We will back each other up. We will speak with one voice.

We are CUPE.


This section of the website is dedicated to CUPE’s history as told through our stories, photos and videos.



CUPE Ontario

CUPE Ontario is the political wing of the Canadian Union of Public Employees—Canada’s largest union—in the country’s largest province.


With more than 258,000 members, CUPE Ontario is a strong voice for rights and fairness for our members and our communities. We work at the provincial level for legislative, policy and political change on issues affecting public services, equality, healthy communities and a better Ontario for everyone.


Our leaders are elected at our convention by delegates selected by member locals. At Convention, we also democratically decide on our political action. Locals choose to join CUPE Ontario because of the strong voice we have collectively, and because of our history of advocacy. We are very proud that the vast majority of locals in Ontario have chosen to affiliate to CUPE Ontario.


Across the province, our members work in five main sectors: Health Care, Municipal, School Board, Social Services and University.