cupe local 38 calgary

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I sign up for a Local 38 membership card?

There are three options for Local 38 members to obtain a union card:

  1. Fill out the application form on the website
  2. Visit the CUPE Local 38 office for a paper application
  3. Speak to your shop steward to obtain a paper application

There is a $2 initiation fee for the union card. This fee can be paid via credit card on the website, or by cash only at the union office or through your shop steward.

Why is there a $2 fee for a membership card?

The $2 initiation fee is outlined in the Alberta Labour Relations Code, the legislation that defines the rules between unions and employers. The Code requires that a union must obtain a minimum of $2 when a member first signs a union card. This is a one-time fee. Although the Code allows a union to set a higher fee, Local 38 has always set our initiation fee at the lowest rate possible.

The principle behind this, is that a worker is obligated to pay union dues if they work in a position that falls within a union’s jurisdiction. However, the worker is not required to formally join the union. In order to fully participate within the internal workings of the union (attend meetings, vote in internal union votes, hold an office such as steward, etc.), an individual must agree to join the union of their own free will. This is signified by signing the union application (known as the union card) and paying the initiation fee on their own.

This system arose from a landmark Supreme Court decision in 1946. Supreme Court Justice Ivan Rand made the ruling that, while a member must pay dues for the benefits received from a collective agreement, this did not require the member to join the union.

What are the duties of a shop steward?

As a link between the union and employees, stewards are a critical component to union success. They are friendly and trustworthy faces in the workplace, and are known to co-workers as someone they can go to for information or help. Much of the role of a steward is to listen and observe, ensuring the employer is following the collective agreement.

A significant part of the role of a steward is to be there for the members in the workplace. Stewards advise employees on their rights and responsibilities, pass along important information and answer questions members have regarding the collective agreement.

An effective steward demonstrates a respectful attitude, is responsible for their actions and is reasonable in their thoughts.

If you are interested in becoming a steward for your work area, please contact the CUPE Local 38 office.

When are Local 38 general membership meetings held?

General membership meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. No meetings are held in July and August. You must be a card-carrying Local 38 member to attend.

With the continuing restrictions on indoor gatherings by Alberta Health Services, meetings are temporarily being held virtually via Zoom. To balance the confidentiality of these meetings with access for our members, please follow the steps below to attend:

  1. Contact the union office at 403-233-2700 or to obtain the access code for the meeting
  2. When entering the Zoom meeting, please ensure your camera is on and that you identify yourself. We will need to confirm and record the name of all attendees. If a participant cannot be identified, they will be removed from the meeting
  3. Once the meeting starts, attendees will be given the instruction to turn off their camera if they desire to improve bandwidth
  4. If speaking, please activate your camera

How are Officers, Executive Board and Committee members elected?

Elections for Officers, Executive Board and Committee members are held at the April (Officers and Executive) and May (Committees) General Membership meetings each year.

Officers and Executive Board members are elected for two-year terms, with elections for President/Chief Steward and Vice President/Recording Secretary/Business Agent held in alternate years to ensure business continuity. To be eligible to run for an Officer or Executive Board position, a member must have attended at least fifty percent (50%) of General meetings in the twelve (12) months immediately prior to the month in which the election is held.

Committee members are elected annually, and Local 38 members may sit on more than one committee.

What is a Trustee?

Trustees are responsible for reviewing Local 38’s official meeting minutes and audited financial records each spring to ensure they accurate and adhere to the Local’s bylaws, while making recommendations for future improvements.

Trustees are elected for three-year terms at the April General membership meeting.

How can I report a concern in my workplace? Will it remain confidential?

Members are encouraged to reach out to their Steward or the CUPE 38 office with any questions or concerns about workplace matters.

All conversations and communication with our Members is treated with the strictest of confidence. Always remember, Local 38’s obligation is to you, the Member, and not to the employer. No action is taken without the full knowledge of the Member.