History of CUPE Local 8

CUPE Local 8 is one of the nine locals that existed since the 1950s. These nine locals recognized the pressing need for joint action to promote the welfare of Civic Hospital, School Board, and Health employees on the provincial level and the importance of a union to organize exclusively.

In 1951, the delegates from these nine locals passed two resolutions at the first convention.

The first one was to approach the Trade and Labor Congress of Canada to request that the Union be chartered to organize specifically in the civic field.
The second was to have a provincial annual convention to evaluate what they accomplished from the past year and plan for the next year.

In 1952, the Trade and Labor Congress of Canada agreed to charter a National Union for Civic workers but issued a challenge to produce 17,000 members before the 1953 Trade and Labor Congress of Canada Convention in Toronto, and the charter creating the Union would be issued.

At the 1953 convention, 23,000 members were demanding the formation of a truly civic union and the Trade and Labor Congress of Canada chartered the National Union of Public Employees.

In 1963, The National Union of Public Employees and the National Union of Public Service Employees merged at the founding convention in Winnipeg and launched the CANADIAN UNION OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES.

In 2003, the Alberta government introduced the regionalization of health care delivery in Alberta and as a result, CUPE lost several representation votes to AUPE (Alberta Union of Public Employees).

Between the representation votes and raids between unions, CUPE lost about 6000 healthcare members. CUPE Local 8 lost all its General Hospital members and went down to 340 members mostly from Intercare Corporate Group and Carewest Colonel Belcher General Support Staff.

CUPE Local 2340 which represented Bowcrest Care Center, Mount Royal Care Center, Wheatland Lodge- Strathmore, The Chateau Renoir, and McKenzie Towne Long Term Care merged with Local 8. Followed by McKenzie Towne Retirement, AgeCare Midnapore, and recently Seasons Highriver, The Heartland in Okotoks, Amica Britannia, Kingsland Terrace, Prince of Peace, Alberta Precision Laboratories, and Scenic Grande. Local 8 now represents 17 sites with 24 Bargaining Units within Calgary and area.

Local 8 expanded from 340 members to over 2000 members today. The growth in our members reflects the strength, diversity, and integrity of our Union, CUPE – Canada’s largest union.

In 2019, CUPE Local 8 celebrated their 100th anniversary.