KAIROS’ unionized staff go national!

Cupe local 4557 Goes National
Cupe local 4557 Goes National

Local 4557 has represented KAIROS’ workers (non-management) since the organization’s beginning. KAIROS’ and the Local’s first collective agreement was ratified in April 2003. 

CUPE – which stands for the Canadian Union of Public Employees – is Canada’s largest union, representing 750,000 members nationwide in the public sector. It is a federation with provincial divisions. Local 4557 is under CUPE Ontario.  

At KAIROS, most workers live and work in Ontario with some exceptions for regionally focused work. These out-of-province roles were not covered by the collective agreement. The impetus to expand KAIROS’ ability to hire outside of Ontario came in consultation with Indigenous stakeholders. KAIROS is committed to embodying anti-racism and anti-oppression (ARAO) and decolonization in all facets of its work. Consultations with these stakeholders surfaced the need to protect the ability for Indigenous staff to live on their ancestral territories should they choose to do so.  

Local 4557 is committed to KAIROS’ ARAO and decolonization work and supports this national expansion. It requested that KAIROS recognize future hires as members of the Local. KAIROS agreed. 

“We are constantly learning and growing as we seek to walk a path of decolonization, and adapt to changing work patterns,” says Leah Reesor-Keller, KAIROS’ Transitional Executive Director. “We’re grateful to partner with CUPE Local 4557 from coast to coast to coast as we build and sustain a staff team that reflects the strengths and perspectives of communities across Canada/Turtle Island.”  

“This is a huge win! Not just for the union, but for the organization as a whole,” says Devora Cascante, Unit VP of Local 4557. “We know that a happy union reflects a happy workplace. Being able to represent all the workers at KAIROS means we can now truly collectively build a workplace we all want to be a part of.”  

CUPE Local 4557 is a composite union that includes staff from KAIROS Canada, Community Living Ontario and Working for Change. 

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