CUPE Hospitals

CUPE Hospitals

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is Canada's largest health care union.

In order to join CUPE, you must complete, sign and date a CUPE membership card.

Once CUPE has received cards from at least 50% of employees, CUPE will file an Application for Certification. When CUPE files the Application the membership cards are sent to the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) with the Application. The cards are completely confidential and the employer will never know who signed a card.

When CUPE files the Application for Certification the Employer is served with a copy of the Application (not the membership cards). Five business days following the filing of the Application an Officer from the OLRB comes out to the workplace and holds a secret ballot vote or holds an electronic vote via email. The voting process is determined by the OLRB. No one will ever know how you voted. The vote is what determines whether CUPE is successful or not. It is a simple majority vote, so if 100 people come out to vote and 51 votes in favour of joining the union then everyone will become part of the union.

Signing the CUPE membership card is the first step in joining CUPE but it is important to remember that the vote is what determines whether CUPE is successful.

If you want to complete and sign an electronic CUPE membership card click here to fill out a contact form and we will email you the card within 24 hours.

Employers often spread misinformation during organizing campaigns so make sure to check for the latest information about the CUPE organizing drive at your workplace.

CUPE is Canada’s largest

hospital union


CUPE is Canada’s largest union with over 700,000 members. CUPE is also Ontario’s largest union with 251,000 members, including more than 80,000 CUPE members working in health care. 40,000 of those members work at 120 sites of more than 60 hospitals.

We represent registered practical nurses, personal support workers and porters, dietary, cleaning, reprocessing, trades, clerical staff, paramedics and paramedical staff.

  • CUPE’s job security and seniority provisions are the strongest of any hospital union in Ontario.
  • CUPE has an excellent track record of negotiating strong collective agreements, and of protecting and making gains at the bargaining table.

Ontario Council of Hospital Unions


Founded in 1982, the 40,000 member Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) is the hospital division of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

OCHU/CUPE bargains a provincial collective agreement with the Ontario Hospital Association and lays that pattern down across the hospital sector and for those long-term care facilities that have a relationship with a hospital. Because we have the strongest collective agreement in the province - and because we enforce it - OCHU/CUPE hospital locals have the lowest rate of layoff in Ontario.

OCHU/CUPE carries out advocacy on behalf of our members and on behalf of hospital patients and long-term care residents across Ontario. OCHU/CUPE is an active partner with the Ontario Health Care Coalition and works closely with the Ontario Health Care Coalition whenever community health services are threatened with cuts or privatization.

Democratic union

CUPE is a democratic union committed to Local Autonomy. This means that local bargaining units make decisions about bargaining priorities, grievances and arbitrations and even dues. In other words, as a member, your vote has real strength.


In addition to securing improvements to working conditions at the bargaining table, CUPE also mobilizes public pressure on government decision-makers to enhance and protect public health care.

In Ontario, CUPE members run effective advocacy campaigns, on a number of health care issues, including:

  • increased staffing in the public health care system;
  • an end to health care cuts and privatization;
  • legislative protection against violence in the workplace; and
  • a reduction in deaths due to hospital-acquired infections and adequate funding for hospital care.

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The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is Canada's largest health care union.