Sudbury & District Labour Council meetings and activities are opportunities to share information on issues affecting local unions, their membership and the community. By identifying issues, awareness is built and support can be generated through collective action.
Our affiliated unions come from the traditional mining sector in Peterborough and the public sector, including education, health care, a large federal component, provincial and municipal governments, and the trades. We are represented on the Ontario Federation of Labour’s Executive Council as well as the Canadian Labour Congress.
The Labour Council is a full partner with the United Way with five members appointed to the United Way Board of Directors. Through our partnership agreement with the United Way local unions can access the services of the Labour Community Representative.
The Labour Council shapes the local political landscape by adding labour’s voice to issues that affect union members. As a voice for progressive change, social and economic justice, equality and workers’ rights, the Labour Council plays a significant role in supporting labour candidates or progressive candidates who share labours’ views.
Committees: Political Action, Events, Women's
Valerie BarbeVice-President/UWCNEO Labour Rep
Vice-President/UWCNEO Labour Rep
Committees: Women's, Events
Valerie's background comes from the Social Service Sector. She's been a Developmental Service Worker for over 35 years. Active in CUPE Local for over 25yrs, Val has held various Executive positions including Recording Secretary, Chief Steward and President. She's believes in building healthy, stronger community and loves to give back. Val is the labour representative on our United Way board. She's active in CUPE District Council and various sub-committees of the Labour Council, organizing such campaigns and events like Tampon Tuesday, Pack a Purse, Labour Day in the Park and of course the Labour Breakfast.
Tommi-Lee Gauthier (She/her) is a proud member of CEIU 534. She currently works for Service Canada helping to deliver the Employment Insurance program. She graduated from Laurentian University with a BA in Sociology in 2019 and was involved on campus during her time there. She is currently a member of the Sudbury Community Legal Clinic Board of Directors. Her favourite gender inclusive pronoun is “comrade”.
Melissa ArsenaultRecording Secretary
Melissa is 2nd VP of Local 00042 of the Union of Taxation Employees. She's been active in her union since 2008, but only moved to Sudbury in 2017. Moving to Sudbury has been the best move Melissa has ever made for she and her son, who is autistic and 27. They find so much support within the community. Participating in the Sudbury District Labour Council not only helps her Local but this vibrant community, as well.
Gary AubutSergeant-at-Arms/UWCNEO Labour Rep
Sergeant-at-Arms/UWCNEO Labour Rep
Committees: Political Action Committee
Gary Aubut is a proud member of CUPE 4705, Stewart, WSIB Rep, and United Way Labour Board Member. Gary is a bus driver with Sudbury Transit. He’s won some significant grievances and WSIB appeals, and received a CUPE achievement award. His main goal is to get more members active in the Union and Labour Council. Gary enjoys weekends and spending time doing Union work. The efforts of those in the labour council inspire him to do more.
MEMBERS AT LARGE
Committees: Political Action Committee
David is a maintenance technician 1, Unit Chair for Sudbury Housing, and sits on the Executive Board of CUPE Local 4705, as well as being a health and safety representative for the past 30 years. He's been active in Unions for 40 years, starting with UAW Mine Mill Local 598, moving on to USW Local 8126 as a steward and Local President, and has been unit chair for Local 4705 for 9 years. David serves on the Sudbury CUPE Council as well as the labour council. He's also Northern Ontario representative for the Ontario Municipal Employees Coordinating Committee. Health and safety is his biggest concern lately. He's started mentoring members, encouraging them to get training and stand up for their rights. He's been married 33 years, has 2 sons and a gorgeous granddaughter.
Charlene is vice-president of OPSEU Local 629 – Ministry of Attorney General, Court Clerk. She first worked in the private sector, advocating for people. She was introduced to the labour movement in ‘06/07, and was drawn to the movement through her precarious work at the courthouse. She got involved in the Union, took training, became a steward, and was active provincially. She’s a community activist, social justice fighter and believer in grass roots. Her main goal is to get people active and engaged. Just like your Union, the labour council is nothing without its activists! Charlene became a mother quite young, and has since raised 2 wonderful sons. She’s a real people person, and loves connecting with workers and community members to determine how to best meet their needs. One of her most memorable experiences was participating in the Women’s March in Washington, January 2017, subsequent to Trump’s election as President despite his view and treatment of women. She believes strongly that KNOWLEDGE IS POWER – TAKE TRAINING!
Committees: Francophone Committee
Fabrice grew up in Sherbrooke, ON and attended university in Sherbrooke and Belgium. He then moved to Moncton, NB and worked at their university as a professor. He first got involved in the Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) as a steward, bargained for his members in 2011, 2014 and 2017, and is now again on their bargaining committee. He was elected President of LUFA in March 2018. Fabrice has worked with the labour council since then, and is impressed by the drive and solidarity of its executive and members, especially seeing the support it has provided to teachers. He recognizes the importance of our role in the community, helping workers trying to make ends meet. He is grateful and indebted to his parents, who are great mentors, were both also professors, were very dedicated to their students, and are still active in their Union.
Tracy is a lifelong activist and is currently the local President of CEIU 534. She has always been on the side of those who are marginalized and is not afraid to stand against tyranny and injustice. She takes pride and care in helping others overcome obstacles and move towards their goals. Family is everything to Tracy. She is a proud mom of 5 adult children and 11 grandchildren! Her life is definitely hectic and full of love. She is looking forward to leaving the workforce in the next few years- but only because it will allow her to focus on her community activism.
Tracy's favourite quote: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not." - Dr.Seuss - the Lorax
Debra is a member of CUPE 2599 and has been a union activist for the past decade. She is very interested in health and safety and has been on the JHSC for the past 10 years. She is looking forward to the up coming years with the Sudbury and District Labour Council.
Committees: Labour Day
Eric is a career secondary school educator for over 20 years in the Rainbow District School Board. Currently, seconded as the Teacher/Occasional Teacher and District President for the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) District 3, serving members in Espanola, Manitoulin Island, and Sudbury.