About us

Equality Statement

Union solidarity is based on the principle that union members are equal and deserve mutual respect at all levels. Any behaviour that creates conflict prevents us from working together to strengthen our union.

As unionists, mutual respect, cooperation and understanding are our goals. We should neither condone nor tolerate behaviour that undermines the dignity or self-esteem of any individual or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.

Discriminatory speech or conduct which is racist, sexist, transphobic or homophobic hurts and thereby divides us. So too, does discrimination on the basis of ability, age, class, religion, language and ethnic origin.

Sometimes discrimination takes the form of harassment. Harassment means using real or perceived power to abuse, devalue or humiliate. Harassment should not be treated as a joke. The uneasiness and resentment that it creates are not feelings that help us grow as a union.

Discrimination and harassment focus on characteristics that make us different; and they reduce our capacity to work together on shared concerns such as decent wages, safe working conditions, and justice in the workplace, society and in our union.

CUPE’s policies and practices must reflect our commitment to equality. Members, staff and elected officers must be mindful that all sisters and brothers deserve dignity, equality and respect.

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Table & Executive Officers

President- Tammy Carter

I started working with School District 67 in January of 2007 as an Education Assistant.  I live in Summerland with my husband Shawn, and we have two adult kids.  March 6th, 2021, I became the President for Local 523.  Before this role, I was the Unit Chair for School District 67 and before that I was the 3rd Vice President.    Before sitting on the executive, I was involved in the Unit as the education person as well as assisting the Unit Chair with various activities and planning events for our unit, I was also a Shop Steward for a very short time in SD67.  I have sat on the CUPE BC Education Committee for two years and currently sit on the CUPE BC K-12 Committee for the upcoming two years.  I am the communication person and trustee for the Okanagan Mainline District Council (OMDC) and the treasurer for the South Okanagan Boundary Labour Council (SOBLC).  I have experience at the SOBLC table as a secretary role before the treasurer role.  I am very proud to be part of Local 523 and look forward to continuing my activism in the role as President.  Thank you for the support and for all that you do. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 250-462-3343 or email president@cupe523.com 

Secretary Treasurer – Kyle Clark



Phone: 236-301-1099 (cell)

Email:  sec_treasurer@cupe523.com      

Recording Secretary- Erica McDowell

I started working with School District 67 in 2008 as a CEA and I have been fortunate to serve on the Executive as your Recording Secretary for the past 8 years. Before becoming a CEA, I worked as a Graphic Artist in the print industry, this experience has aided me to help implement new ways to communication with members as technology evolves.

Phone: 250-462-8590       Email:  rec_secretary@cupe523.com     

1st Vice President – Shawn Melnyk 


Phone: 604-202-9500

Email:  1vp@cupe523.com     

2nd Vice President – Lorie Zachariuk

Hello everyone, I’m Lorie Zachariuk and proud to serve as CUPE 523’s 2nd Vice President and Unit 67 CUPE Occupational Health and Safety Representative. I have worked for School District #67 for almost 23 years where I am employed as a Certified Teaching Assistant. With experience in challenging behaviours, I continue to love every aspect of my job and take pride in the contributions I have made in my career. Whether that be the facilitator of the P.A.R.K. (Placing At Risk Kids) program, implementing strategies, and learning outcomes for students with IEP’s (Individualized Learning Plan) or just being there for students who need that extra support, understanding, and compassion.

I am a mom to my 3 amazing adult “kids”, and “Nan” to my 2 beautiful Grandchildren with whom I look forward to spending more time with when I retire in 2-3 years. I enjoy the outdoors, being near or on the lake, camping, hiking, as well as moon/star gazing around a warm crackling bon-fire after busy work week. I try to attend any and all music festivals our beautiful valley has to offer and enjoy taking a stroll around and visiting the various vendors at the numerous outdoor markets.

My first involvement with the Union was 4 years ago when I accepted the role of CUPE OH&S Representative for Unit 67. From there I added Shop Steward to my duties, then 3rd Vice President, to where I am now as 2nd VP where I act as the Local 523 Privacy Officer as well as Chair to the Education and Communication Committees. I am really enjoying my role in the Union and working in solidarity with and for our Local 523. I continue to meet more and more new people and look forward to one day our paths possibly crossing!

Be Well, Lorie Zachariuk

Home Office: 778-515-6131

Email:  2vp@cupe523.com       

3rd Vice President – Sylvia Lindgren


Email: 3vp@cupe523.com 

Phone:  250-833-6380


Indigenous Workers’ Representative – Vacant





Unit Chairs

SD53- Charlene Turnbull

I am a Education Assistant for School District 53, at Osoyoos Secondary School.  I have been a Union Activist for the past 6 years and I take my Union Positions seriously and will not let you down. Okanagan Proud & Strong!!!

Any Questions please Contact me at 250-485-7302 or email unit53@cupe523.com    

SD67- Terri Phillips

I have been a CEA since 2004 and have been with the Okanagan Skaha district since 2007. I love the job and am happy to have gotten more involved with the union. I have recently started this position as Unit Chair for SD67 and am finding it both exciting and challenging. As your Unit Chair, I am here to support you, the members! Any Questions please Contact me at 250-488-6968 or email unit67@cupe523.com

SD83- Courtney Thomson


Phone: 604-854-0423 

Email:  unit83@cupe523.com       

NOYFSS- Samantha Symons

My name is Samantha Symons. I am a Child and Family Counsellor at North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society. I am the current Unit Chair for NOYFSS.

I have worked since 2011 in the Family Services program, the School Based Outreach program, and have recently added Quality Assurance to my role at NOYFSS.

I have been active in Local 523 as the Good and Welfare rep., an OH&S rep. and as a Shop Steward.  I have taken extensive training related to these roles and have served as Steward on matters such as Policy and Individual grievances, JLM work, and Local Issues Bargaining. I have also taken a Local Executive Training [LET] course.

I believe strongly in union solidarity, respectful and assertive relationships with employers, and the need to stand firmly against employer efforts to advance their managerial needs at the expense of working people, our members.  I believe that this is better achieved when our Local maintains a highly organized approach to grievance management. This means consistent adherence to processes and timelines, consistent outcomes across all Units and assurance of relevant learning and training opportunities for Shop Stewards and the Local.

Phone: 250-306-9722   

Email:  noyfss@cupe523.com      

TPCS- Vacant



Email:  tpcs@cupe523.com       


SCS- Vacant



Email:  scs@cupe523.com       


Unit & Steward Contact Information:


Turning Points-Contact List- October 2022

NOYFSS-Contact List- October 2022

SD53-Contact List- October 2022

SD67-Contact List- November 2022

SD83-Contact List- October 2022


  • Nancy Boisvenue, member from SD83
  • Penny Gray, member from SD83
  • Vacant

Local Entertainment Committee

  • Roberta Hormes, SD67
  • Kaeli Crawford, SD83
  • Vacant


CUPE Local523

#101 – 416 Westminster Ave. W. Penticton, BC, V2A 1K5

Equality Statement


Committees Information Chart

A complete list of Local 523 Committees, Roles and Responsibilities.

Health Safety Committee

The Occupational Heath & Safety Committee shall be comprised of the President or designate. and up to two OH&S representative(s) from each unit.


Good & Welfare Committee

The Good and Welfare Committee shall be comprised of the 3rd Vice President (Chair) and one member from each Unit.

The Good & Welfare Committee shall be dedicated to supporting all members of CUPE 523 by providing recognition of those special events and other circumstances in accordance with guidelines developed by the Committee.


Education Committee

The Local recognizes the value of Union education and shall provide appropriate educational opportunities to members in good standing.


Communication Committee

The Communications Committee shall be comprised of the 2nd Vice President (Chair), Recording Secretary and up to one member from each unit.


Entertainment Committee

The Entertainment Committee shall be comprised of the 3rd Vice President and three (3) other members, Sub-committees may be created on an ad-hoc basis to organize events.


Job Evaluation Maintenance Committee

The JEMC committee is a joint Union/Employer committee.  The committee evaluates jobs to ensure that they are correctly rates base on nine factors.  Pay rates are determined after the factors are rated.

About CUPE Local 523

Welcome to CUPE Local 523. As a CUPE member, you are part of the largest Union in Canada. CUPE represents workers in health care, public schools, municipalities, libraries, universities, social services, public utilities, transportation, emergency services, and airlines.

CUPE 523 Structure

CUPE 523 has two Community Social Services Units and three School District Units

Our Community Social Service Units are:

Our School District Units are:


Union Mailing Address:     

CUPE Local523:  #101 – 416 Westminster Ave. W. Penticton, BC, V2A 1K5

General and Unit Meetings

General Meetings CUPE Local523 holds eight general meetings a year.  Members are encouraged to attend the general meetings.  Meeting notices are posted on CUPE bulletin boards and on our website.

Unit Meetings Each Unit will hold informational meetings throughout the year. Unit members are also encouraged to attend these informational meetings. Meeting notices are posted on CUPE bulletin boards.

Paid Mileage: Members shall be paid mileage to attend general meetings when they are driving two or more other members to the general meeting. (Local Bylaws, Section 4, d)

Child Care Services – Please contact your unit chair 4 days prior to the meeting if child care service is needed for you to attend.

Getting Sworn In (Applying for Membership)

All employees covered by the CUPE Collective Agreement are required to be sworn in as a member as a condition of employment. You can be sworn in at any general meeting.  As a sworn in member, you are guaranteed all the rights and privileges that come with Union membership, including voting rights, the right to strike pay, eligibility for CUPE bursaries available to the children of CUPE members and eligibility for the CUPE Death Benefit Fund or Hardship Fund.


Equality Statement