Address to the Members of CUPE 2974

A Message from your Local President


To the membership of CUPE Local 2974

For those who don’t know me, my name is James Jovanovic.  I have served twice, separately on the executive, both in the position of Sub-Chair for 2974.2, totalling 4 years.  I’ve worked for Essex-Windsor EMS as a paramedic for over 12 years.  In my time here I’ve always placed an emphasis on standing up for our rights and fighting for what I believed in; primarily, the fair treatment of my colleagues in the workplace.

I am honored to have been nominated and elected your Union President. The significance of this appointment is one that I take very seriously; but not in how it will impact my life, rather the responsibility it has to each of yours.  The executive will place an enhanced emphasis on transparency, communication and responsibility to the membership. We will prioritize strengthening each of your voices while empowering your control over the direction of this local and over the future of your careers. This union will represent all members equally, regardless of position, classification, sector or status.  It is time that we are all reminded that this union exists to serve the betterment of its members in and outside of the workplace; to fight for your rights and to defend your interests. We have an unbelievably dedicated group on the executive that will work towards providing you with the tools for maximizing what a union can mean for each of us.  Only by coming together will we accomplish our goals; standing up for one another and supporting each other is where our strength lies. It cannot be stressed enough; each view matters, everyone’s opinions are equal, all voices deserve to be heard. Gone are the days where differing opinions will be considered out of order.  Opposing viewpoints are not only welcomed, but they are also encouraged.  If you have criticism of the union, I wish to hear it directly. If you have an opinion or view on which direction the local should take, I ask that you share it. “When you have something to say, silence is a lie”. I appreciate the wide-ranging views inherent to a group of unique individuals.  Not everyone will view “the union” in the same light.  If you don’t believe that this union works for you, that it doesn’t represent your interests, let us know so that we may all improve upon it. The union can be whatever you make of it; but any required change starts with your participation, through exercising the strength of your own voice.

The primary focus of the executive will be ensuring that your needs are recognized, and that this union represents something we all can share pride in being a part of.

COVID restrictions may initially limit my plans, but I will be looking to tour each worksite (outside of ems) in the near future in order to learn more about the issues you each face daily. Over time, I hope to meet and get to know each member of this local. I hope you can view this changeover as a fresh start and new beginning for this union, that will give us the opportunity for making achievements in better working conditions, compensation, representation and collective bargaining.

We will be expanding usage of the website in order to improve communication and access to information, thereby giving you greater tools to stay informed and make an impact. We want to strengthen this local by taking steps forward technologically and through embracing new thoughts and ideas for what a union can be and how best it can serve its members. I’m excited for what possibilities we can accomplish by simply standing strong, together, for a common purpose and a united future.

Rise together, stand united… YOU are the Union.

Thank you.

In solidarity,

James Jovanovic
Union brother
CUPE 2974




Welcome to CUPE 2974

Welcome to the official CUPE 2974 website.  We are continuing to look at any and all ways of connecting and communicating with our members, and we are happy to provide this site as a springboard to a more united workforce.  This site will continue to act as a central hub of sharing as much news and information as possible with aims of also providing a stronger voice for all members of this local.

There has been a lot of change and adapting for everyone recently.  As the union transitions in some new executive members, we just want everyone to know that you have the full support of the executive, should you ever need anything.  Everyone, stay vigilant, and we will remain resilient in keeping ahead of the pandemic.  Our thoughts are with everyone and their families during these challenging times.

If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to one of your local union representatives.

Take care and stay safe

In Solidarity,

Your Union Executive

Support Bill 191: Give frontline workers the support they deserve

Our frontline workers are heroes. They are taking care of our communities during this crisis, and we need to make sure we take care of them.

Currently, COVID-19 related WSIB claims are adjudicated on a case-by-case basis. Frontline workers who are sick must prove that their contraction of COVID-19 was work-related.

This is unacceptable.

Frontline workers who have contracted COVID-19 while serving the people of Ontario should not be burdened with excessive stress and delays in receiving the benefits they need.

Bill 191 would add a presumption that COVID-19 is an occupational disease for essential workers who test positive.

Click here and send a message to your MPP, Premier Doug Ford, and Minister of Health Christine Elliott telling them to support Bill 191.

In solidarity,

CUPE Ontario

Our future with COVID-19

To our valued members, our union brothers and sisters, our friends and family…

As we enter into an increasingly stressful and challenging time, it is important to try and stay informed with the barrage of continuously changing information and newly implemented measures by the federal and provincial governments, as well as the employer.

I have trust and confidence that we will overcome and persevere, however we will undoubtedly all know and care for someone that this issue will profoundly impact.

We will strive to assist with the many questions our local membership likely all have.  The safety of our members is our top priority.

As this continues to unfold, we will do our best to meet all challenges head on, together.

In Solidarity

Your Union Executive



Hit the arrows to expand info for each – I will try and update this post with any information we receive that is not widely already available.

Ontario Ministry of Health - Daily Updates
 Below is a useful link to the Ministry of Health that conveniently provides daily updates about current cases and measures taken in Ontario.

It displays

  • The status of current cases in Ontario
  • General info on the virus itself
  • How to protect yourself
  • Information specific to health care professionals
  • Travellers returning from affected areas

..and much more.  Please keep up to date and keep informed as it appears that the changes will continue to be very rapid.

here is the link…

Ontario Ministry of Health – daily updates


CUPE Quarantine Information
 Here is an informative document created by the CUPE National Health and Safety Rep, Paul Sylvestre.

It details what impact you may have specifically in terms of your employment, how that may be affected and what rights and benefits you have.

It discusses rights to receiving pay, benefits, WSIB claims, as well as how and where to self isolate.

please hit the link and read the document… keep informed and stay safe.

in solidarity…



Legal opinion regarding worker rights

Cupe has received this important legal opinion from the CaleyWray law firm out of Toronto

The letter is in regards to your rights as an employee of a trade union and discusses within:

  • What occurs if your employer sends you home or suspends operations
  • Employment Insurance
  • How your Collective Agreement may impact your being off work

Please hit the link and view the letter.

COVID-19 Legal opinion on workers rights


Work refusal information



Additional information

COVID 19 Q&A – Health Care Worker’s

CUPE Q&A – Income support for workers


Ontario takes additional measures to protect first responders


Unemployed Help Centre of Windsor

We are proud to support the Unemployed Help Centre of Windsor with a recent donation delivered by local President, Ian Nash.  The UHC aids several food banks across Essex County and serves as a vital resource centre for members of the public in search of employment. The UHC was supportive of our 2974 brothers and sisters during the Essex County Library strike by supplying soup, vegetables and many other supplies for our striking workers.  Please help increase awareness and visit them at

In solidarity

your Union Executive

Bounce Back – mental health assistance

We just recently learned of an existing program called “Bounce Back” through the Canadian Mental Health Association.  It is an Ontario non-profit organization that commits to making mental health care easily reachable for all.  The program will work with you through telephone coaching, workbooks and online videos to assist those in need of better coping mechanisms for a variety of worries.   Please see the following link for more details [Bounce Back].  We could all use a little help some times.