What do fitness professionals have to say about CUPE?

I have been working in the fitness industry for over 20 years as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, recreation leader, and weight room supervisor. I love inspiring people to get healthy and fit by taking their fear of fitness away and giving them the tools to change their lives. A lot of fitness workers are contracted and feel that they don’t have any rights. That is why it is so important for them to have a union and have a voice. They need to be recognized for their work and all that they put into it because being a fitness worker is not just a job, it’s a lifestyle. We sleep, eat and breathe fitness. 

I’m really happy to belong to CUPE. I love the support and feeling of community. Especially in this pandemic, we’re not alone. We’re all in this together.

Cathy J

Fitness Professional

I’ve belonged to CUPE since last summer. I believe that things are better for us at work. For one thing, our pay is better. Joining a union provided guidelines for fair pay and benefits. There are rules in the agreement that must be followed. Our contract gives workers protection and security.

I’m an aquatic fitness instructor, yoga instructor and group fitness instructor.  I love the sense of community. I love seeing the smiling faces of the participants, how they look forward to coming, seeing each other and doing their fitness classes. They’re doing something that improves the quality of their life. 

The community centre I work at has so many class formats that people can choose from – including aquatic fitness, yoga, and group fitness. It’s a great one-stop shop. It’s an easily accessible and well-kept facility. I really like it!

Sharon F

Fitness Professional

I’ve been a fitness instructor for over forty years now. I have trained and mentored many new instructors on their journey to becoming an Aquafit Instructor. I teach aquafit and senior’s programs, like Osteofit. I’m also a mentor for training instructors how to work with seniors. I’ve taught the Healthy Heart program and I teach land classes, anything from bootcamp to muscle strengthening to step classes.

I love what I do. I get a great deal of pleasure from my work. I’ve had so many people tell me that they’re so much stronger, their cholesterol is down, and their doctors tell them they are healthier because they go to fitness classes.

Being in a union is an excellent idea, especially if you work in a company. If anything should happen to you at work, you have the union behind you. They will help you and direct you into many different avenues to help with your situation. With a union, you have a professional body looking after you.

Being in a union has been a learning process for me and I would tell anybody if they’ve never been in a union, to look into it and chat to people. Ask them. There are lots of people in unions. You need to know that professionally, you are covered in a union.

Dawn C

Fitness Professional

I teach a variety of specialty fitness, provide personal training and fitness programming. I enjoy my work as it keeps me moving, it’s versatile, and I am helping a variety of people meet their goals! It is also great to see colleagues that I’ve helped with training continue on with it.

For us fitness instructors, joining the union was a great move. It gave us a backbone, a voice and support that we just weren’t getting from City management. Fitness is a serious profession. Thanks, CUPE, for your support.

Lisa S

Fitness Professional

I’m a recreation programmer and also teach group fitness which includes mentoring/training new fitness leaders coming into the industry.

I’m almost 30 years in this industry and ­­I absolutely love the energy dynamic of this job, the healthy environment, the ability to help people reach their personal and professional health and fitness goals. I also love and appreciate the camaraderie  amongst my fellow colleagues. It’s a really healthy and stress-free occupation, and its very rewarding.

The union helps to improve the average working environment. It’s critical to have a neutral party to be able to lean on…you have that extra support outside of your employer. There is the benefit of solidarity being in a union – it’s an essential organization to be a part of.

The benefits are wage protection and having a support system outside of your employer. If things aren’t working in your work environment and you don’t feel comfortable talking to a superior in your workplace, it’s good to have a representative there to support you. A big benefit being part of the union is job stability!

It’s really important in industries like ours, to be considered as valued members in terms of what we do for the community. We are the heart of community engagement and have a huge responsibility keeping the public healthy, fit and vibrant…these are all keys to living in a sustainable environment within a community setting. Being part of a union is what helps solidify that we are professionals and this helps increase the status of what we do.

Deb P

Fitness Professional