Janice Folk-Dawson is the Executive Vice-President of the Ontario Federation of Labour. She was elected at the federation’s Power of Many 15th Biennial Convention in 2019.
Janice served as a Vice-President on the Executive Committee of the OFL representing Labour Councils. She also served as President of the Guelph & District Labour Council for 14 years, working tirelessly to bring affiliates together with allies to advance a progressive agenda for the Guelph community.
Janice is a working-class feminist who roots herself and her actions in the principles of peace, equity, and solidarity. Having suffered a workplace injury in 1995, Janice is also a dedicated advocate for the rights of injured workers.
Janice has been a unionized public sector worker for over 40 years, first with NAPE in Wabush, Newfoundland and Labrador and for the last 32 years with CUPE at the University of Guelph as a support worker.
Since starting work at the University of Guelph in 1986, Janice has always been an active member of her local union, CUPE Local 1334. Over her career, she has served as a steward, health and safety representative, pension representative, and Vice President.
In 2001, Janice was elected as President of her local union, serving as the spokesperson in numerous rounds of collective bargaining. During this period, her local saw gains that included job security protections, pension improvements, across-the-board wage increases, and the conversion of precarious, temporary jobs to full-time positions with benefits.
In 2003, Janice was elected as the Chair of CUPE Ontario’s University Workers Coordinating Committee, joining the CUPE Ontario Executive Board. In this capacity, Janice supported countless university locals at the bargaining table while building partnerships with allies in the student movement.
Janice has also been active with numerous community allies and campaigns, including $15 & Fairness, Six Nations and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council, Wellington Water Watchers, United Against Racism, the New Democratic Party, and the Council of Canadians. As well, Janice was a co-founder of the We Are Guelph organization, formed to maximize progressive representation in the municipal elections.
Janice lives in Guelph with Bob, her life partner of 44 years, and is the proud mother to Dylan, a CUPE member and a paramedic in the City of Toronto.