Deborah Cooper is currently the Executive Director of a federal union representing public service employees in multiple bargaining units across Canada, as well as being a facilitator and coach at Queen’s IRC since 2013. She has been involved in all aspects of labour relations from the internal grievance process to adjudication, having appeared before numerous tribunals and courts. With respect to collective bargaining, she has bargained in various sectors including the federal public service, the private sector, and the non-profit environment.
Prior to this role, Deborah worked in private practice as an employment and labour lawyer until 2005, moving over to work in-house at two different federal bargaining agents in 2005 and 2009. From 2012-2013, she then worked on the employer side as a Director in the Labour Relations and Compensation Division of a large federal department. In 2013, she was appointed as General Secretary of the National Joint Council (NJC) of the Public Service of Canada. She was a union-side appointee to the position, having held the post from May 2013 – June 2018. Among other things, the NJC also manages numerous directives agreed to by the parties, and incorporated into their collective agreements, on items ranging from travel and relocation to the health care plan and the long-term disability plan.
After her tenure at the NJC, she worked at a large federal union as General Counsel and then from August 2019 until April 2022, she represented workers in the federally-regulated aviation industry as Director of Labour Relations and General Counsel.
Deborah also lived and worked in various roles overseas in Paris, France for several years, including at the Canadian Embassy. She holds an Honours Bachelor Degree from the University of Ottawa, a Law Degree from the University of Western Ontario, as well as the Certificate in Labour Relations and Certificate in Advanced Human Resources from Queen’s University IRC. She has been a member of the Law Society of Ontario for over 25 years.