Yolanda became a CUPE member in 1989, when she began working as a school board library tech in Toronto, becoming a member, activist and leader of what is now Toronto Education Workers, CUPE Local 4400. For more than a decade, she has served on the CUPE Ontario Executive Board–until VERY recently as the 2nd Vice President. She has also served on the CUPE National Executive Board: for a decade as the Diversity Vice President for Racialized members, and now as a Regional Vice-President for Ontario.
She is well known in the broader labour movement, serving as one of the two Executive Vice-Presidents representing CUPE at the Ontario Federation of Labour and also as the President of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists for Canada.
In December 2021, she made history, becoming the new Secretary Treasurer of CUPE Ontario.
She is the first education worker and the first Black woman to hold either of the two top positions at CUPE Ontario.