Committee election results

The CUPE 3903 red-star logo

The CUPE 3903 red-star logo

Elections for union committees were held during the Annual General Meeting of CUPE 3903 on April 22, 2015. Thank you to all the members who submitted their names as candidates and congratulations to the winners. Thanks also to the members who stayed late to count all the ballots and observe the process.

The following candidates were elected to union committees for the 2015-16 year:

Accessibility Committee

  • Hazel Gashoka
  • Megan Hilman
  • Nicole Leach
  • Jeffrey Zavala

Advisory Committee on Race/Ethnic Relations, Discrimination and/or Harrassment

  • Hazel Gashoka
  • Maria Wallis

All-University Pension Committee

  • Kyle Belozerov

Archive Committee

  • Sarah Kizuk
  • Justin Panos

Bursary Committee

  • Sabine Dreher
  • Qamar Zaidi

Communications Committee

  • Drew Belsky
  • Bob Hanke

CUPE Ontario Convention

  • Kurosh Amoui-Kalareh
  • Gizem Cakmak
  • James Clark
  • Murray Cooke
  • Jordy Cummings
  • Lydia Dobson
  • Hazel Gashoka
  • Megan Hillman
  • Yasin Kaya
  • David Ravensbergen
  • Jeffrey Zavala
  • *Sharon Davidson and Garry Sran had a tie. If one chooses to remove their nomination, then the other will be the winner. If not, there will be another vote at the May General Membership Meeting.

CUPE Toronto District Council

  • Rotem Erez
  • Megan Hillman
  • Jordan House
  • Stephanie Latella
  • Nicole Leach
  • Amal Mohamed
  • Mike Palamarek

Distribution Committee

  • Megan Hillman
  • Shila Khayambashi
  • David Outevsky
  • Joanna Pearce
  • Soma Tripathi
  • Jeffrey Zavala

Employment Equity Committee

  • Hazel Gashoka
  • Nicole Leach
  • Maria Wallis

Elections Committee

  • David Ravensbergen
  • Qamar Zaidi

Extended Health Benefits Committee

  • Nicole Leach
  • Maria Wallis
  • Qamar Zaidi

Health & Safety Committee

  • Tanya da Sylva
  • Cara Goldberg
  • Nicole Leach
  • Amal Mohamed
  • Sarah Naumes
  • Donya Ziaee

International Graduate Students Committee

  • Kurosh Amoui-Kalareh
  • Ayyaz Mallick

Labour Management Committee

  • Unit 1: Shila Khayambashi
  • Unit 2: Mike Palamarek
  • Unit 3: Jeffrey Zavala

Postings Officer

  • Sune Sandbeck
  • Karen Walker Brogan

Research Cost Fund (Unit 1 Specific)

  • Soma Tripathi
  • Marva Milo

Research Grants Fund and Travel Costs Fund

  • Thierry Cote
  • Karen Walker Brogan

Research Leave Adjudicating Committee (Unit 2)

  • Zoe Newman

Senate Representative

  • Shila Khayambashi

Teaching Development Fund (Unit 2)

  • Sabine Dreher
  • Aida Jordao

Toronto and York Region Labour Council

  • Jordy Cummings
  • Yasin Kaya
  • Brian Mossop
  • (1 position remains vacant)

Trustee

  • Robin Verrall

York Pension Fund Board of Trustees Representative

  • Sylvia Peacock

Unit 2 Listserv Moderator (Unit 2)

  • Kyle Belozerov
  • (1 position remains vacant; an honorarium must be attached)

Stewards’ Council Listserv Moderator

  • Sara Shamdani
  • (1 position remains vacant; an honorarium must be attached)

For more information about committee elections, please email CUPE3903vpu1@gmail.com.

Polling station locations in the 2015 Executive Committee elections

The CUPE 3903 red-star logo

The CUPE 3903 red-star logo

The annual election for the CUPE 3903 Executive Committee will take place from April 22 to 29.

On Wednesday, April 22, voting by secret ballot will begin at 4:00 p.m. and last until 6:00 p.m. at The Underground, Student Centre, immediately following the Annual General Meeting.

On April 23, 24, 27, 28 and 29, voting by secret ballot will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Keele campus and Glendon College.

There will be four polling stations at Keele campus:

  • William Small Centre (next to Tim Hortons)
  • Vari Hall link (between Vari Hall and Central Square)
  • Accolade East Building lobby (adjacent to the stairwell)
  • Vanier College

There will be one polling station at Glendon College:

  • Outside the cafeteria

For more information, please contact the Election Officers: EOCUPE3903@gmail.com.

Guidelines for candidates in the 2015 Executive Committee elections

The CUPE 3903 red-star logo

The CUPE 3903 red-star logo

Election to the CUPE 3903 Executive: 
Guidelines for candidates

Prepared by the Election Officers

We offer what we hope is a clear set of rules in order to obtain the support of all candidates and members in advance of the election. Rather than try to impose punitive sanctions, we hope to publicize suspected infractions and then depend on the “court of public opinion” to judge and, if necessary, sanction offenders.

  1. The campaign period began on April 6 and, in accordance with Article 14 (II) of our bylaws, the campaign period will continue for 16 days, until the Annual General Membership Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday, April 22. Voting will begin at the AGM, followed by one week of voting at polling stations on Keele and Glendon campuses. Wednesday, April 29 will be the last day to vote in the elections.
  2. All campaign literature should be consistent with our CUPE Equality Statement.
  3. Candidates are not allowed to use the union photocopier or union supplies.
  4. According to our bylaws, the campaign phase for the elections ends at the AGM. However, we believe there are a number of serious problems with enforcing a ban on campaigning after the AGM. There is currently no formal enforcement mechanism for the elections officers to uphold such a ban. We cannot control the behaviour of members advocating on behalf of candidates. We cannot control activities on social media. We also see no convincing reason to have our members police each other, since the electoral process should allow for everyone to express their views on what kind of leadership they want for their union. Based on these reasons, we propose a very simple set of regulations to go into effect after the AGM:
    1. No publishing campaign advertisements in any print media (Excalibur, etc.)
    2. No posters, flyers or any campaigning activity within 10 metres of polling stations.
    3. Candidates and their representatives are free to go around the university (including with campaign material) to convince members to vote (“pulling the vote”). This activity cannot take place within 10 metres of any polling station.
    4. Candidates can appoint scutineers to each poll to ensure the impartiality of the process, and ensure that all voters are either on the list or submit a ballot within an envelope. But neither candidates nor their representatives will be able to use the voter’s lists for targeted vote-pulling once the polls have opened.
    5. Candidates are free to continue putting up posters, posting on social media, and engaging in other forms of campaigning, as long as they respect the 10-metre rule.
  5. All polling stations will be equipped with a printed version of the campaign statements from the CUPE 3903 website.
  6. If there is a run-off vote for the Communications Officer position, there will be a brief period of extended campaigning. The run-off vote will take place on Tuesday, May 5.
  7. We ask that all members who witness violations of these rules document them as accurately as possible and send the information to the Election Officers. Scrutineers/poll clerks will be briefed on what constitutes a violation. The Elections Officers will then make a presentation on any violations that occurred during the elections at a General Membership Meeting. After the presentation, if members feel that any of the violations were serious enough to warrant further action, it will be up to the membership to pursue.

For more information, please contact the Election Officers: EOCUPE3903@gmail.com.

URGENT: Poll clerks needed for Executive Committee elections

A silhouette of someone dropping a ballot into a ballot box

A silhouette of someone dropping a ballot into a ballot box

Poll clerks are needed to staff polling stations during the Executive Committee elections on April 22, 23, 24, 27, 28 and 29.

Poll clerks are paid $15 per hour and may work multiple shifts. No previous experience is necessary. Only members of CUPE 3903 may apply.

The job of poll clerks is to check the ID of members before they vote, distribute ballots to members, and monitor the ballot box during voting.

On April 22, poll clerks will work from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in The Underground, immediately following the Annual General Membership Meeting.

On April 23, 24, 27, 28 and 29, poll clerks will work from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (shifts are usually 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.) on Keele and Glendon campuses.

There will be four polling stations on Keele campus:

  • William Small Centre (next to Tim Horton’s)
  • Vari Hall link (between Vari Hall and Central Square)
  • Accolade East Building lobby (adjacent to the stairwell)
  • Vanier College

There will be one polling station on Glendon campus:

  • Outside the cafeteria

If you are interested in working as a poll clerk, please email EOCUPE3903@gmail.com. In your email, please indicate when you can work as a poll clerk and your mobile phone number.

 

CUPE 3903 Annual General Meeting: Tentative agenda

CUPE flags flutter above the crowd at a solidarity rally at the main gate picket line.

CUPE flags flutter above the crowd at a solidarity rally at the main gate picket line.

Annual General Meeting
Wednesday, April 22
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
(doors open and lunch at 12:00 p.m.)
The Underground
Student Centre
York University

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Agenda *

1) Roll call of the officers (5 minutes)

2) Reading of the Equality Statement

3) Reading of the Mississauga Land Acknowledgment

4) Matters arising

5) Annual committee reports (30 minutes)

6) Committee elections (30 minutes)

7) Presentation of 2015-16 Budget (60 minutes)

  • Presentation (15 minutes)
  • Discussion (45 minutes)

8) Candidates’ statements and questions (60 minutes)

  • Candidates’ statements (30 minutes)
  • Questions (30 minutes)

9) Good of the union

10) Adjournment

As soon as the meeting ends, a polling station will open for members to cast ballots in the 2015 Executive Committee election. The polling station will be in the same location as the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and will be open from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (or for two hours following the end of the AGM). Please bring a piece of ID.

* Please note that this is only a tentative agenda. It may be slightly amended/updated by the Executive Committee in the days before the GMM.

Please contact Sheila Wilmot at CUPE3903.equity.officer@gmail.com or at 416-736-5154 ext. 3 if you require any of the following: ASL interpretation, reimbursement for childcare/caregiver/attendant care, and/or transportation costs for members who are unable to secure Wheel-Trans, or other requests for accommodation.

Update on strike pay from the Treasurer

The CUPE 3903 red-star logo

The CUPE 3903 red-star logo

The following update was shared by the Treasurer at the Special General Membership Meeting on strike issues on April 14:

Thank you for your patience and support over the last few weeks as we have continued to process strike pay for members. I am writing you now to provide another strike pay update and to answer some common questions that I have received from you. I hope you will find this helpful.

First, I would like to commend and thank all the members of the 8th Line Committee for their tireless work on a critically important part of the strike. Your contributions have been, without a doubt, a crucial component to the strike’s success.

Second, I would like to report that we are now in the final stages of sifting through any outstanding strike-related expenses. I am also happy to report that most strike pay-related issues have largely been resolved. I expect that the last of the cheques will be issued very soon.

Over the past few weeks, members have expressed concerns about whether we have fully documented all our expenses during the 2015 strike. Many of these concerns refer to the financial problems that the local faced during the 2008-09 strike, and that contributed to a large debt that the local had to manage afterwards.

I am confident that we have avoided those errors during this strike, and despite some bumps along the way, we have fully documented all our expenses. However, the process of maintaining proper documentation has made the process much more time-consuming – causing delays in issuing strike pay. For this, I offer a full and unreserved apology. I am aware of the hardship that these delays have caused for members, and my priority is to issue any remaining strike pay as quickly as possible.

Picket line pay issues

There were a number of issues related to the picket line pay process. One of our biggest challenges was the task of data entry for literally thousands of pieces of information. The process was time-consuming and tedious, and required careful attention to detail. There was a steep learning curve, and all of us who worked on data entry did the best we could with the resources we had. We learned many lessons in the process, which we need to remember for next time.

Once we discovered the errors in strike pay, we had to develop a process to rapidly correct them and issue another round of cheques. Again, this involved the hard work of countless volunteers after the strike was over. Since then, hundreds of discrepancies have been fully processed. I am confident that any remaining discrepancies will be fully processed in the next few days.

Another big issue was our slowness in communicating to the membership. Everyone involved in this process, especially those members who managed email accounts that had been set up to answer specific questions, received a large volume of email messages. This made a timely response to individual members very difficult. Delays became unavoidable. Nevertheless, we continue to work through any remaining backlogs in order to address members’ questions or concerns. In the wake of the strike, we have begun to identify how the process could have unfolded more smoothly, and commit to a fuller analysis that will help us prevent these problems in the future.

8th Line pay issues

The bulk of members’ concerns over strike pay has been about the pace (or lack) of payment for 8th Line members. In response, I have accelerated the payment of members in the most urgent cases by issuing hand-cut cheques instead of waiting for another round of payroll cheques. By now, many 8th Line members have been paid, although many remain unpaid or partially paid.

It is important to note that I am not personally involved in the process of adjudication of 8th Line duties. As with all other committees (such as the Professional Development Fund, the Extended Health Benefits Fund, and the Ways & Means Fund), I have an arm’s-length relationship to these processes. It is the 8th Line Committee members who deserve credit for doing an amazingly meticulous and well-organized job of processing hundreds of applications. I thank them again for their efforts.

We are now at the point of collecting all the strike pay reports, as we have done for all the other lines, so that we have a full and complete record for the auditors of the total number of hours and type of picket duty performed by all members. Once this data is confirmed, we can quickly calculate the correct amount for 8th Line members who require payment and issue their cheques right away.

As we prepare to issue what we hope will be the last round of cheques, I want to re-affirm my commitment to paying all members who require accommodation. There is total consensus, from both the Executive Committee and the 8th Line Committee, that all members who require accommodation should be given the fullest support of the local. Members of the 8th Line have helped a great deal to make this an accountable and transparent process, and I am extremely grateful for their work on all aspects of this.

When will the last cheques be issued?

Cheques are available now. Almost all the cheques from the first pay period have been collected, as well as most cheques from the second pay period. Many of these cheques include payment for any discrepancies that members have reported. An additional round of discrepancy cheques will be issued at the Special General Membership Meeting on April 14 (and later this week), which should fully cover the majority of members’ strike pay.

Some members have requested that their cheques be mailed, which will be fully processed by the end of this week. Other members have requested that their cheques be set aside, so they can collect them in person. These cheques will be available at the CUPE 3903 office, 143 Atkinson Building, during regular business hours until April 22 at 12:00 p.m. After 12:00 p.m. on April 22, they will be available at the Annual General Meeting (location TBA). After that, all remaining cheques will be mailed to members.

How is strike pay processed?

The process to generate strike pay begins with the daily reports that are completed by picket captains on each picket line. Each member is required to sign in and sign out of picket duty and to indicate the strike-related duties they performed. These reports are then submitted (usually in person, but also by email) to the strike headquarters at the end of each day, to be entered into a spreadsheet the following day. Members’ hours are recorded for each day and sent to the payroll company to generate cheques, based on the number of shifts completed.

All of this information is required to issue cheques, although not all relevant information is always submitted by the time payments are calculated and cheques printed – resulting in discrepancies.

Why were there so many discrepancies?

As mentioned above, the process of data entry was time-consuming and tedious, and required careful attention to detail. Members who worked on data entry for all lines, including 8th Line, didn’t always have the information required from members on their strike pay sheets. Some handwriting was not legible; some members signed in or out using initials, nicknames or shortened versions of their names; some sheets recorded hours, but not names, and vice-versa; some sheets were unreadable because they got wet in the rain or snow; some sheets were submitted after cheques had been issued; and so on.

Throughout the process, there was a massive volume of data to enter and manage. Because of the hard work and commitment of countless volunteers on all the lines, we have ultimately tracked down almost all of the data and processed the majority of cheques for the roughly 1,500 members who have participated in the strike.

Despite everyone’s best efforts, however, in the early stages of this project, there were technical issues with the method of data entry, resulting in some omissions and duplication of effort. This means that not all data that was entered was entered accurately or in the correct spreadsheet. We identified these errors after the first round of cheques were issued. Even as our system became more robust and reliable, we encountered other problems, such as the discovery of missing or late strike pay reports. Nevertheless, we continue to enter and manage all this data, so no member will be short of the strike pay they are owed.

Why does the process take so long?

All these issues interconnect and overlap. As a consequence, we have had to track each payment carefully, coordinating and verifying each cheque as it has been issued. As members reported discrepancies, I hand-cut cheques to accelerate payments in the most urgent cases. This added another layer of verification to ensure that members were paid the correct amount.

In addition, there were many instances where members had been issued the correct amount by the payroll company, but did not receive a payment when the cheques were being issued. Another layer of verification became necessary to prevent duplicate cheques from being issued (which would result in overpayment) and to prevent the cancellation of cheques that had not yet been collected.

Moving forward, we can use this experience to learn and generalize many critical lessons for the future, including the next time we are in a strike position. Our union can draw on the wide range of skills that our members possess, acquired and developed in this process. In addition, I will commit to compiling these experiences, especially any suggestions or contributions that the members would like to make, in a comprehensive report to be shared at a General Meeting in the fall semester.

Once again, I would like to thank the members for their patience and support throughout this challenging process. If you have any further questions or suggestions, please email me at sectreasurer3903@gmail.com.

Unit 2 remediation overwork claims: Post-strike procedures

Because the York University Senate attempted to re-open classes mid-way through the strike there is potentially a lot of extra work that Members of Unit 2 will have to do, or be asked to do, before the end of the semester. Outlined below are the steps to take to make a claim for pay for that work.

Classes that resumed on or before March 23

The Employer has developed a procedure to claim pay for overwork for courses that resumed on or before March 23, 2015. Members of Unit 2 who wish to make a claim for Remediation Overwork will be asked to submit a remediation plan to the appropriate Dean or Principal.

Senate policy 008 allows students to decide wether or not they want to cross the picket lines, resulting in some students receiving instruction during the strike and others not. Potential overwork, in the eyes of the Employer, will come from having to duplicate instructional time, evaluation, office hours, etc., with or without modification, in order to accommodate the students that decided not to cross the lines. As a result, members of Unit 2 are asked to submit a remediation plan that contains the following information:

  1. Date on which course resumed;
  2. The number of students requiring remediation;
  3. The form(s) of remediation instruction that will be provided; e.g., lectures, seminars, tutorials, studios, labs, unsupervised directed reading, review sessions, etc.;
  4. The number of instructional contact hours associated with each form of remediation provided;
  5. Additional preparation time required;
  6. Additional examination time required;
  7. Additional marking time required; and
  8. Other alternative forms of remediation and time required; e.g., posting lecture notes on the web; e-mail office hours and/or correspondence.

Members will be asked to include the following signed statement: “I declare that the information set out above is as accurate as I can practicably determine.”

Remediation plans should be submitted no later than June 15, 2015. The Employer’s Procedure will be posted on the Faculty Relations website.

Classes that resumed after April 1

The Employer’s position is that, except in exceptional circumstances, remediation overwork arises when teaching activities (instruction, evaluation, office hours, etc.) conducted for courses that resumed on or before March 23, 2015 have to be repeated, with or without modification, during the remediation period for those students who did not attend classes during the strike. The Employer’s position is that for those Members who resumed classes on or after April 1, 2015, are simply completing their courses and not repeating teaching activities conducted during the strike.

3903’s position is that additional teaching has been required by Unit 2 members during the remediation process for all courses, not simply those that resumed on before April 1, 2015. Extra work has been required to reformat classes, tutorials, labs, etc., and to maintain the academic integrity of instruction. Members who resumed classes on or after April 1 and believe that they have a basis for a remediation overwork claim can petition the appropriate Dean or Principal to have an overwork claim considered. The petition to the Dean should include a description of the number of additional hours worked and nature of the work performed.

The Employer will likely take the position that the shortened term, remediation plans that reduce the number of assignments in the course, and the use of “Assessed Grades” for those students who cannot continue classes after April 30, 2015 may offset any increase in workload caused the need to modify classes and accommodate various students’ needs. Where possible, your petition to the Dean should address the specific circumstances that give rise to your claim for overwork pay despite these factors.

CUPE 3903 will file grievances on behalf of members whose petitions and overwork claims are denied.

Working after the end of the semester

Article 12.20 of the Unit 2 CA guarantees payment at the marker/grader rate where a Member is required to work after the “formal termination date” of their individual contracts. This article is normally applied to address grade appeals, cases of academic dishonesty, and other circumstances where a Member is require to perform work after the end of a course.

The work associated with grading final assignments and exams for fall/winter and winter semester, will not be compensated as overwork unless the assignment or examination is submitted or conducted after the course is actually completed. In most cases, the course will be considered completed the day on which final grades are submitted – roughly a week after the dates currently set as the end of the semester. Work performed by Unit 2 members after the submission the final grades for the Fall/Winter and Winter terms may be paid as overwork, just as it would be in normal circumstances.

Unit 1 and 3 remediation and pay for overwork: Post-strike procedures

Because the York University Senate attempted to re-open classes mid-way through the strike there is potentially extra work that Members of Units 1 and 3 may have to or may be asked to do, before the end of the semester. Outlined below are the steps to take in the event of overwork.

Unit 1

As part of the completion of negotiations 3903 and the Employer agreed to a back-to-work protocol that was to be followed by all course directors when members of Unit 1 returned to work. Before tutorials, labs, marking, etc., resumed, course directors were to:

  1. Have a meeting with all Unit 1 Members under their supervision in order to discuss remediation plans; and
  2. Do so with reference to the workload forms that were filled out at the beginning of each Member’s contract (the workload form is Appendix 1 of the Unit 1 CA).

If this hasn’t already happened, you should request a meeting with your supervisor as soon as possible. Completed workload forms are designed to help ensure that Unit 1 members do not work more than 135 hours/semester. If more than 135 hours are required in order to complete your contract this year, you are entitled to overwork pay at the rate of approximately $40/hour (article 10.04.1 of the U1 CA). Any overwork done by Unit 1 Members has to be approved by each department. If a department refuses to pay for overwork, you are entitled to refuse to do that work.

In some cases some Unit 1 Members returned to work before the end of the strike and did the work of those who remained on the picket lines. If you remained on the lines, you are not required to ‘replace’ the hours for the work other Unit 1 or Unit 2 Members did in your stead. No Member of 3903 can be required to take on the work of others who are on strike (as per article 9.02 of the U1 CA) and no such replacement work should have been taking place. You are only required to fulfill the duties outlined in your workload form, and then only so long as those duties do not exceed 135 hours each semester. If you are asked to ‘replace’ hours, the Union will file a grievance on your behalf and prevent that from happening.

Unit 3

As part of the back-to-work parameters negotiated at the end of the strike, Unit 3 Members (GAs and RAs) should have been invited to meet with their supervisors before beginning to complete their contracts. This meeting should include looking over workload forms. If you have not had such a meeting, you should request one as soon as possible.

Like members of Unit 1, those in Unit 3 cannot work more than 135 hours a semester, and cannot work more than 10 hours per week. If completing your GA or RA assignment means doing more than these many hours, you are entitled to overwork pay (as per articles 10.02(c) and 15.05) – approximately $37/hour.

If your GAship or RAship can’t be finished by the end of the semester because of the restrictions on the number of hours that can be worked per week, and your supervisor insists that the work be completed after the semester ends, they are required to meet with you and a representative from the Union in order to agree upon a schedule (as per article 15.06 of the U3 CA).

Call for nominations for committee elections

The CUPE 3903 red-star logo

The CUPE 3903 red-star logo

The following committee positions will be filled at the Annual General Meeting on April 22:

  • Accessibility Committee: 4 positions ($250/year)
  • 2) 2 people to moderate the Unit 2 listserve (no honorarium yet)
    3) 2 people to moderate the Stewards Council listserve (no honorarium yet)
  • Advisory Committee on Race/Ethnic Relations, Discrimination, and/or Harassment: 2 positions, one will serve as joint-chair ($250/year)
  • All-University Pension Committee: 1 position ($250/year)
  • Archive Committee: 2 curators ($750/year)
  • Bursaries Committee: 2 members ($400/year); please note: members of the committee are ineligible for bursaries they adjudicate
  • Communications Committee: 1 newsletter co-ordinator, 1 web coordinator ($500/year)
  • CUPE Ontario Convention, Toronto, May 27 to 30: 12 delegates – UPDATED
  • CUPE Toronto District Council: 7 positions ($250/year)
  • Distribution Committee: 6 positions ($50 per diem, approximately once a month)
  • Elections Committee: 2 positions ($750/year)
  • Employment Equity Committee: 3 members, 1 will serve as joint chair ($250/year)
  • Extended Health Benefits Committee: 3 positions ($1,500/year)
  • Health & Safety Committee: 6 positions (Employer pays hourly wage at marker/grader rate for all work completed)
  • International Graduate Students’ Committee: 2 positions ($250/year, helps to administer $5,000 budget)
  • Labour-Management Committee: 3 positions, one from each unit ($750/year)
  • Postings Officers: 2 positions ($2,500/year)
  • Professional Development Fund: 1 coordinator, 2 regular members; please note: this committee is elected at the September General Membership Meeting
  • Research Costs Fund Committee: 2 positions for full-time graduate students from Unit 1 ($250/year)
  • Research Grants Fund & Travel Costs Fund: 2 positions ($500/year); please note: members of the committee are ineligible to apply for these funds
  • Research Leave Adjudicating Committee: 1 participant/observer position, Unit 2 ($250/year)
  • Senate Representative: 1 position ($250/year)
  • Stewards’ Council Listserv moderators: 2 positions (honoraria to be determined) – UPDATED
  • Teaching Development Fund Committee: 2 positions, Unit 2 ($250/year)
  • Toronto & York Region Labour Council Representatives: 4 positions ($250/year)
  • Union Trustees Committee: 1 position, 3-year term ($1,000/year)
  • Unit Listserv moderators: 2 positions (honoraria to be determined) – UPDATED
  • York Pension Fund Board of Trustees Representative: 1 position, 3-year term ($250/year)

All members of CUPE 3903 in good standing may nominate themselves for these positions. To nominate yourself, please email cupe3903vpu1@gmail.com.

Please note: If you emailed your nomination before the strike, please re-send it in case it was misplaced.

For a full list of committees and descriptions about their composition and mandate, please click here or read Article 10 of the bylaws here.

Committee members who are completing their terms should prepare a short report to be delivered at the Annual General Meeting on April 22. Please forward your reports and any relevant documents to the Archive Committee or the Recording Secretary: recsec.cupe3903@gmail.com. Committee members must submit their reports before they may collect their honoraria.

Meet the candidates for the 2015 Executive Committee election

Voting with a pencil

Please click the candidates’ names to read their 300-word campaign statements.

Chairperson

Recording Secretary

Treasurer

Vice President Unit 1

Vice President Unit 2

Vice President Unit 3

Chief Steward Unit 1

Chief Steward Unit 2

Chief Steward Unit 3

Communications Officer

Grievance Officer

* * * * *

Candidates’ statements

Jen Cypher for Chair – Go Bananas!

Jen Cypher

Jen Cypher

As Chair of CUPE 3903 I will facilitate a transparent, inclusive, member-driven local that harnesses the energy that has emerged during the recent strike. I will foster member-based initiatives that both strengthen the local and connect us to larger social movements that members identify as priorities. For example, the local has been struggling with issues of racism, ableism, sexism, and sexual violence that require sustained cultural and structural attention. The statement from the Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour Caucus addressing these struggles is an example of the kind of participatory, member-driven response that I will make a priority.

I have been a member of 3903 since 1996, serving in all three units (I am currently a member of Unit 2). I am a founding member and former Co-Chair of the PhD Environmental Studies Students Association (PhESSA). I have been active in mobilizing, organizing, and running 3903 strikes in 1999/2000, 2008/2009, and 2015, as a Picket Captain and Strike Committee member in the last two.

My community activist work is diverse. I served as a Co-Chair for the University of Alberta’s LGBTQ student group, and helped found the U of A Sexual Assault Centre. I am the current president of a 600-member skating club, where I chair board meetings, run AGMs and special events, and am responsible for a $250,000 budget. I am a founding member of Friends of McCormick Park, a group that facilitates community-based programming, and participates in social/environmental justice work through a partnership with Aangen Community Centre.

The potential that exists within our membership is enormous, and we are capable of building on it in productive ways. Please go to my website to find out more.

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Vote Garry Sran for a #BetterUnion

Garry Sran

Garry Sran

My name is Garry Sran and I’m running for Chairperson. I am a PhD candidate in Economics and a Unit 1 member.

I have been a labour and student activist for over ten years working in a variety of roles. As a student activist, I have fought for making education affordable and accessible. I served as the University of Manitoba Students’ Union President (2006-2008) and worked with the Canadian Federation of Students (2006-2008). As a labour activist, I have served on our local’s Executive Committee as Chief Steward Unit 1 (2013-2014), and currently serve on our local’s Communications Committee.

As an economist committed to social justice, I also serve on the steering committee for the Progressive Economics Forum and have worked for the Canadian Autoworkers Union (2009), the National Union of Public General Employees (2013), and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (2014).

I believe that a better union is possible. That’s why I’m running as part of a team of candidates who want to create a local for all its members. We want the local to be more open, accessible and welcoming. We are committed to combating the toxicity that drives members away from union meetings. We support electronic voting so more members can participate in decision making. We are committed to building on the strike’s momentum to broaden the campaign against tuition fees and precarious work and for accessible, high quality education. Learn more about our plan and how to join our campaign at BetterUnion.ca.

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Vote Herberth Canas for a #BetterUnion

Herberth Canas

Herberth Canas

My name is Herberth Canas and I’m running for Recording Secretary. I am a candidate in the Master of Social Work program and a Unit 3 member.

I have been a student activist for over five years and believe that education is right, not a privilege. I served as President of the Criminal Justice Students’ Union at Ryerson University (2010-2012) and as Faculty of Arts and Liberal Studies Senate Representative (2012). As a student activist, I successfully fought to make sure that students’ tuition fees were not used towards Ryerson’s ambitious expansion plans. I also advocated for making education affordable and accessible. After completing my undergrad, I continued to advocate for student rights while working at Pathways to Education, a not-for-profit organization focusing on expanding access to education for underprivileged youth. Over the past year, I have been active as a rank-and-file member of our local.

As Recording Secretary, I will keep clear and accessible records of the business of the union and continue to develop links between our local and the wider labour and student movements in Toronto, Ontario and Canada.

I believe that a better union is possible. That’s why I’m running as part of a team of candidates who want to create a local for all its members. We want the local to be more open, accessible and welcoming. We are committed to combating the toxicity that drives members away from union meetings. We support electronic voting so more members can participate in decision making. We are committed to building on the strike’s momentum to broaden the campaign against tuition fees and precarious work and for accessible, high quality education. Learn more about our plan and how to join our campaign at BetterUnion.ca.

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Sonja Killoran-McKibbin for Recording Secretary

Sonja Killoran-McGibbon

Sonja Killoran-McKibbon

With the renewed participation stemming from our strike, the incoming executive needs to open our local to membership involvement and direction. I’m running for recording secretary because I want to provide the infrastructure to support member-led organizing.

I’m passionate about good files. I have over a decade of experience working in archives and libraries and I filled-in as BT recording secretary during the 2011-12 bargaining round. I’m also dedicated to our local, serving as Unit 1 Steward in the Faculty of Environmental Studies for the past five years, where I’ve provided direct support to members dealing with workplace issues. More recently, I was a picket captain at Main Gate and an active participant in Strike Committee.

The position of recording secretary is key to ensuring a transparent and accessible local. I’ll take this role seriously by effectively distributing notices, ensuring records are promptly available, and updating our policy manual. Besides these day-to-day tasks, I will pursue two larger projects: collaborating with the archive committee to catalogue the materials and lessons from our strike for reference in future rounds; and building a research committee to consolidate information about our university and our sector.

A membership-driven local also means questioning whose participation is facilitated and whose is limited by actively confronting the racism, sexism and ableism within our union so that we don’t reproduce systems of exclusion. As recording secretary, I will challenge barriers to member involvement and do what it takes to support the work of members in their departments, in union spaces, and as they lead new initiatives like the 3903 Free School. I hope you’ll support my candidacy but more importantly I hope that you’ll participate to drive our local forward.

Come out to vote from April 22-29th but stick around to organize!

For more information, see recsec3903.wordpress.com

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Vote Joanne Azevedo for a #BetterUnion

Joanna Azevedo

Joanna Azevedo

My name is Joanne Azevedo and I’m seeking re-election as Secretary Treasurer. I am a PhD candidate in Social Work and a Unit 1 member.

Over the past year, I have upheld my commitment to financial accountability. I strongly believe that we must use collective resources strategically and transparently in order to further the union’s collective political goals.

I am proud of my record as Treasurer in the past two terms. Specifically, I championed the completion of three full external audits. These audits significantly contributed to securing our local’s financial health, which helped enable our success at the bargaining table.. After two full terms in office, I now have the experience and the vision to be able to implement new and innovative ways to care for our members, such as online expense submission processes and direct deposit funds allocation from our benefit funds (including PDF, EHB, Ways & Means, and the new Childcare Fund). I will also aim to keep our local on a secure financial path in preparation for the next bargaining round in 2017.

I believe that a better union is possible. That’s why I’m running as part of a team of candidates who want to create a local for all its members. We want the local to be more open, accessible and welcoming. We are committed to combating the toxicity that drives members away from union meetings. We support electronic voting so more members can participate in decision making. We are committed to building on the strike’s momentum to broaden the campaign against tuition fees and precarious work and for accessible, high quality education. Learn more about our plan and how to join our campaign at BetterUnion.ca.

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Graeme Reniers for Treasurer

Graeme

Graeme Reniers

In running for Treasurer I recognize the importance of prudent financial management in maintaining a strong union. I think a healthy union also requires a Treasurer committed to principles of social justice, who respects the bylaws, and trusts the membership as the highest decision making authority.

I have been a community and labour activist for over six years, including leadership roles with Solidarity Halifax, the Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly, and the Peoples’ Social Forum. I have two years of accounting education and performed the most recent internal audit of our local, affording me in-depth knowledge of our financial procedures and fiscal health. In CUPE 3903 this past year I have been an elections officer, temporary trustee, editor of On the Frontlines for the Bargaining Mobilization Committee, an active participant in the Strike Committee, picket captain, and a strike coordinator. Mobilization for the 2015 strike has re-energized our union, and with your support I will use my experience to promote a member-driven local as we get even stronger moving forward.

As Treasurer, I will work with all groups and committees to ensure they feel empowered to use funds allocated to them by the membership; I will promote the funds our collective agreements make available, and widen the net of members who make use of them; and I will cooperate with trustees to ensure the completion of our internal audit before next year’s Executive election.

I believe the strength of our local comes from an active rank-and-file presence in all union spaces. As Treasurer and Executive member, I will support new initiatives that aim to address issues of racism, ableism, sexism, heteronormativity, and sexual violence that make union spaces alienating and unsafe for many members. An accessible union is a strong union.

Vote Graeme Reniers for Treasurer!

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Vote Najwa Eidda for a #BetterUnion

Najwa Eidda

Najwa Eidda

My name is Najwa Eidda and I’m running for Vice President Unit 1. I am a PhD candidate in Social Work and a Unit 1 member.

Before I moved to Toronto, from Jerusalem-Palestine, I spent 15 years working as a community organizer and human rights activist. My skill set has been developed through my work in Palestinian civil society organizations, unions, and popular committees. I have created and supported campaigns against home demolition in Palestine and in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement. Over the past two years, I have been active as a rank-and-file member of our local and served as a Unit 1 representative on the local’s Bargaining Team.

I am proud of my record on the Bargaining Team. The historic gains secured by our local illustrate that victories are possible as a result of strategic planning, organizing and mobilizing.

As Vice President Unit 1, I want to continue to create inclusive and equitable spaces within our union. I will also work to build solidarity with unions and civil society organizations within and outside of our workplace. Finally, I hope to build on our local’s deep commitment to social justice, human rights, and justice.

I believe that a better union is possible. That’s why I’m running as part of a team of candidates who want to create a local for all its members. We are committed to combating the toxicity that drives members away from union meetings. We support electronic voting so more members can participate in decision making. We are committed to building on the strike’s momentum to broaden the campaign against tuition fees and precarious work and for accessible, high quality education. Learn more about our plan and how to join our campaign at BetterUnion.ca.

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Sara Shamdani for VP Unit 1

Sara Shamdani

Sara Shamdani

Our union should be a space where members’ voices are heard and the elected officials are accountable to the needs of members. As your Vice President Unit 1, I will work closely with the Trans Feminist Action Caucus and the Black, Indigenous and People of Colour Caucus to ensure inclusivity for all members and to address the very real effects of sexism, racism and ableism that plague our union. I believe in transparency in action and will encourage membership participation in all aspects of the local. I will encourage debate of accessible voting for members unable to vote in person.

My anti-oppressive framework has been largely shaped by my work as a frontline worker at a violence-against-women shelter where I have supported people dealing with poverty and sexual violence. I have been involved in the Diversity Lens Committee at my organization (2013) and have been an active member of the Graduate Student Association in the Social and Political Thought program. As a union steward (2014-15) I succeeded in mobilizing members prior and during the strike, communicated openly about the issues facing the local, and actively participated in the Bargaining Mobilization Committee.

As VP Unit 1, I will maintain, strengthen, and create relationships with our broader community and labour allies to make our union stronger and give more power to your voice as a member. My outreach plan will include strengthening our local’s relationship with organizations such as the Jane and Finch Action Against Poverty, United Steelworkers, CUPE 1356, YUFA and YUSA whose support during the strike was instrumental.

Most importantly, if elected, I will take my lead from the people whose tireless efforts made this successful strike possible, the people who really wield the power of union: general members like you.

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Vote Mohamed Banda for a #BetterUnion

Mohamed Banda

Mohamed Banda

My name is Mohamed Banda and I’m seeking re-election as Vice President Unit 2. I am a contract instructor in Sociology and Equity Studies and a Unit 2 member.

Over this past year, I worked actively on the behalf of contract faculty members as a Unit 2 representative on the Executive Committee and on various internal and external committees, such as York’s all-union Cross Campus Alliance (CCA), CUPE 3903’s Anti-Racism working group, the Ontario University Worker’s Coordinating Committee (OUWCC), and the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA). I also organized a number of Unit 2 town hall meetings at critical junctures last year (i.e. late-hirings last fall, during bargaining, and navigating the university’s confusing post-strike remediation policies).

Over the coming year, I would like to see these Unit 2 meetings more regularized, alongside other initiatives to facilitate dialogue among Unit 2 members. Externally, I am keen to continue my involvement with OCUFA and the OUWCC, as well as the CCA, to help build political capacities on our campus and in the post-secondary education sector. I also want to continue to push for an Anti-Racism Task Force at the university.

I believe that a better union is possible. That’s why I’m running as part of a team of candidates who want to create a local for all its members. We want the local to be more open, accessible and welcoming. We are committed to combating the toxicity that drives members away from union meetings. We support electronic voting so more members can participate in decision making. We are committed to building on the strike’s momentum to broaden the campaign against tuition fees and precarious work and for accessible, high quality education. Learn more about our plan and how to join our campaign at BetterUnion.ca.

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Karen Walker Brogan for VP Unit 2

(no picture available)

During my involvement in CUPE 3903 as both a unit 1 and unit 2 member, I have been a member of almost all of the committees in our local, including the Executive Committee as Chairperson in 2011-12 (as a unit 2 member), as Chief Steward Unit 1 in 2007, and as TFAC Co-Chair in 2005-06. I was a 3903 representative at the most recent National Convention, at last year’s Canadian Labour Congress, and in the past at the OUWCC.

In the wake of our successful strike, the role of Vice Presidents is of critical importance because VPs are the executive officers that are tasked with building and maintaining our alliances with other unions, community organizations, and student groups both on and off campus. In terms of organizing beyond York, I will work to maintain connections with the Toronto CUPE District Council, Labour Council, OUWCC, and Jane Finch Action Against Poverty. In particular, it is important to strengthen the relationship with CUPE 3902 that was built through the work of the joint 3902-3903 strike committee. In terms of on-campus alliances, VPs need to continue to work with YUFA, YUSA, undergrad student allies, and other organizations who share our local’s commitment to fighting to make post-secondary education accessible and against precarious employment conditions. If this organizing is to be successful, we need to support initiatives that seek to address issues of racism, sexism, ableism, heteronormativity, and sexual violence.

The work of the VPs is largely to listen to, and connect with, the work that these different organizations are doing in order to advance the broader social justice struggles our local is involved in. While we, as a local, haven’t consistently maintained strong external relationships, many were established during the strike. We need to take this opportunity to maintain and strengthen them by supporting our many allies whose support was crucial to winning the strike. I will also support our local’s caucuses and working groups, who undertake a lot of the work of forging these connections, in whatever way I can. This work is vital to the protection of our interests as York University workers.

I am looking forward to working with whomever is elected to the Executive Committee for the 2015-16 term.

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Vote Kulsum Khan for a #BetterUnion

Kulsum Khan

Kulsum Khan

My name is Kulsum Khan and I’m running for Vice-President Unit 3. I am a candidate in the Master of Social Work program and a Unit 3 member.

As a social worker committed to human rights and social justice issues, I have worked in Canada and internationally with partners, such as Ryerson University, The City of Toronto and Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada. Over the past year, I have been active as a rank-and-file member of our local.

As Vice-President Unit 3, I will work to make the local a safe space for all members. I want to ensure that the local is member led and driven so that it continues to be accessible and accountable to all members. In particular, I will work to implement a targeted Unit 3 outreach strategy to increase democratic participation in the union by Unit 3 members.

I believe that a better union is possible. That’s why I’m running as part of a team of candidates who want to create a local for all its members. We want the local to be more open, accessible and welcoming. We are committed to combating the toxicity that drives members away from union meetings. We support electronic voting so more members can participate in decision making. We are committed to building on the strike’s momentum to broaden the campaign against tuition fees and precarious work and for accessible, high quality education. Learn more about our plan and how to join our campaign at BetterUnion.ca.

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Vote Adam Proctor for Vice President Unit 3

Adam Proctor

I’m a first year MA in Political Science running for Unit 3 Vice President. As a representative on the Bargaining Team during the strike, I fought hard to ensure Unit 3s were not left behind. During that time, I proudly took the lead from the rank and file, and refused to settle for anything less than full tuition offsets for all of our members. I fought hard for meaningful increases in U3 funding, as well as ensuring that our LGBTQ members are guaranteed their fundamental rights in the workplace. As a member of the team that negotiated the collective agreement, I am intimately familiar with Unit 3 guarantees and will fight to ensure all incoming members are able to take full advantage of these benefits.

As a member of the executive, I will champion a true and robust form of democracy; I believe that accessibility is at the heart of this project. In this effort, the executive must immediately address all material barriers to participation faced by many of our members. True democracy requires participation, debate and deliberation. As a member of the exec, I will fight to ensure accessibility and participation in the life of the union, with a particular eye to addressing systemic and interpersonal forms of oppression and discrimination.

I believe in a member-driven local, and that our exec must be responsive to its membership. This is the best way to limit toxicity and ensure the unity of CUPE 3903.

Lastly, I will fight to maintain the exciting momentum we’ve gained following our recent strike victory. We must work together in order to organize all of our departments. I’m inspired by the active rank and file that emerged in the course of the strike, and I will work to broaden and solidify these gains.

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Gizem Çakmak for Chief Steward Unit 1

Gizem Çakmak

Gizem Çakmak

Hello everyone,

The membership has always had a strong voice in our local. My central aim as Chief Steward Unit 1 will be to strengthen that by promoting further active participation from a diverse range of members. I have been my department’s steward for the last 2 years and have experience organizing feminist action groups within the labour movement. I was heavily involved in our union’s mobilization efforts leading up to and during the last strike. As a member of the Strike Committee and a picket captain at Shoreham, I was excited to see people from diverse departments becoming more active and mobilized.

As an international student and a member of the Black, Indigenous and People of Color Caucus, I believe creating safer spaces involves actively fighting colonial structures and different forms of racial violence that are embedded in union spaces, both in our local and beyond. I want to make sure that these issues are a prioritized part of the dialogue in the local, so that going forward we can create a more inclusive union culture together.

I have also been a committed member of the Trans Feminist Action Caucus (TFAC) and served as pro-tem TFAC co-chair. As Chief Steward, I will support the work of TFAC in promoting a safer environment and encouraging greater access to union spaces for female and trans identified members of our union.

One concrete way I would like to change the culture of the local is by creating definitive language in our bylaws to devise protocols around sexual harassment. I am also committed to reaching out to greater number of members, especially in departments that have historically been underrepresented in our local.

Follow me @gizkez or read about my ideas here.

I hope you vote for me. Looking forward to participating together!

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Vote Olya Murphy for a #BetterUnion

Olya Murphy

Olya Murphy

My name is Olya Murphy and I’m running for Chief Steward Unit 1. I am a PhD candidate in History and a Unit 1 member.

Over the past two years, I have been active as a rank-and-file member of our local. During this time I have participated in our local’s decision making through my contributions at Stewards’ Council meetings and monthly General Membership Meetings. This past year, I attended many bargaining meetings with the Employer, helped with the production of T-shirts and buttons for the local’s strike campaign, and was active at strike headquarters and on the picket lines as a picket captain. In the period approaching the strike deadline, I volunteered to be a steward in the department of History, and in that capacity organized a picketing schedule for our members. This resulted in our department being one of the most organized as the local entered the strike.

As Chief Steward Unit 1, I would extend my organizing capabilities to the wider union to mobilize for regularly scheduled Stewards’ Council meetings as well as outreach events and campaigns designed to bring the union directly to the members.

I believe that a better union is possible. That’s why I’m running as part of a team of candidates who want to create a local for all its members. We want the local to be more open, accessible and welcoming. We are committed to combating the toxicity that drives members away from union meetings. We support electronic voting so more members can participate in decision making. We are committed to building on the strike’s momentum to broaden the campaign against tuition fees and precarious work and for accessible, high quality education. Learn more about our plan and how to join our campaign at BetterUnion.ca.

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Re-elect Murray Cooke as Chief Steward Unit 2

Murray

www.murraycooke.com

As Chief Steward Unit 2, I’ve worked hard to strengthen our local and engage respectfully with others in our union. I’m running for re-election to continue this work as we build on the energy of our recent strike.

Over the past year, I have been actively involved on the Executive in many ways. On the Grievance Committee, I’ve worked to uphold members’ rights through the collective agreement. Throughout the year, I helped mobilize members through the Stewards’ Council, Bargaining Mobilization Committee and Strike Committee. I’ve helped maintain our website and social media presence. Last fall, I coordinated our participation at orientation events for new members and arranged for new 3903 bulletin boards in various departments. During bargaining, I canvassed departments, helped organize Unit 2 townhalls and membership communication (tabling, leafletting, postering, a mail-out and a phone around) in order to engage members and raise awareness of the issues.

Our strike was a success in obtaining improved collective agreements, building relations with tenured faculty and undergrads, and mobilizing a new cohort of active members. We need to sustain this momentum but we still have much work to do. We must broaden our base, reach out to more members and work together across differences, recognizing the value of all of our members.

Now is the time to engage in serious internal work. I plan to revitalize Stewards’ Council and encourage Unit 2 involvement. I will work toward updating our bylaws to build an inclusive, member-driven, democratic union. I endorse the proposal for an Anti-Racism Task Force at York and support the implementation of a clear strategy to address sexual violence in our local and on campus.

I look forward to your support and I encourage your participation in our union.

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Vote Sharon Davidson for a #BetterUnion

Sharon Davidson

Sharon Davidson

My name is Sharon Davidson and I’m running for Chief Steward Unit 2. I teach at Keele and Glendon campuses in English, Humanities, and the Writing Department and am a Unit 2 member.

I have a long history of involvement in the local, having held various past positions on the Executive Committee (VP, Women’s Caucus Co-Chair), on Bargaining Teams, and on committees such as Labour Management, Teaching Development, Ways and Means, and Restructuring (during the Atkinson-Arts merger). These experiences have underscored for me the need to improve contract faculty engagement in the union.

As Chief Steward, I want to develop new ways for advancing the representation of contract faculty within departments at York’s two campuses and Stewards’ Council. This has been a challenge in the past. New approaches to stewardship within Unit 2 need to be sought. I will work on initiatives such as: e-voting; developing an elected Stewards’ Council; and the implementation of a Unit 2 website blog as an online space where we can share a sense of community and information about our working conditions, problems we experience as contract faculty, and knowledge of our collective agreement provisions.

I believe that a better union is possible. That’s why I’m running as part of a team of candidates who want to create a local for all its members. We want the local to be more open, accessible and welcoming. We are committed to combating the toxicity that drives members away from union meetings. We support electronic voting so more members can participate in decision making. We are committed to building on the strike’s momentum to broaden the campaign against tuition fees and precarious work and for accessible, high quality education. Learn more about our plan and how to join our campaign at BetterUnion.ca.

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Vote Michael Bartlett for a #BetterUnion

Michael Bartlett

Michael Bartlett

My name is Mike Bartlett and I’m running for Chief Steward Unit 3. I am a candidate in the Master of Social Work program and a Unit 3 member.

Prior to and throughout the strike, I worked hard to keep my department informed and mobilized, and encouraged members to critically engage with the bargaining and strike processes. I was a strong advocate for the implementation of pro-rated strike pay. I also openly encouraged the local to critically look at the toxicity of our meetings and work together to foster a safer space for all members.

I believe we should celebrate the achievements of the strike while critically examining where we fell short and where we can improve moving forward. As a Chief Steward, I would advocate strongly for an online voting system that can make participation in important union decisions accessible to everyone, while acknowledging that e-voting cannot replace real tangible accommodations for members with diverse accessibility needs. I am committed to taking a collaborative approach to mobilization, and increasing accessibility by supporting the formation of an exclusive caucus for members with disAbilities.

I believe that a better union is possible. That’s why I’m running as part of a team of candidates who want to create a local for all its members. We want the local to be more open, accessible and welcoming. We are committed to combating the toxicity that drives members away from union meetings. We support electronic voting so more members can participate in decision making. We are committed to building on the strike’s momentum to broaden the campaign against tuition fees and precarious work and for accessible, high quality education. Learn more about our plan and how to join our campaign at BetterUnion.ca.

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Vote Mahyar Mohaghegh for Chief Steward Unit 3

Mahyar

Hello, my name is Mahyar Mohaghegh. I am a Masters Student in Political Science, and am running for Chief Steward Unit 3.

My time with CUPE 3903 has been exciting, motivating and inspirational. I became active right when I started my MA by attending GMMs, and from there slowly became more involved in various union activities. Before I knew it, I was enthralled in flyering, rallying, tabling, postering, phone-banking and participating in the Bargaining Mobilization Committee. I have spent hours filming mobilization events like the “snake march” in October and making videos that highlighted the significance of tuition indexation. I also crafted films showcasing undergraduate and student organizations’ support for our union.

During the strike I was a “Sentinel Roadie,” well known on the line for my ability to yell and direct traffic. I also continued making videos showcasing rallies and our mobilized undergraduate supporters. As a result, I developed strong relations with different unions and student groups on campus. My greatest achievement was with the UofT – YorkU Joint Strike Committee, in which I helped lead the march from Glendon to downtown.

I have spent my time as a member dedicated to encouraging more active member participation in the local. I am encouraged by the mobilization of Unit 3 members during the strike, and strongly believe we must build on this momentum to make our union even stronger.

As Chief Steward, I will also continue working with other groups on campus to strengthen our solidarity networks, and continue to encourage a more active Unit 3 presence in all union spaces.

Lastly, I look forward to working with a new executive to promote a membership-driven local, to make CUPE 3903 even stronger moving forward.

In solidarity,
Mahyar

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Vote James Clark for a #BetterUnion

James Clark

James Clark

My name is James Clark and I’m running for Communications Officer. I am a PhD candidate in English and a Unit 1 member.

For the past year, I have served as Chief Steward Unit 1. In that time, I have worked hard to raise the union’s profile among all members, especially in under-represented departments and faculties. I helped organize 17 departmental luncheons, where members had the chance to learn more about the union and elect their representatives to Stewards’ Council. I helped develop the outreach strategy and timeline for the strike mandate vote, which produced the biggest turnout in ten years and won a 79% mandate.

As Communications Officer, I would bring extensive experience to the role, both from the past year’s mobilization and from the social movements. I developed much of the content for our union’s bargaining campaign, A Better York is Possible, and helped produce many of the union’s videos, posters, postcards, information sheets, and ads – including for the TTC and The Excalibur. Since August, I have helped produce every issue of CUPE 3903 News, which regularly informs members of union news and meetings, and integrated social media into all union communications.

I believe that a better union is possible. That’s why I’m running as part of a team of candidates who want to create a local for all its members. We want the local to be more open, accessible and welcoming. We are committed to combating the toxicity that drives members away from union meetings. We support electronic voting so more members can participate in decision making. We are committed to building on the strike’s momentum to broaden the campaign against tuition fees and precarious work and for accessible, high quality education. Learn more about our plan and how to join our campaign at BetterUnion.ca.

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Maija Duncan for Communications Officer

Maija Duncan

Maija Duncan

I am running for Communications Officer because I am committed to increasing the accessibility, transparency, and membership-driven decision-making processes of this union. I believe that the Communications Officer should work closely with the membership to ensure that the communications of the union reflect the will of the members.

Prior to the strike I served as a committed departmental steward. As a very active member of the Bargaining Mobilization Committee, and the Communications Sub-Committee, I helped assemble and distribute our membership-produced newsletter, On the Frontlines. During the strike, I was a dedicated member of the Strike Committee, as well as a picket captain on Main Gate.

I come to this position with professional Communications experience. I have worked for over two years in knowledge transfer, which includes writing, editing, translation, and webpage maintenance. Since leaving my job to pursue graduate studies, I have continued to freelance as an editor and translator, skills that I have volunteered to the union on multiple occasions in the last year.

I love to get things done, and aim to increase our communications in the following ways, subject to membership input and approval:

  • Efficiently reach out to a greater part of the membership by using specialized software.
  • Conduct an all-departments drive to expand the number of members who get CUPE News.
  • Improve our website. I would like to convene a website redesign sub-committee to communicate information more effectively, with accessibility as the foremost priority.
  • Ensure improved moderation of the listservs, as per Appendix F of our bylaws.

I believe that my experience both within and beyond the local will serve me well in the position of Communications Officer and I hope you will consider voting for me. I look forward to working with members in whatever capacities I can.

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Jeffrey Zavala for Communications Officer

(no picture available)

For the past two years I have been an active member of CUPE 3903 on the accessibility and distribution committee. After trying to work with the executive slate I have been the victim of ableist and racist attitudes. These type of abuses were quite prevalent during the strike, when the most oppressed groups, in particular people of colour (POC) and the 8th line, faced these same discriminatory practices by members of the current executive slate.

If I am elected I want to eradicate the ableist, racist and sexist attitudes that are prevalent here at York, especially within our union. Furthermore, my extensive professional experience in the media arts and entertainment industry has led me to an honours communication degree; which also includes a solid record of accountability, equity and advocacy in social justice issues, either volunteering or working for different student organizations and various not-for-profit organizations.

The vast experience I will bring to this position if I am elected demonstrates my commitment to making York a safe and equitable community for everyone. I believe in working collectively for all members so together we all can create an accessible, professional and safe space for all members.

My communication strategy is quite simple – utilize our rank and file membership and collaborate with other committees to be socially and financially accountable. This strike has proven our voice, skills and talents are more effective than the communications committee’s expensive media campaign that was never compliant with AODA (Accessibility of Ontario’s Disability Act) standards and undermined the use of our rank and file. If you want positive change and a voice that truly represents all members then I am asking for your support and vote for my campaign.

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Vote Lykke de la Cour for a #BetterUnion

Lykke de la Cour

Lykke de la Cour

My name is Lykke de la Cour and I’m running for Grievance Officer. I am a contract instructor teaching gender, health policy, and critical disability studies and a Unit 2 member.

Since 2006, I have been active in the local in a variety of ways, serving on the Executive Committee as Chief Steward Unit 2, as well as on the Accessibility, Extended Health Benefits, and Better Workplace Initiative Committees. Most recently, I served as a Unit 2 member on the Bargaining Team in this round of bargaining. These experiences have given me extensive knowledge of our collective agreements, grievance and arbitration processes, and the operation of labour relations at York.

If elected Grievance Officer, my primary goal will be to ensure that the provisions of our collective agreements – particularly the recently-won gains around equity, tuition and funding, and Unit 2 job security – are properly implemented and vigorously defended. I will work with the Chief Stewards and the elected Stewards’ Council, together with staff, to work on improving our grievance processes, including the development of a database on grievances and arbitrations.

I believe that a better union is possible. That’s why I’m running as part of a team of candidates who want to create a local for all its members. We want the local to be more open, accessible and welcoming. We are committed to combating the toxicity that drives members away from union meetings. We support electronic voting so more members can participate in decision making. We are committed to building on the strike’s momentum to broaden the campaign against tuition fees and precarious work and for accessible, high quality education. Learn more about our plan and how to join our campaign at BetterUnion.ca.

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Lydia Dobson for Grievance Officer

Lydia

I am a PhD student in the Department of Socio-Legal Studies. My research focuses specifically on the Canadian Labour Relations Act and the implementation and oversight of Collective Agreements in Ontario.

My working experience and involvement in organized labour over the past several years has prepared me well for the role of Grievance Officer. These include:

  • CUPE 3903: Strike Coordinator (2015); Professional Development Fund Committee (2014-2015); Steward for the Department of Socio-Legal Studies (2014-2015)
  • CUPE 4600: Recording Secretary (2013-2014); Chair of Communications and Mobilization Committee (2013-2014); Labour Management Committee (2013-2014); Steward for the Department of Sociology (2012-2014)
  • Legal Researcher, Hameed Farrokhzad L.L.P. (practicing employment and labour law) (2011-2014)
  • Legal Administrative Assistant, Champ and Associates, (representing many CUPE locals) (2013-2014)
  • Organizer with Industrial Workers of the World, Solidarity Against Austerity, Rebuilding Militant Labour, Ontario University Workers Coordinating Committee.

In the coming year, if elected, some of my major priorities will include:

  • Oversight and education for Unit 2 members around the newly achieved Continuing Sessional Status Program.
  • Monitoring of the implementation of Tuition Indexation, particularly for international students, to ensure that we have achieved our intended goals.
  • Increased communication with and education for Unit 1 and 3 members regarding the Collective Agreement and the grievance process.
  • Working together with Chief Stewards and the Grievance Committee to provide departmental training on the Collective Agreement.

Although I am a relatively new member to this local, my experience as a strike coordinator has provided an amazing opportunity to get to know members from all departments and units. I have come to understand the diverse range of workplace concerns that arise for our membership and if elected as your Grievance Officer, I will be dedicated to facilitating the creation of a more inclusive workplace by actively engaging with and listening to the directives of our members.

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