Grievance Officer Nominations Open August 31

The Grievance Officer position was temporarily filled on July 20. Following the provisions set out in Article 14 of the bylaws, the nomination period for this position will be opened for by-election at the August 31 GMM. The nomination period will close on September 14, 5 pm.

Nomination forms must be completed in accordance with Article 14.l of our bylaws:

(b) Nomination for any position must be signed by the nominee and by two additional members in good standing and addressed to the election officers. Nominations must be brought to the union office during the nominations period. Each nominee must also record his/her nomination by signing the register that is to be publicly displayed next to the nomination box.
(c) Only members in good standing can be nominated and no member may sign more than one (1) nomination for his/her own candidacy in the same nomination and election period.
(d) If at the end of the nomination period only one (1) candidate is nominated, the executive, on the advice of the elections officers, shall declare the position filled by acclamation.

A minimum of two weeks of campaigning will follow the nomination period. Voting will begin at the September GMM, which is tentatively scheduled for September 28.

2016-17 Long Service Teaching Appointments (LSTAs)

We are now able to announce the names of the seven successful Long Service Teaching Appointments (LSTAs). Eligibility and terms for LSTAs can be found in Article 24 of the Unit 2 collective agreement.

Member  Department
M. Bernholtz  Writing Department (LAPS)
M. Mawhinney  Political Science (LAPS)
H. Davis  Philosophy (LAPS)
S. Melgar-Foraster  Hispanic Studies
E. Michael  French Studies (LAPS)
V. Donsky  French Studies (Glendon)
V. Tomaszewski  Sociology (Glendon)

Of the seven successful applicants, six self-identified in one or more of the designated Employment Equity categories.


August 31 GMM: Tentative Agenda

General Membership Meeting
Wednesday, August 31
12:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Harry Crowe Room
109 Atkinson building

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Tentative Agenda:

  1. Roll call of officers
  2. Reading of the Equality Statement
  3. Reading of the Mississauga Land Acknowledgement
  4. Approval of Agenda
  5. Reading and Approval of Minutes
  6. Notices
    1. Donation to Citizen film project ($1000)
    2. Donation to OPIRG at U of T Disorientation 2016
    3. Donation to Justice for Migrant Workers’s Long March
    4. Donation to Regenesis York affordable housing project ($500)
    5. Donation to 15 Years of War in Afghanistan ($500)
  7. Nominations, Elections or Installations
    1. Opening of nominations for the Grievance Officer position
    2. Committee elections
    3. Conference delegate elections
  8. Unfinished Business
  9. Matters Arising
  10. New Business
    1. Endorsement for 15 Years of War in Afghanistan
    2. Endorsement for Justice for Migrant Workers Long March
  11. Reports of committees and delegates
    1. Approval of Communications Committee budget
    2. Treasurer’s report
    3. Elections Officer honoraria report
    4. Senate report
  12. Executive Reports
  13. Good of the Union
  14. Adjournment

Please contact Sheila Wilmot at 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.

Call-Out for Conference Delegates

CUPE 3903 has a budget set aside to send members to represent the local at a variety of different labour movement conferences. At the August 31 GMM, we will be electing 2 delegates each for the CUPE Ontario Young Ontario Workers Conference, the CUPE University Sectoral Conference, and the Canadian Labour Council Rise-Up! Conference. More information on each of these conferences can be found below.

Members can nominate themselves to be conference delegates during the GMM. However, if you would like to nominate yourself and cannot attend the GMM, email your nomination to by 5pm on August 30. Please note that if we do not have quorum at the August GMM, we will likely be unable to send anyone to these conferences. Please plan to attend and bring along your friends and colleagues.

CUPE Ontario Young Ontario Workers Conference

The first ever CUPE Ontario Young Workers Conference will take place in Toronto between the evening of October 13 and noon of October 15. See the conference flyer for more details.

CUPE University Sectoral Conference

The CUPE Sectoral Conference is a chance to meet and strategize with other locals in the university sector. This year the conference will take place on October 17-20 in Winnipeg. More information is available here.

CLC Rise-Up! Conference

The Canadian Labour Council’s Rise Up! conference is an opportunity for union activists to come together and explore equality and fairness for all. It will take place in Ottawa October 20-23. This conference puts special emphasis on defending human rights within the labour movement. Workshops include decolonization, anti-racism, LGBT rights, migrant worker rights, and much more. Find out more here.

Update on the Continuing Sessional Standing Program (CSSP)

CSSP Guarantee

At the August 18 Labour Management Committee (LMC), we received clarification from Rob Lawson in Faculty Relations with respect to the Continuing Sessional Standing Program (CSSP) Guarantee, or payout for those members who received less work in the 2015-16 contract year than their previous five-year average. As per the Unit 2 Collective Agreement, Art. 12.01 (“Guarantee” section), the eligibility criteria for the 2016 payout are as follows:

  1. CSSP-eligible members must have participated in the CSSP by submitting a CSSP blanket application by the Nov. 1, 2015 deadline.
  2. Members must have had a minimum average of 2.0 Type 1 (or equivalent) positions in the previous five contract years.
  3. Members must have received 2/3rds or less work in 2015-16 than their previous five-year average
  4. Members must “apply” for the payout (the “upon application” phrase in the “Guarantee” section) (see below)

Based on the above, Faculty Relations has calculated that 31 CSSP members out of the 334 current members in the CSSP pool are eligible to receive the Guarantee. There are 18 Unit 2 members who qualify for the CSSP under criteria 2) and 3) above, but who did not submit a CSSP blanket application.

Rob Lawson will contacting these 31 Guarantee-eligible members individually by email over the next two weeks. In order to meet the application criterion (4), members need only respond to this email.

We are expecting that this contact and response process will be completed by Sept. 10th at the latest, which is the last date to submit payroll requests. Thus, payout-eligible members should receive their payout in York’s Sept. 25th, 2016 payroll.

We will also be receiving from Faculty Relations the full list of CSSP members, including those who are eligible for the payout, for our review.

CSSP Postings Summary for Winter 2016

A summary of CSSP postings, including a breakdown of the number and percentages of CSSP postings out of total postings (from January-May 2016) per department, is available here.

Overall, there were just under 600 CSSP postings in Winter 2016, out of a total of just over 2400 postings. CSSP postings work out to 24% of total postings in the time frame. Considering that some departments posted few or no CSSP courses, this result requires an ongoing discussion.

2016 Unit 2 Conversions

Eight members of CUPE 3903 Unit 2 have been awarded conversions to tenured-track jobs under the York University Faculty Association (YUFA). Congratulations!

Professorial Stream

Robert Heynen, Communication Studies, LAPS
Cynthia Wright, Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, LAPS

Alternate Stream

John Simoulidis, Social Science, LAPS
Jacqueline Ng, DLLL, LAPS
Maggie Quirt, Equity Studies, LAPS
Peter Constantinou, SPPA, LAPS
Lykke de la Cour, Social Science, LAPS
Michael Boni, Kinesiology, Health

To find out more about conversions, see Article 23 of the Unit 2 collective agreement.

Register Now for the 4th Annual Toxic Tour

On August 21st organizers and community members from Aamjiwnaang First Nation are hosting the 4th Annual TOXIC TOUR. Aamjiwnaang is a First Nation reserve located next to Sarnia, ON. It has been surrounded by a giant ring of more than 60 toxic chemical producing plants and refining factories near Sarnia’s Chemical Valley, making life on the reserve a constant health risk. Inspiring youth from the community have stepped up and are organizing to spread awareness and build resistance to the toxic and sometimes fatal living conditions on their reserve.

You can see updates about the event here. Registration can accessed here:

During the Toxic Tour, Aamjiwnaang community members provides first hand knowledge of the history of the chemical valley, and allows you to bear witness to the environmental racism and colonial legacies that Aamjiwnaang First Nation is fighting against.

This is a free event and everyone is welcome. You can go the night before and camp, or head up for a day-trip. Buses are being organized to transport people from Toronto and meals are included for the day. Donations for contributing to these amenities are highly encouraged. CUPE 3903’s First Nation Solidarity Working Group hopes to see a large 3903 presence at this important opportunity to learn and demonstrate anti-colonial solidarity. You can get in touch with FNSWG at

To stay connected and read updates about Aamjiwnaang’s fight against Chemical Valley please visit their website here and their Facebook page here.

Committee Vacancies

Several committees currently have vacancies, and the Childcare Committee needs to be elected in full. More information on each of the committees can be found below. The vacancies will be filled at the August 31 General Membership Meeting.

You do not need to be present at the GMM to nominate yourself for these positions. However, we do need quorum in order to elect members to committees. Nominations can be sent to You may include a statement of no more than 100 words.

The Accessibility Committee (1 vacancy) was organized in the spring of 2005 to improve the union’s work around accessibility issues on campus and to ensure that union spaces and meetings are accessible. Honorarium: $250 per year.

The Bilingualism Committee (2 vacancies) is responsible for assessing and responding to the needs of the local in terms of translation and French language content and promoting outreach and inclusion for our francophone members. This committee coordinates translation of important documents and resources as well as any other translation projects that may arise. Honorarium: $500 per year.

The Childcare Committee (4 vacancies) facilitates the disbursement of Child Care Fund among CUPE 3903 members. Part of the work of this committee will be mobilizing members to apply for this fund, reaching out to all members with childcare needs, and inputting the data collected. Honorarium: $250 per year.

The Communications Committee (3 vacancies) is responsible for coordinating CUPE 3903 communications, including maintaining and updating the CUPE 3903 website, maintaining a social media presence, and taking on communications projects and campaigns. Honorarium: $750 per year.

The Distribution Committee (1 vacancy) is responsible for distributing materials to departmental mailboxes and putting up posters at a $50 per diem, with the normal workload being 1 day per month.

The International Graduate Students’ Committee (1 vacancy) advocates for international graduate student members of CUPE 3903. Honorarium: $250 per year.

The Professional Development Fund Committee (2 vacancies: 1 PDF Coordinator, 1 PDF Committee Member) adjudicates the distribution of PDF funds, the Teaching Development Fund, and the Tuition Costs Fund. The PDF Coordinator administers the PDF Fund throughout the contract year in accordance with established guidelines, and is the primary contact person for members. One of the Coordinator’s tasks is to chair four meetings (September, January, March, and June). The PDF Coordinator is also a member of the Center for the Support of Teaching Executive Board, and is CUPE 3903’s primary and ongoing connection to the CST.
Honorarium: (for the PDF Coordinator) $1,500, paid in three equal installments during the year.
Honorarium: (for the PDF Representative): $200, paid out as $50 per meeting.

The Toronto & York Region Labour Council (1 vacancy) is comprised of all affiliated locals across the labour movement in the Toronto and York region. It meets once per month. CUPE 3903 is entitled to four delegates elected for a one-year term. Honorarium: $250.

The Unit 2 Listserv Moderators (1 vacancy) read all posts to the listserv at least once a day and enforce the Listserv Guidelines (Appendix F of the CUPE 3903 Bylaws). Honorarium: $500 per member per year.

Grievance Officer Vacancy Temporarily Filled

Due to a summertime resignation on the executive committee, Sarah Hornstein was pro temmed as temporary Grievance Officer at the July 20 executive committee meeting. The nomination period opened on July 5 and closed on July 19. There were four candidates: Sarah Hornstein, Brendan Bruce, Maria Wallis, and Liz Brule.

Nominations to permanently fill the position for the 2016-17 term will open at the August GMM, which is currently scheduled for August 31, pending the confirmation of a room. The exact timing of the by-election will be set in consultation with the Elections Officers, but are required to follow the minimum timeline set out in Article 14 of the bylaws.

Unit 2 Update: LSTAs and the CSSP

Long Service Teaching Appointments (LSTAs)

We finally have the names of the people given LSTAs this round, and a rather dodgy explanation about why others were not successful. This information is coming late, as the employer has been delaying the release of information on any topic lately; this was no exception.

The successful candidates for LSTAs this round are:

E. Michael, French Studies, LA&PS
V. Donsky, French Studies, Glendon
V. Tomaszewski, Sociology, Glendon


You may notice something strange about this list. There are supposed to be seven LSTA appointments, but there are only three. When we queried the employer about the brevity of this list we received a list of the unsuccessful applicants and their department. In each case “insufficient curriculum support” was used as a justification to exclude members from the program. This phrase was used often enough that we queried it and are awaiting actual numbers from departments indicating that there aren’t enough courses on the books to accommodate the further four LSTAs.

Excluding two of our members from a program that promotes job security and rewards long term service at York is unacceptable. We will be meeting with the employer on Thursday to register our anger in person and are discussing other measures that can be taken by the Executive. Members, especially Unit 2 members, should be thinking of other means by which they can indicate displeasure to the employer, and exercising them.

Article 24 of the Unit 2 collective agreement sets out the terms of the long service teaching appointment.

Continuing Sessional Standing Program (CSSP)

The CSSP “exercise” (as the employer calls it) has also been less than successful for members who qualified for it. In a year when Unit 2 work has been cut drastically, the CSSP garnered work for a few, but nowhere near as many as should have received early appointments for multiple courses. Instead, the employer is choosing to pay people out for not teaching, which is a provision under the program that does not enhance the employment of our members in meaningful ways.

If you did not receive a CSSP NRA and think you qualify for a payout because you should have, stay tuned. The employer has indicated that you have to “apply” for this payout in order to receive it along with your September paycheque, but 3903’s understanding of the program is that members should be notified (via email and letter) of their eligibility and how to access the funds. We are still negotiating with the employer on this one and will let you know what happens.

Article 12.01 of the Unit 2 collective agreement sets out the terms of the CSSP.