And the CUPE 3903 Campaign Survey Draw Winner is…

The lucky winner of the iPad draw poses with her prize.

The lucky winner of the iPad draw poses with her prize.

As part of the #betteryork campaign found on our award-winning website betteryork.ca, we conducted a survey to find out what students know about CUPE 3903 and our bargaining issues. Each completed survey was entered into a draw and we are pleased to announce that Jessica, an undergraduate student in the Health and Society Program, is the lucky winner of an iPad Air.

“A Better York is Possible” was a mixed-media campaign conceived to build sympathy and support within the broader York University community. It also served as means to communicate to the community who we are, how our proposals would improve the quality of education, the collective bargaining process, why we went on strike, and how students can help.

We are grateful for the continuing support of the university community, especially undergraduate students. By recognizing that your learning conditions are our working conditions, a better York is possible.

 

CUPE 3903 Condemns Exclusion of Unit 2 Members from Glendon English Departmental Meetings

Glendon campus, York University

Glendon campus, York University

On June 26, the English Department at Glendon passed a motion to exclude Unit 2 members from voting “in Departmental meetings in matters of governance and curricular planning.”

This motion was passed at a summer meeting to which most Unit 2 members of the department were not invited. This is extremely problematic.

Furthermore, this motion is contrary to the language and spirit of article 15.10.03 of the Unit 2 collective agreement which outlines the right of CUPE 3903 members to participate and vote at meetings of the departments in which they are employed. It is the duty of the Employer to recommend and use their best efforts to persuade departments that CUPE 3903 members have the right to participate and vote in departmental meetings.

This motion, passed by the English Department at Glendon, broadly excludes CUPE 3903 members from participation in the department. The CUPE 3903 Executive strongly condemns this motion and the process by which it was passed.

Clearly, this is an issue of respect for CUPE 3903 members. CUPE 3903 members are vital members of the York community both through our teaching and our research. Our contributions to our departments should be recognized, respected and appreciated, not least through our collegial participation in departmental council meetings.

This specific motion in one department raises the broader issue of our members’ participation in departmental council meetings. Clearly, our participation rights in the Unit 1 and 2 collective agreements should be strengthened and extended to Unit 3. These should be issues for our next round of collective bargaining in 2017.

If you have comments or concerns about your participation in (or exclusion from) your own departmental council meetings, please contact Murray Cooke, Chief Steward Unit 2, cupe3903chiefstewardunit2@gmail.com.

Conversion and LSTA Appointments

The CUPE 3903 red-star logo

The CUPE 3903 red-star logo

In the last round of bargaining, we won increased conversions and Long Service Teaching Appointments (LSTAs). There are 8 conversions (2 Professorial Stream and 6 to the Alternate Stream) and 7 LSTAs this year.

There were 53 applications for conversions and 29 applications to the LSTA program. Clearly, members have shown a lot of interest in both programs; pushing to extend them in the next round of bargaining should be a priority.

We would like to congratulate the members who have received these appointments (the list only includes those who consented to be named):

Conversion Appointments

Professorial Stream
Bruce Connell, Multidisciplinary Studies, Glendon

Alternate Stream
Sylvie Defend, Theatre, AMPD
Kerry Doyle, Writing, LA&PS
Jill Lazenby, STS/NATS/, Science
Vera Pavri, Natural Science, Science
Audrey Pyee, History, Glendon
Jon Sufrin, Writing, LA&PS

Long Service Teaching Appointments

Julie Allen, Philosophy, LA&PS
Fernanda Carra-Salsberg, DLLL, LA&PS
Alistair Mapp, Psychology, Health
Brenda McComb, DLLL, LA&PS
Tony Michael, Humanities, LA&PS
Iouldouz Raguimov, Math & Stats, Science

Should you have questions or complaints about these appointments or process thereof, contact Rob Lawson, Associate Director of Faculty Relations: rlawson@yorku.ca.

Pay Errors Will Be Rectified

A homemade sign reading "Undergrads against exploitation of academic workers"

A homemade sign reading “Undergrads against exploitation of academic workers”

After numerous information requests and meetings, the employer has finally acknowledged the extent of the underpayment to our members. Tomorrow, U1 members on minimum guarantee should receive pay to compensate for the clawbacks from May and June. Members will get equal payments on July and Aug 25 to bring them up to the minimum guarantee amount of $5125 by the end of the summer. We’ve also now confirmed that most U3 members who have summer RAships will be getting an additional payment of approximately $75-80 in August, with some receiving much more, to compensate them for the University’s clawback of wage gains.

While we’ve been told that members will be made whole by Aug 25, that still means that the majority of our U1 and U3 members have spent the summer underpaid and we’re still waiting on answers around some outstanding pay issues. This ordeal has caused members tremendous hardship and the Union remains adamant that the employer must compensate members and the union for the late payments.

While it’s a fight that we shouldn’t have had to wage, it’s spoken to members’ awareness of our CAs and to the strength of our union. Many thanks to all the members who raised issues and provided information on your pay, and to those who attended meetings and actions, it’s thanks to you that the we’ve been able to correct these issues.

Next win: our international offset grievance!

Executive Committee Vacancy Temporarily Filled

The CUPE 3903 red-star logo

The CUPE 3903 red-star logo

On July 8, the resignation of the Vice-President Unit 3 was announced. Due to the volume of work that needs to be completed during the summer and the difficulty in holding an election during this period, a decision was made to temporarily appoint (or pro tem) a VP Unit 3.

Article 14 V. (b) of the bylaws reads:

By a simple majority vote the executive may fill a vacancy on a pro tem basis with any member in good standing. Such vacancies must be posted in the union office at least two weeks prior to the executive meeting where the vacancy is to be filled. Executive positions filled on a pro tem basis must be advertised as open positions for the agenda of the next general membership meeting where nominations will be opened and elections held as per Section II. of the present article. Executive Committee members may only hold one (1) position on the Executive Committee.

Nominations were open for two weeks, from July 8 to July 22. Four candidates put their name forward. The vote was held at the July 22 Executive Committee meeting. The results of the vote are as follows:

  • Kami Chisholm: 6 votes
  • Daniel Smith: 0 votes
  • Mike Tod: 0 votes
  • Jeffrey Zavala: 1 vote

One member of the Executive Committee refused their ballot.

This process was undertaken to temporarily fill a vacancy on the Executive Committee. It is expected that the by-election to fill the position for the 2015-16 term will open at the September General Membership Meeting, with the exact dates to be determined by the Elections Officers.

 

Grievance Filed Regarding Incorrect Pay

Colourful picket signs in support of the 2015 strike.

Colourful picket signs in support of the 2015 strike.

On Thursday July 9, CUPE 3903 filed a grievance as a result of continued incorrect pay amounts.

Errors in pay were first reported on May 25. At first, efforts were made to resolve the pay discrepancy in cooperation with the employer. On June 10, the day the employer promised an out-of-cycle payment to cover the shortfalls in May pay, more incorrect pay amounts were reported. Finally, on June 25, there were still numerous cases of incorrect pay amounts for the June pay, as well as cases in which the increase in Graduate Financial Assistance (GFA) was used to calculate a lower amount in other funding. The Executive demanded an urgent meeting with the employer, which took place on June 30. The employer responded that they do not believe that any widespread pay mistakes exist.

The grievance states:

The Union alleges a violation of the Collective Agreement in that the Employer has failed to provide the correct funding payment for members on the 25th May 2015, 10th June 2015 and 25th June 2015 pay dates. Furthermore the Union alleges a violation of the Collective Agreement in that the employer has offset GFA increases by decreasing monies from other sources.

CUPE 3903 demands an immediate payment of any amount owed to members, the payment of an additional 10% of members’ funding package, financial penalties to the be paid to the union, $25,000 of which is to be earmarked for the Ways and Means Fund, as well as information on funding which the employer has been withholding.

Paying members accurately and on time is not optional. The employer must resolve this immediately.

This is the second grievance filed this summer. The grievance regarding tuition offsets for international students is proceeding through the grievance steps. The union has received the employer’s formal response to our grievance, which was not favourable, forcing us to take it to the next level. We stand by the protection Letters of Intent 1 and 6 must afford our members.  .

CUPE 3903-Side Employment Equity Committee: Consultation Invitation

A picture of a microphone in front of a large audience
We have some hard-won new Employment Equity language in our new Collective Agreements, and now it is time to negotiate the implementation with the Employer. In particular, there are 2 new Article 5.03 provisions in the Memorandum of Settlement (Unit 1 and 3), and also apply to Unit 2:

5.03 …

The Parties agree to make the definition of underrepresentation and the application of intersectionality data a priority for discussion on the reconvening of the Employment Equity Committee following ratification of the 2014-2017 collective agreement.

5.03.1 – No later than 3 months following the ratification of the 2014-17 collective agreement , the Employment Equity Committee will be convened to develop a plan for the inclusion of LGBTQ as an employment equity group under the collective agreement and the CUPE 3903 Employment Equity Plan, taking into account the absence of reliable external and internal representational data. The Plan to include LGBTQ as an employment equity group will be recommend to the Parties and the agreed upon plan will be promptly implemented.

Representing CUPE 3903 on the union-side of the Employment Equity Committee (EEC) are elected members Hazel Gashoka, Nicole Leach, and Maria Wallis (and, ex-officio, staff Equity Officer, Sheila Wilmot). The first meeting of the joint EEC was June 30, and we got agreement from the Employer that the concrete first step was getting LGBTQ identification options added to the self-identification survey.

So, we need to get members’ feedback and direction on this. We are asking you to please:

1) Give us your feedback on the employer’s draft of the way they propose to include LGBTQ categories. We have set up an email address for this purpose – EmploymentEquityCommittee@gmail.com – so you can write directly to the union-side of the EEC. We will not share your name or otherwise identify you with either the Employer or the Union as a whole.

2) Attend a consultation, We have set up 2 times to discuss all 3 parts of the new language above:

  1. developing a plan for including LGBTQ as an EE group;
  2. defining under-representation;
  3. applying intersectionality throughout EE practice.

This will take place in the Union office, Atkinson 143. We will also set up for people to Skype in.  They meetings will be the same so please just pick one time and let us know you will be coming or phoning in. The dates are:

Any questions? Please let us know!

Vacancy on the Executive Committee

The CUPE 3903 red-star logo

The CUPE 3903 red-star logo

Adam Proctor, Vice-President Unit 3, has resigned from his position due to circumstances out of his control.

Considering both the absence of the membership in the summer and the work backlog the VPs are facing, the Executive Committee decided to pro-tem a Unit 3 member to the VP Unit 3 position. The pro-temming will take place at the Wednesday July 22 Executive Committee Meeting. This is a temporary solution; in consultation with the Elections Officers, a by-election will be held at the end of the summer.

Article 14 V. (b) of the bylaws reads:

By a simple majority vote the executive may fill a vacancy on a pro tem basis with any member in good standing. Such vacancies must be posted in the union office at least two weeks prior to the executive meeting where the vacancy is to be filled. Executive positions filled on a pro tem basis must be advertised as open positions for the agenda of the next general membership meeting where nominations will be opened and elections held as per Section II. of the present article. Executive Committee members may only hold one (1) position on the Executive Committee.

To nominate yourself for this position, email cupe3903vpu1@gmail.com by July 22 at 9am.

Vacancy on the Accessibility Committee

The CUPE 3903 red-star logo

The CUPE 3903 red-star logo

The Accessibility Committee has a vacancy following the resignation of one of its members. The vacancy will be filled on a pro-tem basis until an election can be held at a GMM.

The Accessibility Committee 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. Four members are elected for a one-year term. Honorarium: $250 per year, per position.

To nominate yourself for the Accessibility Committee, please email leachni@gmail.com by July 24.

Grievance Officer By-Election Results

The CUPE 3903 red-star logo

The CUPE 3903 red-star logo

We are pleased to announce that Maria Wallis is the new 2015-2016 Grievance Officer.

The results of the 2015 Grievance Officer by-election are as follows:

  • Maria Wallis: 57 votes
  • Jeremiah Gaster: 28 votes
  • Jeffrey Zavala: 21 votes
    Total votes: 106

Please join us in thanking all candidates for their participation in the Grievance Officer by-election and in extending congratulations to our newly-elected executive member.