October GMM: Tentative Agenda

General Membership Meeting
Monday, October 24
Harry Crowe Room
109 Atkinson

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Tentative agenda:

  1. Roll call of officers (5 mins)
  2. Reading of the Equality Statement (3 mins)
  3. Reading of the Mississauga Land Acknowledgement (2 mins)
  4. Approval of Agenda (5 mins)
  5. Reading and Approval of minutes (15 mins)
  6. Notices (5 mins)
    1. Donation to Briarpatch labour magazine (Amount to be determined by the membership)
    2. Donation to Toronto350 for the Chippewas of the Thames ($2000)
  7. Treasurer’s Report
  8. Nominations, Elections or Installations
    1. Committee elections
    2. Conference delegate elections
  9. Unfinished Business
    1. Donation to Citizen film project ($1000)
    2. Donation to OPIRG at U of T Disorientation 2016
    3. Donation to Justice for Migrant Workers’ Long March
    4. Donation to Regenesis York affordable housing project ($500)
    5. Donation to 15 Years of War in Afghanistan ($500)
    6. Endorsement for 15 Years of War in Afghanistan
    7. Endorsement for Justice for Migrant Workers Long March
    8. Endorsement for The Real Food Real Jobs Coalition
  10. Matters Arising
    1. Donation to Regenesis York ($1000)
    2. Donation to “CHILE: SEPTEMBER 11TH, 1973– Black Bird Liberation Cinema Film Screenings”
    3. Donation to TAO ($1000)
    4. Donation to the Toronto screening of “Contract Faculty: Injustice in the University” ($300)
  11. New Business
  12. Reports of committees and delegates
    1. Stewards’ Council
    2. TFAC
  13. Executive Reports
  14. Good of the Union
  15. Adjournment

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.

Fellowship Strategy SGMM

A sign reads "labour rights = human rights"

A sign held at a sit-in at Kaneff Tower underlines the importance of labour rights.

In September, York rolled out its new ‘fellowship’ funding model. The roll-out of this model has been rife with problems, people being underpaid, funds being clawed-back, and a general lack of clarity and communication from York.

Worse still, this model has resulted in the loss of over 600 jobs. This is union-busting, and it requires political organizing. This involves decisions made by the membership as a whole. We will make these decisions together at this Special General Membership Meeting.

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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. Approving the agenda
  5. Approving minutes: April 2016 SGMM on the ITO settlement
  6. Fellowship model: what is it? Why do we care?
    1. Presentation
    2. Projects in the works
      1. Report from the executive committee
      2. Report from Stewards’ Council
  7. Q & A
  8. Strategizing
    1. Political organizing
    2. Legal strategy
  9. Brainstorming

As always, there will be tokens and food available for all attendees. Please be advised that there are funds available for childcare for members attending (S)GMMs.

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.

CSSP Eligibility List – Application Deadline November 1

Please consult the 2016-17 Continuing Sessional Status Programme (CSSP) eligibility list from the employer for the upcoming CSSP application round. CSSP blanket applications are due on November 1st, 2016.

As per the Unit 2 Collective Agreement (Art. 12 CSSP section, p. 33), the employer is required to provide us with this eligibility list on Oct. 1st, so that members have an opportunity to address any list anomalies.

If you think you should be included in the eligibility list, but your name is not listed, please contact Rob Lawson (rlawson@yorku.ca) in the Faculty Relations Office. The CSSP eligibility criteria are as follows: you need to have taught an average annual minimum of 2.0 over the past three years. That is, when you add up all of the teaching you have done in the past three years, your total needs to be at least 6.0, even if you have some years when you taught less than 2.0. As an example, if you taught 1.5, 1.5, and then 3.0, your average annual minimum would be 2.0 (total of 6 divided by 3 years = 2.0 average).

Very important notes:

1) Even if you were in the CSSP last year (2015-16), you still need to submit a blanket application on Nov. 1 to be considered for positions in the summer 2017 and fall/winter 2017-18 sessions.

2) In order to be eligible for the CSSP Guarantee or “payout,” in the event that you end up receiving less than your past 5 year average amount of work, you need to adhere to the following:

2a) Continue to apply to the same department(s) that you have in the past, even if you do not expect to get work in that department (maintaining your “historical application profile”). Make sure to keep good records of the application receipts you receive from departments.

2b) Be mindful of turning down work that is offered to you, as this might be used by the employer down the road to deny you a CSSP payout, if you ever find yourself in that situation. If you do turn down work (there could be any number of reasons for doing so), I would advise writing and keeping a short justification for possible future reference.

The employer has been stalling on our repeated requests for a Labour Management Committee (LMC) meeting, where we need to review all of the elements in 2) above.

Finally, there are 432 members on the 2016-17 CSSP eligibility list, which is an increase of 98 members (or about 29% from 334 CSSP members in 2015-16).

By-Election Results

Polls closed on Wednesday, October 5, at 5pm in the Grievance Officer and VP Unit 3 by-elections. The results are below. Congratulations to the winners and many thanks to all who ran for these positions.

The low number of Unit 3 votes (11% turnout) is a symptom of the employer’s attempt to eradicate that unit entirely. We need to fight back to save Unit 3. Be sure to attend the Fellowship Strategy SGMM on October 14.

By-Election Results

Grievance Officer

Total number of ballots: 151
Sarah Hornstein: 100
Brendan Bruce: 49
Spoiled: 2

Vice-President Unit 3

Total number of ballots: 8
Jeffrey Zavala: 6
Graham Reeder: 2
Tracey J. Mann: 0
Spoiled: 0

Total ineligible sequestered ballots: 4

By-Election Candidate Statements

The campaigning period for the Grievance Officer and Vice-President Unit 3 by-elections began on September 14. Balloting will begin on September 28 and continue until October 5.

There will be one polling station at Keele Campus and one at Glendon campus, open 9-5 in the following spots:

  • Keele Campus Polling Station: Vari Hall link (between Vari Hall and Central Square)
  • Glendon Campus Polling Station: Outside the Cafeteria (across from York Hall, Room 170)

The available statements for the candidates are below.

Grievance Officer Candidates

Brendan Bruce

A picture of Grievance Officer candidate Brendan Bruce

I am running for Grievance Officer because I believe that our local has to be better prepared for next year’s contract negotiations, and to utilize both the legal and direct action methods to help solve grievances.

We need to be prepared for bargaining our new CA in 2017, and last round we did not do enough research. I hope to prepare research on, but not limited to, language on tuition indexation, the Continuing Sessional Standing Program, our transit costs, and the equity hiring language. As an everyday member, I prepared the childcare research for the last round of bargaining, which our fund is based on. Also, in the last two summers, I have help prepare the legal research around the tuition indexation case, and the fellowships model: this has included finding our new legal council, preparing all the documents for the lawyers, and preparing reports to the Executive about the legal opinions we received.

This is my fourth year in 3903, and, in that time, I have been active as a departmental steward in Political Science. As a departmental steward, I have prepared both legal grievances and direct action grievances in our local. For example, in my department the 3903 offices had not been cleaned for years (mold, and other health & safety concerns) and when we asked our department to clean it, nothing ever happened. We collectively wrote up the (legal) grievance, passed around a petition, and then we marched together to give these demands to Faculty Relations. The employer cleaned our offices that weekend! By utilizing the strengthens of our membership together with the legal route, we can win more grievances and help set the terrain for next year’s contract negotiations.

So please vote in the upcoming elections: but even more than that, please get involved. Thank you.

Sarah Hornstein

A picture of Grievance Officer candidate Sarah Hornstein

I have been the pro-tem Grievance Officer since July, 2016, and I am asking for your support to continue in this role. I have 12 years of active experience in the local, including serving as a member of the Bylaws Committee, Unit 1 departmental steward (Sociology), Recording Secretary/Research Officer, and Chief Steward Unit 2.

I am passionate about the enforcement/protection and improvement of our Collective Agreements. Two of my terms on the Executive were bargaining years, so I bring a strong knowledge of our strengths and capacities as a union to the position. As Chief Steward Unit 2, I helped reestablish the Grievance Committee and worked closely with this committee to assess grievances. Since July, I have been using my experience and knowledge, as well as my good working relationship with the Staff and the Grievance Committee, to resolve grievances and fight for members. I also know our Employer. I have sat across the table from them in 3 bargaining rounds, in mediation and grievance meetings and, as a Contract Faculty member, I have faced them concerning my own hiring grievances.

I am a resource for members regarding the Collective Agreements and grievance procedures, and I enjoy working closely with the Collective Agreements. I also enjoy working with members to solve problems and improve our working conditions/experience.

As pro-tem Grievance Officer, I have been working to resolve grievances concerning hiring, postings, access to benefits, and GA work. I have also been compiling issues that we need to address in the upcoming bargaining round. I hope to use my position to inform members about our rights and to work with Stewards Council and use grievances to fight the racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism prevalent at York. Our workplace should be one where we are all treated with respect and where our Collective Agreements are upheld. As Grievance Officer I will work hard to ensure this.

Thank you for your consideration.

Vice-President Unit 3

Tracey J. Mann

Tracey Jastinder Mann is part-time student at York in the MSW program specializing in mental health and addictions. As a community organizer she has focused on wide variety of issues including migrant justice, indigenous sovereignty, environmental justice, transformative justice, prison abolition and anti-violence movements.

Graham Reeder

A picture of VP Unit 3 candidate Graham Reeder

My name is Graham Reeder and I am running for the VP of Unit 3 to bring new energy to this position in light of the crushing setback Unit 3 is facing with the new funding model, in which outreach and solidarity will be vital.

I am in my final year as an MES student at the faculty of Environmental Studies. While new to CUPE 3903 involvement, I have been organizing on climate justice and democracy issues for nearly a decade. I have been involved in organizing major local, national, and international campaigns including the cross-Canada mobilizations against Harper’s C-51 anti-terrorism bill and the 2015 march for jobs, justice, and the climate.

As VP of Unit 3, I hope to work on broadening and deepening our relationships with progressive and radical affinity groups on campus, in the city, and across the country. I believe that unions are at their strongest when they have built long-lasting relationships of solidarity both within and outside of their memberships, and that others will show up for us if we show up for them.

Unit 3 suffered a major setback with the rollout of the new graduate funding model. As VP I will work with rank and file union members as well as those who have been excluded from the union to ensure that the hard-earned gains made from the 2015 strike are not swept away by union-busting.

Jeffrey Zavala

A picture of VP Unit 3 candidate Jeffrey Zavala

My name is Jeffrey Zavala and I am running for the VP of Unit 3 to fight for all members against current austerity measures our employer has taken after the last strike. I am in my final term of my masters program in environmental studies and have the time and commitment to campaign to get jobs and benefits such as our annual printing credit back for all existing and future graduate students

As an active member from 2013 I have sat on various committees such as the Labour Management Committee for Unit 3, accessibility committee, distribution committee and have attended most monthly meetings and CUPE national and provincial conferences. Currently I am a posting officer and have also been an election officer in the past which is the experience that is needed to fill this important executive position.

I have been working with various groups on and off campus since 2003 as an undergraduate and graduate student. What is needed most is accountability transparency and equality for all our members and my focus on social justice is why I feel I am best served to serve all members in our union space.

The new funding model has proven that the university does not respect its employees and plans to exploit all students by pitting students against each other by focusing on free labour through non-paid internships and non-unionized labour such as work study positions. What is needed now more than ever is someone with experience and organizing skills to fight against the employers union busting tactics. I promise to bring accountability, transparency, equality and social justice as an executive member through my fight against the employers austerity measures.

Fairness for Contract Faculty

Andrea Calver, Engagement and Campaigns Coordinator and OCUFA associates, at Queen's Park Rally.

Andrea Calver, Engagement and Campaigns Coordinator and OCUFA associates, at Queen’s Park Rally.
Credit: Bob Hanke

An important Rally for Decent Work took place October 1 at Queen’s Park in Toronto.

This rally drew attention to the need for more fairness for contract faculty and to support all workers pushing  back against the trend towards precarious jobs.

The small contingent of York faculty in attendance underscored the need for a Joint CUPE-YUFA Task Force on Precarious Academic Labour at York.

The Ontario Federation of Labour is also promoting a lobby day on October 5. The OFL is looking for a strong delegation representing equity seeking groups. Please RSVP to Judy Chow at jchow@ofl.ca, with a CC to lobby co-ordinator Lucas Costello lcostello@ofl.ca as soon as possible. Participants will arrive the day before on October 4 for a 2:30 p.m. training session and social afterwards, with a full day of lobbying on October 5.

Other pictures from the 3903 presence at Saturday’s rally:

Update on Employment Equity Work

This is a membership update from the union-side of the CUPE 3903/York Employment Equity Committee (EEC). While the pace of implementing some of the new EE-specific language won in the strike for the 2014/17 collective agreements (CA) has been a bit slow, as has negotiating a second EE plan, we wanted to give a report on where we are at in our efforts. Here are some highlights:

>> Self-ID forms are coming out again soon by email. But don’t wait until then – fill out Self-ID form and send it to boodram@yorku.ca (Annette Boodram is the York U EE Officer). Even if you choose not to Self-ID, it is really important to be able to count it as sent.

>> Consultations with members on the addition of LGBTQ self-ID categories led to an improved form for York employees as a whole.

There are a host of technical issues that have a sloth-like resolution pace for getting this data entered and counted. We seem to be seeing them resolved.

>> Our negotiations with the Employer on the “plan for the inclusion” (in article 5.03.1) of LGBTQ-identified members as EE groups in the CA and EE Plan, are being done in tandem with those of “the application of intersectionality data” (new to 5.03 in 14/17).

For example, we are on the cusp of having the first Self-ID Data report with the original 4 EE groups plus the LGBTQ ones as well. This report will not only give us our first picture of LGBTQ inclusion in our bargaining units; it will also enhance existing intersectionality data.

To give you a sense of the importance of this, in the 2014/15 year there was a 67% return rate of Self-ID forms for U2 (highest ever – please keep it up!). A snapshot of that data shows:

— 49% women
— 19% racialized people
— 8% racialized women

This quantitative data helps us make equity changes, in the Plan and in bargaining. EE plans are supposed to substantively address under-representation. So, we continue to push for incorporating the available GTA comparison data in the reporting as well.

We also brought forward to the Employer the YUFA gains in the last round of bargaining, which incorporate some intersectional orientation to hiring. We have asked them how they see such considerations applying to 3903 in the future (as per what 3903 tabled in bargaining for the 14/17 round but was not agreed to). We await a response!

>> Disability Accommodation processes and timelines are an ongoing issue. We think we’re in the final stages of York developing a clear who-must-do-what flow chart.

As usual, it will take bargaining to make any more meaningful gains in EE initiatives. We are laying some good groundwork to help with that.

Any questions, let us know. Drop by the office or drop the Equity Officer, Sheila Wilmot, an email at cupe3903.equity.officer@gmail.com.

Donations Policy and Ways & Means Committee Vacancies

Nominations are open to fill two very important committees: the ad hoc committee to review donations policy, and the Ways and Means Committee. Details for both committees are below. To nominate yourself, please email cupe3903vpu1@gmail.com by 5pm on October 23. Positions will be filled at the October 24 General Membership Meeting.

Ways and Means Committee

This committee meets as often as is required to assess applications to the Ways and Means Fund and to disburse funds. Three members are elected for a one-year term.

Honorarium: $1000 per member per year.

Ad hoc committee to review the donations policy

At the April GMM, the membership voted to strike an ad hoc committee to review the CUPE 3903 Donations Policy. We need three members to review these policies and produce recommendations to the membership.

Fellowship SGMM Doodle Poll

The members of CUPE 3903 need to have a say in how we will collectively tackle York’s new funding model. In order to try to accommodate as many members as possible, we encourage all members to fill out this Doodle poll.

Please be advised that members can access funds for childcare during GMMs and SGMMs. We also provide food and tokens.

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.