Workplace Accommodations Information Session: June 8th, 2PM

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Did you know members of CUPE 3903 are entitled to workplace accommodations for illness, disability, family status, and other Ontario Human Rights Code grounds? The process can seem onerous, but we are here to help!

CUPE 3903 is holding workplace accommodations information sessions on June 8, 2022 at 2PM. Whether you are planning to request new accommodations, renewing your previous year accommodations, or you’re considering your options, this session is for you to learn more about what is available to you.

In this information session, we will discuss:

  • The workplace accommodations process
  • Documentation requirements for accommodation requests
  • How your union can support you through the process
  • Any other questions you might have!

You must register to attend this information session: register here. You will be sent a Zoom link to access the information session closer to the date of the event.

As part of your registration, please indicate any access needs you may have. Examples of access needs include but are not limited to ASL interpretation, live captioning, informational materials in alternate format. Please note Zoom automatic captions will be available. Live captioning and ASL will be provided on request. For ASL and captioning, please contact our Equity Officer (cupe3903equity@gmail.com) with your request by 4PM on Wednesday May 25, 2022.

Job Stability and Equity: What the Numbers Tell Us

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In the last post from the Job Stability Committee, we discussed how job stability is an equity issue. While this is true for all Unit 2 members, social location also plays a role in how members experience job stability – or lack thereof. Below, we discuss the challenges in assessing whether our workplace is equitable, given a lack of data.

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Unit 4 Ratification Voting Results

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Voting for the Unit 4 Ratification closed on Friday, May 6th at 5pm. The bargaining team had recommended an offer for ratification. There was a Special General Members’ Meeting on Zoom to discuss the offer on Monday, May 2 at 12pm. The ratification vote took place online via SimplyVoting  and began on Monday, May 2. The following are the results of that vote:

YES                 9 Votes (100.0 %)

NO                   0 Votes (0.0%)

Total Votes         10 Votes

Abstain               1 vote (10%)

Employer Refuses to Take Systemic Inequity Seriously as Deadline Nears in Job Stability Discussions

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On April 25th, 2022, the Employer presented the Job Stability Committee (JSC) with a proposal that, at best, was prepared with no consideration for equity goals or inequitable effects. This was despite the JSC identifying equity as the foremost pillar of job stability. The Employer’s reaction to well-founded critique of their proposal casts serious doubt on their stated commitment to both equity and concluding this process by the joint committee’s fast approaching deadline of June 30th.

As we listened to the Employer’s presentation, several Union members of the committee raised concerns about highly subjective language in the proposal, and its potential to create eligibility barriers for members who belong to employment equity groups. The Employer then very abruptly called for their team to go to a breakout room. We hoped that this move reflected a recognition that there were significant problems with the Employer’s proposal, and that they would be taking the document away to consider our comments. We learned, however, that the Employer was instead reacting to us naming the inequitable effects that might arise from their proposal. Rather than being upset about the significant problems with their proposal and potential or actual erosion of equity, they were upset by criticism of inequity.

In effect, the Employer was unwilling to listen to our comments on problematic language that appears in their proposal not once, but six times in a three-page document; these subjective terms of eligibility appear to be a cornerstone of their proposal. And although Union members had stated at the outset of the April 25 meeting that we wished to present an equity proposal-–and then after the move to breakout rooms we called to resume the meeting with our presentation—the Employer ended the meeting without returning to face us.

We are concerned that what we are seeing in the JSC is a pattern of the Employer stating a commitment to equity, but bringing little to the table to enact it. We are concerned about a pattern of the Employer shutting down discussion when inequity is named. Is there any substance to the Employer’s commitment to equity?

For the Union’s committee members, equity and job stability are inseparable. We refuse a conception of job stability that fails to address the massive inequities in our workplace. We urge the Employer to put their feelings aside and join us in this commitment.

We will begin the May 3 meeting of the JSC with a discussion of equity data and our proposals. We ask members to please stay tuned for news about that meeting, as well as for forthcoming posts about equity and job stability.

Unit 4 Bargaining Offer for Ratification!

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The Unit 4 bargaining team has recommended this offer for ratification. There will be a Special General Members’ Meeting on Zoom to discuss the offer on Monday, May 2 at 12pm. You can join the meeting here. The ratification vote will then take place online via SimplyVoting between Monday, May 2 and Friday, May 6

If you have any questions about the offer, the meeting, or the vote, please don’t hesitate to contact Peter Gorman, Chief Steward Unit 4: cupe3903csu4@gmail.com

You can read the full offer here. Below is a summary of what is included in the offer

1. Wages: 

  • 1% compensation increase for every year. This is the maximum allowed by the Ford government’s Bill 124. The offer also includes a wage reopener clause which would allow us to renegotiate compensation if Bill 124 is found unconstitutional.   

2. Conditions of Work

 

  • Flexible hours. Members may, with the approval of their supervisor, exceed 17 hours of work per week as long as they do not exceed 17 hours on average over the length of the contract. This entrenches in our collective agreement the substance of a memorandum of understanding reached with the employer in May 2021.
  • 14 days’ notice of appointment. Language has been strengthened to better ensure members receive proper advance notice of offers of appointment.
  • No loss of work due to emergency weather closures. In the event that a member’s shift is cancelled due to a university-mandated weather closure, it will be rescheduled so they experience no loss of work.
  • Letter of consideration around remote/hybrid work. Upon ratification, the employer will send a letter to the Chief Steward Unit 4 outlining the university’s commitment to consider the inclusion of employees in Unit 4 in its anticipated hybrid work policy, and in the interim to consider permitting remote work on an ad hoc basis.

3. Benefits

  • Access to the Research Grants Fund. This is a fund which disburses grants of up to $8,000 to encourage individual research and study, and defray research costs incurred by members. It is already available to Unit 2 members, and will now be made available to Unit 4 members as well.
  • Additional seniority for service on the CUPE 3903 executive or bargaining team. This brings Unit 4 into line with the other three units, allowing members who serve on the union executive or bargaining team to accrue one additional unit of Applicable Prior Experience (seniority). 

4. Equity

  • Employment Equity Committee. Previously absent from our collective agreement, this now reflects the language in the other three units’ agreements around the Employment Equity Committee, and requires the employer to provide Unit 4 equity data annually.

Additional incumbency for certain equity-seeking groups. In keeping with the Libraries’ current Affirmative Action Plan, an additional six months of incumbency is extended to Indigenous or disabled members.

CUPE 3903 Discontinues COVID Table Meetings

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Please read the following update on the upcoming COVID Table Meeting by Matt Lomas, Chief Steward (Unit 1) and Co-Chair, COVID table. For any further points of clarification, feel free to contact cupe3903csu1@gmail.com :

The CUPE 3903 Executive Committee has decided that we will not attend the final COVID Table meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, 26 April 2022. We made this difficult decision as the result of months of these meetings yielding no results, and out of disappointment that the employer has not been transparent with us regarding their COVID response plans. These meetings were agreed to in bargaining, yet we do not feel the employer ever took them seriously.

The purpose of these meetings was for the employer and the union to share information with regards to a shared goal: COVID safety on campus. And yet, we could not rely on the information we received during these COVID Table meetings. More than once, we were given information that was either incorrect or was later changed without our input. Most egregiously, it was at the COVID Table that the union was told that members impacted by the employer’s vaccine mandate would be put on unpaid leave; later, the employer went back on its word and terminated the contracts of some of these members, in an inconsistent and often arbitrary way. We were relying on the information we were given to formulate our position on the application of the vaccine mandate, and receiving incorrect information in this situation was a serious breach of the good faith that needs to exist between unions and employers. 

 At the most recent COVID Table meetings, York has consistently refused to take any concrete stance on what policies will or won’t continue into the Spring/Summer and Fall 2022 academic terms. Responsibility for decision-making has continuously been deferred to the municipal and provincial governments or to the Council of Ontario Universities. The York administration has consistently refused to take responsibility for the health and safety of the York community. Without York acknowledging and using their power to make sound policy decisions, it is impossible to properly discuss what steps need to be taken to keep people safe.

In addition to refusing to declare policy positions at these meetings, the employer’s representatives have consistently been unable to answer simple and direct questions. For example, over the last several months, CUPE 3903 has been trying to access ventilation data for Keele and Glendon campuses. At first, York said there was no ventilation data; later, they said they had not received proper paperwork from the union; then, they said we couldn’t have what ventilation information existed because we wouldn’t understand it. To this day, we have not received any concrete information about the state of ventilation on campus. The employer relied on the audit for which they have contracted an outside expert, failing to acknowledge that this audit is late, and the audit is required as a result of a grievance settlement with the York University Faculty Association (details of this settlement can be found here, in Article 19).

Due to York’s COVID measures, many CUPE 3903 members required workplace accommodations. However, the process to get these accommodations was overly difficult and many members’ accommodations were denied or decisions were not made in a timely manner. When we attempted to talk about COVID-19 related workplace accommodations, we were rebuffed at every turn. In order for these COVID Table meetings to achieve their intended purpose, they needed to rely on clear communication and good faith engagement. It has become clear to CUPE 3903 that if one side is coming to the table unwilling to provide full transparency, it is a waste of time and resources to engage in these meetings.

Right now, the COVID-19 pandemic is entering a new wave and shows no sign of abating. What the York community needs from the administration is a proactive stance that provides clear, useful information to all students, instructors, and staff. York’s pandemic response has been lacking throughout the entirety of the pandemic, and it is disappointing to see such a clear refusal to work with the union on what should have been a clear shared goal. We are informing you about our refusal to participate in the meeting on 26 April. This refusal to participate is not a withdrawal from our responsibility to help ensure safety on campus, but rather an expression of our dissatisfaction with the nature of the COVID table meetings thus far and because we feel our efforts would be better spent working directly on behalf of our members. 

 

Signed,

Matthew Lomas (Chief Steward Unit 1; COVID Table Co-Chair)

CUPE 3903 Executive Committee

Nomination Open on Various Committees

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Nominations have reopened on the following committees:

1. Advisory Committee on Race/Ethnic relations (2 vacancies)
2. Bargaining Research Preparatory Committee (1 vacancy)
3. Communications Committee (1 vacancy)
4. CUPE Toronto District Council (5 vacancies)
5. CSEU Committee (1 Vacancy)
6. Distribution Committee (6 vacancies)
7. Joint Health and Safety Committee Reps (12 vacancies)
8.  International Graduate Students’ Committee (2 vacancies)
9. Labour Management Committee, Units 1-3 (1 vacancy, unit 3 only)
10. Toronto York Region Labour Council Representatives (4 vacancies available)

Interested members should email Ali Gholami, VP Unit 1, cupe3903vpu1@gmail.com to nominate themselves or for more information.

Any committees with more nominees than positions open will be voted on at the upcoming General Membership Meeting (GMM). Otherwise, nominees will be acclaimed to their position.

Nominees will be notified if their candidacy will be voted on at the GMM and are then welcome to send a short written candidate statement (max. 150 words) for inclusion in the AGM package.

For further details on the work of each committee and honorarium payment attached to their work, please see here.

New Executive Committee at a Glance!

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The new Executive Committee members have assumed charge in their respective positions. The following is a list of the names and the corresponding positions. All Members are encouraged to write to the new Executive Committee to find ways to get involved in the local.

NAME TITLE EMAIL
Stephanie Latella Chairperson cupe3903chairperson@gmail.com
Kaitlin Peters Recording Secretary recsec.cupe3903@gmail.com
Nilloofar Golkar Secretary-Treasurer sectreasurer3903@gmail.com
Ali Gholami Vice-President Unit 1 cupe3903vpu1@gmail.com
Julie Allen Vice-President Unit 2 cupe3903vpu2@gmail.com
Kerry-Ann James Vice-President Unit 3 cupe3903vpu3@gmail.com
Matt Lomas Chief Steward Unit 1 cupe3903csu1@gmail.com
Chris Bailey Chief Steward Unit 2 cupe3903chiefstewardunit2@gmail.com
Vacant Chief Steward Unit 3 cupe3903csu3@gmail.com
Peter Gorman Chief Steward Unit 4 cupe3903csu4@gmail.com
Vedanth Govi Communications Officer cupe3903comms@gmail.com
Parbattie Ramsarran Grievance Officer cupe3903go@gmail.com
Kelsey Ioannoni TFAC Co-Chair tfac.cupe3903@gmail.com
Thania Vega TFAC Co-Chair tfac.cupe3903@gmail.com

Nomination Open on the Extended Health Benefits (EHB) Committee

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A Nomination has reopened on the Extended Health Benefits (EHB) committee. Interested members should email Ali Gholami, VP Unit 1, cupe3903vpu1@gmail.com to nominate themselves or for more information.

Any committees with more nominees than positions open will be voted on at the upcoming General Membership Meeting (GMM). Otherwise, nominees will be acclaimed to their position.

Nominees will be notified if their candidacy will be voted on at the GMM and are then welcome to send a short written candidate statement (max. 150 words) for inclusion in the AGM package.

For further details on the work of each committee and honorarium payment attached to their work, please see here.

2022 CUPE-Ontario Convention (April 27-29) – Call for Delegates and Resolutions

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CUPE 3903 is seeking rank and file delegates to represent our local at the upcoming CUPE Ontario Convention, which will be held virtually from April 27th to 29th. If you are interested, please email recess.cupe3903@gmail.com.

If you would like to submit resolutions, please email them to recsec.cupe3903@gmail.com by March 8th at 5pm. Resolutions should be no more than 200 words total.

General Membership Meeting – May 24th (1–4pm)

We are hosting a General Membership Meeting via Zoom on May 24th from 1:00pm to 4:00pm! All members are encouraged to attend.

Please register in advance for this meeting here.

In order to register, you will need to provide your employee number, which will be kept confidential. Your employee number is on your monthly pay stub. If you don’t know your employee number, please click here for instructions.

Keep reading for the tentative agenda, accessibility information and more. Continue reading

Nominations on Various Committees that Remain Open

Nomination that remain open on various committees are as follows:

1. Advisory Committee on Race/Ethnic relations (2 vacancies_
2. Communications Committee (1 Vacancy)
3. CUPE Toronto District Council (5 Vacancies)
4. CSEU Committee (1 Vacancy)
5. Distribution Committee (6 Vacancies)
6. Joint Health and Safety Committee Reps (11 Vacancies)
7. Labour Management Committee, Unit 4 (3 Vacancies, unit 4 only)
8. Research Grants Fund and Travel Costs Fund Committee (1 Vacancy)
9. Toronto York Region Labour Council Representatives (2 Vacancies)

The deadline to apply for this round of nominations is Friday, May 20.

Interested members should email Ali Gholami, VP Unit 1, cupe3903vpu1@gmail.com to nominate themselves or for more information.

Any committees with more nominees than positions open will be voted on at the upcoming General Membership Meeting (GMM). Otherwise, nominees will be acclaimed to their position.

Nominees will be notified if their candidacy will be voted on at the GMM and are then welcome to send a short written candidate statement (max. 150 words) for inclusion in the AGM package.

For further details on the work of each committee and honorarium payment attached to their work, please see here.

Nominations Open – Chief Steward Unit 3

As the position of Chief Steward Unit 3 (CSU3) was not filled during the exec election, it is now reopen and needs to be filled. All members of unit 3 in good standing are eligible to nominate themselves.

The link to the nomination form can be found at: https://form.jotform.com/cupe3903/election-nomination-form

If there is more than one member running, the nomination period will be followed by a two-week campaign period and a five-day election (via Simply Voting).