General Membership Meeting – September 21st (Noon-3pm)

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We are hosting a General Membership Meeting via Zoom on September 21st from 12:00pm to 3:00pm! 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.

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Medical/Disability Related Accommodations

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If you are at high risk of serious outcomes from COVID-19, immunocompromised, or live with someone who is at high risk or immunocompromised, you may be eligible for a work-from-home accommodation based on disability or family status. To increase the likelihood that your request will be granted, we strongly encourage members to contact the union for support before making a workplace accommodations request. You can find out more about disability-based workplace accommodations, family status-based workplace accommodations by contacting the CUPE 3903 Equity Officer, Nadia Kanani, at cupe3903equity@gmail.com.

While your medical/disability-based accommodation request is being processed we do not recommend that members go on campus. In the interim, the equity officer can help you arrange, when permitting, remote teaching or a leave of absence.

Unit 2 Job Stability Committee – Position Acclaimed

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The nomination period for the vacancy on the Unit 2 Job Stability Committee closed on Friday, September 17, 2021. Kevin Reynolds was acclaimed to the position. We congratulate and wish Kevin the best on this important committee, along with other members of this committee.

The first meeting between the Job Stability Committee and the Employer will take place on Wednesday, September 22nd from 5:30–7pm. Members are invited to attend this meeting. Zoom link (TBA)

Retroactive GIA Applied to Graduate Student Members

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In the bargaining round that concluded this summer, we negotiated a 1% across the board increase to all wages for 2020-2021. Since this increase is retroactive, members will begin to see it appear on paycheques and in student accounts. Retroactive Grant in Aid (GIA) was applied to student accounts of members who are also graduate students on or around September 15th. It should be labelled “Suppl. Grad Assistance (Grant-in-Aid).” If you see a GIA amount that is much lower than your regular monthly GIA, this is your retroactive amount. For example, if last year you held a 1.0 Tutor 1 (tutorial leader), the amount is approximately $40. The regular GIA amount should be posted on schedule with your September pay.

York University’s Senior Administrators Outsource Accommodation Requests to Third Party, OSI

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York University has outsourced our members’ accommodation requests to a third party, OSI, an unaccountable, privatized company. This malicious transaction implemented by York University’s senior administrators is yet another jaw-dropper.

If you have never heard of Organizing Solutions Incorporated (OSI), you would not be alone. Few had heard of them until they started denying, to our knowledge, every COVID-related family status accommodation by members of CUPE 3903.

Faculty and instructors seeking a COVID-related accommodation based on their family status are being directed to send requests to their manager/academic leader.

However, CUPE 3903 is not aware of a single request being granted. We strongly encourage all members not to talk to OSI without union representation present. 

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Employer’s Surveillance of 3903 Members – A Clear Violation of the Collective Agreement, and Illegal

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Several CUPE 3903 members have come forward to inform us that the Dean’s office of LA&PS has been sending unannounced representatives of the employer into classrooms, presumably to check if the classes are running in-person. These visits are being followed up with threatening emails sent to our members.

CUPE 3903 strongly condemns this practice of unannounced classroom visits by the employer’s representatives, which is a form of surveillance of members’ work, and illegal. Surely the employer has better uses for its resources during this busy time; this form of surveillance is a clear violation of the principle of academic freedom.

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York University’s Senior Administrators Exercise Chilling Effect on Social Science Motion Statement

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On September 9th, 2021, the Department of Social Science passed a motion affirming the right of course directors and teaching assistants to determine the format and mode of delivery of their courses.

Soon after the motion was passed, members within the Department of Social Science received threatening emails from the University administration warning of penalties and other disciplinary actions should members adhere to this new, democratically approved departmental policy. Through both the emails sent to members of the Department of Social Science and the memos sent to other departments and hiring units (in what will be a failed attempt to prevent similar motions), the University administration continues to pursue a chilling effect and dismantling of collegial governance at York University. The actions taken by the Department of Social Science should be applauded, as they display a clear desire to protect and defend the interests, health, and safety of their colleagues and students.

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Members’ Rights to Accommodation, Refusing Unsafe Working Conditions, and Protection Against Disciplinary Action

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This coming week, many CUPE 3903 members will face the difficult situation of having to return to in-person teaching without a clear, robust safety plan from the administration. As some YUFA members and departments explore their rights to refuse unsafe working conditions and to choose the mode of delivery of their courses, senior administrators have threatened disciplinary action against them and against 3903 members who do not comply. The situation has understandably created a lot of stress and confusion for our members.

CUPE 3903 seeks to re-assert and inform members about their rights to seek accommodations and to refuse unsafe working conditions, as well as the union’s duty to protect members who face disciplinary action.

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Press Release by CUPE 3903– Educators at York University Call to Protect Students and Workers with Remote Learning, Stronger Campus Protections

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The following press release was issued by CUPE 3903 on September 7, 2021:

Toronto, ON – September 7, 2021 – Over 350 professors, sessional instructors, teaching assistants, and administrative staff at York University have signed an open letter calling on President Rhonda Lenton to allow educators to opt for remote teaching – to protect their students and the broader campus community.

“York’s ‘safety plans’ fail to account for the heightened danger posed by the reality of the Delta variant,” emphasizes the open letter, which has been endorsed by the York University Faculty Association (YUFA).

Continue reading the full press release here.

Nominations Open for Various Committees – Deadline September 17th (5pm)

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Nominations are now open for the following committees:

  • Childcare Committee (4 positions)
  • Research Grants Fund and Travel Cost Fund Committee (Unit 2 only, 2 positions)
  • Ways and Means (4 positions)
The term of each of these committees begins on October 1, 2021 and runs until  September 30, 2022. All interested members should email VPU1 Chris Little at cupe3903vpu1@gmail.com by Friday, September 17th (5pm).

More information about these committees can be found here.

Radio-Canada Interviews Rank and File Member on York’s Fall Return Plan

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Listen to CUPE 3903 member Konstantin Kilibarda talk about the fourth wave, the Delta variant, and how York’s magical thinking about the pandemic is endangering the York University community by promoting #CovidOnCampus #UnsafeAtYork.
Interview in French

“Le virus ne répond pas à la logique qui balance la santé publique avec les intérêts du business et du profit” – écoutez  Konstantin Kilibarda, membre du SCFP 3903, qui aborde la quatrième vague, le variant Delta et comment l’Université York compromet la santé de la communauté à l’émission Dans la mosaïque.
Entrevue en français

 

Nominations Open – Extended Health Benefits Fund Committee – Deadline September 17th (5pm)

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Nominations are now open for a position on the Extended Health Benefits Fund committee. This position is for the remaining time of this committee’s term and will sit until March 31, 2022. The honorarium will be prorated accordingly.
If you would like to nominate yourself for this position, please email Chris Little, VP Unit 1, cupe3903vpu1@gmail.com by Friday September 17th (5pm).

OCUFA Alarmed by Last-Minute Fall Guidelines for Postsecondary Education That Ignore Science, Compromise Health and Safety

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CUPE 3903’s executive shares OCUFA’s (Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Association) concerns and position regarding the government’s unjustifiable exemption of postsecondary education settings from vital health and safety protections.

They state:
“With less than a week before the fall term begins, the inadequate guidelines introduced at the last minute by the Ontario government are deeply concerning, as they will increase the exposure risks to faculty, staff, and students…The government’s exemptions for capacity limits and distancing rules and the fact that it could not even pull together health guidelines until a few days before fall classes are set to begin, is of significant concern to academic staff at Ontario’s universities.”

Read OCUFA’s entire statement.

Nominations Open – Unit 2 Job Stability Committee – Deadline September 17th (5pm)

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Nominations are now open for one rank and file member position on the Unit 2 Job Stability committee. This committee meets with the employer as per the terms set out in the Letter of Understanding on Job Stability, agreed to in the last round of bargaining with the Employer.

To nominate yourself for this position, please email Chris Little, Vice-President Unit 1, cupe3903vpu1@gmail.com. This position is only open to members of unit 2. The deadline for nominations is Friday, September 17th at 5pm.

If there is more than one nominee, the position will go to a Unit 2-specific vote at the September General Membership Meeting, tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, September 21st.

Please Sign – Open Letter to President Rhonda Lenton Regarding York’s Fall Return Plan

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The following open letter has been drafted by rank-and-file members of CUPE 3903 in response to York University’s ill-prepared return-to-campus plan in fall 2021. This letter is a set of demands that York must provide the necessary accommodations for all faculty and staff who want to work remotely, as well as provide fail-safe working conditions for those who opt to teach on campus. Given the highly contagious delta variant and inadequate protection at York, our working conditions must be taken seriously by the current York administration, whose overriding interest so far has been their “bottom line.” The extreme allure of funding by attaining the largest possible student enrollment, including that of foreign students, whose ultra-high fees now make up 40% of all tuition fees at Canadian universities, has overtaken all reason. New research on COVID-19 infections is now increasingly being linked to the long-term effects on the brain. York administrators need to start thinking seriously and stop playing with our lives.

To add your name to this growing list of York faculty and staff, please fill out this form.

CUPE 3903 Executive’s Position on COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements and Safety

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Our union’s executive supports Covid-19 vaccine requirements for in-person/on campus activities at York at present as the most effective way of keeping our union’s members and the wider York community who are required to be on campus as safe as possible amidst the ongoing pandemic. Our support for this requirement relies on the appropriate health and human rights exemptions being in place for those who are unable to be vaccinated. We have made it clear to York that our support for a Covid-19 vaccine requirement does not mean that we support loss of work, disciplinary action or termination of employment for members who have not been vaccinated, and that these members should be given alternative options for fulfilling their employment contracts regardless of their reasons for not being vaccinated. We will vigorously defend the labour rights of any member facing any of these actions, regardless of vaccination status.

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Additional Date! Workplace Accommodations Information Sessions – September 7th (3–5pm) and September 15th (11am–1pm)

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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!

Due to high demand, CUPE 3903 is holding a third workplace accommodations information session on September 15th at 11am. Whether you are planning to request an accommodation 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
  • Work from home accommodations due to the pandemic
  • Leaves of absence you may be entitled to
  • How your union can support you in 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. Please note that captioning and ASL will be provided on request. For ASL and captioning, please contact our Equity Officer (cupe3903equity@gmail.com) with your request by September 1st, 2021.

The same info session will also be offered on September 7th at 3pm.

Health and safety info sessions – understand your right to safe work, 26 August and 17 September

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Join CUPE 3903 executive, staff and Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) members for an info session on your right to safe work. Each session will start with a presentation of your rights in the workplace, how to exercise them, and the role of the JHSC in workplace safety. It will be followed by a Q&A with the presenters.

Agenda:

  • Role of the JHSC
  • JHSC powers
  • Process for reporting to the JHSC
  • How refusing unsafe work functions
  • Your rights and responsibilities with work refusals
  • Q&A

Please register in advance for a session of your choosing:

Thursday 26 August, 2-3.30pm

Friday 17 September, 1-2.30pm

Email any questions or requests related to these sessions to Chris Little, VP Unit 1, cupe3903vpu1@gmail.com

CUPE 3903 Members Vote to Ratify Offers for 2020-21 Bargaining Round

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The membership has voted to ratify the offers for the 2020–21 bargaining round.

1375 members (44.2%) of CUPE 3903 participated in the ratification vote held between July 19–23, 2021.

Units 1, 2, and 3 have voted 79.4%, 83.8% and 55.6% respectively, to accept the latest offers.

As part of the agreements, CUPE 3903 will continue to work towards greater equity and job security in the upcoming months by actively engaging in further committee work to improve the working conditions of precariously employed academic workers. Moreover, in the immediate weeks ahead, the executive and rank and file members will continue to work towards a safe return campaign, of paramount concern to our membership and the 60,000 people who make up the York community.

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Expert Panel Discussion With Public Health Scientists on Fall Campus Return Plans – September 9th (7pm)

Poster_Townhall Invitation – Is it safe enough to return to campus

Members of CUPE 3903 and the wider York University community are invited to join an interactive panel discussion with leading health and safety experts in epidemiology, indoor air quality, bioaerosols, bioethics, population health equity, and more. Following brief presentations by the panelists, there will be an extended Q & A.

A coalition of Toronto university faculty associations and unions have endorsed a Checklist for a Safe Campus Reopening developed by experts at U of T’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, but are our university administrations listening to the experts? Are our university administrations doing enough to safeguard the health of our campus communities? Where are the strict classroom occupancy limits? How will campus vaccination and indoor masking policies be enforced, and who will enforce them? What are the trends in Ontario, and why does it look like a grim fall? We’ll examine these questions among others.

Please send your questions in advance when registering or to jordynpl@ocufa.on.ca. We will do our best to address them.

Please register in advance for this discussion here.

Continue reading for more information and the speakers’ list here.