Vacancies Open Up on the Childcare, Ways and Means and RGFTC Committees

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

  1. Childcare committee (4 positions),
  2. Way&Means (3 positions),
  3. U2 Research Grants Fund & Travel Costs Fund (2 positions, Unit 2 only)

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.

 

TFAC August Meeting (August 29th) + Nominate yourself for SASSF (1 vacancy)

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Come join us for this month’s meeting to mark our return to monthly TFAC meetings and the beginning of the Fall semester. Click here to join the meeting! The agenda will be sent out closer to the meeting. At this month’s meeting, we will discuss plans for TFAC for the Fall semester, potential workshops for upcoming meetings, ways to get involved with new student orientations on behalf of TFAC, and (if needed) elect a member to fill the SASSF vacancy.
SASSF Vacancy: 
As a member of the SASSF committee has stepped down, we are also looking to fill that vacancy! Please nominate yourself via email before the August 29th meeting if you are interested. If more than one member is interested, we will vote to fill the vacancy at the meeting.
Interested in hosting a workshop? Are you a TFAC member who has a professional skill or hobby that you want to host a workshop on? If so, please reach out to the TFAC co-chairs at tfac.cupe3903@gmail.com.We have previously had workshops on minute taking, chairing meetings, and introduction to CUPE 3903, and stretching to help with work from home pains! There is an honoraria provided by TFAC for workshop facilitators.
Did you know? If you are the minute taker for a TFAC meeting, you will receive a $50 honorarium. Follow TFAC on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/tfaccupe3903/

Conversion Careers Advisor Nominations

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CUPE 3903 members need to nominate a Faculty Tenure Stream Faculty member to the position of a Conversion and Careers advisor. The Conversion and Careers Advisor will need to be a tenured professor with a sympathetic approach and excellent understanding of the hiring, conversion and tenure process. The overall purpose of the Career Advisor will be to assist in career planning and Professional Development for CUPE 3903 Unit 2 members who request assistance by helping them to prepare for a tenure – stream search at York University and other Universities and to provide advice about other career opportunities The position will be for 1 year and will normally carry with it a one course release.
For nominations or further information please contact Raj Virk rvirk66@gmail.com .
Nominations close on Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Laurentian demands accountability and transparency to rebuild !

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As a new academic year approaches, the Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA), Laurentian University Staff Union (LUSU), and Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) are demanding accountability and transparency from the Laurentian Senior administration and the Government of Ontario. Faculty, staff, and students at Laurentian University have experienced a terrible eighteen months of court-ordered restructuring caused by the mismanagement of successive Laurentian administrations and a provincial government that was absent during their time of crisis. OCUFA and LUFA have launched a new letter-writing campaign to support a transparent and accountable Laurentian University. Their full press release can be found here. All CUPE 3903 members are requested to support amplifying their campaign by sharing the link through your email lists and social media accounts and are encouraged to sign the letter.

Statement of Solidarity with CUPE 3906

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The CUPE 3903 Executive Committee stands in solidarity with sessional faculty at McMaster University. Sessional faculty are currently facing a strike or lockout situation due to the intransigence of the University, which is refusing to entertain proposals that would improve the wages and working conditions of these highly precarious workers.

As a result, bargaining has stalled and contract faculty are faced with the real possibility of being locked out or forced into a strike position unless they accept the University’s shameful wage increase of a mere 1%, even as inflation skyrockets past 7%, and no improvements to job security.

Contract instructors teaching students in the faculties of Music, Social Sciences, Humanities, Science, Engineering, and Business play a vital role in providing high-quality, well-supported, and well-rounded education to the university’s students. Yet these same instructors work in jobs that are precarious and underpaid. Many are even forced to reapply for their jobs every four months, even if they’ve worked for McMaster for years. 

It’s a situation that affects students as well as workers: students don’t get the education they deserve when there’s high turnover among instructors or when sessional jobs go unfilled because wages and job security are so low.

These are the sort of issues that should be front and centre in contract negotiations. McMaster has historically failed to meaningfully engage on issues of  job security, retirement security, training, and fair wages for sessional faculty. Refusing to address these issues now could mean disruption to the academic year later.

A fair deal for sessional faculty is what’s needed. Sessional instructors have our support for a collective agreement that recognizes the needs of both sessional faculty and students.

Job Stability Committee Extension and Next Steps on a Mentorship Program

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The Job Stability Joint Committee has agreed to an extension of the June 30th deadline into September in the hopes of arriving at a program that we could recommend. We are planning to use this time to push for the integration of the feedback from the Job Stability Townhall and to get the ball rolling on a mentorship program.


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Statement of Solidarity with the York University Staff Association

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We are writing this statement to express our solidarity and support with staff represented by
the York University Staff Association (YUSA) who are currently engaged in collective bargaining
with York University.

During this round of bargaining the university has demanded numerous concessions from the
staff. These concessions include but are not limited to: reducing the amount of vacation staff
can accrue and removing the requirement for managers to give consideration of staff members’ preference in the selection of vacation days they wish to take; allowing unlimited numbers of non-unionized interns to perform work currently done by unionized YUSA staff; dismantling their prized Joint Job Evaluation system which gives staff the power, jointly with management, to maintain and administer the system which evaluates jobs to ensure that staff are paid fairly for the work they perform, and replacing this with a system that is unilaterally managed by the university; eroding job posting rights in numerous ways including by allowing external applicants to apply for YUSA jobs before current YUSA members are even considered; doubling the probationary period for new employees, and many others.

The university is also refusing to engage with YUSA’s proposals regarding fair opportunities for
remote work, protecting the psychological health and safety of workers, and training for health
and safety worker representatives. These actions stand in stark contrast to the University’s
stated commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

These concessions are especially galling given the large budget surplus that the university is
currently enjoying, and the fact that due to Bill 124, staff are limited to a 1% pay increase which is far below the current rate of inflation. We condemn this concessionary approach, and we call on the university to treat staff with the respect they deserve, to take these punitive concessions off the table, and to give staff a fair contract.

We are thankful for the hard work and dedication YUSA staff have always shown to keep the
university running, and the flexibility and tenacity they have demonstrated throughout the
pandemic. We are deeply disappointed at the concessionary approach the university is taking
with this group of staff who are integral to the functioning and success of the university, and we call on the administration to treat these staff, and all workers at the university, with compassion and respect.

YUSA staff have faithfully supported the students, faculty, and teaching assistants at the
university for over 45 years and we call on the university now to support them and deliver a fair contract that is free from concessions.

TFAC Financial Assistance Fund Application is Now Live!

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The TFAC logo of a black cat hissing. The application for the TFAC Financial Assistance Fund is now live! TFAC members are encouraged to apply!

The purpose of the TFAC Financial Assistance Fund is to provide TFAC members with up to $200 per budgetary year in financial assistance. We renewed this pilot project for another round as the pandemic continues to be disruptive. The deadline to apply to this fund is September 31st, 2022 and the fund will be adjudicated shortly there after.

TFAC members can find more information and the application form here: TFAC Financial Assistance Fund.

Union Proposal for Job Stability Program

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According to the “Job Stability Program” Letter of Agreement signed in July 2021 as part of the new U2 Collective Agreement, a joint committee was established to draft a new program to replace the Long Service Teaching Appointment program and the Continuing Sessional Standing Program. The committee’s work also includes reviewing “voluntary severance programs”. In our joint meetings with the Employer, chaired by mediator Chris Albertyn, equity was identified by all as a central pillar or principle of job stability.

On June 9, the CUPE 3903 members of the Job Stability Joint Committee presented the Employer with a detailed proposal for what’s provisionally being called “The Program”. You can see the document as it was presented to the employer here: CUPE 3903 Job Stability Program Outline June 9.

The 3903 proposal you have here is the result of many discussions and drafts with Union staff and executive about longstanding needs and issues within U2 with regards to equity and job stability. This 3903 proposal is also informed by information gathered from the survey completed by rank and file members. We will be discussing this proposal in detail at today’s town hall at 1:00pm (please pre-register here), and we welcome your feedback—because this is still very much a work in progress.

Addressing Precarity and Systemic Inequities: Survey Says — Job Stability

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As the June 30 deadline for the Job Stability Joint Committee (JSJC) approaches, the committee is moving from the discussion of concepts to the specific provisions that could be used to address job stability at York University for Unit 2 members

As part of this process, the union-side of the joint committee has reviewed the answers to the May 2022 Job Stability Survey, as well as recurring themes in bargaining, to identify some key problems and some possible solutions. The committee thanks every member who filled out the survey; your answers helped shape how we understand what needs to be done.

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Vacancies on Various Committees

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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.

1. Advisory Committee on Race/Ethnic relations (1 vacancy)
2. CUPE Toronto District Council (4 vacancies)
3. CSEU Committee (1 vacancy)
4. Distribution Committee (6 vacancies)
5. Joint Health and Safety Committee Reps (8 vacancies)
6. Labour Management Committee, Unit 4 (3 vacancies)
7. Research Grants Fund and Travel Costs Fund Committee (1 vacancy)

Conversion Exercise Announcement

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CUPE 3903 would like to warmly congratulate these members for their success in the 2021-2022 conversions exercise!

A. Professorial Stream:

  1. Hector, Syreeta, Dance, AMPD

B. Teaching Stream:

  1. Juric, Tanya, Social Science, LA&PS
  2. Monaldi, Daniela, STS/NATS, Science
  3. Steele, Carolyn, Humanities, LA&PS

C. LSTA

  1. Linda Carozza,
  2. Kate Kaul
  3. Chantal Abouchar
  4. Carmela Shehadi-Mishaiel

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.