Available Vacancies on Sub-Committees

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  1. CUPE Toronto District Council (1)
  2. CSEU Committee (New in 2021) (1)
  3. Distribution Committee (3)
  4. Joint Health and Safety Committee Reps (3)
  5. Labour Management Committee, Unit 4 (3)
  6. Nursing Specific Posting Officer (1)
  7. Research Grants Fund and Travel Costs Fund Committee, unit 2 (1)
  8. Affordable Housing Committee (2)

The number within the bracket indicates the total number of vacant positions. Please contact the VP, Unit 1, cupe3903vpu1@gmail.com for any following queries or as an expression of interest in filling out the positions.

Announcement About the CSSP Application Re-Opening

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Please note that the Continuing Sessional Standing Program (CSSP) application window has reopened. Eligible members should have received notice by November 15, 2022 and will be able to submit applications through the online portal until December 15th, 2022. Members who submitted an application during the usual application period in October do not need to re-submit their application.

Nominations Open for Contract Representatives on LA&PS Faculty Council

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ATTENTION Contract Faculty Members of LAPS

LA&PS Faculty Council has announced the nomination period for the 2022-2023 year. Nominations are now open for:

  • Twenty-Two (22) vacancies for Contract Representatives on LA&PS Faculty Council

These are voting positions on LA&PS Faculty Council.  All vacancies are for a year, with all terms ending on June 30, 2023.

The nomination form and committee mandates can be found on our Faculty Council website or by following this link: https://laps.apps01.yorku.ca/machform/view.php?id=1457240

Please be sure to fill out 1 unique form per nominee.  

Timeline:

  • December 8, 2022: Nominations Close at Faculty Council
  • December 12, 2022: Elections Open
  • December 19, 2022: Elections Close
  • January 12, 2022: Results Announced at Faculty Council

If you have any questions, please cupe3903vpu2@gmail.com

Trans Day of Remembrance Workshops

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The Trans Feminist Action Caucus (TFAC) at CUPE 3903 is presenting three workshops for Trans Day of Remembrance.
 
1) Overcoming Anxiety: Stress, Sleep, and the Gut! with Dr Rehan Lakhani, ND
Monday, November 21st at 5:30 pm 
 
In this workshop, you will learn about the relationship between chronic stress, your digestive system, and accessible treatments. 
 
All are welcome, but we ask that everyone registers in advance at: bit.ly/tfac-nov21
 
About the presenter: Dr Rehan Lakhani (he/him) is a Naturopathic Doctor, and Clinic Director of Georgian Bay Integrative Medicine located in Collingwood, ON. He is dedicated to providing evidence-based and preventative naturopathic treatments to communities. Check out his website at georgianbayintegrativemedicine.com
 
2) Trans ID Assistance with Dana Teagle 
Thursday, November 24th at 11:00 am 
 
In this workshop, you will learn how to start and navigate the process of changing your name and gender marker in Ontario. 
 
All are welcome, but we ask that everyone registers in advance at: bit.ly/tfac-nov24
 
About the presenter: Dana Teagle (she/they) is a non-binary trans woman, developer and maintainer of the Trans I.D Guide app for individuals going through the process of changing their name and/or gender marker with governmental bodies in Canada. Check out their website at trans-id.app
 
3) DIY Bike Tune-up with Alie Hermanutz 
Monday, November 28th at 7:00 pm 
 
In this workshop, you will learn a basic tune-up that will improve the rideability, life, and safety of your bike without the need for a lot of tools. 
 
All are welcome, but we ask that everyone registers and consults the list of suggested tools in advance at: bit.ly/tfac-nov28 
 
About the presenter: Alie Hermanutz (they/them) is a non-binary PhD candidate at York U, handyperson extraordinaire, and bike mechanic.

General Membership Meeting – November 22nd (1–4pm)

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We are hosting a General Membership Meeting via Zoom on November 22nd 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

Membership Directs Executive to Hold Solidarity Strike Vote if OSBCU Workers Legislated Back to Work

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At the November 11th, 2022 Emergency SGMM, membership voted in favour of the following motion:

WHEREAS the Ford government introduced Bill 28, using the notwithstanding clause to pre-empt a legal strike from OSBCU workers and enforce a collective agreement on those workers, and

WHEREAS the CUPE 3903 executive moved to call for a solidarity strike action with OSBCU workers starting 14 November, with the support of CUPE National and other Ontario unions, and

WHEREAS OSBCU and CUPE have agreed to return to work starting November 7th following the Ford government’s promise to rescind Bill 28, but that bill has not yet been rescinded, leaving it possible that OSBCU may end up on strike again.

WHEREAS, in that case, OSBCU may end up being legislated back to work.

WHEREAS CUPE 3903 has been the victim of back-to-work legislation several times in the past.

WHEREAS back-to-work legislation is, like Bill 28, a violation of workers’ right to strike and a serious impediment to building working-class power in Ontario and Canada.

WHEREAS resisting back-to-work legislation would necessarily entail solidarity in order to be successful.

BIRT if OSBCU indicates a willingness to defy back-to-work legislation, the CUPE 3903 membership directs the executive committee to conduct a strike vote notwithstanding the requirement to hold two GMMs to initiate a strike vote as outlined in Article 20 of the bylaws  CUPE 3903 will engage in a solidarity strike until OSBCU returns to work.

BIFRT such a strike vote would be open to all members for 48 hours through Simply Voting.

BIFRT CUPE 3903’s solidarity strike will be conditional on the following:

  • That at least some other unions of comparable or greater size to CUPE 3903 also pass a similar motion to solidarity strike
  • That CUPE Ontario and CUPE National commit to providing strike pay for members who participate, and to cover any legal fines these members may incur.

BIFRT CUPE 3903 call on CUPE National and Ontario to treat this as a strike with all the material support and legal defence a strike entails

BIFRT CUPE 3903 encourage CUPE National, CUPE O, and OSBCU to broaden the strike demands to include the repeal of Bill 124 and the permanent removal of the government’s ability to use back-to-work legislation on striking workers.

BIFRT CUPE 3903 call on its sister locals to pass a similar motion.

Transitional Continuing Appointment (TCA) Extended Deadline

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The deadline for the Transitional Continuing Appointment (TCA) application has been extended to November 15th. However, the employer closed the online TCA application on November 1st.

You can still apply to the TCA. You must use this PDF form and submit it to your hiring unit: Blanket Application for TCA Applications.

Please note that the form directs you to call the union office if you have any questions. As the union office is currently not operational, please not not call. Rather, you should email cupe3903staffrep@gmail.com.

Job Stability Committee Sees Some Positive Movement; Still Some More Work to Do

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Although the job stability program is not finalized, a lot of positive movement was made over the weekend of October 22 and 23. We believe it may yet be possible to achieve an agreement that significantly stabilizes work for Unit 2 while addressing inequity in meaningful ways.

The JSJC met during two full days this past weekend to finalize a job stability program that could be recommended to the membership. While we were not able to arrive at a finalized agreement, we believe that a lot of positive movement was made. The weekend was structured primarily as a working through of the details of a proposal drafted by mediator Christopher Albertyn. The following were the main discussion points:

  • We are moving towards the development of a job security program that would grant eligible members appointments of 2 or 3 FCEs per year over a period of five years, plus a set number of renewals. The goal is to give more members longer periods of predictable work than we have had with existing job security programs.
  • Details of eligibility are still under discussion, as is the process of how eligible members enter the program.
  • Close to being finalized is a stream of the program tailored to members who are low seniority and who are either racialized or belong to two or more employment equity groups.
  • Albertyn’s draft would also create a designated and permanent joint committee to receive and review data about the program, and make revisions to its functioning.

The following points remain in contention:

  • How APE should factor into the appointment process
  • The number of guaranteed FCEs per year for each of 5 years
  • Eligibility details (including whether type 2 FCEs would be counted towards eligibility)
  • How to measure and how to achieve equity
  • Professional development supports, including access to a study leave
  • End-of-career or retirement supports
  • The powers of the joint committee

While we had been counting on finishing the process this weekend, we feel we are so close to a deal and that the outstanding issues are so important that it is worthwhile to continue negotiations. We will continue exchanging language over the next couple of weeks, and there may be one final meeting in the next few weeks to finalize it. Because there are still a number of elements in flux, we are postponing the previously announced October 28 Unit 2 Town Hall.

We are planning for a complete ratification process, as we would conduct in bargaining – the membership will be able to vote for or against the final proposal.

Look out for more information about forthcoming Town Halls where you can learn more about the details of the program.

NEW Contract Faculty Handbook for Unit 2 Members!

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All Unit 2 members are encouraged to download their own copy of the new Contract Faculty Handbook (PDF)!

We have prepared what you need to know about your rights, hiring, benefits, retirement, and more in one accessible document. Please share this Handbook with your colleagues and help everyone get up to speed on their rights as a Unit 2 member!

We take accessibility seriously: if you come across any problems with the accessibility features of the document (links, screen reader compatibility, etc.) please let us know at cupe3903asr@gmail.com so that we can fix any issues.

With 3 Days Until Job Stability Weekend, Equity Still a Major Concern

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As we look forward to the upcoming weekend negotiations of the Job Stability Joint Committee, it is the perfect time to revisit why addressing precarity is a sizable concern for equity and fairness.

Universities relying on large amounts of precarious labour to meet their employment needs is not new. Nonetheless, there has been a growing awareness of the human impacts of these choices. One of many examples of ongoing discussions about precarity is this Academic Aunties podcast, hosted by a York University faculty member. The episode, “Say No to Precarious Employment,” discusses the very real human costs of university administrators refusing to recognize the value of the labour of precariously employed academic staff. As they say in the podcast, we need to recognize that this is a labour issue. Precarity and inequity are the result of decisions taken by university administrations to create budgets that entrench the need for so-called “flexibility” over dignity, fairness, and equity.

Continue reading

Statement of Solidarity with Zhina (Mahsa) Amini

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Zhina (Mahsa) Amini (a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman) was murdered on Friday, September 16, after being arrested and beaten into a coma, by the Islamic Republic in Iran’s, so-called “Morality Police”, officers responsible for enforcing the country’s hijab and dress code mandate.

Amini was forcefully arrested last Tuesday evening for allegedly breaking hijab rules by not covering her hair “properly”, during a family visit in Tehran. A few hours later, she was transferred to the hospital with severe bruising, head trauma, and concussion symptoms. The police of Islamic regime in Iran have denied that she was beaten, but her family said “…officers beat her in the police van after her arrest…”, and that her “…face was swollen and her legs were bruised” when they saw her in the hospital. Amini was in a coma for three days before passing away on Friday. Her body was moved from the hospital for more “investigation” on the cause of death, without her family’s consent, and it was later announced that Amini died due to a previous health failure. However, her family and Iranian people disagree because of violence evidence on Amini’s body and no transparent investigation report.

Amini was not the first woman to be murdered by the Islamic Regime in Iran for not complying with the state’s radical law requiring women to cover their hair and body. Iranian authorities have a long history of violently and inhumanely enforcing compulsory veiling laws. In 2005, the government established a special police force commonly termed the “Morality Police”, which has continuously harassed, intimidated, and assaulted women who do not comply with the dress code mandate. Many have been arrested, mentally and physically battered, and murdered for challenging the theocratic regime’s hijab rules.

The Iranian Women’s Rights Movement has a long history of fighting for primary rights and freedom for women and queer people. The movement launched the Change for Equality: One Million Signatures for the Repeal of Discriminatory Laws campaign in 2006 with the goal of achieving equal rights for Iranian women by reforming theocratic laws that discriminate against them. In response to the news of Amini’s murder by the police, Iranian activists and women’s rights advocates have since launched protests in over 13 cities, where many Iranian women have burned their headscarves in an act of solidarity with Amini’s family. The Islamic regime has responded by deploying militarized riot police to quell the protests, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of people. The regime has also blocked the internet access to suppress the protesters. 

CUPE 3903 and YUGSA strongly condemn the horrific actions of the Islamic Regime in Iran and support the rights and freedoms of women around the world, including their bodily sovereignty and choice of apparel. Freedom of expression and belief lies at the heart of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), which states that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. As activists, advocates, and scholars, we stand firmly in solidarity with Amini’s family and other Iranians, working diligently to prevent violence against innocent people, particularly Iranian women. 

 As Iranian Republic’s president, Ebrahim Raisi attends the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week, we want our constituents and the world to be aware of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s violation against Iranian women, which is a denial of inalienable human rights. We question whether a government that has no respect for women’s fundamental rights should serve on the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women. And we implore the Canadian government and the U.N. to act by mobilizing diplomatic measures for enforcing the international laws and declarations designed to protect women’s human rights globally.

 

 

The pandemic isn’t over, even if York acts as if it is

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We Must Keep Each Other Safe as the Pandemic Persists

Given York’s lack of an adequate plan in the face of the seventh wave of COVID-19, it falls upon us as a community to keep each other safe. 


The York University community is heading into a fourth academic year affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This September, next to no preventative measures will be taken by the administration: no masks, no distancing, very little remote learning, and no clear guidance on how to keep ourselves and each other safe. Those of us who are at high risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 are acutely aware that this pandemic is not over and can be very serious, even deadly. In the context of a pandemic, it is not enough to simply encourage everyone to make individual choices based on preference or comfort. 

It’s important to recognize that the sum of our efforts affect our whole community, working to either protect or further endanger those most at risk. In the face of the York administration’s negligence, it is up to us to act in solidarity with one another so that we can face this pandemic together. Here are some basic steps we can all take to keep each other safe as we gear up for September.

Report all COVID-19 outbreaks using our reporting tool

The first step to ensuring a safe campus for us all is tracking outbreaks. In over two years of the pandemic, York has not even attempted a community-wide contact-tracing initiative. In a first step toward gathering information, we’re introducing an outbreak reporting tool

Wear a well-fitted mask

We have known for a long time that masks significantly limit the transmission of the virus. We advise our members to wear a well-fitted mask that covers the nose and mouth in all indoor areas. We recommend disposable N95 respirators or other well-fitted, layered masks that cover the nose and mouth. Wearing your mask helps protect everyone. Members can apply to the Extended Health Benefits Fund (EHB) to help cover the cost of masks.

Get vaccinated

Vaccines  decrease the possibility of the most severe symptoms of COVID-19, including risks of hospitalization and death. As the pandemic continues, new COVID variants will emerge, so it’s important to get the initial vaccine and the boosters to maximize protection. Of course, not everyone can get vaccinated. Just as with masking, getting vaccinated when you can helps protect those who can’t. 

Maintain social distancing whenever possible

Limiting close contact (less than 2 meters) with others decreases the chances that you will catch or spread COVID, so you should still practice distancing yourself where possible and encourage those you share spaces with to do the same.You can request a room change through the Chair of your hiring unit. If you are not sure how to assess the safety of your classroom, contact union staff or executive officers for support.

Stay home if you’re sick

We keep our communities safe by limiting exposure to the virus. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and/or if you test positive for COVID-19 (even if you are not experiencing symptoms) please do not come to campus. 

All CUPE 3903 members are entitled to paid sick leave, and you are not required to teach from home if you are unwell. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and/or if you test positive for COVID-19, you can exercise this important right by following the steps below:

  1. Report illness on the YUScreen tool.  
  2. Contact your Hiring Unit (Chair of the Department you are teaching in) and let them know that you have COVID-19 symptoms and/or have tested positive for COVID-19 and that you would like to avail yourself of the paid sick leave provisions in your Collective Agreement (you are advised to copy your union representative on this email). Please note that you are not required to submit medical documentation with this request. 
  3. Contact the Union and fill out our outbreak reporting tool.

Do you have questions about your paid sick leave entitlements? Are you being asked to teach remotely while unwell? Are you experiencing long COVID and in need of workplace accommodations? Contact the CUPE 3903 Equity Officer with questions, concerns, or to request advocacy support at cupe3903equity@gmail.com

Protect those who need it most / An injury to one is an injury to all

While many of us want to move on from what has been a very difficult few years, we are still in the midst of a global pandemic that has already cost too many people their health or even their lives. This situation is unprecedented, and we don’t yet know the full long-term effects of such a widespread illness. The reality of an infectious disease is that the decisions we make solely thinking of ourselves can have life-long consequences for others. The labour movement has always said that an injury to one is an injury to all; this remains all the more important to remember as York’s administration seemingly forgets about those who need to be protected the most.  

COVID will be with us for the foreseeable future, and we must take it seriously. By taking the precautions that have been proven to limit infection, severe illness, and death, we can keep each other safe

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.

Continue reading

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.

Proposed Solidarity Strike Motion & Solidarity Strike Q&A

An emergency Special General Membership Meeting has been called for Friday November 11th to discuss a motion that would give the executive the power to call a strike vote in solidarity with OSBCU members if these workers are legislated back to work by the Ford government.

The proposed motion is: 

WHEREAS the Ford government introduced Bill 28, using the notwithstanding clause to pre-empt a legal strike from OSBCU workers and enforce a collective agreement on those workers, and

WHEREAS the CUPE 3903 executive moved to call for a solidarity strike action with OSBCU workers starting 14 November, with the support of CUPE National and other Ontario unions, and

WHEREAS OSBCU and CUPE have agreed to return to work starting November 7th following the Ford government’s promise to rescind Bill 28, but that bill has not yet been rescinded, leaving it possible that OSBCU may end up on strike again. 

WHEREAS, in that case, OSBCU may end up being legislated back to work. 

WHEREAS CUPE 3903 has been the victim of back-to-work legislation several times in the past. 

WHEREAS back-to-work legislation is, like Bill 28, a violation of workers’ right to strike and a serious impediment to building working-class power in Ontario and Canada.

WHEREAS resisting back-to-work legislation would necessarily entail solidarity in order to be successful. 

BIRT if OSBCU defies back-to-work legislation, CUPE 3903 will engage in a solidarity strike until OSBCU returns to work. 

BIFRT CUPE 3903’s solidarity strike will be conditional on the following: 

  • That at least some other unions of comparable or greater size to CUPE 3903 also pass a similar motion to solidarity strike
  • That CUPE Ontario and CUPE National commit to providing strike pay for members who participate, and to cover any legal fines these members may incur. 

BIFRT CUPE 3903 call on CUPE National and Ontario to treat this as a strike with all the material support and legal defence a strike entails

BIFRT CUPE 3903 encourage CUPE National, CUPE O, and OSBCU to broaden the strike demands to include the repeal of Bill 124 and the permanent removal of the government’s ability to use back-to-work legislation on striking workers. 

BIFRT CUPE 3903 call on its sister locals to pass a similar motion. 

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Solidarity Strike Q&A

You may have some questions about the implications of this motion being passed and what it means to engage in a solidarity strike, which is currently illegal in Ontario according to the Canada Labour Code and the Ontario Labour Relations Act.

 

Q:How will the vote happen?

The strike vote will happen using Simply Voting, which is an online elections system. The vote will happen over the span of three days to ensure that all members can participate in the vote.

Q: What will strike duties look like? Will there be an 8th line?

Strike duties will involve picketing at designated locations, including Queen’s Park. We will not be picketing at York University since this strike has not been called to apply pressure to York University as the result of a breakdown during our contract negotiations. Rather, this solidarity strike is intended to apply political pressure to the Ford government to bargain in good faith with OSBCU workers and to secure other interests of the wider working class, including 10 paid sick days.

For those members who cannot participate in regular picket duties, there will be alternative duties available (otherwise known as the 8th line). 

Q: Will I receive picket pay?

Yes, members who withdraw from their labour at York University and participate in a picket at a designated location will receive picket pay. Receiving picket pay is conditional on the member withdrawing their labour from York University.

Q: What are the consequences both from the law and from York to striking?

The potential consequences for engaging in a solidarity strike could include fines. As of November 9th, CUPE National has backed away from officially supporting a solidarity strike across locals. This means that additional mobilization work will be needed to force National into a position where leadership will financially support strikers and pay for fines so no individual member would bear any financial costs for participating in a solidarity strike.

There is also the possibility of York attempting to discipline members for participating in a solidarity strike with OSBCU workers. We cannot guarantee that members will not be disciplined by the employer, but it is important to remember that it will be difficult for York to target an individual if we commit to acting together as a union. CUPE 3903 will also provide legal support if members are disciplined by York for participating in solidarity strike action.

Q: What if someone wants to support but can’t take the risks? Will they be trialed, or can alternate duties be arranged? 

If membership votes in favour of a solidarity strike, all members are strongly encouraged to fully participate in the strike. CUPE 3903 will not discipline members who who refrain from withdrawing their labour at York University, and other forms of strike participation (e.g., participating in rallies and picketing) will also be welcomed. Note that you are only eligible for picket pay if you do withdraw your labour from York.

 

Solidarity Strike Planning Meeting: November 8th (1-4pm)

CUPE 3903 Executive Committee Recommends Solidarity Strike Action

Last week, Doug Ford’s government attempted to suppress a legal strike initiated by 55,000 Ontario School Board workers (OSBCU) by invoking the notwithstanding clause, denying workers’ right to strike as outlined by Charter, to impose an unfair contract on these educational workers.

The Ontario government’s anti-democratic actions strike at the very heart of the labour movement and we need to respond en masse and with militancy to protect every worker’s right to strike. This is why the Executive Committee is recommending that the membership engage in a solidarity strike with OSBCU workers beginning November 14th until Bill 28 is repealed.

Members should plan to attend two emergency Special General Membership Meetings this week to participate in planning our solidarity action.

The first meeting is on Zoom on November 8th from 1pm to 4:00pm. All members are encouraged to attend.

Register for the 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

Solidarity Strike Vote Meeting: November 11th (12-3pm)

CUPE 3903 Executive Committee Recommends Solidarity Strike Action

Last week, Doug Ford’s government attempted to suppress a legal strike initiated by 55,000 Ontario School Board workers (OSBCU) by invoking the notwithstanding clause, denying workers’ right to strike as outlined by Charter, to impose an unfair contract on these educational workers.

The Ontario government’s anti-democratic actions strike at the very heart of the labour movement and we need to respond en masse and with militancy to protect every worker’s right to strike. This is why the Executive Committee is recommending that the membership engage in a solidarity strike with OSBCU workers beginning November 14th until Bill 28 is repealed.

Members should plan to attend two emergency Special General Membership Meetings this week to participate in planning our solidarity action.

The second meeting is on November 11th from 12pm to 3:00pm on zoom. All members are encouraged to attend.

Register for the 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