Beginning on May 25th, many members of Units 1 and 3 reported receiving paycheques which were significantly short of their proper amount. Some members were not paid at all. It appears that these inaccurate cheques are due to claw-backs to the increases in summer financial assistance and Graduate Financial Assistance (GFA). CUPE 3903 has been pursuing this issue; our Collective Agreements are very clear that wage and GFA increases cannot result in a reduction of other income. On May 27th, the employer apologized for their “error” and committed to fixing it.
The employer has committed to rectifying all payroll errors by direct deposit on June 10th and invites members who are having financial difficulties to contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) for emergency funds.
While we are pleased that this issue will be resolved, it is unacceptable that this was allowed to occur. On May 11th, the executive raised this exact concern to Barry Miller, Executive Director of Faculty Relations. We were assured that members would be getting their summer funding in the amounts we bargained for, with no claw-backs.
Furthermore, directing members to appeal to FGS for emergency funds is not adequate penalty considering the impact this error has had on our membership’s livelihood. The employer should pay a penalty into our Ways and Means Fund so that emergency funds can be administered by the union.
The struggle in which we are currently engaged against the employer continues, for the employer still refuses to pay international students the tuition offsets we negotiated.
If you have concerns about your funding, please contact us. This is especially important if you think your 1.5% wage increase was not applied properly. We are still investigating other potential funding problems and will share any new information as soon as we can.