The nomination period for the Chief Steward Unit 2 position has ended. We have two candidates in the running: Elena Chou and Christoper Luszczek.
The campaigning period will run from November 7th to November 20th, and will be followed by a voting period of 5 days, starting at 9:00am on November 21st and ending at 5:00pm on November 25th. As this position is specific to Unit 2, voting is limited to Unit 2 members. All Unit 2 members will receive a voting link via their email. Digital voting will be carried out by Simply Voting.
Candidate statements by Elena Chou and Chris Luszczek:
My name is Elena Chou and I am asking for your support and vote for the position of Chief Steward Unit 2 in CUPE 3903.
If elected, I plan to continue with the work that I had already started in October 2020 as Interim Chief Steward Unit 2. These include helping to address member inquiries on a variety of workplace and workload issues, and organizing training sessions for incoming departmental stewards along with the other Chief Stewards. I have also started to become more familiar with and immersed in the myriad issues in the School of Nursing and, along with our local’s staffpersons, been helping to address them by attending the monthly School of Nursing meetings and supporting our Unit 2 Nursing Stewards in a variety of ways.
The pandemic has proved to be challenging in reaching out to and making connections with members, and especially both existing and newer Unit 2 members. Together with my fellow Chief Stewards, members of Stewards Council/Bargaining Mobilization Committee (SC/BMC), as well as the general membership, we are strategizing and continually working on new ways to expand and engage the SC/BMC, and especially efforts to recruit Unit 2 stewards. I would also like to reach out to and engage further with Unit 2s by organizing with our Vice President Unit 2 more regular Unit 2 Townhalls.
I first became a Unit 2 member in 2005 though I have been a member of Units 1, 2, and 3 at various points over the years, and have taught and worked at both the Keele and Glendon campuses. In addition to having a solid understanding of the specific issues that Unit 2 contract faculty face at York University, having also worked as contract faculty in recent years at the University of Toronto, Trent University, OCAD University, Brock University, and Ryerson University has given me a stronger sense of the common issues of precarity in the post-secondary sector and the specific challenges we are all facing during the pandemic with the shift to remote teaching and learning. My work as a member of the Employment Equity Committee since 2018 and a member of the Teaching Development Fund Committee in 2018-19 and 2020-2021 has increased my understanding of the issues related to equity, accommodations/accessibility, and pedagogy which have become very pertinent in remote teaching not only for Unit 2 but for all four units in our local.
Although I am a lower seniority Unit 2 member, I have taught and worked with many higher seniority colleagues and am invested in preserving, strengthening, and advocating for increased job security for everyone in Unit 2 through the various programs in our Collective Agreement. Further, as Chief Steward Unit 2, I am also committed to ensuring that our rights as workers as outlined in our Collective Agreement are upheld, and defending and further strengthening these rights throughout the bargaining process.
Thank you for your consideration, and I would be honoured to have your vote to continue serving as your Chief Steward Unit 2.
I have been a CUPE3903 member for over 10 years, beginning as a Unit 1 member in 2008, and as a Unit 2 member since 2016. During this time I have faced many of the employment frustrations common to our membership’s multiple Units and through these struggles I have gained a detailed knowledge of our Unit 1 and Unit 2 collective agreements. I have also voted in, picketed, and endured three strikes during my time at York.
As an informal steward in my home department, over the years I have made myself helpful and available to both fellow graduate students and, more recently, Unit 2 coworkers by offering guidance and knowledge whenever they have inevitably found themselves at odds with the employer.
I have been particularly active in my home faculty of science in trying to encourage our members to be informed, active and voting participants in our union; however, I have also been fortunate to teach in multiple faculties across the university and as such I have had the privilege to see and better understand the challenges faced by our members across disciplines. Helping to increase the engagement of the membership has always been an important goal, in my view, and I hope that it is one I can help with in the upcoming round of bargaining.
Over the past few years I have become more actively involved in the local by taking on work as a Communications Committee Member, Distribution Committee Member, CUPE Toronto District Council Representative, moderator of the union listserv, and currently as a CUPE representative on the university’s Joint Health and Safety Committee.
As a past Unit 1 member and a recent convert to Unit 2, I have a deep appreciation for the uncertain, precarious and challenging work environment faced by our membership. I, like many members, have experienced the effects reduced work and lost jobs that have become more common in recent years. I want to do my part to ensure that our next round of negotiations provide a stable path for our unit and union to move forward. Thank you for considering my candidacy.