On signing up for the forums, members must read the rules and posting guidelines. Posting guidelines and standards will be strictly enforced. Posts which violate the CUPE National Constitution, the CUPE 3903 by-laws or the Equality Statement will be locked and reviewed for further action. Please govern yourself accordingly.
- General Forum Rules
- Posting Guidelines
- Public and Private Boards and User Access
- Harassment and Discrimination
- Moderators and Moderation
General Forum Rules
1. On signing up for the forums, members must read the rules and posting guidelines.
2. Members must sign up using their own name as it appears on the membership list (Firstname [space] Lastname). By default, aliases and deviations from this format will be rejected and deleted. All registrations are checked against membership lists to ensure only members in good standing and current political members can register. Administrators are mindful that names are not static and not everyone’s name in the membership list reflects their current realities. Contact one of the Admins privately if your name on the membership list does not reflect your actual name and we will sort out your profile approval for you as necessary.
3. Members may only have one account (Exception: officers of the union may use a personal account in addition to the use of their Union Officer account). Officers of the union must be mindful that posts from their union accounts should only be used for the union duties associated with their position.
4. Upon registration members will be assigned to a primary usergroup based on their unit, which gives them access to their own unit’s forum as well as all-units discussions. There are specific groups and private forums for the various Committees, Working Groups, and Caucuses in the Local; however, these are only visible to designated members. Members who join Committees, Working Groups, or Caucuses must request access to that group’s forums from that group’s designated moderator(s) or an administrator.
6. Posting guidelines and standards will be strictly enforced. Posts which violate the CUPE National Constitution, the CUPE 3903 by-laws or the Equality Statement will be locked and reviewed for further action.
Govern yourself accordingly.
CUPE 3903 is committed to maintaining communications spaces that are safe and accessible for all members while ensuring that they provide space for fruitful, spirited discussion. This means that, for forums with a restricted purpose and mandate, members are expected to limit their discussions to the scope of the forum. All members are expected to commit to participating in ways that are consistent with the Equality Statement and the CUPE National Constitution and the CUPE 3903 By-Laws, and to avoid harassing behaviour, discriminatory behaviour and personal attacks. While this kind of participation is meant to ensure a safe space for broad participation, it will not always ensure comfort. It is everyone’s responsibility to be conscious of the difference between posts with content or opinions that one dislikes or finds politically disagreeable and posts that include discriminatory and/or harassing language.
If a post upsets you, please take the time think about which one of these circumstances it represents. Similarly, if your remarks are flagged as harassing, discriminatory or attacking, please take the time to think about what you wrote before responding. Beliefs are changed most effectively through respectful discussion, not through personal attacks or summarily banning unpopular opinions. We hope and expect that all members will be able to contribute to maintaining a safe space for discussion.
However, we know that this is not always the case. As a result, our commitment to maintaining a safe space means that sometimes members who, after fair warning, prove themselves incapable of contributing to the production of such spaces will be temporarily or permanently banned from the forums in order to preserve the space for all members. While we recognize that absolute objectivity is never possible, our commitment to moderating as objectively as we can means that moderators have clearly defines sets of rules under which to operate.
1. CUPE 3903 is a labour union. Try to limit discussion to topics that correspond to the objectives of the union as outlined in Article 2 in the objectives of the Constitution.
2. Remember that the person you are engaging with is another human being with thoughts, emotions, and feelings. Please be kind with your posts in the interest of building solidarity within the local.
3. If you find yourself writing an email or posting in haste or anger, save in a draft folder and reconsider it before you hit send. Do not deliberately instigate or fuel conflict.
4. It is crucial that all emails and posts are accessible for all members. This includes, but is not limited to:
using descriptive subject lines (for new posts and replies);
providing image descriptions for any uploaded or linked image;
providing text versions of any uploaded or linked audio;
avoiding embedded animated gifs or video (though links to them are acceptable);
avoiding use of blinking, moving, or coloured text, as well as extensive use of emojis (unreadable by some screen readers).
5. Respect other people’s time. Try to limit the length and daily number of your posts.
6. Be mindful of tone. Refrain from writing in caps; it is the equivalent of shouting. Likewise, avoid excessive sarcasm as it can be offensive.
7. Remember that not every person is educated in the same discipline as you; refrain from the use of language or acronyms that may exclude others from participating in the conversation.
8. Healthy debate means the use of constructive criticism and argument, rather than attack. Focus on ideas, not people. Try to refrain from the need to be “right”. Ideas are much more easily understood if not espoused in an oppressive, sarcastic, or demeaning way.
9. Be careful not to silence those who have a long political history of being silenced (i.e. women, persons with disabilities, racialized persons). Recognize individual privileges when engaging in debate and try to refrain from repeating oppressive or demeaning behaviour.
10. Freedoms of consciousness, thoughts or beliefs are protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (freedom of speech is not, however, the same as consequence-free speech).
Public and Private Boards and User Access
The Forums are based on a set of usergroups which allow access to the various message boards.
Upon registration members will be assigned to a primary usergroup based on their bargaining unit. This gives them access to the All-Units discussion board and to the unit-specific discussion boards for their unit.
All recognized bodies of the union (all Committees, Caucuses, Working Groups, Stewards’ Council) have their own private boards for members of those groups. They may or may not use these private spaces as they see fit.
Users who join any of the bodies of the union can request access to the boards associated with those groups: some may be requestable directly through the forums, others may require individual email or in-person requests. Committees, Working Groups, and Stewards Council are requestable online.
To request access to a particular usergroup you should click on the Profile button and click Membership Groups from the left sidebar menu. This will open a screen where you will see your current memberships and a list of groups to which you can request membership. Group moderators and/or Forum Admins will determine whether you qualify or not and will approve or reject your request.
Caucuses require external requests to Caucus organizers so as to maintain the integrity and independence of the Caucus.
Harassment and Discrimination
Harassment and discrimination are illegal under the Ontario Human Rights Code and/or the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Harassment on includes, but is not limited to, threats or a pattern of aggression, insulting, demeaning or derogatory remarks about an individual?s intelligence, competence, physical appearance or other characteristics which create a negative psychological and emotional environment for the member and/or in the union.
Harassment is demeaning, offensive, intimidating, embarrassing and hurtful, and can undermine the integrity of an individual.
Discrimination includes comments that demean others on the basis of/by reason of race, creed, colour, age, sex, marital status, parental status, number of dependents, nationality, ancestry, place of origin, native language, disability or disabilities, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), or related illness, political or religious affiliations or orientations, academic affiliations, record of sexual orientation, transsexual transition status, gender expression, and gender identity.
Moderators and Moderation
It is the collective responsibility of CUPE 3903 members to implement the Forum Rules and Posting Guidelines. The moderators of all forums are to facilitate this as follows.
1. Demonstrate impartiality and are polite but firm while communicating with members who are not
following the rules and posting guidelines.
2. Add members to and remove them from the lists as needed.
3. Review forum posts regularly to ensure they followed forum rules and posting
guidelines. If a moderator is unavailable for a period of time they will seek back-up from someone on
the relevant caucus, committee, or working group. For union-wide forums, there will be two
moderators plus the Executive who will operate as backup moderators.
4. Follow the steps outlined in the rules when post violates any of the rules and posting
5. All moderators will be given an orientation on how to implement this protocol and their
attached job description.
1. If someone does not respect the rules and guidelines once, the moderator(s) shall remind
them privately as to how the post contravenes the forum rules and will inform the person about
steps 3 to 5 below. The moderator(s) will also post a message on the forum to advise people that
they are following up on the harassing, discriminatory or attacking post.
2. For failing to meet the guidelines again within one year, moderator(s) shall ban the member
from the forum for up to one week.
3. If a member who has been banned returns to the forum and does not meet the guidelines again within one
year, moderator(s) shall ban the member from the forum for up to one week.
4. If a member removed returns to the forum and does not meet the guidelines again within one
year, moderator(s) shall ban the member from the forum until an investigation has been
conducted by the executive committee, per the CUPE constitution.
5. For particularly egregious postings, moderator(s) may immediately ban the member from the
forums until an investigation has been conducted by the executive committee, per the CUPE
Members may appeal the decisions of the moderator to the communications committee, who
will be guided by this document in reviewing the moderator(s) decision.