Remediation FAQ

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You can access the Remediation Work Form here: Word doc or PDF

*NEW* When can I expect my remediation pay?

Payroll is processing an out-of-cycle payment for remediation pay, which is scheduled for July 9th, 2018.

I have returned to work, but the remediation period does not start until the end of July. What do I have to do between now and July 23rd?

  1. Unit 2 members are expected to demonstrate their willingness to work by attending office hours each week until (and then also during) the remediation period.
  2. Course Directors must submit their Remediation Plan for approval by the Dean’s office by noon on Friday June 22nd.
  3. Submit all completed grades by emailing your class list with grades to: yugrades@yorku.ca.
  4. Complete all outstanding grading of work submitted before or during the strike. This only applies to work submitted to you directly, not to your TAs.
  5. Review any assessed grades that were self-submitted by students during the strike. Assessed grades can be reviewed at https://agr.uit.yorku.ca.

Do I have to submit the Remediation Plan to get paid the 65% lump sum if I do not plan to have classes during the remediation period?

According to the MoS all members of Unit 2 must have committed in writing to returning to work (including using York’s https://cupejobs.uit.yorku.ca/remediate/ link) in order to receive the payment. If you are a Course Director you must also complete and submit a remediation plan as explained in the Institutional Remediation Guideline for Course Directors, outlining your planned course of action for completing classes (see 2 above).

Do I have to provide in person lectures during the remediation period?

We have received word that at least the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies (LAPS) is insisting that lectures be provided in person during the remediation period. Check with your faculty or department to see whether other arrangements can be approved if that is not feasible.

I have Unit 1 TAs in my course, but the Chair is asking me to complete work assigned to them (either by collecting new assignments from students, or by grading already submitted work). Do I have to do this?

No. Article 9 of the Unit 2 Collective agreement prohibits employees from being required to do the work of a striking employee in another unit:

“9.02 In the event that any employee of York University, other than those covered by this agreement, engages in a lawful strike and maintains picket lines, employees covered by this agreement shall not be required to perform work normally done by that employee.”

All members should exercise this right. It is not only a matter of solidarity with our Unit 1 colleagues and giving them the chance to finish and be paid for their work, but also of avoiding unpaid overwork.

I am a Unit 2 TA. Do I have to submit a remediation plan for my tutorial(s)?

No. You should consult with the CD in the course about their remediation plan. Once you have your assignments for the remaining portion of the year and complete your marking/invigilation/teaching then you must complete the Remediation Work Form outlining what you did and how many hours you spent in remediation. This must then be signed by the CD and submitted for administrative approval. The Administration will then determine how much of the outstanding 35% of your pay you will receive based on their response to the CD’s remediation plan.

Do I need to submit a remediation plan and/or a Remediation Work Form in order to qualify for Summer 2018 hiring if any work becomes available?

According to the Memorandum of Settlement, you need to have committed in writing to completing the Remediation Work Form. That implies that if you are a Course Director you will have to have submitted a remediation plan. If you are a TA you will have to have discussed remediation with your CD and agreed to complete the outstanding work. Be sure to do that in writing.

“Unit 2 members must commit, in writing, to completing a remediation form for outstanding Fall/Winter and Winter 2018 course(s) so as to be eligible for Summer Term assignments.” – MoS p. 9

Under this remediation process I have to do more work hours than my original contract, yet I may only be getting 65%-100% of the pay I would have received for completing that work. What can I do?

Log all hours you spend on York business (including departmental and student emails) meticulously. Then contact the staff and/or your Chief Steward. That would have to be addressed by the local as a problem of implementation through the disputes resolution process under an arbitrator rather than as individual grievances. Our legal counsel is aware of this potential problem.

If remediation continues until August then what about my benefits? Do they then extend an additional 5 months beyond the end of the assigned remediation period?

Our legal counsel is of the opinion that the commitment to complete remediation constitutes the resumption of an interrupted contract; thus, the benefits extension should apply. The employer has been queried on this to confirm. We will update the FAQ once their response is received and we have determined whether or not this has to be brought before the arbitrator.

Can I be required to record my classes or tutorials and distribute those recordings to students?

No. The Memorandum of Settlement brings the terms of the Collective Agreement into effect. Article 10.05 gives you the right to refuse to use technological delivery methods unless it is required for the type of course you are teaching. You cannot be forced to violate the Collective Agreement because it is convenient for remediation. Students in your tutorials also cannot be recorded without their permission, so it would require your consent and their unanimous consent.

How much money am I owed by committing to return to work (outside of remediation)?

At a minimum, you are owed:

  1. 2.1% of your September, October, November, December, January, February, and partial March paycheques (the 2.1% pay increase set out in the Memorandum of Settlement for 2017-18 is retroactive). If you have more than 5 years of service you are also owed an additional 2% of the gross (post increase) for the long-service vacation pay increase.
  2. 65% of the total of your remaining March paycheque, and your April paycheque, including the 2.1% increase. If you have more than 5 years of service you are also owed an additional 2% of the gross for the long-service vacation pay increase.

Any remediation pay that is earned during the remediation period should be calculated on top of that amount, once again, including the 2.1% pay raise (and if applicable the additional 2% vacation pay increase).

Approximate Pay Increases (Before Deductions)

Position 2016-17 Base Pay Pay Increase Vacation Pay Total Monthly
Course Director $16,779.00 $352.36 $685.25 $17,816.61 $2,227.08
Course Director (5+ years of service) $16,779.00 $352.36 $1,027.88 $18,159.24 $2,269.91
Tutor 1 $5,609.00 $117.79 $229.07 $5,955.86 $744.48
Tutor 1 (5+ years of service) $5,609.00 $117.79 $343.61 $6,070.40 $758.80
Tutor 2 $6,019.00 $126.40 $245.82 $6,391.22 $798.90
Tutor 2 (5+ years of service) $6,019.00 $126.40 $368.72 $6,514.12 $814.27

Approximate Pay Owed per Assignment (based on 8 month contract)

Position Salary Back Pay
Sept 1-Mar 4 (6.13 mos)
Vac. Pay Lump Sum 65% Remediation
(of 1.87 months)
Total
Course Director $270.00 $14.09 $2,707.02 $2,991.11
Course Director (5+ years of service) $270.00 $356.72 $2,759.08 $3,385.80
Tutor 1 $90.26 $4.71 $904.92 $999.89
Tutor 1 (5+ years of service) $90.26 $119.25 $922.32 $1,131.83
Tutor 2 $96.38 $5.06 $971.06 $1,072.50
Tutor 2 (5+ years of service) $96.38 $127.96 $989.75 $1,214.09

Base remediation pay would be 65% of the adjusted monthly totals for of March (27 Days or 87%) and all of April.

BT Response to the Employer’s Latest Offer

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Unit 1 and 3 representatives of the CUPE 3903 bargaining team have rejected the employer’s latest offer. The following sets out the reasons for this decision, which are in keeping with the direction that the bargaining team has so far received from the membership.

1. Is this a new offer?

This offer is simply a reiteration of past offers which were ultimately rejected by the bargaining team and membership. Re-sending the same offer with changed deadlines does not mean York is sending new offers. The employer’s strategy appears to be trying to overwhelm the membership with information while also forcing the bargaining team to re-engage with previously rejected offers. On June 2, the bargaining team worked relentlessly to provide the employer with a framework for settlement that removed what they had identified as barriers to settlement. This sizeable movement was not answered in kind by the employer.

2. Inclusion of the Fellowship Model in the Collective Agreement

The employer continues to refuse to include a Letter of Intent which would enshrine the Graduate Fellowship funding model into the collective agreement (CA). This Letter would clarify the amounts of the Fellowship payments, establish protections for Master’s students who are also Unit 1 members, and provide protections from clawbacks. York’s refusal to include the Fellowship model in the CA is very concerning because it means they can continue to make arbitrary changes to our funding without consultation. We are not willing to let a third-party arbitrator decide on this matter. In similar arbitrated decisions, such as the CUPE 3902 (University of Toronto) strike in 2015, third-party arbitrators normally uphold the employer’s position, which is that student and employment funding are two separate matters. The employer’s perspective on graduate student funding is exceptionally problematic considering that our status in the priority pool, which guarantees our six years of student funding, is guaranteed through the acceptance of a TAship and inherently tied to work.

3. Priority-Pool Extensions on all Human Rights Code-Based Grounds

The bargaining team is not willing to send the issue of 2-year priority pool extensions based on all code-based grounds to a third-party arbitrator. Unit 1 members used to receive 2-year priority pool extensions on disability-based grounds. The employer began denying these extensions to members during the last contract period and have refused to address it in this round of bargaining. The bargaining team will not tolerate this blatant attack on some of the union’s most vulnerable members and we are absolutely astounded the employer would not agree to something they had done previously.

4. Graduate Assistant Protections

The bargaining team is not willing to send Proposal 48, which is the proposal meant to establish some protections for Unit 3, to arbitration. The removal of Graduate Assistant and Research Assistant opportunities was a strategic move by the employer to reduce administrative costings. We have not had any meaningful dialogue or seen movement on the subject of Proposal 48 from York this bargaining round. Instead, the continual obfuscation of the subject by claiming that bargaining for Unit 3 members via graduate and research assistant opportunities is out of scope has been a barrier to settlement for Unit 3.

5. Technology Language

This employer is still proposing to delete paragraphs from the CA which give tutorial leaders autonomy over technology and the usage of email as a mode of communication with students. Deleting clauses from the CA is a concession plain and simple and while the bargaining team is aware that many TAs do use email extensively, we wish to reserve the right to set the email policy and not face disciplinary action for engaging with technology in a way that the tutorial leader deems makes pedagogical sense. The bargaining team is not willing to let a third-party arbitrator decide whether or not to delete clauses from the CA.

6. Reprisals and Remediation

The offer does not adequately protect our members and allies from reprisals from the employer. Members have already been contacted about Code of Conduct violations for sending mildly mean tweets to a public figure’s public Twitter account, an action construed as contributing to an ‘unsafe’ workplace. If this is the line York is willing to draw, anyone who participated in any kind of strike duty or strike support (on the picket line or online) is open to employer reprisals under the return-to-work protocol in this offer. The employer’s inclusion of reprisal language for undergraduates in this offer does not offer any real protection but instead should be read as a guarantee that they will persecute undergraduates and York employees under York Policy who have shown the union solidarity during the strike. Additionally, the employer has refused to clarify whether or not Unit 1 members will receive remediation pay if their courses continued and were completed during the strike. Since Unit 2 ratified, we now can confirm that remediation will not begin until July 23, which negates the employer’s threats of diminishing returns in relation to remediation.

CUPE 3903 Bargaining Team Letter to the Membership

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Graduate students have now been on strike for 106 days.

A primary reason for the current strike is the administration’s implementation of the York Graduate Fellowship model, which has negatively impacted all graduate student members.

The York Graduate Fellowship has resulted in the loss of summer paychecks. Members were alarmed to see their minimum guaranteed funding clawed back for accepting additional RA or TA work. The Fellowship has also intensified the reduction of funding for members who have earned departmental and external scholarships, which recognize the merits of their scholarly excellence and academic contributions. Through these clawbacks, the administration has effectively turned the minimum guarantee into a maximum guarantee.

The development and implementation of the Fellowship funding model shortly after the employer signed the 2015 Collective Agreement with CUPE 3903 resulted in the elimination of over 800 Graduate Assistantships (GAs), which are jobs for graduate students. Though claiming the Fellowship has ‘liberated students from work obligations’, it has undoubtedly robbed hundreds of graduate students of invaluable research and professional development opportunities, as well as access to necessary health benefits and funds to support their graduate work. Beyond this, the decimation of Unit 3 GAs has created an atmosphere of distrust in the administration and a perception amongst our members that nothing signed will actually be honoured by the administration.

Further illustrating the administration’s insensitivity to the needs of its students and our members, the negative impact of the Fellowship on equity and accessibility cannot be overstated. Students with code-based disabilities were denied 2-year extensions in the priority pool, despite it being past practice for a decade. That this proposal is being refused by the employer after 106 days on strike is appalling. The union is simply asking the employer to honour a past practice guaranteeing members with disabilities their right of a code-based extension.

If the administration took these concerns about the York Graduate Fellowship model seriously, we would not be in this lengthy strike. If the administration attended to the union’s concerns regarding reprisal language, we would not have further reason to prolong the strike. We call on the administration to make a meaningful attempt to correct the aspects of the Fellowship that have negatively impacted the striking bargaining units and to address the language in their Return to Work Protocol.

Unit 2 Ratification Results and Next Steps

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The re-vote for the Unit 2 ratification vote took place on Thursday, June 14 and Friday, June 15. Members of Unit 2 (contract faculty) have ratified the employer’s Memorandum of Settlement and will return to work on Monday. Unit 1 (Teaching Assistants) and Unit 3 (Graduate Assistants) remain on strike. Unit 2 members who experience problems with their return to work should get in touch with their Chief Steward, Mike Palamarek (cupe3903chiefstewardunit2@gmail.com).

Unit 2 Ratification Vote Results

YES: 239 votes
NO: 122 votes
Total Votes Cast: 361 votes

Next Steps Regarding the Irregularities in the Initial Vote

The Executive Committee is pleased that this re-vote took place without incident and that members of Unit 2 — of all opinions — were able to have their voices heard without any doubts regarding the legitimacy of the count.

In order to ensure that irregularities on this scale are never allowed to occur again, the Executive Committee is contracting an outside investigator to ascertain what took place and make recommendations going forward. We will have more information about this process in the near future once the investigator is selected and criteria are set out.

Accessibility and Human Rights Complaints

The timing of the original vote and the re-vote presented significant accessibility problems because of the short notice of each of the votes. The re-vote also conflicted with Eid-ul-Fitr, therefore limiting participation on religious grounds. CUPE 3903 fully acknowledges that these circumstances rendered these votes inaccessible. Several attempts were made, by both the Executive Committee and the President of CUPE Ontario, Fred Hahn, to ask the employer to extend the deadline in order to provide reasonable religious accommodations.

The employer’s refusal to do so is shameful and in complete contradiction with York University’s stated values. As such, we are seeking further legal advice, and also encourage members who were prevented from casting their votes due to a lack of accommodations on grounds protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code to get in touch our Chairperson, Devin Lefebvre (cupe3903chairperson@gmail.com). The local can provide financial and other support if a complaint is filed.

Executive Committee Statement on the Actions of Two Members of the Bargaining Team

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At the Monday, June 11 joint meeting of the Executive Committee and Bargaining Team, the following motion was passed:

BIRT the Executive Committee and Bargaining Team condemns in the strongest possible terms the backroom dealings of certain members of the Bargaining Team.
BIFRT the Bargaining Team and Executive Committee do not recognize the legitimacy of the decision made by two members of the Bargaining Team in a secret gathering to send the Unit 2 offer to ratification.

The Executive Committee feels it is necessary to provide context for this motion. On Friday, June 6, the Employer re-sent an offer identical to that reached during the 17 hour mediation session, mediated by Kevin Burkett, the previous weekend. This offer had a deadline of Sunday, June 10.

A Unit 2 representative of the Bargaining Team, Maria Wallis, asked for a meeting to take place over the weekend. Several members of the Bargaining Team responded saying that if the meeting was deemed an emergency, they would ensure their attendance. The Chairperson, on extremely short notice, attempted to find an accessible space for a meeting on Sunday. The remaining members of the Bargaining Team never heard back from the member who had asked for the meeting.

On Monday morning, the Bargaining Team and Executive Committee heard from the Employer that they had received a signed Memorandum of Settlement from two members of the bargaining team: Sharon Davidson, who also serves as the Grievance Officer, and Maria Wallis. The two had held a secret “meeting” over the weekend in which they gave themselves the authority to sign the Memorandum of Settlement, without announcing it to the general membership, or achieving quorum, and despite the fact that the secret meeting violated several aspects of the CUPE 3903 bargaining parameters, CUPE 3903 bylaws, and the CUPE Constitution.

This decision, by two members of the Bargaining Team, is as unacceptable as it is incomprehensible — a motion to send the Unit 2 offer to ratification could have passed without a shady, inaccessible secret meeting. It could have legitimately taken place either on Sunday, after an accessible location was found, or at Monday’s BT/Exec meeting.

A new unit-specific motion did pass on Monday after the above condemnation motion. As such, there will be a ratification vote held for Unit 2 on Wednesday June 13 at Unifor Local 112 (30 Tangiers Rd).

This ratification vote is the result of a legitimate vote at an announced meeting with quorum, not as a result of back room deals over the weekend.

CUPE 3903 Strike Newsletter: June 25, 2018

CONTENTS

Updates

(1) Remediation FAQ
(2) Unit 2 Deadline for the Strike Hardship Fund
(3) Disputes Committee Office Hours
(4) CUPE 3903 Hotline Hours

Meetings and Events

(5) Bargaining Team Meeting: June 25
(6) Joint BT-Exec Meeting: June 25
(7) Strike Committee Meeting: June 25
(8) Anti-Racism Committee Meeting: June 26
(9) Executive Committee Meeting: June 27
(10) Strike General Membership Meeting: June 27

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June 21 Tentative Strike GMM Agenda

Strike General Membership Meeting
Thursday June 21, 2018
5pm-8pm
252 Bloor St. West
OISE Auditorium

Agenda

  1. Roll Call of Officers
  2. Reading of the Equality Statement
  3. Reading of the Mississauga Land Acknowledgement
  4. Approval of Agenda
  5. Approval of Minutes
  6. Report by the Strike Committee and Subcommittees on the Conduct of the Strike
  7. Treasurer’s Report
  8. Report from Bargaining Team on the Status of Negotiations
  9. Report from the Executive Committee on the Conduct of the Strike
  10. Strategic Discussion + Motions from the Floor
  11. Adjournment

Please contact Sheila Wilmot at cupe3903.equity.officer@gmail.com or at 416-736-5154 ext. 3 if you require any of the following: ASL interpretation, reimbursement for childcare/caregiver/attendant care, and/or transportation costs for members who are unable to secure Wheel-Trans, or other requests for accommodation.

Announcing Disputes Committee Office Hours!

The newly re-formed Disputes Committee invites members to drop-in to our office hours, this Tuesday (June 19) and Wednesday (June 20) from 10 am – 12 pm, to get information about the options available for members seeking resolution to disputes that have come up within the strike.

Meetings will be with two or more members of the committee, and will be private and confidential. Drop by Strike HQ and we can go grab coffee and talk about the process to resolve your strike-problems.

CUPE 3903 Strike Newsletter: June 17, 2018

CONTENTS

Updates

(1) Unit 1 and Unit 3 Remain on Strike
(2) Next Steps Regarding the Irregularities in the Unit 2 Ratification Vote
(3) Accessibility and Human Rights Complaints
(4) CUPE 3903 Hotline Hours

Meetings and Events

(5) Bargaining Team Meeting: June 18
(6) Joint BT-Exec Meeting: June 18
(7) Strike Committee Meetings: June 18 & 20
(8) Anti-Racism Committee Meeting: June 19
(9) Executive Committee Meeting: June 20
(10) Strike General Membership Meeting: June 21

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