Poll Clerks and Supervisors Needed – $15/hr

Poll clerks and poll supervisors are needed to staff polling stations during the general elections on March 15-17 and 20-22. These positions are paid $15/hr. Only members of CUPE 3903 may apply. Preference will be given to members with previous poll clerk experience, though all members are encouraged to apply. Poll clerks may work multiple shifts.

Shifts at the Keele Campus polling station are usually from 8:45 am to 1:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 5:15 pm. Shifts at the Glendon polling station are usually from 10:45 am to 3:15 pm. There will be one polling station at Keele Campus and one at Glendon campus on the following spots:

Keele Campus Polling Station:
Vari Hall link (between Vari Hall and Central Square)

Glendon Campus Polling Station:
Outside the Cafeteria (across from York Hall, Room 170)

If you are interested in working as a poll clerk, please email eocupe3903@gmail.com. In your email, please indicate:

  • the exact shift(s) that you can work,
  • your cell phone number,
  • whether you have any experience,
  • whether you can bring a laptop,
  • and the Unit you belong to.

General Election Nominations

Nominations for the general elections closed on Wednesday March 1 at 5 pm. For contested positions, the campaigning period is now open and will continue until voting opens at the March 15 Annual General Meeting. Voting will continue for five days after the meeting. The list of nominees is below.

Nominations for Unit 3 bargaining team member and BT recording secretary also closed on March 1. As there were no candidates, decisions will have to be made regarding when to re-open nominations.


Graeme Reniers (Unit 1) — acclaimed


Sujanthan  Sriskandarajah (Unit 1) — acclaimed

Recording Secretary

Gizem Çakmak (Unit 1)

Dan O’Hara (Unit 1)

Grievance Officer

Kyle Belozerov (Unit 2) — acclaimed

Communications Officer

Maija Duncan (Unit 1) — acclaimed

Vice President Unit 1

Hossein Banitabaei (Unit 1) — acclaimed

Vice President Unit 2

Julian Arend  — acclaimed

Vice President Unit 3

Jill Andrew — acclaimed

Chief Steward Unit 1

Harjot Singh Deol

Karl Gardner

Chief Steward Unit 2

Mike Palamarek — acclaimed

Chief Steward Unit 3

no nomination

Chief Steward Unit 4

nina pinakamaganda

Joanne Wadden

Committee Elections Open at the AGM

It is time for our annual committee elections!

All committees play a significant role in our local, contributing enormously to the smooth functioning of our union. This ranges from the daily work of reaching out to members, advocating on their behalf in various capacities, adjudicating different funds available to the membership, and connecting the local to the broader labour movement taking place municipally, provincially and federally.

The local would not function without the amazing work that committee members have done and continue to do. Please consider joining a committee or two! The nomination period will end on March 15, 9 am. Please send your nominations, and a brief statement if you wish, to Sara (VP Unit 1) at cupe3903vpu1@gmail.com.

Committee Vacancies:

For a description of each committee, please visit the Committees page.

  • Accessibility Committee – 4 vacancies (Honorarium: $250 per year)
  • Advisory Committee on Race/Ethnic Relations, Discrimination and/or Harassment – 2 vacancies (Honorarium: $250 per year)
  • All-University Pension Committee – 1 vacancy (Honorarium: $250 per year)
  • Archive Committee – 2 vacancies (Honorarium: $750 per year)
  • Bilingualism Committee – 2 vacancies (Honorarium: $500 per year)
  • Bursaries Committee – 2 vacancies (Honorarium: $400 per year)
  • Communications Committee – 4 vacancies (Honorarium: $750 per year)
  • CUPE Toronto District Council Representatives – 7 vacancies (Honorarium: $250 per year)
  • Distribution Committee – 6 vacancies ($50 per diem)
  • Employment Equity Committee – 3 vacancies (Honorarium: $250 per year)
  • Extended Health Benefits Fund Committee – 3 vacancies (Honorarium: $1500 per year)
  • Health and Safety Committee – 6 vacancies (hourly wage, marker/grader rate)
  • International Graduate Students’ Committee (IGSC) – 2 vacancies (Honorarium: $250 per year)
  • Labour Management Committee – 4 vacancies 1 from each unit (Units 1-4)** (Honorarium: $750 per year)
  • Postings Officers – 2 vacancies (Honorarium: $2,500 per year)
  • Research Costs Fund Committee – 2 vacancies (Honorarium: $250 per year)
  • Research Grants Fund and Travel Costs Fund Committee – 2 vacancies (Unit 2 only) (Honorarium: $500 per year)
  • Research Leave Adjudicating Committee – 1 vacancy (Unit 2 only) (Honorarium: $250 per year)
  • Senate Representative – 1 vacancy (Honorarium: $250 per year)
  • Senate Alternative Representative – 1 vacancy
  • Stewards’ Council Listserv Moderator – 2 vacancies (Honorarium: $500 per year)
  • Teaching Development Fund Committee – 2 vacancies (Unit 2 only) (Honorarium: $250 per year)
  • Toronto and York Region Labour Council Representatives – 12 vacancies (Honorarium: $250 per year)
  • Union Trustees Committee – 1 vacancy (Honorarium: $1000 per year)
  • Unit 2 Listserv Moderator – 2 vacancies (Unit 2 only) (Honorarium: $500 per year)

**While the bylaws do not yet reflect an honorarium for a Unit 4 LMC representative, such a bylaw change is in the works.

Please note that elections for the Professional Development Fund Committee (PDF), Childcare Committee, and Ways and Means Committee (W&M) takes place annually at the September GMM. As per the new by-laws, the election of the Election Officers will take place at the April GMM. Nominations for these positions are not open.

Happy Ten Year Anniversary to our Staff, Raj Virk and Sheila Wilmot!

Ten years ago today Raj Virk began working as a Staff Rep for CUPE 3903. In this time he has helped countless members with individual grievances and has guided the local through four bargaining rounds (including the most recent first contract for Unit 4).

Last September 18th also marked Sheila Wilmot’s ten year anniversary with us, as Equity Officer. Sheila has also helped us form bargaining proposals, and has helped countless members with grievances, workplace harassment issues, securing workplace accommodations, and a multitude of other equity issues within our local and with regards to our employer.

Together Sheila and Raj’s service to our membership has proven invaluable, and their insight and contributions become more important every day. Their jobs are by no means easy, and yet their commitment to our local’s membership is never wavering.

Thank you for ten years of great service, Raj and Sheila!

Nominations Open for CUPE 3903 TFAC Co-Chairs (2017-2018)

The TFAC logo, a graphic image of a black cat.

The TFAC logo, a graphic image of a black cat.

The nomination period for the executive position of TFAC co-chair opens Monday February 27 and ends March 12 at 5 pm. Members of any unit, who are TFAC members, are eligible for these two positions. The TFAC co-chairs also sit on the executive committee of CUPE 3903. Please see below for a full description of the position responsibilities. To nominate yourself or ask questions, please email elections officer Annelies Cooper at annelies.cooper@gmail.com. Nominees are welcome to submit a 300 word statement on their interest in the position to the elections officer on or before March 12 at 5 pm. Nominee statements will be posted on the website during the campaign period to familiarize members with the nominees.

If the position is contested, a campaign period will run from March 13 to March 19. Voting will take place March 20 – March 22 at the union office, Atkinson 143, at York University Keele Campus from 10 am – 5 pm.

What is TFAC?

All women, trans, gender queer and gender variant members of the local are automatically members of the Trans Feminist Action Caucus whether or not you have ever attended a meeting. All TFAC members are eligible to nominate themselves for the position of co-chair. Co-Chairs are elected by TFAC members. The Caucus was formed under the Bylaws of Local 3903, which states that the members of any group discriminated against on the grounds enumerated in the Ontario Human Rights Code have the right to form exclusionary caucuses within the local (see Article 11, CUPE 3903 Bylaws). CUPE 3903 is strongly committed to equity within our union. We welcome and strongly encourage involvement of persons with one or more disabilities, lesbian, bisexual, two-spirited, queer and trans persons, persons from racialized groups, and Aboriginal persons.

Position Description

 a) Collective Responsibilities (All Executive committee members)

  • Attend executive committee (EC) meetings.
  • Call, organize and attend General Membership Meetings (GMMs) and provide monthly reports to the general membership.
  • Participate in Fall orientation sessions and familiarize new members with TFAC
  • Become familiar with the constitution and by-laws of the local, the policy manual, the Collective Agreements (CA) of all units, the member’s manual, Bourinot’s Rules, the constitution of CUPE National and the CA of 1281.
  • Pull together proposed annual budget of the local for presentation and the Annual General Meeting (AGM).
  • Chair meetings of the executive and the local.
  • Subscribe to lists of the local including NEWS and Stewards Council.
  • All EC members should participate in anti-oppression training.

b) TFAC co-Chair Responsibilities

  • Oversee Caucus list serve; approve over-sized messages; add members to list
  • Respond to list-serve postings/questions where appropriate
  • Conduct conference registration and payment for members attending conferences
  • Record minutes at TFAC meetings and distribute to members for approval at subsequent meeting
  • Organize regular TFAC meetings at an accessible location
  • In the absence of volunteers, chair TFAC meetings
  • Act as a point of contact for local equity groups to advance the work of the Caucus
  • When donations are approved by the Caucus, the co-Chairs are responsible for ensuring that paper work for donations is submitted, and where appropriate, letters are written and mailed
  • Write letters on the request of the Caucus
  • Attend meetings of the Executive Committee and General Membership
  • Provide periodic updates (once per month or less) about the work of the Caucus over the list serve.
  • At the TFAC AGM to be held in February/March each year, propose a budget to the Caucus for discussion and debate
  • Oversee and help with the formulation and carrying out of Caucus projects
  • Ensure that TFAC brochures are available in the union office (this may involve updating brochures over time)

Call for TFAC Poll Clerks

TFAC is also in need of poll clerks to monitor TFAC voting on March 22nd and 23rd. Poll clerks are required to work a 3.5 hour shift and will receive a $15/hr honoraria. The positions are available to members of TFAC on a first come first serve basis. To apply, contact elections officer Annelies Cooper by email at annelies.cooper@gmail.com.

Bargaining Team Meeting Report

The Bargaining Team (BT) for Units 1, 2, and 3 met for the first time on Thursday, February 23. Below is the report provided by the BT.


The BT estimates that a full team will be assembled by March 22. This is due to a Unit 3 by-election and a Unit 2 run-off. We guessed this would occur simultaneously with the Executive elections. For meetings, we need to advertise better, ask staff to join us, ask union committee members to participate and have better coordination more generally. We can also hold joint BT-Executive meetings to foster better cooperation.

Training—we discussed soliciting CUPE National to do a workshop on Ontario labour laws and an overview of the bargaining process.The BT needs to learn more about our national representative and the role of lawyers as a resource.

The BT needs to discuss the rules of quorum. There are no formal by-law rules on this.
Justin can do a presentation on financial analysis and reading income statements of large organizations.

We need to schedule an anti-oppression workshop for each member to complete.


The BT needs to create an e-mail account. We will also request a website log-in so we can post reports right to the website. The minute-taker for the day will be in charge of posting to the website.


Focus groups were brought up as a way to hear from unit 2s.

Unit 1 suggested contract workshops where we try to bring departments together and distribute the contract and survey members.

Unit 3 surveys can be direct contact since the bargaining unit is so small now.

Next meeting: Tuesday March 7 at 2:30pm. We will create a draft of the survey. 3903 staff offered to do a short presentation on issues among members at the March 7 meeting.
We can schedule town halls between March 15 and March 30.

Board of Governors Appoints YorkU President on Tuesday

On February 28, the York University Board of Governors will be meeting to discuss the presidential search. It is almost certain that they will ratify the university’s new president at this meeting. In the past, CUPE 3903, as part of the Cross Campus Alliance, has criticized the lack of transparency and consultation in the presidential search process. Now is our opportunity to demand a seat at the table.

We encourage all of our members to send an email to the board secretary Elaine MacRae at emacrae@yorku.ca telling her you would like to be at the meeting. This is a public meeting open to the whole York community where members of the Cross Campus Alliance will be in attendance. Regardless of whether or not you can attend, this will show the board of governors that teaching assistants, contract faculty, graduate assistants, and part-time librarians and archivists at York care about this presidential search and we want our voices heard.

The meeting will be held on February 28th at 1:30pm on the 5th floor of Kaneff Tower.

See the Cross Campus Alliance’s previous statement on the presidential search here.

Updates to the office: Lost and found, minutes, and other resources

Exciting updates have been made to the office that you, yes you!, should know about.

Alongside our new recycling station, we have a new box for lost and found items. It will be emptied once an month, at which point the objects left are first come, first serve.

The Lost and Found box, alongside the new recycling center.

Some binders of GMM and executive minutes have been moved to the shelves above the member’s computer. These binders are here so member’s have access to the minutes of our various meetings. If you are interested in reading up on the history of the local, here is a place to start!

The binders are located above the computer, which is also available for members to use for union work.

A bookshelf has been moved to make other meeting minutes, such as Stewards’ Council, and other resources more available to members as well. This bookshelf is located next to the supplies closet.

Feel free to read and borrow books, magazines, and other publications from the office. These resources are available for you!

Moving this bookshelf has also opened up more space in 143D, the largest meeting room in our office. With the bookshelf out of the way, more space has been opened for CUPE 3903 archive materials, such as past t-shirts and other paraphernalia.

The tvs in the office have also been set up with an instructional poster to guide you in how to use them, such as using them for a Skype meeting, powerpoint, etc.

We hope this changes will make CUPE office resources more accessible.

Recycling Programs at CUPE 3903

picture showing recycling boxes at CUPE 3903

Recycling station in the CUPE 3903 office, located between the Collective Agreements and the Dropbox.

CUPE 3903 is excited to announce new recycling stations in the CUPE Office, located in 143 Atkinson building. Boxes are in place to collect and recycle writing instruments and batteries. All members are encouraged to drop off their writing utensils and batteries in the CUPE Office to ensure the materials are safely recycled.

The writing instrument recycling program is in collaboration with Terracycle.ca. Any brand of pens and pen caps, mechanical pencils, markers and marker caps, highlighters and highlighter caps, permanent markers and permanent marker caps are accepted in for recycling. For every writing instrument recycling, two cents will be donated to Earth Day Canada. Learn more about this program here.

Information flyer from Terracycle.ca detailing recyclable writing utensils.

A box to recycle batteries is also now in place to recycle single-use batteries, rechargeable batteries, cellphones and/or cell phone batteries. Lithium Ion (Li-ion), Small Sealed Lead Acid (SSLA/Pb) rechargeable batteries and lithium primary batteries must be individually bagged or have their terminals taped. If recycling cell phones, it’s recommended you remove any and all personal information before recycling. In the recycling process, the memory on the phones is destroyed and reusable materials are recycled before they are resold. For more information about this battery recycling program, visit call2recycle.ca.

For any questions, please contact Jacqueline Ristola, Chief steward Unit 3, at cupe3903csu3@gmail.com.