Interim Chairperson and VP Unit 3 Needed

Our Chairperson, Graeme Reniers, will be resigning effective February 16 to pursue a job opportunity. There is also a vacancy for Vice-President Unit 3.

Because of the potential for a strike in early March, it is impossible to hold a full by-election. Therefore, nominations are now open for a candidate to be pro temmed (temporarily appointed) at the February 21 Executive Committee meeting (as per Article 14 V. (b) of the bylaws).

To nominate yourself, please email Dan O’Hara at recsec.cupe3903@gmail.com by 5pm on February 20.

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February 5 Bargaining Report: Employer Tries to Divide Units

On Monday, February 5, the bargaining team for CUPE 3903 Units 1, 2, and 3 met with the employer. This was the first bargaining meeting we have had without the Ministry of Labour-appointed conciliator since we entered conciliation. The employer made us wait for three hours, and the conversations were sadly much less productive than last Thursday. Most alarmingly, the employer appears to be trying to separate the Units by being much more accommodating about Unit 1 than Units 2 and 3.

Most of the proposal documents which have been tabled so far are available on the Reports page.

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CUPE 3903 Strike Duties Accommodation Procedure

In the event of a strike, all CUPE 3903 members who want to contribute to strike duties and receive picket pay will be given meaningful work. The following policy is for members who cannot picket — or can only picket some of the time — due to a protected ground in the Ontario Human Rights Code. Members who need accommodations are strongly encouraged to sign up now, following the procedures below, for alternative (or “8th Line”) duties.

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Feb. 6 ‘Red Lines’ GMM – Tentative Agenda

General Membership Meeting
Tuesday Feb.6, 2018
5:00pm-8:00pm
Location: Vari Hall, Lecture Hall A

Join and share the event on Facebook here!

  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. Bargaining
    1. Bargaining Team Report-Back
    2. Red Lines
  7. Notices of Motion
    1. Donation Request from ‘Affordable Housing Committee’ ($1,000)
    2. Donation Request from ‘Womens’ Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu’ for ‘Mapuche Solidarity Film Festival’ (see budget)
    3. Donation Request from ‘David Reville/Working for Change Mad People’s History Course Award’ at Ryerson University ($250-500)
    4. Donation Request from ‘Mayworks’ for ’33rd Mayworks Festival’ ($100)
    5. Endorsement of and Donation Request from ‘February 14th Strawberry Ceremony Organizing Committee’ for ‘National Day of Action Honoring Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’
  8. Matters Arising
    1. Donation to No One Is Illegal’s ‘Sanctuary City’ Event ($1,000)
  9. Executive Reports
  10. 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.

February 1 Bargaining Report: Discussions of Funding

On Thursday, February 1, the bargaining team for CUPE 3903 Units 1, 2, and 3 met with the employer and the conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour, Greg Long. This was the second bargaining meeting after the union secured an 85% Strike Mandate Vote.

Most of the proposal documents which have been tabled so far are available on the Reports page.

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January 29 Bargaining Report: No Progress

On Monday, January 29, the bargaining team for CUPE 3903 Units 1, 2, and 3 met with the employer and the conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour, Greg Long. This was the first bargaining meeting after the union secured an 85% Strike Mandate Vote.

Most of the proposal documents which have been tabled so far are available on the Reports page.

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Committee Vacancies

There are currently three committees with vacancies: the CUPE Toronto District Council, the International Graduate Students Committee, and the Election Committee. A description of each committee can be found below. If you would like to get involved, sitting on a committee (or two!) is a great way to contribute to your local. Every committee position includes an honorarium.

The nomination period is open until February 6, 12 pm. To nominate yourself, email Hossein at cupe3903vpu1@gmail.com. Contested positions will be elected at the February 6 General Membership Meeting.

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85% Strike Mandate for Education Workers at York University

Toronto, Ontario – January 26, 2018 – Contract Faculty, Teaching Assistants, and Graduate Assistants at York University have voted by a margin of 85% in favour of a strike mandate. A record high turnout cast their vote between January 19-26. Full results are available below.

These education workers are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3903 (CUPE 3903).

“The strong mandate delivered by our membership is an indication of how highly they value their role as mentors and front-line educators,” says Julian Arend, CUPE 3903 Vice-President for Contract Faculty. “When instructors are given the resources they need to deliver a quality education, the biggest winners are thousands of undergraduates who rely on them to provide them with the tools they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive world.”

The union’s contract expired on August 31, 2017. While the union has taken bargaining seriously, York’s administration has been unresponsive on issues such as job security for Contract Faculty, protecting funding for Teaching Assistants, and maintaining employment levels for Graduate Assistants.

“We’ve gained a strong strike mandate because graduate student workers are deeply concerned about the massive restructuring of graduate funding,” says Lina Nasr, CUPE 3903 bargaining team spokesperson. “We’re dealing with the effects of unilateral changes York has implemented in the last two years.”

CUPE 3903 and York University have been in bargaining since September. The parties have been meeting with the assistance of a Ministry of Labour-appointed conciliator since January 8.

For further information:

Lina Nasr, bargaining team spokesperson: lina.nasr.elhag@gmail.com
Julian Arend, executive committee spokesperson: cupe3903vpu2@gmail.com
Maija Duncan, French-language media spokesperson: cupe3903comms@gmail.com

More information on CUPE 3903’s current negotiations can be found on the Bargaining tab.


Strike Mandate Vote Results

Unit 1: 86.46%
Unit 2: 83.07%
Unit 3: 84.62%

Total yes vote: 85.34%

Strike Mandate Vote Turnout

Unit 1: 52.67%
Unit 2: 51.57%
Unit 3: 47.27%

Total voter turnout: 52.21%

This turnout breaks our previous known record by 12%, and is unheard of in the academic sector.

January 25 Bargaining Report: Employer Refuses to Discuss Important Issues

On Thursday, January 25, the bargaining team for CUPE 3903 Units 1, 2, and 3 met with the employer and the conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour, Greg Long. It was yet another frustrating day where very little happened in terms of bargaining.

Most of the proposal documents which have been tabled so far are available on the Reports page.

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January 22 Bargaining Report: Employer Stalling Shows Need for YES Vote

On Monday, January 15, the bargaining team for CUPE 3903 Units 1, 2, and 3 met with the employer and the conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour, Greg Long.

The bargaining team has prepared a comparative table of the proposals: Proposals and Responses up to January 22. All of the proposal documents which have been tabled so far are available on the Reports page

The employer provided some sign-offs on equity issues which had been agreed to in previous meetings. They have also provided a small update to their counter-proposal on accommodations procedures. These will be discussed in Thursday’s bargaining meeting, after the union’s Equity Officer has had a chance to review the language. This is the sum total of the employer’s engagement with our proposals in this meeting, which lasted all day: adding one sentence to an existing counter.

On this, the first day of the Strike Mandate Vote, it is clear that the employer intends to wait to see the results of the vote. They are expending an appallingly large amount of resources — social media, radio, open letters, etc. — to claim that they respect the process of collective bargaining and encourage members to vote no. However, for the third meeting in a row, our bargaining team waited all day for very little.

The employer is sending us a clear message. Without a strong YES in the Strike Mandate Vote, the employer wastes time, refuses to address key issues, and overall does not bargain. The employer has chosen to confirm the unfortunate reality of labour relations at York: there is no fair contract without a strike mandate.

Polling stations are open until Friday at the following locations:

Keele Campus:

  • Vari Hall link: 9 am – 8 pm
  • Vanier College (front lobby): 9 am – 5 pm
  • William Small Centre (near the Tim Hortons): 9 am – 5 pm

Glendon Campus:

  • across from the cafeteria: 11 am – 3 pm

There is also a mobile polling station on Keele Campus.