Alternative Education Speaker Series
On Wednesday, November 26 at 7:30pm in WH 327 there will be a discussion by Hans Skott-Myhre on alternative forms of education in global capitalism. All are welcome to come out!
Unit 1 Meeting
There will be a meeting for Unit 1 members to discuss the Dental Plan and Ways and Means Fund. The meeting will take place on Monday, November 24 at 3:00pm in WH 202. All Unit 1 Members are encouraged to attend!
Office Committee Meeting
The Office Comittee will be meeting on Wednesday, November 26th at 1:00pm in MC C402. Feel free to attend the meeting!
Statement on the Blackface Incident from CUPE 4207
As has been widely reported, on October 30th, the Brock University Students Union (BUSU) held a Halloween party and costume contest. In this event, four students dressed in blackface in a portrayal of the Jamaican bobsled team, in part inspired from the film Cool Runnings. Further, these four students won the $500 prize for best costume, based upon crowd reaction at the event. What is most troubling, and has been enunciated in open letters from the Centre for Labour Studies and the Department of Sociology, is the complete lack of understanding and recognition to the legacy of blackface. It is a racist action that caricatures racialized peoples for the amusement of Whites while serving to reinforce conceptions of White supremacy that undermine and marginalize racialized peoples. The fact that this display of overt racism was on display and not challenged at the event is equally troubling.
This is not the first time that this has been raised. In 2007, a group dressed in the same costume participated in the event. While they did not win, the controversy that followed should have been an indication that blackface is racist and harmful. However, the reactions from BUSU and from the University Administration in the most recent event do little to declare this for what it is. Rather, the reactions to the costume have been to declare that it was an unfortunate act by individuals who were ‘unaware’ of what blackface represented, that they were not intending harm, and that the only solution is to ‘educate’ those involved. Further, reactions to those who critique the incident and the handling of the situation by BUSU and the University Administration have been claimed to be over-reacting.
A number of points need to be raised in response. First, regardless of the intent of the participants, the costume is a display of anti-Black racism. The use of blackface is meant to ridicule the image, abilities, and capabilities of Black peoples. Here, the costume is meant to be laughed at as a symbol of ridicule. It is not the image of a bobsled team that is the focus, but instead it is the portrayal of a Jamaican bobsled team. The explicit statement is that Black Jamaicans have neither standing nor are capable in a Nordic (read White) sport. This can be paralleled to the historic attempts of the Canadian government to prevent Black immigration under the belief that Black peoples cannot survive Canadian winters.
Second, the fact that this costume was not challenged by anyone in attendance is representative of the social, political, and cultural environment being produced and reproduced at Brock University. The statements from BUSU and the University Administration only highlight that the costumes were inappropriate, but claim that the participants were unaware of the meaning of the costume, and essentially, not harmful. However, they have nothing to say to the students, staff, and faculty who are insulted by the use of the image of Black skin as a costume. Likewise, when a group of male students decided to raise a sign with the line “Honk if you’re droppin’ off your daughter,” BUSU did not criticize the students for an openly sexist sign, and the University’s position was only that it was inappropriate. There was never an attempt to challenge the culture of sexism then, and there is no attempt to challenge anti-Black racism now.
Instead, in both cases, the individuals involved are deemed to not be intending harm, therefore harm cannot be done. In contrast, students, faculty, and staff have been attacked and investigated for standing up for social justice issues, including for animal rights and for women’s reproductive rights. In this case, would BUSU and the University Administration have made statements if it had not been for the statements in opposition? Probably not. As a result, they only serve to marginalize those who oppose such behaviour. As such, CUPE 4207 is opposed to this racist costume and stand in solidarity with those who are opposed.
However, statements can only go so far. The Equity Committee of CUPE 4207 has already begun working with social justice organizations, students and faculty in organizing further events to challenge the atmosphere of racism on campus. More information will be released when details are finalized, and we hope all are able to attend.
The Executive of CUPE 4207
National Day to End Violence Against Women
Please join us on Friday, December 5th, 2014 at 7:30-9:00am in Pond Inlet to recognize the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women and to honour the memory of the victims of the Montreal Massacre who were murdered 25 years ago. The event will include music, information fair, speakers, a memorial service and breakfast buffet. Proceeds from the event will be donated to local organizations supporting victims of violence.
Event : Friday, December 5th, 2014
7:30 to 9:oo a.m.
Parking, Buffet breakfast and door prize ticket for $5 per person
Pond lnlet, Brock University
500 Glenridge Avenue, St. Catharines
*****Doors open at 7:00 a.m.****
Tickets must be purchased in advance and are available at the following locations:
UNIFOR Local 199 Hall, 124 Bunting Rd., St. Catharines (Mon.–Thurs 10-2pm only)
Niagara Regional Labour Council, 37 Front Street in Thorold (289-362-2233)
Carm Lenartowich, First Ontario Credit Union, 275 Fourth St. St. Catharines (289-929-9247)
For more information:
Our GMM will be held on Thursday, November 27 at 5:00pm in Sankey Chamber. The GMM agenda will be:
Elections for the following positions and conferences:
- International Steward
- Instructor Steward
- CUPE Council Delegate
- 4 delegates to National Human Rights Conference
- 4 delegates to OUWCC Conference
All member will be welcome to attend!
Executive Committee Meeting
The next Executive Meeting will be on Wednesday, November 19th at 5:00pm in PL 311. All are welcome to attend!
Equity Committee Meeting
The next Equitty committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 11 at 3:00pm in TH 307.
Niagara Regional Labour Council Activist Dinner
On Thursday, November 20th from 5:30-9:30pm at Willoden Golf Course (10325 Willoden Rd. Niagara Falls) there will be an activist awards dinner. The Activist Dinner is an opportunity to join with labour activists from Niagara to celebrate the work of deserving individuals from the labour movement. Our local has purchased tickets for this event. If you are interested in attending, please email email@example.com for tickets.
The agenda for the evening is:
Meet and Greet: 5:30 pm
Dinner: 6:30 pm
Speaker: 7:45 pm
Presentation of Awards: 8:00 pm
The Health & Safety Committee will be meeting this Friday, November 7th at 10am in MC C402.
The Stewards Council meeting will be Thusday, November 13th at 3:00pm in MC C402.
The PAISC will be meeting on Monday, November 17th at 5:00pm in MC A323.
All are welcome to attend!
Protect Our Local Public Hospital Services
There will be two town hall meetings about saving our community hospitals. Public hospitals are a vital part of our communities and an import issues for us all. The Ontario Health Coalition will be hosting two town hall meetings in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake the week of November 2nd. The dates, times and locations are:
Welland Community Meeting: Thursday November 6, 7 p.m. Welland City Hall, Community Room
Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Meeting: Tuesday November 4, 7 p.m. Royal Canadian Legion, 410 King St., NOTL
Sponsored by: Niagara Health Coalition and Ontario Health Coalition
For more information contact Sue Hotte 905-932-1646
Stop private clinics! Save our local public hospitals!
On Friday November 21 at 12pm there will be a Giant Rally at Ontario Legislature, Queen's Park Toronto. For more information go to www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca.
Our response must match the threat:
Our response must be equal to the size of the threat. It is time that we stand up and make ourselves heard, before it is too late. Regular Ontarians from every walk of life -- local businesses, seniors, care workers, health professionals, students, all of us who care about equal access to health care based on need not wealth -- we all have a vital interest in saving our community hospitals.
The Ontario Health Coalition is calling for our biggest demonstration ever. We are asking everyone to take one day to lend your voice to protect vital services that everyone in our communities need.
We have a window of opportunity to stop the private clinics and force the government to deal with the fact that the public does not want a model of fragmented, privatized, inequitable and poor quality regional hospital care. This is a key issue in virtually every community. We need to get the word out and ask people to take a stand now.
Buses will be organized from communities across Southern and Mid-Ontario as far north as Sudbury and North Bay.
Important Public Meeting: “Possible Legal Action vs WSIB”
Monday, November 3rd at 6:00-8:30pm at Goodwill Stokes Community Village (36 Page St, St. Catharines, ON) there will be a public meeting on stoping the austerity attacks on out compensation system. Meet with injured workers and The Ontario Network of Injured Workers Group (ONIWG) to help in launching potential legal actions against the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) as well as the government. For more information contact: Wiily Noiles @ (905)327-7868, Peter Page @ (905)745–1003 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
GLOBAL ECONOMIC SLUMP: CAUSES, RESULTS & PROSPECTS Perspectives from the socialist left.
On Friday, November 14th at 7:30pm in WH 324 a discussion with ROBERT BRENNER (UCLA) and MURRY SMITH (Brock University) will take place. We hope that you can make it out to this free event featuring two predominate leftist thinkers. If you are interested in hearing an alternative perspective on the global economic crisis, then this is the event for you! We hope to see you there!
Robert Benner is Professor of History at the University of California (Los Angeles), a member of the editorial committee of New Left Review, and the author of Merchants and Revolution (1993), The Economics of Global Turbulence (2006), and Property and Progress (2009).
Murray E.G. Smith is Professor of Sociology at Brock University and the author of Invisible Leviathan (1994), Global Capitalism in Crisis: Karl Marx and the Decay of the Profit System (2010), and Marxist Phoenix: Studies in Historical Materialism and Marxist Socialism (2014).
The event will be chaired by JACK HEYMAN.
Jack Heyman was a seaman in the National Maritime Union and member of the Militant-Solidarity Caucus. In 1980, he joined San Francisco ILWU local 10. Now retired, he chairs the Transport Workers Solidarity Committee (at www.transportworkers.org) and continues to write on labor and politics.
Health & Safety Meeting
The next Health & Safety Committee meeting will take place on Friday, November 14th at 10:00am in MC C402. Hope to see yoou there!
BUFA Welcomes Academic Freedom Advocate Dr. James L. Turk
Academic Freedom is the lifeblood of what professors and librarians at Brock do. It's one of the Brock University Faculty Association's core principles.
To foster a better understanding of academic freedom, BUFA has invited Dr. James L. Turk, an authority on academic freedom at Canadian universities, to speak at Brock on October 30th at 10:00am-11:00am in Pond Inlet. Dr. Turk is a former Executive Director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers and currently a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryerson University.
BUFA would like to extend an invitation to members of other unions at Brock to join our members for his presentation, titled Civility, Precarity and the Demise of Academic Freedom."
In recognition of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on Friday, October 17th the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network will be participating in ChewOnThis!, part of Dignity for All: The Campaign for a Poverty-Free Canada. At each event, volunteers will be handing out a ChewOnThis! bag containing a local apple, fridge magnet and a ChewOnThis! postcard.
We invite you to drop by one of the locations on October 17th and add your support for a federal anti-poverty plan - if you can't make it, you can still show support by adding your name at http://www.chewonthis.ca/join.
In Niagara, ChewOnThis! events will be taking place in the following locations:
Lunch & Learn: Municipal and Trustee Election Lunch
On Monday, October 20th starting at 11:40am in Pond Inlet there will be panel sessions where people have the chance to engage in political process and share with them several reasons why we need to exercise our right to vote. Lunch will be provided.
Health & Safety Committee Meeting
The next Health & Safety Committee meeting will be held on Friday, October 10th at 10:30am in MC C402. All members are welcome to attend!
Unit 3 Strike Vote
A meeting will take place on Wednesday, October 8th in WH 8G from This meeting will allow Unit 3 members to have their questions answered and allow for voting. Thursday, October 9th, we will have the ballot box open in the union office from to allow members who can't make it on Wednesday to vote.
The October GMM will take place on in MCA 241 at . We welcome all members to attend the meeting!
The next Executive meeting will be in EA 101. All members are welcome to attend!
Joint Newsletter & Education Committee and Stewards Council Meeting
Both the Newsletter & Education Committee and the Stewards Council will be holding a meeting on in MC C402.
This event will take place on in WH 204. This event will help activists understand Brock's environment and allows you to meet other like-minded people! There will be free vegan snacks provided at the event. For more information contact email@example.com
Health & Safety Training Update
Have you completed your H&S training yet?
It has been mandated by the provincial government that every worker complete basic H&S training once.
You can complete the training online via the Health and Safety tab on Sakai. The online training takes less than an hour. When you finish, print your score and give it to your supervisor. You should print your name on the paper. If this is not in your Allocation of Hours, ask your Supervisor to be paid for the training.
A live session was offered and then cancelled.
Equity Committee Meeting
The next Equity Committee Meeting will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 24 at 6:00pm in MCC 402. Hope to see you there!
Joint Bargaining Meeting
Alternate for JHSC
We welcome Amy Pham to the Health & Safety team! She will be the Alternate for JHSC Meetings. Gloria is on leave for the Fall term, so Amy will attend Fall meetings in her place. We hope you can come out to the next Health & Safety Committee meeting Monday, September 15th at 4:00pm in EA 102.
Municipal Election Candidates
CUPE 4207 is proud to endorse the following municipal candidates in the upcoming elections:
Jeff Burch for mayor of St Catharines. Jeff has a strong background in the labour movement, and will be an excellent progressive voice for workers in the city.
Laura Ip for St Catharines City Council. Laura is a member of our local, she has campaigned for a living wage in St Catharines, and ran the Hungry Vegan Food Drive.
Shawn Wilson for City Council in Thorold. Shawn led a 80 day strike against the Lincoln County Humane Society, had opposed privatizing services in Thorold, and has supported 4207 at many events and rallies.
Phil Wachel for Ward 6 in Welland. Phil is a member of the local's executive, and will be a strong progressive voice for workers in Welland.
Speaking out against sexism at Brock
One of our members, Lauren Quinn has written an amazing response to the sexist sign that was displayed on campus during Moveing Day. Please check it out! Here is the article.
Newsletter & Education Committee
The Newsletter & Education Committee will meet next on Thursday, September 18th at 1:00pm in PL 411. Hope to see you there!
Equity Committee Meeting
The Equity Committee will be meeting Wednesday, September 10th at 1:00pm in MC C402. All members are welcome to attend!
Are You a Tenant? Know Your Rights Workshop
We are sponsoring a free workshop on Tenant rights. There will be a presentation with a question and answer period by Chris Woodall from Niagara North Legal Community Assistance, for students and workers who rent a place to live. This workshop will be held on Wednesday, October 8th from 1-1:50pm in WH 207.
CUPE 4207 Annual Fall Social
Our Annual Fall Social will take place on Thursday, September 18th from 7:30pm at Merchant Ale House (98 St. Paul Street, Downtown St. Catharines). All are welcome to come out to socialize eat and drink all on the union’s tab! We look forward to meeting our members and having a great time!
Take Back the Night
Take Back the Night will take place on Thursday, September 18th from 6:30pm at St. Catharines Market Square (91 King St.).
Everyone is welcome to join the Niagara Region Sexual Assault Centre to help stop violence against women. There will be inspirational music, speakers, a candlelight walk, slam poetry, children's activities and refreshments.
For further information, please call (905) 682-7258 or visit sexualassaultniagara.org
As September fast approaches and we all are getting ready for another academic year, the different union committees are busy scheduling September meetings. Here are some upcoming meetings with more to come!
Executive Committee Meeting: Tuesday, September 9th at 4:45pm in EA 306
Health & Safety Committee Meeting: Monday, September 15th at 4:00pm in EA 102
GMM: Monday, September 15th at 5:00pm in AS 217
If you have any questions or issues you would like to see discussed at the meetings please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. All members are welcome to attend!
The Unioin Office will be open August 26-29 from 12-4 each day. Please drop in if you have any questions!
Creating Harassment Free Workplaces Workshop
CUPE 4207 will be hosting a workshop on Creating Harassment Free Workplaces. The workshop is free to all CUPE members. It will take place on Thursday October 2, 2014 from 5:30pm-8:30pm in EA 104. Coffee and Tea will be served. Please register through http://ontarioeducation.cupe.ca. Click on ‘Program Calendar – Register for a Workshop’ and scroll down to the October 2nd workshop. Please register by Sept. 19th. If you have any questions please contact us at email@example.com.
People's Social Forum
Unit 1 Ad Hoc Ways and Means, and Benefits Committees
The Unit 1 Ad Hoc Ways and Means, and Benifits Committees are meeting next Thursday, August 14th at 10:00am in the Union Office (MC C402). All Unit 1 members are welcome to attend!
All Out for Gaza
On Saturday, August 9th at 1:00pm there will be a rally for peace in Gaza. The rally will take place at Hamilton City Hall (71 Main Street West, Hamilton ON). The rally will happen rain or shine so come out with your signs to support ending the war in Gaza!
The PAISC meeting will take place on Monday, August 4th at 1:00pm in MCA 323.
BLAST will meet next On Friday, August 1 at 2:00pm in MCA 323.
End the Occupation- Niagara Flim Screening
The screen will take place on Saturday, August 2 at 1:00pm in the St. Catharines Library (Mills Room). There is free admission and food.
Reschedule Unit 3 Bargaining Support Meeting
The Unit 3 Bargaining Support Committee meeting has been moved to tomorrow Thursday, July 24. The two meetings will be held at 11:00am and 12:00pm in EA 101.
Health and Safety Meeting
The Health and Safety Committee will meet on Aug. 1st at 10:00am in MC C 402. Any interested member is welcome to attend!
Gaza Solidarity Demo
Please join the demonstration on Friday, July 25th at 2:30pm in front of MP Rick Dykstra's office (61 Geneva St. St. Catharines) to show solidarity with the Palestinian people during this time of crisis. Feel free to bring any signs, banners etc, that call for peace and an end to the occupation.
National Sector Council Conference
CUPE 4207 will be sending two delegates to the National Sector Council Conference. The conference takes place from October 6-9 at the Sheraton Center in Toronto. If you are interested in going to the conference please email firstname.lastname@example.org by August 1st, 2014. Two delegates will be selected from members who have expressed interest.
Equity Committee Meeting
The next Equity Committee meeting will take place this Friday, July 11 at 1:00pm in Mahtay Cafe (241 St. Paul St., St, Catharines). All are welcome to come!
Stewards Council Meeting
The Stewards Council Meeting will take place Tuesday, July 8th at 12:00pm in MC C402.
“The Myth of Humanitarian Intervention”
The event “The Myth of Humanitarian Intervention” will be held on Thursday, July 10th from 6:30-9pm at Kiwanis Aquatic Center, in the Irene Locke Room on Carleton Street, St. Catharines. The presentation will be on Canada's R2P foreign policy, the on-going conflicts in Syria, Venezuela, Ukraine and now again Iraq and the Canadian government's response. The presentation will be followed by a discussion period. All are welcome to attend this event!
Next Newsletter and Education Committee Meeting
The Newsletter and Education Committee meeting will take place on Thursday, July 3rd at 11:00am in PL 408. All members are welcome to attend. If you would like to add something to the agenda or have any questions please email email@example.com.