Striking York University workers reach tentative deal

Members of CUPE 3903 have been on strike for seven weeks. (Robert Krbavac/CBC)

The union representing striking academic workers at York University said Monday it has reached a tentative deal with the school.

A representative of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 3903 said the tentative agreement was struck Sunday night.

“For the first time in seven weeks, there is a potential deal in sight for workers on the picket lines at York University,” the spokesperson said in an email.

“Workers will now make a decision to accept or reject the offer through a ratification vote by the end of the week. More details on that will be to come.”

Some 3,000 contract instructors, teaching assistants and graduate assistants walked off the job on Feb. 26 after contract negotiations with the university broke down.

Read more here.

Colourful Inuksuit Workshop

Join the Hadiya’dagénhahs First Nations, Métis and Inuit Student Centre on Thursday, April 18th from 1 to 3 pm for a vibrant exploration of Inuksuit crafting with a twist! Led by Director, Cindy Biancaniello, this workshop invites participants to delve into the rich tradition of Inuit stone markers while infusing their creations with a burst of colour using semi-precious stones. Embracing creativity and cultural heritage, attendees will learn the art of balancing stones to construct their unique and dazzling Inuksuit, creating a visually stunning and meaningful experience.

RSVP here.

Return of Election Ballots

Members in Good Standing, you would have received the voting ballot by now. Please, fill it in and mail it as soon as possible. The results will be announced at the Annual General Meeting on April 30th.

 

A Member in Good Standing is a formal membership in the union local that gives the member voice and vote. What is to be done to become MGS? Fill out this form!  You will receive a confirmation and MGS card by the post mail, delivered by members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers 🙂

Get Involved – Become a Department Steward!

Interested in getting more involved in your union? Why not become a Department Steward? As per our Bylaws:

8.2 Duties of Stewards
(a) Departmental Stewards shall:
i. Recruit and organize members in their departments and encourage them to become active in the Local.
ii. Act as representatives of the Local to the employees in their departments.
iii. Serve as the liaison between the members they represent and the Lead Steward, and, where applicable, the Faculty Steward and Vice-Presidents.
iv. Advise the members of the departments with regard to matters involving the Collective Agreement.
v. Organize the members to attend GMMs and other Local events.
vi. Distribute information of the Local.
vii. Attend, once per term, a Stewards Council meeting to report on any issues and findings from their work in the departments.
viii. Where appropriate, process the grievances of the members in their departments and represent their members in grievance meetings.
ix. Submit monthly written reports to the Stewards’ Council to report on their activities since the previous meeting. Stewards must submit reports to at least 50% of the Stewards’ Council meetings called to receive out of pocket expenses.

Contact Unit 1 Lead Steward – Brigitte Cecckin if you are interested in learning more: leadunit1@cupe4207.org

 

Letter to the Board of Trustees – In Support of Brock’s MRP Graduate Students and Graduate Student Workers

RE: Letter to the Board of Trustees – In Support of Brock’s MRP Graduate Students and Graduate Student Workers 

We are the 4207 Young Workers Subcommittee. Our group is a subcommittee of the CUPE 4207 Local’s Equity Committee and represents individuals under 30 years of age employed at Brock University. Aligned with the Union’s objectives, our mission is to improve activism and leadership capabilities among young workers, protect and advocate for their rights, and ensure their voices are heard. 

At the December 7, 2023 Brock Board of Trustees (“BoT”) meeting, the Board approved the 2024-25 Academic Year’s Scholarships, Fellowships, Bursaries and Awards budget which removed all funding for Major Research Paper (MRP) graduate students, with the exception of a one-time merit based entrance award of $3000 (for incoming students with an 82% average). As Young Workers employed at Brock University, we strongly believe that the Board’s decision was an inequitable answer to the University’s difficult economic deficit. Our subcommittee demands that the Board (1) Reinstate funding to all research graduate programs; (2) Distribute cuts equitably across all faculties when cuts cannot be avoided; (3) Include students in any further fiduciary decisions affecting their funding. The purpose of this letter is to show the BoT that Young Workers are paying attention to the decisions they make and we will not stop voicing our concerns until equitable changes are made. Read more…

National Day of Mourning, April 28

Workplaces are not safe. Despite health and safety laws and health and safety mandated training, in 2022 in Canada, 993 workers were killed while on the job because of unsafe working conditions.  In 2022, there were 993 recorded fatalities on the job in Canada! About 15 years ago, the labour movement  developed a campaign, Kill a Worker Go to Jail! While there were some improvements in sentencing employers for causing injury and death,  not much have changed since. The number of workplace fatalities is higher in 2022 than 2020.

Mourn the dead and fight like hell for the living. (Mother Jones)

Every year, on April 28th, workers commemorate those who lost their lives on the job with the resolve to keep fighting for the safety of their working conditions. The Niagara Regional Labour Council holds annual ceremonies at 10 locations in the region. We encourage our members to visit any of them on April 28th.

Source: Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards https://awcbc.org/en/statistics/#fatalities

Grading Anti-Social

The Social Committee organized a marking/grading day on April 17th in Pond Inlet. TAs and Marker/Graders, bring your work there and let the serenity of the place boost your concentration levels. Enjoy the quiet presence of your co-workers and the refreshments anytime from 9 am to 6 pm.

Trivia Night in support of the Niagara Sexual Assault Centre

Trivia Night in support of the Niagara Sexual Assault Centre
Doors at 6:30 p.m. Trivia at 7:30
Club Belvedere, 57 John St. Thorold
Test your wits, enjoy good company and compete for glory.
Tickets are $20 per person, with tables of 8. Each table will receive one tray of pizza, along with snacks.
Door prizes – 50/50 draw. There are some FANTASTIC prizes including two tickets for anywhere West Jet flies! All proceeds will go to the much-needed services and programs. Tickets can be purchased at niagarasexualassaultcentre.com/trivia

Unit 4 Bargaining Update – Second Day of Conciliation

Unit 4 Bargaining Update
Second Day of Conciliation: April 5, 2024

All in all, the two days of Conciliation were productive ones. By the end of
the second day, all of the outstanding articles have been agreed to except for the
wage settlement. This included agreement on Definitions, Job Postings &
Appointments, Leaves of Absence, Schedule & Workload, and a Letter of
Understanding on a Call-In List.

At 5:00 pm, the union presented a proposal on wages that the Employer
needs to cost out before being able to respond. For that reason, the parties have
agreed to extend Conciliation with a third date. The union proposed an extremely
reasonable offer that would recognize payment in nominal hours.
Conciliators have very busy schedules and limited availability. The third
Conciliation will likely happen at the beginning of May.

In Solidarity,
Phil Wachel, CUPE 4207 President