The Niagara District CUPE Council is a central CUPE body with which CUPE locals in the Niagara Region, such as ours, choose to affiliate. Elected delegates attend monthly meetings and act as an information liaison between the local and the council. You can see that it is very important for locals to communicate by staying connected. After all, different occupations and workplaces are not the source of division but commonalities that we all experience and share as workers.
The Niagara District CUPE Council hosts union educational and workshops. Our local will send up to 6 members to each of the workshops listed and linked below. Most of them are Steward Learning Series [SLS] modules and thus preference is going to be given to our stewards should more than 6 people (stewards among them) express interest and commitment to attend.
This does not mean that other members are excluded from their chance to attend! We all have different schedules and not all stewards would likely be attending every single school.
Our local holds strategic planning meeting on June 15th from 9 am to no longer than 5 pm in Plaza 308.
This meeting is open for all members; elected officers should be attending. Lunch and snacks are covered by the local. Morning session will be facilitated by CUPE National.
Strategic planning is a collaborative way to set achievable and measurable goals for your local. It will help you determine what will be implemented over a matter of weeks and years so your local can evolve and grow to serve your membership better. It is also a way to build capacity and activism within your local. This is not an off the shelf workshop. Each situation is different and requires a tailor made approach.
We are holding two special membership meetings with the objective to present, discuss and vote on our local bylaws* that include the changes CUPE National asked our local to make for a full endorsement of the bylaws required by CUPE constitution.
There are two steps to bylaw change. First, the local gives notice to members that change(s) to bylaws is being proposed. The second step of the process takes place at the next general meeting where a discussion about the bylaw amendment(s) takes place, followed by a motion to accept the amendment(s). To make change(s) to bylaws, two thirds of the votes are necessary to pass the changes.
It is understood that members will acquaint themselves with the changes as presented in the first step, and come prepared to discuss and vote in the subsequent meeting.
Here are the amendments to our bylaws as requested by CUPE National. Only the bylaw articles undergoing changes are being presented here. The bold text indicates addition of a new language; cross through text indicates replacement of the old text by the new/bold and/or proposed to be removed. The whole set of bylaws is on our website.
- SGMM to give notice of bylaw amendments. This step involves simply notifying members that there are proposed changes to bylaws (in this particular case it involves the entire set of bylaws). May 10, Thursday, from 12 pm – 1:30 pm in WH 324
- SGMM to discuss and vote on the amended bylaw package: May 16, Wednesday, from 4 pm – 7 pm in WH 204
- there is also a proposed amendment to our Policies. In addition to our default agenda items, following reading of the Equality Statement, it is proposed to also read Recognition of Territory, and hold Moment of Silence for fallen workers. While we have been practicing these two acknowledgements, we need to have this practice recorded.
One of our most senior members, Darrell Short, has passed on April 17th. Darrell worked in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. He had received Governor-General’s Medal at Brock in 1982.
Darrell has been a long-standing member, dear coworker and a friend of our union. He will be greatly missed!
In Darrell’s memory, our local has contributed $500 to Crohn’s and Colitis Canada.
We extend our sincere condolences to his family.
Obituary and online condolences:
Our AGM is on Wednesday, April 11 at 4 pm in Thistle 325.
The main item on the agenda at our annual general meetings is ELECTIONS. See the agenda for this AGM with all the positions that are going to be elected. The positions’ duties are listed in our bylaws.
We will also be voting on two BYLAW AMENDMENTS.
One large amendment, particular to Unit 1, speaks to strengthening of our bargaining practices by a) adding a Bargaining Research Committee on the roster of standing committees (standing committee means a committee that is mandated to exist and be active by our bylaws), and b) by ensuring greater transparency and collaboration between the Bargaining Committee (the one that meets and negotiates with the employer) and the other committees and membership in reporting on the developments in negotiations.
The other amendment proposes to create another Vice President Position for Unit 1 that would be held by a graduate student member only.
Our GMM is on March 22 at 5 pm in Glenridge room 164.
On agenda is voting on proposed amendments to bylaws and policies.
For information on workshops offered at the Niagara CUPE School go here https://www.facebook.com/events/568937476789918/
The proposed changes to our bylaws are available here. You can also find them in a post below. Hard copies are posted on CUPE boards in your department. The strike-through text means the language is targeted for removal, and the bold text is the newly added language.
Both locals, our sister local CUPE 3903 at York University (Toronto), and CUPE local 2424, support staff at Carleton University (Ottawa), have commenced strike action on Monday, March 5th. Both university employers remain ill responsive to workplace issues that matter to front line university workers. Members of CUPE 2424 took on a single issue – to retain their pension plan. The TAs, instructors, and graduate assistants at YorkU are battling intransigent employer yet again.
We are calling on members, who want to show their support for either of the two striking locals, to contact the union.
We can arrange for transportation and other logistics and send a ‘flying picket’ to show solidarity and to learn about the issues they are on the line for. Their conditions are not fundamentally different from ours!
Our March General Members Meeting is on the 22nd at 5 pm, location to be announced.
At the last GMM on February 28, a notice of change to bylaws was given. This means that attending members were presented with proposed changes to the bylaws of our local. On March 22, attending members will be voting on the acceptance of these newly proposed bylaw additions and changes.
The Policy, Bylaw and Finance Committee is tasked with assessing the current bylaws and policies in order to be able to respond to the ever changing environment at our workplace. The addition of the Bargaining Research Committee and the changes to both Bargaining Support and Bargaining Committees reflect the pressing needs of our local to be better prepared for negotiations with the employer.
The proposed changes are available here. The strike-through text shows the current language that is proposed to be removed, while the newly added language is in bold.
Union members and workers who are not unionized are invited to a luncheon to share experiences and hear from union reps about the ongoing changes to our working conditions and how it affects us and students.
Monday, March 5 in Sankey Chamber
The lunch starts at 11 am and lasts until 1 pm. This is to accommodate workers who have varied times for lunch break.
Building solidarity makes our workplace stronger!
CUPE Ontario and its Aboriginal Council wish to express our heartfelt sorrow and condolences to the family of Colten Boushie, his friends and all Indigenous peoples. The killing of Colten Boushie and the failure to convict the person who killed him is another stain on Canada’s justice system and how it deals with Indigenous peoples.
Canada’s justice system does not work for Indigenous peoples. Their representation as police officers, prosecutors, judges, and on juries is almost non-existent in our system. Indigenous culture and values are not represented in Canada’s “rule of law”.
The failure of Canada’s justice system is another example of the societal injustices Indigenous peoples face. Residential schools, the 60’s scoop, the failure to investigate missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls, the lack of adequate education funding for Indigenous children, the violation of treaty rights, imprisonment rates, lack of clean water on reserves, and crippling poverty are evidence of Canada’s discriminatory approach to Indigenous peoples.
Radical change needs to happen in Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples.
CUPE Ontario’s Aboriginal Council calls on the government of Canada to reform our justice system so that it reflects the culture and values of Indigenous peoples. We need to work toward the creation of an Indigenous peoples’ justice system and to end the practice of peremptory challenge that was used by the defence in the Colten Boushie trial to exclude Indigenous peoples from the jury resulting in an all-white jury. Changing the jury selection process so that it does not discriminate was an action that Justice Murray Sinclair called for back in 1991. Five years ago, former Justice Frank Iacobucci also recommended that Ontario urge the federal government to end peremptory challenges.
It is time for change and CUPE Ontario and the Aboriginal Council will continue to fight for the changes necessary to ensure Indigenous peoples get justice.