Urgent Initiative – Censorship, Antisemitism, Racism & Colonization

IHRA Report – Canadian Colleges & Universities

At our February 22 General Members Meeting we have moved a motion (below) in support of the fight against antisemitism, racism, and colonization within our institutions.

CUPE 4207 unequivocally supports the academic freedom of its members. This freedom includes the right to pursue research and open inquiry in an honest search for knowledge that is free from institutional censorship, including that of the government. While CUPE 4207 opposes antisemitism and all forms of racism and hatred, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s Working Definition of Antisemitism poses a serious threat to academic freedom in our university. The IHRA definition of antisemitism misconstrues antisemitism to include a broad range of criticism of the State of Israel. The IHRA definition thus undermines important anti-racist and decolonial initiatives in Canadian educational institutions. It can also be used to censor political speech and restrict the academic freedom of teachers and researchers who have developed critical perspectives on the policies and practices of the State of Israel. Such targeted attacks will have a chilling effect on the academic freedom of our members in the classroom, in their research, and in campus politics more broadly.Read more…

Student Workers Will Not Pay for the Housing Crisis!

Call to attend the March 29th event.

At our February 22 General Meeting, we have moved to endorse and committed to support the fight for affordable housing. We have signed onto the statement of unity Student Workers Will Not Pay for the Housing Crisis!

This campaign is spearheaded by a fellow graduate student, member of PSAC Local 901, a union of 2000+ student workers at Queen’s University in Kingston. Carleton University’s CUPE 4600 and University of Ottawa’s CUPE 2626 are partnering in this project.

Our members and their progressive organizations are invited  to get involved in the fight for affordable housing. Student workers across the province are increasingly unable to afford adequate housing for their needs, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made the situation worse.

FACEBOOK March 29th event

Call to Participation in the  inter-student-worker-union campaign to build a province-wide collective struggle to end evictions and demand affordable housing for all.


General Meeting February 22


AGENDA is located here.

Guest speaker is Doug Yearwood introducing campaign Student Workers Will Not Pay For the Housing Crisis!

Guest speaker’s info on students fight for affordable housing is here.

  • CUPE Convention – election of up to 11 delegates
  • The proposed motion on IHRA’s definition of anti-semitism and free speech is below. Resources for consultation:

Motion and Zoom link below: … Read more…

Call for Prevention Link Mental Health workshops participants

Mental Health 101‘, and  ‘Mindfulness & Challenges in Life & Self Care‘ workshops

The local has moved to reserve six spots in these two workshops for members who would be interested to attend. There are two workshops (the two named above) you can choose from or take them both. This can be done either on Feb. 25 or March 25. Please choose which day is preferable for you and which workshop (or both).

Please email info@cupe4207.org if you wish to attend the workshops by February 12, 2021, and include the information about our choice so we can cover sign-up fee.

February 25, 2021 or  March 25, 2021 (same workshops, different dates).

Ballots sent out January 26th

A big THANK YOU goes out to all members attending our General Members Meeting yesterday afternoon (and evening, it was long!).

Members who attended the GMM and left their mailing address with us (via Google Forms link provided at the GMM), will be receiving their ballots soon! The envelopes were put in the trusting hands of a Canada Post unionized worker this morning 😉

When you receive the ballots, read the instruction sheet carefully. All the ranking boxes next to candidates’ names need to be filled in with a number in order of your preference of the candidate for the position. Leaving even one of them blank means spoiled ballot for that particular position. … Read more…

Member of the Month for January 2021

We are pleased to introduce our new Member of the Month — Sarah Morningstar!

Hi folx!

My name is Sarah. I have been a Unit 1 member since September 2018. I began working as a TA and M-G after completing my BA in Child and Youth Studies and Sociology at Brock. In 2019, I began my Master’s in Social justice and Equity Studies, at which time I was also able to become more involved with the union. I received a warm welcome and in October of 2019 was elected as a Trustee. I have been active with the union to varying degrees as I juggle grad school, part-time work, and raising two young children. I encourage other members to be involved in ways that suit them as well.

As a Trustee I work alongside two other trustee’s and complete tasks such as the annual audit. I have been involved with ad-hoc tasks such as tabling, and I attend as many meetings as I can. In December 2020, I was a delegate to the Disability and Work in Canada Conference. One of my main takeaways from this conference was the importance of self-advocacy for people with disabilities. For me, this conference reaffirmed the many ways that Unions can support and contribute to workers’ rights.

I will serve as a Trustee until my term ends in 2022 and continue to be involved with CUPE 4207. I believe we are most effective when we work collectively and collaboratively for social progress and I appreciate our local’s commitment not only to workers’ rights, but justice and equity. I look forward to my future involvement with the union and working with my fellow members!

In Solidarity,


TA and Marker-Grader duties

It has been brought to our attention that some departments expect Marker-Graders to do TA duties.

Marker-Graders are being asked, for example, to field students’ inquiries about assignment instructions, and general course-related information, which is a TA duty.

If anyone is asked to perform TA duties while on a M-G contract, please contact the Chief Steward, chiefsteward@cupe4207.org

Below is the Workload language from our Collective Agreement, Article 22.01: … Read more…

Retro pay on your payroll

Our Unit 1 collective bargaining ended on November 3 2020, with both sides ratifying the new language for 2019 – 2022. The increase in pay for 2019-2020 will be paid retroactively (see Appendix B in the new collective agreement).

HR notified us that this is how retro pay is handled:

  1. Members with contracts D1 (September – April) will receive retro payment  as a lump sum that “will make up for the difference between the old and new rates for the entire duration of the contract.” This lump sum pay will be paid in January, while the old rates apply for the duration of their D1 contract.
  2. Members with D3 contracts will be paid the new rate of pay.

The lump sum can be expected this Friday, January 22, our pay day.

The payday schedule is here.  Please let us know is you have any questions info@cupe4207.org.

No procuring of teaching materials out of pocket!

A concern emerged about our members being asked to pay for the teaching material they need for their job. It is the responsibility of the employer to provide the material for you.

If you are asked by your supervisor to buy your own textbook, or any other material required to teach the course*, contact the union!

Article 21.05 of our Collective Agreement is explicit: Members of the Bargaining Unit shall not be required to personally pay for textbooks or other course materials that the University requires for the Member to discharge her duties.

*Sometimes, in our busy minds and under the daily pressures of grad work, the two roles, being a graduate student and a worker at the university, coalesce. This is a reminder that when we work as Teaching Assistants or Lab Demonstrators, the cost of the teaching materials is covered by the employer.