CUPE 4879 Newsletter September & October 2019

Ratification of the Collective Agreement

After many months of negotiations for our Collective Agreement, CUPE 4879’s Bargaining Committee brought a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to the membership for ratification. We thank the Bargaining Committee members—Debbie Wasylyshyn, Debbie Blackwell, Melissa Schuurman, Karl Fultz, Cindy Ozouf, and Lois Rugg—for their dedication, skill, and hard work.

The MOA that was provided to members has been posted to our CUPE listserv; search for “MOA” posted on 09/30/2019. The updated Collective Agreement will be posted to the CUPE website soon.

Some members may have questions, so we will hold a lunch and learn in November to go through the agreement. We are available to answer any questions you may have about the Collective Agreement. The date and location of this information session will be posted to CUPE listerv when it is confirmed.

The general wage increase of 2% will be retroactive to April 1, 2019. The employer is waiting to hear from the Finance department as to when the increase will be implemented. We are also expecting the retroactive payments to be completed before December 31, 2019.

Please note that the benefit improvements are in effect as of October 1st, 2019. Submitting receipts may be required by Manulife until the company has updated their system. For example, if you are going to go over the previous limit of $200 for massage therapy, please keep and submit your receipts to be reimbursed for subsequent additional visits at $75 each, totaling up to $500.

JE Points Increase

In addition to the MOA, we are happy to announce that the Employer has agreed to increase the Job Evaluation (JE) points by an additional 4%. For every JE factor evaluated, starting from degree 2 and above, the points will be increased by 4%.

This means:

• The points for all positions will increase for everyone.

• Positions that are close to the top of their pay band may gain enough points to place their position into the next pay band.

• Some people who have been red-circled may benefit, depending on how many pay bands were lost and how close to they are to the next pay band.

Only positions that have been evaluated on the current manual will have these changes applied. Positions waiting to be reviewed on the current manual will have the points applied at the time of their review and going forward.

The employer has agreed to implement these changes on or before December 31st, 2019.

Submitted by Lois Rugg

CUPE 4879 Elections: November is Nomination Month

Several CUPE 4879 positions are up for election this year, and we welcome everyone to participate in our local. Nominations can be made at the General Meeting on November 13 at 4:30pm in OL127.

If you are interested in running for one or more of the positions but are unable to attend the General Meeting, please email the CUPE office (cupe4879@shaw.ca) or call 236.425.2141 to let your name stand before 2pm on November 12, 2019. If positions are not acclaimed at the November meeting, an election for these positions will take place during the January 2020 General Meeting.

Three Executive positions are up for a 2-year term. To be eligible to run for these positions you must have attended 50% of the General Meetings in the previous year. If you are not sure if you meet this eligibility, email the CUPE office (cupe4879@shaw.ca) or call 236.425.2141.

The following positions are coming up for election:

• First Vice President (one 2-year term position, Debbie Wasylyshyn incumbent)

The First Vice President will perform all duties of the President in the absence of the President and be acting President when the office of the President falls vacant and/or until a new President is elected. They will deliver the Executive Committee report at the General Meetings. They will aid the President in performing such other duties consistent with our bylaws, or as the President from time to time will determine necessary. They will co-sign cheques when required and ensure the Local’s funds are used only as authorized. They will be a member of selected union and university committees.

• Treasurer (one 2-year term position, Lyn Ferec incumbent)

The Treasurer will work with the Executive to develop CUPE 4879’s budget and to monitor expenditures and will make full written financial reports to General Meetings detailing all income and expenditures for each period. They are the primary signatory for cheques that have been authorized, and they will be bonded through a master bond held by CUPE National. They ensure all transactions are recorded. They also deliver the books to the trustees for review annually. They are empowered by the local to authorize accounting clerical assistance, which is paid for by the union. The Treasurer may also be a member of selected union and university committees.

• Sergeant at Arms (one 2-year term position, Laszlo Nemes incumbent)

They keep a record of attendance for all General and Special Meetings and may appoint additional Sergeant at Arms to assist when necessary. They make known to the President the number of guests present at the meetings and they let the President know who needs to take the Oath of Obligation. They present the sign-in sheets to the Recording Secretary at the close of each meeting, and they admit members and CUPE representatives to meetings. They will also admit guests with permission of the Executive. All uninitiated members are admitted at their discretion. They may also be a member of selected union and university committees. They will also ensure that during votes no one enters or leaves until the vote has taken place.

Committee Positions Available

• Trustee (one 3-year term position, Linda McAbee incumbent)

The trustee will be responsible for ensuring that monies paid out have proper authorization, ensuring proper financial reports are coming to the membership, acting as a review committee, making recommendations to the President and Treasurer regarding record keeping and maintenance of accounts, using forms to submit reviews to CUPE National, and attending General Meetings.

• Education Committee (one 3-year position, Cynthia Bosdet incumbent)

This committee identifies training priorities and educational opportunities for the Executive and members. They recommend education and actions to the Executive. They provide evaluation forms to all members attending educational sessions. They meet to determine scholarship criteria, and award recipients based on budget allotted for awards.

• Job Evaluation Committee (one 3-year term position, Myrissa Krenzler incumbent)

Detailed terms and guidelines for this committee’s positions are available at JE Resources and Manual. This committee makes determinations based on the JE Plan. This committee meets once a month for a full day to review and evaluate positions based on the JE Plan. Special meetings may be called from time to time. Training will be provided whenever possible.

• Parking Appeal and Advisory Committee (two 2-year positions, Debbie Blackwell and Myrissa Krenzler incumbents)

For terms of reference for this committee please see: https://www.tru.ca/__shared/assets/ParkingAppealTermsofReference9035.pdf

• Social Committee (no limit)

The Social Committee arranges and conducts all social and recreational functions, submits reports to the Executive and Membership, and works with a budget that has been approved by the Membership. This committee in particular plays a big part in planning the CUPE Spring Social and Christmas Social, but it may plan other events for the Membership and promote Member engagement.

• Communication Committee (no limit)

The Communication Committee advises the Executive about technology and social media to communicate with the Membership. The committee plans and produces a quarterly (or may be more often) newsletter. They may work with the various committees to help promote events and do other activities to keep the Membership informed.

• Shop Stewards Committee (Training Provided) (no limit)

Shop Stewards may assist at various levels with grievances and issues for Members depending on training, skills, and level of interest. Active shop stewards are eligible to run for the Grievance Committee when it is up for election.

If you have any further questions about the positions, please contact Lois Rugg, President of CUPE 4879 (Presidentcupe4879@shaw.ca) or the CUPE office (cupe4897@shaw.ca).

Please note that in even years (i.e., coming in 2020), nominations for President, Recording Secretary, and Second Vice-President will take place.

Costumes, Candy, and CUPE, OH MY!

We would like to invite all members to join us for some Halloween fun. We have two Halloween contests this year:

• CUPE 4879’s Costume Contest: On Thursday, October 31, come dressed in your best costume and send us a picture via email (cupe4879@shaw.ca) before 12:00 noon. The same afternoon, keep an eye out on the CUPE list for the link to vote for your favorites. There will be prizes for the best individual and group costumes.

• Candy Guessing Game: Guess how many candies are in the skull and you could win the jar AND the candy! Please submit your guess to Connie (cupe4879@shaw.ca) by October 31 at 12:00 noon. The jar will be on display in the CUPE office (OM 2784) from October 28-31 if you would like to get a closer look!

Photo by CUPE 4879

Annual CUPE 4879 BBQ

Photo courtesy of Bart Cummins

This year’s CUPE 4879 BBQ was another success, with close to 200 members in attendance.

Photo courtesy of Bart Cummins

CUPE National Convention 2019: Report from Delegates

Photo courtesy of CUPE BC

Four CUPE 4879 delegates—Debbie Wasylyshyn, Karl Fultz, Lyn Ferec and Lois Rugg—attended the CUPE National Convention from October 7 to 11, 2019 in Montreal. Over 2,000 delegates attended from across Canada. Among the 2,000 attendees were over 400 delegates from British Columbia.

The delegates would like to thank the local for allowing them to represent you at the convention. They are invigorated and looking forward to working and fighting for the members of our local.

Karl Fultz reported: “It was an historic Convention, as delegates passed constitutional amendments to move to electronic voting by next Convention. This will modernize trial procedures, select regional VPs by Caucus, as is done in CUPE BC, and allow chartered organizations to send additional equity-seeking delegates to the national convention. They also passed resolutions on a wide range of issues, including pensions….”

Photo by Karl Fultz

Lois added: “One resolution in particular, constitutional resolution C15, proved to be a very emotional topic and a lengthy debate occurred on the convention floor as a result. The resolution was put forward by the National Executive Board (NEB) to increase the equity seats on the NEB from two seats to five seats. The constitutional resolution was put forward with the goal to see the face of our membership better reflected on the NEB. This was not put forward because the current board is making bad decisions, but rather the NEB can get different perspectives when making those decisions if those around the table have lived the experiences. The vote did not achieve the 2/3 majority required for the resolution to pass, but it is likely that the resolution will come forward to the next National Convention in some similar form.”

Other highlights of the convention included:

• Mark Hancock announced that CUPE National now has 700,001 members across Canada, so CUPE is still the largest union representing workers in Canada.

• The Communication Awards Breakfast, where our local and several other BC locals were recognized for contributions to our communities during the forest fires of 2017 and 2018. Janet Szliske, CUPE National Communication representative, wrote an article in the Public Employee magazine called “Answering the Call.” Her article highlighted how our members jumped in to support evacuees in many positive ways.

• The BC region will again be well represented on the NEB. Mark Hancock, former CUPE BC President, was re-elected for his 3rd term. Paul Faoro current CUPE BC President was elected as a GVP. Trevor Davies, CUPE BC Secretary Treasurer, and Barb Nederpel, HEU President, were elected as regional VP’s. In addition, from BC, Debra Merrier was elected as the Diversity President representing Indigenous Workers, and Shireen Clark was elected for a two-year term as National Trustee.

• Guest speakers included:

o Sara Nelson, President of the Association of Flight Attendants. She and her group are credited for ending the US Government shutdown. She was a passionate speaker and praised the work that CUPE does.

o Geici Maiara Brig, Education Director of SINTRASEB Brasil, spoke about living under the Bolsonaro government. We heard of the struggles of migrant workers who are prevented from crossing borders, of women whose murder rates keep increasing, of students protesting for a university education, and of the fight for unions.

o Jagmeet Singh, MP and NDP Leader, brought his message of optimism and hope. There was jumping and dancing on the floor involved, too.

During the conference, our delegates joined the Montreal commute by using the Metro (subway) to travel two stops to the Convention Centre. They were on the convention floor from 9am to 5pm daily. They also took the opportunity to network with fellow CUPE members, to explore China Town and Old Montreal, and to enjoy some amazing food together. Karl attended the Montreal Canadiens 1st home game of the season too. He found the “throne of hockey sticks” to sit on for a photo and looked like hockey royalty.

Submitted by Lois Rugg, Debbie Wasylyshyn, Lyn Ferec and Karl Fultz.

CUPE Sector Conference: National Post-Secondary Task Force Report

Photo courtesy of CUPE National

The CUPE National Post-Secondary Education Task Force was created in 2011 to provide advice to the NEB on issues affecting the post-secondary sector. Lois Rugg is a Co-Chair of this task force.

Lois Rugg, representing BC universities, and Tracy Carmichael, representing PEI universities, presented the Co-Chairs Report at the CUPE National Convention Sector Conference on October 6, 2019. For the past two years, the task force addressed three main priorities:

• A national campaign to make post-secondary education funding a federal election issue

• Sexual harassment and violence in the post-secondary sector

• Precarious work

At CUPE’s 2017 national convention, members called for a campaign to make post-secondary education a federal election priority. Over the past two years, the task force has helped to develop resources that members can use to advocate for post-secondary education. This includes a postcard to the Prime Minister calling for immediate investments in post-secondary education. CUPE 4879 members did an amazing job of getting these postcards signed.

Nationwide, we have sent over 20,000 postcards to the Prime Minister’s office, and our friends at the Canadian Federation of Students and the Canadian Association of University Teachers have sent in another 10,000.

One of the task force’s other priorities has been sexual violence and harassment. Unfortunately, last year, there have been multiple high profile incidents of sexual harassment and violence at Canadian colleges and universities. In five provinces, schools are now required to have an official, standalone policy on sexual violence, and schools in other provinces are starting to develop them too.

The task force consulted with the CUPE National Human Rights Branch on the creation of a Stop Workplace Sexual Violence guide. We participated in consultations for the federal government’s “National Framework to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence at Post-Secondary Institutions.” We are working with CUPE National research staff to create tools that are specific to the post-secondary sector.

Our third priority was precarious work. The post-secondary sector continues to be one of the CUPE sectors with the highest rate of precarious work. CUPE National has completed a research project, which identified the rate of contract appointments among faculty in universities across Canada. The task force is working with research staff to expand our knowledge about the rate and experience of precarity for support staff.

Finally, the task force has acknowledged that in order to make reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a reality in post-secondary education, we need to be doing much more to welcome and include Indigenous Peoples in our spaces and in our practices. We also need to encourage our institutions to make reconciliation a priority. We have spent some time over the past two years learning and talking about what reconciliation looks like in practice; however, we know that we need to do much more.

It was highlight for the committee to reveal “Task Force Capes”. The capes represent that this not just a committee, it is also a task force. The convention delegates had some fun with this, and it certainly made us more visible when stepped up to the microphones to speak to the resolutions.

Photo courtesy of CUPE National

I (Lois Rugg) would like to thank CUPE 4879 and CUPE BC, along with CUPE National, for supporting me for the past 4 years and for having the confidence in me to Co-Chair the amazing task force. For the next term, Karen Ranalletta—President of Local 2950 at UBC, CUPE BC Universities Committee Co-Chair, and CUPE BC General Vice President—will be representing BC universities on the task force. We are in amazing hands and our sector will have a great voice moving forward.

Submitted by Lois Rugg

CUPE BC Education Committee

Photo courtesy of CUPE BC

CUPE BC has appointed our very own member – Cindy Ozouf for a 2-year term to serve on CUPE BC’s Education Committee. The Education Committee works with the Education department staff to plan courses and programs for our union members. They also award scholarships and assists with the Spring (Kamloops) and fall (Nanaimo) weeklong schools.

On October 16, Cindy attended the OBCM (One Big Committee meeting). The meeting mainly consisted of mapping out what the committee would like to accomplish in the next two years and how and this plan can support CUPE BC’s Action Plan.

CUPE BC Education Committee will focus on the following action plans during the two-year term:

o Follow up on resolutions submitted in 2018 regarding the availability of resources to be presented in multiple languages.

o Expand access to education across the province with focus on smaller locals.

o Review the information from the needs assessments from locals across BC and once completed, look for trends and address them accordingly.

o Create a self-facilitation guide that includes a video introduction (Intro to CUPE) to welcome new members.

The committee will meet again in January 2020 to discuss the action plans in detail. Watch out for updates, as well new courses that maybe offered in the near future. For more information on courses being offered by CUPE BC, please visit: https://www.cupe.bc.ca/resources

Submitted by Cindy Ozouf

The 12th Annual Shoe Memorial, Dec 7, 2019

Photo courtesy of Kamloops This Week (kamloopsthisweek.com)

Our local is an affiliate of the Kamloops and District Labour Council, and every year they collect new or gently used women and girls’ shoes for a shoe memorial display to remember victims of domestic violence. Shoes are donated to local charities and support organizations afterwards to help those in need.

Any size and style of shoe is appreciated: Stilettos to runners to winter boots. Many of us have shoes that are unworn or only worn a few times that sit inside our closets. This is a good chance to clean out the closets and be part of an art worthy and powerful display, and to donate to those in need. Each pair of is labeled with names representing local BC women or women from across Canada who have been murdered or who are victims of violence.

This event coincides with the National Day of Remembrance on December 6th, 2019. Donations can be dropped off outside the CUPE 4879 office (OM2782/84) between now and December 5. Other drop off locations will be announced soon.

Connect With Us at the November General Meeting!

The next General Meeting is November 13 at 4:35 pm at OL127. We hope you can join us.


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