CUPE 4879 Newsletter APRIL, MAY, JUNE 2019

Congratulations To The Graduating Class of 2019

This year, several of our CUPE members and their families convocated. Congratulations and we wish you all the best in your future!

General Membership Meeting Highlights

The March and April General Membership (GM) Meetings brought many new faces out, and it was great to see you all.

• We had a speedy meeting in March and heard reports from some of the local’s committees, including a bargaining update.

• In April, members from our Negotiation Committee had just returned from a Bargaining conference in Saskatoon, so we heard the highlights from that. We also discussed training for our new members on various committees, including Job Evaluation and Occupational Health & Safety. We are expecting dates in September for the Job Evaluation training and if any other members are interested in attending, please contact the CUPE office (cupe4879@shaw.ca).

• The May GM meeting was predominantly informational. We discussed the upcoming Farmer’s Market event and our Bowling Social.

Special thanks to the following members for consistently attending and contributing to our GM Meetings. Your commitment is an inspiration to us all!

Rhea Clements, Bart Cummins, Wilma De Jong, Michael Dillon, Kathy Gilroy, Tony Kuczma, Linda McAbee, and Linda Fleck

Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, June 12 at 4:30 in OL 127. This will be our last meeting for the summer with regular meetings resuming in September. See you on June 12!

Know Our Collective Agreement

Based on a recent survey, members were interested in learning more about the following Articles in our Collective Agreement.


If you need to take time away from work for personal or professional reasons, we have wording in the Collective Agreement that allows leaves of absence. The reason for the leave can be for TRU or union work --- maybe you serve on a committee, for example -- or it can be for personal reasons such as a general leave or bereavement leave. Here’s how it often works:

• If the leave is for union business or to serve on a university committee, CUPE or the committee will request it on your behalf by contacting your immediate supervisor.

• Taking a leave for union functions may be granted with or without pay. If the leave is granted without pay, CUPE may offer to compensate you. To confirm this, contact the CUPE office.

• If the leave is for personal reasons, you should request it from your supervisor. The exact type of leave may require documentation and a formal written request.

(a) For Union Business

The Employer agrees that, where permission has been granted to representatives of the Union to leave their employment temporarily in order to carry on negotiations or other discussions with the Employer, or with respect to a grievance, they shall suffer no loss of pay for the time so spent. The Union agrees to be expeditious in dealing with Union business.

(b) Leave of Absence for University Committees

An employee whose assigned work schedule would prevent him/her from attending meetings of a University committee to which he/she has been elected or appointed, will be granted a leave of absence from his/her regular duties without loss of pay or other entitlements to attend such meetings. Where such leave is granted, the Employer will replace the employee as necessary. The cost of this provision will be borne by the institution as a general operating expense.

(c) Bona Fide Union Functions

Leave of absence without pay and without loss of seniority shall be granted, upon request to the President or his/her designate, to employees elected or appointed to represent the Union at bona fide Union functions. Such time shall not normally exceed twenty-one (21) working days per employee in any one year. Two (2) weeks' notice of such leave shall be given to the Employer; however, notice of less than two (2) weeks will be given every consideration. Where the Union has provided two (2) weeks advance notice and where the employee has not been replaced, the Employer will not bill the Union for wage and benefit costs.

(d) Bereavement Leave

An employee shall be granted four (4) regularly scheduled consecutive work days leave without loss of salary in the case of the death of a parent, wife, husband, common-law spouse, brother, sister, child, grandparent, mother-in-law, father-in-law or foster and step-children. Reasonable leave of absence shall be granted for travel and estate affairs. Such additional leave may be granted, on approval of the President or his/her designate. One-half (1/2) day shall be granted without loss of salary or wages to attend a funeral service, provided such employee has the approval of his/her supervisor or department head.

Article 22 also covers the following:

(f) Jury and Court Duty

(g) Leave for Union Officers and Public Service

(h) General Leave

(k) Exchange


Professional Development Benefits

One of our strongly-held beliefs is the value of professional or personal development through education. Over the years we have negotiated benefits to help members and their immediate family pursue education. Tuition waiver has been a popular benefit for our members. It allows full-time CUPE employees and our dependents to enroll in certain undergraduate courses and have the tuition reimbursed. Each department has policies and procedures to apply for tuition waiver, so inquire with your supervisor to learn more.

Recently this benefit was extended on a trial basis to include Open Learning courses and PLAR. For more information about this trial project, please see our “January, February, March 2019 CUPE Newsletter” at https://4879.cupe.ca/2019/03/13/cupe-4879-january-february-and-march-2019-newsletter/.

In addition to tuition waiver, CUPE 4879 offers three education awards of $1000 each to our members. The union also supports members with CUPE educational courses that teach practical skills for the workplace, and many of our members join our committees to get experience or apply their new learning. For more information, please check the CUPE 4879 website (https://4879.cupe.ca/) or Email staff list for postings.

(e) Tuition Waiver

To encourage the professional development and career goals of its support staff and immediate family members, TRU will support tuition fee waiver of its credit-based courses, when extra seats are available in the course. The parties recognize that in all cases and without exception, fee-paying students will be given first priority. 2. For the purposes of this clause immediate family includes a spouse and dependent(s) twenty-five (25) years of age or under. 3. This provision does not apply to tuition for continuing education, cost recovery courses, graduate courses or courses in the Open Learning division.

For more information or to apply for Tuition Waiver. Follow the instructions below:

1. log onto onetru.ca

2. Go to "My sites" and choose "Human Resources"

3. Select "Current Employees"

4. Go to "Tuition Waivers" on the right hand side of the page, under the heading "Systems and Process Related"

Additionally, to learn more about your rights, please visit the CUPE 4879 website using the link below to our Collective Agreement:


Time For Coffee

On April 24, the Executive hosted a coffee meet & greet event for all CUPE members at our Kamloops campus. Our members came from every corner of campus and enjoyed great conversation and a beverage on their morning coffee break.

Our thanks to everyone who came out and to TRUSU and the staff at Common Grounds for allowing us to utilize their space and for the speedy service and delicious beverages.

Williams Lake Visit

In May, Lois Rugg and Cynthia Bosdet made the bi-annual trip to visit members at the Williams Lake campus. As always, our membership in Williams Lake were welcoming and we enjoyed our visit. There have been some changes at the campus including the closure of the Interior Health clinic at the campus. TRU and Interior Health have had problems finding a doctor or nurse practitioner to service the clinic and so the operation had to close. As a result, regretfully one of our members has been laid off. TRU has indicated they hope to re-open the clinic again and are still actively seeking a nurse practitioner to support the clinic.

A special shout out to our stewards in Williams Lake, Rhea Clements and Kathy Gilroy who are helping our members.

CUPE Members Join Bike to Work Week (BTWW)

Courtesy of: https://www.biketowork.ca/

Cyclists around the province participated in Bike to Work Week (www.biketowork.ca) this year. The free event promotes cycling as a healthy and environmentally-friendly way to commute. This year, the TRU cyclist with the most kilometres was CUPE 4879’s Thomas Sandhoff. Thomas commuted over 153 kms during the week!

Thomas offered these words of encouragement to other CUPE members:

“This was my very first time participating in BTWW. Don’t feel like you have to have a big, fancy bike or that you need to in the best shape to participate in next year’s BTWW event. (I’m not.) I saw the posters for BTWW on campus and thought it would be fun to participate with other people from TRU, plus it’s a great way to get in some exercise, enjoy some fresh air and reduce our carbon footprint. The main thing is to make sure that your bike is safe and road-ready to avoid any issues on your commute. No one wants to find out that their brakes aren’t working cruising down one of Kamloops’ steep hills! Also, don’t forget your water bottle with some high-quality H2O, especially in the blazing Kamloops sunshine. I found it motivating to see other TRU Folks on Spokes team members logging their rides on the biketowork.ca website and all the BTWW volunteers at the celebration stations make it an absolute pleasure to stop by each day. I would like to give a big shout out and thank you to all those amazing people! It was fantastic that the City of Kamloops made bus transit free for all BTWW participants this year, and I hope that it encouraged other incline-adverse riders like myself to participate. The main thing is to get out there and have fun with your TRU colleagues in whatever capacity you can, every little bit helps!”

BTWW was held from May 27 to June 2, and about 29,000 cyclists participated in workplaces around B.C. At TRU six BTWW teams formed, and some riders participated individually. The largest team was “TRU Folks on Spokes” organized by TRU Sustainability office.

Serving The Community At The Farmers' Market

CUPE 4879 members came out to the Kamloops Farmers' Market on June 1 to promote our work in Kamloops, Williams Lake and around the province. Our President, Lois Rugg, said the goal of the event was to reach out to the Kamloops Community: "It is important that the community knows that our work is integral for post-secondary students to earn their certificates, diplomas, degrees, and apprenticeships. We directly support students, faculty, the administration, and the TRU facility. Our members should be proud of the services we provide that benefit the whole community.”

In addition to talking to members the community, our volunteers sold hot dogs by donation with all the proceeds going to the Kamloops Food Bank. Approximately $500 was donated and the left over food was delivered and gratefully received by the Mustard Seed Community Life Mission.

We would like to thank our members who volunteered at this event, and CUPE BC and CUPE National for their support of the event. The cost of the event was shared with CUPE National and supported by CUPE National Communications representative, Janet Szliske. CUPE BC brought their famous Canadian-made trailer to Kamloops to give us a large and welcoming presence at the market. The 24-foot trailer came equipped with a bbq, kitchen, stage and sound system and was manufactured by CUPE Local 1004 with parts and materials primarily Canadian produced. It was a fantastic backdrop for our event.

10th Anniversary Celebrations Continue

CUPE 4879 will be wrapping up our "10 year plus" anniversary celebrations in the fall. The Executive will continue to reach out to our members and deliver the coveted CUPE 4879 pins. Over 200 members have been visited so far. President Lois Rugg said, “It has been great to see where our members work and do their magic for the institution. It is nice to meet new members and reacquaint with long time members too. We feel fortunate to work with such amazing people and are proud that they are members of our union.”

Don't Miss Our 5th Annual Bowling Night

Mark your calendars for the most popular social event of the summer: CUPE Bowling! Please RSVP to Connie at cupe4879@shaw.ca by June 14 with the number of participants and ages of any children who will attend.

This is a family-friendly event which will be held at Falcon Lanes on June 20 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. There will be food and refreshments provided, and the CUPE Social Committee has prepared plenty of contests and prizes.

This year’s theme is wearing crazy bowling socks. The more colourful the better! All CUPE Members and families are welcome, and you can attend as a team or an individual bowler.

Connect With Us at the June General Meeting!

The next General Meeting is June 12th at 4:35 pm at OL127. This is our last meeting until August so we hope you can join us.

We will be reviewing resolutions to put forward to the CUPE National Convention in October and reviewing CUPE BC committees. Check out the posting on the CUPE email list for more information.

Don’t forget members, it is the last chance to enter the $100 cash draw. The door prize will be drawn at the end of the general meeting.


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