On this page you will find meeting materials for the upcoming Annual General Meeting. This page will be updated as more materials become available
1. Board reports
4. Other materials
1. Board Reports
VP Unit 1 - Zoey Jones
April 7th, 2021 GMM Board report
Dear CUPE 4600 members, colleagues, and friends,
Well, this has been quite a year, hasn’t it?
I want to first express how proud I have been of our members during this precedent-setting year. We have worked hard to keep Carleton running and the amount of flexibility, adaptability, innovation, and commitment to student support I have seen in both units is astounding. In the words of a good old Union cliché, Carleton does indeed “work because we do”, and never has it been more obvious than the 2020-2021 academic year.
This year has been tumultuous for your Executive Board as well. Between bargaining with our excellent staff (Unifor 567), dealing with the barriers and challenges of the pandemic at Carleton and for our members, and internal stress, I cannot say that this time has been uneventful. I am grateful I have had the opportunity to serve my local during such a tough time.
As your VP Unit 1, I was engaged in a number of initiatives this year that have been reported in previous board reports . These include leading the bargaining team in the summer and finalizing our Unit 1 2020-2023 Collective Agreement, ensuring/fighting for access to technology and tech cost reimbursements for our members working at home, advocating to protect members from overwork during an atypical holiday marking season, and working on accessibility and anti-oppression initiatives. I also worked with our mobilization coordinator, Pierre, to order and mail out masks to members who signed up for them in the last few weeks - I hope you like them!
As a member of the Executive Board this time has been even more complicated. This year has been characterized by significant conflict between members of the Executive Board where it came to the principles and practices of staff management. I believe that we have identified some issues and inconsistencies with how these processes work; I hope that the incoming executives will take this on as an area that our local should be committed to improving. During this work I encourage everyone to keep Union ideals at the forefront and prioritize everyone’s dignity, equity, and right to a safe and healthy workplace.
I encourage all members interested in Union organizing to consider running for a position as a steward, chair, or Executive Board member, including my position. Our members are the lifeblood of the Union and I look forward to seeing what the future of CUPE 4600 will bring.
Vice President, Unit 1
co-VPs Unit 2 - Morgan Rooney & Codie Fortin Lalonde
Dear Unit 2,
What a year it’s been.
We’ve learned a lot from you, the membership, and from our fellow board members and staff. We’ve also intimately learned just how much heel-digging this university does on almost anything that might meaningfully improve your working conditions--no matter the evidence presented or how reasonable the request.
Our last board report contained some summary of the work we’ve done in our roles as VPs of Unit 2 this year. In this, our final report, we wanted to pass along some additional major updates that we’d like to follow up on.
We held a caucus on March 18 that had 16 members attend and participate in a discussion about their experiences teaching during the pandemic, what might help improve their circumstances and/or experiences, and what we can all do together to mobilize against Carleton’s indifference to CIs. One suggestion discussed was to minimize or refuse work before the start of and/or outside the contract. It’s been a challenging task to connect with the membership in a meaningful way, and we think the discussion-based approach we took for this caucus made a difference.
The Unit 2 follow-up survey has gone out and has thus far received 130+ responses. A few highlights thus far: 75% of CIs have never used Brightspace and roughly 95% of CIs believe they will need to fix or reformat some or most imported course content; 30% reported that they will likely rebuild their courses from scratch; 79% of repsondents have been following our campaign for fair compensation moderately or closely; and the majority feel moderately or highly disrespected by the University. Thank you for taking the time to fill it out. For those who haven’t had a chance to fill it out yet, it can be found here.
The University met with much of the executive board on March 31 to discuss the return to campus in the Fall (2021). Once again, we believe this was a pro forma exercise in which their planning has not taken CIs (and TAs) into consideration. While most of us are eager to get back to in-person teaching, we value the health and safety of our members above outside pressures to return to campus. We believe that in most cases, Chairs have made decisions on course modality (in-person vs. online) without consulting CIs who usually teach them (if you were consulted, please let us know!). Although the university has stated that they will make efforts to accommodate those with existing health issues, they have not given a straight answer on accommodating those who are not yet fully vaccinated and do not feel comfortable returning to campus. We believe they have failed every step of the way to consider many realities such as the different working conditions of full-time faculty and CIs, as well as the fact that the vaccine rollout will be much slower than anticipated. Given Ottawa Public Health’s rollout plan and the realities of vaccine scheduling and supply, paired with the fact that roughly 85% of our CI membership is under the age of 60, we stressed that it is unlikely that CIs will be fully vaccinated by September.
We started our term with three priorities: expansion of the involvement, participation, and solidarity of Unit 2 members. We feel we’ve made some headway on them, as we were able to roughly triple our steward base, engage with the membership on a more regular basis, and gather some initial priorities for future boards to consider for our next bargaining round. The pandemic has presented unique challenges in membership engagement, but we feel that we also were able to take advantage of virtual gathering in a way that had previously been underexplored. We hope that the next Unit 2 board members will continue to build solidarity across our membership and mobilize against unfair working conditions and the university’s apparent disregard for our members.
While Morgan intends to run for this position again, Codie will be stepping away from the executive to finish and defend her dissertation. She wishes to thank the membership, executive board, and staff for their support and willingness to collaborate.
Codie Fortin Lalonde and Morgan Rooney
Recording Secretary - Lindy Van Vliet
Hi CUPE 4600 Members,
The last few months I have engaged in three major initiatives: First, working with Paul and Narges, we completed bargaining with Unifor 567 and reached a new Collective Agreement. It has been ratified by both sides and should be signed and implemented in the next few weeks. Second, I have been continuing my role on the Labour Management Committee. The employer representatives of the Labour Management Committee have been working on creating a comprehensive transition package for the next Board to help with Board transitions from year to year. Finally, I have worked with staff and other board members to investigate new technology changes that could significantly improve the internal organization of the Local. These potential changes will be discussed in more detail at the AGM.
I am happy to answer any questions during the meeting or by email.
Lindy Van Vliet (she/her)
Recording Secretary, CUPE 4600
VP Internal - Paul Smith
I hope things are well!
Over the past year, there’s been a ton that went down --- and many adjustments required to deal with a pandemic plagued world. The most important items that I’ve worked on are:
Labour Management Committee (LMC)
The LMC is the contact point between the board and the staff of the local. This work includes management of the staff (e.g. granting leave, scheduling check-ins), the resolution of staff grievances, and dealing with staff working conditions. On this front, there has been much to do: in addition to standard day-to-day management, there have been many unique acute issues that have needed to be dealt with. Some of the most important work done this year includes: 1) dealing with long-standing issues with the MSPP (staff pension plan) through adjustments to the contribution structure and the development of Staff/CUPE agreements to rectify previous issues; 2) the creation of a leave day bank (the development of a leave tracking system is ongoing, but will hopefully be finished by the end of this term); 3) engaging with several grievances at various points throughout the grievance process.
Bargaining with Unifor 567
After 20 bargaining sessions, dozens of proposals, and hours of discussion, CUPE 4600 and Unifor 567 (the union representing our staff), have come to a deal. The agreement has been ratified by both parties and is currently being prepped for finalization.
Representing CUPE 4600
I’m active on both the Joint Consultation Committee (JCC), representing TAs, and the Joint Committee for the Administration of the Agreement (JCAA), representing CIs. Both these committees present issues facing our members (e.g. Brightspace migration concerns) to the Carleton management. Additionally, I’ve been part of Carleton’s consultation (though calling it consultation is a little generous) process on transitioning back to campus in the fall.
Secretary Treasurer - Zahra Montazeri
Budget for May 2020-April 2021 is completed up to end of Feb. 2021.
The total revenue for May-Feb. is about $700,000
The total expenses for May-Feb. is about $626,000
There is not any expense item that passed the expected budget.
We expect to have around $80,000 surplus for this fiscal year.
We will transfer remainder fund from “Grievance and arbitrary” line to the restricted fund as the motion approved by members two years ago. The final amount will be announced at the end of current fiscal year.
The budget forecasting for the coming fiscal year, May 21- April 22, is prepared and discussed in the finance committee and approved by executive board. There are some changes in the new budget including
Finance committee decided to separate budget for “operating fund”, “strike fund” and “ISJF fund” to have clear perspective for local’s funds.
We added a new section under “technology” to consider enough funds to improve the local’s activities including mobilization and bargaining.
The strike fund, $1,000,000, was invested for 15 months open with 0.06% interest rate. Investment due May, 2021 when the bargaining team will become active again. This is inline with our previous investment before the last bargaining round.
Local financial records - Feb. 28, 2021
Operation Fund balance: $453,928.50
Strike Fund balance: $87,116.86
ISJF Fund balance: $10,516.26
Trans Fund balance: $3,792.44
Chief Steward Unit 2 - Gareth Park
The investigation, filing and settlement of grievances is a basic element of the work of the Local, ably done by our Business Agent. Unit 2 members file the bulk of the grievances. My role has been to support members in the preliminary stages of the grievance and support the Business Agent in the later stages.
There are three broad groupings of grievances:
Grievances relating to incumbency and seniority. We have a strong track record of defending incumbency provisions and have been successful in securing full compensation for members.
Grievances relating to harassment/unfair dealings by departmental chairs. These issues are much harder to deal with and can take longer. Departmental chairs have wide latitude in hiring decisions and this power is wielded unfairly.
Grievances relating to job performance. These are the rarest but often relate to inadequate supervision and support of CIs. The shift to online teaching was very disruptive and highlighted problems in this area.
I am hopeful with the adoption of a centralized database we will be able to provide regular information and statistics about grievances.
CI life is departmental. To be effective we need representatives in every department to facilitate communication and awareness. My goal was to recruit ten stewards. I recruited five. Given that there are 32 departments with more than ten members you can see that this is a significant task. The challenge is that general appeals are not that effective. Instead people need to be asked individually. This is quite labour-intensive. Traditionally, steward recruitment and support has been largely the responsibility of the Chief Steward I would like to see this spread throughout the organization.
Bargaining Preparation and Mobilization
Significant improvements in our wages and working conditions will require a strike. There’s no way around that. And mobilizing for a strike with a membership that is largely part-time and quite isolated poses a significant challenge. We need to begin that work next year to be ready for when bargaining begins in earnest in the summer of 2022.
Hiring a summer researcher to pull together and do basic analysis on collective agreements from Ontario and Quebec
Convening a bargaining conference in which CIs in each department are invited to send delegates and engage in bargaining priority-setting in the new year. We need to reach beyond our normal audience.
Systematically targeting each department with a steward recruitment request.
Reviving the Executive Council as a central decision-making organ thus centring stewards and ordinary members.
VP External - Abram Lutes
What a year! As a union we faced new and unique challenges coming from the transition to remote work and health and safety issues relating to COVID-19. Here is a summary of my work as VP External during my term, with notes on what we achieved and what I recommend going forward.
One project I gave myself during my time as VP External was to create a ‘phonebook’ of different organizations in Ottawa that CUPE 4600 workers with and stands in solidarity with. This included other labour unions and various levels of the labour movement, student unions and student groups, peace and anti-war organizations, anti-racist organizations, tenant solidarity and tenant unions, feminist and women’s organizations, and indigenous peoples’ organizations.
The goal of this phonebook was to have a well-organized, accessible, and up-to-date list of various organizations in Ottawa. This would enable us to be more efficient in our outreach and external relations work, as well as people able to solicit expertise and engage in skills and resource exchanges with appropriate groups.
I have created a fairly comprehensive spreadsheet of organizations with information like their role, function, constituency, operating languages, and contact information, though it still needs work. I will be passing this spreadsheet on to the incoming VP External and recommending further development and that a phonebook of organizations be updated annually.
Free Cihan Erdal Campaign
In late September, a member of our union, PhD researcher Cihan Erdal, was arbitrarily detained by Turkish authorities on trumped-up charges. While Turkish prosecutors have been unable to establish a legitimate case for his detainment, he continues to be held in prison.
Cihan was arrested along with eighty-two others in a sting targeting labour unions and opposition activists. As election season comes around in Turkey and the ruling Law and Justice Party seeks to kneecap the opposition, Cihan was denied bail.
I have had positive discussions with the offices of several MPs, including Catherine McKenna who represents the riding where Carleton campus is located, and Jenica Atwin, MP for Fredericton who have been supportive of Cihan and believe Canada should do more to secure his release. However, movement on these things is slow and the fact that Cihan is not a full citizen gives the government of Canada less motivation to intervene. We have to keep pushing this campaign and continue to support Cihan, his friends and loved ones, and his colleagues – many of whom are our fellow members of this local.
If you would like to be involved in the ongoing campaign to Free Cihan and support him while detained, you can connect to the Free Cihan Erdal movement on their website, lovingly set up by his partner Omer and some of his friends and associates.
You can also fill out a form on the CUPE National website to reach your MP and ask for them to support efforts towards Cihan’s release.
Fighting Evictions & Tenant Solidarity
Around early November I was contacted by some friends and colleagues at CUPE 2626 at UOttawa and PSAC 901 at Queen’s University in Kingston to discuss an inter-union campaign to advance housing and tenant solidarity work within the labour movement.
A number of things came out of this discussion. First, around Christmas time, the CUPE 4600 Executive Board approved a statement calling for the repeal of Bill 184, an evictions ban for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, and massive investments in social housing and tenant protections in Ontario. The statement also called for our local and other labour unions to take concrete actions to resist evictions and apply pressure for the above demands to be implemented.
To this end the Mobilization Committee with the help of our staff set up an actions page that allows you to contact your MPP with a letter of support for an evictions ban and housing for all.
Starting with CUPE 2626 and PSAC 901 as partners and reaching out to post-secondary student-worker unions across Ontario, we organized a province-wide event titled Student Workers Will Not Pay for the Housing Crisis. The event brought together union members and tenant solidarity activists to discuss the housing crisis and various actions that labour unions can be involved in to support struggles for housing justice. A provisional committee was struck from that event with the placeholder name HOUSE – Housing Organization of Unionized Student Employees. The plan is to hold an organizing meeting in the summer to plan for actions in Fall of 2021.
You can read the statement of unity here.
Communication with the rest of the labour movement
I attended a meeting of the Coalition of Student Employee Unions where we were invited to join this continent-wide coalition of student-worker unions. CUPE 4600 remains in contact with the CSEU but hasn’t formally joined because their organization’s bylaws require us to conduct a referendum on joining.
Through our joint work, CUPE 4600, CUPE 2626, and PSAC 901 have formed strong bonds around a joint commitment to fight evictions. While the Ottawa Area CUPE Council has had trouble meeting in recent months, I hope the same can be said of that union body which we continue to be a part of.
In 2007 a member of our local Hassan Diab was wrongly accused of participating in the bombing of a synagogue in France in 1980. The charges were dropped in 2018 due to insufficient evidence after Hassan spent several years imprisoned in France. France’s court of appeal recently ordered Hassan to stand trial again on the same charges.
This comes at a time when French authorities are attempting to repress what they call “islamo-gauchisme.” French authorities have unfairly targeted Muslims, left-wing and labour activists, and academics in a sweeping campaign nominally about fighting terrorism. The French state will likely apply again for Hassan Diab to be extradited. This means we urgently have to renew our support for the Justice for Hassan Diab campaign.
External Affairs Committee
One of my regrets for my term as VP External President was not having a strong External Affairs Committee or EAC. My recommendation for the incoming VP External is to start trying to organize an EAC right away so that it gets off the ground quickly and we can retain a core group of rank-and-file members to work on External Affairs issues. I will be assisting the incoming VP External in setting up the EAC as I feel this is an important field which was neglected in my term.
Chief Steward Unit 1 - Molly Horn
This previous year has been an incredibly difficult one for Tas/Ras and SAs, as the Carleton administration continues to make their intentions to put money over the wellbeing of their employees especially clear. This took place through several measured attacks to increase work per dollar, reducing their responsibilities to colourful interpretations of the collective agreements, as well as general heel-dragging on issues that would make them in any way meet the standards I consider to be our rights, not privileges. These attacks are going to continue as we look forward to the “back-to-work initiatives” I interpret to be blatant attempts to satiate student's want for in-person classes at the considerable expense (mentally, physically and otherwise) of their employees.
Within the year, these attacks were felt most through increases of work across the board, with inquiries ranging from general inconsideration to full grievances, with Carleton siding with admin more often than not. Many of the conversations had with members expressed a need to be heard, and indicated that despite many feeling alone within these situations, that they were far from the only ones experiencing this. As you can imagine this role was entirely humbling and heavy as many of the members detailed these issues, and we pushed harder and further than ever before. I especially commend those who worked to take a stand against the foolishness, as Carleton attempted to cut holidays for their own needs, ask you to spend out of pocket, or overwork- your bravery to push back was felt and often was a guiding light forward on my end.
The executive board's role this year was also increasingly complex, as we attempted to re-evaluate decisions made in the past (growth is positive!) and amend practices that have arisen that no longer served us as a union. While this remains a valuable practice, this also brought a significant amount of conflict alongside it. In my honest judgement, much of this strife was not due to the direction, but rather an indication of some of the rot that exists within the local's perceived unit hierarchy. Through this past year, I’ve noticed a culture of toxic collaboration, in which one or more groups within the union steam-roll others for their own goals, and have continued to fight innovative solutions in favour of maintaining their perceived status quo. I would like to be explicit when I note that innovation and respectful collaboration always has been and always will be at the heart of the union spirit, and is essential if we move forward. When discussing paths forward on issues, I, myself, have been repeatedly demeaned, denounced, and subjected to both classist and sexist rhetoric when I was told I was too “soft” or my decisions not indicative of “what it was like in the real world” as some perceived TAing as “less than”. This was far from the only experiences I had within this and will likely not be fixed in the short-term without serious oversight, and must be taken on with the utmost consideration from the local.
While I ultimately am happy to have a rest, I look forward to seeing the challenges brought about by the future union, and would encourage those interested to take a position within the union in the upcoming year!
President - Narges Zare
Hello CUPE 4600 members,
I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe in these strange times. I never imagined starting and finishing out my term as President of CUPE 4600 in a global pandemic but glad we can keep in touch virtually.
I was acclaimed as President for the 2020-2021, following two years as VP Internal and recording secretary. This year we were able to secure a new collective agreement for contract instructors and teaching assistants. This year we also bargained with unifor567 and successfully secured a new collective agreement with our staff. As a result of this we are implementing a new leave tracking system for staff. These efforts were done to guarantee a consistent management in long term that will hopefully improve working conditions for staff as well as ensuring a smoother transition between boards each year.
Also, I am happy to announce we have officially moved to three new offices on the 21st floor of Dunton tower and excited to meet all our members when it is safe to do so.
I have been involved in Joint consultation committee (JCC) representing unit 1 members and Joint Committee for the Administration of the Agreement (JCAA) representing contract instructors. On March 31st we met with Carleton management regarding their plans to move on campus in Fall 2021. A summary of the meeting can be found on VP unit 2 board report and more details will be shared at the AGM.
Furthermore, at the JCC we have raised the issue of missing and incomplete assignment of duties for TAs and SAs to Carleton and are working hard to address and resolve the issue. I am also extremely happy to report as of right now there is over $750,000 in the employee assistant fund for unit 1 members. This has been accomplished through several months of negotiations at the unit 1 bargaining table.
After many years of talking around getting a software to make our union more organized, we took major steps and are in final steps of purchasing a software for the local. This was done by several meeting with other locals and within the union. Hopefully, this comprehensive system will allow us to track membership, grievances, organizing campaigns, events, dues processing and so much more and help us get the work done more efficiently than ever before.
One major outstanding issue for the local is providing auditing report of our finances to CUPE national. We are 4 years behind and unfortunately we weren’t able to get nominations for a financial trustee. In order to get our audit reports up to date I looked into hiring external trustees to do the audit. I am hopeful we can secure this by a motion at the AGM. I encourage anyone who is interested in being a financial trustee in the upcoming year to contact us. The trustees will receive training from CUPE Ontario and gain useful skills on how to do an audit.
During my term as president and working for the local I learnt a lot from each and every one of you. Leaving the union after three years is bitter sweet but I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that was given to me by the membership. I would also like to express my gratitude to all CUPE 4600 board members, council members and CUPE 4600 hardworking staff, LeAnne Parrish, Dan Sawyer and Pierre Beaulieu-Blais for their exceptional work specially during a pandemic.
If you have any questions, complaints or just simply want to express concerns about your working conditions as unit 1 or unit 2 member, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to answer, address and resolve any issue that you may have before my term ends.
Thanks for your continued interest and engagement!
The AGM agenda can be downloaded here
4. Other Materials
1. Draft Budget and Financial Overview can be downloaded here