Unit 1Bargaining Priorities

Preamble

Article 3: recognition

Article 4: No Discrimination

Article 5: Union Security

Article 6: Strikes, Lock-outs, and Picket Lines

Article 8: University Facilities

Article 10: Grievance Proceedure

Article 13: Appointments, Priority, Postings, Seniority

Article 14: Hours of Work

Article 15: Working Conditions

Article 16: Secure Space

Article 17: Health and Safety

Article 21: Sick Leave

Article 22: Leave of Absence

Article 23: Salary

Article 26: Technical Information

Article 27: International Solidarity Fund

Article 28: Joint-Parity Committee

Preamble:

 

             We go into bargaining to protect the advantages of the current Collective Agreement and to attain increased provisions for our current and future union members. Furthermore, we bargain on behalf of the assorted needs of our diverse membership and the general goal of educational excellence befitting a public university.

            Our proposals are meant to address the immediate needs of union members and to express union ideals. The proposals summarized in this document are derived from three sources. The first source is the independent survey of the Unit 1 membership completed in April of 2016. The second source is the experience of union members and staff who work under the collective agreement and find it wanting. The third source is basic union principles.

            This Bargaining Team is mandated to facilitate an open bargaining process. This means we operate under the imperative that each member of the union has a say in the bargaining process. To formulate the strongest bargaining positions and tactics, the Bargaining Team seeks to benefit from union members' experiences and skills. The Bargaining Team will help interested union members participate in the bargaining process in an informed and significant manner. The Bargaining team also aims to provide transparency to the bargaining process and engage the union membership during this process in an accessible manner. Ultimately, the demands the Bargaining Team at the bargaining table should be the demands of the union members.

ARTICLE 3:  RECOGNITION

Change: Eliminate the sub-section that excludes Teaching Assistants (TAs) who work under 15 hours from membership to our local.

 

Rationale: This sub-section of the Collective Agreement (CA) has been abused by certain departments. These departments would contract students for less than 15 hours to perform TA work. These contractors are not covered by the CA and much more vulnerable to abuse from the employer. The CA should extend to all those who perform TA work at Carleton University.

 

Affected sub-article: 3.03.

ARTICLE 4:  NO DISCRIMINATION

Change: Craft an independent sexual-assault/gender harassment policy to address significant shortcomings in the CA. Extend the time-limit for sexual/gender harassment grievances.

 

Rationale: Rape culture is in the atmosphere of our workplace. CUPE 4600 aims to protect its members from the consequences of rape culture and promote consent culture on campus.

 

Affected sub-articles: 4.03, potentially Article 10 and 17.

 

ARTICLE 5: UNION SECURITY

 

Change: Oblige the employer to state the "reason for hire" in their hiring reports to the union.

 

Rationale: Both the union and its members will benefit from knowing the employer's reason for hiring someone. This will aid in demystifying the employment process and help challenge the employer's reasons if they are unjust or inconsistent.

 

Affected sub-article: 5.04.

 

ARTICLE 6: STRIKES, LOCKOUTS, AND PICKET LINES

 

Change: Add solidarity clause that allows CUPE 4600 members to refuse to cross a picket-line organized other union locals.

 

Rationale: This type of provision is common and supports general union strength and solidarity.

 

 

ARTICLE 8:  UNIVERSITY FACILITIES

Change: Coordinate with the Unit 2 Bargaining Team to make use of the similar language in both Collective Agreements. Similar language would suggest that an office should be provided for both Units. Unit 1 could bargaining for a meeting room, while Unit 2 bargains for an office, or vice versa.

 

Rationale: The local has regular meetings and could use more space to simplify room-bookings and increase our presence on campus.

 

Affected sub-article: 8.02.

 

Change: No rent.

 

Rationale: A union should not have to pay the employer for providing services that helps to maintain order in its workplace.

 

Affected sub-article: 8.02.

 

ARTICLE 10: GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

 

Change: Expedite the Grievance Process.

 

Rationale: The Grievance Process should involve as few steps as possible. Simplifying or reducing the bureaucracy around the Grievance Process may encourage members to assert their rights through said process.

 

Affected sub-articles: 10.04, 10.05.

 

Change: Extend the time-limit for sexual/gender harassment grievances.

 

Rationale: As part of our independent sexual assault policy, we seek to oblige the employer to recognize the significant nature of grievances addressing sexual assault and gender harassment. In part, this requires a unlimited timeline within which a member may grieve the occurrence of sexual assault or harassment.

 

 

ARTICLE 13: APPOINTMENTS, PRIORITY, POSTINGS, SENIORITY

 

Change: Explicate the article language- making it clear that a member with priority can use their priority in any semester they like.

 

Rationale: The use of priority in the summer has been contested by the employer in the past. Priority is meant to provide some semblance of financial stability, it should be used at the students' discretion.

 

Affected sub-articles: 13.01 a), 13.03.

 

Change: Remove threats to priority standing that come into play if a TA declines their appointment or is given a contract instructor (CI) position and does not file for leave from TA duties

 

Rationale: Priority is main interest of survey respondents. Article 17 (Unit 2 CA) appointment to a CI position should be an indication that the employer knows the employee will not be available for TA duties.

 

Affected sub-articles: 13.01 d), 13.02 j).

 

Change: Add/revise language to explain how an international member may utilize their priority for a summer semester if they wish.

 

Rationale: A potential conflict exists in the current language on whether summer appointments will count towards the total number of priority positions for international members.

 

Affected sub-articles: 13.01 g), h) and m).

 

Change: Full-year appointments for full-year courses, for both priority and outside priority members.

 

Rationale: Consistent TAs adds pedagogical value to the course, simplifies the appointment process for allocators and instructors, provides job-security for outside priority members, and the number of priority members returning in the winter semester is not substantially larger than the amount of courses that require TAs.

 

Affected sub-articles: 13.02, 13.04.

 

Change: Extend the seniority system for TAs to out of priority students.

 

Rationale: As things stand priority is only accrued by priority students. Out of priority students, mainly undergraduates, who have gained experience as a TA, should also benefit from their experience when applying for new TA positions.

 

Affected sub-article: 13.02 (g).

 

Change: Explicate the qualifications for appointment in the hiring report.

 

Rationale: Currently the appointment process appears quite subjective and what qualifies someone to an appointment is a mystery. Members deserve to know how and why positions are filled. The employer should be obligated to report their reason for hiring someone to the union. Information on qualification for appointment may be useful for grievance procedures.

 

Affected sub-articles: 5.04 (a), 13.01, 13.02 f), 13.04 d) ii, 13.05, and 13.07.

 

Change: Set a deadline for appointment.

 

Rationale: Appointments are frequently not complete until the third week of September, this creates a chain of delays to outside priority appointment, hiring reports, and salary payment. The excuse of unpredictable fluctuations is not justified since this fluctuation continues to occur throughout the semester and 32% of survey respondents go over their allotted hours anyway.

 

Affected sub-articles: 13.04 c) iv, 13.04 d) vii.

 

Change: Create an enforcement mechanism for deadlines on hiring reports.

 

Rationale: Hiring reports are how we know who our members are. These reports frequently arrive after the clearly stated deadlines (no later than October 1, February 1 and June 1).

 

Affected sub-articles: 13.05.

 

ARTICLE 14: HOURS OF WORK

 

Change: Add/revise language to protect TAs from fault due to their lack of experience and need for more time to complete their duties. We ask that a work-log be provided to the TA at the first meeting between supervisor and TA.

 

Rationale: Preparation is a learning opportunity for the TA and proper preparation will benefit both the TA and the students. However, time spent on preparation needs to be recognized by both the employer and supervisor as an integrated component of the assignment. Such recognition also encourages the employee's job dedication.

 

Affected sub-articles: 14.04.

 

Change: We ask for the ‘mid-point’ meeting between TA and supervisor to be included in the initial allocation of hours, recorded and a copy of this record be sent to both the union and department.

 

Rationale: Survey results indicate that only 23% of survey respondents have this mid-point meeting. It is important for the union to get a better idea of how often these meetings happen and how often a TA's duties are changed during their work term.

 

Affected sub-articles: 14.03 c).

 

ARTICLE 15: WORKING CONDITIONS

 

Change: Establish a limit on student-to-TA ratio.


Rationale: Survey results indicate members are often laden with excessive amounts of marking and/or consultation. By ensuring reasonable class sizes this section seeks to realize the goal of education, to provide quality pedagogical experiences for students. This reflects the needs of students and TAs.

 

ARTICLE 16: SECURE SPACE

 

Change: Add specific definition on what is the “Appropriate secure space” TAs are entitled to.

 

Rationale: Secure space is a requirement of TA work, especially given the working policy that no assignments should be taken off of campus. The Joint-Committee on Secure Space has formulated a recommendation and this recommendation should be adhered to.

 

Affected sub-articles: 16.01 a).

 

ARTICLE 17: HEALTH AND SAFETY

 

Change: Add a sub-article that outlines regular mandatory assessments of threats to mental health, similar to what was recently done for full-time employees and students under the Mental Health at Work Excellence Canada certification.

 

Rationale: Currently, part-time educational staff employees are excluded from regular assessments of threats to mental health because of their part-time status, despite being especially vulnerable to threats to mental health for the very same reason. This is a possible way to mount a more robust effort to identify and address serious health threats in our workplace and campus.

 

ARTICLE 21: SICK LEAVE

 

Change: Explicitly state that sick leave credit role continue to accrue, despite changes to academic program.

 

Rationale: Currently, in the eyes of the employer, a member who accrues paid sick-leave credits in their undergrad of MA would go back to zero when they switch to an MA or PhD. This is unjust and is an example of how our members' rights are complicated by their dual-roles as student and employee.
 

ARTICLE 22: LEAVE OF ABSENCE

 

Change: Explicate this article so it states that a graduate student who has been given leave of absence will not forfeit their priority.

 

Rationale: To protect the work security of our members who requires a leave of absence.

 

Affected sub-article: 21.03.

 

 

ARTICLE 23: SALARY

 

Change: Demand a significant increase to members' take-home-pay.

 

Rationale: To improve members' quality of life. Survey results indicate 67% of respondents rate salary as a very important bargaining issue.

 

Affected sub-articles: 23.01.

 

Change: Equal pay for all members.

 

Rationale: Undergrad are currently paid substantially less than grad students. This is based on an illegitimate hierarchy and unduly disadvantages undergraduate members of the union. Equal pay for similar work is a basic union principle.

 

Affected sub-articles: 23.01.

 

Change: Extend eligibility of Tuition Increase Assistance (TIA) to all members covered in the CA, not just those who works over 65 hours. Clarify language around how the Reference Fees are calculated.

 

Rationale: To give TIA to all our members. By entrenching strict language on how TIA is calculated into the CA, we fortify the victory achieved in arbitration,

 

Affected sub-articles: 23.05.

 

Change: Oblige the employer to provide a list of TIA payouts at the end of each term.

 

Rationale: This will help the union keep track of the amount of TIA received by members and help determine if members are receiving the proper amounts of TIA.

 

ARTICLE 26: TECHNICAL INFORMATION

 

Change: Collect late fees for late payments, to make the employer pay a penalty for mishandling the finances of the employee.

 

Rationale: We wish to be on equal footing with the employer when it comes to paying penalties for mistakes: if we must pay a penalty for late payment to the employer, the employer should also pay a penalty for late payment.

ARTICLE 27: INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY FUND

 

Change: Remove restriction of funding to charities registered by the Canadian government in order to better target organizations that support workers outside of Canada.

 

Rationale: Focus efforts to engage in international solidarity.

 

ARTICLE 28: JOINT-PARITY COMMITTEE

 

Change: Provide compensation for employees who are required to attend meetings with the employer, either by eliminating or supplementing this article.

 

Rationale: The employee would be compensated for meetings that has to do with grievances, bargaining, and joint-committees. This properly remunerates the employee for having to deal with the employer and it may serve as an incentive for our members to assert their labour rights. This would also have implication for Article 10 on Grievances.