Nominees can submit a written statement, no longer than 400 words, which can be found here. These statements will be available from 12:00pm (noon) on Thursday, May 7th until 12:00pm (noon) on Thursday, May 14th
Running for: Vice President Unit 1
Name: Zoey Jones
I’m Zoey! I am a Unit 1 member in good standing and am running for re-election for Unit 1 Vice President of CUPE 4600. I have been lucky enough to serve in this position this (very eventful) year and would love an opportunity to continue this important work.
In my time as VP Unit 1, I have been the lead negotiator of the Unit 1 Bargaining Team, hosted a number of Unit 1 caucuses, served on the Trans Fund and Equity Committees, and dealt with numerous crises with our Employee Assistance Fund (EAF) (also known as TA Benefits). I am proud of the work I have done in these roles this year and am particularly happy with how our whole team has been able to secure ongoing benefits even when our funds ran out multiple times. I also took part in a week-long leadership training series with CUPE in an effort to improve my leadership and team management skills, which have been valuable both in the executive and the bargaining team, and represented CUPE 4600 at the annual OUWCC conference (University Workers) in Markham, building strong and valuable networks across University locals.
As an executive officer with 4600, I prioritize efforts to increase the accessibility of the Union, continuously work to uphold anti-oppression principles, work hard to maximize the benefit of Union membership to our most marginalized members, and support other similar work on- and off-campus. I think our Union is capable of great things and am proud to have been a part of a landmark year.
If re-elected, I will work hard to protect the rights and interest of TAs, Ras, and SAs in the coming months as Carleton wrestles with working online. I will make sure that the concerns voiced in our Accessibility Survey are turned into concrete actions, either via an accessibility caucus or the Equity Committee. I will continue to bring my best to the bargaining table to secure a fair deal with the Employer, and I will always strive to be better and fight harder for inclusive, safe, and compassionate working environments, in and out of the Union.
Love and solidarity,
Sociology PhD Candidate, Carleton University
Running for: Vice President Unit 2
Name: Meg Lonergan
My name is Meg Lonergan and I am a member in good standing in both Unit 1 and Unit 2 and I am running for the position of VP Unit 2. Last year I served as President of CUPE 4600 and the year previous to that served as Co-Chief Steward Unit 1. I was also a picket captain on the line during the 2017 strike and a department steward for Legal Studies.
Beginning in June 2019 I became a member of both bargaining teams and was elected Lead Negotiator for the Unit 2 team. In addition to being President, I also organized bargaining team meeting with members in Unit 2 throughout the year to consult on the ongoing negotiations. I have fought hard to protect CIs with the move to online teaching during the COVID criss and continue to fight for better supports and resources for our members during this difficult time.
I am also the campus representative for CUPE Ontario Locals in the University Sector at Carleton University. I am an active member of the Strike Committee, Finance Committee, and Women's Caucus. I also run the CUPE 4600 Twitter account.
I believe my two previous years of experience on the executive board and year of leading negotiations for the new Unit 2 Collective Agreement, as well as being on the Joint Committee for the Administration of the Agreement (JCAA) are significant assets that I would bring to the position of VP Unit 2. I remain committed to serving the membership of CUPE 4600 and hope to be re-elected to the board in order to continue that work.
~ Meg Lonergan
Legal Studies, Carleton University
Running for:Chief Steward Unit 2
Name: Gareth Park
CUPE 4600 is failing its Contract Instructor (CI) members and it’s time to change this.
My name is Gareth Park, I am a CI in Social Work, and I am running for the position of Chief Steward of Unit 2. I bring three decades of experience in student and non-profit organizations as well as the labour movement. This includes three years as the Chief Steward of my workplace where I initiated, supported and settled two dozen grievances. I have been active in CUPE 4600, first as President in 1998-99 and since returning to Carleton in 2013, as a steward, member of various committees, and four years auditing the union’s books as a Trustee.
I want to lay out some issues facing the union and some possible responses. Tight space limitations make this discussion incomplete, but I hope this gives a sense of what I think needs to be done:
· The post-lockdown environment looks bleak for universities with pressure to reduce hiring by moving courses online. We must energetically defend the rights of all our members by using the collective agreement, member mobilization and public pressure. We must also fix the broken teaching evaluation process.
· CUPE 4600 is made up of two parts, but the needs and interests of Unit 1 predominate which weakens the Local. This is not a sinister conspiracy but a longstanding problem in which few Unit 2 members participate. This becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We must break this cycle using a variety of methods such as focus groups, departmental meetings, surveys and regular Unit 2 meetings to understand the needs of a wider group of members. We need to develop online resources that support our members and facilitate communication. Finally, there must be a coordinated campaign with significant resources to attract and recruit Unit 2 members to become stewards and activists.
· CUPE 4600’s structure is like a Flintstones car. It looks like it should speed down the highway but in reality, it gets picked up and lugged around until the passengers collapse from exhaustion and burnout. It badly needs an update. We need to undertake a deliberate process with expert outside help to design a structure that can decide on goals, coordinate union activities to achieve them and introduce accountability.
I would welcome further discussion please contact me at
Running For:Secretary Treasurer
Name: Zahra Montazeri
My name is Zahra Montazeri and I am a member of Unit 2 in good standing. I am interested in running for the position as Secretary Treasurer of Unit 2 for a second term. I have been a member of CUPE4600 for about 20 years both as a Teaching Assistant and a Contract Instructor. Serving our local as treasurer during the last 16 months has been a pleasure and my way of actively showing solidarity with the local. I was first elected Treasurer in December 2018 and then re-elected in April 2019. Thus, I was responsible for last year’s budget, one that was ultimately approved by members during the April 2019 AGM. I have based all of the local’s financial activities on an approved budget and took charge of all financial transactions to ensure their accuracy and compatibility with our local’s By-Laws. I held a normally monthly finance committee meeting and participated in all Board Executive Meetings in the past year. Furthermore, I am overseeing the current baganing/negotioning campaign budget and ensuring continuity until the end of bargaining. In addition, I have been the Steward for the School of Mathematics and Statistics for the past two years and, as your former Trustee I made recommendations to improve the local’s financial position on two occasions.
I believe that have I learned a lot in the last 16 months, knowledge that will help me lead our union and our union’s finances well into the future. I hope to be re-elected as Secretary Treasurer so as to be able to work hard at maintaining flawless financial records and transactions and to give our members a sure footing in the event of need in and out of negotiations with the employer.
Running for: VP Unit 2
Name: Morgan Rooney
Unit 2 members face a diverse range of challenges, ones that are all the more frustrating because many are of them are so well known and of such long duration, and we as a union need to do more to address them.
My name is Morgan Rooney, and I am running for the position of VP Unit 2. I have been a Contract Instructor for the Department of English for 11 years, and I have been an active member in the union for that entire time. In addition to being a regular participant at union meetings, I have also served Unit 2 members in many roles over the course of the last decade—as a departmental steward (2011 – 2012, 2014 – present), as a member of the joint committee on teaching evaluations (2015 – 2016), and as a CI representative on Senate (2018 – present). I know the issues and struggles you face because I have been living them for over a decade, and I share your frustration that so little seems to change from year to year.
Should I be elected, my priorities as VP Unit 2 would be as follows:
Expanding the involvement and participation of Unit 2 members. Our historic relationship with our brothers and sisters in Unit 1 is important, but it is easy to feel as a Unit 2 member that your issues are not always front and centre. I would take steps to hold regular Unit 2 meetings and to expand our stewards.
Shifting our focus to mobilization and strike preparation efforts in anticipation of the next bargaining period. The history of labour relations at Carleton, and across the sector, shows us that few meaningful gains are made at the bargaining table without well-organized labour action. We need to be prepared before we enter bargaining, instead of retroactively trying to prepare in the midst of bargaining.
Making progress on issues that have long been sources of annoyance and stress for our members. In particular, I’m interested in improving the teaching evaluations process, in having course allocations made much earlier, and in seeing CIs compensated for the extra labour we do—a matter that is especially pressing in the current moment, since online courses often require significantly more work.
If those issues resonate with you, then you should vote for me. I would be honoured to represent the interests of our Unit 2 members.
Running for: VP Internal
Name: Paul Smith
My name is Paul, I'm a PhD student studying theoretical physics and I'm running for the position of VP Internal.
Both contract instructors and TAs have faced a rather nasty combination of poor wages and job insecurity for years, however COVID has jammed this into sharp focus, flashing a spotlight on the precarity of our situation: despite the huge reduction in available resources and the vanishing of many part-time jobs relied on by our members the university will not even reduce tuition. Couple this with legislation (bill 124) from the Provincial government that mandates that we take effective pay-cuts for the next several years and it becomes clear that we're in a tight spot.
So, what can we do? In my mind, there are two key areas that we can push forward: 1) advancing the fight at the bargaining table and 2) strengthening the institutions of our union. It's due to the 2nd reason that I'm seeking to be VP Internal: I want to help build our local union into a stronger and more accessible voice for our members. This includes working as a communications point between the various local committees, assisting with the management of said committees, and working to build more robust and efficient systems (e.g. seeing if we can simplify or improve the way we store data). In addition, there are several issues that have been raised at various meetings this year, such as the functioning of the TA benefits (a.k.a Employee Assistance Fund (EAF)) and the questions raised about auditing previous years, that I feel must be looked into further.
Over the past year I've been acting as the steward for the physics department and was active working on a union trial jury prescribed to settle a dispute among CUPE members. During my undergrad, I served as the treasurer for the USask physics students society and co-organized a conference educating high school students about global issues surrounding water security, environmental destruction, and abusive privatization.
I hope to bring both my organizational skills and my analytic abilities to the table to help forge a stronger union.
Running for: Recording Secretary
Name: Hesam Farahani
My name is Hesam Farahani and I am a member in good standing in Unit 1 and am running for re-election for Recording Secretary of CUPE 4600. I have been lucky enough to serve in this position this challenging year and would love an opportunity to continue this significant work.
I entered Carleton in 2018 and beginning in January 2019, I became a member of Unit 1. My continuous interest in labor/union works attracted me to CUPE 4600 and began to participate in our union’s many events and meetings and finally was elected as Recording Secretary in April 2019.
Last year has been really challenging and difficult and we have gone through a lot of ups and downs. In the history of CUPE 4600, no bargaining round has taken this long and it is still not over. Your Executive Board Members and Bargaining Teams have made every possible endeavor to protect CUPE 4600 members’ rights. It is easy in saying but extremely tough in action!
In my time as Recording Secretary, I have been responsible for record keeping and written communications. I have also been in close contact with membership and kept the members informed about the problems facing them and the activities that the local is undertaking to deal with these problems. Moreover, in my office visits, I strove to mobilize the CUPE 4600 members for the important occasions.
I believe my last year experience on the executive board are significant assets that I would bring to the position of RS. If re-elected, I will make every endeavor to become better and fight harder to protect the rights and interest of our members and will remain committed to serving the membership of CUPE 4600.
Running for: President
Name: Narges Zare
My name is Narges. I am a Unit 1 member in good standing and running for the position of the President. I initially served as a steward for the department of Biology and then joined CUPE4600 executive board as recording secretary and served as the local’s VP Internal in the past year. During this time, I have chaired or have been involved in many caucuses and teams such as the Joint consultation committee (JCC), Labor management committee, Strike committee, Mobilization committee and bargaining team for both unit 1 and 2.
Last year as VP Internal, I have worked on expanding out social media presence and utilizing new and better tools for mobilization and membership outreach such as telephone banking, mass text messaging and online voting system for the first time in our local.
However, my main focus during the last year was bargaining for unit1 and unit 2 members with Carleton. On both bargaining teams we worked hard on issues such as teaching evaluations and Incumbency for contract instructors and Employment assistant funds (EAF) crisis for unit 1 members. These are ongoing issues and I continue to work hard along side the team to get the best deal for our members.
Should I be elected as President of the local my main goals would be bargaining for both units, membership mobilization, setting international students caucus and overall bringing all my experiences to serve the membership and resolve outstanding issues.
Running for: Health & Safety Committee
Name: Ali Ghaharbeighi
My name is Ali Reza Ghaharbeighi and I am a Contract Instructor in the French Department since 2007. I am seeking election as Unit 2’s Co-Chair of the Joint Health and Safety Committee. I have long been active in the Union, I am the Steward of the French Department for the past seven years now. I also served as one of Trustees for three years from 2015 to 2018 and as one of the three union members in the Joint Committee on Multi Course Offers in 2014. Most recently, I became the Health & Safety Officer for Unit 2 in January 2019. I am strongly committing to improving the health and safety of our members!
Ali Reza Ghaharbeighi
Running for: Recording Secretary
Name: Lindy Van Vliet
My name is Lindy Van Vliet and I am a member in good standing in both Units 1 & 2 and I am running for the position of Recording Secretary. I have been involved in CUPE 4600 for the past year working as a bargaining team member for Unit 2 and a member of the strike committee. As a member of the bargaining team I worked with my colleagues to negotiate a strong deal for CIs around Teaching Evaluations and incumbency during a particularly difficult round of bargaining due to the constraints of Bill 124. As a member of both units I understand the significant struggles CIs and TAs face in terms of precarious work and unrecognized contributions to the Carleton community. Given the opportunity, I would to put my organization and team work skills to use for the members of CUPE 4600.
Lindy van Vliet
Running for: Ottawa CUPE District Council Representative
Name: Matthew Scribner
Hi fellow CUPE 4600 members,
I’m running to be one of your Ottawa CUPE District Council (OCDC) representatives. I’ve been a representative for the past two years. Currently, I serve as the council’s Recording Secretary.
The OCDC serves the interests of affiliated CUPE locals in Ottawa. Though CUPE has provincial and federal representation in Ottawa, the OCDC looks after local affairs. Recently, for example, the council endorsed a municipal campaign to acquire housing to mitigate homelessness during the pandemic. THE OCDC also offers union education and strike support to affiliated locals, among other things.
If you re-elect me, I will help the OCDC secure more support and affiliations from CUPE locals in the city. I also want to make more of the council’s communications bilingual. Also, this year, I would like to hold more discussions with rank-and-file CUPE 4600 members, to better represent you at the council.