Candidate Statements

Below you will find the names of the candidates who are running for positions, and the candidate's statement if they included one. If you are interested in running for election at the AGM, please read the elections information here

Executive Board and Council positions



Candidate: Noreen Cauley

Unit: 1 (TA/RA/SA)

Nominator: Erik Wagenaar

Seconder: Molly Horn


My name is Noreen Cauley (she/they) and I am running for Chief Steward (Unit 1). I’ve been involved in union organizing for as long as I can remember. I grew up attending union meetings and walking picket lines with my parents. This past year I served as the departmental steward for Geography, and advocated for my colleagues as we navigated pandemic stressors amidst our already challenging student-worker roles. Previously, I served as a steward and a picket captain during the epic five-month long strike at York University. 


Academia can be isolating for graduate students. As a single-parent, and as a person with a disability, I understand the burden self-advocacy imposes when there are barriers to access, accommodations, and basic workers’-rights. For this reason, my two primary goals as chief steward are:

1) To provide strong advocacy and support;

2) To organize and build union power.

I will make full use of the collective agreement, the grievance process, and departmental stewards to advocate on behalf of the membership. In collaboration with our unit 2 colleagues, the executive board, stewards council, and active rank- and-file members, it is imperative we build a strong, grassroots movement from within the rank-and-file membership. Our strength lies in our numbers, and a top-down approach is insufficient to garner the necessary participation. We can build from within our own membership, and form cross-campus and community alliances in order to demand better working conditions and benefits, which will in turn improve our ability to teach and research, but also build the power of the labour movement! 


I have experience dealing with university administration, chairing meetings, and listening/ responding to graduate student concerns from my role as the chairperson for my faculty graduate student association and as the co-chair for the Accessibility Community Equity committee during my Master’s degree. I am well-equipped to handle the administrative and activist components of the chief steward role from my time on the board of directors for the Denise House, a shelter for women and children, and the Lee Wiggins Childcare Center. I have demonstrated my skills at public speaking as keynote speaker at “Take Back the Night” (among other rallying speeches). Additionally, I have learned specific steps to organize and build workers’ power through union membership from (twice) taking Jane McAlevey’s course “Organizing for Power.”


I am in the second-year of my PhD, so I’m committed to this for the long-haul ;) 

Vice-President Internal

Candidate: Caitlin Hart

Unit: 1 (TA/RA/SA)

Position: VP Internal

Nominator: Zoey Jones

Seconder: Delphine DiTecco

Candidate Statement: 

My name is Caitlin Hart (she/her/hers) and I am running for VP Internal for CUPE 4600. 


I have worked extensively in the field of communications and am skilled at disseminating information amongst organizations and staff. Additionally, I have experience instilling equity programs within departments which I think would be useful for this position. 


My educational background is in both journalism and women’s and gender studies. Journalism has taught me the importance of concise and clear communication. I think that it is of the utmost importance that the holder of this position is easy to reach for CUPE members. Ensuring that CUPE 4600 members feel supported, and concerns are responded to in a timely manner would be part of my mandate as VP internal. 


My education in women’s and gender studies has granted me skills in conflict resolution and restorative justice. This includes how to deal with situations of harassment, equity and other social justice issues that may arise. 


As CUPE members for both units will be embarking on the challenges of returning to campus post pandemic, I aim to support the President in providing assistance to CUPE members to ensure they feel safe and supported during this transition. 


In solidarity,

Caitlin Hart 

Vice-President External

Candidate: Hesam Farahani

Unit: 1 (TA/RA/SA)

Position: VP External

Nominator: Narges Zare

Seconder: Paul Smith


Hello everyone,

My name is Hesam Farahani. I have been a member of CUPE 4600 from 2018 and I am running for the position of VP External. I have been an active member since I joined our local. I was the Recording Secretory in our local from May 2019 to May 2020. This period was really hectic because we first needed to plan for the bargaining and get fully ready to negotiate our members’ rights and benefits with the Employer, and then the bargaining began. This round of bargaining saw the longest bargaining in the history of our union. It was very challenging and honestly, very difficult. However, it equipped the Board and Bargaining Team with a great deal of valuable experience. During this time, I chaired a number of Mobilization Committee Meetings and tried to involve as much members as possible. In addition, I held and chaired a couple of meetings with our international students to address their concerns when the pandemic happened.

After finishing my term of office as the Recording Secretory, I began to serve as the Unit 1 Health & Safety Representative. In this role, I actively participated in all of the meetings and was highly committed to the health and safety of our members.

My close connection with our local has given me a lot of experience which I can apply in the role of VP External. I am committed to fulfil the VP External’s responsibilities outlined in our union’s bylaws.

I believe that increasing the diversity in our union is of critical importance if we want to have a healthy and constructive communication with our membership. Our members from any background, race, ethnic, religion, and culture must feel that they are fully represented and have the chance to include their say. If elected, I will concentrate to increase diversity and representation in our union. Moreover, as an international member, I have close connection with our international students. One of my goals is to focus on recruiting more international students.

Candidate: Josh Hawley

Unit: 1 (TA/RA/SA)

Position: VP External

Nominator: Zoey Jones

Seconder: Brittany Campbell


I am running for VP External. I’ve been a member of CUPE4600 since September 2019. In 2020, I was on the Unit 1 (TAs, SAs, RAs) Bargaining Team where I got to sit across from the Employer and push for constructive changes to our Collective Agreement. I learned a lot through this process, including the ins and outs of the obligations our Employer has toward Unit 1 members and a better understanding of which wins for members will have to happen through organizing and exercising our collective power. I have even applied lessons I learned through this bargaining process to organizing I’m involved in outside of the university.


I am involved in organizing work around Ottawa, mainly around tenant issues such as evictions and rent increases. As a non-Executive Board member, I have liaised with the two previous CUPE4600 VPs External in the past, and have been encouraged by the support our off-campus organizing efforts have received from the Union. Taking on the position of VP External, I would be happy to continue to push for the involvement and support of CUPE4600 in social justice campaigns on and off campus.


I believe there is a lot that can be won for CUPE4600 members through mobilization and direct pressure on our Employer, not just through meetings, bargaining, or letters. We have a strong and huge membership base that can be used strategically to our advantage. As VP External, I would work to encourage mobilization.


The roles for VP External are outlined in our union’s by-laws: the VP External serves as the Chair of the External Affairs Committee; serves on the Bargaining Research Committee; liaises and maintains relationships with other unions and groups on and off campus; is one of the Local’s delegates to meetings of CUPE and CLC federations and councils to which the Local is affiliated or of which the Local is a member organization; is one of the Local’s delegates to union conferences and other events in which the Local has an interest, or works to ensure that the Local is represented; performs additional duties to ensure effective communications and mobilization of the membership, in support of the Board, Council, Committees, Caucuses, or Membership as directed.


I would gladly take on these responsibilities as VP External.


No nominations

Recording Secretary

Candidate: Meg Lonergan

Unit: 2 (CI)

Position: Recording Secretary

Nominator: Lindy Van Vliet

Seconder: Zoey Jones

Candidate Statement:

Meg Lonergan is running for Recording Secretary. Lonergan is a Contract Instructor in Legal Studies. She previously served as President 2019-2020 and as Chief Steward Unit 1 2018-2019. In the last round of bargaining she led the Unit 2 Bargaining Team and was also a member of the Unit 1 Team. Meg has excellent notetaking and organizational skills. An active member with experience in both units and on the Board, Meg believes she would be an asset to the incoming 2021-2022 Executive of CUPE 4600.

Candidate: Callie Metler

Unit: 1 (TA/RA/SA)

Position: Recording Secretary

Nominator: Ross Chiasson

Seconder: Cait Jones


My name is Callie Metler and I am seeking election for the Recording Secretary position for CUPE 4600. I am a Unit 1 Teaching Assistant in the English Department. I have also worked as a Unit 1 Teaching Assistant at Trent University for CUPE 3908. I am currently in the first year of my PhD in English Literature and I am looking forward to getting involved in the Carleton student and instructor community in a meaningful way.


My academic background is in English Literature, Gender Studies, and Sexuality Studies. My academic and professional experience has all relied on my unerring written and oral communication skills. I am highly organized, detail-oriented, and able to keep to strict deadlines. 


I have experience keeping Board meeting minutes and rewriting organizational bylaws. I understand the importance of keeping detailed and well-organized notes in a professional setting. I am a highly trained and practiced writer and copy editor, and I will work to ensure that all correspondences, records, and the monthly Bulletin tidily reflect the work that the CUPE 4600 executive does. 


Thank you.

Vice-President Unit 1

Candidate: Laura Hnatiw

Unit: 1 (TA/RA/SA)

Position: VP Unit 1

Nominator: Brenna Egan

Seconder: Caitlin Manuel 

Candidate Statement:

My name is Laura Hnatiw (she/her), and I am running for the position of VP Unit 1

I have experience working within education systems during my time at Georgian college as well as during my undergrad at Carleton in which my work was not unionized (but should have been). 

During this pandemic Unit 1 members have faced unique challenges. We have had to adapt with little direction and support from the administration. Accommodations and changes in how we work, like remote meetings/teaching/learning were once thought to be impossible, are now the norm. What will happen when we return to campus? With talks beginning about having in person learning for classes with less than thirty students, a big issue is going to be what that means for Unit 1 members. As VP Unit 1 I will fight to guarantee plans are in place that provide options to workers that ensure our members are safe and supported as part of the post pandemic transition.  

We should be focused on the Bargaining Research Committee (BRC) to start preparing recommendations and changes to the collective agreement now, that will benefit the members during bargaining. The BRC needs to provide more opportunities for member involvement. Creating proposals for bargaining which reflect the needs and desires of our members means that we need to work hard to include them in this process. This can be done through direct involvement at the BRC but also through surveys, and other engagement tools, which encourages participation. 

Membership involvement in the union will be a top priority for me. Workers need to feel connected and to feel that they can participate in the decisions which impact their working conditions. In my experience talking with fellow Tas, many of them believe in the power of unions and are excited to be a part of one; however, many of them aren’t aware of how to get involved, nor what involvement looks like in practical terms. For many Unit 1 members this will be their first time as part of a union and would greatly benefit from info sessions, or written explanations which explain in plain language on all the roles and opportunities the union has and why it matters for them.

Thank you, if you have any questions please contact by email at

In solidarity,

Laura Hnatiw

Vice-President Unit 2

Candidates: Cheryl Cundell and Morgan Rooney

Unit: 2 (CI)

Position: Vice-President Unit 2

Nominator: Gareth Park

Seconder: Codie Fortin Lalonde


Unit 2 members face diverse challenges, ones that are all the more frustrating because they are well known and recurring, and we as a union need to do more to address them.


Our names are Cheryl Cundell and Morgan Rooney, and we are jointly running for the position of VP Unit 2. We have been Contract Instructors for 6 and 11 years, respectively. Morgan has served Unit 2 members over the last decade as Unit 2 VP, departmental steward, and CI representative on Senate. Cheryl has been serving as a departmental steward this year. Combined, we bring experience and knowledge of labour relations at Carleton and the conditions of CI labour.


Should we be elected, our priorities as VP Unit 2 would be as follows:


·Expanding the involvement and participation of Unit 2 members. We believe that membership involvement is key to the long-term success of our union. We would continue to hold regular orientation and meeting activities for members, and to expand our steward base

·Preparing for the next bargaining period. The history of labour relations at Carleton, and across the university sector, shows us that few meaningful gains are made at the bargaining table without well-organized labour action. With just one year to go before the next round of bargaining, we would begin researching bargaining proposals, surveying members, and engaging in a priority-setting exercise. 

·Continuing to advocate for our members in the COVID-19 era. In addition to continuing to advocate for extra compensation for the extra work our members have had to do to teach online, we must protect and advocate for our members as the university presses forward with a return to in-person instruction.


If our priorities resonate with you, then you should vote for us. We would be honoured to represent the interests of our Unit 2 members.

Chief Steward Unit 1

Candidate: Sarah Fiander

Unit: 1 (TA/RA/SA)

Position: Unit 1 Chief Steward

Nominator: Meg Lonergan

Seconder: Zoey Jones

Candidate Statement:


Chief Steward Unit 2

Candidate: Gareth Park

Unit: 2 (CI)

Position: Chief Steward Unit 2

Nominator: Morgan Rooney

Seconder: Codie Fortin Lalonde


My name is Gareth Park, I am a CI in Social Work, and I am running for reelection as 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 with pressure to intensify workload  by requiring CIs to teach in a hybrid online and in-person format.  We must energetically defend the rights of all our members by using the collective agreement, member mobilization and public pressure.


  • Online meetings have many challenges but they do make it easier for CIs to participate.  Continue this year’s practice of twice-a-term meetings and intensify efforts to secure departmental stewards.  This year I recruited five additional stewards.  Next year I would like recruit an additional ten.


  • In the union’s 3-year cycle the upcoming year needs to focus on bargaining preparation and priority-setting.  I would like to see a bargaining conference drawing CIs from all departments to set out key priorities for the new collective agreement and lay the groundwork for a successful strike.

I would welcome further discussion please contact me at 

Health & Safety Representative Unit 1

No nominations

Health & Safety Representative Unit 2

Candidate: Ali Reza Ghaharbeighi

Unit: 2 (CI)

Position: Unit 2 Health & Safety Representative

Nominator: Frank Adou

Seconder: Galina Toumilovitch 

Candidate Statement: 

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 eight 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! 

Personal Safety Officer

No nominations

Human Rights Officer

Candidate: Zoey Jones

Unit: 2 (CI)

Position: Human Rights Rep

Nominator: Meg Lonergan

Seconder: Lisa Armstrong


Equity Trustee

Candidate: Patti Kmiec

Unit: 2 (CI)

Position: Equity Trustee

Nominator: Narges Zare

Seconder: Lindy Van Vliet

Finance Trustee (3)

No nominations

Unit 2 Health & Dental Plan Trustee (1)

No nominations

Ottawa District Labour Council Representative (3)

Candidate: Matthew Scribner

Unit: 1 (CI)

Position: Ottawa District CUPE Council Representative

Nominator: Meg Lonergan

Seconder: Pansee Atta


Hi everyone,

As you can imagine, it’s been a challenging year for the Ottawa CUPE District Council, as it has been for all of us. This year has been a matter of managing a digital presence when not much was happening physically. CUPE Ontario and CUPE National have been busy with supporting first responders and frontline workers, many of whom are CUPE members. As the Recording Secretary for the Ottawa CUPE District Council, I have tried to use the council’s communication to support those efforts where possible. In general, I have also strived to ensure that the council’s internal communications were updated and ready for a year of doing things completely online. 


The good news is after a successful Annual General Meeting recently, we are on track to be more engaged with CUPE locals and labour issues. I am running for re-election to ensure that that there is continuity at the council while we are still reeling from the pandemic. 


One priority for the council will be solidarity between academic locals, and I am open to input from anyone from CUPE 4600 on how to best do that.


Thank you for your support this past year.

Cupe Ontario Convention Delegate

No nominations