Hello CUPE 4600 members,
Below you will find materials for the upcoming General Membership Meeting. This page is being updated as materials get prepared, so please check back regularly if you are looking for something that is not here yet.
1. Meeting Agenda
2. Board Reports
3. Other Meeting Materials
1. Meeting Agenda
The agenda can be downloaded here
2. Board Reports
Unit 2 Chief Steward - Gareth Park
Facts about Unit 2 based on Fall-Winter term 2019-2020
772 members teaching 720 credits
The university paid $11.7 million in salaries
More than half of our dues-paying members taught only a single half) course
25% of our dues-paying members taught more than 2 half courses
54% of members have male-identified names
Largest Three Departments
* Linguistics with 50 members teaching 73.5 credits
* Business with 59 members teaching 45.5 credits
* Law and Legal Studies with 33 members teaching 38.5 credits
Our Stewards – We Need More
1. Greg Brown: Sociology/Anthropology
2. Greg Brown: Law and Legal Studies
3. Cheryl Cundell: Linguistics and Language Studies
4. Ali Ghaharbeighi French
5. Jaime Lenet Social Work
The absence of departmental stewards is the most pressing issue. There are roughly 50 departments and units where CIs work at Carleton. There are stewards in just five of them representing less than 20% of the membership.
The role of a departmental steward is to basically act as a contact person between our members and the union. Grievances and disputes with the employer are handled by the Business Agent and the Chief Steward. Stewards put a human face to the union. Stewards are invited to serve on union committees and the Executive Council. The expected time commitment is roughly 15 hours/term and receives a small honorarium.
Defending our Collective Agreement Rights
Grievances and disputes over collective agreement rights take up a lot of the time of the Business Agent and the Chief Steward. This year, so far, there have been a dozen such issues. While each grievance is different there have been a couple of themes:
1) Incumbency and Seniority. CIs not being offered courses when they are the senior incumbent.
Key Message: We have secured full financial and seniority compensation for members whose incumbency is overlooked.
2) Teaching and conduct. Situations relating to teaching and course administration.
Key Message: CIs facing discipline should seek union representation
3) Unfair treatment & harassment. CIs experience unfair treatment at the hands of department chairs and others.
Key Message: Reach out to union immediately.
VP Unit 1 - Zoey Jones
Dear CUPE 4600 members, colleagues, and friends,
We are almost to the one-year mark for COVID-19, which also marks a transformational time for our local.
The last few months as your VP Unit 1 have been difficult. Tensions are high. I have at all times endeavored to serve in my position with my morals and the principles of Union organizing at the forefront. I hope that I have and will continue to do you proud. I am grateful for the new skills and adaptation techniques that I have had the opportunity to learn during this tumultuous time. I would also like to thank our staff for contributing so significantly to the ongoing function of our Union during the pandemic.
Recently, I have been engaged in a number of projects, including:
Advocating for Unit 1 at the Joint Consultation Committee (our monthly meeting with Carleton). Topics have ranged from fighting for compensation for work-from-home costs to ensuring appropriate access to technology and working to protect members from overwork and CA violations at the end of terms. This is particularly an issue in the Fall terms as we go into winter break, but we are keeping a close eye on the impending April exam period as well.
Reviewing and finalizing a draft of the Collective Agreement, which we signed in the Fall. It is currently with the Employer for review. Our bargaining team members Pansee and Josh were instrumental in getting this done – thank you both!
Working on accessibility issues that members in both units face. I am particularly worried about the procedures that Unit 1 and Unit 2 members need to engage with to receive accommodations at work; if you are also struggling with this, please feel free to contact me and I will do what I can to support you.
I organized two anti-oppression training sessions with a terrific facilitator (Keegan) for the Executive Board, Executive Council members, stewards, and rank-and-file members of the local. I really appreciated the training – thank you Keegan!
I am working with the Women’s Caucus, which will soon be the Gender Equity Caucus, to host an event in March. Stay tuned!
With our mobilization coordinator Pierre, I am excited to finally be ordering masks for the local and look forward to mailing those out.
As last year, I have been serving as the board’s liaison with the Trans Fund Committee and supporting our trans members’ applications for financial support.
Last, the internal dynamics and procedures of the Executive Board and local have required a significant amount of investment and stress. I hope that we have made some progress that will benefit future leadership. I thank my colleagues for their hard work in this arena.
As we approach our April AGM, 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, as I will not be running again. 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 - Codie Fortin Lalonde & Morgan Rooney
We are keenly aware that the time left in our term as VPs Unit 2 is waning. While we hoped to give you the moon and stars, we are proud of the work we have done and collaborated on this academic year to advocate for your needs, secure improvements, and raise CI involvement.
In keeping with our goal surrounding orientation activities, we held a Winter Orientation in January that had about 10 members attend. It is our hope that this year’s Orientation activities for Unit 2 members will become a part of our executive regular duties moving forward.
Since compiling some of the data gathered from the Unit 2 Workload Survey, we--in collaboration with Gareth Parth (U2 Chief Steward) and the Mobilization Committee--have continued our efforts to build awareness around Fair Compensation for CIs by asking the University directly for a financial top-up for CIs teaching through the pandemic, which was (unsurprisingly) rejected. We responded to this rejection with a social media campaign, a media release, and a CBC interview. In addition, we shared an open letter that has thus far generated 250+ of emails sent to administration. We have also recently shared some similar language that can be submitted to Carleton’s Reputation Enhancement Project feedback form. While the University has yet to respond directly to these efforts, we will continue to apply pressure to the University for fair compensation--and we hope you too will, too.
Over the course of this academic year, we have been discussing the imminent switch to Brightspace with the University and applying pressure surrounding paid training. While we know you deserve more/better, we are pleased to share that we recently secured confirmation that CIs will be paid $120 for three hours of required Brightspace training.
As you’re likely aware, we are moving to an online PDF system that will hopefully streamline and quicken the process. On behalf of all Unit 2 members, we would like to thank our BOA, Dan Sawyer, for spearheading this process. We know the wait time to receive your PDF reimbursement has been long and we thank you for your patience. If you have yet to receive a reimbursement for a claim made in semesters prior to this one (Winter 2021), please let us know (email@example.com).
For the last 6 months or so, we have repeatedly raised the issue of whether or not the University would issue a T2200 form for all Unit 2 members, in recognition of the fact that they have had to do all of their work for the University from home. A few weeks ago, the University confirmed that it will indeed be issuing the new T2200S modified forms provided by the CRA, which will allow our members to save money on their 2020 taxes. Our preliminary judgment regarding the new T2200S form is that all Unit 2 members--and especially those who rent (rather than own) their primary residence--should explore both the streamlined and detailed methods that CRA provides and/or seek our professional advice. We have written more extensively on this subject here.
The University has also announced a new Teaching Evaluation tool to be rolled out this semester. Although the tool is a mild improvement to the previous one and we were invited to “consult” on the tool through the JCAA, this consultation was, in our opinion, pro forma and less than meaningful; our evidence and experience-informed feedback was ultimately disregarded and the tool will be implemented with no changes. You can read our full report on this matter here.
To follow up on our previous workload survey and some issues that have arisen throughout the academic year, we have developed another (shorter) survey with some questions regarding accessibility and discrimination, teaching evaluations, your thoughts on possible job action, and future outlook. We hope that this survey will be online before we meet at our Feb. 24 GMM, or shortly thereafter.
Unit 2 Caucus date TBA
If you are angry, aggrieved, distraught, and/or dismayed at the current labour conditions of our CIs, contact your Unit 2 VPs (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or our Chief Steward (email@example.com), and ask about the various ways that you can get involved to help your Union fight for improvements. You can also follow @cupe4600 on Twitter and Instagram, and find us on Facebook.
VP Internal - Paul Smith
I hope you are all well!
The most important items that I’ve been working on are:
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. We’re currently in the process of ratifying the agreement and this should be finished up over the next week. Key points of the agreement will be discussed during the bargaining update portion of the GMM.
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. Work on developing long-term solutions to improve things like staff pension administration and leave tracking is ongoing and will hopefully make things simpler to manage in the future.
I’m also 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.
Treasurer - Zahra Montazeri
Budget for May 2020-April 2021 was divided into two parts because of unprecedented time.
May 2020-August 2020 (summer term) and it was closed.
Budget for September2020-April2021 was approved by members in the last GMM in October 2020.
The total revenues for months of Oct-Dec. were over $100k.
Total surplus for Sep. 20 -Jan. 21 is $118,238.17
By considering the deficit of $56,000 from May 2020-August 2020 (summer term), total revenue for the 9 months of current fiscal year is $62,000
The revenue for operating is $50,115
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.
Local financial records-Jan. 31, 2021
Operation Fund: $ 478,514.81
Strike Fund: $78,611.81
ISJF Fund: $9665.70
Trans Fund: $3,792.44
For the current fiscal year, the following expenses are expected;
Moving finance to cloud
Hiring external auditor, no member stepping forward to be a trustee
Cost for moving offices
You can download the budget here
Recording Secretary - Lindy Van Vliet
"Hi CUPE 4600 Members,
The past several months I have been busy working with Paul and Narges on bargaining with Unifor 567. This has been a real learning experience and I am happy to report that we have reached a deal and look forward to ratifying the new Collective Agreement as soon as possible. More specific details on bargaining will be given during the GMM.
I have also taken on a new role as a member of the Labour Management Committee. We have several new initiatives to implement that were negotiated during this round of bargaining (including the creation of a new leave tracking system) and I look forward to working closely with staff and the other employer representatives on the LMC on these initiatives.
I am happy to answer any questions during the meeting or by email.
VP External - Abram Lutes
A few updates about external relations, campaigns, and other activities:
1. Update on Cihan Erdal
Our member Cihan Erdal continues to be held in Turkey 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. Canada remains largely silent on the matter.
However, there have been some positive developments. Cihan is no longer in solitary confinement and is able to receive and send letters as well as small gifts like books. He also has limited computer access and is remarkably continuing his studies while imprisoned and on trial.
Recently, the Free Cihan Erdal campaign website published an open letter written by Cihan. I encourage all members to read it.
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.
2. Fighting Evictions & Tenant Solidarity
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 have 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. We are also presenting a similar statement to the Ottawa Area CUPE Council in the near future.
We are also participating jointly in an event around housing struggles and labour unions with our sister locals CUPE 2626 (UOttawa) and PSAC 901 (Queen’s University). Titled Student Workers Will Not Pay for the Housing Crisis, the event will look at the root causes of the housing crisis in Ontario and will facilitate brainstorming activities for how labour unions in the post-secondary sector can take concrete actions to advance housing for all.
3. Communication with the rest of the labour movement
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.
Campus United has not met since an initial meeting last calendar year. I am hoping this body continues to be active in spite of the pandemic.
Our sister union CUPE 3902 at the University of Toronto looks very close to a strike. This will be a very difficult strike given we are still in the midst of COVID-19. I think I speak for the local that our unconditional solidarity goes out to them and while we will unlikely be able to join them on picket lines, there are many other ways to support them. You can read more about their bargaining situation and get involved supporting them on their We Are U of T campaign website.
I am still recommending CUPE 4600 become a member of the Coalition of Student Employee Unions. However, since their bylaws require a referendum for membership to be approved and because I have yet to develop a concrete proposal for how to conduct a referendum of our membership during COVID-19, our status with the CSEU remains in limbo.
Finally in this section, I would like to shout out two ongoing union drives in the post-secondary sector the Organize UWaterloo campaign publicly launched last year and the ongoing effort to unionize TAs and student workers at Mount Allison University, a campaign that has been going on since 2017 but is finally getting close to ratification. Both these future CUPE locals will need solidarity bargaining their first contract.
4. Hassan Diab
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. This month, France’s court of appeal 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. In the coming months look for actions you can take part in to support Hassan and protest any attempt at extradition.
5. External Affairs Committee
The EAC continues to have issues meeting. This is largely because of scheduling conflicts, difficulty doing follow-up over the internet, and a bit of Zoom fatigue among our membership. However, I am committed to continue to make an active effort to have an active EAC. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to be involved.
President - Narges Zare
Hello CUPE4600 members,
Thank you for your time and keeping updated on your union matters.
A summary of the projects and work that I have been doing are listed below:
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. At the JCAA we have expressed our thoughts on the new teaching evaluation system as well as expressing concerns regarding lack of meaningful consultation by Carleton. I am also happy to announce through JCAA and with the hard work of the union’s busines agent, Dan Sawyer an online system to claim professional development funds (PDF) will launch at the end of March. This will simplify and expedite the claim process. Finally, we have discussed other issues with Carleton management such as moving to brightspace and paid training to make the transition into the new platform and T2200 claims for union members.
Most of my time since last GMM was divided between Labor management as well as bargaining with uniform 567, unit 5 representing our staff. I am happy to announce after 20 bargaining sessions we have reached a deal and a ratification vote has been set for later this week. A summary of the new collective agreement will be presented at this GMM by Paul our union’s VP internal.
As part of the labour management committee, we are also working hard to develop systems and policy which will 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.
Finally, one of my main priorities during my term as president has been to increase membership engagement. To do so with the work of Pierre, union’s mobilization coordinator we have started using New/mode software and have formed a tech committee to look into further options. I also held a winter orientation for unit1 members, and we had an attendance of 34 which is a great outcome!
I always look forward hearing from members. I work for the membership and wish to serve you at my best! Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions, suggestions or requests.
3. Other Meeting Materials
That the Local make the following donations to organizations that support Black, Indigenous, and low-income people in our communities:
$500 to the Afro-Caribbean Mentorship Program
$500 to the Canada Black Mutual Aid Fund (run by Black Lives Matter Canada)
$500 to Minwaashin Lodge to support their work with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women and children in Ottawa during the COVID-19 crisis
$250 to the Indigenous Solidarity Working Group at CUPE 3906
$250 to the Ottawa Food Bank
Motioned by: Zoey
Seconded by: ______
Note: Slides will accompany this motion during the GMM with information about each of these organizations
Afro-Caribbean Mentorship Program (funded by a Carleton grad student and member/previous member, not sure about current status but has been a CI), an organization that supports African, Caribbean, Black, and other racialized graduate and undergraduate students on campus in Ottawa
Canada Black Mutual Aid Fund information: https://www.facebook.com/BlackLivesMatterCanada/
Minwaashin Lodge information: https://www.minlodge.com/
Indigenous Solidarity Working Group information: https://www.iswg3906.org/cif Chris Fairweather from CUPE 3906 was soliciting donations for this fund at the OUWCC
Ottawa Food Bank (recommended by members as a recipient of donations during December CUPE 4600 events): https://www.ottawafoodbank.ca/
Total existing funds remaining for donations: $2700
Total of this motion: $2,000
Remaining donation funds if motion passes: $700
End of fiscal year: April 30, 2021
The October 13th 2020 GMM minutes can be downloaded here