CUPE 4600 General Membership Meeting

November 28, 2017 @ 6:15pm

Tory 446

 

  1. Statement on Unceded Territory

  2. Equality Statement

  3. Executive Board Roll Call

  4. Approval of Agenda

  5. Previous Minutes

  6. Financial Report and update - Secretary-treasurer

  7. Executive Board Reports - including GSA

  8. New Business/Motions

Motion #1 to provide childcare funding per the proposed policy

Motion #2 to send Human Rights Chair to in Richmond Hill, ON

Motion #3 to endorse the campaign

Motion #4 to send the Secretary-Treasurer to CUPE National training

 

   9. Announcements

Ottawa CUPE District Council Annual General Meeting, Thursday November 30, 6:30-8:30pm, 251 Bank Street,2nd Floor. All CUPE members are welcome!

 

  10. Adjournment

 

Childcare funding is available for GMM participation:

The general membership of CUPE 4600 voted to pay members $3/hour of GMM meeting time for subsidized child care; or $6/hour of GMM meeting time for non-subsidized child care. This fund will be administered by the Secretary Treasurer and the VP Internal.

 

Who to contact if you have concerns about this meeting:
In order to better put into practice the principles that are contained in the Equality Statement, specific individuals have volunteered to make themselves available to help address any issues that work against the full inclusion and participation of all our members. If you would like to talk to this volunteer, the chair will identify them at the beginning of the meeting. If you wish to talk to someone outside of the meeting, our Human Rights Officer, Elise, is available at elisewohlbold@cmail.carleton.ca

 

 

Motion #1

 

Be it resolved that CUPE 4600 will adopt the following Child Care Policy

 

CUPE 4600 Child Care Policy

 

CUPE 4600 values the input and participation of our whole membership and strives to make union meetings and activities as inclusive and accessible as possible. This policy will serve the purpose of assisting our members with children who require child care in order to participate in union activity.

 

CUPE 4600 agrees to pay the following amounts to members participating in union activity, including but not limited to meetings, caucus work, socials, CUPE 4600 rallies and marches:

 

Reimbursement is $3/hour of union activity time for subsidized child care; $6/hour of union activity time for non-subsidized child care. (these rates will be updated to match the rates outlined in the Employee assistance fund, which is determined by the JCC as outlined in article 24 of CUPE 4600’s Unit 1 Collective Agreement)

 

This fund will be administered by the Secretary Treasurer and the VP Internal.

 

To access this fund the member will be required to provide their name and receipts from their child care provider (any type of receipt is acceptable, including handwritten receipts).  

 

Moved by:

Seconded by:

 

Motion #2

 

Whereas CUPE Ontario has organized a conference to help address issues of Racial Justice and Human Rights which will take place in Richmond Hill, ON in December, 2017,

 

and whereas the local has $700 remaining in the Union Development and Training budget line, and the expected cost is $______

 

Be it resolved that CUPE 4600 will fund the Human Rights Officer's attendance at the Racial Justice and Human Rights Conference from the Union Development and Training budget (line 27).

 

Moved by:

Seconded by:

 

 

Motion #3

 

Whereas local 4600 would like to support the inclusion of all workers and labour groups in the Ottawa District Labour Council,

 

and whereas full debate and democratic participation require the discussion and allowance for many different perspectives that are sometimes left out of the current ODLC meetings,

 

Be it resolved that CUPE 4600 endorses and will promote the participation of the 'ODLC Renewal' group in the upcoming ODLC elections.

 

Moved by:

Seconded by:

 

Motion #4

 

Whereas the CUPE National training for financial officers will take place from December 7 to 8. The Secretary-Treasurer's primary interest in going to this training is the hope that it will help the local get our financial books approved by CUPE National. This is a process that has been long delayed and one of the contributing factors in confusion on the role of each party: local executive, local trustee, and National, play in getting our books approved.

 

Whereas the Secretary-Treasurer wishes to produce an instructional manual for future treasurers on the priorities when starting their post. And, hopefully, reduce the delay in the approval of our books in the future.

 

Be it resolved that the local fund the Secretary-Treasurer’s officer training. The training will be paid for by line 27 of our budget, Union Development and Training.

 

Moved by: Daniel Huang

Seconded by:

 

 

Reports

 

President's Report - Kevin Partridge

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who has volunteered in all sorts of different capacities for the local. All elected positions are currently filled and a number of our caucuses are meeting and working on new projects to support their members. Caucuses are a unique component of our local because they are not directed through the Executive but are designed to allow members to come together to address concerns of specific groups of members and have access to the resources and support of the local and its staff. Our bylaws allow any group within the local with a common interest or identity to form a caucus so long as they keep within the broad purposes of our bylaws and the CUPE constitution (Article 17). If anyone is interested in starting a new caucus, feel free to get in touch with any executive members or staff person.

The Executive Council is a great forum to find out what all the caucuses, committees, and external representatives are doing in our local. These meetings are generally held once per semester on months that we do not have General Membership Meetings (GMMs). I will be scheduling both GMMs and Council meetings in December and the dates will be emailed out in our digest and advertised through social media. All members of the local have the right to attend and speak at Executive Council meetings.

I convened and chaired a Constitutional Committee meeting on October 26, 2017. At this meeting, we reviewed a long list of policies and procedures that were under consideration. We divided the work up amongst the various members of the committee and made decisions about how to move forward with the various individual items. One of those items was electronic elections. We got feedback about a system that the TA union at Guelph uses and, after considering some of the potential costs and problems with it, decided that it does not serve the interest of our local right now to try and implement such a system. We are also looking at some alterations to the bylaws in order to allow for chairs of committees that are active doing mobilization and strike preparation during bargaining to receive compensation that is more in line with the enormous amount of work that is involved. This stems from a motion approved by the general membership to give people who had done this work in the last round additional compensation after our strike and ratification vote. Another Constitution Committee meeting will be scheduled in the near future.

One of the projects that we have discussed at both the Constitution Committee and the Executive Board involves going through an extensive paper archive that we have in storage. This archive goes back for more than a decade but the need for keeping paper copies of most of these items has been superseded by electronic storage. There are more than a hundred office boxes in this storage so if anyone is interested in helping sort through this, please let me know!

Our new collective agreements are now posted online and we are working to ensure that the employer is abiding by the new agreements. There are some problems that we have found and chief stewards and unit vice presidents can report more on those. We are looking at pursuing some issues through policy grievances. We are being cautious however not to over-extend the local by filing too many grievances at a time that could all end up in an expensive arbitration process.

We have committees filled to work with our staff union to resolve some issues that jointly concern us as both employer and employees. One of these is focused on office space. Anyone who has been in the office has probably noticed that it frequently holds four or more people and gets very crowded. We are working with staff both to make their working conditions better and to better serve our growing membership.

Also, to follow up on concerns about the lack of a budget update at Executive Council meeting, I have continued to work with LeAnne to ensure that these updates are available and am also pleased that our secretary-treasurer has returned from a medical leave and is working on the books and available to present a report and for questions at this meeting.

In solidarity, Kevin

 

VP Internal Report - Wesley Petite

Hello to all members,

The past semester can be characterized by a general feeling of moving forward. In my capacity as an executive member, I have helped our many committees and caucuses meet and discuss their respective issues. One caucus, the formerly titled LGBTTQI Caucus, has not yet elected a chair and schedule a meeting this year. In order to rectify this, I have worked with our Human Rights Officer and other interested members to organize a movie night, featuring a screening of Intersexion followed by discussion. This event is meant to gather interested members and attract them to the caucus. This movie night will be December 5th, at 6:30 in the GSA Lounge. If you would like to help out, please email vp.internal@cupe4600.ca. Please attend and bring a friend.

 I have also helped to shape our Class(room) Struggle campaign at the Mobilization and Communication Committee around serious issues resulting from the increased number to students jammed into lectures, discussion groups, and tutorials. We continue to conduct research and campaign on some of the issues associated with increased class sizes as a way to identify specific cases of these issues and invite membership engagement. Upon accumulating research and membership input on the issue of class size will aid us in addressing this issue in future bargaining rounds.

I also continue to schedule Anti-Oppression Workshops in collaboration with GSA and an external facilitator. Based around the goals of open access for our members and supporting all of our Executive Members engaging in this workshop, I have been scheduling a second Anti-Oppression in the upcoming semester. If you would like to participate, please email vp.internal@cupe4600.ca.

Finally,  I have identified shortcomings in our current approach to meeting with the employer in the interim negotiating tables the Joint Consultation Committee (Unit 1) and the Joint Committee on the Administration of the Agreement (Unit 2). This shortcoming was based on what I saw to be a lack of coordination and ownership of issues by the union reps attending this committee and I have sought to hold regular prep and coordination meetings in order to ensure that we are always pushing issues forward in the many up-hill battles we are engaged in.

No new information is available with regard to the "scope issue", but we continue to seek the input of CUPE National as convincing the employer to include all workers at Carleton doing work outlined in our Collective Agreements may require a formal, costly arbitration.

Your feedback is invited, all the best!

Unit 1 Vice President’s Report—Antonella Pucci

 

Hey Unit 1 Peeps,

 

I would like to begin with acknowledging the amazing determination and activism from many new and long-standing union members in our local! Thank you! I have had the pleasure connecting with many of you at committee meetings and events.

 

I continue to attend several committee meetings in my capacity. Specifically, I have been actively participating in the Mobilization and Communication Committee with regards to developing messaging, and working on strategies for the upcoming class support campaign. As VP Unit 1, I have been attending and assisting Steward’s Council meetings where Stewards continue to voice concerns about ongoing overwork, and increasing class sizes for TAs. During the last meeting this November, we worked on strategies and scenarios to help Stewards handle these growing issues in their departments. Also, having served on the Unit 1 Bargaining Team, I helped edit several drafts of the ratified Unit 1 Collective Agreement, and I am pleased to announce that the document is complete and posted on the CUPE 4600 website!

 

Projects

I have a couple projects on the go that plan to be further expanded in the New Year, but here are three main ones I will be working on for the remainder of this semester (and onwards).  

 

-End of Term Member Assessment Survey: I have completed a full draft of the Unit 1 survey which is plans to be launched next month from December 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017. VP Unit 2 has also completed a draft which will also be launched during that same time span. The goal of this survey is the assess the working condition of members in our both units in a confidential fashion, which will help serve data for our upcoming class support campaign. If successful, I intend to launch an end of term for every semester so that we are up to date with the needs and priorities of our membership.

 

-Organizing Un-Unionized Workers: Members of the board including myself have been working hard and meeting with CUPE National to address how we can organize workers who fall within the scope of the Unit 1 collective agreement.

 

-Inclusivity/ Equity Policy: I am working of drafting a policy to improve inclusivity and equity in our local. The lack of representation among equity seeking group continues to be a problem in many union settings. I, as well as other union activists have voiced this concern, and I am persistent in continuing the conversation and working on strategies to increase diversity for our local. I intend to consult with a number of 4600 committees in developing this policy.

 

If you have a short story that you would like to share about your experience as a TA for the class support campaign, or you would just like to get involved in more Unit 1 projects,

please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. I can be reached at vp.unit1@cupe 4600.ca 

Unit Two Chief Steward GMM Board Report

 

Funded in at the September GMM, the Unit Two VP and Chief Steward attended CUAT’s Contract Academic Staff (CAS) conference in Toronto. At the conference, we participated in conference and workshop activities that centred on developing mobilization and media training. Since returning, we amplified participation in a presented comprehensive CAS survey used to collect important data on the experiences of our peers. As many CAS union members work as a unit within broader university faculty associations (e.g., CUASA), we were able to share our experiences and learn from those with alternative structural arrangements.

 

Earlier this month two grievances were filed (one individual and one union—which is filed at step two) related to the workload and remuneration of CUTV and COUL courses. Arguments will be presented in December to the Employer. If you are a CI that teaches in-class sections with simultaneous CUTV component, please do not hesitate to reach out to the union.

 

With the leadership of Pete, he and I have undertaken review and organizational overhaul of the front and backend of the website. Suggestions (and many came from the last Unit 2 Academic Caucus) are always welcomed.

 

The Heath Care Plan continued its search for a third trustee (one spot if currently vacant).

 

Finally, with my PhD defense on Friday, I will be focusing December and January on a CI Steward Campaign. Department without stewards are noted and target steward-related recruitment emails will be sent out to CIs across campus.

 

 

Darren Pacione

Contract Instructor in the Law & Legal Studies Department

Chief Steward Unit Two, CUPE 4600

Report from VP External

A delegation of CUPE 4600 members recently attended CUPE National Convention, please see the CUPE National Convention report for more info.

CUPE 4600 delegates continue to work to change the Ottawa and District Labour Council (ODLC) to be a more active, inclusive and democratic body. Outside of the monthly ODLC meetings, I and some of our other delegates have been attending meetings about 3 times a month to work with our allies across the city to prepare for the next election. We have launched our election team’s website here: odlcrenewal.ca, and are planning a launch event in January.

Hassan Husseini will not be reoffering as Ottawa CUPE District Council (OCDC) president at this Thursday’s AGM. Hassan, who is an outgoing Unit 2 CUPE 4600 member, oversaw a growth in affiliations to OCDC, the hiring of a rad organizer, and the involvement of OCDC in a significant number of political activities and events that were oriented towards building worker and community power. Our union is indebted to Hassan Husseini for the excellent work he has done representing us over the years.

The External Affairs Committee (EAC) recently met, and our discussion and design of a new donation policy is moving ahead slowly. Members of the EAC have been fairly busy with the upcoming ODLC election, but our Chief Steward Unit 1 has promised to bottom line some important action items before our next meeting which will be scheduled for January.

Finally, CUPE 4600 member Joel Harden recently obtained the Ontario NDP nomination to be the candidate in the next provincial election for Ottawa Centre. The nomination race was extremely competitive, with four candidates, and a close vote at the nomination meeting, which had around 650 people in attendance. I took a lead role in organizing that campaign, and many other CUPE 4600 members (and alumni) also played crucial roles. The campaign continues as we seek to unseat the attorney general of the province who is our opponent in Ottawa Centre.

Below is a record of donations the Executive Board have passed since the last GMM:

  • Motion to donate $150 to the ODLC renewal campaign from the donations budget line, and to endorse and promote the team running for elections.

  • Motion to donate $500 to operation Christmas Cheer from our strike support line

Unit 1 Chief Steward 

On November 17, the Stewards Council held its second meeting of the academic year, providing some orientation to our newer stewards and generating some good discussion around a few of the issues our Union is confronting. Hours of work continues to be a matter of serious concern. A number of members have come forward to express concerns about unreasonable workloads, and one situation escalated to a meeting with the department, the result of which was a fairly substantial reduction in that member’s workload. Our Stewards Council meeting also involved an awesome training session on how to deal with workload-related grievances, facilitated by our Business Agent/Organizer, Dan Sawyer.

 

Recruitment has remained a priority since the beginning of the term, and as a result, unit 1 is now represented by 37 stewards. This is the highest that number has ever been, and it means that, at present, fully two thirds of our 2177 unit 1 members have a steward representing them in their department. However, some of our biggest departments—including Journalism, Geography, English, and Sprott—are still without a steward. Anyone interested in taking on that role is encouraged to contact the Chief Steward at ta.chief.steward@cupe4600.ca.

Report to Nov 28, 2017 GMM on 2017 CUPE National Convention

 

CUPE 4600 sent four delegates to the CUPE National 2017 Convention that took place from October 2nd to October 6th in Toronto, Ontario; they were also joined by a fifth CUPE 4600 member, Hassan Husseini, who was there as a delegate from the Ottawa CUPE District Council. Prior to the start of the Convention, two delegates attended the Ontario University Workers Coordinating Committee on October 1st. While CUPE 4600 may only represent a small portion of the 650,000 CUPE members across the country, we voiced some important issues based on precarity and inclusivity for our members and our allies, as well as engaged in difficult debates at the convention floor in order to help bring attention to the need of furthering progressive changes within CUPE.

 

A significant achievement at Convention was passing the resolution that requires CUPE National to cover strike pay from the very first day of job action. This resolution is particularly important to our local that has worked very hard for many years to build up a strike fund that would not only  cover strike pay for the first two weeks of any job action, but also take care of any hardship funding or additional costs that are not covered by CUPE National. By achieving strike pay on the first day, we can think about repurposing some of our strike fund to cover more costs for our mobilization. As this may require some by-law changes, we look forward to starting this conversation soon.

 

CUPE 4600 delegates joined many of their Ontario colleagues, as well as other CUPE members from across the country, in fighting on the convention floor for the addition of four diversity seats to the national executive board (young worker chair, persons living with disability chair, women’s chair, and LGBTQ+ chair). This constitutional amendment required a two thirds majority to pass, and unfortunately was only able to garner a simple majority of the votes.

 

Finally, CUPE 4600 also challenged the acclamation of the current CUPE National President when our VP External, Miles Krauter was nominated and ran against Mark Hancock. Miles’ motivation was to allow members to democratically express their agreement or disagreement with the current president rather than have their opinions ignored by an acclamation; Miles also used this as opportunity to highlight the fact that young people are not well represented in our movement. Miles will, for better or worse, not be moving into an office up the road at CUPE National, though he did receive almost 20% of the popular vote.

 

Our members also spoke against some exclusionary practices that take place during these conventions, especially with regards to the political negotiations that occur beside the microphones in the convention hall about who is allowed to speak or not. Some people who have been going to these conventions for many years feel that they should take precedence over new delegates who are attending for the first time. We loudly protested these shenanigans that effectively cut newcomers out of conversations.

 

Kevin Partridge, President

Miles Krauter, VP External

Antonella Pucci, VP Unit 1

Mark Ramsay, Trustee

Mobilisation and Communications Committee

General Membership Meeting Report

 

Website

Our goal to improve our website in order to increase our transparency, provide easy access to important and useful information, and improve our reach to our members is progressing very nicely: we have put up a calendar of events, some faulty links have been fixed, and now we are looking at adding other documents that could be of use, such as meeting agendas, operational reports, equality statement, etc. Thanks to our mobilisation coordinator, Pierre, to our Unit 2 Chief Steward, Darren, and to all those who have helped with this project.

 

Class(room) Struggle Campaign (formerly known as class size or class support)

Since the past report, we have renamed the campaign to aim for something catchy and reflective of the overall issues we want to bring to the fore as the campaign progresses.

As we have refocused our campaign to our members for the near future, we are gathering information about our members’ experience with class support in a context where classes are getting increasingly large. We are currently preparing surveys to be sent out in the first week of December—one for Unit1 and another for Unit2—that we will encourage our members to fill out. Our aim with this survey is to take the pulse of our membership and see how they fare in this large classes context: for instance, are the CIs provided with enough TAs? Are the TAs asked to go beyond their 12 hours/week? This survey will give a direction to our campaign as we move into 2018. In January we will hold a town hall meeting to share the findings with our members. We thank Antonella and Steve for their work on the survey questions and we also thank the members who have assisted in getting this campaign running.

 

Campus Anti-Fascist Network

CUPE4600 is is fulfilling the mandate given by our members at the last GMM to provide support for this group in the form of booking rooms, making posters and otherwise promoting its events. The first meeting was well-attended and demonstrated an interest on this matter by the Carleton community.

 

Upcoming

CUPE 4600 end of year Social will take place on December14th at Mike’s Place, in partnership with the GSA. It will be either a Karaoke or Bingo night.