General Membership Meeting
Thursday, February 1st
6pm, LA A720
Statement on Unceded Territory
Executive Board Roll Call
Approval of Agenda
Financial Report and update - Secretary-treasurer
Elections – JCIT Unit 2 representative
Ottawa District Labour Council AGM and elections February 21, 2018
Executive Board Reports
President's Report - Kevin Partridge
Since the last GMM, I have convened two Constitution Committee meetings and they have been very productive. Included with this agenda package is some of the results of the work that has been done at that committee. With the frequent turnover of Executive in this local, it is easy to lose knowledge about many of the details of how our local operates. Writing these details down allows us to more easily pass on knowledge and lessons learned to new volunteers each year.
One of the longstanding problems we have had is a great deal of confusion about our committee and caucus structure. I am hoping that the proposed changes that are being tabled at this GMM will provide much more clarity. It also became clear during the last round of bargaining that compensation for the huge amount of work that went into bargaining research and strike mobilization was insufficient and our local voted at the AGM to give some volunteers additional compensation for the work that was required even to be on strike for one hour. We have now tried to codify this additional compensation in our bylaws to give more balance between the money we spend on bargaining and the money we spend on mobilization.
On February 23rd, we are arranging to have all the boxes in our archive delivered for sorting. We are assembling a team of people to go through these boxes, keep what we need, and shred of dispose of the rest as necessary. The contract we have had for the storage of these archives is a substantial cost each year and much of the data that we are legally required to store is now in electronic format. We are still looking for any volunteers who are interested. We expect to find some interesting things dating back to the founding of our local almost 40 years ago! Get in touch with me or staff if you want to help.
I have also spent a considerable amount of time helping the treasurer and our bookkeeper to get our books in order and also find and provide documents for the trustee audits and ensure that CUPE National has reviewed the audits. This week, we are sending our records of our current accounts and bank balances to an accountant for a reconciliation and help to finalize the setup for our new computerized accounting system. Starting in the new fiscal year, staff should be able to provide up to date ledgers and balance sheets at least every month. It has been a big help to have the treasurer back from sick leave but also the entire board has worked hard to better understand how our budgets and spending work.
In solidarity, Kevin
VP Internal Report - Wesley Petite
Feb 1st, 2018
Hello to all members, I hope your semester is going well.
I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on a few on-going tasks under my portfolio as your VP Internal
Anti-Oppression Workshop - I have collaborated with the GSA and an external Facilitator to organize our second Anti-Oppressive Skills Workshop of the year. This workshop will take place on March 2nd, 10am-4pm. We are currently determining the best location for the workshop and it may be at an accessible location off-campus. All CUPE 4600 Members are invited to take part. Please send an RSVP email@example.com. You will be sent a short questionnaire to help the Facilitator tailor the workshop to our current needs and interests.
Unit 1 Scope Issue - For the last couple of years, I have continued to strategize around the issue of worker groups on campus that seem to be doing work identical to the Unit 1 Bargaining Unit, which includes Teaching Assistants, Service Assistants, and internally-funded Research Assistants. After working with other Executive Members, gathering information on these positions, engaging with the Employer in a good-faith effort learn more about these worker groups and their reasoning for not including them as members of CUPE 4600, we have now received legal counsel from CUPE National that we have a viable grievance option. These worker groups, which include PASS/PASC Facilitators, Course Facilitators, and ESP Workshop Facilitators, do work similar to Unit 1 members but without, in some cases, the same level of pay, job security, or benefits. While this is an issue in itself, this arrangement also replaces positions that may otherwise be filled by our members. Therefore, this is a serious concern for CUPE 4600 in our goal to ensure fair working conditions for all workers on campus.
I have been in touch with Committee and Caucus Chairs and our Mobilization Coordinator in order to help support their important work engaging specific sections of our membership. I am very happy that Joanne Farrell has stepped up with a bunch of great ideas as our Chair of the Rainbow Caucus (formerly the LGBTTQI Caucus). I am equally saddened that our Chair of the International Members Caucus has resigned due to personal and completely legitimate reasons. We are currently seeking a new Chair of the International Members Caucus to arrange meetings and distribute resources for this very important Caucus.
I have begun to design an off-boarding report form for Exec Council members to fill out as they transition out of their roles. This will help identify and address gaps in on-boarding process. I plan to design a draft of this report form and call for feedback from current stakeholders before it is officially circulated for use.
Thanks for reading this report, please contact me with any questions, concerns, or suggestions.
All the best
- Wesley Petite
Unit 2 Chief Steward's report - Darren Pacione
Happy new year everyone—a few things to note moving forward in 2018:
1) Teaching and Learning Services has launched four new internal grants dedicated to teaching and learning support. For eligibility requirements, see here. As always, I am happy to assist in the preparation.
2) Please note that the recently bargained Centralized Hiring website is now live (for feedback). Presently, the Unit 2 Joint Committee for the Administration of the Agreement (JCAA) are working with HR to streamline and ensure that the site and all of its linked information is accurate and up-to-date. It may be rough around the edges or missing links and some information out of the gate, but please note that we are in a beta/testing and feedback phase. Please see here.
3) Steve Tasson (VP Unit 2) and I will be facilitating a teaching evaluations workshop/discussion on Friday, 9 January 2018 in 215 Patterson Hall from 11:30am-1:00pm. There workshop will focus on:
The best ways to facilitate an informal mid-term evaluation to give students an opportunity to address concerns for affirm approaches before the formal student evaluation; and
Understanding that, if you are asked to create an action plan with an Academic Dept. Head, the CA affords space to make an argument of an anomalous circumstance and therefore no action plan be required. Scoring below 4.0 does not immediately begin an action plan.
4) CUPE 4600 is currently engaged in a grievance related to in-class courses with simultaneous CUOL/CUTV sections (or lecture-capture courses). At issue is how teaching such courses (because of how the employer weights such courses against our maximum workload credits) may limit CIs from teaching a full workload. Both an individual and policy grievance (currently in abeyance pending outcome of individual grievance) are in-motion. If you think you have encountered a similar situation or would like to more generally discuss your experience teaching simultaneous CUOL/CUTV sections (or lecture-capture courses) please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In solidarity, Darren
Vice President, Unit 1 Report—Antonella Pucci
Hi Unit 1 Comrades,
Happy New Year! This report will provide you with a brief update on my three main occurring projects I mentioned in my previous Board report in November 2017.
End of Fall Term Membership Survey: The surveys for both Unit 1(Teaching Assistants and Internally-Funded Research Assistants) and Unit 2 (Contract Instructors) were launched on December 13, 2017 to January 5, 2018. We received a number of responses addressing concerns related to hours, workloads and class sizes. A summary of the survey results will be presented at the February 1, 2018 General Membership Meeting.
The premise behind conducting “end of term” membership surveys is to assess the working conditions and concerns of both Unit 1 and Unit 2 members in an anonymous fashion. The information collected will help serve as data for the ongoing Class(room)Struggle Campaign intended to address the persistent lack of class supports for TAs and CIs. The aim of both the campaign and the data compiled through the surveys will serve as leverage for the union in the next round of collective bargaining (August 2019) with Carleton University.
The intention is to have a survey assessing the membership once every term. We plan to send out another survey with updated questions during the middle of this Winter 2018 semester in order to achieve more engagement and results.
Joint-Consultation Committee (JCC) Meeting: Members of this committee including myself have met with the employer for the first time in January 2018 of this year since September 2017. We are still in the works of discussing how we can organize workers who fall under the scope of the Unit 1 collective agreement. In addition to organizing workers, we aim to continue pressuring the employer about the importance of assessing the mental health of part-time workers at Carleton, such as TAs and CIs. Some results in the End of Term Membership Survey presented a correlation between mental health concerns and the precariousness of TAs and CIs.
Equity Policy: I have completed a full draft of an equity policy for CUPE 4600 that will be presented at the next Constitution Committee meeting and hopefully be voted on at the Executive Council on March 15. Before doing so however, I intend to contact the Caucus/Committee chairs for consultation. The purpose of establishing a CUPE 4600 equity policy is to reflect the Local’s commitment to the equality statement and bylaws by outlining best practices to maintain equity, diversity and inclusion in the union.
Announcement: Joint Steward’s Council/Unit 1 Caucus Meeting—February 9, 2018 (3pm-5pm) in University Centre 279.
Have any questions about Unit 1 projects or would you like to get more involved? Please don’t hesitate to contact me at email@example.com
Mobilisation and Communications Committee
General Membership Meeting Report
The CUPE 4600 website has been updated last semester. At this point we are missing a page that covers the Class(room) Struggle campaign and that includes information for both CIs and TAs. This is currently in the works, and should be completed in the next weeks.
Class(room) Struggle campaign
At our last meeting, we have discussed the main issues that have come to the fore from the surveys we sent to our members last December (we will provide a brief summary of the results at the General Membership meeting). The responses we have received will shape the nature of our campaign in the coming months.
Unit 1 and 2 Surveys
In order to increase the response rate for the winter semester survey, we will promote the survey a couple weeks before we send the links, through social media, our website and targeted postering across campus.
Survey Unit 2 Summary
General Membership Meeting
February 1st 2018
Introducing the project
During the Month of December, a survey about working conditions at Carleton University, most specifically about adequate class support, was distributed to our members and was answered by 93 respondents. As a percentage of our Unit 2 membership, the response rate is about 7%.
The aim of the survey was to get a sense of the experience of our members in their functions as Contract Instructors, especially as it pertained to classroom support, in view of our Class(room) Struggle campaign and of the next bargaining round.
Overview of findings
The survey has demonstrated that the majority of respondents are satisfied with the support they receive from their respective departments. Within the minority, however (which is still around 30% of respondents), we see some recurring issues:
1) Inadequate or no access to office space
- Difficulty having access to basic office supplies and printer/photocopier
- Computers, if available in the office, are old and/or malfunctioning
- Having to share an office with other CIs and often not being able to meet with students without having other people present in the office (privacy of students at issue)
2) T2200 Form requests (enabling the CI to claim part of their home as office space) are not often used and those who have requested it have been refused (1 respondent’s request out of 10 was accepted)
3) The majority of respondents do provide students with additional opportunities to give feedback on the Instructor’s class and performance.
-Unsurprisingly, student teaching evaluations are largely considered unhelpful at best, and damaging to the overall quality of teaching, at worst.
- Often the evaluations are filled by a small number of people, which does not give a big enough sample size to be statistically significant. This, as we know, is an increasing problem since evaluations are done online.
- As one CI phrased it: “popularity contest leads to grade inflation.” A question we could add to the survey is whether the respondent has made changes to their syllabus as a direct result of teaching evaluation.
- Student teaching evaluations are largely perceived as an opportunity for students to make discriminating comments.
- However, our sample of respondents was too small to determine if there are groups more vulnerable than others to discrimination or abuse.
- For instance, among our respondents, there were almost as many men (8) as women (9) who complained of discrimination.
- Based on the small sample size, it was also impossible to determine whether a larger class size had a direct correlation with the incidence of discrimination and abusive comments.
4) Assignment of TAs
- The survey results indicate that there is no ratio student/TA that is consistently used across departments. Unfortunately, as there is no clear policy on TA allocation per student, it opens the way to potential abuses without having a recourse to challenge the decision.
- The time at which CIs are informed of the TA assignments for their class also differs across departments and can be as early as when they receive notice of their teaching assignment, to 1-2 weeks after the start of the term.
Future of the project
We consider that the surveys were useful in confirming certain of our assumptions (inadequate office space, problematic student teaching evaluations, for example) and it offers an opportunity to check in with our members periodically to see the evolution of various issues.
The survey itself will be improved based on the responses we have received. Our goal at this point is to send this survey to our members towards the end of every semester (3/4 through) in order to, not only enable our members to speak of issues that are fresh in their mind, but also to provide assistance and take action if needed and if the members wish to.
Looking ahead, with regards to the Class(room) Struggle campaign, the inadequate office space, the unhelpful student teaching evaluations and the difficulty to get clarity on which classes qualify for TA support and the student/TA ratio are the outstanding issues we should emphasize in the campaign, to eventually bring them to the table at the next bargaining round.
The Unit 1 Survey Summary can be found here
Cupe 4600 unit 2 health and dental benefits plan trustees policy
Policy for anti-oppression training in CUPE 4600
Policy for honorary membership
Policy on Dual Positions within the Executive Board of CUPE 4600
Policy on potential conflict of interest for officers, trustees, and members of Executive Council
CUPE 4600 Donations Policy
Social Media Policy
Motion #2 to approve policy on Exec Spending for Meetings (Finance Committee)
The proposed policy can be found here
Articles 17, 18, 19, and 20; Appendix B
Article 10 and Appendix C
Policies recommended by Constitution Committee:
CUPE 4600 UNIT 2 HEALTH AND DENTAL BENEFITS PLAN TRUSTEES POLICY
CUPE 4600 Unit 2 Health and Dental Benefit Plan Trustees shall:
Oversee the operation and administration of the Unit 2 Benefit Plan
Ensure the Benefit Plan remains financially sound and report the handling of Plan Funds to the Membership
Ensure the Insurance Contract is administered correctly, consistently and fairly to all Members
Ensure that Members are fairly represented by the Benefit Plan Board of Trustees when Claims are contested or a request is received for a File Review
Negotiate the Policy terms and benefit levels with the Insurance Company with recommendations from the Plan Administrator
Attend Board of Trustee Meetings as required (normally three or four per year)
Submit to the Executive Board of CUPE 4600 a copy of any anonymized plan-usage data provided by the Plan Administrator to the Trustees
Submit in writing to the President and Unit 2 Vice-President an “Annual Audited Report” accessing the overall operation and administration of the Plan including reimbursement of trustee expenses
Communicate any recommendations and/or concerns about the operation or future of the Plan to the President and Unit 2 Vice-President as required
Terms of Service of Trustees:
Benefit Plan Trustees shall be appointed by the Executive Board and confirmed by a Unit 2 caucus meeting. Trustees must be members of CUPE 4600 Unit 2 and will normally serve a 3 year term commencing May 1st and ending April 30th. To maintain stability in the administration of the Plan, Trustee terms should be staggered when possible. The position is a volunteer position for which all reasonable expenses will be reimbursed from Benefit Plan Fund.
Appointment Process/ Filling Vacancies:
In the event of a vacancy, or anticipated vacancy, the Executive Board will seek qualified applicants from the CUPE 4600 Unit 2 membership to maintain a full complement of Benefits Plan Trustees. Normally Executive Board members will not also serve as Health Plan Trustees. The Executive will take active steps to advertise vacancies and invite applications from the Unit 2 membership for the position of Benefits Plan Trustee. The Executive Board in consultation with current trustees shall determine, in advance of advertising the position, the criteria of qualification for the position and communicate this to potential applicants.
Normally consideration will be given to those who: are familiar the operation and membership of CUPE 4600 and with the unionized education sector in Ontario; have experience with and an understanding of employee benefits plans; are available to attend requisite meetings; and are committed to providing quality benefits to CUPE 4600 members on a long-term, sustainable basis.
As necessity requires, the Executive Board may appoint (an) interim Trustee(s) to the Board of Benefits Trustees to ensure the stability and ongoing operation of the Fund. Such interim appointments should last no longer than a year; may, when required, include Unit 2 Members of the Executive Board; and still require the confirmation of a Unit 2 caucus meeting.
Relationship between the CUPE 4600 Executive Board and Benefits Plan Trustees
Final responsibility for the health and direction of the Unit 2 Benefits Plan lies with the Executive Board of CUPE 4600 as duly-elected representatives of the Membership. Benefits Plan Trustees also have a fiduciary duty to the membership to ensure that the Benefits Plan remains financially sound and responsive to the members’ need. The normally arms-length/semi-autonomous relationship between the Executive Board and Benefits Trustees ensures the long-term stability of the Plan and reflects a desire to insulate the Plan from any short-term instability in the Local’s Executive. This structure is also assured by maintaining the Trustees as the primary contact with the Plan’s Administrator.
Decisions taken by Plan Trustees regarding appeals by Members may be open to further appeal to the Executive Board. Normally in such instances, deference should be given to the decisions of Trustees except where such decisions can be shown to have been procedurally flawed or not consistent with the goals and objectives articulated in CUPE 4600’s constitution and by-laws.
The primary responsibility of the Benefits Plan Trustees to the Executive Board is to provide any information, reports and/or advice regarding the operation and overall health of the Plan as required by the Board. This information and/or advise is intended to inform Executive Board decisions regarding the Plan and specifically to ensure that the ongoing health and utility of the Plan for members is maintained through Executive Board actions in bargaining, the ongoing joint administration of the Collective Agreement, and management of staff and office resources.
The Executive Board also has a responsibility to communicate knowledge of any potential changes or problems with the Plan to the Trustees and to work cooperatively with them to produce the best results for the General Membership.
Policy for anti-oppression training in CUPE 4600
On May 3, 2013 the Executive Council passed a motion to require anti-oppression training be made available for members of CUPE 4600.
This training should be conducted at least once per year but may be scheduled several times if it is desired by the general membership.
The cost of this training will be included in every budget until and unless this policy is rescinded. The cost for an all-day session has generally been around $1,000.
All members of the Executive Board should take this training at least once while they are on the board. They are strongly urged to attend such training annually if they can.
The training will be open and accessible to all members of the local.
It is the responsibility of the Executive Board to ensure that this training takes place.
The training may be done in co-operation with other allied groups on campus such as the Graduate Student Association.
Policy for honorary membership
The Executive Council may grant an Honorary Membership in CUPE 4600 to someone who has been of exceptional service to the local and has not done anything that would make them a member in bad standing. This award is for people who would not normally be members of the local for whatever reason.
An honorary member is not required to pay dues to the Local nor per capita tax to the National Union. An honorary member who becomes a regular member through employment will be required to pay dues and per capita tax for the term of their employment like any regular member.
An honorary member can attend and speak at membership meetings of the Local Union but cannot vote. An honorary membership in CUPE 4600 proffers no status in other locals or organizations in CUPE.
Policy on Dual Positions within the Executive Board of CUPE 4600
According to Article 7 of our by-laws CUPE 4600 allows for the following positions to be held by one or two people:
Vice-President, Unit 1
Vice-President, Unit 2
Chief Steward, Unit 1
Chief Steward, Unit 2
In the event of a dispute between two members holding a single officer position, either person may refer the dispute to the Executive Board whose decision shall be binding on both members of the team.
The positions of President, Secretary-Treasurer, and Recording Secretary may only be held by single individuals.
According to Article 8 of our by-laws:
Honorariums for positions that are jointly held shall be split equally between the two holders of the position.
Intent of having co-positions
The intent of having co-positions is to allow for more members to be directly involved in the decision-making process at the Executive Board level in accordance with the principles of collective leadership as elaborated in Article 4 or our by-laws.
To share the workload of individual positions amongst more members of the local.
To allow for more mentoring and the retention of institutional memory by overlapping leadership roles within the Executive Board.
To ensure that positions are always filled even if one individual is unavailable to attend to specific responsibilities of a position.
Elections for co-positions
Elections for co-positions shall be held as closely as possible in accordance with the by-laws governing elections for single positions.
Individuals who are running for a co-position must declare their intention to run together before the election begins.
Ballots that list only one name of two people running for a co-position shall be declared invalid.
Resignation from co-positions
If one person resigns from a co-position, both people will deem to have resigned and a by-election shall be called according to our by-laws.
Either or both holders of the position may continue to do the work of that position until the by-election is held. If only one person is available to continue the work, they shall receive the full honorarium for the time that they are holding the position by themselves.
Co-positions at Executive Board meetings
Both members who hold a co-position have full speaking and voting rights at Executive Board meetings. There is no requirement for them to speak or vote jointly or in agreement with each other.
Co-positions and external functions
Both members of co-positions should present the same information and opinions that represent the local to external parties. An external party such as the employer, should not be able to get a decision from one member of the executive and then receive a different decision from another member.
Policy on potential conflict of interest for officers, trustees, and members of Executive Council
In addition to the duties of the Secretary-treasurer to properly record and report all financial details, all members of the Executive Board shall take into account the perception and real possibility of a conflict of interest in how the local distributes money.
Any officer, trustee, or member of the Executive Council who has a personal financial interest in a matter that is coming before the Executive Board or a General Membership meeting should disclose that interest to the meeting and the minutes of the meeting should record such disclosure.
While the nature of our union means we cannot prohibit any member from voting, it is a good practice for anyone with a direct interest in a motion that involves the distribution of funds to abstain. After a vote, anyone who has abstained will be asked if they wish to have that abstention recorded in the minutes.
CUPE 4600 Donations Policy
Requests for Donations
CUPE 4600 donates only to organizations and campaigns, not to individuals.
CUPE 4600 focuses its financial support on local campaigns that can also be supported by members of the local through other means of participation'
Organizations or groups seeking donations from the Fund must make their request by submitting an application form from the CUPE4600 website. Applicants to the Fund will provide the following information:
The name and contact information of the organization requesting the donation
The work/goals of the organization and their campaign and a discussion of how those goals align with the objectives of CUPE 4600
A very brief discussion of how members of CUPE 4600 might actively participate in the applicant’s organization or campaign
A list of expected costs as well as other expected sources of donations
A request for a specific amount
The name that should appear on the cheque
4. These requests will be compiled by the Business Agent and provided to the VP External, Recording Secretary, and President who will assure they are in order and present them to the Board.
5. Representatives of organizations or groups seeking donations are also encouraged to send a representative to attend a General Membership Meeting and present the above information verbally, when applicable.
6. Members speaking to the request should state their involvement in the applicant group or organization, if any. If there is a possibility that they could benefit directly from the donation, they may want to abstain from voting on that donation.
7. Because members of CUPE 4600 would like to hear about how their donations have helped, where appropriate a request may be made for a report to inform CUPE 4600 how the money was used.
8. Donations will be given based on need, and the compatibility of the applicant's goals with the aims of CUPE 4600. Applications for strike support will be dealt with using the strike support policy
9. Donations will normally be for an amount between $100 and $500.
10. Organizations shall normally not receive more than one donation from the Fund per year.
Social Media Policy
The purpose of this policy is to outline the best‐practice for using social media to communicate to the members and for internal communications among members of the Executive.
The local currently works from the premise of our equality statement, rejects any and all forms of discrimination and this policy intends to reflect that.
This policy should enable the local to achieve its goals in a transparent and efficient manner that agrees with the Constitution of CUPE 4600.
Social Media for external communications (to the membership and to the public at large)
The Mobilization Coordinator is responsible for the output and the moderating of our social media presence
Under the approval and the responsibility of the Mobilization Coordinator, members of the executive may post on the local’s social media accounts.
Should the Mobilization Coordinator refuse to let a member of the executive post on the local’s social media accounts, that member can appeal the decision to the Executive Board.
Guidelines for moderation
Should a post made on CUPE 4600 social media account by a union member be deemed inappropriate, according to CUPE 4600 statement of equality and by-law on harassment, the Mobilization Coordinator is enabled to delete the post. To appeal the decision, refer to 2.a. above.
Should the Mobilization Coordinator need assistance to determine the appropriateness/inappropriateness of a social media post, they shall turn to the President or the Recording Secretary for a decision.
Social Media for internal communications
When participating in group emails or other forms of group communications, members of the executive are expected to abide by the equality statement and the existing guidelines against harassment and discrimination.
Members are expected to be mindful of sarcasm and passive-aggressive comments, as they do not translate well as text and may be the cause of conflicts and misunderstandings.
Tabling of proposed changes to Bylaws
The Constitution Committee has identified some needed changes to our bylaws for the sake of clarity, and to bring them in line with the functioning of the union. These proposed changes can be found here