Wednesday October 2nd, 2019
General Membership Meeting
Our first GMM of the term is taking place on Wednesday, October 2nd at 6pm in CO 214 (in Residence Commons)
General Memberships are the big meetings where members of both units (all Teaching Assistants and Contract Instructors) come together to give direction to the executive board, hear the latest from bargaining, make financial decisions, get report-backs from board members, vote on important motions, and decide on upcoming actions for their union.
In bargaining years, such as this one, GMMs are generally focused on bargaining. Members will hear from both bargaining teams, will have a chance to ask questions and offer feedback, and will hear about upcoming way to get involved in bargaining related mobilization efforts.
At this GMM we will also be holding two elections. One for VP External, and one for Finance Trustee. Details about these elections and about these positions will be emailed to you.
Supper will be served, so come early!
See the agenda for the meeting here
Check out our last GMM (the AGM) minutes here
Executive Board Reports
I hope you are all settling into the new semester and are excited for what promises to be an interesting year for CUPE 4600. As you are all aware by now, CUPE 4600 is bargaining for a new Collective Agreement with Carleton University. Bargaining began this summer after two bargaining teams were elected. The Unit 1 Team (Teaching Assistants) is comprised of lead negotiator Zoey Jones, Shalimar Woods, Rukiya Nur, Garrett Lecoq, Narges Zare, Pansee Atta as alternate,our business agent Dan “Direct Action” Sawyer, CUPE National representative Margo Pasley, and myself. The Unit 2 Team (Contract Instructors) is Steve Tasson, Pat Warner, Codie Effel, Katherine Kenny, Narges Zare, Dan Sawyer, Margo Pasley, and myself as lead negotiator.
I will be attending CUPE National in Montreal next week to represent our local and connect with other CUPE locals, particularly those in the university and education fields, to strategize about the Ford government, collective bargaining, and other pressing issues. Many of my family members are CUPE members and work as custodial staff for various school boards in Ontario and it has been motivational to see the power of organized labour in both my personal and professional lives.
The Mobilization Committee is up and running. Mobilization is of utmost importance in a bargaining year in order to keep the membership and wider community informed about what we are fighting for, what we are up against, and how the process is going. I highly encourage anyone who is interested in communications, design, media, is creative, wants to get involved, or just wants to meet new people to come out to a Mobilization Committee meeting-- all are welcome! Be sure to follow CUPE4600 on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as check your emails to stay up to date with all the latest 4600 news on bargaining and other issues between meetings.
I am happy to say that Campus United is up and running this year! Campus United is a group comprised of the presidents of all of the union locals who work at Carleton University. We have had one meeting with President Bacon and senior administration already this year to have a frank discussion about the effects of the Ford government on both our workers and education more broadly, as well as the role Carleton University can play in this upcoming year. CUASA’s and CUPE 2424’S presidents and several of their members have reached out to voice their support of CUPE 4600 in bargaining and any assistance we may require. Similarly, other board members and myself have been working to build alliances with the other 6 Ontario universities currently in bargaining to show our support and strategize about potential work action. I hope to have more updates on this in the coming months.
Finally, I just want to thank *you* for taking the time to attend the GMM or to read this report. Our union is only as strong as its members and by taking the time and energy to be informed about your union you have added to our strength as a collective. As well I would like to thank our three staff members at the local for all of their tireless efforts with a special shoutout to Dan for keeping the bargaining wheels running smoothly for both units. Thank you to the bargaining teams for fighting for the increase in wages, benefits, and better working conditions that all employees at Carleton University deserve.
~ Meg Lonergan, President of CUPE 4600
Recording Secretary’s Report – Hesam Farahani
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 recording Secretary
As you may already know, CUPE 4600 is in the bargaining with the employer this year. CUPE 4600 represents both TA, RA, SA (Unit 1) and Contract instructors (Unit 2). Both of these Units are in the bargaining this year. For the information of our new members and to remind our older members, our Collective Agreements for both Units (which can be found here and here) expired in the summer. Regarding the entire circumstances and the new massive cuts to our public services and university funds by Ford government, this round of bargaining appeared to be very challenging and difficult. We are having a tough year ahead of us, but no worries at all, we are all ready to take it.
One very important thing to remember is that the bargaining teams can only perform their duties successfully when they feel that they have their back supported by our members. The bargaining teams can effectively negotiate when the employer feels like it is talking with the entire members rather than the bargaining team. That is why the Mobilization Committee is here for all of us as members as well as interested non-members to assist and support the bargaining teams. As the Chair of the Mobilization Committee, I would like to bring to your attention that we have had three meetings so far and a lot more in near future. I would also like to ask you to read your emails from CUPE 4600 thoroughly this year. We will send you the time and location for all of our meetings. Once more, it is of crucial importance that our members attend as many meetings as they can. This will help us a great deal to mobilize our members and help you to get updated about bargaining process. Whatever comes out of the bargaining is going to be in effect for three years! It goes without saying that we, as the employees, will directly be affected by the outcomes of the bargaining.
Our Mobilization Coordinator and I have begun to design a mobilization strategy to involve as many members as we can. You will receive an email from CUPE 4600 as soon as we finalize everything.
Thanks for reading this report. Please contact me with any questions, concerns, or suggestions.
In solidarity - Hesam
Report of the CUPE 4600 Unit 2 Vice President
for the first five months of this mandate up to 02 October 2019
Dear Brothers and Sisters
I hear there was a significant turnout for the Climate Strike on Friday. There was standing room only in Copenhagen last Friday where I was.
And thanks to our Mobilization Committee for organizing today’s “Info-picket”
What does your Unit 2 Vice President do? Article 10 of our Bylaws lists seven general and specific duties. I will report on each one in turn:
a) render assistance to the Board, Committees or Members as directed by the Board;
- as an experienced benefits trustee and administrator (more on that later), I have provided my support and assistance to Unit 1 on the current difficulties with the Employee Assistance Plan.
- I was one of the Board members who helped with the planning of Orientation activities with our Mobilization Coordinator.
- I also helped with the planning of the Executive Board Retreat held earlier this summer.
b) serve as Chair of the Bargaining Research Committee for their bargaining unit;
- while we do not have a Bargaining Research Committee separate from the Bargaining Committee at the moment, I completed a “cover to cover” analysis of all of the articles in the current collective agreement, researched extensively what other academic unions are doing, and have provided suggested wording to remedy some fairly significant (and a lot of minor) issues with the current language. Some of you may recall that I have previously commented that while the employer may feel this CA is a mature document, I find it rather under in places. Mind you, I am comparing our agreement with the mature and fully developed CUASA agreement and several others that I am quite familiar with, having been on the bargaining teams for those agreements in years gone by.
c) convene the bargaining unit meetings to hold votes concerning bargaining proposals, strikes, and ratification of Collective Agreements;
- so far, there have been FIVE meetings of the Bargaining Unit to discuss problems with the current language, discuss bargaining proposals and when and if we should strike. These five meetings have been immensely helpful in bringing many issues to light and perhaps more importantly helping to define our priorities for this round of bargaining.
d) serve as Chair of the Caucus for their bargaining unit;
- as mentioned above, I have called five meetings of the Bargaining Unit or Caucus - it depends on which term you prefer. Two in June, two more in August and one in September. Attendance was low for the first four.
e) if their Unit fails to elect a Chair of the Negotiating Committee for the Unit at a membership meeting, take on the position and responsibilities of Chair of the Bargaining Committee, as set out in Article 20.3, for their Unit;
- until the second August Caucus meeting, we did not have an elected Chair of the Negotiating Committee so I had taken on the duties of the position and performed the responsibilities as set out in Article 20.3 of our Local’s Bylaws.
- at the second of two meetings in August, your President requested the Caucus vote to elect a Chair. She was successful in that election, held with seven members present.
f) serve on the Stewards Council for their unit;
- I am one of the points of contact for members and I have dealt with several easy cases personally and referred the remainder to our Chief Steward who is quite experienced and very capable.
g) perform additional duties to ensure effective communications and mobilization of the membership of their bargaining unit, in support of the Board, Council, Committees, or the Membership as directed.
- I am one of three sitting members on the Labour Management Committee which meets to address matters affecting our staff members and the Local. For various reasons, the six members have not met face to face in the same room at the same time, but a number of issues have been handled without difficulty. However, there are several issues that will most likely need to come back to the General Membership for confirmation or ratification of the decisions taken at the Labour Management Committee table. One of those will the pay and benefits administration method of our staff. There have been several rather embarrassing problems like unpaid taxes and overpayment of benefits that have occurred recently.
- I had offered to sit on the Trans Fund committee but that was not accepted by the Board. I had argued that my Benefits trustee and administration experience made me an excellent candidate but there were others who more closely met the needs of the Trans Fund.
In addition to the above, I am a Trustee for the Contract Instructors Benefits Plan. That appointment predates my election to the position of Unit 2 VP. My report as a Trustee is separate.
VP Unit 2
VP Unit 1 Board Report
Hello, CUPE 4600 members!
The summer term and start of fall have been eventful. As Vice President Unit 1 and chair of the Unit 1 bargaining team, I have been taking part in a few different initiatives:
In the past five months, we have held two Unit 1 Caucuses. The first Unit 1 Caucus on July 11th focused on the review and editing/approval of our bargaining proposal. Members in attendance (and one helpful member who emailed me) provided useful feedback and approved a bargaining proposal to guide the bargaining team in our meetings with the employer. Our second caucus on September 16th was very well attended, and we learned that we should have extra pizza at caucuses! The membership agreed on an approach to solving our issue with the EAF running out of funds.
Bargaining has been intense. Our wonderful bargaining team has researched, drafted, and delivered most of the articles proposed for the employer, in addition to meeting roughly every 2-3 weeks to strategize and collaborate on article edits. We have met with the employer four times, starting on June 19th, with our fifth meeting date scheduled for this upcoming Monday, October 7th. We have finalized a bargaining protocol with the employer and traded proposed articles, with two minor edits being “pinked” or finalized. Otherwise, we are finding that the employer will not meaningfully engage with our proposals until they have all of our non-monetary proposals.
Other Committee Work
As VP Unit 1, I have also attended one meeting to support the developing Peer Support and Mental Health program, one meeting of the mobilization committee, and am assisting in developing ideas and strategies to approach accessibility issues with the Equity Committee.
I have been happy to hear from Unit 1 members on various topics, including feedback on the bargaining proposals, questions about getting involved in union organizing, and inquiries as to TA rights as laid out in the Collective Agreement. I look forward to an interesting and invigorating year, and am excited to meet more of our members.
Secretary Treasurer report
Budget is set up to 31 August
September books are not closed yet, refer to Income Statement for month of September.
We have reached to 29% of expected revenue for the first 4 months (10% of total revenue), since revenue in summer is much lower than Fall and Winter.
We spent 64% of expected expenses (21% of total expenses)
According to the Trustees recommendations regarding the Strike Fund balance- which has been under contention for many years- the Board agreed to move $40,780 to the Strike Fund to cover past contribution that were never moved.
The Board decided to absorb the EI amount for 2017 Board Members. Total Cost: $2,983.77 + $298 penalty which was paid from CRA fund ($6000) set up by GMM motion in Apr. 2018
Strike/Negotiating Campaign Budget was set up, we can use the last two years Strike fund for this purpose and approved by the board. Please review for approval.
Report from Mobilization Committee
Brief Update: Mobilization & Communications Committee
Chair: Brittany Amell (Unit 1)
Prepared for the Fall General Membership Meeting
October 2, 2019
Expectations of Committee (Article 18.1)
The Unit 1 and Unit 2 Mobilization and Communications Committees shall each:
co-ordinate and maintain contact with the general membership on all issues relating to the activities of the Local;
organize periodic sessions that may deal with specific job-related concerns such as: health and safety, overwork, university underfunding and restructuring, the right to strike, etc.;
contribute to the Local’s newsletter;
contribute to editorial control of the Local’s web site;
in co-ordination with the External Affairs Committee, distribute materials to the membership;
as directed by the Executive Council and the Stewards’ Council, coordinate and conduct membership mobilization on negotiations and other contract related issues of importance to the membership;
co-operate with the other unit to co-ordinate mobilization of the full membership particularly during bargaining.
Note: If our local heads out for a strike, the Committee will split up and work in tandem to coordinate everything needed to ensure a successful operation.
I’m interested! Who can sit on the Committee?
You! Members of Unit 1 and Unit 2 who are in good standing are welcome to sit on the committee or you can volunteer for a specific task or project related to the Committee. The Committee aims to meet monthly for a few hours.
In addition to the above, our By-Laws mention that committee is also supported by the:
Mobilization and Communications Chair
Mobilization and Communications Coordinator (Staff)
Vice President Internal
Vice President External
Unit 1 & 2 Vice Presidents (within their bargaining unit)
Chief Steward(s) (within their bargaining unit)
Overview of activities
Orientation week: We held several outreach activities during orientation week, including the FGPA/GSA BBQ, a Human Library event, departmental orientation sessions, a CI social, a panel event with OPIRG, and our pancake breakfast
Have only held one mobilization committee meeting (September) and one working group meeting (October).
About 10 members participated in the mobilization meeting, one member (in addition to the Chair and Prez) in the working group.
Activities: identifying ideas for engaging members, following members on social media, liaising with other locals and community organizations, attending media training, organizing a bundle that can be passed on to the next Mobilization chair (e.g., a Trello board, an email, a google drive, downloading guides from CUPE national and CUPE Ontario, locating key documents, etc.), reaching out to Unit 2 to see if a member was available to help out on social media, engaging with members on social media platforms.
In progress: Brittany reached out to an independent press (AKPress) to negotiate a discount on books--goal is to hold an informal book club; Setting up a Twitter schedule(r) and content pipeline; Following through on ideas put forward by members attending committee meeting, working with Pierre (Mobilization Coordinator) to connect with other locals regarding possibly coordinating a response to the proposed wage cap (called the “Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act” tabled by the Conservatives in June).
Continue with the direction set out above
Ensure Executive members each have their own CUPE Twitter/social media accounts
As per CUPE 4600’s By-Laws, establish a Unit 2 mobilization committee or a Unit 2 mobilization co-chair
As per CUPE 4600’s By-Laws (e.g. Article 20.1.3), establish and maintain open and direct lines of communication between committee, Bargaining Teams, Executive Council, and Steward’s Council.