We hope you all enjoyed your reading week! We have our first General Membership Meeting on Wednesday October 19th at 6pm, in room 108 Odette Building.
Dear member of CUPE local 4580,
If you are a Teaching Assistant (TA) or a Graduate Assistant (GA) at the University of Windsor, you belong to a union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) local 4580. As a strong and democratic union, CUPE is committed to improving the quality of life for workers in Canada. As CUPE members, we are committed to ensuring that our workplace is safe, and that we receive fair wages and benefits for the services we provide. Being a part of the union allows us to have a stronger, collective voice in our workplace, and in society as a whole!
As a member of CUPE local 4580, you are entitled to certain rights and benefits under our collective agreement (CA), which is a contract between the employer (University of Windsor) and our union (CUPE local 4580). Our CA contains important information regarding our employment with the university as GAs and TAs. It is imperative for all members to read and understand what is outlined in our CA, which is available on our website : www.4580.cupe.ca
Our current CA expired on August 31st, 2016 and we are in negotiations with our employer in an effort to secure a new CA. We have had one full day of negotiations and will be continuing to have dialogue with the university administration regarding certain important outstanding issues. The negotiation process is critical to all CUPE local 4580 members because it directly affects our work! It is crucial that we all keep up to date with what is happening at the negotiating table.
We will be holding a Special Membership Meeting on Wednesday, September 21st, 2016 at 6pm in 204 Toldo Health Education Centre. This meeting will provide an update to members on our negotiations with the employer. If you would like to have a voice about the work you do, then come to the meeting! Pizza and refreshments will be provided to all members who attend!
First, I would like to thank all of you for a great year, and for being dedicated to the betterment of our campus and union. Last year, I saw an increased amount of support and participation from our members, which continued this year through meeting attendance and steady communication between our executive, our members, and the employer. This is great to see, and I hope that this trend continues.
The time has come for me to hand over the Presidency of our Local, but I leave you in the very capable hands of our new President, Srila Perine.
I would like to thank Joan Craig (Treasurer), Lisa Plant (Secretary), and Janer Akkas (Membership Officer) for serving our local as executives for the past year. I would also like to thank Ashraf Abou Tabl for taking over the Vice-Presidency half-way through the term, and also for continuing with this position for the next year. Further, I extend my gratitude to our trustees Amanda O’Brien, Christopher O’Keefe, and Evan Gammon, as well as our stewards Jonathan Valencia, Samar El-Khatib, Mohamed Aboelgna, and Mostafa Moussa. You have all contributed to the smooth operation of our local, and the protection of our members.
Our incoming team is as follows:
President – Srila Perine
Vice President – Ashraf Abou Tabl
Treasurer – Chris O’Keefe
Secretary – Mostafa Moussa
Membership Officer – Ashlyne O’Neil
Stewards: Joan Craig (Psychology), Jonathan Valencia (HK), Mohamed Aboelgna (Engineering)
(**If you are interested in becoming a steward, please email email@example.com with your name, year of study, and department.)
We would like to extend a warm welcome to all of our members, new and returning. This is the start of an exciting year, and we want you to remember that CUPE 4580 is here for you! Please bear with us, as this post has a lot of important information.
(1) For those of you who do not know us, CUPE Local 4580 represents all of the Graduate and Teaching Assistants at the University of Windsor. If you are here, you have found our website, and you can locate important documents and information here.
Vice President – Robert Powers
Secretary – Lisa Plant
Treasurer – Joan Craig
Membership Officer – Janer Akkas
(2) We are having an important Special Membership Meeting on Wednesday September 16th at 4:30pm in the Rose Room (Vanier Hall). This is the same day as the GSS Barbecue (11am-2pm). We suggest you go to the barbecue to get some free lunch, and then meet us in the Rose Room at 4:30 for some free pizza. Two free meals in one day?! Sounds like a deal to me! We will be discussing a few important items that cannot wait until our general membership meeting in October.
(3) While we’re discussing meetings, our general membership meetings are held at 6pm on the first Wednesday of October, November, and February, with our Annual General Membership meeting on the first Wednesday of March. Those dates, for your records, are October 7th, November 4th, February 3rd, and March 2nd.
***If you are planning to take a Phase I Tuition Refund, you will NOT be eligible for a GAship this term. All GAs must be registered full-time in their program of study, and be held in good standing. If you are no longer registered in your program, you forfeit your assistantship position. The date for the full-tuition refund this term is September 28th. So, if you are planning to deposit your thesis before this date, you will not be able to work as a GA. (See http://www.uwindsor.ca/graduate/730/tuition-fee-refund-policy-and-deadlines for more details regarding tuition refunds).
We wish you GOOD LUCK in your first week of classes!
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As indicated yesterday, the new executive team for CUPE Local 4580 begins today.
First I would like to extend a huge thank you to Mia Sisic who dedicated so much time and effort to the well-being of the Local and our members throughout her 2014-2015 term. While we will miss her as President, we are sure to see her involved in other ways! Secondly, thank you to Mohammed Almanaseer, who is our outgoing Vice President, for his work throughout the year as well.
Our incoming team is as follows:
President: Ashlyne O’Neil
Vice President: Robert Powers
Treasurer: Joan Craig
Secretary: Lisa Plant
Membership Officer: Janer Akkas
We will also have three trustees (Amanda O’Brien, Evan Gammon, and Chris O’Keefe), and will be looking for stewards in the fall.
In the meantime, and as always, please let us know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns related to our Local. We hope you all have a wonderful summer.
In Solidarity and on behalf of the new executive,
1. I would like to thank all those who came out to protest the Board of Governors (BOG) tuition hike on Tuesday. Though the increase was passed by the BOG, we were able to convince 3 non-student representatives that tuition hikes are detrimental to students and an irresponsible way to increase revenue at the University of Windsor. We were also able to get the attention of major media outlets (example here). No small feat. We must not give up and we must continue to cooperate with the labour and student unions across campus. We must stand in solidarity against an upper administration who is so reckless with its workers and its students.
2. Today is my last day as President of CUPE Local 4580. I have enjoyed this journey with you and thank you all for your support and for attending membership meetings in numbers that surpass the meetings of previous years.
3. Thank-you to Mohammed Almanaseer for his vice presidency as well as Brent Taylor and Jihong Kim for their service through the Summer 2014 months. And a thank-you to the Trustees who stepped up quickly to do the job this past year: Behdokht Rekabdar; Michelle Krieger; Akwasi Owusu.
4. I leave you in the very capable hands of Ashlyne O’Neil (incoming President; outgoing Treasurer) and her 2015-2016 team Robert Powers (incoming Vice President), Joan Craig (incoming Treasurer; outgoing Membership Officer), Lisa Plant (incoming – and outgoing – Secretary), Janer Akkas (incoming Membership Officer), and Amanda O’Brien; Evan Gammon; Chris O’Keefe (incoming Trustees). We are so lucky to have so many executives who are vested in this local and wanted to run another year. They begin their terms tomorrow and I wish them the very best.
It was a pleasure serving you these past 12 months.
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
The end of the semester is upon us and I hope your exams and final papers have been going well.
In my previous message to you, I called on you to come to Senate where they would be discussing increasing tuition fees. Despite the (very) short notice, a couple of dozen students were present and packed the Senate room. We really shook things up by pointing out discrepancies in the upper administration’s budget plan and their insistence on using erroneous numbers that misrepresented the tuition increase as smaller than it will be in reality. The Board of Governors vote for the tuition increase takes place April 28, 2015 at 4pm in the board room of the Assumption Building. Obviously, the administration’s plan is to hold this meeting at a time when there is a low chance of student protests (after all, most of us are gone at the end of April). It’s a sneaky plan, but I call on you to put a dent in their plans and make intense effort to be at the meeting with your fellow brothers and sisters! The upper administration has made budget cuts and revenue increases on the backs of every labour union on campus, but mostly on the backs of students….some of us are those who have been too tarnished by their game-playing to think anything can be changed. But it can. And it starts with us all working together. Mark it in your agenda, put it in your phone, shout it on Twitter-verse, post it on Facebook….April 28 is the day we show the administration what the students are made of and what solidarity looks like. Tell the voting body, the Board of Governors, that we cannot afford another tuition increase. See you!
Sidenote: The Board of Governors has overwhelmingly voted in favour of tuition increases the past few years. That is, until last year when students at our school showed up in droves to the meeting and spoke out against the increase. Check out what Guelph did, too: CTVnews. If you would like speaking rights regarding the increase at the upcoming meeting, please e-mail Renee Wintermute at firstname.lastname@example.org with the request by April 23.
In solidarity and on behalf of the executive,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The labour and student unions invite you to a student appreciation event today at 11:30am in front of CAW – free food and drinks!
CUPE Local 4580
As mentioned in the meeting tonight, CUPE Locals 3902 and 3903 are on strike at UToronto and YorkU. They consist primarily of graduate teaching assistants, undergraduate teaching assistants, and research assistants. The position that they are in is one that we are never that far away from, considering the history of our employer.
Please attend this photo-op, organized by CUPE Local 1393, this FRIDAY at 10:30am in CAW.
See you there!
In solidarity through both thick and thin,
CUPE Local 4580