WUFA Update

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

If you have not read the news yet, we wanted to inform you that WUFA and the administration are continuing their negotiations. However, President Alan Wildeman released a letter to WUFA two days ago with a threat that WUFA’s terms of employment will change unless they agree to the administration’s terms by Monday evening. These changes include but are not limited to:

1. Cutting off all benefits and Green Shield for WUFA members
2. Refusing to honour grievances and arbitration from WUFA
3. Stopping all requests for Professional Development and required memberships reimbursement

The full letter can be found here.

There are two important points to consider:
1. The President’s position on the university’s “fiscal challenge” has already been debated here.
2. His salient assertions in the letter to WUFA (and previously stated during the CUPE Local 1393 strike) is the idea that a forced choice is a true choice. Threats like these to any employees, including unionized employees, are problematic and may be designed to try and scare members of unions (including WUFA) into accepting large concessions demanded by the administration. While we are relieved that the administration has not locked out WUFA, one begins to wonder whether these threats are (once again) designed to push a union into a strike position so that the administration can claim that they care about the students and imply that a union on strike has no interest in students’ well-being.

Spread the word, brothers and sisters. Remember that WUFA supported us during our own negotiations earlier this year, so let us support them when they need it. This is not a time to back down. This is a time to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters at WUFA.

We call to you, our members, to raise concern about using threats that disrespect and underappreciate the valuable efforts of any party on the university campus (e.x., the valuable work of WUFA members and their right to a fair collective agreement). The faculty and students do not exist because of President Alan Wildeman. In fact, his position exists because of you, us, and the faculty on campus. Do not let him forget that. We urge you to write him e-mails (president@uwindsor.ca; wildeman@uwindsor.ca ) and make phone calls to remind him of that.

In solidarity,

CUPE 4580 Executive Team

Agreement has been ratified by Board of Governors

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

The collective agreement that our union ratified on May 22 was ratified by the Board of Governors yesterday.

Congratulations! You are now working under the new collective agreement and we will keep you updated about retroactive pay (our agreement begins September 2013) as details become available.

As always, if you have any questions feel free to e-mail us to chat or set up a meeting.

Have a lovely day!

In solidarity,

CUPE Local 4580 Executive Team 2014-2015

Updates re. us, Local 1001, and WUFA

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

There has been some (non)activity on campus in recent weeks that you should be aware of:

1. As you all know, the collective agreement was ratified by our membership on May 22, 2014. Our collective agreement has yet to be ratified by the Board of Governors. They are meeting on June 24, so we should have an update for you then.

2. The Food Services, on the heels of a lay off period of union workers, has decided to outsource pre-packaged sandwiches, wraps, salads, and crudités to an outside supplier. Please take a look at the sticker below as we urge you not to purchase products with that sticker, in support of the employees in a sister union.

3. If you were not already aware, WUFA (Windsor University Faculty Association) which is a union housing our faculty, librarians, sessional members, and ancillary academic staff entered negotiations with the administration/employer, just like we had earlier this year. Unfortunately, it looks as though WUFA is also having issues with the employer. The employer has filed for a No Board report which begins a process whereby the employer can take measures toward a lockout once WUFA’s collective agreement expires on June 30, 2014.

We support our sisters and brothers at CUPE Local 1001 and WUFA.

In solidarity,

CUPE Local 4580 Executive Team 2014-2015

Review and update on the status of our contract negotiations

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

You received an e-mail from us on May 1, 2014 with the timeline and update on the status of our contract negotiations. The following is a truncated version:

August 31, 2013 – 4580 Collective Agreement expires; no bargaining dates or proposals from the administration.

October 2013 – Membership voices collective agreement issues and lists “guaranteed GA assignment” and “additional GA terms for graduate students” among the important issues to fight for.

February 2014 – Talks begin between Local 4580 and the administration; a tentative Collective Agreement is reached. Ratification of proposed Collective Agreement voted down by membership.

March 27, 2014 – Strike mandate vote held and passed by membership.

March 31, 2014 – Talks resume with the administration.

April 3, 2014 – Talks stall; Local 4580 files for conciliation.

May 8, 2014 (upcoming) – Scheduled date for conciliation where a third party will be appointed by the Ontario Ministry of Labour, to help in resolving the differences between the negotiating parties to reach a new collective agreement.

Please be aware that your negotiating team is and will be doing everything in their power to reach a fair agreement for the members without having to take critical steps such as a strike. However, just like our comrades at WUFA (Windsor University Faculty Association) we must be prepared to take strike action (as supported by our strike mandate vote held in March 2014).

In the event of a strike, strike pay begins on the tenth day of the strike. It is $200/week, approximately the amount you are currently paid for your work as a GA or TA. You would be locked out of the university in your capacity as a GA/TA, but you may cross the line to continue your regular duties as a student, researcher, etc.

Every member will be notified before we begin any strike action. That is, we are not currently on strike and you should continue to perform your regular job duties according to the current Collective Agreement.

There are two important things you should know:
1.     The administration has been using a “we have no money” tactic as they have with other unions on campus. They have money. They have a surplus. The most recent issue of the faculty newsletter The Badger (click here) outlines that in the last five years, the University’s total assets have risen dramatically and revenues have increased steadily. So, why did the university spend less on salaries in 2013 than 2011? And why are they trying to cut GA terms?
2.      We stand united. Other unions on campus know what has been going on with Local 4580 and have assured us that we have their full support:
a.       WUFA
b.      CUPE 1393
c.      CUPE 1001
d.      Unifor 2458
e.      Unifor 2458 Engineers
f.       Unifor 195

Thank you to all 4580 members and all the unions on campus for their continued support in this endeavour. The fight is not over, but having you stand beside us gives us the strength to keep going.

In Solidarity,

CUPE Local 4580 Executive Team 2014-2015

President: Mia Sisic
Vice-President: Mohammed Almanaseer
Treasurer: Ashlyne O’Neil
Secretary: Jihong Kim
Membership Officer: Brent Taylor

New Executive Team

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This is to inform you that the elected executive team for 2014-2015 will be assuming office starting May 1, 2014.

The following is the executive team for 2014-2015:
President: Mia Sisic
Vice-President: Mohammed Almanaseer
Treasurer: Ashlyne O’Neil
Secretary: Jihong Kim
Membership Officer: Brent Taylor
Our union has received our first conciliation date for May 8, 2014. The new executive team will now constitute our bargaining team for the conciliation process and from there on as outlined in our by-laws.

We wish them all the best for the conciliation process and hope we can reach a fair agreement for all our members.

In Solidarity,
CUPE Executive Team
2013-2014

Bargaining Update

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

The employer (University of Windsor) has requested additional bargaining dates for April 2014 from CUPE Local 4580 for further negotiations. All members will be notified of the dates once they are confirmed by both negotiating parties.

Although CUPE 4580 has filed for conciliation to the Ontario Ministry of Labour, both the parties have agreed to return back to the bargaining table as of April 2014.

In case CUPE 4580 and University of Windsor are NOT able to reach a fair agreement after the scheduled talks, both the parties will go to conciliation.

Please note that conciliation is a process where a third party, appointed by the Ontario Ministry of Labour, helps in resolving the differences between the negotiating parties to reach a new collective agreement. This does not mean that the union will be going on strike. All members will continue to perform their regular job duties according to the current collective agreement. If no agreement is reached through the conciliation process, the union or the employer may file for a ‘no board’. Under such circumstances, all members will be notified before going on strike or lock-out.

The negotiating team is currently trying to reach a fair agreement for the members without having to take critical steps that might affect our members. CUPE 4580 is still far away from a strike and the negotiating team is working towards a fair collective agreement with the University of Windsor.

All members will be updated and notified of any changes in the situation.

The bargaining team appreciates your patience and support.

Thank you.

In Solidarity,

Bargaining Team

CUPE Local 4580

Representing GAs/TAs at University of Windsor

 

Update on Collective Bargaining

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

We had been in the process of bargaining for a new Collective Agreement for CUPE Local 4580 (GA/TA Union) with the University of Windsor. Unfortunately, an agreement could not be reached between the two negotiating parties.
We have filed for conciliation and the membership will be notified of the conciliation dates once we get them.
What is conciliation?

Conciliation is a process by which a Union or an employer can ask the Ontario Ministry of Labour for help in resolving their differences so that they can reach a collective agreement. Either party may apply to the ministry. If parties are in negotiations, they must use, the government’s conciliation services before they can get into a position to engage in a strike or lock-out. The process of Conciliation is not binding.

What if the University and the union cannot reach agreement in conciliation?

The conciliation officer informs the Ontario Minister of Labour that a collective agreement was unable to be effected. The minister would then generally issue a notice informing the union and the employer that he or she “does not consider it advisable to appoint a conciliation board”. This notice is known colloquially as the “no board”. The bargaining parties must wait seventeen days after a “no board” report before engaging legally in a strike or a lockout.

Source: Ontario Ministry of Labour

In Solidarity,
Bargaining Team

Strike Mandate Passed

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

The strike mandate vote held tonight was passed by the membership. We would like to thank all the members that came out in support of our Local.

 We will we resuming bargaining talks with the University on 31 March 2014.
Thank You.
In Solidarity,
Bargaining Team
CUPE Local 4580

Collective Agreement NOT Ratified

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

This is to inform you that the proposed collective agreement at the meeting held tonight at Toldo 100 was NOT ratified by the membership . The bargaining team will now go back to negotiating another contract with the University.
Thank You.