Feb 14 2011

Vote for a New Unit 2

Category: Meetings,NewsBob Hanke @ 8:27 pm

From the U2 Working Group:

We have reached a pivotal moment when our choices will determine the future of Unit 2 for years to come.

Action Items: Vote now on the Unit 2 Working Group recommendation.  And this Thursday come out to the bylaws meeting. Individually and collectively, let’s stand together–in real solidarity–for a more democratic Unit 2 and a better organized and effective CUPE 3903.


If you have not received your ballot already, contact the Unit 2 Working Group (u2.working.group@gmail.com) as soon as possible. Keep in mind that your return envelope must be post-marked no later than February 18th. It is important that we hear from as many Contract Faculty as possible regarding this significant decision!


There is, as well, another critical event this week: the meeting to vote on the remaining articles for CUPE 3903’s new bylaws. This meeting will take place on Thursday, February 17th, in the Chemistry building, Room 115, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

As the Unit 2 Working Group is proposing a number of bylaw amendments to increase autonomy for Contract Faculty within the local, it is crucial for as many U2 members as possible attend this meeting to vote. At the last meeting (Feb. 3rd), one critical amendment advanced by the Unit 2Working Group–to allow only unit members to vote for unit-specific executive positions–was won in Unit 2s favour by a vote of 29 to 28! This means that the Unit 2 VP and Unit 2 CS positions will henceforth be voted on and elected only by Contract Faculty. At the next meeting, important items, such as ensuring that the Grievance Officer position remains a Unit 2-designated position, will be on the agenda. Hence, having a high voter turnout from Unit 2 will be decisive to the outcome.

Your attendance and votes at this meeting can make a difference!


The next few months will be significant for Contract Faculty not only with respect to enhancing our participation and input within CUPE 3903, but also for moving forward into collective bargaining and improving the conditions of our employment. There are important discussions going on within the university administration with respect to developing teaching-only positions. Since Unit 2 is currently the ‘teaching-only’ stream of academic employment at York, we must have a say in these discussions. And we will have a say. These positions should be located within CUPE 3903; they must be geared to improving Contract Faculty’s employment stability across all ranges of seniority and teaching intensities. At the same time, we need to restore and improve upon the successful CUPE-YUFA ratified Affirmative Action Conversion Program.

We have and will continue to play an important role in these discussions. However, unlike the last round of bargaining, this time we need to do our homework first, with research on what can realistically be demanded and what our best strategies should be in pursuing greater job security. We need to begin a broad collective discussion and careful, reasoned evaluation of what is in the best interest of Unit 2 as a whole. We need to move forward and build on the lessons learned from the strike two years ago–that Contract Faculty are major component of the instructional workforce at York. Given the university’s two-tier system of employment, uneven financial flows and looming retirements in, we may become the majority of academic faculty. In these changing circumstances, we need to be able to determine autonomously which path to the future we want to take.

So please be sure to vote on the Unit 2 Working Group’s recommendation and please attend the bylaws meeting on February 17th. And a huge thank you to those members who did come out to the last bylaws meeting to help make a difference!


Jan 31 2011

CUPE Bylaws, Unit 2 Proposals and the February 3 Vote

Category: Events,Meetings,NewsBob Hanke @ 11:48 am

The present moment is critical for Local 3903 and, more-so, for Unit 2.  The terminus of Administration is fast approaching.  Structural choices to be made during the next several weeks will define future conditions of Unit 2 within Local 3903.

The Unit 2 Working Group has been working vigorously and diligently since Summer, 2010, to secure more recognition and autonomy pertaining to our distinctive Unit 2 issues.  In order to ensure that the membership of Unit 2 is properly informed and adequately prepared to mobilize as need be, there can be no further delay circulating this, the first issue of Unit 2 News.

Draft Bylaws

At the bequest of Local 3903 Administrator Lynn McDougall, The Unit 2 Working Group (U2WG) completed a full set of draft bylaws that would reflect some of the changes called for by members at Unit 2 meetings. These draft bylaws were completed and given to the Administrator in September, 2010, several months prior to the work produced by the Bylaw Committee. Unfortunately, the U2WG’s bylaws draft was ignored by the Administrator and not forwarded to the Bylaw Committee.

On January 21st, 2011, 3903 Administrator Lynn McDougall tabled new bylaws prepared by the Bylaw Committee for the Local. The original draft of these bylaws was developed absent any consultation with Unit 2 members or the U2WG.  Although the U2WG submitted a lengthy and detailed commentary on the drafted bylaws on January 9th (these documents can be viewed at:  http://cupe3903unit2.cupe.ca/. ) few of the recommended changes were incorporated into the bylaws tabled on January 21st.  These bylaws will be voted on at an all-units GMM on February 3rd,; the bylaws and amendments approved at that meeting will govern our Local after administration ends on March 18th.

As they currently stand, these new bylaws pose numerous difficulties for Unit 2.  Contrary to every assurance given to the U2WG by the Administrator, the most important Unit 2 issues and concerns – reflecting months of careful prior work by the U2WG – have been relegated to mere amendment suggestions.

Unit 2 issues and concerns should have been addressed and included in the bylaws ratification process from start to finish.  This would have been in keeping with the prior work of the U2WG and the assurances of the Administrator.  But instead?  There has been no consultation.  There has been no negotiation.  The Administrator has effectively shut critical Unit 2 issues and concerns out of the bylaws ratification process.

Unit 2 cannot and will not continue to be shut out in the future.  The U2WG has designed the Unit 2 Proposal in order that Unit 2 issues and concerns be addressed.

Action Item: Please attend the February 3rd GMM when the bylaws ratification vote will take place.  At this critical juncture every U2 member in attendance will make a tangible difference to us all.  There will be no opportunity to vote on these bylaws other than at this critical February 3rd meeting.

The Unit 2 Proposal

Response to the Unit 2  email campaign which called for the Unit 2 Proposal to be mailed out has proven tremendous with 100% of those responding in support of a mail-in vote on the proposal.

At the January 21st GMM, U2WG and other Unit 2 members demanded to know why the Unit 2 Proposal had not yet been mailed out.  Following spirited and only occasionally acrimonious debate, the Administrator once again promised it would be.  So long, that is, as the U2WG does the actual mailing.

An individual member inquired from the floor how, after so long, after so many promises and reassurances, could the Unit 2 membership trust the administrator to hold a Unit 2 vote?  Was the Administrator prepared to offer any surety?  In reply, the Administrator made it quite clear there can be no surety – but reiterated her support for a Unit 2 vote.

The U2WG will do everything in our power to ensure that the Unit 2 membership has the opportunity to vote on the Unit 2 Proposal. If all goes as planned (we’ve got all our fingers, toes and eyes crossed) you will shortly receive your Unit 2 Proposal and ballot in the mail.  The return envelope is already postage paid.  Please: vote! If ever there was an instance where your vote can make a real impact and tangible differencethis is it!

January 31st GMM

IMPORTANT: Please note the change in time and venue for the Monday January 31st GMM:

102 Accolade East, 5:30 PM-8:30 PM

CUPE National President Paul Moist will chair, and the auditor, David Burkes, will be there to present the results and take questions.


Jan 13 2011

CUPE 3903 Unit 2 Proposal and Related Documents

Category: Discussion,Meetings,ProposalsBob Hanke @ 3:41 pm

Unit 2 Working Group Proposal

At the Unit 2 meeting held on March 9, 2010, members in attendance voted for the formation of a Unit 2 Working Group, to examine the particular concerns and interests of contract faculty in our local and whether or not the current structure of CUPE 3903 adequately addresses Unit 2’s needs.

The recommendations and report generated by the working group, as well as communications that have subsquently been sent to Lynn MacDougall (CUPE 3903 Administrator), Paul Moist (CUPE National President) , and the CUPE 3903 Bylaws Committee, and a notice of motion for the January 21st CUPE GMM, prepared by the Unit 2 Working Group, are available for viewing through the following links:

14 November Unit 2 Proposal

21 December Letter to MacDougall and Moist

9 January comments sent to bylaw committee

bylaw comments attachment 1

bylaw comments attachment 2

Jan 10 Notice of Motion for Jaunuary 21st gmm

If you have any difficulty opening these pdf documents, please contact the Unit 2 Working Group at: U2.Working.Group@gmail.com and we will email the documents to you in a Word document format.

The Unit 2 Working Group welcomes comments on the proposal from Unit 2 membera. Contract Faculty members can post their comments to the website or in confidence to: U2.Working.Group@gmail.com


Mar 24 2009

Volunteer to be a Steward: We Need You

Category: Meetings,Point of InformationBob Hanke @ 8:29 am

An important 2009-2010 goal for CUPE 3903 Stewards’ Council is to strengthen our role and presence within York University.

We are in the final planning stage for an Steward Orientation to their role and function; education of part-time faculty about their collective rights and their opportunities to contribute to the union’s mandate is an important part of the Steward’s role. The orientation topics will include:

Collective Agreement (as it pertains to SC role of member rights etc)
3903 CUPE bylaws (as it pertains to SC role of member rights etc)
Equity in the union and workplace, including accessibility, gender, persons of color etc
Member Grievances
Roles of office staff in relation to SC functions
Health and safety in the environment
Health benefits, including extended
Effective verbal communication skills in supporting member queries etc
Posting employment opportunities
Completion of forms ( eg. annual employment renewals)

Please go to the Stewards’ Council Orientation schedule and complete all your available times from March 31 -April 13; please be flexible as there are a # of people in Units 1, 2, and 3 to accommodate. If you can only attend morining sessions, indicate the days/morning times in the comments sections.


Each university department should have at least one steward who acts as a point person and liaison with the rest of the union. All stewards meet monthly (sometimes more often) and are trained with the current collective agreements to assist members in their departments. Stewards play an important political role by disseminating information to members and mobilizing within departments, both around specific issues with the employer and also in relation to other social justice struggles within the community as a whole.

Stewards Protect the Collective Agreements; they can play an important role in helping to gather information on collective agreement violations and ensuring that all members are protected. We can organize and mobilize support for campus-wide initiatives that aim to fight back against breaches of our collective agreements as well as on basic worker and human rights. These initiatives will be more successful with an active and representative Stewards’ Council.

On a departmental level the role of stewards can include:

clarifying the collective agreement provisions for each unit
answering questions from members in department
passing on reminders about union meetings and other information
attending departmental meetings
following through on member’s grievances (including attending grievance meetings with members)
organizing departmental meetings or actions when collective responses are necessary
informing members about the ways they can participate in and help shape the important political work of the local
encouraging member participation in the union’s day-to-day functioning
keeping members informed about issues in the local and important struggles in the community

At the union level the role of stewards can include:

attending Stewards’ Council meetings (one per month) and GMMs usually once per month
participation in Stewards’ council committees
participation in union political campaigns

Who are current departmental stewards?

Visit this website and review the Departmental List for Stewards (left hand index under Unon Central) but remember that lists can be outdated, curent members may choose to withdraw, and most importantly we are missing Steward reps from a number of York departments and have very few U2 reps.


Feb 27 2009

Upcoming Unit 2 Meetings

Category: Meetingsjonnyj @ 11:52 am

With members now back to work there is a wide range of ability to attend meeting times so we have tried to offer weekend and week night coverage for this schedule. The agenda and focus for each meeting is different, but this does not preclude us from adding agenda items or focus at each meeting. If you cannot attend either time, please free forward to email comments for agenda inclusion etc. As always,  feel free to email us anytime re individual and/ or private matters:

Meeting # 1 : Primarily information sharing

Sat Feb 28, 4-6
room 548

246 Bloor St W (next door to OISE)
exit at Bedford side of St George
light snacks as people had indicated they may want to go to dinner
Agenda: items can be added

  1. Update on class and departmental response to 3903 as  profs and colleagues
  2. Billing York for extra work time: what constitutes extra 3903 work (pre and post strike)? eg excessive assignment for courses new to prof and subsequent development;  student apppeals, class quota
  3. 3903 education in the wider community inside and outside York (eg National Womens Day)
  4. How to access a large U2 voting # for exec and other positions
  5. Steward Council: their role in relation to U2
  6. Mediation and arbitration informal discussion (BT members are NOT available for Feb 28 meeting)
  7. Strike back pay and meeting pay: update from members
  8. Update on Feb 27 strategy planning meeting to challenge York
  9. Other

Meeting # 2: Primarily action planning

Wed. March 4, 6-8
room 548
246 Bloor St W (next door to OISE)
exit at Bedford on St George subway stop

  1. BT U2 reps will share a verbal update (a written email update has been circulated by BT team)
  2. Discussion: How can we assist the arbitration process?
  3. Update on Feb 27 strategy planning meeting to challenge York
  4. U2 steward outreach
  5. Senate activity
  6. Other