Sep 19 2009

OCUFA Quality Matters Campaign

Category: News,Petitions,Point of Information,University FinanceBob Hanke @ 1:39 pm

On March 9th, the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations launched its Quality Matters campaign.

This campaign addresses the problem of chronic underfunding, which is at the bottom of the  issues that were raised during the 85-day CUPE 3903 strike and in the Ontario legislative assembly. As we face even deeper, cascading budget cuts this year, it’s time for faculty and students to do something about it.

Please take a few minutes right now to read more about the campaign, and to follow the links to send your message to Premier McGuinty and your local MPP.

OCUFA is using social media to support the campaign using paid electronic ads in print media and on Facebook.  Course directors and their TAs using a Content Managment System (Web-CT, Moodle) can also lend support the campaign by adding this website as an educational resource to your course.


Jul 14 2009

CUPE 3903 Unit 2 Chronicle Call for Contributions

Category: Point of InformationBob Hanke @ 8:50 am

We invite contributions from CUPE Unit 2 members to the Fall 2009 issue of the CUPE 3903 Unit 2 Chronicle. The inaugural issue was published in January 2009 and it is important to build on this innovation in communication.

To read No.1, download the digital version available on the CUPE Unit 2 website. No 2. will be published in mid-September 2009 to coincide with the beginning of the new academic year. Download the designer, graphically-enhanced Call for Contributions here.

We welcome reflections on the longest strike, the current internal state of the union and Unit 2, expressions of our experience of the interpretation and implementation of the new Collective Agreement (especially the conversion program and the LTSA program), analysis of how York University works (especially the new Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies), discussions of trends in posting and withdrawing courses, critiques of the grievance process and university administration, accounts of the challenges and difficulties of teaching and doing research, critical perspectives on the casualization of labour at York and beyond and what it means for York faculty and students (especially workload, collegial governance, and academic freedom), the meaning of solidarity with YUFA faculty, strategies for resisting the political economy of post-secondary education before the next round of negotiation/strikes, and reviews of books and articles on academic labour conditions in the university.

Contributions are welcome from all Unit 2 members. Articles should be 500-1000 words in Word document format, double-spaced in Times New Roman 12-point font. Accompanying or stand-alone photographs with captions and photo credit can be submitted that are 150-300 pixels per inch in .jpg, .tiff or .bmp file format. Graphics, like cartoons or drawings, should be formatted in .gif or .png format.

The deadline for all submissions has been extended to, Tuesday September 8.  Submissions, comments or queries can be sent to the issue editors: Bob Hanke ( or Jon Johnson (

Apr 14 2009

Vote for the best CUPE Website!

Category: Point of Informationjonnyj @ 8:53 am

Starting April 1, 2009, CUPE members can vote for their favourite CUPE website. Voting will continue until April 30. We’ll announce the winner on May 1st, 2009.
Vote for the CUPE website of the year.

Here are the rules:

  • You can only vote once
  • You can nominate any CUPE website whether it’s listed or not by typing in its address on the voting page
  • Websites that get more nominations will also be listed on the voting page

Vote for this site for CUPE website of the year


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.


Mar 18 2009

Michael Whealen Memorial Service

Category: Point of InformationBob Hanke @ 8:34 pm

Michael Whealen was a contract faculty member for the Centre for Academic Writing, and during the strike he was one of our fine office workers. Michael Whealen’s memorial service will be held on Monday March 30th @ 1:30-2:30 pm in the Scott Religious Centre.

The service is open to all members of the York community.

Michael’s brother, Bryan, requested that all donations be made to the Centre for Academic Writing. Beverley Giblon is setting up a trust in Michael’s name. (Beverley Giblon — giblon @ )

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