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!


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