CUPE Local 1356 Blog

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1356. We have three Collective Agreements as Local 1356, 1356-01, and 1356-02. The membership is comprised of the full-time and part-time workers of York University the Local website is at This Blog will include Local information and information garnered from sources other Universities, Colleges, Post Secondary/Tertiary Education and news sources supplying information.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Access to courts denied though independent arbitration not available

The so-called Weber rule that access to the courts should be denied where arbitration is available under a collective agreement for workplace-related disputes has been applied by the Supreme Court of Canada to a situation where independent arbitration was not available, and the legislated grievance procedure allowed management to make the final determination.

The rest of this report is available at:

Keep Me in Your Heart

This is interesting. I had heard that Zevon had lung cancer but not mesothelioma. Warren Zevon's most famous song was "Werewolves of London"

Asbestos Disease Awareness Day on April 1st

On April 1st 2005, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), a volunteer organization of asbestos victims, family, friends, physicians and concerned citizens will participate in a day of global awareness, remembrance and unity - begins by launching a powerful slideshow.

Singer Warren Zevon died in 2003 of mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer uniquely linked to asbestos exposure.

"Keep Me in Your Heart," a song from Zevon's Grammy-winning album
The Wind (awarded posthumously), narrates the slideshow alerting viewers to the dangers of asbestos.
"Ignorance about asbestos isn't bliss," said Jordan Zevon, son of Warren Zevon and ADAO National Spokesperson, "it's deadly To see the slideshow, please visit:

Many of the photographs in the slideshow are from photographer/producer
Bill Ravanesi's award-winning exhibit,
"Breath Taken: The Landscape and Biography of Asbestos."

According to Ravanesi, "The efforts put forth by ADAO act as an
important reminder that the asbestos tragedy is not behind us, that
there are 30 million tons of asbestos in place in the America today,
and that we can anticipate yet another 300,000 deaths from on-going
asbestos exposure in the next 30 years."

ADAO remembers the numerous victims affected by asbestos, and celebrates the strength of awareness and unity via Tribute eCards and Reflections, an online global publication, reviewing the tragic history of asbestos use, preventing exposure and detecting asbestos related diseases. A press conference has been scheduled in Washington D.C. for April 1st.

"Listening to Warren Zevon's words and seeing the pictures in the presentation, really brings home the devastation caused from asbestos", said Pete McPhedran, President of coreFusion and slideshow designer.

The slideshow was written and directed by Linda Reinstein, ADAO's Executive Director and Co-Founder. "The ADAO slideshow is dedicated to the tens of thousands of asbestos victims," said Reinstein, "and their families around the world. May they never be forgotten."

About Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) was founded by asbestos victims and their families. ADAO seeks to give asbestos victims and concerned citizens a united voice to help ensure that their rights are fairly represented and protected, while raising public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure and often deadly asbestos related diseases. ADAO is an independent organization funded through voluntary contributions and staffed by volunteers. For more information visit

Media Contact:
Linda Reinstein
Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO)

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Francophone college petition

Please sign and circulate our petition
To: Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Canada

À l'Assemblée législative de l'Ontario - To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario;

Attendu que l'ancien gouvernement conservateur a fermé le Collège des Grands Lacs en 2001 de façon illégale et anticonstitutionnelle, sans avoir consulté la communauté francophone du centre sud-ouest de l’Ontario;

Whereas the former Conservative government illegally and unconstitutionally closed Collège des Grands Lacs in 2001, without consulting the francophone community of central and southwestern Ontario;

et Attendu que le gouvernement libéral actuel appuie la décision du gouvernement Harris de fermer le seul collège francophone de la plus grande ville du Canada, pays bilingue;

And Whereas the current Liberal government supports the decision of the Harris government to close the only francophone college in the largest city in Canada, a bilingual country;

et Attendu que les 500 000 personnes qui parlent français de cette région ont droit à leur propre collège, avec les programmes en français dans un campus francophone;

And Whereas the 500,000 people who speak French in this region have a right to their own college, with programs in French, on a francophone campus;

Nous, soussignés, adressons à l'Assemblée législative de l'Ontario la pétition suivante :
Que le ministère de la Formation, des Collèges et des Universités rétablisse un collège d'arts appliqués et de technologie à Toronto pour la communauté francophone du centre sud-ouest de l'Ontario sous une nouvelle administration.

We the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly as follows:
That the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities re-establish a College of Applied Arts and Technology for the francophone community of central and south western Ontario, under a new administration.


The Undersigned

Hydro One Memorandum of Agreement Ratified

TORONTO, March 29 /CNW/ - On March 24, 2005 the Power Workers’ Union members at Hydro One ratified a three-year collective agreement, voting 72.6% in favour.

The Power Workers’ Union represents the 3,864 trades staff, clerical and technical employees of Hydro One and is not to be confused with the Society of Energy Professionals which represents approximately 900 engineers and first level managers at Hydro One. The Society and Hydro One are currently negotiating the renewal to their collective agreement.

PWU members employed by Hydro One are responsible for the safe and reliable delivery of 153 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity to the homes, farms and businesses across the province of Ontario and are committed to continue to provide the highest possible level of service and reliability to the customers and citizens of Ontario.

USWA apply for CIBC staff in Sudbury

Steelworkers apply to represent CIBC employees

SUDBURY, ON, March 29 /CNW/ - United Steelworkers’ Ontario/Atlantic Director Wayne Fraser announced today that the union has applied to the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) to represent workers at five Sudbury branches of the CIBC.

If the union is certified, the workers will join about 1,000 other CIBC employees across Canada who belong to the Steelworkers’ union and, locally, workers at eight branches of TD-Canada Trust in Sudbury.

“When bank workers consider joining our union, they think about the billions of dollars in profits made by the banks,” said Fraser. “At the same time, banks are unilaterally altering employees’ compensation packages.

“These are basic issues of fairness, dignity and balance. They are what workers seek to correct when they join a union.”

The United Steelworkers represents over 255,000 men and women working in every sector of Canada’s economy.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Wills & Estate Planning

The York Retirement Centre Presents:

Ed is one of our most popular presenters. His seminars on estate planning are filled with practical information delivered in “plain English”.

They take place in an open forum where you get to ask questions.
Here’s your opportunity to learn the tips and traps of estate and tax planning including: wills and powers of attorney, how to reduce probate fees and taxes at death, how to protect your children’s inheritance, how your beneficiaries can save taxes after your death and the use of inter vivos and testamentary trusts.

Date: Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Time: Part I: 12:00 - 1:00 pm
Part II: 1:00 - 2:30 pm

Presenter: Ed Esposto, LL.B., Royal Bank Private Council

Ed specializes in estates/trusts and taxation. His undergrad degrees are in Economics and History. Ed has been practising law for 15 years and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise.

Registration Form

CUPE Celebrates

A report on the actions, events and trends that shaped Canada’s largest union in 2004
This 36 page Adobe Acrobat document details a year in the life of CUPE. How many new bargaining units we organized, how many contracts we signed, how many courses we offered and many other superlative facts about the organization. CUPE Celebrates describes what the union's 660 staff do and what happens to members' dues.

Canada's hidden human rights deficit: Freedom of Association

Extensive new study documents serious erosion of human rights. Unions launch campaign to fight Wal-Mart and reform Canada's labour laws.
The basic human right to freedom of association has been abused and eroded by Canadian governments at all levels over the past two decades, says an extensive new study by two of Canada's largest unions.

Abuses are also rampant in the agriculture industry and among private sector employers like Wal-Mart. Freedom of association includes the right to join a union, bargain collectively and withhold services by going on strike.

The study, by the 340,000-member National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) and the 230,000-member United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW Canada), cites 170 pieces of legislation that have denied or undermined these basic rights since 1982.

The study is entitled:
Collective Bargaining in Canada: Human Right or Canadian Illusion.

CUPE’s response to banning mandatory retirement

Mandatory retirement is the wrong issue. Most workers would prefer to retire earlier, not later.

However if you don't have a pension, no matter what the law says, you will have to keep working when you hit 65.

CUPE wants real retirement choices for older workers, to allow them to retire in dignity and security and to make room for younger workers.

CUPE is also concerned that efforts to repeal mandatory retirement laws, as in Ontario, will make it harder for all workers to retire.

CUPE Supports union campaign against Wal-Mart

CUPE supports the Canadian Labour Congress and the United Food and Commercial Workers' campaign against US retail giant Wal-Mart. The campaign is aimed at exposing the company's scorched earth approach to dealing with unions. Wal-Mart recently closed its Jonquière store after workers there voted to join UFCW.
For full text of the CUPE national executive board resolution

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

URGENT: Bill C-263 will go to a vote in the House of Commons on April 7, 2005

The Public Service Alliance of Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Labour Congress, is stepping up its campaign in support of Bill C-263, an amendment to the Canada Labour Code that would make it illegal for employers to hire replacement workers during strikes or lock-outs in federally regulated undertakings. This includes the banking sector, transportation, communications and all workplaces north of the Sixtieth parallel, other than Territorial and Federal governments.

On April 7, 2005, this bill will come before the House of Commons for a final vote. This means that we are only a few days away from obtaining one of the most important improvements in labour legislation in recent labour history. This amendment was lost by a very slim margin the last time it was introduced, so it is realistic to think that it might pass this time, if we get everyone we know to send a fax, email or letter to our MPs on this issue.

Please pass this on to all your contacts. Send to your email and fax trees. You can find the petition as well as lots of relevant material at the following address:

Or you can go directly to the CLC web site at:

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Beware the office powerpath

This appears to describe 1 in 10 managers, maybe even at York University!?
Read the story from Australia to see for yourself if it holds true in your own work area.

Labour Tactics to use on Walmart

Mike Martin has written on alternative concepts to deal with the efforts to organize the Walmart workers into unions.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Gambling on Luck-Based Benefits

Los Angeles Times Report
The panacea of pooling Vacation and Sick Leave into a Pooled Time Off [PTO] bank can have very serious ramifications if they become merged into one pool of time. Although superficially it appears to be a great deal, if [the gamble] you need time to heal and you've used your pool of time to the end, you now have NO income.

Read the article from the Los Angeles Times.

thanks to the Health and Safety NewsWire from Hazards and LabourStart as found on the right side of this blog's screen

CUPE Ontario Lois Hill Scholarships

Once again CUPE Ontario is inviting applications for two scholarships in memory of Lois Hill, long-time CUPE activist and former president of Local 778.

The scholarships are worth $500 each and they are open to Aboriginal members, or children of Aboriginal members, to undertake a course of post-secondary studies for 2004/2005 academic year.

CUPE Ontario wants to emphasize the importance of encouraging members to submit applications for these scholarships this year.

In order to qualify, an applicant must be into a programme of study at a public or union-based institute of post-secondary education. Academic merit, or the equivalence in career experience, are the principals governing the selection of successful candidates.

Applicants should write a letter to CUPE Ontario outlining their academic qualifications, their career experience, an indicate why they should be accepted for a scholarship. The particular course of study and education institution must also be stated in the letter. Applications should be received at CUPE Ontario no later than May 30, 2005.

A Division committee will select the successful candidates. Applicants will be informed of the committee's decision before the end of July 2005.

the original format of this letter received at the Local's Office was
Signed by:
Patrick (Sid) Ryan CUPE Ontario President
Brian O'Keefe CUPE Ontario Secretary-Treasurer

CUPE Ontario
305 Milner Avenue, Suite 801
Scarborough, ON M1B 3V4

we have modified the original text slightly for readability on screen and to indicate the poster is not the source

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Seniority Rights Lost on Privatization Worth $1.2 million

In a landmark decision, the Ontario Divisional Court has upheld the
Grievance Settlement Board's award of $1.2 million in damages to 50
provincial government employees who were improperly stripped of their
seniority rights when three young-offender facilities were privatized
by the former Conservative provincial government. The Court agreed
with the Board's decision that each of the affected employees should
be paid two weeks' pay for each year of service.

this report is available at:

UFCW and Walmart

US$11 million Settlement by Walmart on illegals as Cleaners

Another 12 companies were also fined another US$4 million as the employers and cleaning contractors.

Check the Washington Post article for details.

Dell Settles with Muslim Contract Workers on Prayers

The workers had left their employment due to the dispute and have already started to return to work.

as reported in Reuters through Labour Headline News

16 Year Old Burger King Worker wins at Saskachewan Human Rights Commission

A young worker of Burger King in Swift Current wins after a three year battle to show that he had wrongfuly been dismissed from employment due to a family relationship.

The young worker's father worked for the Province of Saskatchewan as a Labour Standards Officer [25 years service]. At the heart of the issue was the short notice given for changes to schedule work shifts and hours. One example was an extension of shift by 1/2 hour with no notice right at the end of the shift. There was concern raised throughout the ~1 month employment of scheduling problems and the evidence was interesting in the planned manner in which the young worker would become terminated prior to his probation ending. Other Labour Standards were being violated and the Managers were concerned that they would have difficulty dealing with inspections and orders from the Labour Standards, should they become aware of the issues through the family relationship.

The complainant is currently a university student and received $1500 in the award.

original link was from Labour Headline News

Friday, March 18, 2005

Québec Students Strike: 230,000 are out

It is now estimated that 230,000 students are on strike in Quebec. The CSN and FTQ (two of the largest trade union federations) have both endorsed the strike. Today's demonstration was reported at more than 10,000 people in Montreal, but chances are it was even larger than that.

Instead of restoring the $103 million cut from grants, the Education Minister offered just over $40 million in "loan forgiveness" for those students who complete their programme. This proposal was rejected since it is less than half of what the government cut, and since back-end relief will still leave the student aid system as a predominantly loan based programme.

In solidarity,

Pam Frache,
Ontario Campaigns and Government Relations Coordinator,
Canadian Federation of Students

This is a link to CTV coverage, including some downloadable video.

Virtual worlds - real exploitation

courtesy of Eric Lee and LabourStart

If you've got kids, and if they play games on the computer, you might have heard of the phenomenon of massive multi-player online role playing games (MMORPGs, for short). Or not. In any event, I've stumbled upon evidence of the creation of what are essentially sweatshops which produce virtual objects that are used in these games -- objects which are then sold for real money in the real world. Sounds crazy, right? Check out the article and do add your comments:

Stop the murder of Nozad Ismail

courtesy of Eric Lee and LabourStart

In the last few weeks, we've reported on a number of murders of Iraqi trade union activists, most notably the killing in early January of Hadi Saleh, head of international affairs for the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU), who was tortured and killed in his Baghdad home. We now have the chance to speak out loudly and clearly against the targeting of trade unionists by terrorist death squads by adding our names to the global appeal to save the life of one Iraqi trade unionist. His name is Nozad Ismail and he heads up the IFTU in the city of Kirkuk. Nozad's life has been threatened repeatedly, and there have been at least two attempts on his life. I strongly urge you to add your name to this appeal today:

A good employer if you're not British

Courtesy of Eric Lee and LabourStart

Some employers are bad employers no matter where you live. Think Wal-Mart or McDonald's. Those are employers that are consistently anti-union.

But other employers seem to accept trade unions in some countries -- and try to crush them in others. T-Mobile, a cellphone company owned by Deutsche Telekom, is in that category. In Britain, the company has even brought in US-based professional union-busters to stop an organizing drive by the Communication Workers Union (CWU). Nevertheless, union membership inside the company is growing.

The CWU, together with LabourStart, has launched a big global campaign to put pressure on the company to stop union-busting and to start talking.

Please go to this link and send off your message now -- and then forward on this message to every trade unionist you know:

End of Some eMail Campaigns Requested - Success

LabourStart originated

We ended two campaigns this week at the request of unions.
  • In New Zealand, the union reached agreement with LSG SkyChefs over sacked delegate Ray Cutter, who thanks all those who sent in messages of protest.

  • In the UK, our first British campaign, organized on behalf of NUMAST and targeting Hoverspeed, has also ended. In a statement on the union website, the union's assistant general secretary says "We are amazed at the size of the response to this campaign . . . The scale of support is tremendous and we hope that Mr. Ede will heed the message and meet with NUMAST officials to discuss recognition."

Tenix workers 83% in favour of Unionizing - Please Help

That's the question posed by a strike which recently broke out at a Melbourne, Australia-based company called Tenix. After six years of individual contracts and no union, six years which delivered only tiny wage increases, a court-ordered ballot showed that 83% of Tenix workers had decided they wanted union representation. The employer's reaction was to try to force workers to sign individual contracts -- and to refuse to recognize the union. The workers reacted by going out on strike.

We've been asked by the Australian Services Union to send a strong message to the management of Tenix, saying that when 83% of your workers tell you they want a union, you really should respect that choice. Please support the campaign by clicking on this link:

And spread the word!

courtesy of Eric Lee and LabourStart

Sorry About the Inconvenience!?

Eric Lee of LabourStart sent this along and we thought we should share it.

A few weeks ago, I attended a conference on the subject of online campaigning. One of the highlights was the appearance of someone from "the other side" -- the representative of a giant multinational corporation which has been the target of many campaigns. She was a pleasant enough spokesperson, and came with one very clear message to all of us from corporate headquarters: when you are about to launch a campaign, she said, please do contact us first so that we can agree on the appropriate email address and thus avoid disruption in the company.

This triggered a huge outburst of laughter from the conference participants. The whole point of campaigning is to both send a message -- and to cause disruption. That's what strikes do, that's what picket lines do, and that's what campaigns do. They disrupt the day-to-day functioning of their corporate targets.

I was thinking about this today because of some inside information we've just gotten about effects of two of our current LabourStart campaigns.

As both are in somewhat delicate stages of negotiation, I can't tell you the names of the companies, but I can tell you this:

-- In one company we targetted, according to a report from a union activist, "the boss had to get an IT Techie in to fix his computer when it jammed up with emails earlier in the week."

-- In another, "apparently the staff at [the company's] office are doing nothing but answering emails" from our campaign. The system has been "clogged up" as a result.

In at least one case, the union is offering to suspend the campaign if management will open negotiations. Online campaigns have become a kind of leverage, like picket lines and boycotts.

So even when we don't announce a victory in a campaign, that doesn't mean we're having no effect. We're sending a loud and clear message -- and we're causing disruption in the companies we target. It's not "business as usual" these days at Hoverspeed, XPonCard, Tenix, or LSG SkyChefs, nor should it be.

Proving Discrimination - Ontario Court Sets Record Straight

On February 28, 2005, the Ontario Superior Court reversed a decision of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal finding that race was not a factor in the discharge of Mark Smith, a black employee, by the operator of the Mr. Lube franchise in Brampton, Ontario. The Court made it clear that effect, not motive, is the litmus test of discrimination.

this is a Lancaster House item available at

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Petition to increase public funding for public universities

The Ontario University Workers Co-ordinating Committee has created the following Petition
TO: Legislative Assembly of Ontario
FROM: The Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1356

Whereas, rebuilding our Post Secondary Education system is critical to the future of our communities and our province; and,

Whereas, high tuition user-fees are resulting in massive student debt; and

Whereas, Ontario ranks second last amongst all provinces in terms of total PSE budget received from government grants, and has the highest percentage of total post secondary education revenue from private sources; and,

Whereas, working and learning conditions must be healthy and safe because working conditions are learning conditions; and,

Whereas, the deferred maintenance cost at Ontario University campuses is estimated to have already reached the $2 billion mark;

We the undersigned, support the Canadian Union of Public Employees call on the Provincial Government to invest sufficient public funds that will:
  1. Restore public money cut from operating funds since 1995 and bring Ontario up to the national average for funding Post-secondary Education
  2. Finance the 1.98 billion needed for deferred maintenance;
  3. Provide the funding needed to continue the tuition freeze beyond 2006 and increase grants to working class families.

Stop the Clawback of the National Child Benefit Supplement for those living on Social Assistance

The Income Security Advocacy Centre has launched a campaign demanding the Provincial and Federal Government stop the clawback of the National Child Benefit Supplement for those living on social assistance (this was a practice begun during the Harris years). On the campaign trail McGuinty pledged to allow families living on social assistance to keep their National Child Benefit Supplement without losing their welfare entitlement. Thus far he has refused to act on his promise.

CUPE Ontario has signed on to this campaign and has also forwarded a donation to the Advocacy Centre. We encourage you to visit their website and send an e-card to Premier McGuinty and Prime Minister Martin. An end to the clawback will make a significant difference to the lives of the 90,000 families on social assistance and their children.

Iraqi trade union activists being Murdered

In the last few weeks, we've reported on a number of murders of Iraqi
trade union activists, most notably the killing in early January of Hadi
Saleh, head of international affairs for the Iraqi Federation of Trade
Unions (IFTU), who was tortured and killed in his Baghdad home.

We now have the chance to speak out loudly and clearly against the targeting of trade unionists by terrorist death squads by adding our names to the
global appeal to save the life of one Iraqi trade unionist. His name is
Nozad Ismail and he heads up the IFTU in the city of Kirkuk. Nozad's
life has been threatened repeatedly, and there have been at least two
attempts on his life. I strongly urge you to add your name to this
appeal today:

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

CUPE Local 1356-01 New Position Job Posting

Parking and Security at York University has a new classification to maintain the electronics of the parking and security equipment.

It has been posted both internally and externally this time. It is also available at

Tasks included are from the gate arms to the card scanners and CCTV equipment.
The complete Job Description is available at

CUPE Fights to Keep Maintainance of Parking Meters - PEI

as reported by the CBC in PEI CUPE is fighting to continue the maitainace of te city parking meters.

World Against War Week - remaining portion

Wednesday March 16
War Against War hip-hop show
9pm @ El Mocambo - 464 Spadina Ave, $7
featuring: Dope Poets Society, Amasonica Sound Force, Progress Negus, Blak
Child, Human Dimensions, The Red Menace, Iron Crescent

10pm - 3am @ Fressen - 478 Queen St W 19+ NO COVER
featuring: djs EFSHARP and A-MONEY w/ guest dj WRECKALECT
Thursday March 17
The Music of Resistance
9 pm @ Lula Lounge - 1585 Dundas St W (2 blocks west of Dufferin)
Chris Brown and Kate Fenner, Skydiggers and the Cash Brothers, Evalyn Parry,
Dwayne Morgan, Black Ice, Robert Priest, Yasmina Ramzy with George Sawa,
music video from Rhythmicru.

Tickets: $15 in advance or $20 at the door.
Available at Soundscapes, 572 College or call (416) 280-6456 to reserve.
LULA show (Mar 17) $20 in advance and $25 at the door
Saturday March 19
A global day of action against the occupation of Iraq
Rally and March
1pm @ Nathan Phillips Sq

Organized by Toronto Coalition to Stop the War
proceeds from all shows go to build the anti-war movement

thanks to Mehdi Kouhestani with CUPE Toronto District Council

Labour Peace Brunch

Saturday March 19th
11 AM
Steelworkers Hall
25 Cecil Street, Toronto
(1 block south of College, between Beverly & Huron)

On March 19th demonstrations will take place across Canada to oppose the
ongoing occupation of Iraq.

In Toronto, join trade unionists for a pre-rally brunch before heading out to
Nathan Phillips Square for 1 p.m.

Bring your union flags and banners.

• Darrell Anderson US war resister
• Sara Marlowe
• Mike Hersh

$5 suggested donation

Organized by Steelworkers Toronto Area Council
Supported by Toronto and York Region Labour Council
- labour donated USWA local 8300 -

thanks to Mehdi Kouhestani with CUPE Toronto District Council

Innis / Labour Film Night

Special screening - "The Take"

Director Avi Lewis and renowned author Naomi Klein take viewers inside the lives of ordinary visionaries as they reclaim their work, their dignity and their democracy. Set in Argentina in the aftermath of the 2001 economic meltdown.

Join Avi Lewis at Innis College Town Hall as he introduces the movie and leads a discussion of union activists on "setting globalization on its head."

"... will have you on your feet singing We Shall Overcome." Winnipeg Free Press

Innis College, Town Hall
7 PM Wednesday 23 March 2005

A reception with light refreshments will follow the film showing, and panel discussion.

Presented by Innis College in collaboration with university campus unions and the Labour Council.

Innis College is located at: 2 Sussex Avenue, Toronto
(one block south of Bloor at St. George, or just north of the Robarts Library)

thanks to Mehdi Kouhestani with CUPE Toronto District Council

Update on Québec Student Strike

The two largest Québec student organisations have now officially joined the student strike in Québec. With over 250,000 members, FEUQ and FECQ have the potential bring the Québec post-secondary education system to a halt. This will undoubtedly increase pressure on Premier Charest who is four weeks away from tabling the Québec budget. As well, with discontent and strike votes on other issues within Québec unions, the student strike has the potential to spark even wider resistance to Charest's cuts to social services.

In Québec, a mass rally is being planned for March 16. Those outside Québec are being encouraged to get pledges filled in and faxed, and also to send signed banners to the Ontario office (see address below) so they can be sent to students in Québec. If we receive banners by March 14, we will have time to get them shipped to Montreal in time for the mass rally. For your convenience, I have attached the pledge sheets in a pdf file (French and English). I would suggest photocopying the pledge double-sided in both French and English so that people can sign the French side too.

Below I've pasted in recent French and English articles from the Quebec strike.

In solidarity,

Pam Frache,
Ontario Campaigns and Government Relations Coordinator,
Canadian Federation of Students
201-720 Spadina Avenue,
Toronto, ON
M5S 2T9


Time to strike is now, Québec's largest student group says
Call to action comes after Liberals announce $103 million will not be put back into loans and bursaries
By Dave Weatherall
CUP Québec Bureau Chief

MONTRÉAL (CUP) -- After promises of a massive re-investment in post-secondary education at the Liberal retreat last November, new Education Minister Jean-Marc Fournier said his party will not put back the $103 million his predecessor cut from the bursaries program.

The announcement comes as students associations across the province are either on strike, or preparing strike mandates for their constituents. Already, student associations representing 68,000 students, mostly from CÉGEPs, are on strike to protest the cuts. Now the Fédération universitaire du Québec, the largest student organization in Québec with 170,000 members, is calling on all of the student associations it represents to go on strike to protest the Liberals' decision.
The science and education student associations at the Université du Québec à Montréal have already voted yes to strike action.

Nick Vikander, FEUQ's vice-president of university affairs, said the situation is similar at the Université de Sherbrooke, Concordia University and the Université de Montréal, where general assemblies are being organized to vote on whether or not to strike.

"We think this is what it takes at this point, with the budget three-four weeks away," he said. "We've gone through everything except for this."

FEUQ's call to action comes the morning after the group held a press conference outside the minister of education's Montréal offices. About an hour after FEUQ left the site, roughly 20 students, allegedly from CÉGEP du Vieux Montréal, entered the building and vandalized the offices. Police escorted the students from the premises.

Fournier met with representatives from FEUQ over a week ago to discuss the loans and bursaries program. Fournier's spokesperson, Stéphane Gosselin, said the talks were productive, but a date for future meetings has not been set. He said the call to strike would not help negotiations between the two parties.

"Whenever you're in dialogue with someone, it's better that there not be in an atmosphere of confrontation," he said. "But we have to be clear on certain things: putting the $103 million back is not even on the radar; presently the minister is working on solutions for student debt."

According to FEUQ's numbers, 75,000 students have been directly affected by the cuts; their student loans doubled in one year. FEUQ recently conducted a poll that showed 75 per cent of Quebecers disagree with the Liberal government's decision to cut from the bursaries program.

Gosselin did not rule out that a portion of the $103 million would be put back.

FEUQ have a demonstration planned for Mar. 16, and Vikander said other actions are in the works. The last Québec university student strike of the magnitude FEUQ is calling for occurred in 1968.

Is Outsourcing by Universities Right for You?

Is Outsourcing Right for You?

From IT to food service, outsourcing can be a viable means for IHEs to
provide services and save money.
By Jean Marie Angelo

New Trends Emerging

Services currently outsourced

Food Service 61%
Endowment Fund 41%
Legal Service 28%
Housekeeping, janitorial 25%
Laundry 20%
Copy center, reproduction 17%
Security 17%
Debit card 16%
Payroll 15%
Computer store 10%
Energy management 9%
Mechanical maintenance 9%
Grounds 8%

The basic rationale for a college or university to outsource to a vendor could be summed up this way: I can't do this, others can, I think I'll let them.

The reason for outsourcing food services, maintenance, bookstore management, some IT functions, or any other needed campus service is driven by dollars and sense, so to speak. It is common for higher education institutions to decide that it is simply more economical or more productive to bring in an outside vendor to handle nonacademic tasks than it is to hire and train in-house staff.

"I ascribe to Peter Druker's business philosophy," says Gregg Lassen, CFO at the University of Southern Mississippi. Management guru Druker was known for telling businesses to focus on their core strengths. In a higher ed setting those would be research, instruction, and service, says Lassen. Cooking is not on the list.

In mid-2004, Lassen was part of the team that brought Aramark's dining services to USM, along with the Barnes & Noble franchise, which now manages the bookstore. Prior to last year, USM staff managed these operations. The move to outsourcing is part of the overall redevelopment of the campus, adds Lassen. USM is currently constructing a new student union that will include a campus retail area. Aramark and Barnes & Noble are the two anchor tenants. "We needed to provide a 'wow' factor," he explains, referring to the retail area that is expected to draw not only students and staff, but residents in Greater Hattiesburg.

Aramark has already upgraded the dining facilities with new design. Barnes & Noble, also in operation, will eventually become a two-story outlet in the new building. While Lassen will not reveal the financial details of the agreements, he says that both outsourcing agreements are saving money for USM.

Outsourcing has taken on negative connotations during the past few years due mainly to the term being associated with corporations outsourcing jobs to foreign countries. Outsourcing has come to mean "offshoring" to many people because of the issue over companies using cheaper labor from such countries as India, which especially has been singled out for handling call center and IT support positions for U.S. companies. Outsourcing in higher education bears no resemblance to this. Further, outsourcing is nothing new to higher education.

Temple University (Pa.) has outsourced a portion of its IT work to SCT, now SunGard SCT, since 1977. (The contract was most recently renewed in November 2004.) Specifically, SunGard SCT manages Temple's mainframe computer and data center, much of which runs on legacy systems. "It is a 24/7 operation," says Tim O'Rourke, vice president for computer and information services, who adds that SunGard SCT, which is based Malvern, Pa., employs 37 IT professionals to work on the Temple campus. These outsourced employees run daily reports, manage accounts payable, and handle payroll reporting. The arrangement assures O'Rourke that key functions will be completed, while freeing him from worrying about HR issues. "If someone critical is sick, it
is SCT's responsibility to fill that position. Otherwise, I would have to find other resources." O'Rourke estimates that Temple pays several million per year to SCT; the university is responsible for buying equipment.

More recently, Temple has outsourced some telecommunications functions to Verizon. "Cost is a major factor in any outsourcing decision," he says, declining to give specifics about that arrangement. He adds that bringing expertise to campus is another important criteria. Bottom line, says O'Rourke, is the realization that the money spent on outsourcing will "buy" a team that can do the job more efficiently than an in-house team.

This is because a vendor will often pay a professional a higher salary than a college or university can afford. Vendors can make this affordable by dividing an employee's time across various campus projects, or between different institutions. SunGard SCT might pay a database administrator--a very in-demand job that does not need to be done on-site--an annual salary of $70,000 to $90,000, whereas a higher education institution might start a professional at $50,000, estimates Mike Macos, the company's vice president of outsourcing and hosting.

New Trends Emerging

On the surface, outsourcing in higher education really doesn't look much different than it did a decade ago, says Ronald Phipps, senior associate for the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Higher Education Policy, a nonprofit think tank. The services that have most likely been outsourced by higher education have not changed much over time. These include food service, bookstore management, and facilities, he says.

But a closer look reveals some hints of change.

According to a study supported by UNICCO, a Houston-based facilities maintenance firm, and presented in a white paper by the Institute for Higher Education Policy, 91 percent of higher education institutions surveyed in 2002 outsourced some type of campus service. This was up from 82 percent in 2000.

Of the 112 colleges and universities that participated in the study, 65 percent outsourced two to five services; only 13 percent outsourced five or more. Food services were far and away the most likely to be outsourced, with 61 percent of IHEs reporting that they do so. The bookstore came in second, at 52 percent. Next came the endowment fund, legal services, housekeeping, and janitorial functions

While there is some predictability to higher education's use of outsourcing, there are twists. More schools are slowly adding IT to the list of outsourced services. Temple's 28-year history with SCT aside, outsourcing IT will continue to grow as more and more IHEs look to reduce costs and improve efficiencies.

There may be more contracts, such as the ones Community College of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania Health System have with the Dallas-based Affiliated Computer Services, to handle mainframe operations, processing, web hosting, storage, and disaster recovery services. Other higher ed technology vendors, such as Datatel of Fairfax, Va., are being tapped for IT outsourcing contracts. A company partner, Verifications, Minneapolis, is conducting background checks for Doane College (Neb.) and Elgin Community College (Ill.).

George Washington University (D.C.) relies on the Washington, D.C.-based Blackboard to handle certain financial transactions related to its campus card system. Since fall 2003, Blackboard's BbOne program has supported the university's campus card program. George Washington's GWorld One card is like an ATM/debit card, used by students, staff, and faculty who shop and eat at restaurants on campus and off. Blackboard's technology is licensed to handle the volume of merchant transactions generated by on-campus and off-campus restaurants and retailers who are part of the GWorld One program.

The card program is nothing new at George Washington, adds Debbie Cary Wright, director of the GWorld Card Program. In 1997, the university began allowing students to buy campus services with their ID cards. What is new is the partnership with Blackboard. By fall 2003, the program had expanded on campus and off. There were 60 to 70 partner merchants and an additional 60 interested in coming on board. "We were becoming victims of our own success," Wright says.

The number of merchant transactions climbed to 5,000 per day. At first, the staff of the internal card office tried to handle the workload. It was clear that the staff--made up of Wright, an additional four customer service representatives, two application analysts, and an assistant director--needed help. Besides, juggling the transactions is not where Wright and the administration wanted to be putting their energy, she adds. Outsourcing to Blackboard gave George Washington's staff access to an infrastructure that would deal with the merchants in setting up the program and rectifying transaction balances on a daily basis. While Wright cannot release the
details of the contract, she asserts that the merchant program generates revenue for George Washington. Blackboard is paid an undisclosed percentage on each transaction.

According to an Educause Center for Applied Research summary titled "The Outlook for ASP and IT Outsourcing in Higher Education in the U.S. and Canada," such IT outsourcing activity in higher ed is forecast to grow at a 17 percent annual growth rate between 2001 and 2006. This trend, which some observers dub "netsourcing," includes schools such as George Washington which pay licensing fees for ASPs, otherwise known as application service providers, that allow them to access browser-based applications without having to install software and successive upgrades on campus.

The growth statistic should not overstate the trend, however. The Educause summary notes that IT outsourcing in higher education accounted for only $782 million in spending in 2001, a very modest number when compared to the $57 billion for IT outsourcing spent by the U.S. commercial sector that same year, or the $6.4 billion spent by the U.S. federal government.

Still, the trend will continue, says the Educause report, as more colleges and universities incorporate e-business solutions. Vendor services will be needed to enable seamless money transfers, online registration, tuition payments, grades and transcripts, and student loan data.

IT outsourcing can be divided into two distinct categories, adds John Krieger, president of Bridger, a property, operations and technology firm. One group of vendors is being tapped to manage software applications, including ERP, admissions records, and financial data. SCT, Datatel, and Jenzabar, Cincinnati, Ohio, are some of the vendors who provide these services. The other IT category is network administration. SCT Collegis division can handle this, as does Datatel and Krieger's own firm, Bridger.

'Co-sourcing' is Another Option

Some colleges and universities are banding together to form consortia that, in turn, seek outsourced services that benefit the group. The Boston Consortium took shape in 1995 when the CFOs of 11 Boston-area colleges and universities came together to compare operating budgets, explains Philip DiChiara, managing director. Since then, executives at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, Harvard University, Berklee College of Music, Boston University, Brandeis University, Wheaton College, and other member schools have worked together to save money and
find resources.

Its scope includes much more than outsourcing. Specific to outsourcing, though, members have worked together on risk management, professional development and management training, and some internal audit services. Each member school in the consortium pays annual dues that equal no more than the "average tuition of an FTE (full-time, equivalent student)," says DiChiara. The investment has been worth it, adds DiChiara, who reports that collectively the member schools have saved at least $800,000 by working together.

Still other schools, such as Rockford College (Ill.) have gone as far as to outsource the entire outsourcing operation. Just 18 months ago the college hired Bridger. The company, in turn, hired a full-time director of finance and administration to work on campus and to handle all outsourcing. The director, Rob Werthman, is technically a Bridger employee, but he reports to Rockford's president and is involved in strategy.

During his time on campus, Werthman--who happens to be a Rockford alum--has signed contracts to outsource maintenance to Aramark, food service to Chartwells, and bookstore management to Follett. Werthman also has outsourced fleet management to Enterprise, a move that he estimates has saved the school $30,000 in annual car and van costs. No longer are campus-owned cars and vans sitting idle, he explains.

Get Campus 'Buy-in'

How does an administrator break the news that a campus function is being handed to an outside vendor? Carefully, says Don Aungst, vice president for Resource Management and treasurer at Capital University (Ohio). "Get buy-in," advises Aungst. "There shouldn't be someone in my seat saying, 'We are going to outsource because we are going to save money,'" he cautions. Such sentiments and edicts from the administrative office create resentment. They can also set staff fretting that administrators are going to sacrifice quality of service. The best approach is to enlist a team of staffers and managers who are responsible for, or impacted by, the task being considered for outsourcing. This way they will be invested in the cost and quality concerns.

In Capital's case, Aungst and others formed a team last year to review the best options for housekeeping and custodial services. The group included those who had the most contact with the custodial staff.

The team then issued a "request for proposal," or RFP, which is another best practice. The RFP gives very specific needs and guidelines to interested vendors. The RFP provides a reasonable means for evaluating and comparing one to another. Within three months, the team selected UNICCO.

This was not Capital's first experience with outsourcing. The university had already outsourced its food service to Parkhurst Dining Services. At one time Capital also outsourced security, adds Aungst. That program was brought back in-house after staff and students grew concerned about customer satisfaction. "The types of employees the firm was supplying had no higher education experience. We had to train the employees ourselves," he says, adding that the security staff had high turnover. Aungst's experience can be interpreted as another best practice: Review the situation regularly.

Lassen was part of a similar review team at the USM. He organized road trips to other campuses. "We had about 12 people go to the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech. (The latter school's recent downtown campus transformation was particularly impressive, says Lassen.) "They came home realizing how things could be here."

Mark Olson, executive director of sales and marketing for Campus Partners, Columbus, Ohio, and co-author of the book The Business Value Web: Resourcing Business Processing in Higher Education, a text offered by the National Association of College and University Officers, adds that higher ed staffs typically worry about losing control. It takes time to build "consensus."

"There is often the notion that university employees are going to lose their jobs and that outside employees won't be as loyal," acknowledges Keith Polizzano, vice president of business development at Aramark. He directly addresses these fears at the beginning.

In addition, Aramark, like some other vendors, provides training and advancement to employees who will now work for the company. In the end it comes down to proving that a vendor can serve the campus community better while making more financial sense for the school. Once established, the IHE and the vendor can establish solutions that can benefit both for years.

Related Information

Five Outsourcing Tips
1. Know why you want to outsource, says John Krieger, president of
Bridger, a property, operations and technology firm. Are cost savings
driving the decision? Is better service to students the primary aim? Is the
answer a little bit of both? Only strategic planning will yield an answer.

2. Be honest about how outsourcing will impact the staff. Will
there be fewer staffers needed to manage the bookstore, the fleet of
vehicles, the cafeteria? Should there be? One of the benefits of outsourcing
is forming a partnership with an "expert" who can manage systems more
efficiently, says Krieger. This means vendors should be training those who
manage operations and providing them with career opportunities. Usually,
these are just the things a college and university has not been able to do
for service professionals.

3. Don't let outsourcing create more work for the chief business
officer. Managing outsourcing agreements is one of the little-understood
aspects. The often-stated goal is to free up a VPs time to think more about
the big picture. Yet, new outsourcing agreements can saddle this person with
minutia about trash pick-up and the temperature in the residence halls.
That's no good for anyone. Don't have too many direct reports coming to the
CFO and business VP, says Krieger.

4. Negotiate the outsourcing agreement. Don't accept the vendor's
boilerplate contract, says Krieger. Many contracts include "evergreen"
clauses that automatically renew a contract after a period of time that is
stated in the fine print. Don't let that happen. Be sure to build in a
"60-day notice" clause so that it is easy to end the relationship.

5. Measure performance. Develop metrics that clearly show if the
outsourcing vendor is doing a good job. Review these regularly and be
specific, says Krieger. If the job requires a series of monthly preventative
maintenance routines, say so. It is reasonable to ask the vendor to
effectively manage the operating budget within a 2 percent margin.

Affiliated Computer Services is an outsourcing technology company,
Aramark's roster of services cover food, facilities, and technical needs,
Barnes & Noble College Booksellers handles bookstore management on campus,
Blackboard can offer security and course management services on an ASP
Bridger is a property, operations and technology firm,
Campus Partners handles student loan needs, focusing on Perkins Loan
Chartwells provides food service,
Datatel provides technology services for higher education,
Follett's Higher Education Group manages campus bookstores and retail
Jenzabar offers technology solutions for higher ed management,
Johnson Controls handles facilities management and other needs,
National Association of College and University Officers (NACUBO) offers a
catalog of higher education business books,
Parkhurst Dining Services can be found at
Sodexho is a food and facility management company,
SYSCO is a food service company,
The Boston Consortium is a group of 11 colleges and universities,
The Institute for Higher Education Policy is a non-profit think tank that
has analyzed outsourcing trends,
Honeywell provides safety and environmental systems,
SunGard SCT provides IT services to higher education,
UNICCO Service Company provides facilities management,
Erika Shaker
CCPA Education Project
Tel 613.563.1341 x310, Fax 613.233.1458

Ontario university and college faculty, staff and students urge Prime Minister to deliver on postsecondary funding


Prime Minister urged to deliver on postsecondary funding

TORONTO - Ontario university and college faculty, staff, and students faxed a letter to Prime Minister Paul Martin today pressing him for an immediate $5 billion increase in federal transfers to help Ontario fund urgent initiatives such as postsecondary education improvements.

The letter is co-signed by representatives from the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the College Student Alliance (CSA), the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA), the Ontario Public Service Employees' Union (OPSEU), and the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA).

In the letter, the university and college advocates highlight the neglect of higher education in this year's federal budget.

"The absence of new core funding for postsecondary education in Federal Budget 2005 represents a glaring omission," the letter states.

"Lack of federal leadership is not a legitimate excuse for Canada's Premiers to fail to invest in postsecondary education. But the federal government must come to the table too."

The signatories to the letter endorse an Ontario Legislature resolution calling on the federal government to narrow the $23 billion gap in contributions from Ontario taxpayers.

They join a chorus of voices backing Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's call for significant growth in federal funding to help the province enhance critical initiatives such as postsecondary education. University and college presidents recently sent a similar request and a coalition of health care advocates wrote the Prime Minister requesting a $5 billion increase in federal transfers to Ontario.


For more information contact: Henry Mandelbaum, OCUFA Executive Director (416) 979-2117 x 29 or Mark Rosenfeld, Associate Executive Director, (416) 979-2117 x 34.

Letter to the Prime Minister

March 8, 2005

The Right Honourable Paul Martin
Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A2

Dear Prime Minister:

Ontario university and college faculty, staff, and students stand united behind the unanimous resolution of the Ontario Legislature calling on the federal government to narrow the $23 billion gap in net contributions from the citizens of our province.

You have heard the same message in a letter signed by Ontario's university and college presidents. Specifically, we call for an immediate $5 billion increase in federal transfers to Ontario to strengthen public funding for our colleges and universities.

We fully expect the provincial government to show leadership on postsecondary education with increased multi-year funding in the upcoming provincial budget. However, we believe it is also time for the federal government to deliver its fair share toward higher learning.

The absence of new core funding for postsecondary education in Federal Budget 2005 represents a glaring omission. As former Ontario Premier Bob Rae noted in his recent review of postsecondary education, the federal government has been "avoiding its responsibilities towards higher education" ever since it eliminated Established Programs Financing and replaced it with the "less generous" Canada Social Transfer.

The Canada Social Transfer is lower today, in real terms, than it was in 1992-93 when the nation was weathering the most severe recession since the Great Depression.

As Premier Dalton McGuinty said in the Ontario Legislature on February 24, 2005: "At a time when the strength of our economy depends on the skills of our people, the national government failed to
invest in the institutions that sharpen those skills."

Lack of federal leadership is not a legitimate excuse for Canada's Premiers to fail to invest in postsecondary education. But the federal government must come to the table too.


Jesse Greener
Ontario Chairperson
Canadian Federation of Students

Paul Moist
National President
Canadian Union of Public Employees

Kerrie McQuaig
College Student Alliance

Michael Doucet
Ontario Confederation of
University Faculty Associations
The Right Honourable Paul Martin

Paddy Musson
Chair, Academic Divisional Executive,
Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology
and Professor of Sociology, Fanshawe College

Alison Forbes
Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance

An invitation from Greenpeace USA

The Organizing Term is a semester-long training program for students who want to learn the skills necessary to become one of the country's leading environmental activists. Students in the program will receive trainings from the nation's best and most experienced campaigners and acquire hands-on experience working on a Greenpeace campaign. Students will also travel to Europe for a weeklong training with leading international environmental organizers and share skills with students working on similar issues around the world. In most cases students are able to receive credit at their school for participating in the program.

We are currently accepting applications for the summer and fall sessions.
The Summer Session is: May 31st - August 5th
The Fall Session is: August 29th - December 16th

Greenpeace knows that students have played an integral role in every major social movement in recent history and that we cannot win the fight for a green and peaceful world without working with and training the next generation of environmental leaders. We are looking for the best college students, primarily freshmen or sophomores, who are passionate, bold, smart, visionary, strategic, savvy, and ready to stand up and join us in the trenches.

You can learn more about this program or apply visit:

Better yet, give Marie a call at (202) 319-2413 or e-mail her at
The deadline to apply is March 25th.

For a green and peaceful earth,
John Passacantando
Executive Director
Greenpeace USA

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Women 2000 women's hockey and human rights

Women 2000 is a group of community women, based in Saskatoon, who are committed to action that works towards equality for women. In April 2000 we launched a human rights complaint under the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code against the University of Saskatchewan. Women 2000 alleged that the University discriminates against women because of their gender and in particular we believe that the women’s inter-university hockey program, run through Huskie Athletics, is treated in an inferior manner as compared to the men’s program.

We recently learned that our complaint is proceeding to the inquiry stage of the human rights process. Although we are pleased with this development it is a long time in coming. Several years ago we entered into mediation with the University and the process failed. In addition to spending considerable time gathering background information to support our allegations we also drafted and presented a settlement offer to the University. They refused our offer.

As we prepare for the inquiry we invite you to share your experience. What is happening surrounding women’s hockey at your university and in your community? Are you aware of actions similar to ours? Who are the gender and sport experts who might be called to testify on our behalf?

Since Women 2000 has to cover legal costs associated with the inquiry, we welcome your ideas for launching successful fund raising campaigns. All the legal work to date has been pro bono and has been done by Leslie Belloc Pinder from the firm Hnatyshyn Gough. We are hoping to change that arrangement in the future because the work is becoming more intense as the hearing date approaches.

Thank you for your anticipated response. Please contact us at

Glenis Joyce for Women 2000
March 3, 2005

CAW woos Toyota's Cambridge workers

The Toronto Star wrote a story on the CAW making another attempt to unionize the Toyota plant in Cambridge. A quick look in the CAW website did not make another link to this item.

Life on campus getting tougher, lonelier

the Toronto Star reported this among other interesting information in their article on university life:

University of Toronto Students are not happy about their environment.

York land sale to be reviewed

as quoted from the Toronto Star

Edward Saunders, who retired from the bench in 1997, was chosen by York after a two-week search for a reviewer who would be "independent and respected." Marshall Cohen, chair of York's board of governors, said Saunders will be given access to all land sale documents in York's possession and the university will make available "all personnel whom Mr. Saunders would like to interview."

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Local Election Results

Very few changes to the Local's representatives at tonight's Elections.
The Entire Executive was returned in their same positions.

Some changes in the Health & Safety Committee and in the Stewards were made.

Two of our Negotiation Committees were constituted for this year's Collective Bargaining sessions, one for 1356 and the second for 1356-01.
The third one for 1356-02 will be constituted later in the year.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

LabourStart's First UK Campaign, Ever

Help NUMAST get Union Recognition for Merchant Navy Officers

Even though LabourStart has been based in London since 1998, no British union has asked for our help on a global campaign. Until now.

This week, the Merchant Navy officers union NUMAST has asked for our help in publicizing the anti-union practices of Hoverspeed, a cross-channel ferry company owned by a US-based multinational company.

It's important to turn this into one of our most successful campaigns not only to convince the company (Hoverspeed) to recognize unions, but also to convince British unions to recognize the importance of the Internet as a tool for global campaigning.

Please take a moment and send off your message to Hoverspeed:

Health & Safety - Ice on the Walkways

Interesting Statistical Information on slips and falls
York University's Grounds & Vehicles group usually does an admirable job of making sure that slips & falls are at least minimized.
The Health & Safety Committees regularly receive reports on the rates of slips and falls on campus. York should have less than the usual rate as described in the Star Article.

Land Deal Controversy Expands!

President Marsden Opines in the Star
She explains how long ago the circumstances for the land sale originated and how the intended look & feel of the campus was decided in 1992.

The Star's Sports Section has now started a new land deal issue
Dave Perkins sums up the issue clearly, thanks.

Mike London has passed away

Michael London passed away March 1, 2005.
His obituary notice was published in the Toronto Star on Wednesday 2 March 2005.

At York University he was a Director of Physical Plant - New Construction.
Prior to retirement he was known on campus as Mike London.

Challenging a McWorld: Lessons for Youth

Challenging McWorld
"Today's youth live, communicate and act in a wired world of corporate logos, symbols and branding. "McWorld" is the symbolic term used to capture the new realities of corporate-driven globalization engulfing young people today. The dynamics of McWorld provide us with a common symbol and language for both understanding and confronting the major issues of corporate globalization

"Challenging McWorld is designed to enable concerned youth to develop skills required for confronting McWorld in their daily lives on several fronts:

- The first section takes up issues of globalization facing youth in high schools and university or college campuses.

- The second deals with issues and challenges facing youth in their workplaces and communities.

- The third addresses some of the major issues of corporate globalization affecting youth in both Canada and the world at large.

- The fourth section is comprised of lesson plans and education supplements designed to make this edition of Challenging McWorld even more accessible and applicable as a teaching and learning resource.

These innovative supplements correspond to the more detailed chapters throughout the book; the suggest activities and topics for discussion that make Challenging McWorld more interactive, and help readers use the research to engage and question the world around them."

Teresa Healy
Senior Research Officer
Canadian Union of Public Employees
21 Florence St, Ottawa, K2P 0W6

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Browser Stats show an Interesting Trend

Since the inception of this blog we have found that the ratio of Internet Explorer [various flavours] to Mozilla-based [Firefox, Mozilla, Netscape] browsers has tilted strongly toward the Mozilla-based. In the early months [November-January] 66% was IE, 32% was Mozilla-based, and even 1-2% Safari. This has since switched dramatically to become 40% IE, 59% Mozilla-based and a new entrant of a Google browser at 1%, I am guessing that the Safari component has become smaller than 1% and no longer appears. The stats are a bit skewed as I use Firefox to load pages and the Executive are encouraged to use a Mozilla-based browser, but that hardly explains the totality of the stats.

More Commentary on the Land Sale

March 2005 Critical Times
This group of York University employee groups has strong opinions on the matter of the land sale.

Our Announcement has been published in Critical Times

Our Announcement Regarding 20 January 2005
In Critical Times look for the last letter on page 3, at the right-hand bottom.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

CN Rail and Steelworkers settle

USWA Local 2004
The new agreement is the first agreement for this group within Steel. It is a four year agreement of 3%, 3%, 3%, & 4 % starting 1 January 2004 and ending 31 December 2007.

Storm Brewing In the Board of Governors Suite?

Allegations have been raised by about conflict of interest between a member of the BOG and Tribute Homes.

Tribute Homes is building homes on the south portion of previous university property along Murray Ross Parkway.

The Saturday Star Article broke this story as one of the Front Page Headlines.

Sunday Star continues the investigation

Monday 28 February Star letter to the editor

Tuesday 1 March Star item

A statement from York University on Tuesday 1 March 2005.

Should we would start to wonder how this may affect the future continuing relationship between the university and the newspaper?

It was recorded in various BoG Minutes

York Board has a Conflict of Interest Document and the article refers to Mr. Joseph Sorbara.

Here the rest of the distinguished board are listed, generally with bios.