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.

Monday, July 18, 2005

New Zealand National Day of Campus Action

University staff are taking strike action between 20 July and 4 August to secure a collective agreement across seven universities, and a decent pay rise.
from Scoop Independent News

Thanks to Brother Blackadder for this item

Australia's Proposed Non-Compulsory Student Union Membership

Students and staff at Australia's largest university will boycott classes and stage rallies this week in protest against the federal government's proposed voluntary student unionism (VSU).
from The Age news

A proposal of this nature would potentially reduce the activities that Student Unions contribute which directly assist the Universities throughout the year, including the Orientation at the start of the school year, through to the Additional Insurance Coverages that have been arranged through them for all students, and of course the balancing of the political powers between students, university administration, and the governments. The losses that this "savings" would create would heavily outweigh the so-called "savings".
Direct Link to the Strike Headquarters

thanks to Brother Blackadder for this story lead

Thursday, July 14, 2005

McMaster has a Tentative Settlement

According to McMaster University:

McMaster, CUPE reach tentative agreement
Posted on July 13, 2005 at 12:00 PM.

McMaster University and CUPE Local 3906, unit 2 reached a tentative agreement in mediation talks last night (Tuesday). The unit represents sessional lecturers and music instructors.

The parties will be seeking ratification of the tentative agreement from their respective principals. Details of the settlement will be confidential until that time.


Thanks to one of our readers in a comment.

Janitor's Rights

From the age of 14, Isaias Garcia cleaned office buildings, waxing floors and scrubbing bathrooms, as long as 16 hours a day.

For the first 40 hours a week, he says, he was paid under the name Ramon Caballero, and for the next 40 hours as Iziqueil Gonzalez. The cleaning company's managers used these names of former employees, he says, to avoid paying him time-and-a-half.

July 13, 2005 Steven Greenhouse The New York Times

This content of US article can probably be taken elsewhere in the world just as easily.

The value of having a Union again would have helped injustice of this type.

As our local states regularly reminds management:
We may clean the door mats but we refuse to be the door mats.

Ken Barger, as President CUPE Local 1356 as was stated in a Committee meeting at York University in the 1990's,
Ken is currently the Local's Vice-President.

UK also does Learning through your Union

The York University unions have been using and doing these activities for many years. Not just CUPE Local 1356 but the others as well. Our own Local's activities have included English as a Second Language [with a Certificate from George Brown College], basic computer literacy, and our on-going training of activists in Stewarding, Health & Safety, and WSIB among others.

It is nice to see a through recognition of these activities occuring.

thanks to the Labour Headline News Digest email for this lead.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

9,000 University of California Nurses to Strike July 21

OAKLAND, Calif., July 8 /PRNewswire/ – In what is believed to be the largest single strike by registered nurses ever in the United States, some 9,000 University of California RNs have called a one day strike Thursday, July 21 at several of the state’s best known medical institutions, the California Nurses Association announced today.

In a series of large membership meetings held over the past two weeks, UC RNs, Nurse Practitioners, and Nurse Anesthetists voted by an overwhelming 95% to reject a contract proposal by University administrators and authorize the walkout. The strike will affect large UC medical centers in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, San Diego, San Francisco, Davis, and Irvine, and student health centers in Riverside, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and Berkeley. CNA said that the University has refused to bargain in good faith provoking the walkout.

At the center of the dispute, said CNA, is the University’s hard line stance on two issues linked to the high profile attack by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on nurses in recent months – retirement security and safe staffing.

UC plans major cuts in nurses’ retirement plan matching Schwarzenegger’s goals

from Labour Headline News Digest

Strike looms at McMaster University

HAMILTON, Ont. – Sessional lecturers and music instructors at McMaster University, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), are set to begin a strike over job security if an agreement with university management cannot be reached.

“Our struggle is about job security, and about respect and dignity,” said Ben Doyle, president of CUPE 3906. “Sessional lecturers teach the same courses as full time faculty at the same university, yet we are treated very differently. For example, each semester we have to reapply to teach our courses, and there are no guarantees that we will be rehired.”

Throughout the year, McMaster employs over 300 sessional lecturers and music instructors to teach undergraduate courses at the university. During the summer, the 117 lecturers and instructors teach the majority of the courses offered to well over 3,000 students. The union’s last contract expired on April 30th, 2005. The sessional lecturers will be in a legal strike position at 12:01 am on July 14th, with mediation talks scheduled for July 12th.

“We will do everything possible to avert a strike, but management will need to be committed and come to mediation with an offer that includes real job security and decent wages,” said Mike Skinner, chief negotiator for CUPE 3906.

“Our colleagues at York University, the University of Guelph, and others, have won strong job security language, and we are determined to do the same at McMaster,” said Doyle. “We are hopeful that we will be able to iron out the job security issue during mediation talks, otherwise a strike looks to be unavoidable.”

Perhaps the current round of negotiations will end in an agreement.
CUPE Local 3903 [noted above] is also at the table at this time.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Sodexho workers vote to strike

At York University we have Sodexho food services on campus.

This may give them a reason to mobilize.

AUPE and U of C reach Agreement in Mediation for Contracting-out Protocol

AUPE Union Representative Ray Domeij, who provides union services for Local 052 members, said the settlement means that if the U of C contemplates contracting out in future, "AUPE will be in a position where contracting out will not necessarily be the first option and can be used to minimize the impact on members."

An interesting turn of events at a University in Canada.

Thanks to Labour Headline News Digest

Asthma at Work

Work-related asthma is fast becoming one of the most commonly diagnosed occupational respiratory diseases in the US, a new study has found. An analysis of survey responses from nearly 21,000 adults, published in the June issue of the American Journal of Public Health, revealed that men and women who work in printing or publishing, furniture or lumber, health care, and entertainment and recreation, were most likely to be diagnosed with asthma, as are those who work for automobile dealers and gas stations. 'This study stresses that workers employed in these industries need to be informed by the employer and aware that they are potentially exposed to asthmagens and the seriousness of their effect,' said study author Dr Ki Moon Bang of the US government occupational health research body NIOSH. According to the American Thoracic Society, an estimated 15 per cent of all adult cases of asthma may be related to the workplace. Based on this estimate, Bang and colleagues write, approximately 1.3 million adult asthma cases could be attributed to occupational exposure. 'This article should increase awareness among employers and workers about increased risk of asthma in specific industries,' said Bang. The US prevalence estimates are in line with those for the UK highlighted in the TUC’s 1995 book, Asthma at work: Causes, effects and what to do about them.

courtesy of the UK TUC Risks 212 and Labour Headline News Digest which is a service of

University of California clerical workers took to the picket lines

Coalition of University Employees represents 16,000 clerical workers in the UC system including about 1,500 at UC Davis. Positions include administrative assistants, library assistants and dispatchers, although the public safety employees didn't join the walkout.

This is an on-going issue at the University of California.