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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Toronto Labour Day Parade - CUPE Toronto District Council

Toronto CUPE District Council invites Toronto CUPE members to come out and join together on Monday September 5th for the annual Labour Day Parade.

The District Council group will be meeting on University Avenue South of Dundas at 9:30 AM.

We hope to see you there.

Source Toronto CUPE District Council

As a note the parade marchers gain access to the CNE for no charge.

Radio Fee CBC - 21st Century Strike Newspaper and Broadcast

Locked out workers at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation have been pushing the envelope with their use of the new communications technology, as the dispute enters its second week. A good source of information about the dispute is the union's new website,

They have also been creating the equivalent of a traditional strike newspaper, but have done so using cutting edge technology -- streaming multimedia, MP3 and podcasts.

To make their content easily accessible to trade unionists around the world, we're stopping all regularly scheduled broadcasts on our online radio station, Radio LabourStart, and switching over to broadcast these alternative radio programs created by the locked-out CBC workers. We will broadcast nothing else until the lockout ends. To tune in, visit

Show your solidarity with the CBC workers by listening to their broadcasts on Radio LabourStart today. Tell your co-workers to tune in as well. Spread the word!

Source Labourstart

Post-Secondary Workers and All Workers in Australia in Serious Trouble

Ever since the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, people have become familiar with governments raising and lowering threat levels. In the USA, for example, the threat levels are color-coded. A "low" level of threat is green, an "elevated" threat level is yellow, and "severe" -- meaning an immediate threat of attack -- is red.

It's tempting to apply to concept of color-coded threat levels to workers' rights as well.

In Australia, following the re-election of the right-wing Howard government and its capture of both houses of parliament, we should be speaking of a threat level of "severe". Australian unions are deeply worried that the government is embarking on an attack on workers rights which is unprecedented in its ferocity.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) is today calling on workers in Australia and all over the world to send a loud and clear message to the Australian government reminding them of their "responsibility to respect the core labour standards" which Australia has signed up to.

Please go to and send off your message right now.

Then -- pass on this email to other members of your union.

It's now the weekend in Australia. Let's make sure that on Monday morning, when Kevin Andrews, the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, comes into his office and checks his email that his inbox he finds thousands of our messages.

Spread the word: the threat level to workers' rights in Australia has been raised to "severe".

Source Labourstart

University workers in Austarlia have been contacting university workers around the world looking for guidance and HELP!

Privitization + Globalization = Disaster for BC Hospital Workers

We in the trade union movement often say that privatization is a bad thing, or even that globalization has negative consequences, and sometimes the two come together and give us an absolutely classic example of what we're trying to say.

This is what's happening today in British Columbia, Canada, where a recently-privatized sector of the health care system has been taken over by a Paris-based multinational company, Sodexho. The result has been catastrophic. Wages for the mostly female workers have been cut nearly in half. Health care unions representing the workers have made an entirely reasonable demand: Sodexho must sit down and negotiate a fair contract and a decent wage. The company refuses.

You can help.

Please send off your message to Sodexho by going here:

origin Labourstart

York University has Sohdexho some operating food services [including all of the Tim Hortons and some pubs (including the Cock and Bull)] and a hotel component on campus known as the Executive Learning Centre, as part of the Schulich School.

Ontario Community Colleges Close to Strike

OPSEU reports that this year the first strike since 1979 could start on September 7, 2005.

Course registration would be the first impact students would feel as their new computer system has been in use for only one year and only the OPSEU members were fully capable of operating the new system.

Source of Labour Day is Canada

This is an edited version of an article that first appeared in the CLC’s Canadian Labour magazine in 1961, by editor Clifford Scotton.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Youngstown State University's Unions Settle Contracts

The Faculty at Youngstown originally rejected a three year pact. That rejection appears related to issues around post-retirement teaching issues.

A similar issue arose when the York University Faculty Association [YUFA] struck a few years ago.

They did settle according to the link in the title, but different to the one rejected a week before.

Other employee groups at Youngstown have also had problems with their negotiations, but also settled at the last minute.

CBC Lock Out Rally for the Workers

Please join the Toronto campaign launch this week

CBC Listeners Locked Out
Support Rally

Thursday, September 1
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Simcoe Park
Toronto, ON
(beside main CBC Headquarters building on Front Street between John and Simcoe Streets, across from the Metro Convention Centre)

Ontario Apprenticeship Programmes Expand

A strong apprenticeship program
is an important part of our Reaching Higher plan for education.

as spoken by Chris Bentley, Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities

At York University our Local 1356 has been discussing with the management the addition of an Apprenticeship programme to work with our Skilled Trades on campus. Although this discussion was initiated prior to the new Collective Agreement negotiations it was not sufficiently developed at that time to be included in the new Collective Agreement.

Significant work has been done by both sides towards this programme. Investigations have included other universities and the OFL. Each of the existing plans elsewhere has merits but not all components work in our circumstances.

University of Benin in Nigeria akin to a Slave Camp

Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Benin chapter, yesterday described the present working conditions in the university as akin to those of a slave camp.

thanks to Derek Blackadder of CUPE for this lead

Monday, August 22, 2005

With Mixed Feelings We Post this Item

TVO [TV Ontario] has a new twist on the Reality Shows with the 'Best Lecturer' Competition.

Derek Blackadder of CUPE supplied us with this lead

Australia's Victoria University Problems

The union members at Victoria University are boycotting almost all meetings with the university Vice-Chancellor. the unions are readying for a strike on 29 August 2005.

See the 'Scoop', thanks to Derek Blackadder of CUPE for this lead

Sunday, August 21, 2005

York University CUPE Local 1356 Ratifies New Agreement

Sunday 21 August 2005 at a Special Meeting of the 1356 Collective Agreement a new Collective Agreement was Ratified by those members attending.

There were very many items that were included in the changes to create a new Collective Agreement.

The Highlights are as follows:
Agreement from 1 September 2005 to 31 August 2008
Part-time language to be fully integrated into the agreement to remove interpretation errors from the format in use in the agreement ending 31 August 2005.
3% increase to hourly rates on 1 September 2005
3% increase to hourly rates on 1 September 2006
3% increase to hourly rates on 1 September 2007
Contracting-In of Custodial Services at Glendon College within 18 months of the ratification of this agreement.
Improvements in Health Care Benefits to now include Chiropractor, Physiotherapy, and Massage Therapy; changes in limits to Orthotics/Orthopedic Footwear/Custom Hose
Language changes regarding provision of Collective Agreement copies by the employer earlier in the employment for new hires.
Added more Steward positions
Title change from Caretaker to Custodian - management requested
Changes in Bereavement Leave to include mother-in-laws, father-in-laws, and grandparents in the longer time period allowed
Simplification to the Sick Leave telephone numbers
Increase to three Personal Leave days [from two]
Cap on Vacation accumulation up to 40 days from 30 days
The extra week for longer service employees will now be available from age 55 with a factor of 80.
Summer hours will now be 1 hours shorter per week [usually on Friday] to match other university workers
Improvements in the Overtime Banked Time use to 10 days per year, and the ability to take 5 days at one time.
Maintenance On-Call members will collect mileage.
Clarification and inclusion of the settlements regarding OHIP excluded testing and immunizations.
Dental improvement change is to Orthodontics to 80% without changing the limits
New Post-Retirement Benefits for members retiring after 31 August 2005 - $1500 annual limit including allowing the use for re-insurance.
Improvement to Footwear and Tool monetary allowances, with not further requirement to provide receipts and it is to be paid upon request.
Increased $ for Joint Training Committee
Increase in the uniform allocation per year [from 3 pieces to 4]
Movement of current Painters to an expanded classification of Painter, Plaster, Tilesetter in a higher Trades group
Formal acknowledge of discussion to the creation of an Apprenticeship Program
Timelined Inter-bargaining unit job posting capability.
Removal of existing Lead Hand positions as of 1 February 2006
Language clarification on Roving Crews in Custodial positions
Continuity of Letter on Staffing of newly owned University Buildings

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Potential Strike by the Support Staff at University of Guelph

Steelworkers members of the University of Guelph Support Staff are looking at strike action.

University of Regina Conference Looks at Privatization of Information

University of Regina [Saskatchewan] is organizing a Conference focusing on the issues surrounding of private ownership of information, as expressed in a university setting in the results of research conducted at a university, but funded by private sources.

source: NUPGE and
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