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, October 31, 2005

HEU reaches first contract with ARAMARK Corporation

The Hospital Employees’ Union has reached a tentative first contract with ARAMARK Corporation that improves wages and guarantees other rights and protections for 700 cleaners working in health facilities operated by the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.

HEU is recommending the settlement to its ARAMARK members who will take part in ratification votes to be held over the next two weeks.

The tentative collective agreement raises the hourly wage rate from $10.67 to $12.47 upon ratification by incorporating temporary bonuses and a wage adjustment into the pay grid. Workers also receive a signing bonus.

Additional increases over the next two years will bring the hourly wage to $13.05 by October, 2007.

“This agreement provides an immediate and much-needed financial boost for our members and their families,” says HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy. “And better wages will reduce staff turnover and improve services to patients and the public.”

In addition to wage increases, the tentative contract includes a comprehensive grievance procedure, harassment protections and seniority and other workplace rights.

“It’s been a long road for our ARAMARK members and they should be very proud of what they’ve been able to achieve,” says Darcy. “This is a significant first step towards recognizing the critical role they play on the health care team.”

More than 3,000 workers employed by ARAMARK and its competitors, Sodexho and Compass, have joined the HEU since health support services were privatized by some BC health authorities beginning in 2003.
We generally stay with university news, but as we have Aramark here at the university, it was felt that it is important to show this item.

Friday, October 28, 2005

University Exploiting Instructors: MUNFA

Memorial University is being accused of exploiting its over 300 per-course instructors, a group that's being courted by MUN's faculty Association in the name of better wages and benefits. A rally today at MUN drew attention to the per-course instructors' concerns. MUNFA President Doctor Bill Schipper says those employees have no medical benefits, no seniority and no protections whatsoever.
this lead from Labour Headline News Digest a service of

McMaster Students Vote NO to Coca-Cola Contract Renewal

McMaster University undergraduate students have voted to oppose renewal of a $6-million agreement with Coca-Cola.

By a margin of nearly three to one, the students voted against the giant American soft drink company in a campus referendum.

The Silhouette is the McMaster Student newspaper - it is not currently updated

this lead from Labour Headline News Digest which is a service of

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Tentative Settlement with CUPE Local 1334 & University of Guelph

GUELPH, Ont. – A tentative agreement was reached early this morning between the union representing University of Guelph trades, maintenance and service workers and university management, averting a strike that would have affected Guelph University students.

“We are happy that we managed to reach a deal without a strike,” said Janice Folk-Dawson, president of CUPE 1334. “Our executive will be recommending the deal to our members for ratification.”

The workers, who are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, will vote on the tentative deal on October 28th. Details of the deal will not be released until after ratification. The workers’ last contract expired on April 30th, 2005.

Doncaster College Lecturers Set to Strike

Members of university and college workers' union NATFHE have voted for a walk-out on November 3 if college chiefs do not give them an assurance that there will be no compulsory redundancies.

Members of NATFHE – The University & College Lecturers’ Union, say they will walk out next month unless Doncaster College management can assure them by the end of this month that there will be no compulsory redundancies.

this originated from a lead from Derek Blackadder of CUPE

Thursday, October 20, 2005

CUPE Local 1356 at Guelph

A delegation of York University CUPE Local 1356 attended a rally in support of our Sisters and Brothers of CUPE Local 1334 University of Guelph.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Sid Ryan to lead solidarity rally for Guelph University workers

GUELPH, Ont. – CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan will lead a solidarity rally for University of Guelph trades, maintenance and service workers at 12:00 noon, on Thursday, October 20th, at Branion Plaza, in Guelph.

Who? Sid Ryan, CUPE Ontario president
Irene Harris, executive vice-president, OFL

What? Solidarity rally for CUPE 1334 members

When? Thursday, October 20th, at 12:00 noon

Where? Branion Plaza (north doors of University Centre)
Guelph, Ontario

Sid Ryan will join Irene Harris, executive vice-president of the Ontario Federation of Labour, to support CUPE 1334 members and raise awareness of the workers’ outstanding bargaining issues.

The University of Guelph workers are fighting management demands for benefit concessions. Wages and pension issues are also unresolved. The 280 workers will be in a legal strike position on October 25, at 12:01 a.m. Mediation talks are scheduled for Monday, October 24.

Laurentian University Faculty Settles

The Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) had already set up strike headquarters, made picket signs and rented portable bathrooms Monday evening when union negotiators announced they had reached a tentative agreement with LU administration.

The faculty union representing about 400 professors and librarians was planning to go on strike Oct. 12 if a deal was not reached. The two parties had been engaged in intense “lock-down” negotiations since Oct. 4.
Another lead from Derek Blackadder of CUPE

University Lecturers in Kenyatta University Strike

The Nation (Nairobi) October 11, 2005
Kenyatta University lecturers plan to go on strike today - three days before the graduation ceremony - to demand higher pay.

But the institution has warned the more than 700 lecturers they would be risking disciplinary action if they boycott work. Graduation is scheduled for Friday.
More from the Kenya Times October 7, 2005

Previous item on this matter.

LabourStart Book of the Day - 19 Oct 2005

A book about organizing Professors, TAs, GAs, RAs in US universities.

This has been a long difficult road by the groups, some with good but temporary gains over the years.

Chittagong University teachers’ strike

Chittagong University Progotishil Shikkhak Samaj, a forum of progressive teachers, will go on an indefinite strike from today to realise their seven-point demand.

Their demands include immediate removal of AJM Nooruddin, vice-chancellor of the university, for appointing 100 teachers on "political consideration instead of merit".

They also accused the vice-chancellor of appointing 35 employees illegally.

The teachers alleged the university authorities are buying time to declare schedule for election of deans although three months have already elapsed.

Prof. Helaluddin Nizami, former general secretary of the forum, said they had placed their demands to the university authorities on September 17 and enforced an indefinite strike on Sept 27 as their demands went unheeded.

The strike was called off on Sept 28 at the request of the university authorities and the Shikkhak Samaj give them until Oct 17 to meet their demands. "As our demands went unheard, we are going to enforce the strike tomorrow," said Prof Helaluddin.
The Daily Star [Bangladesh newspaper]

The lead courtesy of Derek Blackadder of CUPE

Janitors on frontlines of war against American working class

Non-US companies are taking advantage of US laws even if they appear to have good labour relations practices in their originating countries. This is expressed in this website that is linked at the title.

this is part of an occasional series on Justice for Janitors

The lead is from Labour Headline News Digest is a service of

Support Your Union Representative

Over a thousand union reps responded to the TUC online survey earlier this year, and the results are due to be discussed at a Congress House seminar held later today to launch the TUC's new bargaining to organise campaign.

Reps spoke of being picked on and bullied, set impossible deadlines, with life generally made difficult, simply because they had decided to volunteer as the workplace rep.

Some described how the attitude towards the union varied enormously depending upon which level of management in the company they were dealing with. Often local managers who were keen to work closely with the union found themselves over-ruled by bosses higher up the chain. And there were instances where senior managers' good relationship with the union was constantly undermined by supervisors at a local level.

TUC is the 'Trades Union Congress' in the UK

Thanks to for their Labour Headline News Digest Service

Talks held between university teachers and the University College of the North to resolve outstanding issues

OTTAWA, Oct. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Representatives of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) and the University College of the North (UCN) made progress at a meeting in Ottawa yesterday toward resolving significant concerns CAUT has with plans for the new institution.

"We were encouraged by the response of UCN officials in our discussions about the need for UCN staff to have academic freedom and tenure, for the institution's senior academic body to have full responsibility for setting educational policy, and for the institution to be arms-length from government," said James Turk, executive director of CAUT.

"UCN and the Manitoba Government Employees General Union (MGEU) have taken the first steps to negotiating typical university academic freedom and tenure provisions," Turk said. "More work needs to be done," he added, "but the biggest challenge is for the Manitoba government to amend the UCN Act to give UCN's Learning Council powers similar to equivalent bodies at southern Manitoba universities and to ensure that programs cannot be imposed on UCN."

MKO Grand Chief Dr. Sydney Garrioch also attended the meeting at the invitation of UCN.

"We are committed to further work together to support the successful resolution of the issues that remain," said Tony Bos, president of UCN.

In light of the progress made at the meeting and a commitment of all parties to continue working to resolve the outstanding problems, CAUT officials agreed to recommend that a motion to censure UCN as early as late November be postponed to the April 2006 meeting of the CAUT Council.

MKO Grand Chief Dr. Sydney Garrioch expressed in his closing remarks that the "MKO has had a long standing commitment to the creation of UCN and that the time is now to support and celebrate the new university college for its contribution to peoples and communities of northern Manitoba."
Thanks to for this item

Union Victory on Health Premium

Divisional Court has upheld an Arbitrator's Ruling that the employer must pay the health care premium for the UFCW employees of Lapoint-Fisher Nursing Home. This is the first case to go to Judicial Review.
Local 175 wins major decision regarding OHIP premiums

On October 17, 2005, the Ontario Divisional Court released its decision to uphold the earlier ruling of the Arbitrator in a grievance against the Lapointe-Fisher Nursing Home.

The original arbitration, concerning the employer’s obligation to pay a health premium introduced by the McGuinty Liberals in their first budget, took place in September 2004.

The Arbitrator ruled that the employer was responsible to pay this premium on behalf of its employees and based his decision on the collective agreement language, which required the employer to pay 100% of the OHIP premiums.

The employer filed an application for judicial review claiming the Arbitrator’s decision was unreasonable. The Divisional Court ruled that the Arbitrator’s decision was reasonable and dismissed the judicial review application. As a result, the Arbitrator’s decision stands and the employer is required to pay 100% of the OHIP premiums in accordance with the language of the collective agreement.

The payment of the OHIP premium has been at issue in a number of workplaces and has been the subject of numerous arbitrations. The obligation of an employer to pay the premiums, notwithstanding the Court’s decision, is dependent upon the language in each collective agreement.

This decision will have ramifications for unionized workers throughout Ontario. The Locals 175 & 633 saw this as an important issue for working people and fought this battle at arbitration and in the courts.
Hopefully other employers will read this decision and follow suit.
More complete information from Lancasterhouse

York University Pension Plan Trustees have a new Chair - David Tsubouchi

Our Pension Trustees report that David Tsubouchi also has added the position of the Chair of the York University Pension Plan Trustees.

Lancaster House Report on the Walmart Store Closure

Lancaster House publishes reports on a vaiety of items.

This time it has a report on the reasons for the Quebec Labour Tribunal reversing its previous ruling.

The store was considered to have been closed as a retaliation to the union becoming certified as the sole bargaining agent of the employees.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Wellness @ Work

The Employee Well-Being Office and the Wellness Steering Committee
at York University is pleased to introduce a
Wellness @ Work
Lunch & Learn Series
Brown Bag it - Lunch and Learn
Session #1 is scheduled for Monday, October 24, 2005 with the Topic Steps toward Achieving a “Compass Based” Life
Session #2 is scheduled for Monday, November 21, 2005
with the Topic "Nurturing a Healthy Life Balance"

Follow the link for registration information.

Monday, October 17, 2005

CUPE slams University of Saskatchewan for flouting job evaluation arbitration

REGINA/SASKATOON - University workers represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) are slamming the University of Saskatchewan’s decision this week to request a judicial review of a recent arbitration award regarding job evaluation.

In September an arbitrator found the U of S in breach of the collective agreement with CUPE Local 1975, which represents 2,400 university workers, for refusing to continue participating in the joint job evaluation process until its completion. The province’s two universities and CUPE signed a tripartite agreement in 1998 to start the process to achieve wage parity and pay equity for the union’s members.

In 2003 the U of S abandoned the job evaluation process to unilaterally develop its own pay system. The university’s administration now claims the job evaluation process was flawed from the beginning, pointing to the mixing or “cobbling” of different job evaluation ratings at the two campuses.

But Rhonda Heisler, CUPE Local 1975 first vice-president at the U of S, says both universities and the union were equally involved in every decision relating to the job evaluation project. “The process was only branded as ‘fundamentally flawed’ after a change in senior administration at the U of S, which adopted a new strategic plan,” says Heisler. “Apparently, the university’s ‘strategic goals’ fail to acknowledge joint processes and the legally-binding agreement already in place. If anything is flawed, it’s the university’s strategic plan.”

Although the University of Regina was not found in breach of the collective agreement, they have stated publicly that they fully support the actions of the U of S administration.

“Many different resolutions were discussed when the joint job evaluation committees at the two universities came up with divergent results,” says Don Puff, chair of the union’s bargaining committee. “The decision to mix or ‘cobble’ the results was a joint union-management decision made by the Job Evaluation Steering Committee, so the universities are in fact objecting to something they agreed to.”

“The universities claim they are committed to settling this dispute at the proper table, yet they are challenging the arbitrator’s decision which would see that happen,” says Puff. “It doesn’t make any sense.”

The employer continues to insist that pay equity adjustments be paid out of the general compensation package that is being negotiated at the main bargaining table. But Heisler says pay equity increases need to be negotiated separately at the job evaluation table. “The universities effectively want our members to “buy” pay equity at the main bargaining table by forcing us to choose between pay equity adjustments and a general wage increase or benefit improvements. That’s completely unacceptable.”

Heisler warns that the judicial review will only have a negative impact on current contract negotiations, which have dragged on for over 22 months.

“The University of Saskatchewan seems more interested in litigation than education. Our tax dollars would be better spent on educating our students and fixing the pay inequities facing support staff.”

CUPE Local 1975 represents about 1,800 members at the University of Saskatchewan and 600 members at the University of Regina who work in a variety of areas including clerical, technical, maintenance and food services.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

York University CUPE Local 1356 Will Help Local 1334


In response to the request from Local 1334, and in accordance with the motion from the floor [at the Sunday 16 October 2005 meeting], Local 1356 shall arrange tranportation for individuals interested in travelling to Guelph in support of Local 1334. [For the October 20 Rally from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm]

Local 1356 members are requested to call the local office such that appropriate transportation may be arranged for the day. Please call no later than noon Wednesday 19 October 2005.

Should further additional assistance be required later, again call the local union office, or watch the blog, and website.

Help Guelph Local 1334!

Greetings Sisters and Brothers:

Now more than ever we need your support. As you all know my local 1334 will be in a strike position at 12.01 on October 25. The university has decided to wait until the 11 and a half hour and will have a mediation date on the 24th. There is a concession around benefits still on the table, a extremely regressive deal around pensions that Steelworkers agreed to, and a wage offer below what Steel got......Sisters and Brothers we have no choice but to fight back and we can't do it alone.

The executive and bargaining committee has today planned an information picket and rally for Oct 20th. We are hoping to do the information picket from 10:30 til 2:30 and to have a rally from 12 to 12:30. We are busy trying to contact speakers and are hoping to have our allies come to help out with the info picket. We have been in contact with the students who are in full support and will be doing some actions of their own on that date plus assisting us with the picket and rally.

I am hoping that some of the members of OUWCC and the CUPE Ontario executive would be able to come and it would be incredible if you could bring some of the members from your local with you. Members of my local are standing very firm and understand that we can not and will not accept any concessions. However it is a very lonely place sisters and brothers when every other bargaining unit on this campus including the steelworkers have taken a concession around benefits.

Please help my local stand firm, come and do the information picket with us, rally together and demonstrate that CUPE does not take concessions and that an attack at one locals benefits and pension plan will be fought off by all.
peace and solidarity,
Janice Folk-Dawson
President - CUPE 1334

Friday, October 14, 2005

University of Guelph workers ready to strike if mediation fails

GUELPH, Ont. – University of Guelph trades, maintenance and service workers, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) are set to go on strike on October 25, 2005, at 12:01 a.m., over the university’s unfair demands for benefit concessions and unresolved pension issues, if mediation talks fail.

“Our members are united and ready to fight benefit cutbacks and defend our pensions,” said Janice Folk-Dawson, president of CUPE 1334. “We have started a work-to-rule campaign to put pressure on our employer in order to achieve a settlement without a strike.” The workers are seeking greater input into how their pension funds are managed. Wages are also unresolved.

The 280 workers’ last contract expired on April 30th, 2005. They provide custodial, trades and maintenance services at the university. The workers voted 91 per cent in favour of strike action if a negotiated settlement is not reached. Mediation talks are scheduled for October 24, 2005.

“It’s ironic that our voices are not heard in an institution that teaches students how to voice their opinions,” said Folk-Dawson. “If management had listened to any of our concerns, we would not be on the brink of a strike, fighting to have a voice to ensure our pension funds are being managed properly.”

“Our members go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure the campus is running efficiently,” said Folk-Dawson. “Our work-to-rule campaign will show that without the full support of our members, Guelph University will experience big gaps in the delivery of educational services.”

“We are hoping that our issues will be resolved in mediation,” said Folk-Dawson. “A strike would hurt the students and disrupt their education. Hopefully, we will not have to take that route.”

Alberta Union of Provincial Employees at the University of Lethbridge Ratify New 3 Year Agreement

Members of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees at the University of Lethbridge Tuesday ratified a new three-year collective agreement that includes pay increases of 10.75 per cent over the life of the contract.

Under the agreement — which runs from July 1, 2005, to June 30, 2008 — the approximately 430 members of AUPE Local 053 will see pay increases of 3.75 per cent in the first year, 3.25 per cent in the second year and 3.75 per cent in the third year, said AUPE Staff Negotiator Dale Perry.

The members, employed in non-academic roles by the university, will receive retroactive pay to July 1, Perry said.

Other improvements in the agreement include
  • An agreement that there will be no contracting out by the employer for the life of the contract.
  • An increase of one per cent in the employees’ career-progress increments, to four per cent, effective July 1, 2006.
  • Increases in shift and weekend premium pay to $1.25 per hour effective Oct. 1, 2005, and to $1.50 per hour on July 1, 2006.
  • Inclusion of brother and sister in the agreement’s definition of immediate family for bereavement leave, and an increase in the leave to five days.
  • An additional $10,000 provided to the university’s support staff scholarship fund as of July 1, 2005.
  • Improvements in vacation accrual rates and the addition of 30 days vacation after 24 years of employment.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

University of Guelph CUPE Locals

CUPE Local 1334 [this local is the parallel group to Local 1356] is still without a Collective Agreement to our knowledge.

CUPE Local 3913 [GTAs, UTAs, ITAs, & GSAIs] is also in negotiations for a new Collective Agreement. their latest Newsletter again includes a simple but effective TA Work Log to guide and assist their members remain limited to the number of hours they are contracted to work [thus enforcing their rate of pay.]

CUPE Local 3903 Negotiation Discussion

York contract faculty is furious over the university's latest move to freeze graduate tuition.

York Teaching Assistants (TAs), represented by CUPE Local 3903 union, are calling the tuition freeze a ruse to get them to give up tuition indexation - a guarantee that if tuition goes up, TA wages would go up by an equivalent amount or a rebate will be provided to make up the difference. A tuition freeze would essentially give the TAs the same benefit as tuition indexation, thus rendering any indexation wording in their agreement redundant.
from the 5 October 2005 Excalibur

The CUPE Local 3903 site has little to add.

University Lecturers in Kenyatta University in Strike Position?

The Nation [newspaper] has one report. dated September 12

The Kenya Times Newspaper has a similar story dated Oct 7
At issue now is whom was to receive the formal Strike Notice - apparently the Minister, not the employer [as it is here in Ontario too].

The issue at hand is the percentage of the fee that is collected and paid to teach two types of students, which have started to become mixed together in classes.

Garages Turned Into Students' Hostels

Landlords in Nakuru are cashing in on the rapid growth of colleges in the town.

The establishment of Egerton University's town campus, University of Nairobi's College of Extra Mural Studies and numerous tertiary colleges have led to an influx of students into the town, pushing up demand for housing.

As a result of the inrush, what used to be family houses are now packed with double-deck beds and rented to students while garages have been turned into kitchens.
from The Nation (Nairobi)

The students here in Canada and the US really have a much better situation on the surface - at least in residences. Outside of residence and in the surrounding area we too may have situations similar those in this article!

Another Sacked University of Ilorin Lecturer Dies

One of the sacked lecturers of University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Prof. Anthony Ehizua Annor, awaiting the hearing of the appeal case at the Federal High Court, has died.

Annor, a geologist, was reportedly sighted at the courtroom on July 26 when the Federal High Court judge, Justice P. F. Olayiwola, ordered their recall to their former duty posts at the institution.

His death brings to three, the number of the dons that had died since 2001 when they were sacked by the Prof. Shuaib Oba AbdulRaheem administration at the university.
from This Day (Lagos)

The item is a bit open-ended regarding the cause of death.

Ambrose Alli University - Fires 3 Lecturers, Expels 65 Students

three lecturers, who were accused of gross misconduct, examination fraud and manipulation of results, were tried by the adhoc Senior Staff Disciplinary Committee and found guilty as charged and they were asked to be relieved of their duties
from the Vanguard of Lagos, Nigeria of September 22, 2005

These lecturers are disputing the accusations. No word regarding the students.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

York University and IUOE Settle

A tentative settlement for a three-year (2005-2008) collective agreement has been reached with the bargaining team for IUOE Local 772 (representing operating engineers and maintenance technicians). The ratification vote is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 3. Negotiations were characterized by collegiality and mutual respect.

Collège Saint-Sacrement de Terrebonne Settles

The membership voted 80% in favour after having suffered a long Lock-Out.
Return to work on 3 October 2005 for the group would be celebrated by all.

Thanks to for the lead

Monday, October 03, 2005

In memoriam: UBC and CUPE members join forces in creating a memorial to honour support staff tragedies

The dedication of a serene meditation spot complete with a memorial plaque and stone benches all set under a giant, old cedar tree demonstrated the potential of co-operative possibilities at the University of British Columbia today September 15, 2005.

Colleen Garbe, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 116, university support staff, Dr Martha Piper, UBC president, Angela Schira, secretary-treasurer of the BC Federation of Labour and other labour and university dignitaries joined voices in highlighting the importance of community and co operation to the success of UBC.

Colleen Garbe, president of CUPE Local 116, university support staff, Dr Martha Piper, UBC president, Angela Schira, secretary-treasurer of the BC Federation of Labour and other labour and university dignitaries joined voices in highlighting the importance of community and co operation to the success of UBC.

Both Garbe and Piper drew attention to the fact that without union management co-operation the memorial would never have been built.

Garbe thanked the volunteer workers who built the memorial that is situated behind the Chan Centre, adjacent to the Rose garden.

About 150 staff and guests attended the dedication ceremony opened by Margaret Harris, an elder from the neighbouring Cree Community.
This is a welcome turn of events to dedicate a quiet location to remember tragedy. At York University we have had a dedicated memorial from the first anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.

Ontario Expects to Increase Tuition Next Year

Students across Ontario are suddenly left wondering if the tuition fee consultations that they are currently engaged in with the government are a sham. This morning, during a public address at Carleton University, McGuinty told students that the highly popular tuition fee freeze, in place since September 2004, will be lifted.

“We are going to lift that freeze,” said Premier McGuinty. Carole Saab, president of the Carleton University Students’ Association asked, “Does this lifting of the freeze mean that there will be a tuition fee increase next year?” McGuinty replied, “Yes.”

Toronto - Workers' Action Centre

The Workers' Action Centre is a worker-based organization committed to improving the lives and working conditions of people in low-wage and unstable employment. We want to make sure that workers have a voice at work and are treated with dignity and fairness.

Thousands of workers in Toronto are struggling to make ends meet. We are recent immigrants, workers of colour, women, youth and workers in precarious jobs. Most of us don't belong to unions because we work in small workplaces, work as temps, are on contract, independent contractors or unemployed. One week we may be juggling 2 or 3 jobs while next month there is no work or income. When we are able to find full-time work, there is little protection on the job if we are facing unfair conditions or not being paid what we are entitled to.
This site has some interesting work in its mandate.

Contracting Out in America

In the last decade the use of temporary workers, day laborers, and other low-wage contingent workers has mushroomed—in both the private and public sectors. The level of abuse workers experience on the job has also mushroomed, yet this area remains largely unregulated, and existing laws remain unenforced.
This a quote from the downloadable Word document which is is available from the link above.

North American Alliance for Fair Employment (NAFFE)

The North American Alliance for Fair Employment (NAFFE) is a network of organizations concerned about the growth of contingent work—including part-time jobs, temping, sub-contracting—and its impact on the well being of all workers.
Here is an organization working to do a variety of actions to work with workers in tenuous working situations. From the more obvious to the very difficult ones of sub-contractors - these are probably one of the worst. The worst case we have heard was a cleaning sub-contractor that sub-contracted the work down but it ended down four levels of sub-contractors [each taking a cut of the action], ultimately the house of cards collapsed, but it had lasted for years!

There is a direct Toronto working group that will be further covered in another posting.

Reclaiming the Ivory Tower

In the last twenty years, higher education in the United States has been eroded by massive reliance on temporary academic labor—professors without tenure or the prospect of tenure, paid a fraction of the salaries of their tenured colleagues, working without benefits, offices, or research assistance, and often commuting between several campuses to make ends meet. Contingent instructors now constitute the majority of faculty at U.S. colleges and universities.

Reclaiming the Ivory Tower is the first organizing handbook for contingent faculty—the thousands of non-tenure track college teachers who love their work but hate their jobs. It examines the situation of adjunct professors in U.S. higher education today and puts forward an agenda around which they can mobilize to transform their jobs—and their institutions. In this context, Reclaiming the Ivory Tower also provides a guidepost for all those concerned about higher education: tenure track faculty, students, graduate employees, parents, other campus workers, and anyone interested in why a new labor movement has grown up on campuses across the United States and Canada.
as quoted from the website for this book

We as CUPE have been actively organizing this group of workers in universities across Canada.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Religious Observance to Continue for Now

York University will maintain its policy of not scheduling classes on the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur despite public objections from Jewish professor David Noble.

The Senate Committee on Curriculum and Academic Standards (CCAS) conducted a detailed study on negative impacts that could arise from scheduling classes on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur concluded that while certain constraints are imposed by the holidays, they remain in-line with class scheduling requirements and will continue to be considered academic holidays.
from Excalibur Wednesday 28 September 2005

This practice originated in 1974 - now kind of replaces Reading Week in the fall. This observance occured prior to classes starting in September long ago, but keeps progressively drifting later in the Gregorian calendar year [the calendar used below to indicate the date of posting.]

Technology hoped to improve student attendance and participation

Bringing a remote control to class isn't something that a lot of students are used to, but at St. Mary's University in Halifax, "clickers" have become a mandatory purchase for nine classes this year.

"Clickers" are the common term for the device, which is sold to post-secondary institutions by Texas-based e-Instruction Corporation and are the latest craze in instructional technology.
from Excalibur, York University Student Newspaper attributed to CUP

St. Mary's University in New Brunswick has some classes where the lecturer is capable to obtaining instant feedback on questions posed to the attending students.

It appears as if the lecturer's skill is now no longer required or desired as the corporate culture including a military link has this corporation penetrating many levels of education.

Grads Get Fee Freeze

the university announced the additional two-year freeze was to help increase enrolment by making graduate programs affordable to students.
As quoted from the Wednesday 28 September 2005 Excalibur

This was a mirror of a York University official announcement.