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.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Toronto's Amato Pizza owes over $82,000 in unpaid wages to workers!

How Amato Stole Christmas
Amato Pizza owes over $82,000 in unpaid wages to workers!

Stop the Grinch! Tell Amato to pay up!
6 pm - Thursday December 15, 2005
Amato Pizza, 672 St Clair Avenue West (at Christie, 5 blocks West of Bathurst)

Stand with Amato workers and demand that the grinches at Amato find a heart and pay the wages that workers have earned.

Amato Pizza has violated basic employment rights. Workers were:
· scheduled for 80 hours a week and not paid overtime pay!
· Routinely paid late or received no pay at all!
· Fired even though some had not even been paid for 3 months!

This is not the first time Amato has violated the law and exploited workers. Community pickets in August and September forced Amato to pay one worker $8,000 in unpaid wages.

The Workers' Action Centre pressed the Ministry of Labour to investigate Amato in September specifically to stop the ongoing violations against workers. The Ministry of Labour did investigate Amato but did nothing to force this deadbeat boss to pay workers the wages they are legally owed. Workers continued to receive bounced checks and work up to 80 hour weeks with no overtime pay. The Ministry investigator talked to the boss but not to the workers! Despite the investigation, Amato continues to break the law.

For Information:

Mary Gellatly, Parkdale Community Legal Services - 416-531-2411 ext 246
Sonia Singh, Workers Action Centre - 416-531-0778 ext 221

Friday, December 09, 2005

Canadian Policy Research Network

In Without a Roadmap: Government Funding and Regulation of Canada's Universities and Colleges, Snowdon, President, of Snowdon and Associates, a higher education consulting firm, argues that the story of higher education since the early 1990s is heavily influenced by three key factors: changes in federal funding; changing demographics; and a penchant among some governments for neo-liberal market-based solutions. He explores the impact of government funding mechanisms and regulation on the post-secondary sector against that backdrop. He finds the situation less than ideal.

Network: Work Network

Thursday, December 08, 2005

University of Montreal Professoriate Issues

A variety of issues are raised in this article regarding student-staff ratios and pay rates.

from: Labour Headline News Digest is a service of

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

3 Quebec CEGEPs in Strike Position

The link above is in French.

Three Quebec CEGEPs 'Gérald Godin', 'Heritage' and 'Outaouais' about to strike last month.

from: Labour Headline News Digest is a service of

Support the NYU Labour Rally

Hey all,

A quick report on the labor rally at NYU from Friday. The turnout was quite good on short notice - well over 1500 folks from dozens of unions. The most significant in attendance were Ron Gettelfinger, the president of the UAW, John Wilhelm, the president of the hospitality division of UNITE HERE, John Sweeney - the president of the AFL-CIO, and several city council members - all of whom promised to do everything in their power to help GSOC win. The President of the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) at CUNY, Barbara Bowen, also spoke to the importance of this fight, not only for the future of intellectual labor, but also for the labor movement as a whole. "Winning this fight today is as important as the air traffic controllers strike was early in Reagan's first term," she said. A representative from the Teamsters promised to do everything he could to back the strike.

NYU President Sexton does not beleive that the broader labor movement will support the strikers at NYU. The broad spectrum of top labor leaders that appeared before the crowd, including folks on both sides of the Change-to-Win/AFLCIO split, has shown however that the broader labor movement is watching this fight very closely.

There are three things you can do right now to support the TAs on strike.

1. Sign the online petition initiated by professors Judith Butler, Frederic Jameson, Joan Scott, Gayatri Spivak, Paul Gilroy, Talal Asad, Donna Haraway, Slavoj Zizek, and Etienne Balibar:

2. If you have not done so already, write Sexton directly and tell him to negotiate with the union and rescind his threat of a blacklist for striking TAs. Sexton had the hubris to put it on the NYU homepage - to see the full text of the threat, see - click on "A Letter to NYU Graduate Assistants from John Sexton." The threats are laid out towards the end following the sentence "Lastly, I wish to talk about the strike."

You can write Sexton at Make sure you cc a copy to Martin Lipton, the chair of NYU's Board of Trustees, as well as the provost David McLaughlin (

And don't forget to cc me at, so I can get them into the hands of the strikers.

In light of Sexton's ultimatum, I'm sure there are a number of strikers in New York wondering if the rest of their profession is really behind them. These letters of support will do a tremendous amount to help those folks remain on the line.

3. You can still write a check to the strike fund:

Checks can be made out to: "UAW Local 2110 Strike Fund."

Send it to:
UAW Local 2110
113 University Place, 5th floor
New York, NY 10003.

In solidarity,
Jay Driskell
Graduate Employees and Students Organization
Yale University

Federal-Ontario Agreement to have Ontario Run EI Funded Training

signed a Canada-Ontario Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA) and a Canada-Ontario Labour Market Partnership Agreement (LMPA). The agreements establish an unprecedented level of cooperation between the two governments. They will ensure that Ontario workers have access to effective employment programs and services and that Ontario employers have the skilled workers required to sustain and enhance economic growth and prosperity for Ontarians

CUPE Local 3903 have Ratified the Tentative Agreement

After a long voting period the CUPE Local 3903 membership has approved their three new Collective Agreements.

CUPE Local 1975 University of Regina Negotiations in Still in Trouble

CUPE members David Hyde (left), Brad McKaig and Chuck Lytle, all from Saskatoon, listen to speakers at Monday's rally at the University of Regina.

Lack of negotiations leaves workers frustrated
Tim Switzer,, Leader-Post
Published: Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Though they have agreed on several issues, the province's two universities and support workers are still at odds on a new collective agreement.

Approximately 200 of the workers, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) local 1975, gathered in the University of Regina's Administration Humanities building Monday for a rally to show their unity to the school's board of governors who were meeting upstairs.

"It's very frustrating," said local president and negotiations chair Don Puff. "We're at almost two years since the agreement ran out."

The workers have been without a contract since Jan. 1, 2004 and have not been at the bargaining table since Oct. 26.

The 1,800 caretakers, food services workers, clerical staff, security officers and others voted 76 per cent in favour of taking a strike mandate in September but, because the union has an outstanding issue still before the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board, they cannot legally move forward with any strike action.

The two sides are set to go back to the table on Dec. 20 and 21 though the LRB hearing is set for Dec. 21 and may change the bargaining plans.

Still at issue is the universities' compensation package. They have offered zero per cent raises over three years with $500 signing bonuses for both 2004 and 2005 and want to include pay equity increases in the agreement. The union says pay equity should be handled at a separate job evaluation table and recently won in arbitration over the issue. The universities, however, have taken that decision to judicial review.

Though they are still a month away from any negotiating, U of R associate vice-president academic Stephen McClatchie said they are still confident they will reach an agreement at the table.

Puff said they have no plans to withdraw complaints from the LRB so they are able to strike. To date, they've only put together a strike aversion committee if they do find themselves in a legal strike position.

"We have to be careful," he said. "There's things that you can't do. So while they're doing some planning, all the planning at this point is around strike aversion."

McClatchie said they have a plan in place if the union does eventually walk out.
© The Leader-Post (Regina) 2005

University Student Vote Could be a Factor in this Federal Election

Toronto - University students will be a new factor that could influence the upcoming election, predicts NDP leader Jack Layton, who notes that previous early summer elections have not allowed for campuses to get out the student vote.

Speaking to a small gathering of students at the University of Toronto campus, NDP leader Jack Layton said his party would restore what he estimates was $4-billion in cuts to post-secondary education made by the Liberals in the 1990s.

Mr. Layton said the new spending would be paid for by scrapping the corporate tax cuts the Liberals announced in this fall's fiscal update.

The U of T campus is in the riding of Trinity-Spadina, where Mr. Layton's wife, Olivia Chow, has resigned her seat on city council to run against Liberal cabinet minister Tony Ianno.

This election will be the third time Ms. Chow has challenged Mr. Ianno. Her two previous attempts, in 1997 and 2004, came very close to unseating the Liberals in the riding.

With recent elections taking place in late spring or early summer, Mr. Layton noted that university students are away from school and often preoccupied with other matters in the summer but this time they will be debating the election issues.

"I think it will mean that more young people will get out to vote. When you have an election in June, naturally the students are spread out. They're trying to find a summer job so they can pay for the unrealistically and unfair prices of post-secondary education that we've seen since Paul Martin came into office," he said.

Ms. Chow, who was officially nominated as a candidate Tuesday night while her husband was campaigning in Hamilton, told the Globe and Mail Tuesday that getting out the student vote will still be difficult.

Many students will soon be heading home following exams and won't be returning until just prior to the Jan. 23rd vote. As a result, her team will be contacting the university deans to submit the list of tenants at campus residences to Elections Canada in order to push for speedy registration.

"It will be difficult for them to get enumerated," she said. "We know that if they are enumerated, a lot of them like what the NDP does and will support us."

Sean Watters, a U of T political science student who is organizing for the NDP on campus, said that while the political views of university students range across the political spectrum, the NDP is quite popular with students given the party's push for lower tuition.

"My gut instinct tells me there is a very strong support for the NDP among students," he said.

Mr. Layton also added his voice to the feud between the Liberals and Conservatives over Prime Minister Paul Martin's jibe that Conservative leader Stephen Harper had difficulty answering a reporter's question as to whether he loves Canada.

When asked the same question, Mr. Layton replied: "I love this country" and went on to list the country's values and opportunities.

"But we can't take it for granted, that's the problem. We're saying what we love about Canada being taken apart piece by piece. So I hope that it becomes a factor, an issue, in this election; what we feel about our country, what we feel is important about it."
appears to be from the Globe and Mail

CUPE Local 4600 Decide to Co-ordinate in Bargaining

Carleton Contact Instructors and Teaching Assistants have formally
decided, at their last general membership meeting, to:
  • fully participate in OUWCC co-ordinated bargaining
  • endorse in principle the regional CUPE solidarity pact
Via our external affairs and mobilization committee we have a poster
campaign in the works, on TA issues esp. tuition indexation, as well as
a regular column in the Grad Voice (GSA publication). We are planning a
panel on neoliberalism and PSE for mid -January.

Jessica Squires
VP External
CUPE 4600

Nova Scotia to Allow International Students to Work Off-Campus

The Honourable Joe Volpe, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and the Honourable Rodney MacDonald, Minister of Immigration of Nova Scotia today announced their officials have signed an agreement that will allow international students to work off-campus while enrolled at an eligible post-secondary institution in the province.

CIC Canada | News Release 2005-29

Freedom of Information Now Includes Universities & Colleges

Bill 197 also extends the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to include colleges and universities
Among other matters of importance the above item was included, which will allow more information for information to be obtained. In the past there has been some access, but this should enhance and extend that right to the information.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Inter-City Bus Service from York University

Normally we don't advertise for private corporations, but this is the first exception.

Greyhound has been providing Inter-City service from York University since September of 2005. The stop is located by the flagpole between Schulich and Yorklanes. The service ONLY operates from this stop LEAVING on a Friday and RETURNING on a Sunday. Any other days of the week will supply very odd results.

The service is between York University and
  • Barrie
  • Guelph - Kitchener
  • London - with connection to Windsor (not Windsor University)
  • Peterborough - Ottawa

The website will supply the price. The location for tickets is from York Transportation with their hours listed and most probably from travel agents and intercity bus terminals.

The frequency would probably change according to utilization.