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, May 29, 2007

Oshawa students face eviction

Funny how the same Tribute Communities has built on land purchased from York University and the same result happens without any lawsuits that we are aware.

Lawsuit claims homes are rented illegally to youths; neighbours upset by noise, parties

The City of Oshawa and a homebuilder are cracking down on dozens of landlords they say are illegally renting out rooms to students in a housing development.

The students have made life intolerable for other residents in the north Oshawa subdivision, according to a brief filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on behalf of the City and Tribute Communities, which built the houses.

Drunkenness, loud parties, drug use, parking and traffic problems, overflowing garbage and "graphic sexual activity in unshaded lit windows" are among neighbours' complaints, the brief says.

The lawsuit accuses 43 landlords of operating illegal lodging houses in "The Neighbourhoods of Windfields Farm" subdivision northeast of Simcoe St. N. and Conlin Rd. It alleges the single-family homes have been converted to multi-unit buildings with as many as nine bedrooms and 14 tenants. Lodging houses are prohibited in low-density neighbourhoods.

follow the link at the top for the whole story
Toronto Star
May 29, 2007 04:30 AM
Carola Vyhnak
Staff reporter


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

CUPE Ontario Newsletter - Issue # 1

Here's a great and easy way to periodically get the news that's important to you. Sign up for our e-newsletter, a capsule of campaign updates, coming events and important developments in CUPE Ontario sectors sent biweekly. It's easy. Just click here, give us your email address you'll get CUPE Ontario's e-newsletter sent right into your hands. Save time. Save trees. Save postage!


Ottawa announces billions for scientific research

Ottawa announces billions for scientific research
CanWest News Service
Fri 18 May 2007
Byline: James Cowan
Dateline: WATERLOO, Ont
Source: CanWest News Service

WATERLOO, Ont. - The federal government will move some of its laboratories to universities or to the private sector as part of a new science-and-technology strategy, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Thursday.
The $9.2-billion plan is designed to jump start private spending on research and development, the prime minister said during a press conference at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.
"Our national science strategy has failed to harness market forces in the pursuit of scientific progress," Harper said. "As a result, our private-sector investment in research and development has fallen well below most of our major international competitors."
Under the Conservative plan, as many as five government labs will be relocated and integrated with universities or the private sector.
As a first step, Natural Resources Canada's materials technology laboratory will be moved to McMaster University at a cost of $6 million. An expert panel will determine which other laboratories can be moved and on how they should be managed once the transfer occurs.
The government is also providing funding to a number of existing research facilities, including the Brain Research Centre at the University of British Columbia, the Canada School of Sustainable Energy at the University of Alberta and the National Optics Institute in Quebec City.
The funding for these projects was announced as part of the 2007 federal budget, but the document unveiled Thursday creates a framework to guide future spending.
Investment is needed in research and development to help boost Canada's productivity, the prime minister said.
"If we do not improve, Canada will become a poorer, weaker country and, ladies and gentleman, that will not happen on my watch."
Harper said the new strategy will also focus government resources in four fields where Canada has a national interest, including energy, environmental science, communication technologies and health sciences. Money will also be spent on internships and scholarships to encourage university students to pursue scientific careers.
Howard Burton, the Perimeter Institute's executive director, praised the Conservative government for being selective about the projects it will fund under the new strategy.
"This government realized it was important to consult the scientific community and listen to what they had to say," Burton said.
The institute received $50 million as part of the 2007 federal budget.
The Perimeter Institute is an independent research facility founded by Research in Motion's (RIM) Mike Lazaridis, who earned millions from the manufacture and sale of the BlackBerry handheld device.
National Post
Story Type: Business
Note: EDS: Refiled to add line at bottom
Length: 406 words

EI for TAs

TAs pay EI premiums but are usually ineligible for EI because the number of qualifying hours you need to work in order to get EI is considerably more than the hours worked in a full TAship.

This could change, because there is proposed legislation in the House of Commons to improve EI benefits. If Bill C-269 passes, it would mean that people working a full TAship would have enough qualifying hours to receive EI payments, so that you could get EI maternity or parental benefits, or EI unemployment benefits after graduating (or perhaps during the summer term).

This legislation would be a huge help to TAs at UBC and would benefit numerous other people including RAs and GTAs at UBC, graduate and undergraduate students throughout Canada who are part-time workers, and hundreds of thousands of other part-time employees who are currently ineligible to receive EI benefits despite making EI payments.

We encourage all of you who can vote in Canada to write to your MP expressing your support for Bill C-269. You can get more information about the provisions of the Bill and contact information for your MP on the following website .


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

OCUFA report -says Ont. must invest $1.35 bil a year in pse

Here is the link to the report

University education deteriorating: Report - News - University education deteriorating: Report

May 13, 2007
Allison Jones
Canadian press

Ontario must invest at least $1.35 billion each year for the next three
years if it has any hope of reversing the trend of a deteriorating quality
of post-secondary education in the province, a new report suggests.

While the research paper by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty
Associations applauds steps taken by the government to improve education, it
concludes a lot more must be done.

The report estimates $600 million is required each year by 2009-10 for
graduate education, including such costs as hiring and other operating
expenses. A further $300 million at least is needed to accommodate
undergraduate enrolment growth, the report says.

The current annual $27-million allocation for maintenance is ``woefully
inadequate," the report says. It estimates $74 million per year would be
needed just to cover minimal repairs and $450 million a year to get
facilities up to an "optimal" state.

The report also cites a lack of funding for new facilities and equipment,
not enough tenured faculty hirings and a growing student-to-faculty ratio as

One of the biggest problems is that per-student funding is declining, said
OCUFA president Michael Doucet. According to the report, once inflation is
factored in, funding per student was $2,600 less in 2004-05 than it was in

That, combined with a student-to-faculty ratio of about 27:1 when it should
be closer to 15:1, means the students are not getting enough quality
interaction with professors and faculty, said Doucet.

"What it means, I think, is the likelihood of an inferior education,
ultimately," Doucet said in an interview. "It's going to translate into
increased class sizes, probably less choice in terms of course offering and
the likelihood that more of their faculty will be part-time or sessional

The report found that to improve student-to-faculty ratios, Ontario needs to
hire 11,000 more professors by 2010.

Although there is still a long way to go, Ontario is showing a commitment to
higher education, Doucet said.

"Hats off to the government for the `Reaching Higher' program - I hate to
think where we'd be without this injection of funds into the system," he

"Reaching Higher" was a plan introduced by the province in 2005 as a $6.2
billion funding boost for the post-secondary system over five years.

A lot of the problems surrounding post-secondary education in Ontario still
stem back to the days of funding cuts under the Mike Harris government, said

"Ontario, until quite recently, was dead last in Canada in all the critical
funding measures," said Doucet.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Gas Gouge Calculator

This is a simple calculator that simply informs you of the excess pricing at the pump price. Just enter the price for gas you paid today, it then tells you the price it should be according the price of crude oil today. The calculator allows normal price margins for refining, marketing, taxes, etc. for the municipality as chosen.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Martin Garcia is the New staff nominee set for York University Board of Governors

As a result of an election at large, Martin Garcia has been nominated by full-time non-academic employees for membership on the York University Board of Governors. After confirmation by the board, he will serve a two-year term beginning July 1.

Garcia is a custodian for the Custodial Services Department in Facilities Services and has been employed at York University for 12 years. He will join Debbie Jamieson who was reappointed last year as the other non-academic employee on the board.

Info about Martin

This was Martin's second attempt for the Nomination.