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, June 27, 2007

Maritimes University enrolment declining faster than expected

University enrolment in Canada's three Maritime provinces is dropping sooner and more dramatically than expected thanks to the lure of western oil-patch jobs, a declining population and the end of the recent flood of Ontario students, a new report says.
If current trends continue, the number of university students could fall by 10 per cent or more in the next decade, predicts the report, produced by the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission and released yesterday. In the past two school years alone, undergraduate levels have fallen by 4.5 per cent after reaching a peak in 2004-2005.
"It has been quite a shift. We didn't expect the decline to hit us so quickly," said Mireille Duguay, chief executive officer of the commission, an agency created by the Maritime premiers.
A decrease in the university-aged population of the provinces has long been expected, but Ms. Duguay said the effects of that demographic trend have been accelerated by an increase in the number of high-school students choosing not to go to university. "We are seeing students make different choices," she said. "They are leaving the province, they are staying and taking jobs or they are going to college."
An increasing number of students who do go to university are also travelling outside the region, especially to neighbouring Newfoundland, motivated in part by lower tuition fees, the study found. Nova Scotia has taken steps to change that trend with measures such as lower tuition rates for students from the province.
Ms. Duguay said the influx of Ontario students to the area - starting four years ago, when Grade 13 was eliminated and two classes graduated at once - helped to mask the developing trend. Now that the bulge is through the system, the changes are becoming apparent. "The double cohort prevented us from seeing what was really happening," she said.
Peter Halpin, executive director of the Association of Atlantic Universities, said most university leaders are already taking steps to counter the prospect of declining student numbers. "People are working pretty hard to manage the situation. They have invested a lot of time and energy in branding and marketing."
Many of the 17 universities that his organization represents are looking outside the region - and the country - to increase their student numbers, he said.
At Dalhousie University in Halifax, for example, where enrolment has remained steady, fewer than 60 per cent of undergraduates come from the Maritimes and 23 per cent are from Ontario, a spokeswoman said.
Mr. Halpin said the academic community is also focusing on increasing the percentage of local high-school students who go on to university.
That is key, Ms. Duguay said, because another recent study showed that once they graduate, about 90 per cent of university students stay in the region.
Young people between 18 and 24 now account for the highest levels of migration from the Maritimes, she said, with many heading west to jobs in the resource sector.

The Globe and Mail
Wed 27 Jun 2007
Page: A6
Section: National News
Byline: Elizabeth Church

Construction Notice No. 3 – Archives Project

Temporary Lane Restriction - Vanier Lane

All members of the York University community are advised that the installation of manholes and stormwater and sanitary pipelines in Vanier Lane for the Archives Project will commence later this week on Thursday and Friday, June 28 and 29. Completion date is anticipated to be July 16.

There should be minimal disruption to the community and pedestrian and traffic flows during this roadway restriction on Vanier Lane. The contractor will conduct reasonable hours of operation at the site, with daily work activities starting no earlier than 7:00 a.m.

The contractor for the project will take all necessary precautions to ensure community members are safe at all times. Precautionary measures include posting warning signs, use of flag persons to direct pedestrians and traffic, and scheduling certain activities at off-peak times.

  • Vanier Lane will have at least one lane open at all times, with flagmen controlling the traffic flow.
  • Both lanes of Vanier Lane will be reopened in the evenings.
  • Work near the Bookstore loading bay is scheduled to occur on the weekends of July 7-8 and July 14-15.

Please circulate this email widely within your department. Additional notifications will be circulated as required.

The York University Development Corporation is managing this construction project on behalf of the University. Please forward any feedback and questions directly to

Supreme Court Ruling on Union Rights

On Friday June 8, the Supreme Court reversed 20 years of its own jurisprudence by ruling (6-1) that the guarantee of freedom of association in section 2(d) of the Charter of Rights protects the right of Canadian workers to bargain collectively.

In this landmark decision, Health Services and Support - Facilities Subsector Bargaining Assn. v. British Columbia, [2007] SCC 27, the Court declared unconstitutional several provisions of B.C.'s Health and Social Services Delivery Improvement Act (Bill 29), which had purported to override collective agreement protections for health care workers in areas such as contracting out, layoff and bumping rights.

The Health Services decision is likely to impact numerous labour relations issues across Canada, as the Court has now recognized a constitutional foundation for the protection of collective bargaining which had previously been rejected by Canadian courts, most notably in the "labour trilogy" decided by the Supreme Court in 1987. Observers agree that issues decided prior to the Health Services case will undoubtedly undergo re-examination, and future efforts by governments to restrict collective bargaining will have to withstand constitutional scrutiny.

Issues which may be impacted by this decision include:
  • The exclusion of particular groups of employees from bargaining
  • Restrictions on the bargaining rights, including the right to strike, of other groups of employees
  • Limits on strikes and related activity, such as picketing
  • Limits on other forms of union activity
  • Back-to-work, wage control or other legislation restraining bargaining
  • Limits on the process of interest arbitration

Although the Court's declaration has been suspended for 12 months to permit the
provincial government to consider the implications of this ruling, there will
also be significant implications for employers, unions and workers in the health
services sector in B.C., where thousands of non-clinical support staff from B.C.
hospitals were laid off, and then reemployed on less beneficial terms by contractors
providing the same services, following passage of Bill 29.

from an email from Lancaster House

CUPE reaches deal at Dalhousie University

June 13, 2007 10:14 AM
(Halifax) – Close to a thousand CUPE members at Dalhousie University have a new contract.

Teaching Assistants (TA’s), part-time faculty, markers and demonstrators, and Lab Instructors ratified the three-year deal this week.

CUPE National Representative Peter Baxter says, “That means we’ve now successfully concluding bargaining for university workers at Dal, MSVU and SMU.”

The existing contract for members of CUPE Local 3912 at Dalhousie expired on August 31, 2006.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Student Debt

York’s Information & Privacy Office launches an updated Web site

The Information & Privacy Office (IPO) at York University has updated its Web site. The revamped site features several major improvements and additions:
  • Easy access to tip sheets and other resources to assist staff with records management and access to information requests as part of the information and privacy toolkit;
  • The first two approved common records retention and disposition schedules, with an accompanying records classification system, user guide and related forms;
  • Links to relevant York policies, external resources and legislation.

Information & Privacy Office staff are available to answer questions about information on the site. For more details or further assistance, contact IPO at

Phyllis Clark Campus Service Award

Above: Five York employees were honoured for their contributions to York University. They include Michele Young (left), John Hansen, Mary Stearns, Celeta Irvin and Rabia Sallie. York President & Vice Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden (far right) presented the awards to the employees on April 18.
John Hansen, locksmith, Campus Services & Business Operations, is the recipient of the Phyllis Clark Campus Service Award. Hansen joined York in 1976. The award is presented to a non-academic employee who has made exemplary contributions to the efficient, clean, safe and secure operations of campus or plant services.

John is a member of CUPE Local 1356

Friday, June 01, 2007

Reinactment of Royal Commission of 1914

Here is a photo from our recent ONIWG conference. For those that missed this really fun and educational event, this photo was taken Friday afternoon during a skit that re enacted the Royal Commission hearing with Justice Meredith in 1914. The actors actually read from the transcripts from the hearings almost 100 years ago. Justice Meredith is the guy with the white wig. The fellow in the black hat was the employer representative and he spent his time taking about how workers really didn't deserve any compensation because they are either lazy, stupid, boozers, caused their own injuries and not trust worthy. I almost got up and strangled him.

The interesting thing was that the issues seem to be almost the same today as back in 1914 and there is much to learn from the debates and the Principles that Justice Meredith first recommended and on which they Workers Compensation system was based.

All the best,


Caribean Canadian Literary Expo 2007

A celebration of the Bi-Centennial of the British Atlantic Slave Trade Ending.

CUPE Local 2132 and CDI negotiations

About 100 members of CUPE 2132 have been in talks for more than a year with their mployer, the Child Development Institute (CDI). These members provide early childhood education/child care programs and mental health services to Toronto children and their families at about 12 different sites across the city.

CUPE 2132's four key remaining issues are:
  • A fair wage increase
  • Job Security/Layoff & Recall Improvements
  • Pension Plan
  • Health Benefits improvement (including employer paid Family Benefits Coverage)

The employer tabled a final offer during conciliation that contained a two-tier wage increase that would provide 3% LESS to lower-paid child care workers and continued to keep outdated sick time and benefit provisions that treat child care and clinical staff differently.

The employer's final offer was overwhelmingly rejected by the local's membership by a whopping 96%.

CUPE 2132 and CDI are being called back to the table by the conciliation officer on June 6th and the local will be in a legal strike/lockout position on June 10th.

Please help us send a strong message to the employer that they must negotiate a fair collective agreement. An online action has been set up and you can send a message to the Executive Director by going to:

Please let this employer know that it ' s time to settle a fair contract now!
Please circulate this message widely.


West Nile Control Treatments

Campus Services & Business Operations Notice -
West Nile Control Treatments
York University will be conducting a larviciding program from June 11 to September 15, 2007, under the authority of the Local Medical Officer of Health, to control larval mosquitoes in order to prevent their development into vectors of West Nile virus.

The pellet formulation of the larvicide methoprene (Altosid Pellets, Reg. No. 21809) will be placed into stormwater catch basins at both the Keele and Glendon campuses. Additionally, the granular formulation of the larvicide Bacillus thuringiensis var israelensis (Aquabac 200G, Reg. No. 26863) will be applied to selected bodies of surface water such as ditches or ponds based on the presence of mosquito larvae.

Methoprene and Bacillus thuringiensis var israelensis are both registered larvicides that are approved for use by the Federal Government. All larvicide will be applied by applicators, licensed by the Ministry of the Environment, or supervised technicians; and each larviciding application will be carried out under permit form the Ministry of the Environment.

Please call the Canadian Centre for Mosquito Management at 647.801.1975 for details on the exact location and dates of treatments, or contact Tim Haagsma, York University’s Manager of Grounds, Fleet & Waste Management at 416.736.2100 x 20303 for more general information about West Nile control treatments.

Please distribute this notification widely to all staff within your area for informational purposes.