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, March 22, 2010

Work piles up for campus janitors

Washington State University

WSU custodians say more work and less staff is affecting sanitation around campus.

Rochelle Adams

The Daily Evergreen

Published: 03/22/2010

Some WSU custodians say that they are being given more work than they have time to complete it. Over the last few years, custodians under WSU Facilities and Operations workload per hours of work has gone up enough to prevent them from finishing assigned tasks, said Steve A.* and Jennifer T.*, two FacOps custodians. They worry that the uncompleted custodial work building up will lead to the campus becoming unsanitary.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

City taking over some building maintenance to save money

By Gretchen Ross
Posted by Sarah Harlan

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - In a money-saving move, the city of Evansville will take over the maintenance on four buildings currently managed by SMG.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ohio State janitor's gunfire kills co-worker, self

By MATT LEINGANG, Associated Press Tue Mar 9, 6:26 pm ET

COLUMBUS, Ohio – An Ohio State University janitor who was about to lose his job walked into a maintenance building for his early morning shift Tuesday and shot two supervisors, killing one of them and fatally shooting himself. No students were hurt.

Nathaniel Brown, 51, arrived for work at the nation's largest university dressed in dark clothing, a hooded sweat shirt and a backpack. He then opened fire in an office suite using two handguns, campus Police Chief Paul Denton said.

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Meningitis outbreak sets off probe at Ohio University

Seven students were sickened by same group of bacteria
Tuesday, March 9, 2010 12:20 AM
By Misti Crane

Seven cases of bacterial meningitis at Ohio University caused by the same group of bacteria also share the same genetic fingerprint, prompting public-health experts to declare an outbreak and delve deeper into an investigation of the illnesses there.

The investigation by federal, state and local scientists will take at least a couple of weeks and aims to uncover what might have made the students susceptible to the bacteria, which don't cause problems for most people, said Dr. Mary DiOrio, assistant state epidemiologist.

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Announcing the winner of the Not Rex contest

The Not Rexes have spoken and the people have voted. is pleased to present the winner of our Not Rex Murphy Context -- Humberto DaSilva! Humberto is a union representative and writer born and bred in Toronto. His father and mother, now retired, were respectively a miner and a shopkeeper in their native Portugal. In 1998, Humberto led an organizing drive of his workplace after unaddressed maintenance concerns resulted in an aircraft accident and after several of his co-workers contracted tuberculosis during the Kosovo airlift. He was the union local president during the merger of Royal Airlines, Canjet and Canada 3000. He achieved short-lived media notoriety during the "blame the union" spin frenzy that accompanied the collapse of Canada 3000 following 9/11.

We know the judges were impressed with Humberto's passion and it seems he has struck a chord with voters. In case you missed it check out his application video below.

Humberto will be recording new videos as antidotes to Rex's commentary on three different Thursday evenings starting Thursday, March 18th and we are excited to see what he comes up with.

We are also excited about the progressive voices out there that want to send a different message to Canadians. We want to thank everyone who submitted a video and is keen on spreading progressive commentary on important issues of the day. We think the Not Rex contest can be the start of a beautiful thing -- bringing more strong video commentary on (more on that later).

We also want to thank our judges Amber Mac, Wayne MacPhail, Murray Dobbin, Tor Sandberg, Kim Elliott and everyone that voted in the contest.

So stay tuned and congratulations again to Humberto DaSilva.

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The Janitor

This is one of the LabourStart Labour Video of the Year videos that you may vote for.

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Monday, March 08, 2010

CUPE Budget Federal 2010 Analysis

Last week, the Harper government released a do-nothing budget, relying largely on corporate tax cuts - and completely lacking in any kind of strategy to help put Canadians back to work.

Hidden in the 424 pages of the budget, though, are changes to programs that will have a huge effect on CUPE members and other working Canadians. To help understand what's actually in there, CUPE researchers have prepared a series of fact sheets. From pensions to privatization, from climate change to child care, these fact sheets explain what's in the budget, what it means, and what better choices might have been.

Check out CUPE's comprehensive budget coverage.

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Saturday, March 06, 2010

McMaster reveals new president's contract

Wade Hemsworth
(Mar 5, 2010)

Four months before Patrick Deane takes over as McMaster president, the university has made his contract public.

McMaster posted Deane's five-year contract on its Daily News website yesterday, demonstrating a change of course after opposing the release of current president Peter George's contract in 2006.

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H1N1 Infuenza - York University Protocols -CHANGED

*** The following notice is sent on behalf of Sharon Hooper, Assistant Vice President, Human Resources and Employee Relations ***

On October 16th, 2009, a communication was sent to managers requesting that employee absences be reported to the Department of Human Resources on a daily basis to assist the University in monitoring absences related to the pandemic influenza outbreak.

On Monday March 1, 2010, the Pandemic Influenza Planning Committee recommended to the Provost, Senate Executive and Senior Administration:

  1. the University cease the online tracking of absences of students and employees (due to H1 N1 or "flu like symptoms") and
  2. the University revert to its normal practices of requiring physician's notes for student petitions and requests for deferred standing, and for employee absences as specified in collective agreements and Human Resources operating procedures.

The Committee made its recommendations on the basis of the following:

Public Health Agency Canada (PHAC) issued a statement January 27, 2010 that it had officially declared the second wave of H1 N1 influenza as passed;

  • There has been no indication of a re-emergence of a widespread outbreak of H1 N1 over the past two months, and the likelihood of a re-emergence in the next several months remains low;
  • There has been a significant drop in the number of reported student absences due to H1 N1 or flu like symptoms since early January; and
  • Advice received from Toronto Public Health.

The Provost, Senate Executive and Senior Administration have accepted the recommendations of the Pandemic Influenza Planning Committee. In the interests of fairness and timely notification to employees, it has been agreed that the recommendations will take effect on Monday, March 15, 2010

As a result, effective Monday, March 15, 2010, the University will not require centralized reporting of absences and will revert to its regular practice of requiring physician's notes for employee absences as specified in collective agreements and Human Resources operating procedures. I would ask that managers notify all their staff that the University is reverting to its regular practices effective Monday March 15, 2010.

The World Health Organization continues to assess the level of pandemic alert for H1N1 at Phase 6 (full pandemic alert). The Pandemic Committee recommends that all members of the community remain vigilant with respect to level of awareness and flu prevention measures. In this regard, hand sanitizer dispensers will continue to be replenished, Flu Prevention notices will continue to be posted in washrooms, offices and in publicly accessible corridors, and custodians in academic and residential buildings will continue to focus on a standard of cleaning in and around washrooms
and in high traffic areas consistent with the current level of cleaning practice.

If you have any specific questions relating to procedures for non-academic employees, I would ask that you contact either Carey Barker, Paul Campbell, or Leanne De Filippis.

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Northern Ontario gains more CUPE members

Laurentian University teaching assistants have recently voted to join CUPE.

Mar 1, 2010 01:52 PM

As the economic downturn continues in Canada, CUPE’s commitment to improving working conditions, advancing workers’ rights, and ensuring workers are treated fairly at all times is more important than ever.

In Northern Ontario, child and youth workers at the Sault Area Hospital in Sault Ste-Marie, and graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) at Laurentian University in Sudbury, showed their confidence in CUPE by recently voting to join Canada’s largest union to improve their working and earning conditions.

“Our newest members will have the backing and support of Canada’s leading union,” said Colette Proctor, CUPE organizing representative. “During tough economic times, job security and workers’ rights are top priorities for workers and CUPE will be there to ensure our members’ rights are protected and advanced.”

The 10 child and youth workers in the Sault Area Hospital are organizing to be treated fairly as government cutbacks continue to affect service delivery at hospitals across Ontario. Meanwhile, the 233 graduate teaching assistants at Laurentian University are seeking to achieve wage parity with other universities of comparable size.

“The university administration tried unsuccessfully to cut their wages last year and now with CUPE on their side we will work with the GTAs to ensure our members’ issues are addressed properly,” adds Proctor.

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