Now available: 2019 September Newsletter [pdf]
Now available: 2019 Summer Newsletter [PDF, 223 kb.]
Now available: 2019 Spring Newsletter [PDF, 150 kb.]
Now available: The CUPE 3287 November 2018 Newsletter [PDF, 448 kb.]
Now available: 2018 Summer Newsletter [PDF, 849 kb.]
2017 Election Results
The 2018 CUPE 3287 Executive is: Brian Zamulinski (President); Will Buschert (Vice-President); Rhonda Anderson (Recording Secretary); Gail Osachoff (Newsletter Editor); and Heather Wagg, Leslie Ehrlich, and Barb Wotherspoon (Members-at-large). Lee Sanders and Lawrence Chang are the two new trustees.
The position of Treasurer and two MAL positions are vacant. By-elections will be held at the next members’ meeting. If you are interested in serving on your union executive, please indicate your interest. (Incidentally, under the by-laws, the Treasurer receives a stipend equal to a 3 cu course stipend at level 1, and MALs receive $50 per month. CUPE provides training for treasurers.)
Other AGM News
The membership approved the addition of a conflict of interest policy to the by-laws.
Delegates were chosen for the SDLC annual convention on February 9 and 10, and for the CUPE Saskatchewan Convention from March 7 to 9. Both of these events are in Saskatoon. The executive has been empowered to select additional delegates, so contact email@example.com if you are interested in attending.
Professional Development and Tuition Waiver Fund
Please note that the information published in the Newsletter is outdated. The next application deadline is February 28th. Application forms will be available early in the new year.
Is now available See attachment.
U of S Sessional Lecturers’ Union
Notice of Annual General Meeting and
Invitation to Cocktails and Dinner
Place: The Window Room at the University (formerly Faculty) Club
Date: Friday, December 8, 2017
Time: Orientation Session (led by Ann Iwanchuk CUPE SK) 4:00
Meeting at 4:30
Cocktails at 6:00
Buffet opens at 6:20
Please let us know if you will be attending by Tuesday, December 5
You can RSVP by
Using the contact form at https://3287.cupe.ca/contact-us/
Sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Phoning the office at 306-966-7023. Leaving a message will be enough.
This year, there will be a short orientation session beginning at 4:00. Please join your fellow sessionals for information, discussion and relaxation. Partners welcome to attend the dinner.
It seems to me that a bit of a retrospective for 2017 is in order.
In January and February, we went to arbitration. We won. In fact, the arbitrator gave her decision orally and immediately. We received her written decision in September. The employer had fired a sessional just because a single student had complained. The arbitrator said that no discipline was warranted. This decision benefits us all by making us more secure.
I was particularly pleased that the arbitrator referred to my conduct. Two of the employer’s witnesses criticized my actions as “first responder” but the arbitrator maintained that my actions were entirely appropriate as an advocate for our member, and seemed to suggest that the employer should have considered points I raised more seriously than they had.
In the same months, we had a grievance about office space in Arts. Arts sessionals ended up close enough to where they had been that we had an obligation to try out the new arrangement, although we can still work for improvements and will raise issues connected with the offices at the next union-management meeting.
In March, parking came to my attention. We lost over $3000 between May 1st 2016 and April 30th 2017 – unnecessarily – through over-selling, underpricing, and a first-come first-served policy as well as variations in demand. We got a new parking officer on May 1st. The new parking officer is keeping good records and doing what is possible to predict the effects of the pricing policy. It is important that we don’t lose money on this operation because parking is used by only 10 to 15% of members and losses mean that the majority is subsidizing the minority.
The cut to the university’s budget has naturally been a matter of concern. However, it appears that the number of classes offered on a sessional basis is almost the same as last year and that the number of teaching sessionals this term is 248, while in this term last year it was 256.
In June and July, I took up clerical work. We maintain a data base of our members, which we need for communications. We were getting a huge number of duplicate entries. The problem turned out to be a glitch in the program. It can be worked around. We are in the process of ensuring that the membership list is accurate and up-to-date. I added a contact form and a membership form to the union website to make it easier for the members to keep us up to date with the information we need.
We are working to revamp the office both in terms of record-keeping and in terms of furnishing. Special thanks to Rhonda and April for all their work.
In spring, Vice-President Leslie Walter and I persuaded the employer to combine the professional development and tuition waiver funds. The professional development fund had run out of money in December 2016 and the combination would enable us to be more flexible. The employer agreed on the condition that the union do the clerical work. We agreed. The agreement, which was finalized in July, turned out to be more advantageous for us than anticipated. We got money in the fund instead of losing a large number of unused tuition waivers. The situation is stable and the total amount of funds available is about what had been available in previous years. That said, we have done our best to encourage people to apply and now there are more applicants than there is funding, which means that only some applicants can be successful.
In October, we dealt with our first round of applications. The guidelines were followed. A couple of individuals got themselves into conflict-of-interest situations, which were resolved. As a result, I have proposed an amendment to the by-laws to prevent conflicts-of-interest.
The conflict of interest amendment is the only one we will be able to consider at the AGM on December 8th. We were working towards more extensive changes but the work is incomplete. Our experience over the years has caused us to conclude that the old by-laws are not optimal. We have developed workable conventions but the by-laws should reflect our actual practice.
We have had two vice-presidents this year, Leslie Walter and Joanie Crandall. Part of my job is to teach potential presidents about the work of the union in the way that Heather Wagg taught me over a number of years, so that I can be replaced. Fortunately for her but unfortunately for me, Leslie got a lecturer position and resigned at the end of June. Joanie was elected in July and took office in August. We have been meeting regularly so that I can keep her abreast of developments in the union and teach her what was taught to me. Joanie is very busy with her various jobs but we do manage to meet most Wednesdays. I will be away for a couple of weeks, so she will have some hands-on experience.
There will be more changes on the executive soon. Some are retiring. Others will cease to be eligible to serve at the end of next April when their membership expires. Happily, there are many members who are willing to serve.
Our present contract will expire in 2019, so we must look ahead to bargaining. In hopes of learning something that will help us in the process, I attended the CAUT conference on bargaining in Toronto. I think it worked.
Puzzled recently by the appearance of letters from the CRA with my name on them, which I had never seen before, I called the CRA. It turns out that we were mistakenly registered as a sole proprietorship with me listed as the owner! I got them to correct this and now we are properly registered as an association.
In addition to the foregoing, there is the ongoing work of helping members. I am at the office most weekdays and sometimes on weekends. The first thing to do is to check the e-mail and the voicemail. This frequently results in two or three hours of unanticipated work. In recent weeks, I have dealt with members’ questions about the benefits, about whether you lose ROFR if you take a term off, about whether a course is credit or non-credit, and about whether courses taught elsewhere count towards service points here. I have also explained to an associate dean what a letter from Human Resources was all about.
See you at the AGM at the University Club on Friday, December the 8th at 4:30 pm.
On Tuesday, October 13th, 2015, at 8:30 in the morning, one of our members was fired, purportedly for cause. The signers of the dismissal letter were Peta Bonham-Smith, then Interim Dean and now Dean of Arts and Science, and Michelle Prytula, Dean of Education. In their letter to our member, they declared: “Due to the severity of your conduct in making a discriminatory remark, your employment cannot continue at the university as the employment relationship is irreparable.
This case went to arbitration. The arbitrator was Shiela Denysiuk, QC. On September 6, 2017, she wrote: “For all of the foregoing reasons, I have concluded that the evidence fails to establish just and reasonable cause for any discipline. The grievance is hereby allowed. The dismissal is set aside as being excessive in the circumstances. The University shall immediately reinstate [Denise] McConney and make her whole in all respects, including rights of first refusal.” Arbitrator Denysiuk added: “In the event I am wrong in my analysis of the comment, and some discipline is appropriate, I am satisfied that a coaching letter would have been sufficient in the circumstances.”
Witnesses Michelle Prytula and Chris Scribe, Director of ITEP, both made an issue of the conduct of the union representative who took part on the member’s behalf in the investigation meeting in 2015. Arbitrator Denysiuk commented on it: “I am of the view that Zamulinski’s commentary was entirely appropriate in the circumstances. He was there to advocate for McConney. In my view, the offence taken by Scribe at the meeting, and Prytula later, might have prevented them from considering Zamulinski’s comments objectively.”
Arbitrator Denysiuk noted: “Not every comment that offends is offensive. The test [of offensiveness] requires both an objective and subjective assessment.”
Despite the forthright judgment by the arbitrator, the union is still battling to ensure that our member is made whole.
In the meanwhile, this victory means that we are all somewhat safer from administrators who do not understand labour law.
Have a happy Thanksgiving.