September 9, 2020– Summary of our Membership Meeting (Virtual)

Thanks to all who joined us at the CUPE 4879  General Meeting September 9th via Microsoft Teams. Here is a summary of the meeting.


The voting procedure was adapted for the online meeting using Survey Monkey.  The following positions were elected for the remainder of the term to January 2021:

Recording Secretary – Melissa Schuurman (acclaimed)

JE Alternate – Nominated –  Brenda Eshelby, Joanne Atherton.  Elected – Joanne Atherton.

Additional OH&S rep –  Jason Staruiala (acclaimed).

Many thanks to those who have given their time and commitment in positions on the committees and thanks to those members who let their names stand.


Lyn Ferec, CUPE 4879 Treasurer, presented the 2020/2021 budget.  Notably in the budget is a new Hardship line to support members in need.  Parameters for eligibility and use of the fund will be determined and put into place shortly.  Money for a cost share campaign in conjunction with the CUPE BC University sector was approved to help highlight the need for better funding for Post Secondary Institutions.  The Budget was overwhelmingly approved by the membership.

Thank you to Lyn for her role in keeping our local in good financial standing and to our Administrative Assistant, Connie Angman.

Letter LOA R:

Melissa Schuurman reported on the initiatives of the Wellness, Innovation and Training Committee.
Funding has been approved for the following initiatives:

  • Fitness classes on campus and off-site – details to be announced by TRU Recreation
  • Lunch n Learn Webinars – dates to be announced
    • Building Resilience in Uncertain Times (COVID-19)
    • Mental Health and Wellbeing: Coping Strategies during COVID-19
    • Working Remotely with Children: Practical Strategies
    • Overcoming Burnout
    • Through the Looking Glass: Thriving in the New Normal
  • Working Mind Facilitator Training for the Campus Wellness Advisor
    • The Working Mind (TWM) is an education-based program designed to address and promote mental health and reduce the stigma of mental illness in the workplace.  Participants learn how to recognize changes in behaviour that could indicate a mental health issue – either in themselves or others. Participants learn coping strategies based on a mental health continuum model.
  • Workplace Mental Health Leadership Certificate Program
    • 6-week program expected to start mid-October
    • Looking for 25 individuals in leadership roles to participate (ex. CUPE supervisors, Shop stewards, Managers)
  • Femininity Equity, Diversity and Inclusiveness training workshops – partnership with HR
    • Tailored to be TRU-specific
    • Two 75-minute workshops for up to 1,000 employees
    • Expected to start in October

Planning to send out another survey October/November to CUPE employees for ideas on initiatives to fund

Early Retirement Incentive Program (ERIP):

Lois reported that TRU will soon be offering the incentive starting with employees age 58 or older.  A letter of understanding has been promised to the CUPE Executive this week.  When the letter has been received, membership will be notified and members should advise HR if they are interested.  The employer will want to know by the end of October.  If there is room available for more to apply,  the employer will open it up to additional ages possibly up to and including age 55..  The program will be available to Faculty and Admin as well.


Some layoffs have been rescinded throughout the summer as enrolment numbers came in better than projected. However,  many other layoffs are going forward after TRU announced that they have had a reduction in domestic enrolment overall by about 3 to 6 % and a reduction in international students by 20%.  We know now that several administrative positions and Mangers  have also been let go and more are to follow.  The union has requested a report from HR on the layoffs and institutional cuts so we can assess the impact to our members. The Union will endeavor to keep the membership up to date as we have more information.  We ask people to continue to be supportive, kind and supportive in these times as many of our friends and colleagues go through an extremely challenging time and are making difficult choices.  We remind members to please reach out to the Union, Executive and Committee members for information and support.  Lois can be contacted at or contact our office at

Good of the Union: 

Members in attendance at the meeting were entered into a draw for our regular $20 door prizes.  Winners were  Alexandria Humes and Eliza Pycock.  Congratulations.  Connie will be in touch.

Stay safe everyone.