June 10, 2020 – Summary of our Membership Meeting via Blue Jeans

Special note:     

Since our meeting on June 10, the Union has met with the employer and we will soon send further updates. We are going to be holding a special meeting on Tuesday or Wednesday next week to discuss the temporary leave letter due to this pandemic. We have decided to bring this letter back to the membership for ratification. In the coming days, we will be providing instructions via email, detailing how you can participate. Please watch out for this notice. 

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CUPE 4879 General Meeting Summary – June 10, 2020

Executive present: Lois Rugg, Cindy Ozouf, Laszlo Nemes, Karl Fultz

Regrets:  Cynthia Bosdet, Lyn Ferec

National Rep:  Harry Nott

Recorder:  Melissa Schuurman

Meeting called to order at 4:35

Presidents Report:

The COVID-19 Pandemic has created a potential for a significant decrease in Student enrollments including international enrollments for the September 2020 semester and beyond. In order to mitigate this risk and to address the financial implications of a significant enrollment drop, TRU has made the decision to issue a layoff notice to approximately 80 CUPE members starting June 3, 2020. We know that this worrisome for all of us, but TRU has indicated that they value the relationship with each of their employees and endeavors to maintain these relationships whenever possible. Their hope is to rescind most, if not all of the notices. TRU and CUPE has been engaged in on-going discussions regarding the impacts of the pandemic. We are both working together to consider other strategies that might be possible in order to minimize the potential for layoffs.

Union stewards Lois Rugg, Cindy Ozouf, Melissa Schuurman, and Jackie Enders have been attending the meetings with the affected employees, which began on June 3 through the 9th. Meetings were held discuss the notices and to present the layoff options under Article 10 of our collective agreement. Members were informed that they do not yet have to make any decisions. TRU hopes to have a clearer picture of the financial implications in late August and into mid-September.

The Union continues to evaluate alternate options with TRU to help lessen the impact. One of the options is to include an early retirement incentive. We are still waiting for a proposal from the employer on what they would be willing to do for eligible members. However, they have indicated that this would be an option.

CUPE has also been supporting and negotiating terms of temporary unpaid leaves (furloughs) – about an hour prior to the general meeting, the Union reached a tentative agreement to use temporary leaves as an option. More details will be provided next week as we finalize the details in a meeting with HR on Friday. We are feeling optimistic that we were able to make significant gains concerning the unpaid temporary leave. We held off on agreeing to the original proposal until we could agree on a significant improvement that would be benefit our members. Thanks to Harry for his support in reaching this tentative agreement. It was noted by our National rep, Harry Nott, that there are legal issues/implications with calling it a furlough, so, going forward, it will now be referred to as a temporary leave.  The employer has agreed but you may still hear it referred to by some as furlough.

For members slated to go on the unpaid temporary leave, they will be able to apply for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and a one-time provincial emergency fund of $1000. There will be more details to follow early next week.

Please refer to the CUPE Email list for the detailed answers to questions posed during the meeting.  

In conclusion, please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any further questions. Lois and the members of the grievance committee can discuss the options and support you whenever possible. We are all in this together and must continue to support each other.

Thank you to all of the Committee members and our colleagues who have been supporting members. Thank you to the Executive and our Assistant for ensuring that the business continues to get done through this COVID-19 crisis. Thank you to our National Rep for his support and help to guide us through this unprecedented circumstance.

Meeting was adjourned at 6:15pm.

 

 

May 13, 2020 – Summary of our Membership Meeting via Blue Jeans

Our General Meeting was held on May 13, 2020 via Blue Jeans

CUPE4879 held our regular General Meeting on-line Wednesday afternoon, May 13th. Thank you to everyone who participated. It was good to see and hear from you.

Our primary agenda was to update you on COVID-19 Pandemic and our apologies for the length of the information here but we wanted to provide you with as much information as possible.

The Government’s response to Public Sector Employers

In March, the Government had issued direction to all public sector employers regarding employment continuity. The directive is for employers to maintain employment and compensation continuity until the end of April 2020. This was to help ensure the stability for the delivery of public services and the workforce during the initial weeks of the COVID 19 pandemic.

The Provincial government has since created some guidelines for the employer to use in their decision making process going forward as they navigate the unknowns related to the Pandemic. They recognize that different employers will have to have some flexibility when making decisions.

We are still in a rapidly ever changing environment as restrictions and recommendations begin to ease up, however, there are a lot of questions regarding economic recovery and our ability to return to “normal operations”.

The government has provided all public sector employers with the following guiding principles approved by the Minister of Finance, including consideration of key factors in their decision making regarding staffing, including service delivery, fiscal stability and business continuity with the goal to contemplate the full resumption of services with the Provincial Health Officer’s guidelines.

The principles include

  1. Goal to protect public services – where possible maintain business continuity and maximise the productive use of workers and resources
  2. Operate within existing short and long-term financial parameters in consultation with funding ministries
  3. Ensure workplaces are compliant with the Provincial Health Officers guidance and WorkSafe BC requirements so that employees can safely be at their place of work to support resumption of services
  4. Work with unions, bargaining agents and other employers to identify opportunities including job sharing and redeployment opportunities.  Encourage employees to access leave provisions and/or federal income support initiatives.
  5. If business continuity cannot be maintained and reducing staffing levels are temporarily required employers should consider staffing plans that allow for a continued relationship with employees and a resumption of safe operations when the Provincial Health Officer guidelines allow.
  6. The employer will work with the PSEC Secretariat and Ministry to ensure staffing level changes and initiatives put forward are coordinated.

 

There is no end date provided with these principles and will be guided by the Emergency Pandemic Response. There are still many unknowns regarding both immediate and long term economic affects and the solutions that will result from this.

What we know so far

Many of our CUPE members are still extremely busy in departments around campus.  Workloads are likely heightened by the fact that Auxiliary employees who would normally be appointed or post into temporary assignments to assist with this work are no longer being hired.  Those Auxiliary employees should qualify for the Federal Financial Assistance programs as the reduction in work is COVID related.  We have asked the employer to flag the last date that auxiliaries have worked or when the hiring freeze came into effect in order to protect the Auxiliaries seniority until they are able to work again at TRU or choose to sever.

Postings have been put on hold for now and any vacancies or new positions will not be filled for the time being.

There are also many members that have had a large reduction in workload without the on campus face to face activities, classes, events and other support normally required. There are currently some members who do not have any work at all as a result. Where possible, the employer has tried to find additional work for those individuals affected.

So far, all employees have continued to receive regular compensation and benefits.  To help compensate for financial shortfalls, it has been communicated to our members that any remaining vacation and OT banks for 2019/20 must be used up prior to the June 1st (in particular those employees who currently have no workload).

We do not have the stats yet but we do know that a large majority of our members, who are able to work from home are currently doing so. Some employees need to continue to remain on campus if their work requires it and for others it has been optional. We expect the employer to update us on the continuity of working from home in or around May 22nd.   Decisions made by the University will depend on recommendations from Dr Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer.

We have noted that it has been challenging for several people to work from home for reasons due to child care issues, home schooling and work spaces not being ideal. As a result, productivity does not always meet the employers’ normal standards, or often our own standards, but for the most part the employer has been accommodating regarding these matters. The employer has recognized that everyone is doing the best they can under these difficult circumstances. We also recognize that some members are doing very well and thriving working from home.

The union continues to deal with issues and grievances as they arise or as we are made aware of them. We again encourage you to contact us if you have issues or just need to talk. We will provide our contact information at the end of this message.

Going Forward

As mentioned, the primary problem that exists for our membership going forward is that there are several positions on campus currently that do not have enough work or no work at all.  President Fairbarn announced Wednesday that TRU has been in talks with CUPE, TRUFA and the APA to discuss this situation.

CUPE Executive members have met with the employer several times to discuss options and how we may prevent permanent or temporary layoffs. The goal for the University and the Union is to maintain a relationship with those affected employees.

Our collective agreement gives the Union the ability to try to minimize or prevent layoffs via our Article 10:  Menu of labour adjustment strategies. The Employer is proposing, if the Union agrees, that employees who are identified with no current work or limited work will need to opt to take a furlough ( a temporary leave). The Union would agree if certain conditions can be negotiated for the members.

If the majority of the members affected, agree to the employers proposal, a furlough of between 30 and 120 days, there will be additional incentives above and beyond the employees being able to access the Federal CERB benefits of $2000/month and the one time Provincial Government benefit of $1000.   Benefits, accrual of vacation, pension buy back opportunities and any other incentive the Union can negotiate would be offered to the employee till the end of the proposed furlough timeline.  At the end of the furlough members would return to their previous position. The affected members would have an option to use their vacation, CTO banks and OT banks at the beginning of their furlough if they chose to get the full wages and then would be eligible to get the CERB benefits as well.  If the Employer wishes to extend the furlough it would have to be agreed to by the Union. If the employer determined that the position would need to be laid off permanently after the furlough was completed, the affected employees would then have all of the layoff provisions as per the collective agreement including the layoff notice period, bumping, recall, change status or severance from the University.

We understand that all of the Universities in the Province will be offering similar packages to their employees but we do not know the details as of yet.

Circumventing layoffs at this point with the hopes that we return to a normal or as close to previous normal operations as possible, may mean that many or all of those who were furloughed may return to their positions eventually and continue their employment at TRU.

We have asked the employer to identify the departments, positions and members that may be affected as soon as possible. Once we are provided with the information we will be discussing this proposal with the affected members directly. If the majority of those affected are not in favour of the proposal then we will need to look at layoff options for members as per Article 10 for positions as determined by the employer.

Conclusion

Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that our members are treated fairly regardless of employment status. We will continue to work with our National rep, Harry Nott and will be in touch with our CUPE Locals in the University sector to share information. Harry will also ensure that we follow the proper procedures when making these decisions.

We hope that we have covered the most important information here and answered your questions. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to reach out and contact our office at cupe4879@shaw.ca , Lois Rugg at presidentcupe4879@shaw.ca  cell at 250.318.9919.

We will get through this and understand the stress that all members are experiencing during difficult time. We will continue to be there to support you.  Please stay safe and be well.

In solidarity,

Lois Rugg, President
on behalf of the CUPE 4879 Executive

 

 

March 11, 2020 – Summary of our Membership Meeting

Our General Meeting was held on March 11, 2020 and we conducted the following business.

Elections

We elected two delegates and an alternate to represent Local 4879 to attend the CUPE BC Super Conference being held in Nanaimo in June (June 23-25, 2020). Stacy Pena and Cindy Ozouf were the two delegates elected, along with Melissa Schuurman as the alternate.

Vacant Trustee position and a huge “Thank you” to Linda McAbee

Congratulations go out to Navin Jain who was elected to fill the 3-year term Trustee vacancy. Linda McAbee has resigned from the position of Trustee. We would like to extend our sincere appreciation for Linda’s many years of service as our Trustee extraordinaire. We are so grateful for her expertise, her activism in our union and her on-going support over the years. Linda will be retiring at the end of April and we would like to wish her all the best for a well-deserved retirement. She will definitely be missed.

Online streaming and voting

In other news, the executive committee shared an exciting initiative to provide an opportunity for members to attend the General meeting in May via online streaming using Blue Jeans Software. More details regarding instructions for logging in will be provided closer to the meeting date. There will be a unique code provided to members with a requirement to send an email to cupe4879@shaw.ca in order to ensure participation. In addition, they are also looking at online voting providers to accommodate our substantial elections and voting. Once we have completed our fact finding process, our hope is to incorporate these new procedures in our by-laws.

By-law committee update

The By-Law Committee has had one meeting so far and scheduled to meet again in April. They are working hard in reviewing the current by-laws that have not been updated since 2011.

Grievance update

Our president, Lois Rugg gave a report on outstanding grievances. Currently, there are five active grievances with the majority filed in 2019 for excessive discipline or selection process. We settled and resolved a grievance for a member that was scheduled for arbitration in January. Lois also reported that our union and the employer are working hard to resolve four grievances that have been slated for arbitration. So far, we have had one new Grievance filed in 2020 for excessive discipline.

Open discussion

We had some extra time for member questions and conversation and it was nice to get to know some of you.

Door prize winners

Thanks to all those that came out.  Door prizes winners were Tony Kuczma (the coveted CUPE 4879 mug), Cindy Ozouf and Karl Fultz receiving $20.00 each.

COVID-19 Update

As you are aware, our union is continuing to monitor information concerning the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We have been in contact with the University regarding their response to the situation and the impact on our members and others at our Williams Lake and Kamloops location.

To keep current, we encourage you to visit https://www.tru.ca/current/wellness/covid-19.html  for further information, updates and communications from the University.

We will keep you updated with further information as soon as they become available. Please also check the CUPE staff email list regarding any union updates.

Hope to see you at the next meeting on April 8, 2020 at 4:35 in room OL 127.

Stay healthy!

February 12, 2020 – Summary of our Membership Meeting

Thank you to everyone who attended our Feb 12 meeting. It was nice to see all of you there.

Presentation by HR on Article (11e) changes to filling of temporary vacancies

Amanda Ellison, Associate Director of HR, was our guest of the night. She gave a presentation on the recent changes to Article 11(e) temporary vacancies and its implementation as negotiated by the employer and the Union in our last bargaining round. The presentation gave some clarity on the Annual Performance Plan process and participation. It also covered topics on career progression and skill development along with some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the process. If you missed this presentation and would like to learn more, there will be opportunities during lunch n learn sessions coming up about this topic in the very near future. Watch the CUPE list for upcoming announcements.

Election of Grievance Committee for the remainder of the term (2021)

Congratulations to Joanne Atherton who was acclaimed for the vacant position in the Grievance Committee for the remainder of the term to 2021. We look forward to working with you!

Election of Employee Wellness, Innovation and Training Committee

The two-year term for the Wellness, Innovation and Training Committee will now have our local President, Lois Rugg and newly elected delegates Melissa Schuurman and Shilpee Sharma. The committee will assist in developing the terms of reference and implementation of the negotiated Service Agreement per the last round of bargaining

Election of Annual Professional Development Planning Committee

Congratulations! to Melissa Schuurman who was elected to the one year term position for the Annual Professional Development Planning Committee to represent our local on the planning committee and the Engagement Steering Committee Group.

Motion to send and elect 6 delegates and 1 alternate, with preference given to members of the Executive Committee, to the CUPE BC Convention in Vancouver, BC (April 22-25, 2020) with funds to come from the Convention budget line, not to exceed $17,000

A motion was passed to send and elect 6 delegates and 1 alternate to the Annual CUPE BC Convention April 22-25, 2020.  This year’s delegates will consist of: President, Lois Rugg, and the following Executive members: Lyn Ferec, Cindy Ozouf and Karl Fultz. The elected delegates joining us this year is Melissa Schuurman and Joanne Atherton. Our alternate delegate is Navin Jain. The CUPE BC convention is held annually and is the parliament of the provincial division of CUPE BC. It is where resolutions are discussed and passed and direction is given to the provincial executive board by all the participating locals and memberships.

Motion to send and elect up to 2 delegates to the Canadian Labour Congress Convention in Vancouver, BC (May 4-8, 2020)

A motion was passed to send and elect up to 2 delegates to the Canadian Labour Congress Convention (CLC).  Our local is entitled to send one delegate and an alternate. However, CUPE National has indicated that they will likely have additional credentials available so we may be able to send two delegates. Lois Rugg will go as the President and Lyn Ferec was elected as the alternate. If we are able to send two delegates, Lyn will attend as the second delegate and Cindy Ozouf will be the 2nd alternate. The CLC convention is the parliament of the congress and its affiliated unions from across Canada and will be held in Vancouver, May 4-8, 2020.

Hope to see you at our next meeting on March 11, 2020 at 4:35 pm Room OL 127.

January 8, 2020 – Summary of our Membership Meeting

Thank you to everyone that was able to come out to the meeting last night and to those individuals who let their name stand for this year’s election. Your willingness to do this important work for the membership is very much appreciated.

Results from the January 8, 2020 election is as follows:

Cindy Ozouf – 1st Vice President position for 2 year term (acclaimed).

Myrissa Krenzler –  Job Evaluation Committee for 3 year term

Navin Jain –  Alternate to the JE Committee for 1 year term

An adhoc By-law Committee was also elected to review the CUPE 4879 bylaws and are as follows:

Executive Liaison:  Lyn Ferec (selected by the Executive)

Bylaw Committee Members:  Melissa Schuurman, Chris Ward, Myrissa Krenzler and Eliza Pycock.

Advisor to the By-law committee will be our CUPE National representative: Harry Nott.

(Please note a survey will come out shortly to consider meeting dates and times for 4879 General Meetings.  Please take the time to fill out the short survey in order to assist the By-law committee in their considerations.)

Congratulations to all and thanks to those who have served on several committees over the years.Your time and energy has been so appreciated.

 A big thank you to Debbie Wasylyshyn! 

We would like to especially thank Debbie Wasylyshyn on behalf of the membership and the rest of the Executive committee for her many years of service to our local and in particular, for her years that she has served on the Executive as 1st VP.  Debbie’s contributions over the years has been immeasurable. At this time, Debbie has decided to not let her name stand for the position of 1st VP for personal reasons but she will continue to remain active in our local. Thank you so much for your dedication Debbie! All the best in your future endeavors!

Next General Meeting Feb 12, 2020

In our next meeting in February, we will be electing members to sit on the Employee Wellness, Innovation and Training Committee which will consist of the President and 2 elected members. There will be more information to follow.

See you in February!

December 11, 2019 – Summary of our Membership Meeting

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend the meeting and our Christmas Social.  It was such a great turn out!  We hope to see you all at the next meeting sometime in January 2020.

Summary of the Meeting

A motion was passed to elect one alternate for the Job Evaluation committee on an annual basis.  The election for this position will take place at the January 8th General Meeting when the other Executive and Committee positions are scheduled to be elected.

We also discuss that we will be electing four representatives to sit on the by-laws review AdHoc committee along with an Executive Liaison (which will be selected by the Executive Committee) and National Staff Representative, Harry Nott.

There was also a discussion on the memo from Human Resources about the Interview process for Job Evaluations.  If you require more information, this memo can be viewed in its entirety on the CUPE email list.  The Job Evaluation committee members from both sides of the party met to discuss this new process and agreed that eliminating the mandatory interviews will help alleviate the stress of the incumbent in this position.  In addition, this will also allow the committee members to focus more on other committee work such as the Job Evaluation Questionnaires (JEQ) that members spend so much time and effort to complete.  This change does not affect the manual, as the language already suggests that an interview is not mandatory.  The committee however, may still request an interview if they require further clarification.

If members have any questions about the Job Evaluation process, they are encouraged to contact the CUPE 4879 office and we will connect you with a member of the Executive Committee.  Please also note that the Job Evaluation resources are also available via the CUPE 4879 website and can be found via this link:  https://4879.cupe.ca/resources/ .

We also encourage members to contact CUPE 4879 office prior to submitting a Job Evaluation Questionnaire so that we may offer our advice and support.

Executive Report – New Motion

A motion was passed to send two delegates to the CUPE BC “Super Conference” scheduled for June 2020 in Nanaimo, B.C.  More details will follow.

Upcoming Elections

Elections for various committee positions will take place in the new year.

Elections to send delegates to the CUPE BC Convention will also take place in February.

Other Business

Lois thanked the TRU Community and our members who donated shoes for the Annual Kamloops Shoe Memorial.  It was a very touching ceremony that included the inaugural Red Dress Memorial.  Lois also asked members to consider collecting or buying shoes for donations for the 2020 memorial if they are able.

The TRU Student Union’s inaugural holiday fest was a success and very well attended.  The decorated Santa by our members was well received and over 200 cups of cider was consumed.  Everyone had a good time!

 

 

 

November 13, 2019 – Summary of our Membership Meeting

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend the meeting.   It was nice to see you.

Agenda items for the meeting:

  1. Executive and Committee Nominations/Elections including:  1st Vice President, Treasurer, Sergeant at Arms (To be eligible for the positions listed above, members must have attended 50% of the previous general meetings in the last 12 months.
  2. Report on CUPE National Convention
  3. Grievance Committee updates
  4. Notice of Motion: (Elect an alternate position for the Job Evaluation Committee for a one year term annually.
  5. Regular order of business

Summary of the Meeting

Nominations were held and the following members have been nominated:

1st VP – Debbie Wasylyshyn, Cindy Ozouf – election will be held January 2020.

Treasurer – Lyn Ferec

Sergeant at Arms – Laszlo Nemes

Trustee – 1 (3 year term) position – Linda McAbee

Education Committee – 1 (3 year term) position – Tony Kuczma

Job Evaluation Committee – 1 (3 year term) position – Myrissa Krenzler, Brock Olsen, Steve Zamudio – election will be held January 2020

Parking Appeal and Advisory Committee (2 year term) – Myrissa Krenzler, Janis Setka

Communications Committee – in addition to current committee members – Danna Bach, Bart Cummings, Stacy Pena

Social Committee – in addition to current committee – Shilpee Sharma, Tony Kuczma

Shop stewards – in addition to current stewards – Brock Olsen, Stacy Pena

Elections will be held January 2020!  Come out and support your fellow members.

Report on CUPE National Convention

President, Lois Rugg reported and shared photos from the Convention.  The Executive members had a busy week.  They were on the convention floor from 9-5 daily, taking in guest speakers and networking with  CUPE members from all over Canada, 300+ of which were from BC.  For more details, please check out our September & October 2019 edition of our newsletter.

Notice of motion for CUPE 4879 to donate $100 each to the following charities:

  • BCSPCA
  • Out of the Cold
  • Christmas Amalgamated
  • Food Bank
  • TRUSU Foodbank
  • Mustard Seed Community New Life Mission

New Business

In the new year there will be an election for a By-Law Ad-Hoc committee which will consist of four elected members from the membership, an Executive liaison elected by the Executive Committee and our National Rep as the resource staff.

There will also be a discussion and debate on a motion to add an alternate position to the Job Evaluation Committee which would be elected on an annual basis.

Next meeting will be a shorter General Meeting with our Christmas social to follow  December 11, 2019.  Please come and join us for a good time.  More details to come!