May 12, 2021 – Summary of our Membership Meeting (Virtual)

Here is a summary of our May 12 meeting:

The following items were discussed:

  • Lyn Ferec discussed the upcoming changes to the by-laws. A notice of motion was presented to begin reviewing and voting on by-law changes starting in June.
  • Lois explained the voting process for the upcoming changes to the by-law.
  • We discussed the Townhall with the Public Health Officers about the impending return to work and COVID.

LOA R committee announced the winners for the renaming of the committee. They received 30 participants and the winners are: Ashleigh Canaday, Shannon McLeod, and Michelle Young.

The LOA R is now known as WIT committee (Wellness, Innovation and Training).

Joy Demsey gave us a Wellness update. There is an upcoming mental health training, a lunch and learn on (EAP) Employee Assistance Program. and the “Ride Don’t Hide” event coming up in June. There is also a Naturopathic Medicine lunch and learn on May 19 at noon. We hope to see you there.

Members in attendance were entered into a draw for our regular $20 door prize. The winners are: Rhea Clements and Michael Dillon.

See you at the next meeting.

April 14, 2021 – Summary of our Membership Meeting (Virtual)

Here is a summary of our April 14 meeting:

There was a motion to purchase the Owl camera system pending support from the CUPE BC Pandemic fund, up to the amount of $1600 to come out of technology fund. Lois has confirmed that CUPE BC has approved $1000 towards the purchase of this camera and rest to come from our technology fund. This camera will be useful in the future with conducting our General meetings.

Committee Updates:

  • LOA R – has received everyone’s submissions for renaming the committee, a survey will be sent out next Monday to vote for your favourite name.
  • Grievance Committee – 3 grievances went to mediation yesterday and we are happy with the resolution. We are still looking at 2 grievances to move forward to arbitration.
  • Negotiations Committee – We are starting to get ready for negotiations next year. We will be getting your feedback soon.

The Annual Day of Mourning is a virtual ceremony this year and will take place April 28th @ 7pm. Visit the link for the link to the ceremony. A car parade is also being planned and will start at the Provincial Courthouse downtown at 5 pm .

Members in attendance were entered into a draw for our regular $20 door prize. The winners are: Lyn Ferec and Teresa Dickmeyer.

See you at the next meeting!

March 10, 2021 – Summary of our Membership Meeting (Virtual)

Here is the summary of our Mar 10 meeting:

Lois introduced Joy Demsey who is our interim Campus Wellness Advisor covering Sam Nielsen’s maternity leave. Welcome to Joy! We look forward to working with you.

Melissa provided a quick updated from LOA R committee and what they have been up to in the past year. If you are interested to know more, please feel free to contact Melissa Schuurman.

Karl Fultz is retiring soon and has requested a lifetime CUPE 4879 membership. If the membership approves this request, we will send it to CUPE National for final approval.

The following topics were discussed:

  • Discussion about a survey being sent out to get feedback from our members regarding the return to campus plan. The executive has met with the employer and we have asked to keep us to date with the progress.
  • The executive is currently looking at a “Letter of Understanding” for working from home for a department that is partaking in a pilot project post pandemic.

We encourage members to reach out directly to the executive to ensure that your concerns are addressed.

The executive is planning an outdoor event once the restrictions lift. We will keep everyone posted.

Members in attendance were entered into a draw for our regular $20 door prize. The winners are: Margaret West and Michael Dillon. Congratulations!

See you at the next meeting.

February 10, 2021 – Summary of our Membership Meeting (Virtual)

Here is a summary of our February meeting:

We announced our bursary winners for 2020-21 and they are Olivia Corke and Jenna Dandurand. Olivia is pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration with a focus on environmental sustainability. Jenna is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree with hopes to enter into the health care field. We wish them the very best in their future endeavours.

There was a motion to open up the Bursary to those taking less than three courses (part time studies), with preference given to those taking more than three courses (full time studies). Education committee will meet to discuss this further.

An election was held to send 6 delegates and one alternate to attend the CUPE BC Virtual Convention with preference given to the President and Executive members and remaining vacancies open to interested members. The election of the results are as follows:

Cindy Ozouf, Navin Jain, Melissa Schuurman, Lyn Ferec, Joanne Atherton, and Linda Fleck

The above mentioned members will be attending the convention this year

There was some discussion regarding the following topics:

  • Moving grievances to arbitration, which will be making a motion at our next meeting
  • Our local is looking at getting involved in the campaign for “Education for all.”

Members in attendance were entered into a draw for our regular $20 door price. The winners are: Laszlo Nemes and Shilpee Sharma. Congratulations!

See you at the next meeting.

January 13, 2021 – Summary of our Membership Meeting (Virtual)

Here is a summary of our January meeting:

Happy New Year everyone!

Thanks to everyone who was able to join us for our first general meeting of 2021 yesterday.

Here is a brief summary of our meeting and discussions

Election for Job Evaluation Committee – Alternate
Congratulations to Jasmine Haskell elected to the position and thanks to all for letting their name stand.

Hardship Fund Discussion

Reminder that this fund of $100 is available for those members who may be in need. Applications will be vetted by our Office Admin and you will be required to provide evidence of need. The Application is posted on website and we will resend to the CUPE list as well. All applications, names and information will be kept confidential. The Executive will make the decisions on each application on a case by case need basis. First time applicants will have priority. The fund is available until June 30th.

Okanagan Mainline District Council (OMDC) Young Worker opportunity – CUPE BC Convention

Karl Fultz provided information on opportunity for young worker to attend CUPE BC convention, sponsored by OMDC. Only one spot available, discussed eligibility criteria and application process. Applicants from all CUPE Locals affiliated to the OMDC are eligible to apply so odds will be based on total number of applicants. If you are a young worker, between the age of 18 to 30 inclusive, in our local please send us a paragraph of why you would like to be considered for this opportunity to attend the CUPE BC convention. Send the application to the Executive via by February 14th. Deadline subject to change as we are waiting to hear officially from the OMDC what their deadline is. The Convention will be held virtually over 3 days, 9am to 4pm, May 19-21. Wages and expenses (if any) will be covered.

President Report/update:

Grievance updates:
One grievance filed so far this year regarding selection and there are 5-6 outstanding from previous years. Will be taking 3 grievance to mediation with Arbitrator Mark Brown. We are still waiting for dates.

Layoff update:
We still have people on temp leave. Some people have already been told that there positions will be eliminated and so are not being brought back. They have been offered their layoff options. Some members are still waiting to hear and the Union is hoping TRU will make decisions soon about those members and if there leave will be extended or not. Several people have also been told they will be bringing back their position back so some positive news on that front. We will let the membership know what the final numbers look like as we learn more but want members to know that this is about more than numbers and that we continue and always need to be kind to each other in these times of trouble and distress. Please reach out if you need support or just need to talk.
Benefits for those turning 65:

Some members reaching 65 years of age are still receiving automated letter from Manulife saying their benefits will no longer be available. The Union would like to clarify that those members will not receive LTD and will have reduced life insurance when they turn 65 but will still receive short term disability benefits and get extended health benefits until age 70. HR (People and Culture) have been trying to work with Manulife to get this resolved so they do not send our members automated emails but to date this has not stopped. TRU puts those members who are age 65 to 70 into a different class re benefits. Unfortunately benefits do cease at age 70 but Manulife has a follow me plan. Depending on your personal circumstance you may also want to look into BC Forum who has a group plan to age 75 for a membership fee of approx. $20

Pension plan, changes coming in 2022.
Just a reminder that Bridging will still be an option for those it may benefit but will be prorated based on years of service that members have paid into it after 2022. Once the changes occur in 2022 people will be accumulating a larger amount in their pension as the plan will no longer be funding the bridging. This will benefit younger members more but will have some benefit to others depending on how long you work after 2022. CUPE 4879 will be offering a lunch ‘n’ learn on pensions for an opportunity to learn more and ask general questions. Date TBA. If you have specific questions about your personal pension we would encourage you to contact the MPP directly.

Coldest Night of the Year: joining Kamloops and District Labour Council (Team Labour Council 2021)
This year, the across Canada fundraising event will be virtual and held on Feb.20th Participants can walk with their bubble or by themselves on a safe route they have mapped out in their own neighbourhood or neighbourhoods they feel comfortable in. The walking distance should be between 2 to 5 km approximately. It is an honour system of course.

There was a motion at the GM to sponsor up to $300 for the event. $50 each for up to 6 participants from CUPE 4879 who join the Labour Council 2021 team. To register for the CNOY 2021 event go to and register to fundraise (or donate). You can look for your location (For majority of members – Kamloops) and then it will guide you on how to register for the team Labour Council 2021. This year the Team Captain is Talitha Dekker from HEU. The incentive to participate or donate to team Labour Council 2021 is for bragging rights if the team is the number one fundraiser, but most importantly it supports the Mustard Seed and all of the great work they do for our homeless persons and our community.

If you are one of the first 6 CUPE members to register as a participant on the team we will make sure we donate $50 toward your fundraising goal. Contact myself or to confirm you have registered We would invite and encourage all members to make a personal donation large or small if you can, either to yourself if participating, a CUPE 4879 member on team Labour Council 2021 or to the Team itself.

CUPE 4879 Bursary:
Reminder that CUPE bursary deadline is Jan.15. The Education committee will review applications and announce the winners sometime in February.

Kamloops and District Labour Council Bursary

Congrats to Cindy Ozouf and Dana Bach, each winners of KDLC bursary this year. Reminder to members that each year the KDLC awards 5 x $1000 bursaries. 3 are general and 1 is specifically for Trades Programs. The 5th is a relatively new bursary in Memory of Cindy Ross Friedman that is awarded to a woman who is studying in the STEM programs.

Financial Query from member
One of the questions asked last night at our meeting was about the 4879 budget. The question was when the Budget was presented and approved, did the Executive account for layoffs and retirements – Lois and Lyn provided response that yes the Executive did anticipate lower dues and adjusted some of our expenditures. We have approved a deficit budget this year but we are still in good shape and will be watching as the year goes on.

Door Prizes:
Members in attendance at the meeting were entered into a draw for our regular $20 door prizes and our spin it to win it wheel.
Congratulations to Michael Dillon and Marianna Abutalipova

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Executive, Committee members or contact our office. A complete list of names of elected committee members will be posted shortly.

December 14, 2020 – Summary of our Membership Meeting (Virtual)

Here is the summary of our December meeting:

Thank you to all those who were able to attend the December General Meeting.

We welcomed Kole Lawrence and Shatelle Bishop members of TRUSU who presented the TRUSU campaign to end Canada’s discriminatory blood ban that prohibits MSM (men who have sex with Men) and trans women from donating blood. TRUSU’s campaign is proposing Canada move to a behaviour based blood donation model versus an identity based blood donation model currently being used in Canada. Many countries have adopted the behaviour based model. Since the 80’s the blood ban has gone from 100 % ban to in recent years a 3 month ban. This 3 month ban still discriminates against persons in monogamous and in long term relationships who practise safe sex. The membership passed a motion to support the “End the Blood Ban” campaign through letter writing, emails and social media.

Trustees Navin Jain and Linda Fleck presented the findings from the audit. Overall the Trustees were very happy with how the Finances and the books were being handled on the membership’s behalf. Treasurer, Lyn Ferec thanked the Trustees and responded that the recommendations brought forward were good ones and would be implemented. We would like to thank Linda, Navin and Cristian for their excellent work.

Motions were passed at the meeting to approve our annual holiday donations and to increase them from $100 to $200 using the money we would have spent on the Christmas Social. We will be donating to the BCSPCA, the Kamloops Food Bank, YMCA Women’s Shelter, the Mustard Seed, TRU Student Union Food Bank, Out of the Cold and Christmas Amalgamated.

CUOE 4879 usually supports the Annual Shoe and Red Dress Memorial sponsored by the KDLC. The event was cancelled this year due to COVID so the organizers asked affiliates to donate to the Y- Women’s Shelter or the Kamloops Sexual Assault Counseling Centre (KSACC). The membership passed a motion to donate $200 to the KSACC.

Congrats to Navin Jain acclaimed as the 2nd VP, Linda Fleck acclaimed for the Labour Management Committee and Evelyn Penny for the Negotiations Committee Alternate position, all 2 year terms starting in January. In addition, Kamala Johal has joined the Communications Committee and Shop Steward, Cynthia Bosdet will continue to be on the Social Committee. Again we would like to thank everyone who has served on the committees, let their names stand and who will serve on committees. Your commitment and time is appreciated by the membership.

Reminder that we will be holding the election for the JE Alternate position and we will also be electing a 2 year position for Trustee who will replace Navin.

The CUPE 4879 holiday wheel was spun at the meeting to draw prizes supporting local business. The list of prizes and winners was posted on our CUPE List. Thank you to everyone who participated and congratulations to our winners.

We know this may be a difficult and challenging holiday season for everyone and some may be struggling more than others. A reminder that our Hardship Fund is available till June. Please contact if you would like a form to complete. Your name and information will be kept confidential.

On behalf of the Executive and myself we would like to wish you all the best of the season. Please take care of yourselves. Be safe and be well.

November 18, 2020 – Summary of our Membership Meeting (Virtual)

Here is the summary of our November meeting:

Thanks to all who joined us at the CUPE 4879 General Meeting November 18th via Microsoft Teams. Here is a summary of the meeting as recorded by Melissa Schuurman.

It was announced at the meeting that Karl Fultz is retiring end of March, will not be running for positions. Lois thanked him for his years of service, his passion for our members and Union principles.

Nominations were accepted and here are the results:

-President Lois Rugg – Accepted/Acclaimed
-2nd Vice President – Jackie Enders – Accepted/Acclaimed
-Recording Secretary- Melissa Schuurman – Accepted/Acclaimed

Negotiation Committee – Chair

-Melissa Schuurman – Accepted/Acclaimed

Negotiation Committee (3 positions and 1 alternate)

-President – Lois Rugg
-Lyn Ferec – Accepted/Acclaimed
-Cindy Ozouf – Accepted/Acclaimed
-Jackie Enders – Accepted/Acclaimed
*Alternate position vacant

Grievance Committee – Chair

-Melissa Schuurman – Accepted/Acclaimed

Grievance Committee (4 positions)

-President – Lois Rugg
-Cindy Ozouf – Accepted/Acclaimed
-Joanne Atherton – Accepted/Acclaimed
-Jackie Enders – Accepted/Acclaimed
-Jasmine Haskell – Accepted/Acclaimed

Labour Management Committee (4 positions)

-President – Lois Rugg
-Lyn Ferec – Accepted/Acclaimed
-Kristin Webb – Accepted/Acclaimed
-Debbie Wasylyshyn – Accepted/Acclaimed
*1 vacancy

Joint OH&S (2 positions)

-Mike Dhillon – Accepted/Acclaimed
-Jason Staruiala – Accepted/Acclaimed

Trustee (1 position)

-Linda Fleck – Accepted/Acclaimed

Education Committee (1 position)

-Cindy Ozouf – Accepted/Acclaimed

Job Evaluation Committee (2 positions and 1 alternate)

-Mike Dillon (3 year position) – Accepted/Acclaimed
-Brenda Eshelby (1 year, remainder of term) – Accepted/Acclaimed
-Jody Coolahan (Alternate) – Accepted
-Jasmine Haskell (Alternate) – Accepted
*Election to take place for Alternate position in January

Parking Advisory Committee (2 positions)

-Myrissa Krenzler – Accepted/Acclaimed
-Jasmine Haskell – Accepted/Acclaimed

Communications Committee

-No new members

Social Committee (no limit)

-No new members

Shop Stewards (no limit)

-Jasmine Haskell (as part of being on Grievance committee)

KDLC Delegate (entitled to 9 delegates)

-Lois Rugg – Accepted/Acclaimed
-Cindy Ozouf – Accepted/Acclaimed
-Jasmine Haskell – Accepted/Acclaimed
-Debbie Wasylyshyn – Accepted/Acclaimed

Okanagan Mainline District representatives

-President and members of Executive attend
-Navin Jain put his name forward

Elections will take place in January for the JE Alternate and we will also continue to seek nominations for any vacancies.

The Kamloops and District Labour Council has an opportunity to have a representative on the BC Fed Executive Council for a two year term. Motion was made to support Lois’s candidacy and any expenses for BC Fed Executive Council Meetings with expenses to come out of the University Committee budget line.

M/S/C: Melissa Schuurman/Lyn Ferec/All-in-favour

Discussion: Lois noted that there will probably be limited expenses this year due to no in-person meetings.

Good of the Union:

Members in attendance at the meeting were entered into a draw for our regular $20 door prizes.

Winners were:

$20 – Michael Dillon
$20 – Brenda Eshelby

Our next meeting will be December 9th via Teams.

October 14, 2020 – Summary of our Membership Meeting (Virtual)

Here is a summary of the October General Meeting.

Presentation on the Municipal Pension Plan (MPP) changes
Presented by Karl Fultz.

It has been over 50 years since the plan has been reviewed and so the Pension board asked plan partners to do a comprehensive review of the plan. The plan partners have done this, guided by the following principles:

  • improving equity for members,
  • aligning benefits with how the majority of members use them,
  • setting a strong foundation for the long-term sustainability of the plan

Improve the Lifetime Pension

The proposed changes will result in an improved lifetime pension for the majority of members. For general membership, this benefit improvement is funded in part by the reduction of early retirement subsidies and the elimination of the temporary bridge benefit (for Group 1 only – CUPE 4879 members are in this group) on service earned after January 1, 2022.

Do away with the two tier tiered system of contribution

Currently members contribute to the pension at two different rates. One is based on their earnings up to the YMPE (year’s maximum pensionable earnings) and the other is based on earnings above the YMPE. YMPE is an amount set by the federal government for purposes of determining maximum annual contributions to the Canada Pension Plan (in 2020, it is $58,700). Upon retirement, members’ pensions are likewise calculated using two accrual rates. One is based on their highest average earnings up to the YMPE and the other is based on the highest average earnings above the YMPE. It is proposed that going forward from January 1, 2022, all members will contribute at a single contribution rate for all earnings and will receive the same proportional benefit, calculated using a flat rate on all highest average earnings. It is important to note that contribution rates between groups vary. Plan partners believe this is a more equitable way of managing contribution and benefit accrual rates for future service.

Plan for Long-Term Financial Sustainability

Plan partners are working to improve the long-term sustainability of the plan by stabilizing contribution rates, strengthening inflation protection to support cost of living adjustments (COLA) over the long-term, and introducing a new health benefit trust to further support retiree benefits. 

For more information visit

Members were also encouraged to sign up for a relevant MPP webinar.  This is not to answer personal questions about your pension but rather to answer general questions about the changes and how they may affect you.
Attached is the invitation to MPP Redesign Web Info Sessions including a date specifically for the Post Secondary Sector. Thursday October 22nd, 5 to 6pm.  See attachment to register.
BCFED 2020


The BC Federation of Labour will hold the 59th constitutional convention on November 24, 25 and 26, 2020.

Because of the continuing pandemic, this will be the first entirely virtual convention in the BC Fed’s history.

A Motion was passed to send the our alloted 6 delegates including President and 5 delegates (with preference given to the 4879 Executive) and one alternate.

Elected along with President Lois Rugg were Karl Fultz, Melissa Schuurman, Cindy Ozouf, Linda Fleck.  There is one vacancy and the Executive will seek interested persons to fill it.

CUPE National Post-secondary Sector Conference October 21, 2020

CUPE 4879 will be sending 4 delegates to this conference virtually which includes the President, Lois Rugg and Karl Fultz, Cindy Ozouf and Melissa Schuurman.  This conference is held in alternate years to the National Convention and brings together CUPE leaders from across the country in all sectors including the Post Secondary Sector.  The conference was budgeted for but will cost substantially less due to no travel expenses. The delegates look forward to attending the first virtual sector conference and will be reporting back to the membership.  Normally a two day meeting plus travel, this will now be a ½ day conference held on Wednesday October 21st.

Drive through for your CUPE 4879 COVID Kits

The Executive will be “cool” in the fall weather, rain or shine wearing our CUPE 4879 masks to deliver your CUPE 4879 COVID kits to you.  We are planning the drive through on Monday October 26th from 10am to 1pm.  You will find us located at the round about near the House of Learning.  Plan to drive, bike or walk through.  We will be practising safe physical distancing and we look forward to seeing many of you in person on this day.

Updates on layoffs and early retirement

Lois reported that although the result of impending layoff notices was better than anticipated sadly there were still several members that were adversely affected.  As a result of the COVID pandemic, 79 layoff notices were issued in June with an additional 29 notices in anticipation of senior persons exercising their bumping options.  In the end there were 14 people who were laid off with options to take recall or change their status to auxiliary.  2 members chose severance.  16 members chose to accept a temporary leave. The union still considers the temporary leave a lay off and it may affect other members if those on temporary leave choose to bump when their leaves have ended.  12 persons in total bumped into a junior positions, 18 people accepted reduced hours (hours were reduced by 15%). 26 notices at the time of the report were officially rescinded. There were also several people who had received notice that posted into vacant positions and a few that have been temporarily reassigned.  There are many more members who have been affected overall due to the pandemic including temporary contracts that have not been renewed, auxiliary members not currently being given assignments, fewer vacancies being posted or available, fewer co-op students being hired on campus and reduction in work study students in most areas on campus.

The Union recognizes that regardless of the results that all members have been affected by the pandemic and in particular those given layoffs and notices.  It was a long stressful summer for many while people had to await their fate.

The early retirement incentive was good news for many that have been considering retiring and for some it has presented an opportunity to retire sooner than planned.  At the time of this report there were 48 members who put forward their interest to Human Resources to consider the ERIP.  Members have been meeting with HR to look at what their personal retirement plan may look like.  We believe that there will be close to 100 persons across campus and constituents that will be taking advantage of the ERIP.  The reality is that some positons being vacated will be made redundant, however the Union holds out some hope that some positions will need to be filled sooner than later.  The ERIP is a short term money saving plan for TRU and some vacancies will not be filled immediately or they may consider restructuring the work and how it is produced.

Although the Union is happy for members who are able to retire we will miss everyone immensely.  A reminder for those retiring to let the CUPE office know so we can get our retirement gifts and appreciation to you for your service and wishes for a well deserved retirement.

CUPE4879 Hardship Fund.

The money for this fund was voted on at the September budget meeting and has been created knowing that the Pandemic has put some of our members into a crisis situation.  Documents on who is eligible and how to apply are attached.  For more information  contact Connie at  The money granted will be $100 per request.  Applicants will need to demonstrate their financial need and will be vetted through our CUPE administration office and then approved by the Executive. Names of persons who apply will be held in confidence. Members can apply for the fund from now until June 30th.

Door Prizes

People who attended the general meeting had their names entered for door prizes.  And the winners are…Meghan Hayre and Rien Okawa who each won $25 “Turkey” GC) and the $20 door prizes winners were Karl Fultz and Teresa Dickmeyer.  Congrats to all J

Next Meeting

Reminder the Next General Meeting in November and will be the Nomination Meeting.  A list of positions up for election will be made available soon.  If an election is needed for those positions that will take place at our January General Meeting.  Also note that the usual day of the GM falls on November 11th a stat holiday so the Executive will have to look at alternate available dates and will provide notice when a decision has been made.

Please stay safe everyone.  If you need support do not hesitate to reach out to members of our executive.


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.


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. 


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.