CUPE 4879 Scholarship 2020-21 now accepting applications – *Deadline is noon January 15, 2021

Dear members,

Please find below the CUPE Local 4879 Scholarship Application Award form.

CUPE 4879 Scholarship Application Form 2021

CUPE will be awarding three $1000 education awards. Preference will be given for one award to a student in a trade, technical, or vocational program; for the second award, preference will be given to a student in an academic program, and the third will be awarded to a student in either a trade or academic program.

The applicant must have a parent, guardian, or spouse/partner who is a member in good standing of CUPE Local 4879; or the applicant her/himself must be a member in good standing of CUPE Local 4879. The applicant must also submit proof of paid registration in a full-time course load (for academic and vocational students, this means enrolment in at least 3 courses; and for trades and technical students, this means enrolment in at least an 8 week full-time training course).

The deadline is noon January 15, 2021 for all applications to be submitted to the CUPE office either by email to or mailed to the office in a sealed envelope.

If you have any questions, please contact our Executive Assistant, Connie Angman below:

Connie Angman OM2784 | PH: 236-425-2141 |

Thank you on behalf of your Education Committee members,

Cindy Ozouf, Rhea Clements, and Tony Kuczma

Kamloops & District Labour Council Bursary application

CUPE Local 4879 members,

The Kamloops and District Labour Council (KDLC) is offering five (5) $1,000 (one thousand dollar) bursaries- one is the Jack Kerssen bursary in a trades field of study and the Cynthia Friedman bursary (to women in S.T.E.M or trades study) to students who are members or relatives of members of unions that are affiliated to, and in good standing with, the KDLC. 

That is YOU, CUPE 4879 members!

Please see attached instructions and application, and submit all of the information to the address below before November 13, 2020. The Committee will ONLY accept Bursary applications by mail to:

Bursary Committee


2020 KDLC Student Bursary question and instructions

Kamloops and District Labour Council


Kamloops, BC

V2C 5K9

September 2020 Update from your CUPE 4879 Executive

Welcome to September! 

Dear CUPE 4879 Members

Welcome back to the fall semester!.  We hope you are enjoying these last few days of summer heat this week.

We hope you are keeping well despite of the challenges and worry that you may be facing during this difficult time. We would like to continue to remind you to reach out to the Executive and Committee members if you have questions or need assistance. Our contact information is listed on our website, You may also contact us through our CUPE Admin Assistant, Connie Angman at or

We have been informed that there are several members experiencing some difficulty with access to the CUPE List. IT Services is aware of the problem and they are working diligently to find a resolution.  We will send out any important messages to your individual addresses via Mail Chimp to ensure that you receive any information in a timely manner.

Here are some important updates:

CUPE 4879 General Meeting:

We sent out a general meeting notice earlier this week, which will be held on Wednesday September 9th starting at 4:35pm via Microsoft Teams.  Connie also sent out the agenda along with an invite to either your TRU email or your personal email depending on the information you provided to us. Please RSVP to Connie to ensure that you receive the meeting information.

The agenda includes reviewing and voting on our annual budget. There will also be some positions up for election for the remainder of the term (to January 2021). If you are interested in running for any of the positions that are available, please send us an email prior to 12 noon on Sept 9th to let us know of your intentions to run and that you would like to let your name stand. If you would like more information about the positions and what they require, please do not hesitate to contact us.

TRU Announces Layoffs will go forward

TRU has announced that we are facing a 9-million-dollar deficit. As you have heard, TRU will act on some of the layoff notices identified in June. This news is very disappointing for all of us.  HR is continuing to work with members who have been given notice so they can make informed decisions. Members considering the bump option will be assisted by HR, who will in turn, look at resumes and the job descriptions in detail to determine and confirm their potential bump. Members who were identified in the additional layoffs will soon be receiving a notice as to when or if their layoff will be acted on. Members affected will have their options presented to them and a Union representative will also be available. Please contact Lois or any members of the grievance committee if you have any questions about your current situation. For general information on the layoff language you may find this under Article 10 in our Collective Agreement: (starting on page 20)

There have been numerous questions raised about the layoff process both from the executive and our members. Clearly, the publicity regarding layoffs and the information shared with constituents has primarily been regarding CUPE members which we know is distressing. It gives the impression that CUPE has made many of the sacrifices during this pandemic crisis. On the contrary, we are hearing informally, that other actions are coinciding with our layoffs with other constituents around the TRU and Williams Lake campus. Some of the actions appear to include administrators who have volunteered to take wage cuts and some manager positions being eliminated. Early retirement incentives will likely be taking place for both admin and faculty as well. With some programs being cut, we know that many sessional faculty contracts are not being renewed and are down by about 20% or more. This is not the kind of news we would like to hear however, it may be helpful for us to understand that it is not just CUPE members being affected by this. We are all in this together.

To leave this bit of news on a positive note, we have had some members whose layoff notice has been rescinded (20 and counting; possibly more to come).  Some of our members have also been able to take advantage of the temporary leave.

Temporary Leaves

Temporary leaves have been extended for some members on notice. Particularly, for positions that are anticipated to be recalled in the next 4 months. The LOU was written so that should leaves need to be extended, they would be covered until the end of December, 2020. They are tied to the CERB benefits which will now be converted to EI benefits. TRU has permission to pay the $950.00 top up without affecting individual EI payments. In addition, seniority is maintained, and benefits will continue. Members will also continue to accrue vacation and will be eligible to buy back their pension and TRU will make their contribution. The one time $1000.00 provincial funding is still available until December 2020 as well. Any further leaves would have to be negotiated should the Emergency Benefit be extended and available past December 2020/January 2021.

TRU has also indicated that everyone can still apply for the temporary leave, but it must be approved by your Manager as per the LOU. There will only be a few members who will be approved for the leave, however, if you are interested in being considered, talk to your Manager and HR.

Early Retirement Incentive Package (ERIP)

We sent a draft to the CUPE list to give members a general idea of what the package would look like.  Since sending out this information, TRU has discovered that there are 400 plus employees on campus that are over the age of 55. If too many people are interested in the offer, TRU could lose a lot of people and they would be in trouble. TRU is currently looking at eligibility parameters such as who the offer will be available to and confirming details. We will get that information out to you as soon as HR presents it to the Union.

We anticipate that they will select an age group to start with, for example age 62 and up and then expand it to other age groups depending on what the interest is. We are working on some resources for those members considering the ERIP if they are eligible including info on BC Forum, the BC Forum Group Benefit plan, and other helpful resources. TRU will hold sessions for those interested and eligible for the ERIP once it has been determined.

Should there be a substantial interest in the ERIP, we are hopeful that it will mean more notices will be rescinded and further layoffs occurring may be prevented.


We understand that this has been a difficult time for all and especially, for members with layoff notices and awaiting to hear TRU’s decisions and having to make difficult choices. We encourage any of our members to contact Sam Nielsen, our CUPE Wellness Advisor for assistance and resources. Please also contact Lifeworks, our Employee Assistance Program for many other resources available. It has been a long haul and we appreciate all of the support that many of you have provided to our colleagues in this very difficult time, all while supporting our TRU and Kamloops community.

The CUPE 4879 Executive hopes that we will see some of you at our General meeting.  It will be nice to see and hear familiar faces and voices again. Please do not hesitate to contact us at any time with questions, concerns or just to say hello.

The Executive is fully aware that our members continue to work hard to encourage students to enroll at TRU, and to make sure that programs are supported and running smoothly and the campus is safe and well maintained. We are all working hard in doing our part to ensure we can return to a better normal. We are forever grateful for all your hard work.

On behalf of the CUPE 4879 Executive

Lois Rugg



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.



Update to the information provided at CUPE 4879 General Meeting summary May 13th, 2020

Dear Members:

As the University enters into the next phase of scenario planning that may see reductions in revenues, TRU has stated it will require a reduction in staffing. The University is planning for both the worst and the best case scenarios while keeping a commitment to quality learning and research and working with CUPE, TRUFA and APA to find solutions to preserve jobs in the long term. Many of the Departments have already held meetings and other Departments will be holding meetings soon to discuss this and what the options may look like.

The Union continues to meet with the employer to look at options including furloughs (temporary leaves) for those that can be furloughed for the summer. The employer has again indicated that they are considering, on a case by case basis, temporary reassignments where staff have experience/skills to support other tasks and roles where work may be temporarily increased and their own work has seen a decrease.

Layoff notices for some support staff could still be issued as early as June. However, in this event, the University is planning for worst case scenarios – once fall enrollment numbers stabilized, they will be in a better position to assess lay-off notices that may be rescinded for some positions come the fall. To minimize the impact on members, options such as bumping may not take effect until the layoff is confirmed in the fall while TRU determines if they can rescind some of the layoffs. Their decision will be made once they have a better assessment of their financial situation. The Union will seek a firm date for that decision. We will continue to update you as soon as we have more information.

TRU is considering the following when making these decisions:

  • That they are able to provide a safe and healthy work environment for staff and students.
  • That they want to maintain a long term relationship with all faculty and staff.
  • They need to protect TRU’s financial position, budgets and forecasts, short and long-term.
  • They must also ensure that they support student and faculty successes.

Along with these steps, the University has halted discretionary spending, temporarily reduced corporate credit cards, froze many capital projects and continue to hold hiring with exceptions of positions deemed critical to support the response to COVID-19.

CUPE is working with the employer to try to minimize the impact of short and long term effects to our members.

We anticipate that we will know who will be affected by TRU’s decisions the beginning of June or possibly as early as next week. Once the employer provides the Union with the details and information we will set up a special meeting to discuss and answer your questions. We know members will have lots of questions and we encourage you to ask them at the meeting, as many of you will have the same questions.

In the meantime, please feel free to reach and contact us at, or or by contacting Lois on her cell 250.318.9919 with any questions or concerns regarding any issues that may be arising in your workplace of if you just need to talk.

We understand the stress and anxiety that you may be feeling at this time. We will all get through this. Stay safe and be well.

Lois Rugg, President
on behalf of the CUPE 4879 Executive.

COVID-19 Information

Dear Members

The Union office is continuing to monitor information concerning the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and has been in contact with the University in regards to their response to this situation and the impact on CUPE 4879 members and others at our Williams Lake and Kamloops Campuses.

We encourage you to visit for further information, updates and communications from the University in regard to COVID-19 measures.

The local would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the importance of being extra vigilant in regard to handwashing and other hygiene habits, as well as staying home if you are feeling unwell. It is important that we take care of ourselves but to also look out for others and their well-being.

We are enquiring with the University as to how they will handle any potential closures, having people work from home if they are able and/or ensuring people will be paid in event of any closure or If people are self-quarantining for related reasons.

We will keep you updated with further information as soon as it becomes available.

Lois Rugg

Lois Rugg, President
Pronouns: she/her/hers
CUPE Local 4879
Thompson Rivers University
Support Staff

Congratulations to our 2020 Scholarship recipients!

A BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Danna Bach and Peter Hrkac (Cupe members) and Matthew Falsetta (child of a Cupe member) as our successful recipients of this year’s scholarship!

Wishing all of you the best with your studies! Keep up the great work!

Tony Kuczma, our committee member handing out the cheque to the recipients.

(From top left to right Peter Hrkac and Matthew Falsetta, bottom: Danna Bach:


Coldest Night of the Year 2020

It’s cold out there. CUPE 4879 is proud to participate in the Coldest Night of the Year 2020 February 22.

Members of CUPE 4879 along with members of the Kamloops and District Labour Council are walking the walk in Kamloops for the Mustard Seed Organization. Together with thousands of Canadians across the country, we’re walking and fundraising to support and serve hungry, homeless, and hurting people and families in our community.

Please sign up today for Team Kamloops and District Labour Council and help us reach our goal. Here is a quick link to team Kamloops and District Labour Council page on

It’s easy to donate or join the team to participate! The first six (6) CUPE 4879 member who sign up will get a donation from CUPE 4879 of $50 to help support your fundraising efforts.

CUPE SCHOLARSHIP 2020 now accepting applications

Three $1000 education awards are available. Preference will be given for one award to a student in a trade, technical, or vocational program; for the second award, preference will be given to a student in an academic program, and the third will be awarded to a student in either a trade or academic program.

Please refer to the downloadable application form for eligibility requirements.

CLICK here to Download a copy of the CUPE Scholarship application form