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– once fall enrollment numbers stabilized, they will be in a better position to assess lay-off notices that may be rescinded for some positions come the fall.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 cupe4879@shaw.ca, or presidentcupe4879@shaw.ca 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 https://www.tru.ca/current/wellness/covid-19.html 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 CNOY.org.


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

Negotiated Benefit Improvements

Here is a quick reference to the most recent negotiated benefit improvements for the CUPE 4879/TRU 2019-2022 Collective Agreement.

Article 22 (d) Bereavement Leave. Increased from 4 days to 5 days.

Benefits as of October 2019 – Paramedical increases from $200 to $500 per calendar year, limited to $75 per visit; except unlimited maximum for physiotherapist

As of October 2019 – Surgical stockings (compression stockings) increased form $25 to $100 calendar year maximum

April 2020 – Orthodontics will be increased from $1500 to $3000 lifetime maximum

April 2020 – Hearing Aids – increased from $600 to $1500 per five (5) years

April 2021 – Vision care – (prescription glasses/contact/laser eye surgery) – increased from $300 to $400 per two (2) years

Welcome Back

Welcome back to all students, staff, and faculty to the 2019 fall semester at Thompson Rivers University (TRU).

The members of CUPE 4879 are support staff who work at TRU in Kamloops and Williams Lake. We are very pleased to be a part of every students’ journey, as they study, learn, find their path, and prepare for new careers and life experiences.

Our work contributes to the success of post-secondary students in earning their certificates, diplomas, degrees, and apprenticeships. We directly support students, faculty, administration and maintain the campus infrastructure. We are proud to provide necessary services that benefit TRU, the Kamloops and Williams Lake communities, and the province as a whole.

CUPE 4879 represents between 600-700 workers. Our membership includes employees in roles such as utility workers, technicians, admission officers, electricians and carpenters, administrative assistants, library workers, course editors, production technicians, marketing writers, orientation leaders, advisors, coordinators and student positions on campus, to name but a few of the many roles we fill.

We know that post-secondary education benefits everyone in the community, and we are very proud of the work we do for all students. We look forward to supporting every student throughout their time at TRU.

Best wishes for a successful school year! “We’ve got your back!”