CUASA members censure the university administration's handling of grievances
As we communicated to the membership on November 14, 2013, at a general meeting held on November 11, 2013, CUASA members voted unanimously to censure the university administration for their total disregard and apparent contempt for the grievance process.
To make matters worse, CUASA learned that on November 21 Dr. Peter Ricketts, Provost and Vice-President (Academic), had sent a memorandum to Chairs and Directors entitled " Tenure and Promotion Unit Standards Development Process." CUASA views this memo as both an attempt to mislead and a serious breach of good will: communicating directly with our members (department chairs) on grievance issues is totally inappropriate, and is yet another gesture of disrespect towards CUASA and its members.
Contrary to what the Provost claims in his memo, CUASA offered the option of mediation (unlike arbitration, mediation is not binding) provided that the university administration suspend the process of developing unit standards until a professional, unbiased mediator could help us settle our interpretive differences regarding Article 10 of the Collective Agreement. In fact, representatives of the administration, including the Provost, agreed to this verbally at a meeting on October 9. The following day, however, they insisted on an additional proviso: that the process be suspended only until the results of the mediation were known or until December 31, 2013, whichever came first. CUASA saw no reason whatsoever to agree to such an arbitrary deadline. CUASA would have gladly met with the representatives of the administration in November had they agreed to remove this unreasonable and arbitrary deadline, which ran counter to good will and, more specifically, to the verbal agreement reached less than 24 hours earlier.
With no progress having been made in CUASA’s attempts to persuade the university administration to respect the grievance and arbitration processes prescribed by the Collective Agreement, the motion of censure described above was unanimously re-confirmed at a second general membership meeting on December 10.
CUASA and the administration will be in arbitration on January 16 (for the
grievance on unit standards) and January 30 (for another grievance dealing
with a member and to decide on the "grievance on grievances", Art. 30 and its
Since the last round of bargaining, where a measure of good will was being established, it is disheartening to see the university administration’s about-face in its ongoing display of disrespect towards CUASA and its members and its refusal to abide by long-standing past practices within the Collective Agreement. This behaviour is damaging to the climate of labour relations within the university.
CUASA responds to anti-union Bill C-377
In December 2012 the Conservative majority in the House of Commons passed Bill C-377, an amendment to the Income Tax Act requiring that labour unions publicly disclose their financial affairs—including salaries, revenues, and expenses—as well as information on individuals and companies doing business with the unions. Ostensibly, Bill C-377 is intended to make unions more transparent and accountable regarding how union dues are spent. However, the Bill is widely seen as a covert attempt to weaken the union movement in Canada. Mirroring a similar piece of legislation in the United States, passed during George W. Bush’s presidency but since repealed by the Obama Administration, Bill C-377 is opposed not only by unions across the country, but also by five Canadian provinces, the Canadian Bar Association, the mutual fund and life insurance industries, the federal Privacy Commissioner, as well as 16 Conservative Senators.
After C-377 was passed in the House of Commons, it was sent to the Senate for its consideration. However, the Senate, after extended committee hearings in which virtually all the major organizations appearing at the hearings protested against the Bill, refused to pass it, sending the Bill back to the House of Commons in June 2013 with a number of significant amendments. The response of the Conservative majority in the House of Commons was to return the Bill to the Senate—with no changes whatsoever—demanding once again that the Senate approve the Bill.
In mid-June, CUASA President Angelo Mingarelli sent a letter to each of the 105 members of the Senate, asking him or her to vote against the Bill. More information can be found on our website.
CUASA – Unifor 567 Negotiations
We are pleased to announce that negotiations between CUASA and Unifor Local 567, which represents CUASA staff, were completed on October 11, 2013. A copy of the collective agreement can be found on our website.