CUASA Dismayed Carleton University Again Suspends CUPE 4600 Benefits

October 20, 2019

CUASA Dismayed Carleton University Again Suspends CUPE 4600 Benefits

We are appalled to learn that Carleton University has again suspended benefits to CUPE 4600, Unit 1 for the second time in 2019. CUPE 4600 was notified on Friday, October 18, by Deputy Provost Lorraine Dyke that all money in the Employee Assistance Fund (EAF) has been depleted.

This suspension of EAF benefits affects employees in CUPE 4600, Unit 1, which represents approximately 2,000 Teaching Assistants, Student Assistants, and Research Assistants.

While those affected may still have access to other benefits, such as through the Graduate Student Association plan, they are already faced with precarious work and underpaid positions. They are also students, who now must contend with the added financial burden of losing coverage for EAF benefits, including health, dental, vision, and child care.

We are especially shocked to learn that Carleton University’s proposed solution was to offer a $100,000 contribution to the Employee Assistant Fund, but that this deposit would be tied to the 1% increase the University insists it is limited to because of Bill 124.

Bill 124 is the provincial government’s plan to cap public sector wage and compensation growth at 1% for three years. It has currently only passed first reading and is not yet in effect. Despite this, CUPE 4600 says that Carleton University is proceeding as if this bill is already law and insists that any increases to the Employee Assistance Fund are tied to that 1% cap.

“We are disappointed that Carleton University is appealing to a currently nonexistent bill to affect real benefits,” said CUASA President Angelo Mingarelli. “We call on the University to return to the table with CUPE 4600 to discuss finding a fair and responsible long-term solution to 4600’s EAF, rather than resorting to hard-line tactics such as the present one. Twice in one year is way too much!”

CUASA stands in solidarity with CUPE 4600 as it continues to bargain with the Employer. We call on Carleton University to negotiate in good faith so as to reach a fair deal with CUPE 4600.

Share your concerns on social media using #StopTheCuts and #CarletonCuts.

Any inquiries, including media inquiries, may be directed to Josh Horton, Member Services and Communications Officer, at joshua.horton@cuasa.ca or 613-520-5608.

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