Weekly Update – August 13, 2021
August 13, 2021
Weekly Update – August 13, 2021
CUASA Vaccine Survey
CUASA is launching a survey to better understand its members’ vaccine profiles, household safety needs, and the interplay between various competing existing laws and rights, in the absence of any legislation or regulations to guide the academic sector.
This survey is confidential, and the data collected will only be used by CUASA to find the correct balance between rights to safe workplaces and evolve changes to workplace laws and their interpretations. All CUASA bargaining unit members may participate in this survey.
The link to the survey will be sent by email to CUASA bargaining unit members.
If you have any questions about this survey, please contact CUASA’s Director and Senior Grievance and Arbitration Officer, Christal Côté, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ratification Vote Results
In case you missed it, here are the results of this week’s ratification vote:
- Faculty: YES: 95.3% NO: 4.7%
- Instructors: YES: 94.5% NO: 5.5%
- Librarians: YES: 100% NO: 0%
- Total: YES: 95.4% NO: 4.6%
Ratification of the 2021-2024 collective agreement is still pending approval from the University Board of Governors. The results of that vote will be shared as soon as they become available.
President’s Message on Vaccinations
“By now you’ve read the university’s most recent position on vaccinations (Carleton’s new vaccine policy can be found here. ) Although I am relieved to some extent, I am still very concerned about the lack of consultation with the union. This model is now the recommended approach albeit without specific guidance by either the government or public health authorities. This overarching decision of August 12th was received just minutes before CUASA’s scheduled meeting with the employer yesterday. During that meeting we were provided with a briefing on the background and intent of this new mandatory attestation policy but to the best of our knowledge, as of today, there is still no written policy available for the union to review.
At first sight this revision for an in person return to the workplace is a much-needed step to help ensure the safety of all individuals in every aspect of campus life. Presumably this model was designed to exceed the bare minimum requirements in this respect. Ensuring that we use every method available to help protect the campus community is the right thing to do and that is why I am relieved that the employer is taking this very important first step.
However, there are other ways that will ensure the safety of the community while at the same time respect the rights of workers during the short and the long term. Your CUASA Director has been actively analyzing and considering all the nuances of workplace laws as it relates to our members’ rights and, in addition, our obligation as a group as it relates to all those we work with. As you can imagine, I tabled many questions, as did your director, about the nature of the fine print associated with this policy.
In the absence of any additional guidance from the province that will help ensure that these individual vaccination attestations are genuine we remain in a predicament, that is, how do we accomplish this effectively? We’ve already extended an invitation to the employer to work with CUASA and its stakeholders to help determine a fair approach. Remember that during this pandemic your safety has been and will always continue to be our top priority. The right to a safe workplace must always be guaranteed.
We’ll provide more updates after we hear from both the employer and the membership. You will soon receive a confidential survey link to help provide us with more information about your individual situation as well as an opportunity to comment further on this important discussion. Time is of the essence! Thus, as related in my earlier message, I strongly encourage you to get vaccinated if you have not already done so or file for an exemption as noted. If you are vaccinated, please keep helping others by respecting all protocols and doing all that you can to stay safe and healthy during these troubling times.
Vacant Steering Positions
We are still seeking volunteers for the following Steering positions (click on the title below to see the position description):
* The Steering committee has allocated a 0.5 course release for the Vice President position.
Information on the nominations process can be found on our How to Volunteer page. Remember that our Association is only as strong as its membership, so we count on the time and commitment of our members to achieve our goals. If you are interested in one of these positions and would like some information, or wish to nominate yourself or a colleague, please CUASA’s Chair, Nominations and Elections, Marylynn Steckley, at email@example.com.
Call for Volunteers: JHSC
We are seeking one more CUASA volunteer to be one of the Association’s representatives on the University’s Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC). If you are interested, please contact Marylynn Steckley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Academic Community Updates
- University of Ottawa mandates vaccines for anyone accessing campus.
- CAUT: Vaccine requirements should be considered for safe return to campus.
- OCUFA Executives call on the province to implement a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy as part of a safe return to campus.
Labour Community Updates
Labour Day 2021
The Ottawa and District Labour Council has announced its Labour Day 2021 March. The theme endorsed by the Canadian Labour Congress is “Workers Are the Recovery.” Join the ODLC on Monday, September 6 at 12pm. The March will begin at Ottawa City Hall (Elgin St. and Lisgar St.) and will adhere to social distancing and masks in line with Ottawa Public Health safety protocols.