To all CUPE 3338 members, please see the latest update from TSSU as of September 4th, 2015:
Although our collective bargaining has achieved a tentative agreement, The Teaching and Support Staff Union (TSSU) is still on strike. They have job action planned at the following times and locations:
Tuesday, Sept 8th, 7:30am to 12pm Applied Sciences Building
Wednesday, Sept 9th 4:30pm to 10:30pm Academic Quadrangle.
Our position is to always support the job action of our fellow union members. We do not cross picket lines. This is the same solidarity that TSSU showed us when we were on strike three years ago.
If your worksite is picketed by TSSU members, please report to the CUPE picket captain at your location and be sure to sign-in. Picket Captains will be identified by a badge and/or vest.
NOTE: In order for strike pay to be issued during a strike, CUPE 3338 must first call a Special General Meeting and vote to issue strike pay. If such a vote is carried, you will only be qualified for strike pay support if you signed-in and performed picket duty. CUPE National and Provincial strike pay only becomes available in the event of a protracted strike (10 or more days).
Remember – it is your responsibility to ensure that the union knows you were picketing. So, if you can’t find the CUPE picket captain at your location, email the union office right away – email@example.com.
We are in constant communication with the TSSU. If and when their job action plans change, we will let you know. Be sure to check your email before work on Tuesday morning.
Please see below about our Right to Respect Picket Lines and Article 4 Observation of Picket Lines from our Collective Agreement.
From the CUPE 3338/SFU Collective Agreement:
4.05 Observation of Picket Lines
(a) Observation No Breach: Failure of an employee to cross an established picket line shall not be considered a breach of this Agreement. No employee shall be discriminated against for her/his failure to cross an established picket line. Employees who observe picket lines shall be recorded as being absent without pay.
(b) Other Bona Fide Picket Lines: Where the picket line is a result of actions of persons other than the C.U.P.E. Local 3338 members, the C.U.P.E. Executive will advise the University whether or not they regard the picket line which has been set up as a bona fide picket line.
(c) C.U.P.E. Authorized Picket Lines When a Union authorized picket line is to be set up, the University will be provided with a statement, giving the location, and reasons for the picket line.
(d) Insured Benefit Premiums: During the observation of picket lines, both the employee and University premium contributions to all insured benefit plans shall be paid by the University. Upon return to work, the employee shall reimburse the University for the entire amount of employee and University premium contributions by payroll deduction over the number of pay periods equal to the number of months and/or part of a month that the employee honoured the picket line.
(e) Conditions for Illness or Injury: During the observation of picket lines, the Sick Leave provisions are suspended. If during the observation of picket lines, the twenty-six (26) week qualifying period for Long Term Disability is met, the employee may apply for Long Term Disability benefits. If following the withdrawal of picket lines, an employee is unable to return to work due to illness or injury, the employee shall be entitled to the balance of paid sick leave which has not been used for that illness or injury in accordance with Article 35 provided that the employee has not applied for Long Term Disability benefits.
(f) Essential Services: Also, during such period, any essential services which are the subject of Letters of Understanding between the parties, will be maintained.
RIGHT TO RESPECT PICKET LINES
Why We Resect Picket Lines
Sometimes when negotiating a collective agreement a union may find its members locked out or may find it has no other choice but to go on strike. The idea of a strike is simple: if the conditions and terms of work are no longer acceptable to the workers, and if the union has been unable to make improvements through negotiation, the workers withdraw their labour.
While strikes are often a last resort, they are an important tool and a recognized right for unions.
In some cases CUPE 3338 members may find their workplaces picketed by members of another union that is on strike. When we stand with our brothers and sisters from other unions. By refusing to cross their picket line we help put added pressure on their employer. Many other unions’ struggles are linked to our own and we need to remember that one day we may need their support in our own disputes.
Will I Lose Pay or Benefits?
When you respect another union’s legal picket line, it’s as if you are on strike with
CUPE. The members may, through a Special General Meeting vote on issuing strike pay. In the event of a protracted strike (10 or more days) there is strike pay available through CUPE BC and CUPE National.
What Happens if I Cross?
The CUPE National constitution (section B 11.2.a) allows for a member to bring a charge against another member for crossing a picket line (ours or another union’s) within 90 days.
After the charge is fully investigated via the process laid out in the constitution, the member may be subject to discipline (section B 11.4.g).
You have the right to refuse to cross a legal picket line without fear of discipline.
A picket line is considered legal unless it is found to be illegal, either by a Labour Relations Board ruling or by the courts. An employer does not get to decide the legality of a picket line.