Year in Review
The total membership at Oct 31 was 1111 members. By Unit:
Unit 1 (SFU) – 943 (777 FT, 171 PT)
Unit 2 (CUPW) – 2 (2 PT)
Unit 3 (SFSS FBS) – 33 (12 FT, 21 PT)
Unit 4 (Best) – 103 (103 FT)
Unit 5 (SFSS) – 25 (8 FT, 17 PT)
Unit 6 (GSS) – 3 (2FT, 1 PT)
Unit 7 (SFPIRG) – 3 (3PT)
Meetings The Executive Board has met 13 times to-date in 2014.
Resignations from the Executive Board: Brandy Steele (left the university).
Current elections: President, Vice –President (1) Secretary Treasurer, Trustees (1 one-year, 1 two-year, 1 three-year).
The Executive Board appointed Juliet DiPeiri and Nic DesLauriers to complete the 2013 audit.
The following Executive positions remain vacant: Vice-President (1); Sergeant-at-Arms (1); Trustees (1 two year & 1 three year)
The Member Services Coordinator’s first collective agreement with COPE 378 expired in August 2014 (with a continuation clause). The Executive struck a sub-committee to bargain; bargaining hasn’t yet commenced.
The Business Agent’s first collective agreement with CEP (Communications Energy & Paperworkers Union of Canada) expires in December 2016.
The Communications Committee had three student interns working on updating our website and other social media; the Executive passed a motion to give these interns a $250.00 stipend for the Spring and Summer semesters, as well as reference letters.
Unit 1 (SFU): The collective agreement expired April 30, 2014. The Contract Committee has been working on a package of proposals, which will be presented to the membership for ratification on December 4th, 2014. Bargaining should commence in early 2015.
Unit 2 (CUPW): The collective agreement expires December 31, 2014.
Unit 3 (SFSS-Food and Bev): The collective agreement expired April 30, 2010. Bargaining concluded with a final offer vote on the employer’s proposal, which achieved ratification by the membership of Unit 3 in August 2014.
Unit 4 (Best Service Pros): In 2011 we negotiated a long term agreement expiring in 2017, which includes better protection for our members, as well as wage increase in each year.
Unit 5 (SFSS-Advocacy staff): A mediated agreement was reached in 2011 which protected the wages of current members of Unit 5. The collective agreement expired on August 31, 2014. Bargaining surveys have been completed and a bargaining committee is prepared to bargain. The employer issued notice to commence bargaining on Nov 10th, 2014.
Unit 6 (Graduate Student Society): The collective agreement expires in August 2015.
Unit 7 (SFPIRG): The collective agreement expired July 31, 2014. A proposed settlement is almost in place.
Delegates Lynne Fowler, Fiona Brady Lenfesty, Sylvia Richardson, Raj Pabla, Douglas Corkery, Tom Peacock, and Sheilagh MacDonald attended the CUPE BC Convention in Vancouver in April 2014. Douglas Corkery and Tom Peacock attended the CUPE Political Action conference in Richmond in May 2014. Tom Peacock attended the CUPE Health & Safety conference in Victoria in October 2014. Fiona Brady Lenfesty attended the CUPE National Sector Council Conference in Toronto in October 2014. Shop Stewards David Choukroun and Colton Milliard attended the week long labour school in the Interior (formerly called Naramata).
Living Wage Campaign:
There are employees working at SFU who do not make a living wage of $19.14 per hour, including those who work for Best Service Pros. We have continued working with GSS, TSSU, SFPIRG, and others on a campaign to encourage SFU to become a Living Wage Employer. Among other things, this would mean that SFU would only hire contractors who will pay a living wage to their employees.
Unite For Fairness:
The Communications Committee helped organize a CUPE BC photo shoot as part of the Unite for Fairness campaign. Photos of our members have shown up in various transit locations. We are now able to access a whole range of photos of our members representing as many units as possible; these will appear on the website shortly.
We continue to meet every month with representatives of other employee groups on campus — TSSU, APSA, PolyParty, and the Faculty Association — to discuss issues of mutual concern. The Faculty Association held a successful vote to become unionized in 2014.
We continue to meet once per semester with senior members of the SFU Administration to discuss topics of mutual concern, such as the University’s budget, the increasing cost of parking, changes to buildings on campus, mold remediation in buildings on campus, and potential privatization of jobs. We have also used this forum to raise bargaining and pension issues with president and vice-presidents.
The Employees’ Joint Pension Committee has been meeting regularly since July 2011. The terms of reference for this committee were adopted by the membership in 2012. The employee groups articulated a joint proposal for improvements to our pension plan, which was presented to the employer in June 2014. Once the 2013 pension valuation was released, both the employer and member groups consulted their actuaries. CUPE National continues to fund our local’s consultations with an actuary and a pension lawyer. Discussions with the employer are expected to commence soon.
As part of the Executive’s commitment to members, the Communications Committee was re-activated early in the year and members worked at updating the Local’s website (3338.cupe.ca). This year the focus was on posting reports from the various Executive members and committees to the website. In addition, the committee raised questions that a new CUPE member might ask and had the CUPE interns write a feature article based on responses from members of the Executive.
A FaceBook page was set up and work will begin on regular posts in the new year.
There are still many unresolved grievances for members of Unit 1. The employer is constantly trying to undermine the provisions of our contract by reinterpreting language in the collective agreement. We are trying to negotiate a mechanism to utilize the expedited arbitration clause in the collective agreement to deal with some of these outstanding issues.
The long standing dispute over inclusion of certain APSA jobs in our bargaining unit (also known as the Appendix G dispute) was heard by the Labour Relations Board in 2013. Unfortunately we did not succeed.
The Grievance Committee has been meeting regularly for the past year. There have been a number of new grievances for the Committee to deal with. We have seen an increase in discipline grievances. One of the more problematic aspects is the lack of progressive discipline. Human Resources imposes what the union considers excessive discipline. As well, on a number of occasions suspension was imposed without going through the progression of oral warning, written warning, then suspension. This does not allow members the opportunity to try to meet the Employer’s expectations. Progressive discipline is supposed to be corrective in nature.
We have had one successful arbitration this year. SFU tried to reduce the Maternity Leave Top Up for a member. We were able to get the member her full Top Up.
We have another maternity related grievance set for arbitration this spring. The union alleges that SFU fails to recognize the scope and role of midwives. It is important to know that if a woman is using the services of a midwife in care of her pregnancy, MSP will not cover physician’s fees if the condition is related to her pregnancy. SFU insists that members see a medical doctor, and of course our member has to cover the cost.
We also have two grievances around SFU not recognizing Union Stewards appointed by the Local and not allowing them time off for Union Business. Our position is that SFU is violating the collective agreement. A hearing is set for early next year.
In Unit 3, there is a Harassment Grievance where the Union alleges the Employer, SFSS Food & Beverage Services, has not provided a work environment free from harassment. Although an Independent Investigator found that there was harassment in the work place, the Employer has failed to take any steps in addressing this serious situation. We have a spring date set for the Arbitration.
Joann Field, David Chokroun, Tom Peacock, Lynne Fowler, John Bannister and Rachel Champagne sit on the Grievance Committee.