‘Bargaining in Bad Faith’

February 27, 2015
CUPE Local 3912 files ‘Bargaining in Bad Faith’
complaint against Dalhousie University
(Halifax) – The union representing 1,600 Part-time Academics, Instructors, Teaching Assistants, Markers and Demonstrators at Dalhousie University has filed a Bargaining in Bad Faith complaint against their employer.

CUPE National Representative Marianne Welsh says, “The Parties met with a provincially-appointed Conciliation Officer on two dates in November and one in February.

“Last week CUPE Local 3912 filed a complaint under the Trade Union Act alleging that Dalhousie University has failed to comply with a section of the Act that compels both parties to „make every reasonable effort to reach a collective agreement‟.

“In the complaint,” says Welsh, “CUPE alleges that Dalhousie has failed to fulfill this statutory duty by maintaining a bargaining position that would exclude employees in one faculty from the bargaining unit.”
CUPE Local 3912‟s current collective agreement expired August 31, 2012.

For information:
Marianne Welsh Steve Cloutier John McCracken
CUPE National Representative President, CUPE 3912 CUPE Communications Representative
(902) 818-4125 (902) 440-4549 (902) 880-8057

NATIONAL ADJUNCT DAY OF ACTION FORUM: University Life as a Contract Academic

NATIONAL ADJUNCT DAY OF ACTION FORUM: University Life as a Contract Academic
WHEN: Wednesday February 25
WHERE: Saint Mary’s University, McNally East, Room 111
The format is for 90 minutes or so of short (10 minute) presentations, followed by a question & answer period and a discussion about the issues facing contract academics.
1. Phil Bennett, Adjunct Professor, Astronomy & Physics, SMU, and Vice President CUPE 3912 (Saint Mary’s)
2. Karen Harper, Adjunct Professor, School for Resource and Environmental Studies, Biology, Dalhousie, and member, Contract Academic Staff Working Group
3. Marc Lamoureux, President, SMUFU
4. Matthew Furlong, ANSUT Communications Officer
Contract academics work in a state of precarious employment with little or no benefits, little or no control over their work environment, and little or no involvement in university governance. Contract academics work in a very different environment from that of traditional “collegiate university” of the permanent faculty.

This forum is being organized by Phil Bennett of SMU. Phil is still seeking more speakers so if anyone would like to participate please contact him at: pbennett@ap.smu.ca.    We especially want to hear your experiences and your thoughts on how things can be changed for the better.


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International Women’s Day

Celebrate International Women’s Day
Our Bodies, Our Territories.
The Halifax-Dartmouth & District Labour Council invites union members, social movement activists, and members of the public to celebrate International Women’s Day on Sunday, March 8th at 1:30 pm at Grand Parade in front of Halifax City Hall.
The last number of years have seen a series of anti-women actions from both the federal and provincial governments, as well a number of major news stories about sexism and sexual assault in our workplaces, communities and schools. The Labour Council is working with our allies in the women’s community to build support for real equity programmes and an end to sexism and gender-based violence. We demand action on child care, equal pay, reproductive health care, and a inquiry into the hundreds of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in our country.
Labour Councils across the country will be organizing International Women’s Day events under the slogan ‘Our Bodies, Our Territories’ with actions planned in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and dozens of smaller cities around the country.
When: Sunday, March 8th at 1:30 pm
Where: Grand Parade in front of Halifax City Hall
Why: To celebrate International Women’s Day and demand action
Who: Everyone concerned about women’s equality in our society
Bring your banners and flags! :)
For more information contact:
Dawn Ferris, VP Women’s Rights at the Labour Council

AUFA Talks break down, Wolfville NS

Conciliation talks between the Acadia University Faculty Association (AUFA) and the Acadia Board of Governors broke down for a second time shortly after 7 p.m. on Friday, January 30th. Conciliator Jarrod Baboushkin has indicated that he will file his report with the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education on Monday, February 2nd, triggering a 14-day waiting period before a strike or lockout could begin.

AUFA President Rachel Brickner reported that the two sides were close to a deal, with AUFA making “significant concessions” in its last offer on the number of tenure-track positions and compensation, asking for increases below the cost of living. Key components of the Board’s offer were contingent on enrolment levels and pension reform. Brickner noted that Acadia’s Pension Plan includes other employee groups, and this would hand control over AUFA’s contract to people not in the Association. “AUFA made every effort to reach a collective agreement,” Brickner said, “but in the end, we could not compromise further without jeopardizing the academic integrity of the university.”

A twelve-hour conciliation session on January 16th failed to produce an agreement, and the AUFA membership voted overwhelmingly on January 22nd to reject that offer from the Board. Brickner says that AUFA’s Negotiating Team remains ready to resume talks if the Board will improve its offer.


National Adjunct Day, February 25th

February 25th, National Adjunct Action Day (February 23-27, National
Adjunct Action Week), is a day adjuncts* all over North America will bring
attention to the plight of part-time, contingent university instructors.
There are shared goals and concerns to be certain, but exactly how adjuncts use the day or week is to be determined by each adjunct, group, or campus.
CUPE 3912,representing part-time instructors at Dalhousie, Saint Mary
and Mount Saint Vincent universities, encourages our members to wear black armbands on February 25th.

We encourage adjuncts to work together with other groups for maximum effect.
Support #NAWD.

National Adjunct Walkout Day
*Adjunct is the US term for parttime, contingent university
CUPE 3912: Contact Shaun Bartone at bartones@dal.ca for assistance with organizing for National Adjunct Action Day on your campus.

Nominations for the CUPE Nova Scotia Provincial Literacy Award

CUPE Nova Scotia has announced that nominations are open for the 2015 Barbara Kowalski Annual Literacy Award.

Literacy is the ability to read, write, work with numbers, problem solve, communicate and think critically at whatever level is basic to the task at hand. Literacy empowers us to:

a) assert our rights and build our Union

b) act as full citizens and change society

c) question, evaluate, and envision

d) develop our knowledge and potential at work, at home, and in our community

What is “Clear Language”?
a) language that readers can understand

b) design that makes documents easy to read and easy to use

For more information on the CUPE Literacy Project go to http://cupe.ca/literacy

The Executive of CUPE Nova Scotia are looking for literacy champions. There are two awards: one for an individual member and one for a Local Union that has promoted workplace literacy and clear language. A literacy champion might:

a) encourage other CUPE members to learn

b) model lifelong learning by following their own learning tools

c) raise awareness on literacy and clear language within the Union and workplace

d) help build the Union through literacy and clear language

The member(s) may have participated in a literacy program or helped start one in their Local, or promoted worker education in some other way. The Local Union must have participated in a literacy program and helped build a Union-centered education program in the workplace or it may have promoted worker education in some other way. There are many ways to be literacy champions. Champions will be CUPE members in good standing.

If you are interested in applying for the Barbara Kowalski Literacy Award, please contact Renee Dankner at the CUPE 3912 office at: cupe3912@dal.ca or at (902) 494-8872. Deadline for nominations is March 15, 2015.

CUPE 3912 Christmas Social

You are cordially invited to the

CUPE 3912 Christmas Social

Free drink and refreshments for all CUPE 3912 members!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014, 4:30-6pm

@the University Club Pub (downstairs)

1 Alumni Crescent Halifax, NS, B3H 3J5 (902) 494-6511

AGM motion re: Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) Membership for CUPE 3912

The following motion is on the CUPE 3912 AGM agenda:

“Moved that CUPE Local 3912 seek membership in the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), provided that CAUT is willing to accept the entirety of the Local’s membership as a whole, and be it further moved that CUPE Local 3912 be authorized to collect CAUT membership fees from members, upon full acceptance of CUPE Local 3912 into CAUT. CAUT membership fees will be assessed on a monthly basis for members currently employed as part-time instructors. CAUT fees for 2014 are $3.63 per member per month.” [Revised Nov. 9th]

For more information, members should visit the following links to the CAUT website of particular interest to us:

1. http://www.caut.ca/about-us

A general statement of what CAUT is and what they do.

2. http://www.caut.ca/issues-and-campaigns/fairness-for-contract-academic-staff

A summary of CAUT’s work in support of contract academic staff. This is the main driver (in my opinion) for joining. CAUT has been very pro-active in the promotion of the rights of contract academic staff (= us!). We simply need to be part of this campaign, and to do so we need to full members of CAUT. Otherwise, we are left in the awkward position of having others promoting policy about us (contract faculty) without being able to fully participate in that process. The obvious solution is to join the campaign of fairness for contract academic staff as a full member of CAUT.

3. http://www.caut.ca/about-us/caut-policy/lists/caut-policy-statements/policy-on-the-use-of-anonymous-student-questionnaires-in-the-evaluation-of-teaching

CAUT’s position on the use of student questionnaires for evaluation of teaching effectiveness. These questionnaires (Instructor Course Evaluations, or ICEs, at Saint Mary’s) are a major issue at SMU, with 3 out of the 8 grievances filed so far in 2014 being about the inappropriate use of ICEs in teaching evaluations, or the denial of re-appointments. CAUT has a lot of useful policy here and offers legal resources to support that policy.

We would not be the first CUPE local to join CAUT. CUPE Local 3902 (U. Toronto), and CUPE Local 3906 (McMaster) are also CAUT members. CUPE 3912 would be the third CUPE local to join.