CUPE National Occupational Health and Safety Resources

As we prepare for the fall term and the return to campus, members may be interested in these CUPE National resources on COVID and occupational health and safety. This information is specifically focused on workers rights and maintaining safe work spaces. 
 
All of CUPE’s COVID resources are here: https://cupe.ca/covid-19.
 
The Health and Safety information can be found here: https://cupe.ca/covid-19-health-and-safety-practices-0
 
An important tool they have provided is a risk reassessment checklist: 
 
There is information on emerging variants here: https://cupe.ca/variants-concern-what-are-they-and-why-are-they-important
 
They have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the COVID vaccine here: https://cupe.ca/covid-19-vaccines-frequently-asked-questions

General Meeting – August 10, 12 pm

Our next general meeting will be on Tuesday August 10 at 12 pm, online.

This special general meeting will focus on health and safety issues for the return to campus. Bargaining updates, mobilization and the 2019 audit will also be on the agenda.

We will be joined by Jenna Brookfield, CUPE Atlantic’s Health and Safety Representative, who will speak and take questions.

To RSVP for the meeting, contact our Membership Officer, Kim Robinson August 9:  

A link will be sent to those who have RSVP’d prior to the meeting.

 

Letter from CUPE NS Executive re. provincial election

Calling all members of CUPE! 

An election campaign is underway in Nova Scotia, and as members we all know how important  it is to have representation in government that values unions and looks out for union  members. So much is on the line when it comes to the outcome of this election. 

We need to be seen showing up for the community and have a presence of members out in the  NS NDP leader’s riding of Halifax-Chebucto. 

A perfect demonstration of what a difference the NDP can make for us is seen in the parties’  attitudes toward sick days. The Liberals have provided only a temporary coverage of four sick  days. The NDP plan understands that sick days are not a detriment to our work. Gary Burrill will  add 10 permanent paid sick days to the Labour Standards Code and make it illegal for  employers to require a doctor’s note when taking time off for illness – and this is just one  example. 

As members we must stand together and make sure that our government represents us, and is  not undermining our quality of life. 

Halifax-Chebucto – Gary Burrill’s home riding – needs YOU to help get the word out to the public  and make sure that he can keep representing us in the government of Nova Scotia. Their  campaign office is located at 6440 Quinpool Road and have invited us to drop by and help get  the word out. Please give them a call at 902-706-5111 and ask how you can help! 

We also need volunteers to help our CUPE members who are candidates, canvas. We have five CUPE members running, our National President Mark Hancock will be joining them on the  campaign trail from August 4th to August 6th (more info to follow on social media). if you would  like to come out and help we would love to see you. If there is no CUPE member running in your  area, stop by the local NDP candidates campaign office and lend a hand. 

Joy Polley Pictou East 

Sean Foley Colchester North 

Tammy Jakeman Eastern Passage 

Jason Langille Kings West 

Cheryl Burbidge Annapolis 

It’s time we support the party that supports the work we do in public service. 

If you are interested, please feel free to reach out and we can help you find the campaign office  in your area. 

In solidarity, 

CUPE NS Executive 

902-759-3231

 

General Meeting — July 12, 4 pm

Our next general meeting will by Monday July 12 at 4 pm, online. This meeting will focus on mobilization and the return to campus.

Nan McFadgen, CUPE Nova Scotia president, will speak at the meeting.

To register to receive the Zoom link for the meeting, please contact our membership officer, Kim Robinson, by July 9.

 

Obituary for Jason Doucette

 

 

It is with heavy hearts that the members of CUPE 3912 SMU TLC wish to share news about the passing of a wonderful colleague and great friend, Brother Jason Doucette. After battling a number of serious health problems, Jason passed away at his home on June 17th.

A native of Prince Edward Island, Jason Doucette was a truly dedicated and talented instructor who taught EAL at Saint Mary’s University from 2003 to 2021. Jason was active in CUPE throughout his career. He was a member of the executive for CUPE 4406, the former local for SMU EAL instructors. In 2011, he served as Treasurer of CUPE 3912 and he represented the local at the National Convention.

Jason was deeply respected by all his coworkers and adored by his students for his great sense of humour and extensive knowledge of language, culture, and academia. He was 47 years old, and he will be dearly missed.

CUPE 3912 Statement against Islamophobia and in solidarity with the Muslim Community

CUPE 3912 joins CUPE members and locals across Canada in offering sincere condolences to the family and friends of the Afzaal and Salman families, who were the victims of Islamophobic hate in London Ontario. This violence left four people dead — three generations of a family — and a child remains in hospital. Police have confirmed that the violence was intentional and motivated by hatred towards Muslim people and their Islamic faith.

You can read CUPE National’s statement here.

As the extended Afzaal family notes in their statement, this is not an isolated incident, but rather “We need to understand that the destruction of a family in a brutal and horrific manner like this is something we must all stand against. We need to stand against hate and Islamophobia and raise awareness in our communities and throughout the political spectrum.” The sentiment is echoed by Imam Abdallah Yousri of Ummah Mosque in Halifax:  “We all see a spike in Islamophobic attacks, in hate speeches, and in hate crimes all around the country. And, it is very obvious that we are not doing enough.”

As academic workers and educators, we have platforms and opportunities to incorporate anti-racist practices into our workplaces and to confront white supremacist rhetoric, ideologies, and structures. As academic workers, we also acknowledge that one of the victims, Madiha Salman, was a PhD student at Western University in Civil Engineering. Universities provide anti-oppression and anti-racism training, and we urge you to take advantage of these resources to make our classrooms, offices, seminars, laboratories, and communities spaces that confront hatred in all its forms, and spaces that better support our racialized and BIPOC students and colleagues.

For those wanting to take action now, here is the online fundraising account approved by the family you can donate to. Furthermore, the National Council of Canadian Muslims is calling on people across Canada to change their social media profile pictures to the image of a green ribbon. They are also calling for a National Action Summit on Islamophobia for federal, provincial, territorial and municipal leaders to determine immediate actions to dismantle Islamophobia. You can sign the petition to support these calls here.

Members is HRM can attend a community vigil, that will be held outdoors at the Ummah Mosque, this evening, Wednesday June 7 at 7 pm. The Mosque is located at 6225 Chebucto Road, and entrance for limited parking from Chebucto Road and St Matthias St. Mandatory public health measures will be enforced.  Please help volunteers by following the instructions.

CUPE 3912 honours and mourns the Afzaal and Salman families. We stand in solidarity with the Muslim community across Canada in condemning Islamophobia and confronting hatred and discrimination.

Special General Meeting, June 11 @ 10 am, Online

Friday June 11 at 10 am, we are holding another special general meeting, focusing on health and safety concerns in relation to campus reopening. The CUPE 3912 representatives on university Health and Safety Committees will be present to speak to campus measures and answer your questions. Membership mobilization will also be discussed.

To RSVP for the meeting, contact our Membership Officer, Kim Robinson June 10:  kimrobinson1945@icloud.com 

A link will be sent to those who have RSVP’d prior to the meeting. 

CUPE 3912 mourns discovery of Kamloops mass grave site, calls for stronger federal action

CUPE, including CUPE 3192, mourns discovery of Kamloops mass grave site. We call for stronger federal action.

CUPE 3912 stands in solidarity with Indigenous communities across Canada as they mourn the recent discovery of 215 Indigenous children buried at a mass grave site at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in BC.

You can read CUPE National’s full statement here.

You can read the statement of the Office of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation Chief, here. The school operated on the unceded territory of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation until 1978.

As Dorene Bernard, a Mi’kmaq elder and scholar, states other residential school locations need to “be fully investigated …. We’re going to continue to do the work.” Under her guidance, the survey of the Shubenacadie Residential School location in Nova Scotia has already begun. The Shubenacadie school operated from 1929-1967, and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation lists the names of 16 children who died at the school.

Donations can be made to the Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society here.

To Indigenous CUPE members: we can only imagine the pain and trauma this news has caused, or reawakened. If you need help, the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day at 1-866-925-4419.

As academic workers in settler institutions, we have benefitted from settler colonialism. The institutions where our members work — Mount Saint Vincent, Saint Mary’s, and Dalhousie universities — are in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq people. We are all treaty people, and must all be committed to working with Indigenous nations, communities, organizations, and students toward decolonization, reconciliation, and respecting the on-going treaty relationships. This also means reflecting on our own work and positions, and having hard conversations about how academic institutions and disciplines contributed to the collective history and traumas of colonialism. Decolonizing our work and practices requires ongoing and day-to-day action.

In the words of Jared Qwustenuxun Williams, “Every day is orange shirt day, every day is red dress day, every day indigenous lives matter.” You can read more about the Orange Shirt Day Campaign here.

To learn more about the ongoing legacies of colonialism read the resources provided by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Volume 4, on “Missing Children and Unmarked Burials” is particularly relevant.

We urge the federal government to immediately end its court battle against First Nations children, which it has been pursuing since the Canada Human Rights Tribunal first ruled against the government in 2016. Provincial and federal governments must also implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.