Most university offices and services will be closed for the holidays this year beginning on December 24, 2018 until January 1, 2019. Employees who would normally be scheduled to work on December 24 will receive this day off with regular pay, and will not need to work the time in advance or use vacation time, banked EDO’s, time in lieu or overtime. Employees who are not scheduled to work December 24 as a part of their regular schedule will not receive any additional compensation and/or paid time off. The closure on December 24 is an exception for 2018 only. Regular operations of the university will resume on January 2, 2019. Please contact the union at 966-7015 if you are asked by your supervisor or department to give up a holiday or EDO, etc. for the December 24th day.
October 16, 2018
Today Oct. 16th, at our Union Executive meeting, our national servicing representative shared with us that a mediator has officially been assigned to our negotiations. With a mediator in place, our negotiating committee has provided the employer and mediator our availability over the upcoming months. November 1st and 2nd dates were held as bargaining dates prior to talks breaking down and these dates will be used as our opening dates with the mediator.
After a mediator has been identified, we have 60 days to work along with him and The University to try and come up with a resolve to our contract impasse. If talks are going well, we can request an extension to the talks. If the talks aren’t progressing as hoped after the 60 days, there is a 14 day cooling off period before either party can take any further action. Your negotiating committee is hopeful that we can come to a resolve with the employer.
I WAS HOPING TO TAKE A HOLIDAY IN THE UPCOMING MONTHS:
What would happen if the union went on strike prior to me going on holidays? Would I be paid by the University any holiday pay? Would I get strike pay?
Firstly, all holidays need to have prior approval from your manager. Once your holiday is approved, and if it happens when we are on strike, the employer has the right to pay or not pay you holiday pay if we are on strike.
In the upcoming meetings with the employer and the mediator, we hope to get more clarity on this answer.
The holidays you have accumulated are a liability for the University that must be used or paid off at some point in your career here. Some departments have difficulty scheduling and accommodating people within their departments each year for time off. For this reason, there may be an appetite for the employer to consider it. However, we have no control over that.
Secondly, you must participate in the strike to receive your strike pay. If your away for a week and unable to walk the picket line or do other assigned duties from the union, you wouldn’t be eligible for any strike pay.
First of all – Thank you to all our members that voted to support your negotiating team at last week’s strike vote. It was nice to see such a strong turnout and the many good questions put forward from you.
Prior to the vote last week, our executive talked about how important the vote was, but also how we needed to respect the outcome of the vote. Although the vote went in the direction we had hoped, we would like to have the people who voted against the motion, to respect the outcome also. We live in a democracy and it was done in a democratic way.
Questions of the Day
- I haven’t received any emails prior to the strike vote or call. How does the union intend to communicate with us going forward?
At the rally, pension talk with Mark Jansen in the Education Gym this spring, we were asking all members in attendance to share their emails (not usask) with us for communication purposes going forward. We received approximately 500 emails and we have sent out a group email to all those who provided one to us. If you didn’t receive one prior to the strike, it is possible we didn’t get your address correct. In this case, please contact the union office with the correct information. Also, at the Thursday rally and vote we asked again for any personal emails we might not have. We are in the process of creating a group list however it will take some time to do this. In the meantime, we ask that you continue visiting our website and Facebook page.
- Can you explain the timelines of negotiations right now? Are we in a strike position this week?
At our last bargaining session on September 14, 2018, we declared an impasse with the employer. We filed the impasse with the Saskatchewan Labour Board and a mediator will be assigned to work with both sides to try and arrive at a settlement. Once the mediator is identified by Labour law, we have 60 days to come to an agreement. The period can be extended if both sides agree there is good work being done and want to continue to pursue an agreement. If they don’t, then there is a two week cooling off period before either party can take any further action. As of today, a mediator has not been identified.
FYI – Your executive does not have access to the employers email (usask) system without the employer approving content of the email. For this reason, anything strike related cannot be sent through your usask email.
Results of the Strike Vote
957 Ballots Case
6 spoiled ballots
70% of the votes cast were in favour of a strike.
CUPE 1975 members have voted in favour of job action in a vote held on September 27 and 28th.“ Our members have made it clear that they support our bargaining committee’s fight to protect our members’ secure defined benefit pension plan,” said Craig Hannah, president of CUPE Local 1975. “This strike mandate is a clear message to the University of Saskatchewan: we demand pension issues to be dealt with at the bargaining table.”
CUPE 1975 represents 1900 members who work at the University of Saskatchewan in a variety of non-academic positions.
The bargaining team for CUPE 1975 will be putting forward a motion at the next General Membership Meeting in October to pay an additional $200.00 a week non-taxable from CUPE 1975’s strike fund to members that participate in the strike. This will be over and above the $300.00 non-taxable a week that striking workers get form CUPE National
At 4:30 there will be a rally – speakers will speak to approximately 5:05 if the meeting starts on time. After that time you can stay in the room at 143 or 146 Arts and ask questions from the Negotiations team. All others who cannot stay can then proceed to vote at the various stations set up.
We have the two rooms until 7:30 pm.
Remember to Vote: Vote and Rally 4:30 to 7:30 pm Sept. 27th Arts 143 and 146. All day Voting Sept. 28th from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm. Location: Grad Students Common – Emmanuel and St. Chad Bldg. directly behind McLean Hall. Follow the signs. Members please read the above attachments. CUPE 1975’s response to the email sent out by the University to our members on September 24, 2018. If you still have questions please do not hesitate to call the union office at 966-7015. We have also updated the Questions and Answers.
Voting on Sept. 28th (Friday) will be held at Emmanuel and St. Chad which is located across from new Health Sciences bldg. and Dental Clinic. Directly behind McLean Hall.
Questions and Answers September 25, 2018
Part II. (In addition to the link provided below)
Can you explain to me how the proposed new pay scales/bands would work? I am currently in a phase 4 position- would I remain in a phase 4 in the new system. What if I don’t agree with my placement?
Your bargaining team had very preliminary talks at negotiations with the employer in regards to a proposed pay band system. We had identified many things that we wanted more clarity on. We believe in their haste to bring an offer to the table, the employer glossed over many of the things that will impact you the member, one of them being having no appeal mechanism to challenge these new placements.
How would essential services work if we went out on strike? Who would be deemed essential?
The positions that would be deemed essential would be negotiated between the employer and CUPE 1975. In the event of a disagreement the labour board will be involved.
Can CUPE 1975 send me a personal email like the employer to keep me posted on any updates on my USASK email account?
CUPE 1975 does not have access to the employers email system. All emails CUPE 1975 sends through USASK email have to be approved and edited by the employer first. We will continue to keep you the member posted through our Web Page, your personal email system where members have provided your personal emails (no USASK), our Facebook page and mail outs.
The negotiating team has provided answers to the questions you may have in regards to negotiations and upcoming strike vote.
Click on the attached Link: Questions and Answers from your CUPE Local Negotiations Team