Negotiations Update (January 11, 2019)


Negotiations continued on January 10-11, 2019. The mediator was unavailable but we were able to discuss some outstanding issues with the employer. We continue to make progress in our discussions. Mediated talks will continue on January 23-25, 2019.




Mobilizing for Bargaining/Strike Readiness campaign


Thank you to the members who participated in our Mobilizing for Bargaining/Strike Readiness campaign training this week. We had a full house with an action packed agenda which was facilitated by CUPE National Staff Marc Xuereb – Campaign Support, and Tria Donaldson – Communications Officer. If you are interested in volunteering in our mobilizing campaign and you have not already done so, please sign up at


January Update


Hopefully you had some time for rest and relaxation and to reconnect with family and friends over the break.  Thank you to all who joined us at the HQ in Sutherland for our open house just before the break.  Donuts, hot chocolate, and good company were a great way to kick off the break!

Negotiations are continuing throughout January.  Bargaining dates have been set for January 10th, 11th, 23rd, 24th and 25th.
We have a mutual agreement with the employer to not post details of the negotiations at this time.
Any updates that we are able to post will be posted promptly, as we know everyone is eager for news.



cupe1975Questions of the Day

The following questions have been asked by many of you.  In the event job action commences, we have asked the employer to provide a response to the following questions.  We will update you when we receive a response.  If we have missed anything, please feel free to contact the union office:


Subsidized Bus Pass:

  1.  Since our last meeting, I have learned that CUPE will not reimburse the University for the cost of subsidized bus passes.  Will the Employer agree to provide an alternate method of paying to employees who wish to maintain their subsidized bus pass?

Parking Spots:

  1. Will the payment for parking spots still be deducted for time away from work due to job action?
  2. If a spot is shared with a family member who is not CUPE will they still be allowed to maintain their spot, and if so, how will the spot be paid for?

Pre-Approved Vacations:

  1. Will the Employer honour pre-approved vacations?

Sick Leave:

  1. Will the Employer honour paid sick leave for those employees who are on approved sick leave prior to any job action?
  2. Will pre-approved medical leave (such as for scheduled surgery) be honoured?

 Maternity Leave:

  1. Will top-up be honoured


  1. If anyone is going to school during job action, will they still be topped up?


Mediation Update (December 13, 2018)


Mandatory mediation continued through the week of December 10th.  The parties have agreed to continue mandatory mediation with dates scheduled through January, 2019.




CUPE National’s Response to the U of S Article on Pension Contributions


The University states that the pension “has cost the University an additional $29.7 million beyond normal contributions over the past decade.”

The Union has always acknowledged the cost of these additional contributions, which were largely the result of the 2008-09 economic crisis, the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. In this spirit, in the 2013-14 round of bargaining, the Union offered changes to the plan that would have seen Union members shouldering about half of the University’s special pension payment obligations – but the University rejected this proposal.

The email also fails to mention the fact that from 1993-2009, the University took 17 years of “partial contribution holidays” (using pension plan surpluses to pay portions of the University’s annual required pension costs). In total, the University used nearly $28 million of pension surpluses to cover portions of their own pension costs over this period.

The University should not be selective when discussing the plan’s history. To only reference a challenging period following a historic economic downturn, when University contributions to the plan were higher, is narrow and potentially misleading. They should also speak about the long period before the downturn, when the pension was in surplus and their contributions were reduced by using this surplus.

And we should also speak about a better future. The Union believes we should learn from this history and allow plan surpluses to remain in the plan. This would allow future plan surpluses to function as a reserve against future downturns, all in the hope of preventing future increases in contributions.

The University also claims that “these significant additional contributions are expected to continue moving forward under the plan’s current structure.”

As the plan returns to a healthier funding position after the 2008-09 economic downturn, the University’s required pension contributions are actually falling. The most recent actuarial report on the plan shows that University pension contributions will be about $3 million lower in 2018 than they were the previous year. The actuary projects that further reductions to the required Employer contribution will take place in 2023 and 2027.

The Union continues to work towards a pension solution that addresses the University’s concerns but also protects the secure defined benefits that are so important to our members.



cupe1975Questions of the Day

Should we strike, do we still get full benefits (medical/dental, etc)?

Any benefits you currently enjoy now (medical,dental, etc.) would be still in place. The university would continue to administrate them and send the bill to CUPE National who would pay the premium.