Wednesday, February 25, 2009

CUPE National weighs in

Paul Moist still hates the watered-down Israel resolution.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bargaining update, OUWCC conference, Israel motion

CUPE 4600 at Carleton, after rejecting a strike mandate last month, has nonetheless settled for a contract expiring on August 31, 2010.

OUWCC held their 2009 conference this past weekend in Windsor, Ontario. I'm looking forward to reading any proceedings from this conference, as the we all remember the famous document that came out of their 2008 conference. If you were there, feel free to contact me with any details.

By now we have all heard that CUPE Ontario passed a motion calling on an academic boycott of Israeli universities. I've covered this before, and although I'm still very uncomfortable with any academic boycott, I'm at least happy to see that the motion has been significantly watered down as compared to earlier versions. Torontoist has a brief history of the changes to the motion, so let's do a little before-and-after on CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan's comments, all emphasis mine:

Before (a since redacted CUPE press release, archived here):

"In response to an appeal from the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees, we are ready to say Israeli academics should not be on our campuses unless they explicitly condemn the university bombing and the assault on Gaza in general," said Sid Ryan ...

After (CUPE press release, February 23):

[Sid] Ryan noted that CUPE members voted democratically at their 2006 convention to support a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions against the Israeli state for its maltreatment of Palestinians. The campaign was not and is not directed against individual Jews. Ryan decries the deliberate misrepresentation of CUPE's intent in discussing Middle Eastern issues.
Sid Ryan lying? Computer says yes!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I'm still here

Not much news on the CUPE front these days. I'm working on some longer-form stuff for later. Watch this space.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The week of setbacks

The 2010 project suffered two major blows this week.

CUPE 3902 unit 1 reached a tentative settlement with the University of Toronto. The complete memorandum of settlement is here, but the following phrase is found on the first page:
The parties herein agree that the term of the collective agreement shall be from May 1, 2008 to April 30, 2011.
There does not appear to be any language in the agreement allowing sympathetic walkouts with other TA unions. So teaching assistants at the University of Toronto are officially on the sidelines for 2010. (Thanks to commenter Nurse 1 for the pointer.)

Meanwhile, as we mentioned previously, CUPE 3903 at York University was ordered back to work. According to the legislation, all outstanding issues -- including contract length -- will be set by an arbitrator. Strictly, this means 3903 could receive a 2-year deal from the arbitrator, but as Doorey notes,
Interest arbitration ... tends to be conservative, as an arbitrator does not usually want to forge novel arrangements that the parties themselves were unable to agree upon. I would be surprised if CUPE wins a 2 year deal ...
We will follow this story closely and report back once the arbitrated contract is set.