The People vs US Steel – Hamilton Day of Action

Nancy MacBainNews, Political Action

January 29th
1pm
Hamilton City Hall (71 Main St W)

Be a part of history!
Your Community needs you!

WHY STUDENTS, FACULTY, AND STAFF SHOULD GET INVOLVED:

  • This is not a strike. The United Steelworkers 1005 have been locked out of their own factory, but not laid off. They are being denied the right to work and have not been paid by their employer since NOVEMBER! If you don’t want this kind of tactic to be used in the future elsewhere in Canada, we need to rise up and stop it from happening here and now!
  • This is struggle is BIG. The Canadian Provincial and Federal governments are getting involved. The outcome of this struggle between a rich foreign monopoly and the local 1005 union will set a precedent for future negotiations in all job markets – not just the manufacturing sector. Support 1005 now to secure better negotiating precedents in the job markets students will enter after graduation. This struggle will also impact faculty and staff working conditions, as more universities adapt consumer-business administration models.
  • Mac is often criticized for being disconnected from the rest of Hamilton. This is a chance to show our city that we care. Over the years, 1005 has supported various causes and unions at McMaster, and it is time to return the favour!
  • You definitely won’t be alone! Several groups from McMaster are supporting this rally, including CUPE 3906, the Political Action Committee, Students Resisting War and Occupation, The Dept. of Labour Studies Student Association, Students for Social Justice, and Independent Jewish Voices.  So, what can you do? It’s simple, just show up! Bring your friends, your cameras, and your love!

Take any of the following buses from McMaster or Westdale to this event: 1A, 5A, 5B, 5C, 10, 5E, 51, 52

CUPE 3906 members will be meeting at 12:45pm on the corner of Main St and Bay St on Saturday – come out and join us!

Introducing…The Ally

Nancy MacBainCUPE Quarterly

The new version of the CUPE Magazine is out, and it’s now called The Ally.

Click here to download the latest issue.

This issue features:

  • The People vs US Steel – the USW 1005 Lockout and the Hamilton Day of Action
  • Unit 1 Benefit Changes
  • Upcoming Rounds of Bargaining
  • Big Susie’s Sex Worker Advocacy Group
  • Local Labour Struggles and the G20
  • The Challenges of Wentworth House
  • And more!

Support Sessional Faculty at Trent

Nancy MacBainNews, Unit 2

CUPE 3908 includes more than 600 workers who work as contract faculty, part-time course instructors, workshop leaders, and markers. Contract faculty already earn less than half the average hourly rate of their similarly qualified full-time colleagues and the gap has widened over the past decade. Because of the difficulties in organizing this part-time, insecure labour force, universities have been able to keep wages low and resist demands for benefits.

Contract faculty are excluded from the University’s pension and health benefits plans, their wages don’t increase with experience, and their jobs can disappear at any time. In fact, they aren’t even eligible for the discount on parking passes offered to other groups at Trent!

Contract faculty already provide a massive subsidy to the university through their lower compensation and lack of job security. Requiring them to increase this subsidy through a wage freeze is unfair.

Please help contract faculty at Trent University reach a fair collective agreement settlement that does not include a wage freeze.

Mac’s Priorities Need to be Changed

Nancy MacBainNews

An opinion piece from The Silhouette by Blake McCall

There is something rotten at McMaster University. For those of you who are not counting I think it is important to take note of what has been happing for the last 18 months on this campus.

September 2009: CAW local 555 representing administrators all across campus nearly go on strike as the University tries to claw back hard fought for pensions and job security.

November 2009: CUPE local 3906 goes on strike as the university refuses to address benefit shortfalls, job security, and quality of education such as classroom maximums.

March 2010: McMaster Sunshine list is released showing that despite the university’s cries of poverty they still managed to give wage increase and bonuses to the top level administrators.

May 2010: the board of governors again increase tuition to the legal maximum four per cent.

July 2010: President Peter George finally retires to the lovely Pension of $99,999 per year for the next 15 years.

October 2010: SEIU Facility Services very nearly went out on strike after the administration tries to take wage, benefit, and job security provisions from some of the most marginalized employees on campus.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Support Striking SEIU Workers

Nancy MacBainNews, Political Action

Tentative deal ratified by SEIU members, ending the strike. Thanks to everyone for their amazing support. Details will be posted on the support site as they become available.

There is a new website up and running that outlines all the ways you can support Striking SEIU workers. We encourage all members to visit:
www.SupportMacWorkers.com

Specifically, you’re encouraged to join solidarity pickets (click here for the schedule) and to send a message to President Patrick Deane and Assistant Vice President Mark Haley telling them to bring an offer to the table that will settle the strike (click here to send a message).

For information updates from SEIU visit their website www.FoodServiceWorkersTogether.org. A group of students has created a flyer for undergrads outlining the reasons why they as students should support the strike. A copy of the flyer can be found here.

Finally, undergraduate students have the right to refuse to cross the picket lines without being penalized academically and to have reasonable alternative arrangements made regarding their coursework, assignments and deadlines.  The Senate Policy on the “Rights and Responsibilities of Undergraduate Students During Work Stoppages…” is available here. If you have any questions regarding the implementation of this policy, please contact the union or your employment supervisor.

Community Delegation at USW 1005 Picket Line

Nancy MacBainGeneral, News, Political Action

Saturday January 15th – 11:00-3:00

Meet at King St. and Bay St. at 10:35 am to take the HSR bus with the delegation or Wilcox St. Factory Gate on corner with Burlington St. E. (see map) any time after 11:00 am.

If you can’t make it for the whole shift, come for what you can! For more information on the lockout, visit the USW 1005 website.  To get in touch with us about the Saturday solidarity picket email nyakio@ymail.com or call Lynnette a 905-979-8234.

Next PAC Meeting January 10, 2011 at 4pm in CUPE office

Political Action CommitteeNews, Political Action

Happy New Year folks!  The Political Action Committee will be having our first meeting of the (calendar) year this coming Monday, January 10 at 4pm in the CUPE office.  If the office is occuppied there will be signs posted to let folks know where we are (though most likely we’ll be just around the corner at the tables in the adjacent hallway).  Hope to see you then!

Support SEIU Members at McMaster – Strike starts Friday at 6am

Nancy MacBainNews, Political Action

Please see the message below from SEIU, representing Hospitality staff at McMaster. The local has been in bargaining for a new contract and the membership voted down the Employer’s final offer at meetings on January 6th. As a result, SEIU members will be on strike as of 6am on Friday January 7th. The message below outlines the issues in dispute.

As in similar situations in the past, CUPE members are expected to continue to report for work as normal, but the local encourages everyone to join the picket lines in solidarity whenever possible.

Message from SEIU Local 2:

To Hamilton Area Unions and Labour Organisations and allies:

I am writing to inform you of a pending strike at McMaster University by the Hospitality staff who are members of SEIU Local 2. At present picket lines are scheduled go up Friday Jan. 7th at 6am.

For the past few months we have been in negotiations with McMaster University and have reached an impasse at the bargaining table.

The employer, a publicly funded institution, has demanded concessions and roll backs from some of the lowest paid workers at the University. Importantly the administration has asked to remove a job security clause that would then allow them to move to casualize the workforce. This would mean the eventual end of 175 decent paying full and part-time jobs in Hamilton. In essence the administration wants to take these jobs away and create poverty level McJobs in their place.

Read More

CUPE Supports Locked out USWA 1005 workers

Nancy MacBainNews, Political Action

CUPE 3906 members with 1005 President Rolf Gerstenberger and CUPE National President Paul Moist - photo by Greg Taylor

USWA Local 1005 was locked out on November 7th by the Amercian-owned U.S. Steel Canada Group after refusing to agree to pension changes. U.S. Steel wants to have all new hires enroll in a defined contributions pension plan rather than the current defined benefits plan. It also wants to remove indexing for all current and future retirees under the existing defined benefits pension.

On January 4th a delegation of CUPE members, including representatives from 3906, joined the picket lines for a presentation of a $10,000 donation by Paul Moist, President of CUPE National. The CUPE 3906 Executive has donated $500, the maximum allowed in the bylaws.

The OFL, CLC, USW Local 1005 and Hamilton and District Labour Council are calling for a massive province-wide mobilization to stop U.S. Steel and other foreign-owned companies from wrecking our communities and stealing our futures.

A provincial Day of Action has been called for
January 29th
1pm
Hamilton City Hall


For those who opted out of the GSA Dental Plan

Nancy MacBainNews

Dear New Unit 1 Members:It has come to our attention that some new CUPE 3906 members did not receive clear information about which dental plan they qualified for during the September 2010 opt out period.  As a result, some new members opted out of the GSA plan in error. We are thus extending the opportunity to members who meet the following criteria to opt out of the CUPE dental plan for until January 11, 2011:

  1. You became a CUPE 3906 member for the first time in September 2010
  2. You have a TAship or RAship in lieu of 130 hours or more in the 2010-11 academic year (in other words: you qualify for the CUPE plan, not the GSA plan)
  3. You opted out of the GSA dental plan in error
If you would fit the above criteria and would like to opt out of the CUPE dental plan, you will need to provide CUPE with the following information by January 12, 2011:
  1. A completed opt out form (available on the CUPE website or in the CUPE office)
  2. Appropriate proof of alternate dental coverage. Please note our requirements differ from the GSA’s requirements.  You must provide a document from your insurance company  which clearly shows that you yourself are entitled to benefits. The document must have your actual name on it, not your parent’s or spouse’s name. Insurance cards, claims histories, schedules of benefits and letters from the insurance company have been used as proof of coverage in the past.
  3. Proof that you became a new member this September. Such proof might include a copy of your letter of acceptance or a letter from your department.
  4. The email confirmation generated when you opted out of the GSA dental plan (or other proof that you opted out of the GSA plan).
Opt out forms and accompanying documentation should be submitted to the CUPE 3906 office in the basement of Wentworth Hall by January 11, 2011 at noon. Please use the drop box if the office is not open.
Late application will not be accepted. There will be no exceptions. You may want to make a copy of your opt out form and documentation for your own records.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about your eligibility for this opt out or the history of this issue.
Sincerely,
Rebecca Strung
Benefits & Advocacy Officer