November Special Meeting

To the members of CUPE 3913,

On Thursday, November 19 at 7:00 PM I will be hosting a Special Membership Meeting to discuss a motion that addresses some concerns I have about the possible financial effects of COVID on the Union. Here is the Zoom link:

This past Summer the University informed CUPE 3913 that there would be reductions in bargaining unit work (hiring) at the University in the F20 semester, due to the financial impact of COVID. In September the University informed the Union that the reduction would be 20% in Unit 2, so the effect was not as significant as a similar reduction placed on Unit 1. However, over the next two years it is not certain if similar or greater reductions will be made on Unit 1 and/or Unit 2 hiring, which may have a deeper and more lasting impact on the Union  and its ability to effectively serve its members.

Worse, the University informed the Union about actual numbers unnervingly close to the beginning of the semester, leaving the Union with little time to respond to the changes the reduction made. We can only assume this will be the University’s strategy going forward.

Instead of reacting to such potential reductions when they occur, as we did three months ago, the Union prefers to take reasonable and proactive steps in anticipation of possible further reductions. We are looking at the 2021 – 2022 budget with this goal in mind. The motion I will be presenting at the November Special Meeting is the first step in this process. I will be discussing other steps the Union is taking in the Spring Membership Meeting in March 2021.

At this meeting, the Union will propose a change in honoraria for Department Stewards, Caucus Chairs, and for specific Executive positions for a two (2) year period starting on May 1, 2021 and ending May 1, 2023.

The proposed changes in honoraria are:

  • Freezing honoraria for Department Stewards for two (2) years. This will free up $14,400.00 for the Union;
  • Freezing honoraria for Caucus Chairs for two (2) years. This will free up $18,800.60 for the Union;
  • In the Executive committee:
  • Reduce the Member Representative’s hours from 2.5 to 1.88/week for two (2) years.
  • Reduce the Finance Officer’s hours from 5 to 2.5/week for two (2) years.
  • Reduce the Past Executive Officer’s hours from 2.5 to 1.88 /week for (2) years. This will free up a total of $11,280.35 for the Union.

I hope to see you at the meeting. Please be aware that the vote on this motion will take place during the meeting, after a brief presentation summarizing the proposal and a Q & A section.

The total amount freed up from these changes is $44,480.95, with no reduction in the quality of service to the Membership.

These changes would take effect on May 1, 2021 and will be reassessed by the Spring Membership Meeting in March 2023 by the Executive. If there are no further reductions, or if the reductions do not significantly impact the Union, a motion to reinstate the honoraria for the Department Stewards, Caucus Chairs, and the selected Executive positions will be put to a vote by the Membership.

Please also be aware that the meeting will be recorded. You will have the option to turn off your video feed and change your name if you do not wish to be identified. You may submit questions via Chat if you wish to remain muted.


Scott Duchesne, President.

CUPE 3913.


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