As we reported earlier, Union members are legally required to work during the UMFA Strike. If you were working with/for a striking UMFA member, that specific work may not be available. The University can offer you other work. If you refuse this work they do not have to pay you. This is the law. However, there are limitations.
We have received a number of questions regarding what work we are required to perform. You ARE required to perform the duties of the CUPE position that you were working at the time of the commencement of the strike or other work that you could reasonably be expected to do. This work should not be work that would normally be done by members of another union on campus.
You are NOT required to do any work that was performed by a striking UMFA member. The Collective Agreements for the Unit 1 (Student Academic Workers) and the Unit 2 (Sessional Academic Workers/Instructors) contain the following provision:
5.3 Performance of Duties During Strike of Another Union
Employees will not be required to perform the duties or responsibilities of another employee who is lawfully on strike or locked out at the University.
Section 15 of the Manitoba Labour Relations Act also provides job protection for members of unions who refuse to do the work of employees who are on strike.
If you are asked to perform work that you are uncomfortable doing, please contact us.
CUPE 3909 would thank members for the continuing calls and emails asking questions and providing us with information. They are very helpful.
We will continue to update you with information as we receive it.
We have received a number of messages and emails with concerns about the strike, the picket line and the information from the U of M that we are required to continue to work throughout the strike.
As we pointed out, the law in Manitoba as well as the rest of Canada is very clear. Unions who are locked in to a Collective Agreement are legally prohibited from having any work stoppages during the life of the agreement. This includes sympathy strikes. The consequences of disobeying the law could result in negative consequences for individual members.
UMFA is very aware of this and at this point, has not asked CUPE (nor, to the best of our knowledge any of the other unions on campus) to tell our members to refuse to work.
In the last UMFA strike as well as this one, our Union has and will express our solidarity by talking to students about the strike and why it is important, attending protests, etc. and taking up any actions that UMFA asks us to participate in. Our members can and will walk the picket lines.
You should also know that our Collective Agreements have a provision to protect us from having to do any work normally performed by members of other Unions that are on strike.
We are quite concerned about the inadequacy of the instructions to our members as provided by the University. It was very clear that Unit 1 and Unit 2 Instructors are required to teach their courses. The information for our Unit 1 TAs, Grader Markers, Lab Demonstrators, etc. was not clear. We are in the process of trying to get some clear guidelines for these classifications. We will get back to you as soon as the University provides us with specific information.
As always, contact us with any concerns.
As you have probably heard, the University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA) representing full time faculty will be going on strike. Both CUPE 3909 Unit 1 and Unit 2 have valid collective agreements with the University of Manitoba that are in full force and effect at this time and Manitoba Labour Law requires us to report to work during the UMFA work stoppage.
We have been advised by the University that CUPE 3909 Instructors in both units (Unit 1 students and Unit 2 sessionals) must continue to teach their courses.
Students working as CUPE 3909 TAs, Tutors, Seminar Leaders, Lab Demonstrators and Grader/Markers have been advised to contact their faculty/college/school/department to determine their activities.
If you have any questions please refer to the University of Manitoba FAQ page.
Contact us if you have any questions or concerns. We will continue to communicate with you during this period and will provide you with any relevant information that you need to know.
The AGM previously announced for April 8 has been cancelled until further notice.
The University has a number of Safety and Health (LASH) committees that need CUPE representatives. These committees meet four times a year and are responsible, among other things, for conducting inspections of public spaces. Time spent at meetings or on duties or training required to serve on this committee is paid time. Find out more about these committees and contact us if you are interested.
The University holds a number of orientations for new employees, including TA workshops, WHMIS, and health and safety training. Any time spent on mandatory orientations or training for your appointment should be considered hours worked. Contact the Local Union Office if you have any questions.
The CUPE Local 3909 General Membership Meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 28 at 4:00 in the Cross Common Room, 108 St. John’s College. The Executive will present reports, you’ll hear updates on the Local’s activities, and the Treasurer will provide a budget for your approval. And, there will be food and drinks.
All members of CUPE 3909, Student and Sessional Academic Workers at the University of Manitoba are welcome. If you know of a member who did not get this email, please encourage them to attend.
CUPE 3909 will hold the Annual General Meeting at 11:30 on Thursday, April 12 in the Cross Common Room – 108 St. John’s College. The Executive will provide updates, the Trustees will present their Audit, and we will elect bargaining committees for Unit 1 and Unit 2 negotiations that will start this summer. There will be a light lunch and you will have the opportunity to talk to your fellow CUPE 3909 members.
Both collective agreements will expire in Summer 2018, which means we will soon be negotiating with the University to improve working conditions. The issues you have forwarded to the Union during the life of these agreements will help us develop proposals. If you have any issues or concerns about your job that you haven’t brought to our attention, please contact the Local Union Office.
Over the past two years the University has improved the breakdown of information on our paystubs, but it can still be difficult to determine how you are being paid. It is very important that you read your Letter of Offer and make sure that it accurately reflects your collective agreement. For example, if you are a Unit 2 Sessional with RFR, were you offered the RFR rate of pay? If you are a Unit 1 TA or Grader/Marker, are you aware of the number of hours that have been approved for your appointment? During your appointment, make sure you check your paystub. If you have any questions, contact Payroll but if you have any concerns, contact us.