Annual General Meeting

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.

Unit 1 and Unit 2 Collective Agreements

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.

Pension & Retirement

The UM Retirees Association has created a working group with the Unions and the U of M to discuss ways of improving the information available to employees nearing retirement, in particular about their pension.  Ideas include holding workshops as well as creating an FAQ page.  If you have any questions that are specific to CUPE 3909 employees that should be considered, please forward them to the Local Union Office.


Are you teaching on contract?  Please participate in a national survey on Contract Academic Staff.

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is undertaking the first ever national study on the experiences of contract academic staff. If you taught in the 2016-2017 academic year in a non-permanent position, please fill out the survey by November 1. The survey will gather data on a range of objective qualities of contract positions, such as wages, hours of work, office space, and teaching loads, as well as on the experiences of a contract academic.

The survey consists of approximately 60 questions—some multiple-choice and some open-ended—that should take approximately 30 minutes to complete. It will be open until November 1, 2017. The survey can be accessed at

Additional information on the study, data protection, confidentiality, and risks of participation is accessible via a linked Informed Consent document in the survey’s introduction.

If you have any questions, please contact the lead researcher, Dr. Karen Foster at 902-494-6751 or (email is most reliable).

This research will help strengthen local and collective efforts to win fairness for Contract Academic Staff.


From the desk of the VP Social Policy

To many observers we are living in unsettled and scary times. The presidential victory of Donald Trump, coming after a forty-year onslaught of Neo-liberalism, does not bode well for the future. Is this the beginning of a period of outright Fascism? The question is difficult to answer, but we need to keep it front and centre if we are to resist.

This column has, in the past, tried to concentrate on one aspect of that political trajectory: the Neo-Liberal onslaught on our university system. But the problem is, of course, not limited to universities, nor to the United States. The fascistic attack on our way of life will be piecemeal, but relentless, and in myriad, sometimes, almost obscure ways. Historically, fascism’s immediate aim has always been to neuter the free press, so as to shunt valid criticisms and information from public view.

Just this case in point is covered by Robert Reich in a recent piece published in Nation of Change. In it he squarely addresses some of the tactics that are already being marshalled to muzzle the press, namely that of limiting press access to the White House.

Read full article here.