The “Unions Working Together” monthly meetings of the five unions representing university workers, ASPA, CUPE 1975 and 3257, PSAC, and USFA provide an opportunity for sharing news regarding negotiations, grievances, experiences and approaches to better support their members.
Shared concerns of interest to USFA members were discussed during the October monthly meeting. USFA representative Julita Vassileva (Computer Science) reported on the irregularities in this year’s University Council election process, about some administrative processes still causing grief and additional workload for faculty, as well as the issues that USFA is bringing to negotiations such as high faculty workload, support of Indigenous faculty, improving working conditions for Lecturers and Instructors, and improving the salary review process. Issues brought by other unions included:
- Unsafe work environment issues ranging from harassment to overall campus safety. Workers are on sick leave because of stress and have exhausted all internal resources and complaint processes with no resolution.
- The province’s recent use of the not-withstanding clause to push through legislation that ignores the rights of youth. The university unions shared their concern about how this deeply undemocratic tactic may be used to override the rights of workers during labour disputes.
- The job restructuring process that is currently ongoing is of great concern for several unions, not the least because of the possibility of contracting out some services and job cuts.