Announcing

Warning: This website is confidential and may contain privileged information. By posting information on this website, we are not waiving either confidentiality of, or legal privilege in, the content of this website and of any attachments. You must not copy, forward or disclose the materials on this website, or any information in or attached to it, to anyone without the consent of the St. Thomas More College Faculty Union Executive. In accordance with Article 1.7.2 of the STM Collective Agreement and if you are not a member of the St. Thomas More College Faculty Union, you are prohibited from using this communication in any way.

AGM and Ratification May 19/15

posted May 4, 2015, 4:45 PM by Bryan Wiebe   [ updated May 4, 2015, 4:47 PM ]

** Note: The Annual General Meeting and

The Ratification vote for the Tentative Agreement

will be held together from 10:00 a.m.-12 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19 in STM 1002.

New Collective Agreement

posted Jul 20, 2011, 11:10 AM by Bryan Wiebe

Our new Collective Agreement is now in effect. We hope to have a copy up on our Agreement page shortly. You should have received any back-pay owed to you by the College on your last cheque.

Judicial Review Decision

posted Sep 9, 2010, 8:22 PM by Bryan Wiebe   [ updated Jan 16, 2011, 9:50 PM ]


Union Open Letter re President Smith's Letter

posted Jul 16, 2010, 9:48 AM by Bryan Wiebe   [ updated Jan 16, 2011, 9:51 PM ]


President's Report to AGM 2010

posted Jun 2, 2010, 7:36 AM by Bryan Wiebe   [ updated Jan 16, 2011, 9:57 PM ]

President’s Report

Annual General Meeting

St. Thomas More Faculty Union

May 19, 2010

 

 

1.  The Executive has had an extremely active year representing the interest of it members. The activities in which the Executive has been involved have included:

- Facilitating the move of an unresolved grievance to arbitration

- Preparing for judicial review of the Arbitration Board requested by the STM Administration

- Coming to an agreement on an abeyance of arbitration of a second grievance

- Attending numerous executive meetings

- Attending meetings with the Dean and the STM College President

- Contacting, emailing and carrying out discussions with CAUT

- Consultations with Union lawyer about the above matters

- Coming to an agreement to facilitate celebration for CSF’s

- Addressing problems for members

- Attending the CAUT General assembly

     I want to note that there have been no meetings of the Consultation Committee.

    

2.  Initiatives discussed at the last AGM

a) Last year I discussed the establishment of a Negotiation Caucus. This group was to research issues, survey membership, establish an action Committee and form a Newletter/Information Committee. However, given all the time commitments this initiative did not get off the ground. I would like to seek a three-person ad hoc committee to pursue this initiative.

b) Last year a motion was passed to establish in principle the St. Thomas More Faculty Union Scholarship in Social Justice for any STM student in the range of $2,000 annually. Because of financial considerations, the Executive has not proceeded with this initiative

    

3.  [Removed from Web Page]

 

4. Grievances

a)[Removed from Web Page]

b) [Removed from Web Page]

 

5. [Removed from Web Page]

 

6.  I am pleased to announce that James Turk, Executive Director of CAUT, will be here on May 26, 2010 at 10:00 am to present a talk entitled “Academic Freedom Under Attack”. He will present in 344B STM – all members of the College and university are invited to attend.

Our Winter 2010 Newsletter

posted Feb 27, 2010, 8:26 AM by Bryan Wiebe   [ updated Jan 16, 2011, 9:59 PM ]

STM Faculty Union

Newsletter
February 24, 2010

Greetings!

We hope that your term is progressing well. We wish to take this opportunity to provide you with some reminders and an update of union activities, issues and announcements. We did have a busy fall term, but we did not send out a newsletter as we were constantly anticipating more news to be able to pass on. We are now at a point where we can no longer delay. Our web page: http://www.stmfu.ca/.

Reminders:

·      Our Collective Agreement ends on June 30th of this year.  Our Negotiating Committee is Brian Chartier, Chris Foley and Bryan Wiebe. Any suggestions or issues for the new contract are welcome and appreciated.

·      Sessionals interested in applying for seniority should note the following:

Sessional Lecturers shall be responsible for arranging student evaluations for each of the courses they teach while in the probationary period. Failure on the part of the Sessional Lecturer to arrange for adequate student evaluations shall be grounds to withhold seniority. (from Article 5.1.10.8.2.3)

·      Sessional Positions for next year will be advertised in June.  In some departments, there may be significant changes in the number of courses available for sessional faculty due to new hirings and changes in the number of course offerings.

We want to emphasize that all members of the Union have the right to consult with the Union about any matter concerning your employment with the college. Please feel free to contact a member of the Executive with any concerns you might have.  The Union respects the confidentiality of our members.

 

Issues:

1.      Arbitrations and Judicial Reviews

 

            [Removed from Web Page]

 

 

2.      When are You an Employee? (Part 1)

 

STM has been moving away from the traditional collegial model towards a regular business model in its relationship with Sessionals. An example is the controversy surrounding office space, including access to libraries and computer accounts. A few years ago the College proposed providing Sessionals with just a locker and a common set of offices, so that a Sessional could work wherever there happened to be an empty space. The Union objected to the impracticality of setting up student appointments: “Go to the fourth floor and knock on all the doors – disturbing everybody – until you find me.” The College also wanted to terminate access to offices, library accounts, computer accounts, etcetera for the summer. After resistance from the Union, they relented on email and library accounts, but not on offices. We were told that the offices could be rented out. Management’s main argument was: In what regular business would someone be given access to company resources while not actually employed by that company? The Union replied that Sessionals sometimes needed to do work for the College outside the actual period of their contract. Management responded by allowing Sessionals to book a room when needed to conduct college business outside the period of their contract.

Sessionals have not been happy with this arrangement.

So much is history. Now that we know the model they are using, we should insist on consistency. Consider the College’s policy on course syllabi. In many cases, preparing syllabi in the couple of days from the beginning of the contract to the first class, when STM (unlike the U. of S.) requires you to submit them to the Dean’s office, is unreasonable. I suspect that most Sessionals are starting with these duties before their contract comes into effect. Consistency means that the College cannot require this. In what regular business could a future employee be required to perform duties prior to the beginning of the contract? Working on the syllabi before the contract begins amounts to unpaid labour! (On the other hand, the CSF, who are under contract well before term begins, may be required to work on syllabi during the summer.) Sessionals should not be chumps. Allowing others to take advantage of you is irresponsible to your family. If they really want the work to be complete by the first class, they should be willing to pay you to start earlier. Perhaps you may need to quit your summer job earlier to fulfill these duties. Why should you be working for free? When educated people allow employers to take advantage of their education without proper remuneration, it diminishes the value of education in the marketplace. It sets a poor example for the students. Why should parents want to send their kids to a college that puts chumps at the front of classes making them role models? If you believe education to be a good thing, you should not allow this to happen. You would do better to turn in your syllabi late.

 

Quotations:

 

God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere. -- Voltaire, (attributed)

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. -- Bertrand Russell


Ratification Meeting!

posted Jun 4, 2009, 9:05 AM by Bryan Wiebe   [ updated Jun 4, 2009, 9:13 AM ]

New! Negotiations for a one year extension of the current contract have been concluded successfully. A special meeting of the STMFU will be held on June 18th at 9:00 a.m. in STM 450 to ratify the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) spelling out the details of this extension. The details are available here: MOA June 09.pdf

Our Spring '09 Newsletter

posted Apr 2, 2009, 11:11 AM by Bryan Wiebe   [ updated Feb 27, 2010, 8:25 AM ]

March 17, 2009


 Greetings!

We hope that your term is progressing well. We
wish to take this opportunity to provide you with some reminders and an update of union activities, issues and announcements.  We would like to begin by announcing we are developing a new website.  If you have any suggestions for additions or links for our new website, please contact Bryan Wiebe.


Reminders:

·       Our Collective Agreement ends on June 30th of this year.  We have already received some suggestions for changes or additions to our Collective Agreement, and any additional suggestions are always welcome and appreciated

·       According to the MOA, Sessionals having seniority should have received a letter from the Dean stating their areas of teaching qualification by Dec. 1, 2008. If you disagreed with that letter you should have notified the Dean within two months of receiving that letter.

·       Sessionals interested in applying for seniority should note the following:

 

Sessional Lecturers shall be responsible for arranging student evaluations for each of the courses they teach while in the probationary period. Failure on the part of the Sessional Lecturer to arrange for adequate student evaluations shall be grounds to withhold seniority. (from Article 5.1.10.8.2.3)


·       Sessional Positions for next year will be advertised in June.  In some departments, there may be significant changes in the number of courses available for sessional faculty due to new hirings and changes in the number of course offerings.

·       We want to emphasize that all members of the Union have the right to consult with the Union about any matter concerning your employment with the college. Please feel free to contact a member of the Executive with any concerns you might have.  The Union respects the confidentiality of our members.

·       Since our last newsletter, we have been busy working behind the scenes on behalf of individual members regarding matters which must remain private.  Some of these matters, with much effort and time on the part of members of the Executive, have been resolved satisfactorily; other matters have not yet been resolved.  At times, the Executive has been meeting weekly (and sometimes many times per week) to deal with such matters.  It is our hope that members feel that they are not alone in dealing with problems that may arise at the College.

 

Issues:

·       The USFA has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the U. of S. extending their Collective Agreement for one year. Clearly, this is an option we should consider for our own Agreement.  Jim Cheeseman has described the provisions of their MoA as follows:

The terms of the Agreement remain unchanged, except for the following:
- all members of the bargaining unit will receive a 5.25% scale increase to their salaries
- floors, ceilings, and CDIs will increase by 5.25% for all ranks
- the Accountable Professional Expense Allowance will be increased to $2050 per annum
- the size of the merit pool at the College level will be increased by 40 CDIs.
http://www.usaskfaculty.ca/news/read.php/298  

 

They have also agreed to enter into talks on a number of issues including: “alternative faculty appointments” and “retirement”. The actual MoA is available at the following link:
(http://www.usask.ca/hrd/memos/docs/usfa_moa_ca_extension_feb_13_09.pdf ) If you have any comments or concerns about this kind of option for us, please feel free to contact a member of our Executive.

·       The negotiations regarding the future of the CSF are continuing.  The Administration is determined to implement its plan to “reduce” the number of CSF positions to zero and increase tenured faculty to 40, and the Administration has reaffirmed its determination to implement this plan even in light of potential problems that may occur in the economy.  It has become clear to us that the CSF are becoming more upset and discouraged as time moves forward without any resolution of the uncertainty attached to their employment futures. One strong sentiment that has been expressed to us is the feeling of betrayal. Most of the CSF have voluntarily contributed to the College in many ways above and beyond the

strict fulfillment of their duties, only to discover now that their commitment and dedication to the College seems to count for nothing but empty platitudes.  This commitment has not been reciprocated.  We think it is fair to say that for many CSF, the lack of recognition and respect for this commitment to the College over many years is the main source of bitterness.  The Union Executive hopes that ongoing negotiations will result not only in a just settlement,  but also in some acknowledgment on the part of Administration of the many years of dedication and some acknowledgement of the significant contributions which the CSF have made to the College and its students.

·       In the January 12th report to the Board, the President of our College states regarding upcoming negotiations: 

New Board members should be aware that we have been through a difficult period of labour relations in the last two years, which included a trip to the Labour Relations Board over an Unfair Labour Practice committed by our Union. The Labour Relations Board found strongly in favour of management and censored the Union. This did not improve relations. Our recent decision to eliminate 15 Continuing Sessional Faculty is also a source of great consternation from many within the Union. We will soon begin negotiations for a new Collective Agreement; the current Agreement concludes on June 30, 2009. Challenges will abound.

 

Although it is clear that the elimination of 15 Continuing Sessional Faculty is much more than a source of "consternation" for us, we must also take issue with the comments regarding the Labour Relations Board's decision.  We want to remind our members that the issue in the Labour Relations Board hearing was whether there was undue influence in a ratification vote held by the Union.  We believed that the ratification vote was valid and that our members were not unduly influenced

in their decision.  It is true that the Labour Relations Board sided with management though hardly "strongly" and without "censor" or censure (the ruling is available in its entirety at http://www.stmfu.ca/archives).  The Board found that a second ratification vote should be held.  The fact that the second ratification vote had the same result as the first (and thus, brought us both back to exactly the same point where we were before the Labour Relations Board hearing) is hardly a victory for anyone besides the lawyers on both sides who, at least, received remuneration for their efforts.  Although we acknowledge that improved relations were not a result of the Labour Relations Board hearing and decision, we also believe that improved relations are best achieved through direct discussion aimed at mutual understanding.

Announcements:

            We want to congratulate Chris Foley who has been elected to a three-year term on the Executive of the Union.  He was elected by acclamation, and his statement has been circulated.  We also want to thank the members of the STMFU Elections Committee (David Peacock and Darrell McLaughlin) for conducting this election.


Quotable Quotes

on Unions and Workers:

 

From Laborem Exercens, John Paul II, 1981:

"Catholic social teaching does not hold that unions are no more than a reflection of the "class" structure of society and that they are a mouthpiece for a class struggle which inevitably governs social life.  They are indeed a mouthpiece for the struggle for social justice, for the just rights of working people in accordance with their individual professions."  (See Part III, section 20 "Importance of Unions").

"But here it must be emphasized, in general terms, that the person who works desires not only due remuneration for his work; he also wishes that, within the production process, provision be made for him to be able to know that in his work, even on something that is owned in common, he is working "for himself".  This awareness is extinguished within him in a system of excessive bureaucratic centralization, which makes the worker feel that he is just a cog in a huge machine moved from above, that he is for more reasons than one a mere production instrument rather than a true subject of work with an initiative of his own.  The Church's teaching has always expressed the strong and deep conviction that man's work concerns not only the economy but also, and especially, personal values."  (see Part III, section 15 "The Personalist Argument")

"It is always to be hoped that, thanks to the work of their unions, workers will not only have more, but above all  be more;  in other words, that they will realize their humanity more fully in every respect."  (See Part III, section 20 "Importance of Unions").

 


                       

Our Fall '08 Newsletter

posted Feb 23, 2009, 7:08 PM by Bryan Wiebe   [ updated Apr 2, 2009, 11:11 AM ]

October 28, 2008

STM         Newsletter

Faculty

Union

 

WELCOME

 

   The new term is well underway and the STMFU Executive wishes to welcome new members and welcome back all members. We hope that everyone has had a good summer. We are confident you will have a fruitful year of research and instruction.

   The past year was full of challenges for the union. Thanks to the strength of our members we have come through these struggles with a new collective agreement (you should have received a copy in your mailbox) and, hopefully, a heightened respect for each other. Of course not all problems have been solved. New, and especially for some of our members, particularly difficult challenges have arisen. We will be working to bring about as good an outcome as possible for these members. In these times, we hope that all members will demonstrate the care for which the STM community is renowned and encourage those members which are under threat at this time. A demoralized community would be a weakened community. We believe it is particularly important that we build each other up to empower one another to meet the challenges ahead. Given our members’ particularly strong talents, courage and caring concern, the executive is confident that our current difficulties will only serve to make us stronger.

 

Executive Activities

 

The executive is pleased to welcome Chris Foley to the executive. Although Chris is on sabbatical, he has agreed to serve on the executive this year. (This was an executive appointment as there was a resignation after the elections were held last spring.) The executive is committed to serving the membership. We have been consulting with CSF in an attempt to determine how best to bargain for their needs. We have formed an “ad hoc CSF committee” consisting of Ria Jenkins and Brian Chartier to negotiate these matters with administration. All members are encouraged to continue to raise issues of concern with the executive.

 

Update on Defense Fund Trustees Annual Meeting

 

The Union Executive would like to thank David McGrane, our STMFU CAUT Defense Fund Trustee, for attending the CAUT Defence Fund Trustees Annual General Meeting held in Fredericton, New Brunswick on October 18 th-19 th, 2008. The written report from David was particularly important in clarifying how the Fund works and how much it costs. David also gave us some favourable impressions of the organization and the meeting, as well as relating some possible union-related storm clouds on the horizon. David did point out some outstanding issues in relation to our membership in the fund. It is our hope that we will deal with these outstanding issues at our next general meeting.


Committees

 

The executive wishes to thank all those who have agreed to serve on STMFU committees.

 

 

Elections Committee:

 

* Darrell McLaughlin

* David Peacock

 

Consultation Committee:

 

* Brian Chartier

* Ria Jenkins

* Bryan Wiebe

 

Grievance Committee:

 

* Wilf Denis

* Ron Griffin

 

Sessional Faculty and Term Appointees Committee:

 

* Nick Jesson

* Dawn Friel-Hipperson

 

Status of Women Advisory:

 

* Mary Ann Beavis

 

ad hoc CSF Committee:

 

* Brian Chartier

* Ria Jenkins

 

Executive Committee:

 

* Brian Chartier (President)

* Ria Jenkins (Vice-President / Secretary)

* Bryan Wiebe (Treasurer)

* Chris Foley

  

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