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ELECTIONS ARE HERE!
CUPE Local 728’s annual elections take place at the next general meeting on April 19, 2017. Following are the office for CUPE Local 728 as per Article 5 of the CUPE 728 By-Laws & Constitution:
A Chief Shop Steward can be nominated by any member however elected only by the members of the relative department.
There will also be one (1) Trustee elected for a 3 year term.
I hope everyone had a great Spring Break. With March being the start of Spring and days beginning to grow longer, it is great to see warmer weather coming our way. “Snowmageddon” is finally behind us and its back to the regular weather we are used to. That being said we have some important couple months ahead of us.
March was a busy month having sat in on a couple CUPE BC meetings one of them a committee meeting and another a council meeting. It was a gathering of K-12 Presidents from across the province where we discussed and shared ideas that are going on in the other locals. It is a great place to see what is happening in other districts and see how they are dealing with issues. It is abundantly clear that there are quite a few similarities throughout the province in terms of issues being dealt with. I have brought back a bunch of information that I have shared with the executive and will be looking to implement some important things moving forward. I also attended several meetings throughout the district and continue to strengthen our Union at every opportunity.
May 9th. We all recognize the date. It is the day we need to elect a new government. We need to elect a government that has not neglected the education sector for the last 16 years. If we do not vote in a government that is committed to Education, we are going to be in for one heck of a fight come bargaining in 2019. Which government do you want to sit across from the table in 2019? I urge you to strongly consider this when you head to the ballot boxes in May and vote in an NDP Government. A party that has taken notice of the chronic underfunding of the Education sector for the last decade plus and is committed to funding Education consistently throughout.
I have attended a few education courses as of late and continue to stay on top of the latest education available. We must all continue to grow as our Union grows and continue to find better ways to help our members with whatever issues they may have. Our stewards are always updating their education as well so that members can feel confident in calling their stewards to get the information they need. If you are interested in Union Education, feel free to contact your steward to find out what education is coming up and how to sign up.
Social media is a great tool to stay connected and get useful tools and helpful hints. It has been brought to my attention throughout the year that not necessarily everything shared on social media not related to CUPE 728 has been is correct. If you have a question that is work related it is important to get in touch with your steward. The information being shared on these sites has not always the latest or up to date and we would not want an issue to arise over misinformation. Also, please try to be kind to each other. It is very easy to get caught up in a thread or post and have it turn negative. Unions are about building solidarity and supporting one another. Striving for better conditions at work and away from it. I encourage you to think of the impact it may have on someone or something the next time you are about to post a negative comment.
Lastly, I would like to take this time to bid farewell to National Servicing Rep Brother Sung Wong. I wish him well in his next endeavor and thank him for the wisdom he passed on in the brief time he was here. I would like to welcome aboard our new National Servicing Rep Sister Tracey Mathieson. With Tracey coming on board it should bring some stability and continuity to our local. It is great to see that our repeated requests and concerns to National have not gone unheard.
In Solidarity; Ryan Groundwater
1st VICE PRESIDENT
Trustee Liaison Meeting,
Once again, we had our annual CUPE 728 and Surrey Schools Trustee meeting. These meetings are a great opportunity to lobby our elected officials, of the Surrey and White Rock constituents, on issues concerning our members. We tackled such issues as contracting out, work load and staffing shortages. Together we work to find solutions and ideas to these issues. This year much of the conversation focused on successorship and training, the hiring of EAs, and the implications of the Supreme Court ruling on class composition on the school district and specifically CUPE members. These meetings are a great opportunity for our members and our local. We look forward to seeing progress on our issues.
In Solidarity; Randy Fennell
For the month of February, our FB page was viewed/commented/shared/messaged over 140.000 times (that’s an average of 5.000 times a day!!!). Please remember that everything that is posted on our FB/Twitter account is directly posted onto the home page of our Website. This means that if you do not have FB/Twitter you will not be missing out on anything that we post. Social Media is a valuable tool that our members enjoy using and because of that, we are constantly providing our members with information through Social Media. Please do check our Website periodically so that you are not missing out on information. http://www.cupe728.ca
In Solidarity; Marcey Campbell
We had a very successful EA Unit Meeting on March 9, 2017. We had around 100 EAs show up to voice their concerns and to hear valuable information. We talked about the EA Shortage, Union Representation in meetings, EAs that drive, the importance of filling out the On-Line Incident forms for both as a victim and as a witness to an accident, Right to Refuse Unsafe Work, Practicum Students and more! I would like to personally thank Allan Henricks for taking very detailed notes for the EAs that were unable to attend the meeting. These notes can be found on the EA/ABA SW button on the homepage of our website. A BIG thank you to Leslie Mortimore from HR for coming to the meeting.
As EAs, and all SD 36 staff, we want nothing but the best for the students and their futures. We want the students to be educated and informed and, in doing so, we teach them to ask questions. If you are unsure about anything related to your job, please make sure you ask questions, whether it’s to your Union Reps, your Admin or HR. You have the right to be fully knowledgeable regarding your jobs, especially when it comes to Health & Safety concerns.
I have had quite a few calls recently with regards to EAs being asked to go on District-approved overnight camping trips with students. Please keep the following in mind:
Another year of the Executive is coming to an end. I have been very honored to have been able to help with the Temporary Secondary/Spareboard EA Shop Steward position. I want to personally thank Dawn Storey Gray for her guidance with this position. Your chance to vote for your 2017/2018 Executive Board is on April 19, 2017 at 8 pm at LA Matheson Secondary and I look forward to seeing you there.
In Solidarity; Marcey Campbell
(Information regarding WCB was taken directly from www.worksafebc.ca and Gov’t of BC website http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/home
HEALTH AND SAFETY COMMITTEE
Hope everyone had a restful spring break. We have a couple of items we would like to remind people about. On site Health and Safety Committees:
You can approach your committee members if you see a problem or concern you become aware of.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs)
There are WCB regulations regarding this.
In Solidarity; Allan Henricks, on behalf of H&S Sub Committee
SICK BANK COMMITTEE
This report is for new members and those unfamiliar with the workings of the Sick Bank and Benefits Fund Committees.
Both committees are based on our Sick Bank and Benefits Fund Constitution and By-laws with the 2nd Vic President and Treasurer automatically being members of the committee. In addition, 6 members are also elected to serve on the committee.
So, who can collect from our sick bank in the time of need?
There is a 1 week waiting period (unpaid) after you have used up your personal sick hours. A majority of members who used our union’s sick bank simply follow the procedures set out in the constitution and by-laws (a copy can be obtained from the union office). It is mandatory for members to cooperate with
the JEIS Committee. This committee is comprised of SD 36 staff, the LTD provider and the union. Any CUPE member who has been away for 6 days or more is automatically enrolled. Some of us are surprised to learn that, while being on WCB, they still need to cooperate with the LTD. It is to your benefit to do so, after all, medical conditions can change while you’re recovering from a work-related injury. Sick bank coverage includes health benefits and financial compensation up to 80% of your regular wage.
The committee monitors sick bank accounts but day to day activities are done by our office staff. The committee does have the ability to make changes and adjustments within individual cases. If you find yourself in a situation that prevents you from obtaining the benefits, our constitution and bylaws provides for members to ask for a waiver of any rules. However, the role of the committee is to balance needs of individual member with integrity of the constitution and with due process.
As for the Benefits Fund, it provides some basic benefits to members. Benefits such as a retirement bonus up to $500 and $2,500 in case a member passed away. We also send flowers and other comforting items for sick members. For members who have more than 6 months’ seniority and don’t qualify for sick bank they may be able to access Benefit Trust at 50% of their wages.
Hopefully I could provide all of you with some insight into the working of our committee.
In Solidarity: Eric Jaworski, 2nd Vice President