Special Membership Meeting: September 21, 2023 at 7 p.m.

On Thursday September 21 at 7:00 p.m., we will hold our next hybrid Special Membership Meeting to elect the following positions:

  • three (3) Dalhousie Vice Presidents,
  • one (1) Trustee,
  • two (2) members for the Dalhousie negotiating team,
  • two (2) members for the MSVU negotiating team, and
  • two (2) members for the SMU negotiating team.

Election of Three (3) Dalhousie Vice-Presidents

We seek new Vice Presidents for a September 2023 – March 2024 term:

  • Vice-President, Dalhousie University PT Instructors (Halifax)
  • Vice-President, Dalhousie TA’s and Markers (Sexton Campus)
  • Vice-President, Dalhousie TAs and Markers (Studley Campus)

In the CUPE 3912 Bylaws (Section 9 starting on page 7), are the role descriptions.  Bylaw Amendments supported at an August 2023 Special Membership Meeting, now have these roles as being 1 year terms.

New Dalhousie Vice Presidents can expect to be involved with:

  • Grievances involving members they represent
  • Preparations for the next bargaining round
  • Executive meetings
  • CUPE 3912 annual budget and Nov. and March General Meetings

Election of one (1) Trustee

CUPE 3912 seeks a candidate to be a trustee.

Trustees do not attend or participate in regular Executive meetings. Their main contribution is in reviewing financial information provided, and documenting how well it conforms to CUPE performance requirements. The main activity will take place this fall in the CUPE Office in the Killam Library at Dalhousie University, as we get caught up on our audits from a few years ago.

In the CUPE 3912 Bylaws (Section 9 (m) starting on page 16), you can find the description of the Trustee role. Trustees receive training and some dollars for their time.

Election of two (2) members for each negotiating team of these three universities: Dalhousie, MSVU, and SMU.

The three Part-time Academic collective agreements of these universities will expire next year on August 31st, 2024 so we need to start preparing for these coming rounds of negotiations (preparing surveys, proposals, posters, etc.)

In the CUPE 3912 Bylaws (Section 17 (1) on page 22), there is more information about the negotiating committee.

If you are potentially interested in contributing to any of these officer or committee positions as a candidate, please contact Renee Dankner, our Office Manager at office@cupe3912.ca.

To RSVP and receive the Zoom link to the meeting or the location if you plan to attend in person, please email Kim Robinson, our Membership Officer.

If you want to attend in person, the meeting will be held at SMU, Loyola 173.

Labour Day Parade

Consider joining the Labour Day parade on Monday September 4th, and afterwards supporting some CUPE 3912 NSCAD, SMU TA, and former Dalhousie Strike Committee speakers.

In 2022, the Labour Day speakers included a member of the CUPE 3912 Dalhousie Strike Committee. In 2023 there will be a follow up “Thank you” message, plus more good news from our new bargaining units.

People will be gathering at 10:30 for an 11:00 am start to the Labour Day parade through some Halifax streets. The parade will start in the park between the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and the Nova Scotia Labour Board office (ie. between 1601 – 1675 Lower Water Street).

The parade ends at the Peace and Friendship Park, across the street from the railway station and Westin hotel.

The theme this year is “Lifting everyone up”. All from within the broad organized labour family are welcome.

In 2023, the CUPE 3912 membership “footprint” expanded to include new bargaining units from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and the Saint Mary’s University Teaching Assistants.

This is more good news from CUPE 3912, following our successful Dal Strike in 2022, which helped to achieve our three new collective agreements with three different employers.

Please join us if you can, and spread the word with others.

On Tuesday September 5, CUPE 3912 will be at a part-time faculty orientation event at MSVU, and on Wednesday September 6, at a Teaching Assistant (TA) Day event at Dalhousie University.

Later in September we will have some by-elections and another Special Membership Meeting. More on that next time.

Enjoy your Labour Day weekend.

News release: SMU Teaching Assistants Join CUPE 3912

With 100% of the votes in support, 325 teaching assistants (TAs) at Saint Mary’s University (SMU) have now joined Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 3912.  

Membership in the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 3912 has now expanded to include Teaching  Assistants (TAs), Research Assistants (RAs), and Independent Course Appointees (ICAs) from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD), and TAs from Saint Mary’s University (SMU). All of those who voted for labour board certification were in  support of unionization.  

“Our new members responded to the success of our 2022 Dalhousie Strike, and the three collective agreements we signed,  with three different employers, within 100 days,” according to CUPE 3912 President Cameron Ells. 

“The unanimous voting result is a testament to the passion of our unified community of TAs,“ reflected Jonathan Mansvelt, a  member of the SMU TA Organizing Committee. “We are only just getting started, and I am excited to continue collaborating  with all members to construct a collective agreement that serves each and every one of us. I’m very proud of what we have  accomplished to date; it’s amazing that what started as an ambitious chat between three TAs last November sparked a  movement leading to union certification in less than a year.”  

The successful effort to unionize the TAs at SMU was a collective one. Unionized full-time and part-time professors pitched in  by encouraging their TAs to sign union cards and vote in the certification process. Solidarity with SMUFU (the union for full time professors and librarians) and NSGEU 179 (support staff, maintenance, security & general workers) undoubtedly helped  achieve this.  

CUPE 3912’s next goal is to negotiate a first collective agreement between the SMU TA members and the Employer that will improve wages, working conditions, and job security. In addition to the SMU TAs, last spring, 75 Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants, and Independent Course Appointees from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) also voted 100% in favour of joining CUPE 3912.  

For more information, please contact: Cameron Ells (President, CUPE 3912)

Press Release SMU TAs Aug. 28, 2023-2

NSCAD Workers Join CUPE 3912

We are happy to announce that Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants, and Independent Course Appointees employed by the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) have joined us in Local 3912. These are artists working in an educational setting.

Some of these workers had gone more than 20 years without an increase in compensation. They chose to join our union because they were inspired by the Dal strike and by our big wins in bargaining. They reached out to CUPE in November 2022, and the campaign went public in January 2023. Of those who participated in the certification vote, an unprecedented 100% voted in favour of joining our local!

Unionisation is about respect, fairness, equity, and mattering. Our institutions work because we do. Collective action works. The efforts of the Dal strike team paid off, not only in securing a much better deal for our Dal members, but also because Employers at SMU and MSVU followed suit. Our successes inspired others to join us and strengthen our collective power.

We are growing. If you know of others who would like to join our local, please direct them to office@cupe3912.ca.

If you have questions, comments, or would like to discuss any other issue, please reach out to communications@cupe3912.ca.

Special Membership Meeting — Friday May 26, 2023

On Friday, May 26, 2023 at 6:00 p.m., a Special Membership Meeting (SMM) will be held online to:

  • determine the number of delegates we send to the CUPE NS Convention held in May 2023 in Sydney, NS;

  • elect delegates for the CUPE NS Convention held in May 2023; and

  • elect up to 3 delegates to attend the Atlantic Week Long School for Executive Members in Holyrood, NL.

The SMM is being called at the request of the Executive Board, which passed a motion to that effect on May 22, 2023.

All Delegates’ Expenses are Covered

Pursuant to Section 16 of CUPE 3912’s Bylaws, delegates to conventions and conferences are eligible for reimbursement for expenses (registration fee, accommodation, transportation, child  and dependent care) and a per diem allowance of $86.00 per day, as per Sections 14-15.

Nomination of Delegates

Nominations of delegates will take place at the SMM. If you would like to be nominated in your absence, please forward to us a brief email before the meeting, confirming that you agree to be nominated.

RSVP to Receive Zoom Link and Agenda

Please RSVP to Kim Robinson, our Membership Officer, to receive a Zoom Link and Agenda.

Questions? Comments?

If you have questions, comments, or would like to discuss any other issue, please contact our communications officer, Tanya Bilsbury.

Retro Pay for MSVU members

On April 13, 2023 our CUPE 3912-MSVU Negotiating Committee team and the MSVU employer signed the new September 2020-August 2024 Collective Agreement.

For members employed by MSVU during the September 2022-April 2023 academic year no action is required. Expect to automatically receive retro pay on May 19, 2023 for all courses taught from September 2020 to date.

For members who were employed at least once by MSVU for course assignments between September 2020-August 2022 but not afterwardssome action is required to receive retro pay. 

To receive retro pay on May 19, 2023, the MSVU employer must receive an email from you before May 10, 2023 to vpacademic@msvu.ca that identifies

  • your name,
  • your @MSVU.ca email address used when you were an Instructor
  • your course(s) and term(s) for which retro pay applies, and
  • if your preferred bank account information has changed since your last course assignment, for receiving an MSVU payment. If the original bank account can not be used, make this clear in the email. The MSVU payroll will then contact you to obtain the new banking information. Banking information should not be sent to the vpacademic@msvu.ca email address

New and Returning Executive and Committee Members

Last evening, Tuesday April 25 we held our in-person/online General Meeting.

New Executive for 2023-2024

The CUPE 3912 Executive and Committee membership has a new look. At our General Meeting last evening, we filled seven Vice-President and Officer roles. None of these were contested elections. For each election, there was a single candidate. Thank you to those who have contributed in the past and to those who are part of our new team for 2023-2024. We will go through some transitions and orientations.

Our Executive includes:

  • Vice-President Dalhousie Part Time Instructors (1 year) – Gábor Lukács
  • Vice-President Dalhousie Truro Campus (2 years) – Mohammad Ramezani
  • Vice-President Dalhousie TA’s and Markers (Studley) (2 year) – Mikylah Gillis
  • Vice-President Dalhousie TA’s and Markers (Sexton) (2 year) – vacant
  • Vice-President MSVU (2 years) – Don McIver
  • Vice-President SMU Language Centre (2 years) – Lauren MacKenzie
  • Treasurer (2 more years) – Amal El Nabbout
  • Communications Officer (2 years) – Tanya Bilsbury
  • Vice-President SMU (1 more year) – Erica Fischer
  • Recording Secretary (1 more year) – Tatiana Rossolimo
  • President (1 more year) – Cameron Ells

New Committee Members for 2023-2024

Our Labour Management Committees have as additional members:

  • Alex Mielnik for the MSVU committee
  • Howard Donohoe for the SMU committee

Our external delegates include:

  • Erica Fischer to the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)
  • Cameron Ells to the Halifax-Dartmouth and DIstrict Labour Council
  • Alex Mielnik to the Halifax-Dartmouth and District Labour Council

Joining Vice-President Lauren MacKenzie and President Cameron Ells, we confirmed as additional SMU The Language Center (TLC) Negotiating Team Members

  • Andy de Champlain
  • Evelise de Melo

Kameron Steves-Vigneault became a new Trustee.

Later in the summer of 2023

Expect a Special Membership Meeting or two this summer for the topics:

  • 2023 Budget
  • Trustee Audit Reports
  • Bylaw Revision for a new NSCAD Bargaining Unit
  • Bylaw Revision for a new SMU TA and Marker Bargaining Unit
  • A new Dalhousie University based Network of Stewards

Annual General Meeting – April 25, 2023

This evening, Tuesday April 25 at 7:00 pm, we will hold our next in-person/online General Meeting.

Online: RSVP to Receive Zoom Link

Please RSVP to Kim Robinson, our Membership Officer, to receive a Zoom link.

In-Person Location

Patrick J. Martin Council Chambers, 2nd floor of the Dalhousie Student Union Building.

The proposed agenda is available here.

The Agenda document has links to some other related documents.

At the General Meeting we can look back on successfully signing three new Collective Agreements in 2023 with three different employers, and be taking action to prepare for future negotiations that will begin in 2024.

We are working to develop a network of CUPE 3912 Stewards, with an initial effort and focus on Dalhousie University. These people may be on a faculty or department basis, and be involved in some initial information gathering for potential member Grievances.

At the General Meeting we will look to identify or confirm members for some committees (e.g. the Labour Management Committees with Collective Agreement), and as CUPE 3912 delegates and representatives (e.g. Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), and the Halifax-Dartmouth and District Labour Council).

In 2023 the Negotiating Committee for our members at The Language Center at Saint Mary’s University, will be bargaining for their next Collective Agreement.  We will look to confirm the committee membership at the General Meeting.

Among other things, proposed Bylaw changes will be discussed which reflect a broadening of CUPE 3912 membership (e.g. a new members from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD)). There will be a Special Membership Meeting later this summer after an appropriate review period.

CUPE 3912 seeks candidates to be potential Trustees. These people review and report on the quality of our financial record keeping. There are financial audits due by September 2023, so there would be some summer of 2023 activity. There will be more information on the CUPE 3912 website. Please consider being a potential Trustee candidate, and contact the CUPE 3912 President.

There will also be elections for various roles on the CUPE 3912 Executive.

We seek potential candidates for the following roles:

  • Vice-President, Dalhousie University (Halifax) Instructors (1-year term)
  • Vice-President, Dalhousie TA’s and Markers (Sexton Campus) (1-year term)
  • Vice-President, Dalhousie TAs and Markers (Studley Campus) (2-year term)
  • Vice-President, Dalhousie (Truro Campus, Instructors, TAs and Markers) (2-year term)
  • Vice-President, The Language Centre, Saint Mary’s University (2-year term)
  • Vice-President, Mount Saint Vincent University (2-year term)
  • Secretary-Treasurer (2-year term)
  • Communications Officer (2-year term)

Much has been accomplished over the past year, and there are opportunities in 2023 for you to contribute to our efforts in a variety of ways.

Please add to our successful efforts to improve workplace conditions for both ourselves today and for others in the future.