Bargaining Update

We do not have bargaining dates until late November. We know that bargaining is taking a long time. There are several reasons for this:

  • We are bargaining with three employers at the same time. Although last time we finished earlier at one university, we signed the collective agreement at the third university almost three years after the previous one expired.
  • We have a lot of proposals because there are a lot of changes to be made to the collective agreement to achieve fair working conditions. It takes time to discuss these proposals and we are making progress.
  • It is difficult to schedule times when 7-11 people are available. The schedule of our CUPE representative is particularly busy as whoever is in this position also assists other locals and is at other bargaining tables as well. Also note that we (union bargaining team) do not get time off for bargaining, as may be the case for other bargaining teams. However, we are setting several dates at all universities in the next few months hoping to wrap up soon. Also note that we are continually working on bargaining with extra meetings for the individual teams and all teams together.

Dalhousie Bargaining Update

Last week the focus for bargaining was on Dalhousie with a day and a half of bargaining. We discussed a lot of proposals including our common proposals, TA-specific proposals and a proposal to update hiring processes towards continuing appointments similar to the one we proposed at SMU. As at SMU, it looks like we are coming to an agreement for several proposals but are still negotiating some of the wording.

Our CUPE rep is not available most of November so our next dates at all three universities are in late November or December. We are booking dates well into January so we can make sure to reserve as much time as possible for bargaining.

SMU Bargaining Update

We had three afternoon bargaining sessions at SMU in quick succession (Oct. 7, 12, 14).

The only thing we discussed is a set of proposals to update the hiring and appointment processes towards continuing appointments, one of our bargaining priorities. After a few exchanges it looked like we were coming to an agreement but we are still negotiating some of the wording.

Our CUPE rep is not available most of November so our next dates at all three universities are in late November or December. We are booking dates well into January so we can make sure to reserve as much time as possible for bargaining.

Upcoming bargaining sessions:

  • November 30, 2021
  • December 1, 2021

MSVU Bargaining Update

We had a ‘reset’ bargaining meeting where we discussed plans for returning to bargaining. It was the first time we met with the employer at the bargaining table since May 2021.

We are hopeful negotiations will proceed effectively and efficiently; however, we could only plan for dates in December 2021 due to our lack of availability. (It is difficult to schedule bargaining dates with 3 employers.)

Upcoming Bargaining Sessions:

  • December 6, 2021
  • December 8, 2021

Treaty Day and Mi’kmaq History Month

Official 2021 Mi'kmaq History Month Poster
Official 2021 Mi’kmaq History Month Poster

October 1 is Treaty Day in Mi’kma’ki. The purpose of Treaty Day is to promote the public awareness of Mi’kmaq history and culture for all Nova Scotians, and to recognize the continued importance of these treaties. 


In 1986, Grand Chief of the Mi’kmaq nation, Donald Marshall Sr., invited all Mi’kmaw to “observe October 1, 1986, and every year thereafter as Treaty Day to commemorate the unique and special relationship that exists between the Mi’kmaq and her Majesty.” Since then, on this day, all people in Nova Scotia are invited to remember and reaffirm the treaties signed between Mi’kmaq People and the British Crown. 

Similarly, since 1993, October has been recognized as Mi’kmaq History Month. This is a month to celebrate Mi’kmaq culture and history. Across the provinces there are events that showcase this history.

Mi’kma’ki and the Treaties

CUPE 3912 members work in institutions that are in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People. This land is covered by the Treaties of Peace and Friendship, which Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqiyik, and Passamaquoddy Peoples first signed with the British Crown in 1726, and were reaffirmed in subsequent treaties. 

The Treaties of Peace and Friendship did not deal with the surrender of land and resources, but in fact recognized Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik title, and established rules for what was to be an ongoing relationship between nations. 

Exploring Treaties and Treaty Relationships

On Treaty Day and throughout Mi’kmaq History Month, take some time to learn about treaties, decolonization, and Mi’kmaq culture and heritage. As educators, we can incorporate this knowledge into our teaching. This year’s theme for Mi’kmaq History Month is “Exploring Treaties and Treaty Relationships.” 

More information on the subject:

We are all treaty people. 


National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Kent Monkman’s The Scream (2017)

Thursday, September 30, 2021, marks the first time the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a federal statutory holiday. This day coincides with Orange Shirt Day, which has been recognized since 2013 to honour Indigenous children forced to attend residential schools in Canada. The day is also a provincial holiday in Nova Scotia, PEI, and Manitoba. 

Dalhousie, MSVU and SMU will all be closed on Thursday, and no classes will be held.  

Events and Activities

There are a variety of events this week, both online and in-person, that provide opportunities for “sombre reflection,” to acknowledge and commemorate the legacy of residential schools, and to further commit ourselves to undertaking the work of reconciliation.


Establishing a federal holiday “to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process” was proposed in 2015 as the 80th call to action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission


CUPE Safe Union Spaces – Online Focus Groups

Members are invited to participate in a series of online focus groups with CUPE’s National Safe Union Spaces Working Group. The sessions are with external consultants to review existing tools and processes and identify gaps where changes or additional resources are needed to ensure safer union spaces for all members.

Some of the sessions are being held specifically for members of our equity-seeking groups. Members are welcome to attend the session for any group that they identify as a member of, and all members are welcome in the general sessions.

To see the schedule and register for a session visit:

General Meeting and Online Social – September 10 at 4 pm

We are having another online special general meeting on Friday September 10 at 4 pm.

This special general meeting will feature a by-election for Communications Officer. If you are interested in running for Communications Officer you can be nominated at the meeting, or put your name forward to Karen Harper, CUPE 3912 president.

Following the meeting members are invited to stay for an online start-of-term social.

To RSVP for the meeting, contact our Membership Officer, Kim Robinson by September 8.  

A link will be sent to those who have RSVP’d prior to the meeting.

CUPE National Occupational Health and Safety Resources

As we prepare for the fall term and the return to campus, members may be interested in these CUPE National resources on COVID and occupational health and safety. This information is specifically focused on workers rights and maintaining safe work spaces. 
All of CUPE’s COVID resources are here:
The Health and Safety information can be found here:
An important tool they have provided is a risk reassessment checklist: 
There is information on emerging variants here:
They have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the COVID vaccine here: