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UWOSA Bulletins

It is UWOSA's turn to visit the Columbia Employee Store

Hello everyone,

Please visit the "Member's Only" area at our UWOSA website
(www.uwosa.ca) to print off your invitation to visit the Columbia Employee Store between Thursday, May 14th and Sunday, June 14th. Please remember that you must bring the printed invitation with you (tablets or phone images will not be accepted at the door).

You may bring up to 4 family members or friends with you when you shop, however, the invitation is not transferable. You must bring you UWO I.D. card with you.

If you have any questions, please email me at meg@uwosa.ca.

Happy Shopping!

Meg Perinpanayagam
Membership Services Officer
UWOSA

Announcement: UWOSA Presidency

Dear UWOSA members,

I am writing to let you know that I have been offered a position in the Faculty of Social Science which, after careful consideration, I have decided to accept. Accordingly, I am resigning the office of President of UWOSA effective May 1, 2015.

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work here in the UWOSA office for the last three years with our dedicated Stewards, Executive, and committee members, on behalf of all UWOSA members. I will continue to serve UWOSA as Past President in an advisory capacity at Stewards Council and Executive meetings, in order to provide continuity.

In accordance with our Constitution, Vice President Boun Thai shall become President of UWOSA on May 1, 2015. An appointment for the vacant position of Vice President will be held at our Stewards Council meeting on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 12:00pm in Social Science room 9420.

If you are interested in the Vice President position, please put forward your intention and a brief bio to UWOSA's Business Manager, Mary Hay before May 13 at 9:00am. Please plan to attend the meeting on May 20 to give a short (5 minutes maximum) presentation on your candidacy for the role before the members of Stewards Council vote.

Sincerely,
Karen

____________________________
Karen Foullong
President
University of Western Ontario Staff Association (UWOSA)
University Community Centre (UCC) room 255
London, Ontario N6A 3K7

Phone: 519-661-2111 ext. 85041

Email: karen@uwosa.ca

Questions for Town Hall Meetings

Dear UWOSA members

As you know, President Chakma will be conducting a series of town hall meetings across the campus with staff, faculty and students. He has promised to engage us and to listen to our concerns.

In preparing for these town hall meetings we thought it would be helpful to present to you some of the information that came forth during our recent survey. There are so many topics that were brought to light through your responses, however, some common threads did emerge. Hopefully this list of sample questions will get you thinking about what topics concern you and help formulate questions to ask Dr. Chakma when you meet with him. We would also invite you to share what you learn at these meetings with the UWOSA Executive Team, so that we can move forward with as much information as possible.

Budget-Related
- In our department, budget cutbacks have meant that we are now ___ [rationing chalk to professors, only having garbage emptied once every two weeks, no longer having annual team-building events, using office chairs that are falling apart, still saving items to floppy disks, have had to give up our lunch room to make way for more graduate student offices, have no blinds or curtains for windows, have not had the windows cleaned or walls painted in over five years] ___. Will that change in the future? What can you do to initiate this change?
- [Undergraduate] enrollment in our department has increased by [300] students in the last [three] years and yet no additional people have been hired to assist with their needs. Why was there no talk of hiring increased staff when there was talk about enrolling more students?
- The upgrades to equipment in our area have been near non-existent. Do you have any plans to provide additional financial support to our area for ___ [upgrading computers, printers, photocopiers, office supplies] ___

Pay-related
- I have worked at Western for __[10]__ years. During that time, inflation has gone up significantly more than the pay raises we get from year-to-year; my rent increase is more each year than my pay increase; the money that I earn can no longer go as far as it used to. What are your long-term plans with respect to salary increases for Western’s front-line staff?
- We understand that there have been on-going pay equity negotiations for several years now. What is your understanding of the delays in resolving equal pay for the equal work done by both women and men?

Work Load & Morale
- In my area, I have noticed an increase in the stress levels due to many factors, one of which was a series of layoffs in 2009. On top of the layoffs, we have also had people retire whose positions have not been filled. Every person I can think of is doing considerably more work than they were doing in 2009 and it feels as though we are working on a skeleton staff. Are there plans to bring staffing levels back up to an adequate level where we can provide support to our area without feeling burnt out at the end of the day?
- The increased workload and decreased budget in my area has resulted in a large decrease in morale and an increase in stress. What ideas and plans do you have to work towards an increased morale for workers?
- I understand that under your leadership, we have achieved one of the highest student retention rates and graduation rates in Canada, as well as a 94% employment rate within two-years after graduation, however, it is not my understanding that the same can be said for faculty and staff. What plans do you have to make Western a better place to work?
- I feel as though I can relate a bit better to you after the events of the last few weeks. You’ve had the opportunity to experience what it is like to live in a fear that you may lose your job. For reasons beyond my control, I have experienced the same feelings for the last __ [six] ___ years. This really weighs on people and I am wondering if you have plans to address this reason for low morale in many workers here at Western.
- We spent a lot of time a couple of months ago completing the We Speak survey. What follow up has their been or will their be from your office about the concerns those results raised?

Results of April 17 Special Senate Meeting

Dear UWOSA members,

At today’s special meeting of Western’s Senate, the votes of non-confidence in both President Chakma and the Chair of the Board of Governors, Chirag Shah, did not pass. UWOSA is disappointed that the majority of University Senate members appear to support the governing policy of this institution. Given the news we have heard over the past few weeks, we had hoped that the Senate would have recognized an opportunity to influence a substantial change in Western’s priorities and governing policies.

Nevertheless, our work is not done. UWOSA hopes that Dr. Chakma was sincere in his message of taking "concrete steps to engage our staff, and employee group leaders, whose work is so critical to the success of our academic enterprise." We were sincere in our open letter that we look forward to our conversation with Dr. Chakma to change Western for the better.

Yours sincerely,
The UWOSA Executive Committee

Special Senate Meeting and Equal Pay Day

Senate Meeting for Non-Confidence Motion

The Special Senate Meeting to hold the Non-Confidence Motion will be held on Friday, April 17 at 1:30pm at the new Richard Ivey School of Business, Room 1100 (1255 Western Road). UWOSA has asked the Senators representing staff (Deb Coward and Catherine Wilkins) to present the motion of non-confidence that was passed at our Annual General Meeting on April 9. Although non-senators are not permitted to speak at Senate meetings, they are open to the Western community to attend.

Equal Pay Day

For years now, UWOSA has been working toward achieving Pay Equity for our bargaining unit. For more information about UWOSA’s efforts to achieve Pay Equity, please check out the “Pay Equity and UWOSA Members” section of our website.

Equal Pay Day illustrates how far into the next year a woman, on average, must work to earn the same amount made by a man the previous year. The US, Europe and other countries have proclaimed Equal Pay Days with activities and events to raise awareness about the gender pay gap and to ignite action to close it. Supporters wear red on Equal Pay Day to mark how far women are “in the red” when it comes to their pay. Ontario’s Equal Pay Coalition and the Ontario government has declared that Equal Pay Day this year will fall on April 20th, 2015. UWOSA will be joining members of the Pay Equity Coalition outside Covent Garden Market at Richmond & Talbot Streets on Monday, April 20 at 12:00pm. You are welcome to join us!

Karen Foullong
President

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