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News items from UWOSA.

UWOSA BBQ Today - Change in Location

Due to expected inclement weather, today's BBQ will be held in the Great Hall, Somerville House.

Campus unions stand in support of CUPE 2692

Letter to the Editor of the Western News from CUPE 2361, IUOE 772, OPSEU PSAC 610, UWOFA and UWOSA dated March 21, 2013

We are disappointed to learn how our fellow union members, CUPE 2692 (Food Services), are being treated by administration during their current round of collective bargaining. CUPE 2692, like any other group of employees on campus, deserves the respect of the administration. They deserve a fair bargaining process. To date, they have received neither.

The fact administration has requested a conciliator from the Ministry of Labour after only three days at the bargaining table is contemptible enough. That administration decided to communicate this to the campus community at large before CUPE 2692 had the opportunity to communicate it to its own members is extremely disrespectful.

However, after learning what some of administration’s proposals are, we are appalled. Not only has administration proposed no wage increase for the next two years, but they have asked for significant concessions, saying “concession bargaining is now in order.” This hard-line attitude is unacceptable from an organization with a multi-million dollar reserve which continues to annually raise tuition fees for students. It is interesting to note other employee groups on campus have recently negotiated contracts with wage increases until 2015.

Administration has also proposed to drastically cut the sick leave provision for CUPE 2692 workers. Making it difficult for employees to be off sick means employees are more likely to come into work when they are sick, thereby prolonging their illness or injury and possibly infecting their co-workers and other members of the campus community. If this is the true position of administration, Occupational Health and Safety might want to re-think the poster campaign around campus that states: “Sick? In bed? Wise decision.”

According to the Working at Western website, “Western offers an enriching and supportive work environment.” It is certainly not enriching to offer zero wage increases for two years when the cost of living continues to rise. Also, the punishment of sick and/or injured employees hardly constitutes a supportive work environment.

CUPE 2692 has entered into collective bargaining in good faith. Given administration has called for a conciliator so early in the process, it seems unlikely that CUPE 2692’s proposals were given fair consideration. It is our sincere hope when the talks resume, administration will re-evaluate its proposals and approach collective bargaining with fairness and respect. We will accept nothing less.

Sincerely,

CUPE 2361 (Facilities Management)
IUOE 772 (Operating Engineers)
OPSEU
PSAC 610 (Graduating Teaching Assistants and Postdocs)
UWOFA (University of Western Ontario Faculty Association)
UWOSA (University of Western Ontario Staff Association)

They Keep Rollin - YouTube video in honour of the Caterpillar plant employees

Thanks to UWOSA member Roberta McClelland who sent us the YouTube link for a new video that is being put out (called "They Keep Rollin") in honor of all the workers who lost their jobs when the Caterpillar plant closed.

If the video gets a certain number of hits on youtube then a donation will be made to the London Food Bank in honor of those workers and to help support all those who are struggling without employment.

The video can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nxMDe4WO-k

2013 UWOSA Photo Contest Winners

We had many excellent submissions again this year, which made the judge's job quite a challenge. It is great to see such a diverse range of photographs.

It is always a difficult process of elimination as we have a lot of talented ‘shutterbugs’ in our membership. We look forward to your submissions again next year.

Following are the winners of the 2013 UWOSA Photo Contest:

1st Place - Black and White: Diane Guerkink (Schulich)
1st Place - Classic: Cathrine Tapping (Bookstore)
1st Place - Creative: Erica Hill (Geography)
2nd Place - Black and White: Eva Takacs (Ivey)
2nd Place - Classic: Liane Allen (Ivey)
2nd Place - Creative: Barb Green (Biochemistry)
Honourable Mention: Erica Hill (Geography)

New Member Welcome - February 25, 2013

All new and relatively new UWOSA members are invited to the New Member Welcome to be held on Monday, February 25th in the University Community Centre, Room 369.

Members have a choice of two sessions: either 12:00 to 1:00 pm or 1:00 to 2:00 pm.

If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Mary Hay at mary.hay@uwosa.ca or ext 85089.

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