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UWOSA is an independent union representing approximately 860 administrative and technical staff at the University of Western Ontario. Our members work in every area of the University in a wide variety of roles. We are Academic Counselling Assistants, Admissions Coordinators, Animal Care Technicians, Booth Attendants, Computer Specialists, Dental Assistants, Drivers, Events Coordinators, Faculty Affairs Assistants, Graduate Coordinators, Horticultural Technicians, Laboratory Supervisors, Library Assistants, OSAP Coordinators, Prospect Researchers, Research Assistants, Residence Clerks, Schedulers, Secretaries, Storeskeepers, Technical Supervisors and Undergraduate Assistants (and so much more).

Senate Meeting Protest - Friday April 10

Dear UWOSA members,

UWOSA will be joining other employee and student groups on campus to protest at Friday's Senate meeting.

A planning committee has been formed on campus and has just sent us the following schedule:

11am-12:30pm: everyone gathers in mustang lounge to create placards and posters (with no sticks)

12:30pm-12:45: clean up and leave to meet all groups at Alumni Hall (on the island)

12:50pm: a quick debrief/reminder of what's about to happen and then proceed from Alumni Hall and walk through the gates across the street in one giant mass of protesters to the front doors of New Ivey

1:00pm: arrive at New Ivey front doors and do a short demonstration with short 2 minute speeches from key speakers

1:15pm: remind everyone that the rest of the protest is SILENT and then proceed to line the hallways into the room (right close to the entrance) with people and their placards/posters

1:20-1:25pm: everyone enters the Senate chambers SILENTLY and proceeds to sit in SILENT protest

If you are interested in participating in the protest, please meet us at 11:00 am in the Mustang Lounge. Together, we can make a difference.

In solidarity,
Your UWOSA Executive

Non-Confidence Motion Passes

Members of the University of Western Ontario Staff Association (UWOSA) at Western University passed a motion of non-confidence in university president Amit Chakma and Board of Governors chair Chirag Shah. UWOSA’s non-confidence vote follows a similar vote held by Western’s faculty association last week

The vote, held today at UWOSA’s annual general meeting was in response to the revelation that President Chakma was paid $967,000 last year and is eligible for a similar payment at the end of his current contract in 2019. This comes at a time when student tuition is high and budgets to allocate towards faculty and staff are shrinking.

UWOSA members have expressed their concern over what they see as a fiscally irresponsible contract negotiated between the Board of Governors and Chakma, especially at a time of departmental budget cuts, staff layoffs, reductions in staff hours, and essential positions being left unfilled with the extra work absorbed by the remaining staff. “This continues to have a tremendous impact on our members, who are still doing their best to assist faculty with their scholarly activity, and students with their academic careers,” said Karen Foullong, President of UWOSA. “Our goal is to make the Board of Governors and President Chakma accountable for their actions to date, and going forward, represent Western as a responsible, publically funded university that directs its resources appropriately.”

Prior to the non-confidence vote, UWOSA participated in a press conference with other Western labour unions and students to voice their concerns over the Board of Governors’ fiscal mismanagement and how it has affected the university.

On Friday April 10th, UWOSA will be joining other staff, faculty, student groups and alumni in a non-confidence protest at Western University’s Senate meeting. This meeting will be held in room 1100 of the Ivey Building and is open to the public.

UWOSA represents almost 1,000 front-line staff that provide support to current and future students, faculty, alumni and administration.

Important Message from Your UWOSA Executive

Fellow UWOSA members,

Over the past week, your Executive has been working closely with other
labour and student groups on campus to address not only the immediate
issue of President Chakma's double-salary payment but also the broader
problem of accountability at Western.

On Thursday April 9th we will hold a press conference with other members
of the Western community to share UWOSA's experiences and anger over
recent events. We wish to thank those of you who have already completed
the anonymous online survey, and appeal to those who haven't, to add
your voices. Your personal experiences are crucial to helping the
community understand the context for our outrage over senior management

Also on Thursday from 12-2 pm, UWOSA will hold our Annual General
where we will vote to declare our non-confidence in the
chair of the Board of Governors, Chirag Shah, and the President, Amit
Chakma. Please attend this important meeting in SSC 2050.

On Friday April 10th, a non-confidence protest will be held at the
Senate meeting scheduled for 1 pm in IVEY 1100. Join the Facebook page

A list of essential FAQs and links are being prepared and will soon be
posted to the Member's Area of the UWOSA website. We hope you will find
these informative.

In solidarity,

Your UWOSA Executive

Boun Thai
Vice President
University of Western Ontario Staff Association

Call for Proposals for Women's Safety Funding

Barbara Potter is the UWOSA representative on the President's Committee on the Safety of Women on Campus.

Following is a message from Barb for all UWOSA members:

Eligible groups on campus may apply to President’s Council on the Safety of Women on Campus for a portion of the funds awarded to Western from MET, which must be used for initiatives to continue improving the safety on campus for women students and workers through support for programs dealing with women’s safety, sexual harassment, and violence against women.

This funding can continue current activities, off-shoots of these, or new initiatives that ensure women’s safety issues continue to be addressed in the future.

For the 2013/14 school year, $50,814 was awarded to fund 9 projects that fit the criteria. Please see the PCSWC website for more information on how to apply and eligibility.

UWOSA Statement and Feedback Survey re: Salary Disclosure of Western's President

Dear UWOSA members,

For years, UWOSA has been hearing the administration talk about budget constraints, and has seen the effects of this in our workplace. UWOSA members faced many layoffs in 2009 (when Chakma’s contract was signed) and again in 2014 (when the double-payment to Chakma was made). We are the front-line workers delivering the “best student experience” at Western, but are increasingly asked to do more and more with less and less.

The average UWOSA member earns about $44,000 per year - not even 10% of Chakma’s usual (non-double-payment) salary. Many support their families on this income, and some have taken second jobs to make ends meet. As a direct result of “budget constraints”, the administration has laid off many employees, while the number of students, and tuition rates have increased. In 2010 and 2013, we endured lengthy and difficult rounds of collective bargaining to achieve minimal wage increases. Meanwhile, Amit Chakma was paid nearly a million dollars in 2014.

At UWOSA’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday, April 9 at 12:00pm in SSC 2050 we will hold a vote of non-confidence, similar to that held by UWOFA. In the meantime, we are asking UWOSA members to provide us with their reactions to the news of Chakma’s double-payment, and how specifically the budgetary constraints have affected their work and their lives. The survey link is here: All responses to this survey are anonymous. To ensure anonymity, you may refrain from including identifying details about yourself or your workplace. We will share some of the feedback that we receive at our Annual General Meeting before the vote of non-confidence.

We will continue to work with the other labour groups on campus to work toward making Western’s Board of Governors accountable to and representative of the Western community.

Karen Foullong
President, UWOSA
ext. 85041

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