This website will have any information and updates about the Carleton University Postdoctoral Union, a Directly Chartered Local of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC). Please contact CUPU’s current president, Will Leight (wleight-at-physics.carleton.ca), if you have any questions.
CUPU is looking for officers! Any member is welcome to run, though we especially encourage new postdocs to do so, as they will (by definition) be at Carleton the longest and so any decisions CUPU makes will have the most effect on them. One of the nice things about becoming an officer now, as CUPU is starting, is that the number of available positions, and their responsibilities, are fairly fluid. Our preliminary plan is to copy the basic structure of the executive of the postdoctoral association, which had five members: President, Executive VP, VP External Relations, VP Internal Communications, and VP Finance. However, in theory these positions can be changed or merged and new positions created, so don’t feel that you can’t become an officer if you don’t see yourself fitting into any of those positions, or if you’re interested in something that doesn’t seem to be the responsibility of any of them. Those who are interested, or who simply wish to know more, should contact CUPU president Will Leight, wleight-at-physics.carleton.ca.
Happy New Year! Here’s a summary of recent events:
The University would not agree to dates in January, so we will meet with them next on Feb 10 and Feb 11. This delay is frustrating, but the best way to reach a fair collective agreement quickly remains a strong strike mandate.
Leading up to the negotiations, we plan to hold a strike vote on Feb 2 and 3. An individual from a team of CUPA representatives will be reaching out to you soon to talk about this.
In the coming weeks, we will continue to raise awareness about postdoctoral working conditions and pressure the employer to make a fair offer. Watch for more information, and check our website, https://carletonpostdocassociation.wordpress.com/ for updates.
Feel free to contact us anytime with questions.
Your CUPA Executive,
Hello postdocs, here’s a summary of recent events:
CUPA relayed a financial package to the University through our conciliator on Nov 23rd, a day after our 18 hour bargaining meeting. The university responded on December 9th saying they’d like to meet in January. As of this moment, neither side has called for a ‘no board,’ meaning that neither side has signalled that conciliation has failed. If either side does this, it will be time to enter the time-boxed 17-day mediation phase.
We are still a long way from getting a decent annual wage increase, any kind of top-up from pregnancy and parental leave, access to a pension plan, or decent leaves, amongst other issues. We need to see movement on the University’s part. They need to come to the table with an understanding that postdocs are valuable employees of the University, and not employees of their supervisors, and that the University has some financial obligations to us.
I expect we will have a strike vote meeting before we go back to the bargaining table in January. This will give us a much, much stronger position at the table, and therefore a better deal for postdocs. We’ll definitely need everyone out for that meeting. I will keep you posted.
In the meantime we continue to work to raise understanding and awareness. We held a meeting on Nov 27th to explain what a strike vote is. This is essentially a vote where members are asked to give the bargaining team the right to call a strike. Going on strike remains a last resort. No one wants to go on strike, and we will continue to bargain in the hope of getting a fair collective agreement. A strong strike mandate will strengthen the position of the bargaining team and show Carleton we’re not prepared to settle for anything less than a fair agreement.
We held a successful information picket on December 4th. The description of the event and a photo is here (https://wordpress.com/post/carletonpostdocassociation.wordpress.com/101). Thank you to the postdocs who volunteered their time.
Judith attended another Campus United Meeting on Dec 9th. We are getting great support from the other unions on campus.
Today the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars has offered to help us with our petition. (https://www.facebook.com/capsacsp/)
Other awareness-raising events:
- Huffington post, Citizen articles: https://carletonpostdocassociation.wordpress.com/
- Chalatan article: http://www.charlatan.ca/2015/11/carleton-post-docs-petition-for-benefits-wages/
- Petition: http://tinyurl.com/pz6hs9z
- Letters of support from other unions. https://carletonpostdocassociation.wordpress.com/
Please continue to circulate our petition (http://tinyurl.com/pz6hs9z ). Anyone can sign.
Happy holidays, Your CUPA Executive,
12 postdocs and supporters handed out 500 flyers to drivers as they entered the Carleton campus on Friday Dec 4th. CUPA covered both the Bronson and Colonel By entrances, although we focused on the Bronson one. Thanks to PSAC, CUPE 4600, CUASA, our members from UQO, and others from the Ottawa labour community for their support.
William Leight, our president spoke to a Charleton reporter on November 26th.
We stand with CUASA and do not agree with a gag order on members of the Board of Governors of our University. A gag order means that the work of the Board of Governors is not open and is not democratic.
For details see this Nov 11th Citizen article: http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/canadian-university-professors-condemn-carleton-university-board-for-gag-order.
We also stand with the Graduate Student Association (GSA) on this issue. We recently signed a submission to the Board of Governors Governance Committee drafted by the GSA.