CUASA Update – September 16, 2022
September 16, 2022
CUASA Update – September 16, 2022
COVID-19 Precautions & Accommodations
The University has communicated that it views masking as an individual accommodation issue, not as a public safety concern. They have stated that accommodation requests are implemented according to the Ontario Human Rights Code (“OHRC”) and the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Deputy Provost Catherine Khordoc provided the example that a protected ground may include, but are not limited to, “medical, family status or disability related needs” but that “requests for accommodations based on personal preferences are not considered a protected ground under the Code.”
CUASA is concerned that this stance will force members into providing medical evidence to substantiate individual accommodation requests. As such, we advise members to seek customized advice from the Association prior to making a request pursuant to Article 5.
Anyone in need of customized accommodation advice is asked to please contact [email protected].
Update on Bill 124 Charter Challenge
This week, CUASA’s legal team have been attending the Superior Court challenge of the provincial government’s Bill 124, which caps wage and compensation increases for public sector employees to a maximum 1% over a three-year period.
As announced in January 2020, CUASA had filed its own legal challenge, it addition to those filed by other unions across the province. The Association’s challenge is being heard this week following applications from other unions, including the OFL Coalition, OSSTF, ETFO, OECTA, ONA, OPSEU, Unifor, the Society of United Professionals, and PWU.
CUASA’s President, Marylynn Steckley, and Director/Senior Grievance and Arbitration Officer, Christal Côté, have been in attendance with the Association’s legal representatives, Samantha Lamb and Dina Mashayekhi from Jewitt McLuckie & Associates LLP.
Christal has been sharing daily updates on Twitter, and members can follow along here.
The Association anticipates making its submissions either today or first thing next week. The government will then proceed with their case, after which the judge will begin deliberations and release their decision at a future date.
Please continue to watch for future updates.
Use and Availability of Air Purifiers on Campus
We have heard from several CUASA members inquiring about the use and availability of air purifiers in classrooms and offices. Accordingly, CUASA Vice President and Joint Health and Safety Committee Representative, Dominique Marshall, has assembled some information on this topic.
As previously shared, we have also we have assembled a brief document in response to member inquiries outlining the role of the Association on the topic of air quality on campus.
Listening Sessions and Caucus Meetings
CUASA has received a number of requests to host listening sessions and/or caucus groups on different topics. These would be distinct forums for people with shared lived experiences to talk to each other, and with CUASA, so that we can begin to think through how to move forward together.
- Friday, September 30th from 2:30-3:30pm: Listening session for women and people who have experienced misogyny (register here)
- Thursday, October 6th from 2:00-3:00pm: Pride Caucus for 2SLGBTQIA+ Members (register here)
- TBA: Listening session for people who have experienced anti-Arab/anti-Palestinian racism
- TBA: Listening session for people who have experienced antisemitism
Call for Volunteers: CUASA Equity Committee
CUASA is seeking volunteers from the membership to join its internal Equity Committee. If you might be interested, or would like more information, please contact CUASA’s Chair, Nominations and Elections, Jeni Armstrong, at [email protected].
Academic Community Updates
Cihan Erdal is free!
After nearly two years of unjust detention as a political prisoner in Turkey, CUPE 4600 member Cihan Erdal has safely returned to Canada. Erdal is a queer youth activist and Carleton University PhD student who was unjustly detained on trumped-up charges in September 2020, when he was swept up in a mass arrest of politicians, activists, and academics in Istanbul.
OCUFA supports Laurentian faculty decision to move forward with repayment plan
The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) supports the decision by creditors, including the Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) and the Laurentian University Staff Union (LUSU), to move forward with the negotiated Plan of Arrangement under the Companies Creditor Arrangement Act (CCAA). The implementation of the plan will be essential to secure a future for Laurentian University in Sudbury.
Governments must take action to prevent a repeat of Laurentian U crisis
The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)—the national voice of academic and professional staff at 125 universities and colleges across Canada—says the vote in favour of a new plan of arrangement for Laurentian University is a step forward in what has been a long and dark chapter in the history of post-secondary education in Canada.
Labour Community Updates
“Bill 124 hurts Ontario workers” says Ontario unions as Superior Court hears legal challenge
Workers gathered on the steps of the Superior Court of Justice this morning, as the Court prepared to begin hearing the constitutional challenge to Bill 124 brought forward by unions across the province. The bill caps public sector compensation at one per cent, at a time when inflation is higher than it has been in forty years.