Message from Jill Smyth

WLU is distributing a document which outlines the negotiating process between the Union and WLU. As you are aware, this same information has been provided to our members at previous meetings. It is our position that the University is interfering with the Union membership as well as the negotiating process in an attempt to coerce members into crossing picket lines should the Union be forced by WLU into strike action or is locked out by the employer. Members need to ask themselves why WLU did not ask the Union to jointly provide a “frequently asked questions” document versus WLU advising the Union that they were sending out this communique under the guise of “an increasing number of questions” from our members.
Again, in this communique WLU is attempting to maintain the split between classifications by blaming custodians for high absenteeism, lack of shift flexibility, and various forms of premium pay and overtime and inferring that it is the Union’s fault that a settlement has not been reached. It is the Union’s position that this information has not been substantiated with documentation we have received to date nor do we expect it to upon receipt of further disclosure of documents. In addition, all our classifications are entitled to and receive shift premiums and overtime and in fact the custodial classification has very little overtime and high absenteeism is prevalent in almost all areas. Currently, there is need for shift premiums in the trades classification and as well the Union does not understand how cost savings will be achieved if more custodians are assigned to afternoon and night shifts where premiums are paid. We also want to remind members that issues still being discussed include significant changes to sick leave provisions which does affect current employees as well as the hours of work contrary to statements that employer proposals will not affect current employees.
Needless to say, your Negotiating Committee is very distressed that WLU has chosen to approach bargaining in a negative and confrontational manner and appears unconcerned about how insulting and demeaning their comments are in regard to our custodians who are cleaning more square footage due to lack of staff but manage to ensure WLU is beautifully clean and it is unsettling for the balance of the bargaining unit members over the need to conduct a strike mandate. This type of bargaining does not enhance the student experience nor does using contracted out cleaning services!
CUPE Local 926 and myself have indicated that any member may contact us should they have any questions or require clarification in regard to the bargaining process. Contact numbers for Executive and Negotiating Committee are available and/or you can email me at
Your Local Union Negotiating Committee want you to know that we are working very hard on your behalf to bargain a settlement that will reflect all members needs no matter what classification they work in. UNIVERSITIES WORK BECAUSE WE DO!