CUPE 1281 Convention

The CUPE 1281 Convention will take place on Monday, July 12, 2021 from 10 am to 5 pm on Zoom.

Who can attend the CUPE 1281 Convention?

Each sub-unit delegation consists of the sub-unit delegates elected from among the membership of the sub-unit. One delegate position is held by the Steward, and the others are determined according to the PBUs (number of positions in the bargaining unit ). Please see below for how many delegates your sub-unit is permitted to bring.

1-5 PBUs = 1 delegate
6-10 PBUs = 2 delegates
11-20 PBUs = 3 delegates
21-40 PBUs = 4 delegates
41-80 PBUs = 5 delegates
Sub-locals with 80 PBUs or more are entitled to 6 delegates

Example: if your sub-unit has 15 members total (including the Steward), you are entitled to your Steward’s attendance plus 3 additional delegates, i.e. your total voting delegation will consist of 4 people.

What elections and appointments will take place at the CUPE 1281 Convention?

CUPE 1281 Executive positions

  • President
  • Vice-President
  • Secretary-Treasurer
  • Recording Secretary
  • Two (2) Co-chief stewards
  • Communications Officer
  • Equity Officer

CUPE 1281 Committees

  • Membership Committee
  • Governance Committee
  • Organizing Committee

CUPE 1281 Trustees

  • Trustee (Three-year position)
  • Trustee (Two-year position)
  • Trustee (One-year position)

CUPE 1281 Labour Council and CUPE Council Delegates

  • Toronto & York Region Labour Council (1 positions)
  • Ottawa District Labour Council (2 positions)
  • Hamilton District Labour Council (2 positions)
  • Peterborough District Labour Council (3 positions)
  • Guelph District Labour Council (3 positions)
  • Waterloo Regional Labour Council (1 position)
  • St. John’s Labour Council (1 position)
  • Kingston District Labour Council (1 position)
  • Windsor District Labour Council (1 position)
  • Peel Regional District Council (1 position)
  • Central Western Ontario District CUPE Council (Guelph and Waterloo) (2 delegates + 1 alternate)
  • Eastern Great Lakes District CUPE Council (Kingston) (4 delegates, unlimited alternates)
  • Durham Region Labour Council (2 positions + 2 alternates)
  • Halifax-Dartmouth District Labour Council (3 positions)
  • Toronto District CUPE Council (4 positions)
  • Ottawa District CUPE Council (4 positions)
  • Hamilton District CUPE Council (President + 3 delegates + 4 alternates)
  • Windsor District CUPE Council (2 positions)
  • Durham & Northumberland CUPE Council (4 positions, unlimited alternates)
  • Niagara District CUPE Council (2 delegates)
  • Region of Peel CUPE Council (3 delegates)

CUPE 1281 is hiring a Full-time Permanent Administrative Coordinator/Assistant Staff Representative

CUPE Local 1281 IS SEEKING A UNION STAFF REPRESENTATIVE

FULL-TIME PERMANENT POSITION

CUPE 1281 is a chartered Local Union of the Canadian Union of Public Employees; a small grassroots Local that represents approximately 300 members with more than 46 separate collective agreements that govern workplace relations in 50 workplace locations. The office is located in downtown Toronto and this position may require occasional travel. This is a permanent position, and not a temporary contract.

Applicants must have a very good knowledge of unions, administrative work and financial systems. The position will primarily focus on administrative tasks while assisting with membership outreach, communications and financial matters. There is also potential for the Administrative Coordinator/Assistant Staff Representative to increase their knowledge in this position by taking training courses and being mentored by CUPE 1281 Staff Representatives.

Currently, the CUPE 1281 office is closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and staff are working remotely. Once Toronto Public Health has determined it is safe to do so, staff will have the opportunity to work inside the CUPE 1281 office.

Salary: $25/hour with a flexible Monday to Friday 30 hour work week, plus RSP contributions and healthcare cost reimbursement.

REQUIREMENTS:

The selected candidate must be able to perform in an inclusive manner to a diverse membership

with accuracy and minimum supervision, the following duties, among others:

● File notices to bargain and regularly update bargaining timeline calendar for the Local;

● Send Ministry of Labour signed collective agreements and update collective agreements with newly agreed upon language;

● Coordinate with Staff Representatives to ensure printing, signing, mailing and filing of collective agreements;

● Maintain membership and steward list serves, as well as send members and stewards announcements, education opportunities, registration call-outs, and other necessary alerts/information;

● Coordinate with CUPE 1281 Secretary-Treasurer to confirm or make member accommodation/travel bookings and process member reimbursements and per diems;

● Maintain and regularly update membership mailing list and send new members membership package, add to mailing list and file signed letter of hire;

● Respond to member inquiries and forward inquiries to the relevant Staff Representative or Executive member;

● Respond to inquiries from CUPE National and coordinate the submitting of collective agreements and other materials to incoming staff reps;

● Ensure delegate and member enrolment in conferences, conventions, labour councils and CUPE councils, fall/spring schools, and other educational opportunities;

● Receive, deposit and record membership dues and dues forms;

● Regularly follow up with sub-units in arrears;

● Receive, process and distribute incoming mail; review correspondence and refer to appropriate person or initiate reply as required; process outgoing mail and courier deliveries as required;

● Maintain filing systems for dues and executive minutes, and various administrative files and order office supplies as required;

● Book venues, catering and equipment for Stewards’ Council and Convention;

● Create and track RSVP forms, quorums, and various materials for elections and dues updates in advance of Convention;

● Coordinate Steward elections and send letters of Steward appointment to employers following ratification at Convention;

● Provide transition/training support to Executive members after Convention each June/July;

● Prepare dues report for Secretary-Treasurer ahead of Stewards’ Council/Convention and collaborate with other executive members on office related/communication/other projects as required;

● Work with Equity Officer to send solidarity donations to approved organizations;

● Provide orientation support to newly hired CUPE 1281 staff or contract staff/bookkeepers;

● Receive bills, invoices, expense forms and write cheques and Track monthly cheques in Excel form to submit to bookkeeper;

● Attend member meetings or meetings with employer on behalf of, or with Staff Representative and in consultation with the Local President as needed;

● Support Staff Representative in collective bargaining occasionally.

QUALIFICATIONS

● We require post-secondary education in a relevant field or an equivalent combination of education and directly-related work experience;

● Experience with trade unions and small social justice organizations is a must;

● Demonstrated experience and ability to effectively establish priorities and meet deadlines while working in a high-pressure work setting;

● Must have the ability to work independently, set and meet deadlines with minimal supervision;

● Experience working with a variety of computer software applications and advanced word and data base processing skills are essential;

● Demonstrated knowledge of an anti-oppression framework and the ability to ensure communications and membership outreach are inclusive to the multiple needs of members;

● Initiative, demonstrated organizational abilities, a high degree of accuracy, and the ability to work with a minimum of supervision;

● Above average oral and written communication skills in the English language.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

Application deadline: June 4 at 11:59 pm via email to cupe1281job@gmail.com.

A completed application for this posting will include a cover letter and resume.

CUPE Local 1281 is committed to employment equity and encourages applications from women, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities, racialized people and 2SLGBTTIQ* people.

This position is unionized with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW).

You can view the Administrative Coordinator/Assistant Staff Representative job posting in PDF format here.

Justice for Aimé Avolonto – Letter of Support and Draft Motion

CUPE 1281 in Solidarity with Professor Aimé Avolonto

The Canadian Union of Public Employees local 1281 is furious and outraged at the York University administration for perpetuating anti-Black racism by continuing to harass and attempting to fire Professor Aimé Avolonto. Professor Avolonto is a Black professor and former Chair of the French Studies Department at York University.

Professor Avolonto has been maliciously targeted by the York University administration after he has spoken up about his horrifying experiences of anti-Black racism on the York University campus. Professor Avolonto has documented his experiences of anti-Black racism through filing a formal complaint with York University in 2017, being featured in CBC’s Fifth Estate investigative documentary Black On Campus, through his full-length online essay Letter from a Black Colleague and through a virtual press conference.

York University loves to pride itself on diversity, equity, inclusion, and “anti-racism” initiatives. While York University continues this facade and its history of racist violence, the labour movement and community members must hold York University accountable and continue to show solidarity with Professor Avolonto. Professor Avolonto is a courageous, compassionate and admirable person that deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.

Systemic and institutionalized anti-Black racism has a long history on our university and college campuses. The student and faculty strikes for racial justice last fall brought to fore the ugly reality of ongoing racism experienced by Black, Indigenous and racialized faculty, staff and students on campus.

As the union representing many workers on campuses, CUPE 1281 is proud to be in solidarity with Professor Avolonto and joins the Justice for Aimé Avolonto campaign that has been organized by a network of students, labour activists and community members. Supporters include; the York Federation of Students, which represents over 50,000 undergraduate students at York University, the York University Graduate Students’ Association, which represents graduate students on campus, and over 22,000 people that have signed the online change.org petition calling for Justice for Professor Aimé Avolonto.

Anti-Black racism is a workplace issue, and CUPE 1281 encourages the labour movement to join the call for justice by sharing the campaign and petition online, by passing a motion at their local union’s next meeting in support of Aimé Avolonto and by issuing a public solidarity statement.

Justice for Aimé Avolonto Draft Motion

Whereas anti-Black racism is a workplace issue that the labour movement strongly opposes and continues to fight back against; and

Whereas institutional anti-Black racism on the York University campus is rampant, as demonstrated by the numerous complaints ly brought forward by Black students, faculty and staff; and

Whereas the York University administration is targeting, harassing and attempting to terminate Black French Studies Professor, Aimé Avolonto;

Be it resolved that [INSERT ORGANIZATION] express its full solidarity with Professor Avolonto’s fight against systemic anti-Black racism at York university;

Be it resolved that [INSERT ORGANIZATION] condemn the failure of President Rhonda Lenton and the York University administration to respond appropriately to Professor Avolonto’s complaints about anti-Black racism and condemn their attempts to cover up his complaints;

Be it further resolved that [INSERT ORGANIZATION] supports the Justice for Aimé Avolonto campaign and its demands which includes;

  • York University immediately ceases its termination procedures against Prof. Avolonto.
  • York University ends the arbitrary and punitive leave it has imposed on Prof. Avolonto since December 1, 2018, and facilitate his return to work, including the assignment of teaching responsibilities, with appropriate accommodations and interim measures for all parties.
  • York University takes all necessary steps to end the racist harassment and retaliation facing Prof. Avolonto.
    The investigation by Roger Beaudry be suspended indefinitely, and all fees paid to Roger Beaudry by York University be disclosed publicly.
  • York University President Rhonda Lenton, Provost and Vice-President Academic Lisa Philipps, Senior Policy Advisor Barry Miller, and their designates immediately recuse themselves from the handling of Prof. Avolonto’s complaints and any other files related to Prof. Avolonto.
  • In consultation with Black community members at York University and external experts, an independent and external investigator, with lived experience of anti-Black racism and formal training or expertise in investigating anti-Black racism, be appointed to review the conduct of the investigator Roger Beaudry of Aptus Solutions and to develop, as above, the terms, conditions, and timeline of such a review.
  • The Minister of Colleges and Universities, the Hon. Ross Romano, commit the necessary resources for the aforementioned review to be conducted in a fair and timely manner and with the community’s confidence.

Be it further resolved that [INSERT ORGANIZATION] issues a solidarity statement in support of Professor Aimé Avolonto and publicly shares the online Justice for Aimé Avolonto campaign and petition with its members.

A PDF version of the statement of support and motion can be found here.

CUPE 1281 in solidarity with UNITE HERE Local 261

CUPE 1281 in solidarity with UNITE HERE Local 261!

We are calling on the Sheraton Ottawa Hotel to stop the termination of workers and guarantee that workers can return to their jobs. The pandemic has caused financial hardship to many workers and it is heartless for the Sheraton Ottawa Hotel to be terminating workers who have provided so much labour and profits for the hotel.

We encourage other labour unions to send the Sheraton Ottawa Hotel a letter demanding workers at UNITE HERE Local 261 can return to their jobs. Below please see our letter to the Sheraton Ottawa Hotel.

March 19, 2021

Ms. Yolaine Charette
General Manager
Sheraton Ottawa Hotel
150 Albert Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 5G2

Dear Ms. Charette:

We are Local 1281 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees and we are writing to you in solidarity with the UNITE HERE Local 261 unionized workers at the Sheraton Ottawa Hotel. We ask that you act immediately to stop the termination of workers and guarantee that they can return to their jobs once business returns by extending recall rights.

It has come to our attention that, as of today, the Sheraton Ottawa Hotel and its’ ownership group, Keck Seng Investments, have chosen not to extend the recall rights of workers, but to begin terminations as early as this week. This will only cause long-standing workers who are already suffering financial losses, to lose even more. We do not condone the disposal of workers who have brought decades of economic gain to this hotel.

We urge you to reconsider your decision and extend the recall period for your workers, as the majority of unionized employers in Ottawa have already done. If steps are not taken to ensure jobs are protected by extending recall, we will not support your hotel when conditions improve and restrictions on travel activity ease.

We will look to send our business to other venues who treat their employees with a higher degree of respect and compassion, especially in the middle of a public health crisis.

Sincerely,

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1281

You can view a PDF copy of the letter here.

Updated Request for Proposals: Anti-Oppression Consultancy/Equity Review

In November 2020, a request for proposals was circulated to the CUPE 1281 membership and the public seeking a consultant to undertake a structural and equity review of the organization. The initial contract amount for the consultant was up to $5000. After careful discussion with CUPE 1281 executives and staff it was decided that CUPE 1281 needs to increase the amount of funding allocated for this work to take place. On February 8, 2021, the CUPE 1281 executive committee voted in favour of increasing the contract amount up to a total of $10,000. Below are the updated details for the Request for Proposals: Anti-Oppression Consultancy/Equity Review.

BACKGROUND
As a progressively minded organization, CUPE 1281 is seeking to improve its practices as an Employer and Union, and to promote equity for marginalized groups within our communities. We seek to ensure these principles are reflected throughout the Local’s policies, procedures, practices, relationships with staff, members, allies, and communities within which we work and live. We understand the importance of working towards ending the mistreatment, oppression, and violence often targeted at marginalized groups. CUPE 1281 understands that racism against BIPOC, and oppression more generally, are systemic within our societies and our structures and, therefore, within CUPE 1281. We must continually review and question our practices and work to change the way we confront discrimination and bias, whether conscious or unconscious. We must confront and dismantle racism and oppression within our internal structures and provide a safer work, and union, environment.

GOALS
CUPE 1281 is seeking a consultant to undertake a structural assessment of the local, with a focus toward barriers for equity-seeking individuals, and to provide recommendations in regards, but not limited, to:

● the local’s current by-laws and related appendices;
● the local’s governing, and participatory, structures more specifically;
● the local’s policies and practices, as they currently exist, or may exist from time to time;
● the local’s current approach to its work as an Employer.
In addition to reviewing these items, we are looking for a consultant who will also undertake anonymous interviews with willing staff, executive officers, other elected members, and members at-large, to gather feedback based on their experiences within CUPE 1281 spaces. The consultant would also review email, text message and social media communication as deemed necessary.
<br/>
BUDGET AND OTHER PARAMETERS
CUPE 1281 is currently able to allocate $10,000 to this work. Our office is in Toronto, Ontario, but is currently closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, meetings would take place over Zoom or Google Meets. Should there be a need for travel and in-person meetings, this will be discussed and mutually agreed upon beforehand. Any in-person meetings must be fully compliant with public health guidelines and scientifically proven best practices.
<br/>
TIMELINE AND PROCESS
We welcome expressions of interest until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, February 26, 2021. We welcome any questions you may have prior to submitting an expression of interest. If you would be interested in undertaking this work, please provide an expression of interest that includes the following:
● Background on your related experience
● A description of your related area of expertise, methodologies, and approach(es) to the goals outlined;
● An approximate costing of the work involved.
CUPE 1281 would hope to receive a mid-term report with recommendations on interim measures that can be taken by June 1, 2021, with a final report timeline to be negotiated between the parties. Questions, queries, and expressions of interest may be sent to David Simao, President, at president@cupe1281.ca.
<br/>
You can view the PDF document of the updated Request for Proposals: Anti-Oppression Consultancy/Equity Review here.

CHOOSING REAL SAFETY: A HISTORIC DECLARATION TO DIVEST FROM POLICING AND PRISONS AND BUILD SAFER COMMUNITIES FOR ALL

CUPE 1281 is proud to sign onto the below declaration calling for a divestment from police and prisons and an investment into safe and more just communities. A new world is possible, but only if we take action now. The Labour Movement must commit to working from an anti-colonial lens and fighting back against deeply ingrained white supremacy. If you’re from a labour union we encourage you to join us in signing onto the below declaration by filling out the Google form here.
</br>
CHOOSING REAL SAFETY: A HISTORIC DECLARATION TO DIVEST FROM POLICING AND PRISONS AND BUILD SAFER COMMUNITIES FOR ALL
</br>

We can choose to build safe communities!We, the undersigned, are invested in building safe communities for all. We believe that as a society we are capable of preventing harm and violence differently than the failed punitive approaches governments fund today. And we believe that it’s possible to come together to STOP the expansion of policing and imprisonment, as well as move away from a reliance on policing, jails, prisons and immigration detention. We believe that we can invest, instead, in real safety for our communities by addressing the root causes of harm and violence in our society.

We are living through a historic moment of protest against the rampant colonial, racial, gender, sexual and economic injustice in our society. This is guided by a renewed understanding that we can choose another way forward. For some time now, Black, Indigenous, racialized, and gender-oppressed people, migrants, those living with mental health issues and disabilities, people who use criminalized drugs, and people without housing have experienced the harms of policing and incarceration instead of support. We recognize the violent infrastructure of prisons and policing also negatively impacts the land, water, air, and other-than-human beings through environmental degradation, disrupted relations, and capitalist extraction. Our public funding of policing, jails, prisons and immigration detention vastly exceeds the funds allocated to public housing, income assistance, childcare and mental health support. We can choose differently.

We wish to stand on the right side of history. We believe we can build a society that values human and other-than-human life and the land, and we commit to shifting away from using badges, guns and cages to manage inequality. Since early winter, rising COVID-19 rates have again made people held in congregate settings like homeless shelters, psychiatric centres and prisons more acutely vulnerable to outbreaks. We must release as many people that are confined in these settings as possible and start building communities capable of meeting everyone’s needs now. This is crucial from an anticolonial perspective, a Black liberation perspective, a racial justice perspective, and a public health perspective: it is vital towards meaningfully addressing anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, especially. Today, we are prepared to commit to building a society that chooses to meet people’s needs instead of locking them away, with a three-prong strategy: Defund/Dismantle/Build.

Defund

STOP investing more public or private money into policing and prison infrastructure
STOP increasing budgets to hire more police and prison officers
STOP building new police stations, detachments and headquarters, courthouses, jails, prisons, penitentiaries and immigration detention centres
COMMIT to dramatically cutting municipal, provincial and federal funding for carceral infrastructures

Dismantle

REDUCE the use of policing and prisons over time with the goal of ending punitive injustice within a generation
REMOVE police from all positions within essential social services including but not limited to: schools, mental health services and responses, family and youth support programming, and community support initiatives
REMOVE arms and other military equipment from police, RCMP, military, border control, and prison officers to diminish their ability to injure, maim and kill human beings
END the removal of Black and Indigenous children from their families into the state foster care system
END labour union affiliations with all police, prison guards, and border guards, recognizing that these positions go against the larger stated goals of protecting worker interests
END the detention and deportation of migrants and the criminalization of migration

Build Alternatives

INVEST funds diverted from police and prisons toward building safety for those most impacted by surveillance and policing: Black, Indigenous, unhoused, migrant, people who use [criminalized] drugs, and people living with disabilities. This includes investments in long-term free and affordable housing for all, access to free and healthy food, clean water, and community gardens for all, free public transit, harm-reduction supports for drug users, child care, free post-secondary education, and regularization of migrants/status for all
INVEST in attending to the root causes of harm in our society: gross racial, gender, sexual and economic inequality
INVEST in community-based anti-violence initiatives’ transformative justice capacity, and supports like non-carceral mental health care, community-based resources, and public safety approaches
INVEST in Care, Wellness and Healing, including non-coercive mental healthcare, wellness resources, non-coercive drug and alcohol treatment, peer support networks, community support counsellors and mediators, universal childcare, supports for family and kinship care, family support and youth programs that promote learning, safety, and community care,
INVEST in community centres, public libraries, recreational and cultural centres, schools, libraries, and other free public spaces.
ENACT the return of the land to Indigenous peoples (Land Back)
HONOUR existing treaties and Indigenous interpretations of treaties
HONOUR Indigenous sovereignty, including Indigenous governance and non-carceral Indigenous legal orders such as those outlined in the Unearthing Justices Resource Collection of 500+ Indigenous grassroots initiatives for the MMIWG2S+ , neighborhood-based trauma and healing centres
INVEST in land redevelopment for decommissioned police and prisons under the guidance of the Indigenous nations on whose land the buildings sit
CREATE a reparations model for survivors and families of people harmed by police, based on this Chicago model: repair, restoration, acknowledgment, cessation and non-repetition (https://chicagotorture.org)

Authored by/Collaborators:

Anti-Carceral Group
Abolition Coalition
Anti-Poverty NL
Black Lives Matter- Toronto
Criminalization and Punishment Education Project
East Coast Prison Justice Society
Free Lands Free Peoples
Indigenous Joint/Joy Action Committee
Justice Exchange
Prisoner Correspondence Project
Saskatchewan-Manitoba-Alberta Abolition Coalition
Toronto Prisoners’ Rights Project
Wellness Within

Remembering Mary-Jo Nadeau

 

On Saturday, January 9, 2021, the world lost an inspiring woman named Mary-Jo Nadeau.

Mary-Jo Nadeau (MJ) was an activist, professor, leader, mentor and comrade. 

She was also a former CUPE 1281 Staff Representative, who for many years worked tirelessly to defend the rights of workers, organize new workplaces, and educate and mentor everyone around her. She uplifted and inspired CUPE 1281 to grow as a local and we would not be where we are now, if it weren’t for MJ. Even after MJ stopped working at CUPE 1281 due to health concerns, she remained present in our local, and still provided us with guidance and support.

MJ was also well known as a fierce defender of human rights which included Palestine solidarity organizing and the BDS movement. In 2018, her passion was recognized by the CUPE 1281 membership with the creation of an annual award in her name, the Mary-Jo Nadeau Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Award. This is an award dedicated to an organization fighting to end support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians, and pressuring Israel to comply with international law.

MJ never shied away from speaking truth to power and holding bad bosses accountable. As unapologetic as she was in standing up to injustice, MJ was equally as committed to building meaningful and lasting relationships with our members. She radiated genuine warmth, humour, and laughter as she supported our confidence and capacity to collectively make our workplaces and communities better places. 

CUPE 1281 is collecting memorial statements from our members to post on our website to pay tribute to MJ. Please send all memorial statements to communications@cupe1281.ca.

As we continue to grieve the loss of MJ we will keep our membership updated with ways that members and the community can continue to celebrate her life and activism.

CUPE 1281 will miss and love you always MJ.

CUPE 1281 Office Holiday Closure

As the holidays are quickly approaching and the year of 2020 is finally coming to an end, the CUPE 1281 Executive Committee would like to announce that the CUPE 1281 Office will be closed for the holidays from December 14, 2020 until January 4, 2021. If during the holiday closure an emergency servicing issue arises and you need to be in contact with CUPE 1281, please contact the CUPE 1281 President, David Simao at president@cupe1281.ca.

CUPE 1281 wishes everyone all of the best throughout the rest of 2020 and we’re looking forward to seeing all of you (hopefully in person) in 2021!

Request for Proposals: Anti-Oppression Consultancy/Equity Review

BACKGROUND 

As a progressively minded organization, CUPE 1281 is seeking to improve its practices as an Employer and Union, and to promote equity for marginalized groups within our communities. We seek to ensure these principles are reflected throughout the Local’s policies, procedures, practices, relationships with staff, members, allies, and communities within which we work and live. We understand the importance of working towards ending the mistreatment, oppression, and violence often targeted at marginalized groups. 

CUPE 1281 understands that racism against BIPOC, and oppression more generally, are systemic within our societies and our structures and, therefore, within CUPE 1281. We must continually review and question our practices and work to change the way we confront discrimination and bias, whether conscious or unconscious. We must confront and dismantle racism and oppression within our internal structures and provide a safer work, and union, environment. 

GOALS 

CUPE 1281 is seeking a consultant to undertake a structural assessment of the local, with a focus toward barriers for equity-seeking individuals, and to provide recommendations in regards, but not limited, to: 

● the local’s current by-laws and related appendices; 

● the local’s governing, and participatory, structures more specifically; 

● the local’s policies and practices, as they currently exist, or may exist from time to time; 

● the local’s current approach to its work as an Employer. 

In addition to reviewing these items, we are looking for a consultant who will also undertake anonymous interviews with willing staff, executive officers, other elected members, and members at-large, to gather feedback based on their experiences within CUPE 1281 spaces. The consultant would also review email, text message and social media communication as deemed necessary. 

BUDGET AND OTHER PARAMETERS 

CUPE 1281 is currently able to immediately allocate $5,000 to this work in its current fiscal year, ending June 2021. In addition to its current fiscal year, CUPE 1281 intends to allocate additional funding in its next budget for consideration, and approval, by the membership. 

We acknowledge that the current budget allocation may hinder the extent to which this review may initially be undertaken and are committed to working with a consultant, and our members, to allocate additional funds within the current fiscal year. 

Our office is in Toronto, Ontario, but is currently closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, meetings would take place over Zoom or Google Meets. Should there be a need for travel and in-person meetings, this will be discussed and mutually agreed upon beforehand. Any in-person meetings must be fully compliant with public health guidelines and scientifically proven best practices. 

TIMELINE AND PROCESS 

We welcome expressions of interest until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, December 11, 2020. We welcome any questions you may have prior to submitting an expression of interest. 

If you would be interested in undertaking this work, please provide an expression of interest that includes the following: 

● Background on your related experience 

● A description of your related area of expertise, methodologies, and approach(es) to the goals outlined; 

● An approximate costing of the work involved. 

CUPE 1281 would hope to receive a mid-term report with recommendations on interim measures that can be taken by May 1, 2021, with a final report timeline to be negotiated between the parties. 

Questions, queries, and expressions of interest may be sent to David Simao, President, at president@cupe1281.ca. 

The Request for Proposals: Anti-Oppression Consultancy/Equity Review can also be found in PDF format here.

CUPE 1281 Rejects the Anti-Democratic Passing of the Order in Council (OIC) and Bill 168 that Silence Palestinians and Threaten, Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom

On Tuesday, October 27, 2020 the Ontario Government made the anti-democratic choice to bypass the committee consideration and public consultations on Bill 168, the Combatting Anti-Semitism Act and instead adopted the flawed IHRA definition of antisemitism through an Order in Council. Once again, the Ontario Government has abused their power and stifled democracy by abruptly disrupting the legislative process and adopting the definition without public consultation or the due legislative process as promised.

Bill 168 aims to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism and its illustrative examples into law. The flawed IHRA definition of antisemitism and its illustrative examples conflate legitimate critiques of Israel and Zionism with antisemitism and therefore silence Palestinians and their allies, further normalize racism against Palestinians, and threaten freedom of speech and academic freedom. Antisemitism is real and deadly and its threat is increasing with the rise in white supremacy and the far right around the world. We join our allies in Independent Jewish Voices in rejecting the flawed and vague IHRA definition of antisemitism and its list of illustrative examples as unhelpful in combating antisemitism, and we stand with them in this important fight.

The Ontario Government panicked and passed Bill 168 abruptly because of the strong opposition they faced by the general public. The Palestinian Youth Movement and the Toronto BDS Network organized mass phone calls to the Standing Committee to block Bill 168 and Independent Jewish Voices Canada

organized a petition garnering thousands of signatures that targeted Members of Provincial Parliament to vote no against the bill. More than 100 Ontarians and organizations had also requested to attend the public hearings and present their views on the Bill. Bill 168 continues to have strong opposition from many academics, researchers, labour unions and community organizations, such as; CUPE Ontario, the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations, the Candian Federation of Students- Ontario, and more.

It’s crucial that Palestinians, academics, activists, labour unions and the general public, must have the right to criticize the State of Israel for continued human rights violations, land annexations and their illegal occupation of Palestinian territory; just like we have the right to criticize Canada and foreign states.

CUPE 1281 rejects Bill 168 and the IHRA definition of antisemitism and its list of illustrative examples and will continue to act in solidarity with the Palestinian community and fight all forms of biggotry, racism and discrimination, including Islamophobia and antisemitism.