Happy New Year.
Hopefully everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable winter break.
2017 has begun like no other year in the history of the York University Staff Association/Association Du Personnel De L’Universite York (YusApuY). The genesis of this unique beginning can be traced back to last December. On December 22nd, the last working day of the year, I was informed that the general election that had been held in November was being protested. Outside of the information that was presented by the Executive Board last week to the membership I am aware of who has protested the election but that is all that I am aware of.
To the best of my knowledge this is the first time that a YusApuY election has been protested. The 2016 Executive Board should be applauded for the manner in which they handled this matter. With no past precedent to rely upon reaching out to an independent third party to investigate the protest was a very prudent decision.
The unexpected and surprising resignation of Michael Belanger, YusApuY’s 1st Vice-President, just prior to the winter break added to the uniqueness of 2017.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mike for his contributions to YusApuY in his three years as an elected officer, first as 2nd Vice-President and then as 1st Vice-President. I am sure that Mike will continue to support YusApuY in any manner that he is able to.
Even though Mike’s resignation has definitely added to my workload I want to re-assure the membership that no details, large or small, are slipping through the cracks. YusApuY is very fortunate to have a dedicated group of stewards, raters and other volunteers as well as an extremely proficient office staff that can be relied upon and I have already started tapping into these valuable resources. As well, Sonny Day, YusApuY’s recently elected 2nd Vice-President has already demonstrated that he is more than capable of handling the duties of his position.
This is now my fourteenth year as an elected officer of YusApuY, the first eleven as 1st Vice-President and then two years as President, I know and understand the work, the planning and the processes that are required to ensure that YusApuY continues to function in a manner that the membership expects.
Out of respect for the on-going work of the arbitrator the by-election for the position of 1st Vice-President will need to be put on hold. At this point we are not even aware of what exactly about the election is being protested nor do we know what the arbitrator will or will not recommend as part of her conclusions and/or possible recommendations. Once the YusApuY Executive Board has received the arbitrator’s report we will move ahead accordingly.
During the election I spoke about the importance of listening to and taking direction from the membership.
In the year that I was away from the union office one of the main issues that members spoke to me about was the location of the union office. That it is often difficult for them to get over to Albany Road and because of that they somehow felt detached from their union. I would like to inform you that YusApuY is currently looking for temporary office space that is more central to the main campus. This office space would be open two or three days per week during lunch hours for members to come by and talk to either an elected officer or Exec board member.
I also heard from members that YusApuY needed to hold more Job Evaluation sessions. Last year there were a total of five sessions (three on the Keele campus and two were held at Glendon). I would like to inform you that YusApuY is currently looking to book space to hold one Job Evaluation session each month from February to November at the Keele campus and once every 2 months at the Glendon Campus. Once the spaces have been secured we will inform you.
Another issue that I heard about was that YusApuY should be sending out all of its communications electronically. Unfortunately there are certain pieces of correspondence that YusApuY must send out in hardcopy but I have heard you in regards to sending out more of our correspondence electronically. Starting with this edition and going forward all President’s Perspectives will be sent out on the YusApuY listserv. If you know of a YusApuY colleague who has not signed up to the listserv please ask them to contact the union office and we will add them to the listserv. If you know of anyone who would prefer to receive all of YusApuy’s correspondence in hardcopy please ask them to contact the union office and we will accommodate them.
I realize that this perspective is rather lengthy; still I felt that it was vital that you were aware of what was happening in your union.
York University Staff Association/Association Du Personnel De L’Universite York