As the calendar flipped over to March and the amount of daylight hours continued to increase the realization that spring was near became a real possibility. Until today reminded us very clearly that winter had not gone anywhere.
This year in anticipation of a great summer YusApuY will hold its annual barbeques just prior to summer’s arrival; Monday, June 18 at the Glendon campus and Tuesday, June 19 and Wednesday, June 20 on the Keele campus. As we move closer to these dates more information will be sent out to the membership.
Sun Life has announced that it will be adding medical marijuana to its group benefit plans as of March 1, 2018. Plan sponsors will have the option to add or not add medical marijuana to their extended heath-care plans. York University, as our benefits plan sponsor, has not yet indicated if it will or if it will not take advantage of this option. Once York has officially informed us of their decision we will pass this information along to the membership. Please note that the medical marijuana coverage, if York does decide to add it to its extended health-care plan, will only cover specific conditions and symptoms associated with cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, HIV-AIDS and palliative care.
As YusApuY quickly approaches its 45th anniversary the YusApuY Executive Board has decided to continue to honour those individuals whose contributions and sacrifices over their years at York University positively impacted the YusApuY membership. In 2017 Jane Grant was recognized for her many contributions to YusApuY with the naming of one of the boardrooms in the YusApuY office in her honour.
YusApuY annually presents four $500 bursaries to qualified dependents of a YusApuY member who is enrolled full time in a recognized post-secondary educational institution. In recognition of their contributions to YusApuY, the YusApuY Executive Board has chosen to name one bursary after Gabriele Hardt, one after Lynn Taylor, one after Celia Harte and one after Jim Streb.
Gabriele Hardt was YusApuY’s first President and one of the main driving forces behind the certification of YusApuY as a union. Her contributions to YusApuY can never be underestimated. Lynn Taylor was an active YusApuY from 1978 until her retirement a few years ago. Lynn held a number of positions on the YusApuY Executive Board over her time at York and was always helping out wherever and whenever she could. Celia Harte was President of YusApuY from 1986 to 1990 and had been actively involved with YusApuY for a number of years prior to becoming President. Jim Streb was President of YusApuY for a total of seven years and held a number of roles (i.e. steward, Bargaining Committee member) within YusApuY prior to becoming President.
When I contacted Gabriele, Lynn, Celia and Jim to inform them of the Executive Board’s decision they all expressed a deep gratitude to the YusApuY membership and Executive Board for this recognition.
Late last year the Ontario government made a number of changes to the Employment Standards Act (ESA) that will have an immediate impact on both Unit 1 and Unit 2. Changes such as the increase in the minimum wage, increase in both the pregnancy leave and parental leave and the Domestic/Sexual Violence Leave are now the law and even though they are not currently reflected in either the Unit 1 or Unit 2 Collective Agreements they are in force.
YusApuY and York are still negotiating the Unit 2 contract. The majority of the non-monetary issues had been agreed to but some of the changes to the ESA will mean that we will need to revisit a number of articles and update them to reflect the new provisions. The monetary issues are still unresolved.
The Unit 1 Bargaining Committee began meeting in early February and will shortly begin canvasing the membership in a number of different ways regarding changes that they would like to see in the new Collective Agreement.
It has been very encouraging to see how many YusApuY members continue to utilize our drop-in-office in Room 430 Student Centre. Most members come by with questions or concerns but some come by just to say hello and introduce themselves. If you are ever around the Student Centre during our drop-in-office hours please come by.
President, York University Staff Association/Association du Personnel de l’Universite York