Group 1 and 2 Members

Pay Equity

As many of you will be well aware, McGill has begun the process of depositing pay equity payments to employees whose positions were deemed by the 2001 and 2005 pay equity maintenance audits to be historically female-dominated. MUNACA, AMURE, and SEU have already had their retroactive compensations made, despite their still remaining some concerns as to how positions were evaluated by McGill. AMUSE has recently met with the University’s Director of Total Compensation Alice Kieran and Director of Employee Relations Robert Comeau in order to inquire what effects the implementation of the Pay Equity Plan will have for the members of our union.

Those of you replacing MUNACA members will have your salaries adjusted to reflect the new minimum (or 80% of the new minimum if you have just begun a first contract of less than 6 months) salary floor for your position as it will be adjusted in MUNACA’s Collective Agreement. The University has told AMUSE that your salaries should be adjusted to the new MUNACA minimum rate by the last pay of March 2014. Unfortunately the funds have yet to be accrued by the University to cover the costs of the new adjustments and so departments themselves will be responsible for this. Should your forthcoming salary adjustment in any way modify your working conditions or employment status, get in touch with labour.amuse@gmail.com as soon as possible. If you do not receive a salary adjustment by April, please do also get in touch so that we can be aware of it.

Retroactive payments will also be in order, but the University will only now begin evaluating who from AMUSE will be entitled to getting retro payments and the individual amounts of those payments. This is said to happen “in a few months.” Those payments that are made will span to the date of the signing of our Collective Agreement (April 20, 2012) and will have all hours worked in a position deemed female-dominated by the pay equity plan retroactively compensated at the newly adjusted rate for that position. This will be the case for all members of AMUSE, present and past, who qualify as having worked in a female-dominated position.

You can read up about Pay Equity at McGill and which positions were assessed as female-dominated here: http://www.mcgill.ca/hr/workingmcgill/pay-equity
It is also your right to file a complaint to the Pay Equity Commission as to the non-implementation of the pay equity plan to your position. Doing this will likely result in the University’s taking faster action on the implementation of Pay Equity for AMUSE members, and so it is highly recommended you do so.
The complaint form can be found here: http://www.ces.gouv.qc.ca/english.asp The text of the complaint can be as basic as “McGill University has not implemented the Pay Equity Plan on my position and on other positions covered by the bargaining unit AMUSE-PSAC 17600.” Including this text will allow all complaints filed by AMUSE members to the commission to be considered under one dossier and is also highly recommended.

This is all of the information AMUSE has at the moment. As soon as we become aware of the new minimum floors for MUNACA positions, these will be posted on our website. If you have any further questions about Pay Equity and your membership in AMUSE, please feel free to get in touch with labour.amuse@gmail.com or pres.amuse@gmail.com.

Reminder: Group 1 & 2 ‘Casual Meet & Greet’

FULL-TIME AMUSE MEMBERS: Are you feeling disposable? Under-appreciated? You’re not alone.

Approximately 100 AMUSE members work full-time in MUNACA replacement positions.
If you are one of them, you know well that the precarious employment conditions associated with your status as a ‘casual’ are unsustainable and this status often allows the employer to treat you with a level of dignity and respect inferior to that given to your ‘permanent’ counterparts. In times of financial insecurity, full-time AMUSE members often take the hardest hits, and, get this: job losses for full-time AMUSE members are not even factored in to the calculations of ‘job loss’ that were advertised through McGill’s MROs in the context of budget cuts. Insulting, isn’t it?

AMUSE is currently trying to mobilize the base of our full-time members, and the first thing we’d like to do is organize a casual (ha!) meet and greet so that full-time AMUSE members have the opportunity to share their experiences and talk about issues, successes, and frustrations to one another and to the AMUSE exec. We cannot let the current treatment of full-time ‘casuals’ persist. Let’s talk. So far only few full-time members have responded to our invite! If you are interested in participating in a meet&greet for full-time casuals, we sincerely hope you fill out the following form, so that AMUSE’s Outreach Coordinators can get a better idea of full-time members’ availabilities and organize a discussion session accessible to you.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1_g1fcG-3B75N6JpCQJVwsUfhr7hb7JnGBSo3zdjvF_Q/viewform

You can also e-mail AMUSE’s Outreach Coordinators (outreach.amuse@gmail.com) if you would like them to drop by your workplace or answer any questions about your employment.

Rate of Pay

Confusion surrounding the issue of rate of pay has become apparent in the case of full-time AMUSE members replacing MUNACA positions. This is in no way the fault of individual members, but is an issue of a disagreement over the interpretation of the AMUSE Collective Agreement between AMUSE and McGill. As it stands, our Collective Agreement (22.01) says that “At the hiring date,” full-time AMUSE members with contracts of at least six months will make 100% of the minimum rate of pay for their position as defined in the MUNACA Collective Agreement. Then, in June, when that MUNACA minimum rate goes up, AMUSE members’ pay rate currently doesn’t consistently go up to the new minimum rate, but is adjusted only by the 1% guaranteed by the last sentence of article 22.01. AMUSE is of the position that this application of our Collective Agreement constitutes an illegal disparity of treatment. The University is treating MUNACA’s Collective Agreement as something that gets frozen in time on the date you were hired! Imagine, you, who have been working since September 2013, get a raise of only 1% on June 1st 2014, while someone who is newly hired into a position analogous to yours on June 2nd 2014 makes 1.5% higher than your original rate! Disparity of treatment based solely on the hiring date is illegal (article 87.1, Normes du Travail) and AMUSE will be going to arbitration with the University on this issue. Arbitration is set to happen October 31st, 2014.

All this to say, if you are currently confused as to why your rate of pay is not the new 100% of the minimum MUNACA rate of your position, this explains it. The University refuses to treat casuals with the same level of dignity and appreciation it shows to permanent staff and will jump through hoops in order to save a penny. Essentially, AMUSE and the University are going to arbitration in order to grant AMUSE members their basic Canadian right to equal pay for equal work.

If you have any questions about this issue, please get in touch with labour.amuse@gmail.com.
It would be great to know that we have some member support on this issue, an issue that appears at times to be so unbelievably simple to resolve and so obviously unjust.

Getting involved!

FULL-TIME AMUSE MEMBERS: Are you feeling disposable? Under-appreciated? You’re not alone.

Approximately 100 AMUSE members work full-time in MUNACA replacement positions.
If you are one of them, you know well that the precarious employment conditions associated with your status as a ‘casual’ are unsustainable. This status often allows the employer to treat you with a level of dignity and respect inferior to that given to your ‘permanent’ counterparts. In times of financial insecurity, full-time AMUSE members often take the hardest hits, and, get this: job losses for full-time AMUSE members are not even factored in to the calculations of ‘job loss’ that were advertised through McGill’s MROs in the context of budget cuts. Insulting, isn’t it?

AMUSE is currently trying to mobilize the base of our full-time members, and the first thing we’d like to do is organize a casual (ha!) meet and greet so that full-time AMUSE members have the opportunity to share their experiences and talk about issues, successes, and frustrations to one another and to the AMUSE team. We cannot let the current treatment of full-time ‘casuals’ persist. Let’s talk.

If you are interested in participating in a Meet&Greet for full-time casuals, we sincerely hope you fill out the following form, so that AMUSE’s Outreach Coordinators can get a better idea of full-time members’ availabilities and organize a discussion session accessible to you. Check the form out here: (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1_g1fcG-3B75N6JpCQJVwsUfhr7hb7JnGBSo3zdjvF_Q/viewform).

You can also e-mail AMUSE’s Outreach Coordinators at outreach.amuse@gmail.com if you would like them to drop by your workplace or answer any questions about your employment.

Drop-In Event with AMUSE on March 13th: Coffee, Bagels, Questions, and more!

AMUSE will be holding a drop-in event in the Madeleine Parent room at SSMU on March 13th, from 11:00-15:00.

Have questions about the union?
About your rights?
What we do?
How to get involved?
Want to meet the new executive?

Come drop by to chat with union reps, hang with other members, hear what the union has been up to, learn about ways to get involved, or just drink coffee.

GET INVOLVED/COMMITTEES!

Sitting on committees is super fun, and a great way to gain experience and influence the work that AMUSE is doing! Whether you’re interested in discovering the internal workings of the union, helping to shape the future of labour groups at McGill, meeting your fellow workers all across campus, or learning useful new skills such as creating a budget or putting on an event, there is a committee for you! Please note that all committee meetings will be held in the AMUSE office at 2015 rue Drummond #901. Here is a list and short description of the standing committees of the union:

Mobilization Committee

A union is only as strong as its least informed member, so it is very important for us to do our best to reach out to each individual member and empower them in the workplace. The Committee works on campaigns, events, and other informative projects to build community within the union. The Mobilization Committee will next meet on Monday, March 27th at 2:30 PM. Please contact Ben at communications.amuse@gmail.com for more information.

Equity Committee

The AMUSE Equity Committee deals with a variety of equity issues, from working on an internal policy to providing a forum for questions and complaints from members on matters of Pay Equity, Employment Equity, and equity issues in the workplace as a whole. The Equity Committee will hold its first meeting of 2014 on Friday, March 7th at 10:00 AM. Please contact Molly at internal.amuse@gmail.com for more information.

Finance Committee

The Financial Auditing Committee does a collective audit of the union’s finances and the Treasurer’s records and reviews the yearly budget that is prepared by the Treasurer. The Finance Committee’s next metting is yet to be determined. Please contact Carolyn at treasury.amuse@gmail.com for more information.

Bargaining Committee

The Bargaining Committee focuses on researching, compiling, and preparing information and resources on labor law and union policy in preparation for the next round of bargaining for AMUSE’s Collective Agreement with the University. The Bargaining Committee will hold its first meeting of 2014 on Tuesday, March 11th at 18:00. Please contact Agatha at labour.amuse@gmail.com for more information.

By-Law & Policy Committee

The By-Law and Policy Committee reviews and suggests By-Law amendments, and updates and creates new policies for the union. This committee meets as issues arise and reports to the Board of Representatives. The By-Law & Policy Committee will have its first meeting of 2014 on Tuesday, March 11, at 16:00. Please contact Molly at internal.amuse@gmail.com for more information.

Health & Safety Committee

The Health and Safety Committee works on issues of physical, emotional, and mental health in the workplace, generating and disseminating print and digital resources, contacts, and support to members. The Health & Safety Committee will have its first meeting of 2014 on Monday, March 10th at 15:00. Please contact Amber at pres.amuse@gmail.com for more information.

If you have any general questions about Committees or how to get involved with the AMUSE team, please don’t hesitate to get in touch Molly at internal.amuse@gmail.com.

Ferbruary 12 2014 Newsletter – Results of the AGM!

1. State of the Union Address from Amber

Hi! My name is Amber, and I am so happy to work for you this year as AMUSE’s president! One thing I have learned after five years of working as a casual at McGill, is that it isn’t as easy as the name would have us believe. Yet by calling us “casuals,” the university shows less respect to our work than most others’ at McGill. At AMUSE, we see this every day – when supervisors have no knowledge of our collective agreement, or when casual positions – and the employment of the member working there – are ended with very little notice and recognition of just how important our jobs are to us.

Constantly improving the way casual workers are treated and compensated is a big priority for AMUSE this year. The newly elected members of our Bargaining Team will soon start preparing to negotiate a second collective agreement with McGill, and hope to create a university-wide shift in how departments and faculties consider our work.

So if you’re reading this – great! But if you’ve ever wondered who the people behind this newsletter are, I invite you to come by our office during office hours or our next Board of Representatives meeting (see below). Because you, the casual support staff at McGill, are AMUSE, and all of us involved on AMUSE committees, the executive, and Board, are people like you. We don’t all have the same relationship to the university; some are students, some are not, some work full-time, some part-time. But we all share a commitment to improving the conditions of casual work at McGill, and in the long run creating a university where no worker is treated as if they are only “casual.”

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me or any of the other execs or stewards this year. Give us a call, or just come by for coffee and a chat during office hours. Just as our office is your office, our union is also your union!

In solidarity,
Amber Gross
AMUSE President

2. Results of the Annual General Meeting

We held our 5th Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, January 28th. At the AGM members voted for the new Executive Committee and Board of Representatives, voted on motions, and approved the Annual Report.

The new Executive Committee is:
Amber Gross as President (from the Faculty of Arts)
Ben Patrick Stidworthy as Media and Outreach Officer (from Service Point)
Molly Swain as Internal Affairs Coordinator (from the Bookstore)
Carolyn Qin as Treasurer (from the McGill Executive Institute)
Agatha Slupek as Labour Relations Officer (from the Ferrier Computer Labs)

3. Join the AMUSE Board of Representatives!

The next AMUSE Board of Representatives is scheduled for Wednesday, February 19th at 6:00 PM, at our office located at 2015 rue Drummond, suite 901. Come at 5:30 for pizza and to meet other delegates!

Six delegates were elected to the Board of Representatives out of a total of twelve. This means that there are still six spots available on the Board. If you are interested in becoming a Delegate please email Molly Swain at internal.amuse@gmail.com. We especially encourage members who work at the Macdonald Campus to get involved.

The Board of Representatives (BoR) is the second highest governing body of the union after the Annual General Meeting. The Board is made up of twelve Delegates and the five members of the Executive Committee, and meets every month. Its duties are to recommend and approve internal policies and regulations, form committees and to ensure that the union continues to serve the best interests of its members.
Attendance at Board meetings are open to all members of AMUSE. We encourage you to attend if you want to raise your concerns or questions directly to the Executive Committee and Stewards or if you just want to know better how AMUSE works.

4. New AMUSE Office Hours

With new execs, comes new exec schedules and new office hours! Come by and met us any day of the week at our office on 2015 rue Drummond, Suite 901. It’s just 5 minutes from campus, one street west of Stanley. Unfortunately our office is not wheelchair accessible, please email communications.amuse@gmail.com if you would like to meet on campus or elsewhere.
Monday: 11:30-1:30 with Carolyn
Tuesday: 2-4 with Molly
Wednesday: 3:30-5:30 with Agatha
Thursday: 3-5 with Ben
Friday: 4-6 with Amber

5. Labour Quote of the Week

“Dignify and glorify common labor. It is at the bottom of life that we must begin, not at the top.”
-Booker T. Washington

Elections Guide

AMUSE ELECTION GUIDE FOR THE AGM

The AGM is the perfect time to get involved with AMUSE in a number of different capacities and commitment levels. It is not necessary to have prior involvement in the union to run for any position. Training will be available for all of the following positions.

To run for a position, you may prepare a brief statement of interest to be given orally at the Annual General Meeting. Once election procedures are opened at the AGM there will be a nomination period where you may nominate yourself or ask another member to nominate you. There will then be a brief period where you will have an opportunity to introduce yourself and say a little bit about why you are running for the position. Voting is done by secret ballot and the results are announced once voting is completed. This procedure is repeated for each position.

The following is an outline of the various positions you can run for at the AGM.

Bargaining Committee Member

Our Collective Agreement ends in April 2015 so we will be entering negotiations with the University shortly. At the AGM, we will be electing two Bargaining Committee members. A bargaining committee’s main function is to negotiate the contents of the collective agreement and ensure that an agreement is reached between the employer and the membership.  The bargaining committee consists of 2 members of the executive as well as 2 – 3 members at large.

Some of the responsibilities of the Bargaining Committee are:

  • Negotiate with the employer in order to achieve the best possible settlement that reflects the best possible interests of the members.
  • Educate themselves on the workplace conditions and work environment of the McGill casual workers, as well as the Quebec Labour Standards Act and the Quebec Labour Code.
  • Formulate and prioritize demands to be negotiated in the collective agreement.
  • Draft proposals for the next Collective Agreement
  • Meet with the University’s negotiating team to create a new Collective Agreement over a series of meetings
  • Prepare reports and information regarding negotiations for the membership

Approximate time commitment:
8 – 16 hours/month to prepare for negotiations (approximate: May – February 2015)
20 – 30 hours/month during negotiations (approximate: February – August 2015)
All work done as part of this committee will be compensated

Delegate to the Board of Representatives

The Board of Representatives is the chief governing body of AMUSE. As a delegate on the Board of Representatives, you will be a voting member directly involved with the functioning of AMUSE. All delegates also act as Stewards of AMUSE in their workplace.

Some of the responsibilities of a Delegate are:

  • Recommend a course of action with regards to bargaining and grievances
  • Create and maintain general policies of AMUSE
  • Recommend a budget to the AGM
  • Oversee the activities of and give recommendations to the Executives
  • Arbitrate in disputes relating to the internal affairs of AMUSE
  • Form and participate in internal committees
  • Knowledge of AMUSE By-Laws and policies

Requirements:

  •  Attendance at a minimum of six (6) out of ten (10) meetings
  • Participation in a least one committee (see our Committees page for more info)
  • Act as a Steward in your workplace

Term: February 2014 – January 2015
Time commitment: 5 – 8 hours/month
Delegates are compensated for their work.

Executive Officers

Please Note: Modifications to the AMUSE By-Laws affecting the Executive Officers’ duties have been proposed by the By-Law and Policy Committee and approved by the Board of Representatives. They do not represent how the Executive presently manifests (please see the Motion re: By-Law Changes for details). The implementation of these changes is contingent upon their approval at the AGM.

President: The President acts as the primary spokesperson and administrator of AMUSE. In other words, they are responsible for ensuring the smooth operation of the Local and facilitate the essential functioning of AMUSE.

Some of the responsibilities of the President are:

  • Maintain a working knowledge of the Collective Agreement, PSAC`s Constitution, the Rules of Order, and the AMUSE Bylaws
  • Participate in internal committees
  • Be familiar with and participate in external political bodies, such as PSAC regional committees, PSAC conventions, and campus groups
  • Prepare the Annual Report
  • Coordinate projects and aid other Executive Officers and committees
  • Sit on the Bargaining Committee
  • Participate in monthly Labour Relations Committee meetings
  • Write internal policy

Term: January 29, 2014 – January 2015
Time commitment: 10-12 hours/week
Delegates are compensated for their work.

Internal Affairs Officer: The Internal Affairs Officer is responsible for keeping records, greeting new members, and coordinating the internal functioning of the union.

Please note: this is a new position. To read the proposed By-Laws regarding this position please see the Motion re: By-Law Changes.

Some of the responsibilities of the Internal Affairs Officer are:

  • Record the minutes of the meetings of the Executive, Board, and the General Meeting
  • Maintain organized records of minutes, reports, and contracts
  • Introduce new members to the union
  • Coordinate internal committees
  • Write internal policy

Term: January 29, 2014 – January 2015
Time commitment: 8-10 hours/week
Delegates are compensated for their work.

Communications and Outreach Officer: The Communications and Outreach Officer is responsible for distributing information to the membership and outreach to AMUSE members. They are the first contact for general inquiries and are responsible for outreach materials, the AMUSE website, electronic newsletters, social media, and outreach campaigns. Much of this work is done with other Executive Officers and Stewards. Please note: this is a new position. To read the proposed By-Laws regarding this position please see the Motion re: By-Law Changes.

Some of the responsibilities of the Communications and Outreach Officer are:

  • Distributing relevant information to members through various channels
  • The visibility of the local in social media, and on campus in general
  • Writing and distributing regular electronic newsletters
  • Working with Stewards and the Mobilization Committee
  • Developing outreach campaigns

Term: January 29, 2014 – January 2015
Time commitment: 8-10 hours/week
Delegates are compensated for their work.

Treasurer: The Treasurer manages the finances of AMUSE. They create a budget, audited financial statements, and all funds coming in and out.

Some of the responsibilities of the Internal Affairs Officer are:

  • Keep records of transactions
  • Manage payroll
  • Create the annual budget
  • Prepare the audited financial statement
  • Work with an accountant to ensure proper records are maintained
  • Prepare monthly reports for the Board and an annual report for the AGM

Term: January 29, 2014 – January 2015
Time commitment: 8-10 hours/week
Delegates are compensated for their work.

Labour Relations Officer:  The Labour Relations Officer is responsible for the enforcement of the Quebec Labour Standards and the AMUSE Collective Agreement. They are an essential part of the union and are in charge of the general improvement of the working conditions of our members.

Some of the responsibilities of the Labour Relations Officer are:

  • Meet with members to discuss their working conditions
  • Prepare informational materials regarding labour rights for the membership
  • Bring complaints to the university for mediation, and initiate grievance procedures, while working with members affected
  • Sit on the Bargaining Committee
  • Participate in monthly Labour Relations Committee meetings
  • Work with Stewards to ensure the proper implementation of the Collective Agreement

Term: January 29, 2014 – January 2015
Time commitment: 10-12 hours/week
Delegates are compensated for their work.

*For further information, please refer to the AMUSE By-Laws – Amended Jan 2013

Annual General Meeting: Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

The 5th Annual General Meeting of the Association of McGill University Support Employees will be held on Tuesday, January 28th, 2014. All members are strongly encouraged to attend!

This is a great time to come learn about what we have been up to in the past year, vote on bylaws, elect new executives and board members, as well as meet your fellow workers on campus. Working at McGill can be challenging so it helps to have a community for mutual support. That is what AMUSE is here for and the AGM is the perfect chance to get involved. The event will be will be packed with food, drink, and good company so be sure not to miss it!

Agenda:
1. Taking attendance of members in good standing present
2. Adoption of the agenda
3. Approval of minutes from last AGM
4. Report of the Executive Committee
5. Report of the Board of Representatives
6. Report of Committees
7. Other motions or pertinent issues
8. Election of the Executive Committee
9. Election of the Board of Representatives
10. Questions and Varia
11. Adjourn

*a meal will be provided at the meeting, as well as tea and coffee

*this building is wheelchair accessible

*liberation will be available for any member scheduled to work at the time of the meeting – please contact Agatha at labour.amuse@gmail.com at least two weeks in advance

*childcare will be available by RSVP with 48 hours notice (minimum) – please contact Ben at vp.amuse@gmail.com to RSVP for childcare!

*the meeting will be held in english, however if you require translation please contact us at vp.amuse@gmail.com with reasonable notice and we will arrange to provide whisper translation for you

Join the Board of Representatives!
At the AGM we elect members to the Board for a term of one year (until the next AGM). The Board members are Stewards who attend monthly meetings and participate on committees (which are also open to any member). Members of the BoR receive an honouraria for their contributions to the union. Training is provided for all Board members at the beginning of the year. For more information please see article 11 of our By-Laws at http://www.amusemcgill.org/about/bylaws or if you have questions please contact Jaime at pres.amuse@gmail.com.

Join the Executive Committee!
The positions on the Executive Committee are all open for election at the AGM, they are:
- President
- Vice President
- Communications and Secretariat Officer
- Treasurer
- Labour Relations Officer

For more information about the responsibilties of each position please see article 13 of our By-Laws, available at http://www.amusemcgill.org/about/bylaws, or contact Jaime at pres.amuse@gmail.com with questions.

We are also planning information sessions to answer questions about elections, how to run for a position, and what each position entails – stay tuned to our newsletter and facebook page!