Frequently Asked Questions
1. When was the union formed?
The Union was first formed in 1965. We were chartered in May, 1965.
2. How many members are there in the union?
As of 2016, the Union has 59 full-time members and 30 part-time members.
3. Whom does the union represent?
CUPE 960 represents non-managerial library workers for Oshawa Public Libraries. This includes all four branches.
4. What does the union spend my dues on?
In any type of organization whether profit or non-profit, operating funds is a major requirement. In our case, our union local, which is a non-profit organization, definitely requires a source of funding through union dues to be able to meet the local’s monetary needs. Union dues consist of a monthly deduction of your total wages, which is deducted bi-weekly for part-time employees.
But what does the union do with all those money collected from union dues?
1.) Approximately 66%, or more than half of the total union dues, goes to CUPE National in Ottawa. CUPE National represents around 600,000 members across Canada. With these funds, CUPE maintains a National Strike Fund and National Defence Fund to ensure CUPE members have the resources to defend their jobs and wages. It also uses the funds to hire staff and provide materials and training. Our local is assigned a National Representative who looks after our local and assists us with our needs in terms of grievances, research, solving problems, bargaining and negotiations with Management. National also provides us legal advice and counsel as deemed necessary.
2.) Our local maintains other membership affiliations – with CUPE Ontario, Library Workers Committee and Durham Region Labour Council, which takes up a small percentage of the total dues.
3.) Other expenses, such as paid union leave for executive members, negotiating teams and other union members conducting union business during regular working hours only also uses a percentage. Over and beyond this is voluntary.
4.) Another percentage is budgeted for legal expenses mainly for arbitration and mediation cases and for other consultations requiring legal counsel.
5.) Our local does not have an office; however a percentage of the total dues goes towards office equipment and supplies, bills, etc.
6.) Other expenses such as conferences, conventions, education seminars requiring delegation from our local take the remaining percentage. Unions are a form of insurance to protect workers’ rights. Our Union represents security and dignity in the workplace and the means to a better work environment.
5. I have a concern in my work place. What can the union do?
The Union will help any employee having a complaint which may become a grievance arising out of the interpretation, application, administration or alleged violation of the Collective Agreement. Your Steward will assist in trying to solve the issue at the Complaint Stage which is the first step of the Grievance Process. If it is not resolved at that stage, it may be escalated through the steps of the Grievance Procedure, all with the assistance of the Steward, the Chief Steward and the President if necessary. If warranted, an unresolved grievance can also go to mediation or arbitration. This procedure is outlined in more detail in the Collective Agreement (available on the Collective Agreement page)
6. Who are the Union Officers?
See the current CUPE Executive
7. I'd like to get involved in the Union. What can I do?
The best way to become more involved in your Union is to attend the General Membership Meetings. This is where the business of the Union is discussed, where concerns are raised, where voting on any matter occurs and where ideas are shared. You can also be nominated to become a Union Steward if you wish. Finally, if you have met the requirements, you may also be elected to sit on the Executive, on the standing committees, as a delegate or as a trustee.
8. Who is my Steward and what does s/he do?
Each section or department should have at least one steward or more. Every branch and location has a steward. If you can not find your steward, you can come to any of the stewards or the Chief Steward (Union Vice President) with any concerns you might have.