General Meeting Minutes

PSAC local 901
Fall General Membership Meeting
13 October 2011

Chair: David Thompson, History

1. Quorum check
2. Approval of minutes from AGM (26 April 2011; minutes are posted at
3. Local updates from Executive Officers
4. Affiliation with the Kingston and District Labour Council and the Ontario Federation of Labour
5. Bylaw amendments
6. Local’s budget
7. New Business
8. Nominations and elections for delegates to PSAC National Triennial Convention
9. Nominations and elections for local 901 vacant officers (Secretary, Health and Safety Officer, Moderator, and Chief Returning Officer)
10. Adjournment
Bylaw Amendments up for consideration:
Changes to executive Position names and status:
1. “Assistant Chief Steward” and “Chief Steward”: At all instances where this office is mentioned, the names shall be changed to “Co-Chief Steward,” to reflect the equal partnership between the two chief steward offices. If the 2012 AGM adopts a motion to dissolve the position of the second Chief Steward, “Co-Chief Steward” shall then be changed to read “Chief Steward”.
2. “Secretary”: At all instances where this office is mentioned, the name shall be changed to “Information Officer” to better reflect the broad objectives of this position and how it relates to the membership.
3. “Occupational Health and Safety Officer”: this position’s description will be moved from bylaw section 5.2.3 to bylaw section 5.1.7. This move reflects the change of this position from a non-executive office to an executive office.
Additional Committees to be added to section 7, Committees, of the bylaws:
7.2.8. Flying Squad
The Flying Squad shall:
(1) Consist of at least two Executive Officers, each acting as co-chair, and at least two additional Members in good standing; and
(2) Organize, facilitate, and participate in direct action against forms of social, political, economic, and ecological oppression
7.2.9. LGBT Committee
The LGBT Committee shall
(1) Consist of one Executive member and at least two additional Members in good standing, any of which may act as chair; and
(2) Organize, facilitate, and participate in research and other activities to raise awareness around LGBT issues and to work toward creating more inclusive spaces in the local, the university, and the broader Kingston community
7.3.0. Strategic Research Committee
The Strategic Research Committee shall:
(1) Consist of the President, acting as chair, and at least two additional Members in good standing of the local; and
(2) Build, maintain, and enhance the local’s understanding of the institutional structures within and intersecting with the university, the academe, and other relevant organizations and communities

Chair: Meeting called to order at 5:15pm
• Introduction. Using Bourinot’s Rules of Order, which are supplemented by the PSAC Rules of Order. Discussion/Questions are to be directed through the chair. We will maintain a speaker’s list. If you speak, make a motion, or nominate, please state your full name and your department.

1. Quorum check
Hannah Johnston, Geography, 901 Equity Officer: We have reached quorum with over twenty members in attendance.
Chair: motion to accept the quorum check
Motioned by: John Rose, Geography
Seconded by: Matthew Scribner, English
Discussion? None
Outcome: carried

2. Chair: The current agenda is missing the motion to adopt the agenda. Could we get someone to motion to add “Adopt the Agenda” to the agenda?
Motioned by: Ursula Thorley, Mining
Seconded by: Laura McGavin, English
Discussion? None
Outcome: carried

Chair: now we need a motion to adopt the agenda:
Motioned by: MaryAnne Laurico, English
Seconded by: Erin Clow, Political Science
Discussion? None
Outcome: carried
3. Approval of minutes from AGM (26 April 2011; minutes are posted at
Chair: can I get a motion to approve the minutes from the 26 April AGM?
Motioned by: Ursula Thorley, Mining
Seconded by: MaryAnne Laurico, English
Discussion? None
Outcome: carried

4. Local updates from Executive Officers
Chair: I’m going to turn the floor over to the Executive. Each Executive member will provide a brief 1-2 minute update/report to their activities. A short question and answer period can follow, which I will direct.

MaryAnne Laurico, English, President: Our first CA ended with successful negotiations. CA ratified in May. We sent 6 delegates to PSAC Regional Triennial Convention. 901 put forward a resolution to amend PSAC bylaws to have a DCL Academic worker for PSAC Ontario Council. It took 70% of room to change the bylaws. It was passed. The academic caucus at convention consisted of delegates from Queen’s, Western, and UOIT. MaryAnne now holds the DCL Academic Worker seat on Ontario Council, and Katy Fulfer at UWO is the alternate. The Exec had a busy summer with orientation-week events. The exec silk screened the lovely tshirts we’ve been handing out. We’ve continued to build and strengthen relationships with other organizations within Queen’s and in the broader Kingston Community. MaryAnne will be kicking off a strategic research committee. If you’re interested in power mapping, please contact her.
Doug Nesbitt, History, Assistant Chief Steward:
Recruited 12 stewards in 9 departments and 15 other contacts in other departments. Still looking and hoping to have representation in every department. First Steward Council meeting next week at 5 in John Orr Room, council focusing on education, grievance procedure, rounds, etc.
If you want to get involved as a steward, see Doug.
Flying Squad committee to be formed (hopefully) with bylaw amendment. If you’re interested in participatory action, see Doug
Christo Avalis, History, Chief Steward:
Policy Grievance, CBA, Write ups on TA forms and TF forms – all available online. Steward Network. Like MaryAnne on PSAC Ontario, I am the young worker representative for workers under 31. There will be grievance committee.

Krystle Maki, Sociology, VP Community Affairs:
Local Building, Outreach at Queen’s and in Kingston. Unity Council, KDLC, Solidarity initiatives (stop the cuts, 5th educational pow-wow, coalition against poverty), currently working on Canadian International Labor Film Festival – a hopeful for November
Hannah Johnston, Geography, Equity Officer:
Anti-O, LGBTQ, Intl Anti Accent
Sean Field, Geography, Treasurer:
Bite, Office Organization, Budget, Convention in the Summer, etc.
Chair: Any Questions from the Floor?
Samantha Klaus, Biology: Required Responsibilities are unclear, having difficulty finding someone to take the role for steward
Doug Nesbitt, History: I can do a presentation

Morgan Teeple Hopkins, Philosophy: What will you be doing when you go door-to-door?
Doug Nesbitt, History: We’ll be going on departmental rounds looking to get folks involved and becoming a familiar face.

Ursula Thorely, Mining: Will a list of stewards be posted?
Doug Nesbitt, History: I think we could do that and make it available through the website.

Chair: if there’s no more questions, we’ll move along the agenda.

5. Affiliation with the Kingston and District Labour Council and the Ontario Federation of Labour
Chair: I’ll turn the floor over to make motivations, and then we’ll treat each affiliation separately.

MaryAnne Laurico, English: We have six delegate seats to the Kingston and District Labour Council. It’s a really important affiliation because the KDLC provides us an opportunity to speak with other unions, share resources, campaign ideas. Through the KDLC, we can connect to a broader labour movement in Kingston and beyond. We’re going to deal with dues amounts in a lumpsum, instead of monthly. The local will be paying $1000.00 for the 2011-2012 academic year.

Chair: Motion for 901 to affiliate with the Kingston and District Labour Council
Motioned by: Krystle Maki, Sociology
Seconded by: Ursula Thorley, Mining
Discussion? None
Outcome: carried

Chair: Okay, can I get an Executive member to motivate for the OFL affiliation?

Christo Aivalis, History: The Ontario Federation of Labour represents over 700,000 workers. PSAC is a member at the provincial level, and will pay our local’s dues. The OFL is a good strategy tool and a vital lobbying group – health and safety, politics, etc.

Chair: Motion for 901 to officially affiliate with the Ontario Federation of Labour.
Motioned by: Matthew Scribner, English
Seconded by: John Rose, Geography
Discussion? None
Outcome: carried

6. Bylaw amendments
Chair: next we’re going to consider the bylaw amendments, they’ve been on the website for the past week. My understanding is they are non-contentious amendments. I will turn the floor over to the Executive to speak about them.

MaryAnne Laurico, English: Basically, the amendments we have today deal with changing the titles of “Chief Steward” and “Assistant Chief Steward” to “Co-Chief Steward,” changing the title of “Secretary” to “Information Officer,” and changing “Occupational Health and Safety Officer” from a non-executive office to an executive office. After that, we’re mandating new committees into our bylaws: the flying squad, the strategic research committee, and the LGBTQ committee.

Chair: Any questions?

MaryAnne Laurico, English: I don’t have a question, but I’d like to make a motion to move the amendments omnibus.
Chair: Seconder?
Krystle Maki, Sociology.
Discussion? None
Outcome: carried

Chair: Motion to pass the bylaw amendments omnibus.
Motioned by: Christo Aivalis, History
Seconded by: Ursula Thorley, Mining
Hannah Johnston, Geography: I’d like to motion for an amendment to add “Q” to the LGBT, to broaden the inclusion of the committee.
Seconded by: MaryAnne Laurico, English
Chair: Discussion? None
Outcome: carried

Chair: Motion to adopt the bylaw amendments as amended and omnibus.
Outcome: carried

7. Local’s budget
Chair: I’m going to turn the floor over to our Treasurer, Sean Field, who will provided a brief overview of the proposed budget.

Sean Field, Geography: We’re a brand-new local, so some of the lines reflect our new status. It also reflects what you see at other university locals.
Incoming Funds:
– dues projection based on our 1.5% and predicted membership
– Executive Service negotiated on the CBA
– Benefits Package
– Strike Aversion Funds

Expenses: Standard Office (auditing, photocopies, startup costs – which will be one time,
– honarium, compensation for the expense of volunteering for the local so that it isn’t burdensome
– projects and committees, forecast based on this years intentions and interests
– office expense, internet, phone, etc.
– affiliations – PSAC servicing agreement, staff member access for grievances, KDLC affiliation, etc. most go to PSAC – again, this is standard.

Chair: I just have to interrupt to say we might be losing quorum if a member leaves.

Samantha Klaus, Biology: I have to leave to catch a bus.

MaryAnne Laurico, English: I’d like to make an emergency motion to suspend the rules, and for the remainder of the meeting run with a quorum amount of 18 in case another member has to leave.
Samantha Klaus: I’ll second that motion.

Chair: Seeing as this is an emergency motion to suspend the rules, I will allow the floor to decide.
Discussion: none
Outcome of vote: carried unanimously.

Chair: Sean is there anything else you’d like to present on the budget?

Sean Field, Geography: I think that’s it for now, unless there are questions from the floor.

Chair: Motion to adopt the budget.
Motioned by: John Rose, Geography
Seconded by: Christo Aivalis, History
Simon Robinson, SKHS: is this as detailed as the budget gets?
Sean Field, Geography: We can give it greater breakdown if members want, or if an individual member requests.
Matthew Scribner, English: Why does it say “TAFA/901”
Sean Field, Geography: That’s just an editing error.
Outcome: Carried

8. New Business
Chair: I’d like to turn the floor over to the Executive to raise new business.

MaryAnne Laurico, English: Postdoctoral Fellows met on 6 October 2011. They are starting the negotiation process. At their first general meeting, they voted to join 901 as an autonomous unit within the local. This is a really great move for pdfs and for 901. Everyone gains bargaining power! The Executive would like to meet with representatives from the PDF unit to discuss how to best integrate the unit within the local. I would like to put forward a motion to ratify the postdoctoral vote to become an autonomous unit within the local.
Seconded by: John Rose, Geography
How many members are in the unit?
MaryAnne Laurico, English: about 180 members.
Ursula Thorley, Mining: Will they have a separate budget?
MaryAnne Laurico, English: they’re going to be negotiating the terms and conditions of their own collective agreement, so we’re not sure where that might move their ability to budget. We’d have to discuss it further with them, but yes, I imagine they would have a separate budget to work with.
Morgan Teeple Hopkins, Philosophy: What if a postdoc is teaching ?
MaryAnne Laurico, English: They would be represented by QUFA as an adjunct in their teaching employment relationship with Queen’s, and represented by PSAC in their postdoc employment relationship with Queen’s.

Chair: any other new businees?

9. Nominations and elections for delegates to PSAC National Triennial Convention.
Chair: alright we’re going to move to nominations and elections for PSAC National Triennial Convention and for vacant executive offices. I would like to recognize Simon Robinson, SKHS, who was nominated at the first Steward Council meeting to be the local’s Chief Returning Officer and is seeking acclaimation. The Chief Returning Officer is responsible for running elections and nomination processes of the local. For the purpose of tonight’s elections, we’re going to need a chief returning officer to run the elections. I’d like to ask if Simon stands for his nomination.

QUORUM REGAINED: Beesan Sarrouh, Political Studies (late arrival).

Simon Robinson, SKHS: Yes, I do.

Chair: Motion to acclaim Simon Robinson to the position of Chief Returning Officer.
Motioned by: Ursula Thorley, Mining
Seconded by: Doug Nesbitt, History
Discussion: None
Outcome: Carried

Chair: I’m going to turn the floor over to the Chief Returning Officer to talk about the voting process.

Chief Returning Officer:
We have two sets of elections tonight. The first is for delegates to the PSAC National Triennial Convention next May, and the second set is for vacant Local offices. For the first election for delegates to the PSAC National Convention, the voting process is as follows: first, we’ll have the Executive speak briefly on the convention itself, then we’ll open the floor for nominations. Each nomination must be seconded, and each nominee must stand. After we’ve accumulated the names of nominees, everyone will be given a ballot. On that ballot, write one nominees name. Your ballot will be spoiled if you write more than one name. I will collect the ballots and tally them. The person with the most votes has priority in the delegate sequence (eg. Most votes gets 1st delgate position, second most, gets 2nd delegate position, and so on). Because there is not yet a limit to the amount of nominations, there doesn’t need to be a 50+1 majority for a single delegate. I will call three times for nominations before closing the floor for nominations.

Chair: Okay, would the executive like to speak to the convention?

MaryAnne Laurico, English: PSAC National Triennial Convention is where resolutions are considered, debated, and voted on. Like the Regional Convention in May, this convention will steer the direction of the Union. It will be held at the end of April and early May of 2012. According to our bylaws, the President and Vice President Community Affairs are already mandated to participate.

Chief Returning Officer: I’d like to open the floor up for nominations


Name: Christo Aivalis, History
Nominated by: MaryAnne Laurico, English
Seconded by: David Thompson, History
Do they stand ? Yes

Name: John Rose, Geography
Nominated by: Erin Clow, Political Studies
Seconded by: David Thompson, History
Do they stand ? Yes

Name: Sean Field, Geography
Nominated by: MaryAnne Laurico, English
Seconded by: Hannah Johnston, Geography
Do they stand ? Yes

Name: Hannah Johnston, Geography
Nominated by: MaryAnne Laurico, English
Seconded by: David Thompson, History
Do they stand ? Yes

Name: Doug Nesbitt, History
Nominated by: MaryAnne Laurico, English
Seconded by: John Rose, Geography
Do they stand ? Yes

Chief Returning Officer: Any more nominations for delegates to PSAC National Triennial Convention?

Chief Returning Officer: Any more nominations for delegates to PSAC National Triennial Convention?

Ballots passed out, and votes cast. CRO tallies the numbers.

The delegates to the 2012 PSAC National Triennial Convention are as follows (including bylaw mandates):

1. MaryAnne Laurico, English
2. Krystle Maki, Sociology
3. John Rose, Geography
4. Sean Field, Geography
5. Christo Aivalis, History
6. Hannah Johnston, Geography
7. Doug Nesbitt, History

Chair: Motion to destroy the ballots:
Motioned by: Sean Field, Geography
Seconded by: Ursula Thorley, Mining
Discussion? None
Outcome: carried

Chair: now for elections for vacant offices. I’ll turn the floor over to our Chief Returning Officer.

Chief Returning Officer: I’ll declare vacant positions, and then open the floor for nominations. The local has received nominations for vacant officers. We will ask for their nominations from the floor. We’ll ask if every nominee stands. We will acclaim nominees who run uncontested. For all contested positions, there will be a voting process where you’ll all be given a ballot. You’ll head over behind the voting station table, forming a line, voting one at a time. Write only one name. If there are any ties, we’ll do an immediate re-vote. A nominee must have 50% + 1 votes to be elected to the office. For contested positions, nominees can give up to a 1-minute speech outlining why they’d be best suited for the office.

Chief Returning Officer: At this time, I would like to declare vacant the offices of:
• Moderator
• Occupational Health and Safety Officer
• Information Officer

Chief Returning Officer: At this time, I would like to call for nominations for Moderator, Occupational Health and Safety Officer, and Information Officer.

Name: David Thompson, History
Nominated by: MaryAnne Laurico, English
Seconded by: Krystle Maki, Sociology
Do they stand ? Yes

Occupational Health and Safety Officer:
Name: Shawn Lamothe, Physiology
Nominated by: Doug Nesbitt, History
Seconded by: John Rose, Geography
Do they stand ? Yes

Information Officer:
Name: Byron Cavenaugh, History
Nominated by: Christo Aivalis, History
Seconded by: David Thompson, History
Do they stand ? Yes

Name: Erin Clow, Political Studies
Nominated by: MaryAnne Laurico, English
Seconded by: John Rose, Geography
Do they stand ? Yes

Chief Returning Officer: Any more nominations for vacant offices?

Chief Returning Officer: Any more nominations for vacant offices? Are there motions to acclaim the only nominations for the offices of Occupational Health and Safety Officer and Moderator?

Occupational Health and Safety Officer:
Motioned by: David Thompson, History
Seconded by: MaryAnne Laurico, English
Discussion: none
Outcome: carried

Motioned by: Ursula Thorley, Mining
Seconded by: Sean Field, Geography
Discussion: none
Outcome: carried

Chief Returning Officer: We’ll give each of the nominees for the contested office of Information Officer up to one minute to address the floor about their candidacy. Then I will conduct a secret ballot vote.

One minute speeches, ballots handed out, vote conducted.

Chief Returning Officer: Your new Information Officer is Erin Clow, with a 64% in –favour vote. Motion to destroy the ballots
Motioned by: David Thompson, History
Seconded by: Christo Aivalis, History
Discussion: none
Outcome: carried

Chair: please join us at the Tir Nan Og for some drinks and food. Motion to adjourn.
Motioned by: Sean Field, Geography
Seconded by: Krystle Maki, Sociology
Discussion: none
Outcome: carried



Annual General Meeting of the Membership: Tuesday 26 April 2011.

Meeting Minutes:

PSAC local 901: Annual General Meeting of the Membership

Tuesday 26 April 2011
Wallace Hall, JDUC
Chaired by Mark Rosner, Philosophy
PSAC Staff Representative: Linda Cross, PSAC Kingston Regional Office

Rebecca Pero
Sean Field
Hannah Johnston
Christo Aivalis
Mark Rosner
MaryAnne Laurico
Jean-Denis Garon
Pier-Andre Bouchard
Lorne Beswick
Ursula Thorely
Krystle Maki
David Thompson
Eliot Hanowski
Andrew Stevens
Anne Marie Grondin
Bill Dorval
Daniel Moore
Matthew Scribner
Darren Springer
Matthew Webb
Karl Skogstad
Raji Soni
Ralph Callebert
Kassy Wayne
Tyler Masse
Tim McIntyre
Phil Shadd
Carolyn Prouse
Melanie Kurrein
Kalanthe Khaiat
Tim Luchies
Aaron Ettinger
Aaron Mauro
Kimi Hamada
Dale Tracy
Agatha Hansen
Usman Mustaq
Stephen Smith
Babak Mahmoudi
Lee Morin
Doug Nesbitt
Kyle Jackson
Stephen Sheps
Toby Moorsom
Meaghan Frauts
Chris Samuel
Donald Sackey
Trina Zeimbekis
Fraser Hawkins
Terry Bridges
Kym Nacita
Sylvia Bawa


  1. Quorum check
  2. Adoption of the Agenda
  3. Adoption of minutes from last SGM (30 September 2011)
  4. Local updates (MaryAnne Laurico, English)
  5. Bargaining Updates (Ursula Thorely, Mining; Dave Thompson, History)
  6. Bylaw amendments
  7. Elections for the 2011-2012 901 Executive and non-Executive Officers
  8. Swearing0in the new Executive Officers (Linda Cross, PSAC)


  • Call to order at 5:39pm
  • Outlined agenda
  • Quorum is 20 general members in good standing, so we definitely have quorum tonight.
  • Adoption of the agenda: any changes?

Question from the floor: Will there be time for us to ask candidates questions?

Chair: There will be 3-minute speeches for the contested positions, but there was an all-candidates meeting where general members could ask questions.

Question from the floor: Can we amend number 7 of the agenda so there’s a short question period?

Chair: We can amend the 7th item of the agenda to include a 10 minute question period.

Amendment to the agenda: to include a 10-minute question period for all of the candidates at the 7th item of the agenda

Moved by Pier-Andre Bouchard, Economics
Seconded by Jean-Denis Garon, Economics
Carried: 1 opposed

Chair: Motion to adopt the amended agenda?

Moved by Anne-Marie Grondin, Sociology
Seconded by Kalanthe Khaiat, Gender Studies
Carried unanimously

Chair: Just to let you know, we’re following Bourinot’s rules of order, which are supplemented by the PSAC rules of order.

Chair: Adoption of the minutes from the SGM on September 30, 2010. We have copies here, and they’ve been posted on the website for some time now. Are there any amendments to the minutes? None.

Can we have a motion to adopt the minutes?

Moved by MaryAnne Laurico, English
Seconded by Stephen Smith, History
Carried unanimously

Chair: I’ll turn the floor over to MaryAnne Laurico, Intermim President, for local updates:

MaryAnne Laurico, English: Thanks, Mark. Since our last Annual General Meeting, held April 19th 2010, where our Bargaining Committee was acclaimed, the top priority for the local has been negotiating our first Collective Agreement with Queen’s University. There will be a bargaining update following the local updates. Outside of bargaining, the local’s been developing relationships with the university, which includes joining the Council for Employment Equity with other union representatives on campus. We’ve also been working with other unions on campus and together we’ve reignited the Unity Council at Queen’s. It’s a body made up of representatives from the different unions or labour groups on campus. There’s about six unions on campus. We’ve also been working on initiatives with other groups on campus, like the SGPS (we’re working on launching an anti-accent discrimination campaign). We’ve joined the Kingston and District Labour Council (we get six voting delegates there). We’ve also joined the PSAC Kingston Area Council, and the PSAC Kingston Regional Women’s Committee. We’ve been busy. It’s been a lot of hard work to build new relationships and I hope we can continue in that direction. I encourage everyone here to get involved—there’s a range of ways you can help your local. We’re a brand new local. We’re building from the base up. We don’t have the institutional memory of the larger graduate student organizations, like the SGPS, so it’s really important that you’re all out here shaping and defining the direction our local takes. Thank you!

Chair: Any questions? None. We’ll move along to the Bargaining Updates, so I’ll turn the floor over to Ursula Thorely and Dave Thompson, Bargaining Team members.

Dave Thompson, History: So just to recap, at the last AGM, we had a 16-member Bargaining Committee acclaimed. Out of that committee a 5-primary, 3-alternate Bargaining Team was elected. Ursula and I are elected Bargaining Team members. Ursula will go over some of the things we signed off on and some of the things we’re still working on.

Ursula Thorely, Mining: So as Dave mentioned, we have a 5-core, 3-alternate Bargaining Team. We notified the University of our intention to bargain last summer. We started bargaining in November 2010. Hopefully you’ve all been checking the bargaining updates on the website, We are meeting again this Thursday and Friday. The main articles still outstanding are: Academic Freedom and Intellectual Property Rights. Just a note for people who might have a concern about IP being in our Collective Agreement: what we’re talking about is IP in relation to your teaching duties. So if you’re a Teaching Fellow, we’re talking about the course material you develop. And if you’re a Teaching Assistant, we’re talking about material you might develop for a seminar or guest lecture. We’re not talking about the IP rights to your thesis or student research. Also still in discussion at the table are Leaves of Absence and No Discrimination/ No Harassment articles, and, of course, monetary. We’ve got through and signed-off on most of the non-monetary articles with the University. Of course, everything is only tentatively signed-off until the entire Collective Agreement is signed. Are there any questions so far?

Question from the floor: how is the bargaining team addressing the wage differential that exists between departments?

Ursula: There is a standard Teaching Assistant hourly rate across the university. Differences usually arise from the amount of hours assigned to different TAs. So some departments assign different amounts of hours. As a union, we have little control over the amount of hours a TAship is worth. We’re not seeking to try to include a standard assignment from the central administration. They have the right to manage how hours are divvied between departments. We are making sure there are protections in place to make sure people aren’t required to work more than they’re assigned and paid for, which is a concern for some departments.

Question from the floor: I got an email from my department saying that they have lowered our wages as Teaching Fellows because of the union. We were forced to sign contracts with lower wages. What should I do?

Ursula: I know in the Fall there were several TFs who notified the local about the university rescinding TF promised wages. You should definitely talk to the local about it if it’s a concern in your department. We know it didn’t happen in every department.

Dave Thompson: It is a grievable issue.

MaryAnne Laurico: In December, PSAC filed a legal complaint against the University about the TF wage cuts. Because we’re in the bargaining process, we’re not sure of the outcome of that complaint in terms of what will be rewarded or how we can address the issue at the bargaining table.

Dave Thompson: We collected data that showed Teaching Fellow wages were always tied to sessional adjunct wages. So when they rescinded offers to TFs with wages that were lower than the promised adjunct wages, we filed a grievance. And that grievance is still outstanding. We’re trying to make sure there’s a standard higher wage for TFs across the board.

Sean Field, Geography: If I could just jump in: if there’re any conversations about negative repercussions of unionization coming from your department, particularly in regards to lowered-standards of working conditions, please contact the local as soon as possible. We need to know if these things are going on so we can address them as soon as possible. The lowered TF wages were certainly not the result of unionization.

Christo Aivalis, History: It’s important. One of our bargaining representatives from the PSAC has said, if an employer of any sort promises you something and have given it to you before – she used the example of a turkey dinner – and all of a sudden the union comes in and they stop giving turkey dinners, it’s a grievable issue. That’s essentially what they’re doing to TFs here.

Chair: Any more questions? Thank you Ursula and Dave. We’re going to move to bylaw amendments. There’s 4 amendments which are printed on the yellow sheets. Can I get a motion to amend the first bylaw?

Moved by Usman Mushtaq, Civil Engineering
Seconded by Ralph Callebert, History


Andrew Stevens, Sociology: I’d like to make a motion to treat all the bylaw amendments as omnibus.

Moved by Andrew Stevens, Sociology
Seconded by Stephen Smith, History

Chair: that means we’ll be treating all four amendments as one.


Question from the floor: if we vote for omnibus, would they come into effect immediately?

Chair: yes. You can nominate anyone from the AGM floor. Any more questions? None

Move to treat amendments omnibus?


Now we’ll move back to the big motion, to move the bylaw amendments omnibus. I’m going to turn the floor over to MaryAnne Laurico to explain some of the intent behind the amendments.

Brief outline of Amendments on the floor:

Amendment 1:         4.5.5  Vacancies […]

 (2) The Chief Returning Officer (or designate) may accept nominations from the AGM floor for vacant Executive Officer positions.

Amendment 2a:       The Executive Committee of the Local shall consist of the following: […]
(7) The Assistant Chief Steward

Amendment 2b:   5.1.7 Assistant Chief Steward
The Assistant Chief Steward shall:
(1)     be elected from the floor at the 2011 AGM.
(2)     dissolve as an Executive-Officer position no earlier than one year from the 2011 AGM, after which time the Executive Committee may recommend to the General Membership, at the 2012 AGM, the extension of the position.
(3)     assist the Chief Steward in building and maintaining the new Stewards Council.
(4)     assist the Chief Steward in all of her or his duties (as outlined in 5.1.5)

Amendment 3:         6.1 Nominations […]
(3) shall be submitted with a minimum of the following information, or information determined by the Executive committee, which will be posted on the local?s website for a length no less than one week prior to the AGM: name; department; employment position; brief statement (usually not more than five-hundred (500) words) about candidates platform and previous Union experience.

Amendment 4:         10.2  There shall be three (3) authorized signing officers for the local: the President, the Treasurer, and the Secretary.  Should one, or more, of these positions be vacant, an additional interim signing officer shall be elected from the Executive by the Executive Committee.

MaryAnne Laurico: Just a little context. These amendments are recommended by the Interim Executive. They are not contentious amendments. The bylaws were just ratified in September 2010, so it’s going to take some time to smooth out the kinks in the practices.  I’ll go through them:

The first one is for vacancies, so the Chief Returning Officer can accept nominations from the floor for vacant positions. So right now there are no nominations for some elected positions. This allows us to take nominations for those positions from the floor of an AGM.

2a is the addition of an Assistant Chief Steward as a new Executive Officer position. It’s going to be the first year building our steward network. It’s going to take a lot of work to mobilize representatives in every department that has 901 members. The position may or may not dissolve next year.

2b just outlines the duties of the Chief Steward.

Amendment 3 is about nominations. There were questions about process as nominations came up, so this amendment will help define nomination processes.

I’ll let Sean Field, our interim Treasurer, talk about that amendment:

Sean Field, Geography: It’s really just streamlining our financial bylaws. It ensures that if there’s a split executive, there won’t be two people writing cheques without other members of the executive knowing about it. It’s a tighter system to work with.

Chair: Thank you. Discussion?

Question from the floor: the word “usually” in amendment 3 is a problem. Why is it there?

MaryAnne: If someone writes 502 words, we don’t want to restrict nominations based on that. It’s to insure a more inclusive process.

Question from the floor: who’s going to determine when it’s egregious?

MaryAnne: The Chief Returning Officer, who accepts nominations for the AGM will determine that, but would probably send the nominee a quick note saying “hey, can you shorten your 700 word piece by 200 words?” before just excluding his nomination. Would you like to make an amendment to remove the word “usually”?

Chair: So you’d like to make a motion to make an amendment to the bylaw amendments to remove the word “usually”?

Mover and seconder?
Moved by Karl Skogstad, Economics
Seconded by Matthew Webb, Economics

Chair: Discussion?

From the floor: there’s nothing wrong with leaving the word “usually” in the bylaw.

Chair: Further discussion? Motion to strike the word “usually” from the amendment?
4 in favour, rest opposed.
Amendment failed.

Chair: We’re back on discussion about the omnibus amendments. More discussion?

None. Move to a vote to adopt the amended bylaws omnibus?

Carried, 1 opposed.

Chair: We’re now on elections. We don’t have a Chief Returning Officer. We’re going to need a nomination from the floor so we can conduct elections at the meeting.

MaryAnne Laurico: I’d like to nominate Daniel Moore, English.
Seconded by David Thompson.

Chair: Daniel Moore, do accept the nomination?

Daniel Moore: Yes.

Chair: Discussion? None. All in favour of electing Daniel Moore as interim Chief Returning Officer?

Carried unanimously

Chair: So Dan is our elections chair person for the meeting. Come on up here, Dan.

Daniel Moore: We’re going to have a voting process: You’ll all be given ballots. You’ll head over behind the voting station table, forming a line, voting one at a time. We’ll declare vacant positions. We’ll accept nominations from the floor. If there are any ties, we’ll do an immediate re-vote. We’ll ask if every nominee stands and we’ll also ask if every nominee accepts the position. For contested positions, we’ll first have a 3-minute speech from nominees. We will have a 10 minute question and answer period.

The vacant positions and candidates are as follows:

  • Moderator
  • Health and Safety Officer
  • Assistant Chief Steward
  • Chief Steward (Christo Aivalis)

Nominated by Ralph Callebert, seconded by MaryAnne Laurico

  • Equity Officer (Hannah Johnston)

Nominated by David Thompson, seconded by Carolyn Prouse

  • Secretary
  • Treasurer (Sean Field)

Nominated by Ralph Callebert, seconded by Usman Mushtaq

  • Vice President Community (Krystle Maki)

Nominated by Kalanthe Khaiat, seconded by Anne-Marie Grondin

  • President (Karl Skogstad; MaryAnne Laurico)
    Karl nominated by Ralph Callebert, seconded by David Thompson
    MaryAnne nominated by Ralph Callebert, seconded by Stephen Sheps, Sociology

Chair: do all candidates accept nominations?

Daniel Moore: I will call 3 times for candidates from the floor for all positions.

Anne-Marie Grondin: I’d like to nominate Doug Nesbitt for the position of Assistant Chief Steward.
Seconded by MaryAnne Laurico.

Chair: Doug Nesbitt, do you accept?

Doug Nesbitt: Yes.

Daniel Moore: This is the second call for candidates from the floor for all positions. This is the final call for candidates from the floor for all positions. Before acclaiming everyone, can I call all candidates to the front for the 10-minute question and answer period.

Chair: Questions from the floor?

Question from the floor: This is for any candidate: what steps or processes are you going to take to get people together, particularly people who are not in favour of unionisation?

Sean Field: We’re certainly going to have to address our diverse membership. We have very active members, we have members who are supporters but aren’t too active, and we have members who don’t support the union. We’re going to have to speak to everyone regardless of their views of the union and engage in dialogue so we can find out how to better shape the local.

Doug Nesbitt: I’ve had some experience in building a steward network at Trent University. It means making sure there’s a steward in every department and that every member in each department knows who that steward is. The steward is there for the members and to respond to the member’s concern.

Christo Aivalis: it’s really important to get representation in every department. It’s a large university. Having the departmental approach will be instrumental.

Question from the floor: Can I reopen nominations so I can nominate someone for Health and Safety Officer?

Chair: I’ll check on that. In the meantime, more questions from the floor?

Question from the floor: this question is for Hannah Johnston, who’s running for Equity Officer: how do you see 901 bargaining and your role as Equity Officer as helping build equity at Queen’s and in the broader communities?

Hannah Johnston: I can’t speak about the bargaining process because I’m not on the bargaining team. I see three areas for equity building: one being at the University level. I’ll be looking into the employment initiatives at the university to see how to best approach the already existing programs. I think it’s really important to connect with other organizations on campus that have good resources. It’s going to be really important to build strong alliances with the organizations on campus and in broader communities who have good anti-oppressive practices. Another target would be the local and executive, itself. Providing anti-o training for the executive and all members is an important initiative I’d like to work on. There’s a lot that can be done at even a broader level too.

Question from the floor: How will you strategize in terms of outreach? Just reading the platforms online, there are opposing platforms. I’m wondering how the candidates will work together to outreach within the PSAC, and other bargaining units on campus

Karl Skogstad: I would want to see outreach beyond TAs and TFs to be very limited, especially outreach to other unions. I might consult the AMS or the SGPS to raise concerns that might arise.

MaryAnne Laurico: as one of the people who helped connect other bargaining units on campus through the Unity Council, I’d like to make a different suggestion for the local. I’ve seen that building these relationships and ties has created a stronger understanding and appreciation for the work we do as TAs and TFs in the eyes of members of other bargaining units. It also helped me better understand the working conditions of members in other locals. There’s an appreciation for the work we do for the university. We have to work with other bargaining units at the University, so it’s particularly important that we can have good relationships and open dialogue with them.

Christo Aivalis: with issues of grievances, we could work together to ensure issue of inequity are dealt with in a thorough manner.  The executive can bring forward a lot of these issues at Queen’s and beyond.

Krystle Maki: I’ll be working with Unity Council and the Kingston and District Labour Council and various other organizations on campus. But I think it’s really important to emphasize that the AMS cannot speak for us, they represent the undergraduate student body. And while I see myself collaborating with representatives from the SGPS on various initiatives on campus, the SGPS represents graduate students as students moreso than as employees (although, there is lots of overlap). 901’s focus is on graduate student TA and TF working conditions and employment. We will be working together.

Question from the floor: my question is for all the candidates: as leaders making bargaining demands, how do you see yourself in those processes? Will you have a united front? How do you see yourselves working together as leaders?

MaryAnne Laurico: Just to clarify one aspect of that question: the negotiating team is separate from the Executive Committee. They are different groups separately elected by the membership. In terms of negotiating relationships with other organizations on campus and in the communities, and especially with the University, I think it’s very important to have a united front with other Executive members. I’d like to see the executive have discussions that will lead to consensus-driven decisions, so we’d have that united front. It will take a lot of time and effort to work with members who do not share the similar aspirations and ideas, and a space for dissent is important. It’s work I’m willing to do. Without a consensus-driven united front, we become vulnerable to unnecessary fragmentation by representatives of the University or any other organization. We have to work as a collective more than as individual “leaders.”

Karl Skogstad: Having had the chance to meet MaryAnne, I respect where she’s coming from as a leader. I guess I’m coming from a different place. I think I’d be easy to work with even though I have dissenting views from the majority. I should add that I’m quite easily swayed by a persuasive argument. As a voice for the union, as someone who speaks for the union, I need to speak to the campus and community. My primary role is seeing how the union will work in the future, amendments to the constitution, seeing what our future goals with PSAC will be. Making sure nothing in the union is wasted. Given the dues we’re paying, I want to make sure the money’s accounted for because that’s money that’s coming out of my four-months-old daughter’s mouth. So I want to make sure it’s going to a good place.

Daniel Moore: We’re going to call the question period to an end because we’re over the 10 minutes.

Chair: Sorry, I’m just going to make a ruling on the question about reopening the floor to nominations. As per the PSAC rules of order, I cannot reopen the floor to nominations after the call for candidates from the floor has been called 3 times. Sorry, you’ll have another opportunity to nominate in the near future.

Daniel Moore: Okay, I’d like to acclaim all candidates running unopposed. Congratulations! Alright the two candidates running for President have three minutes to address the AGM floor. After each candidate has spoken, we’ll take a secret-ballot vote. I’ll turn the floor over to the Presidential candidates:

Karl Skogstad: So I think my platform, my 500-word blurb on the website, makes it pretty clear where I’m coming from. I guess the things I want to emphasize out of there is getting back to the status quo and keeping what we already have. These are tough financial times for the university, and we really have to make sure that Queen’s maintains its reputation as a world-wide leader in certain fields. I’m worried that the direction the union is heading threatens the ability for Queen’s to maintain its leading role in Canada. I guess ideologically, I’m opposed to unions, but I’m guessing that most of you here aren’t. It seems to me that everyone is probably the best advocate for themselves. And that’s the kind of idea I would want to have in the union. We’re here if you need us, but we’re hoping you won’t need us. I want the union to be here only in the most limited way possible. I know I don’t like it when people involve themselves in my affairs, so I hope I don’t have to involve myself in yours. That’s where I’m coming from. I’d work within the rules of PSAC, but I’d want to limit the role of the union. Less is more.

MaryAnne Laurico: I’m not going to stand and take up more space, I’m going to sit because we’re all sitting. I want to thank you for all being here today. I’m running for President because last year, in March, graduate student Teaching Assistants and Teaching Fellows voted yes to protect their working conditions that were too quickly deteriorating. We already saw it. We see it continuing now. TAs and TFs voted yes because self advocacy doesn’t always work in a work place where there are too many invisible power imbalances. I’m running because I believe in the strength of collective advocacy. There are people that cannot always self advocate when things go wrong in their workplace because they don’t have access to the tools to help them negotiate the power structures. I believe in moving forward collectively, and I believe in the power of that. I believe in an effective union. The union is here. We’re bargaining our first collective agreement. I’ve come to understand and really appreciate the collective bargaining process, and the strength of language in collective agreements. The Public Service Alliance of Canada has been nothing but supportive as we develop as a local. We’re not yet dues paying members, yet the PSAC has decided to support us in so many ways other than financially. They’re helping us fight the battles we take on to democratize our workplace. We’re an autonomous local, but it’s really important to recognize the support we’ve received from them. I’d like to see an effective union grow because I’ve invested a lot of my time and energy. Since we ratified, the interim executive have been serving, voluntarily, to get the local off the ground. It’s really important for me to see us develop further. I care about our working conditions. I care about graduate student TAs and TFs because I take pride in the work I do—the work we all do. Maintaining the status quo is dangerous. It only further empowers the already invisible oppressive forces we all face. I’m ready to help shoulder the burden of those forces. Helping shape this local is my ongoing contribution and thanks for the work we do.

Daniel Moore: We’ll have the voting process now. Everyone take a ballot and write the name of the candidate you’d like to see as President of the local. If you write “Karl” you’re voting for Karl. If you write “MaryAnne,” you’re voting for MaryAnne.

Secret-ballot vote. Conducted by Linda Cross, PSAC Regional Representative.

47 votes in favour of MaryAnne Laurico
4 votes in favour of Karl Skogstad

Chair: Motion to destroy the ballots?
Moved by Stephen Sheps, seconded by Kalanthe Khaiat.

Linda Cross: I’m going to swear in the newly acclaimed and elected officers:

Each officer swears with their own name the following:

“I…………………………….having been elected an officer of the PSAC solemnly declare that for my term of office, I shall abide by and uphold the constitution, fulfill the duties of such office, will maintain and uphold the dignity of the union, and will always keep confidential all matters concerning the affairs of the union that are brought to my attention.”

Linda Cross: Please congratulate your new Executive.

Chair: Motion to adjourn?
Moved by Ralph Callebert, seconded by David Thompson.

Meeting adjourned at 7:12pm





Special General Meeting, 30 September 2010. Robert Sutherland Room, JDUC, Queen’s University. Minutes approved by membership at 2011 Annual General Meeting, 26 April 2011. 


PSAC 901 Special General Member’s Meeting

September 30th 2010

Robert Sutherland Room


Attendees: 28

Chair: Mark Rosner (Philosophy)

Scribe: Sean Field (Geography)

Meeting Called to Order: 7:09pm

Chair: I’m mark, I’ll be chairing tonight.  Tonight we’ll be following PSAC’s rules of order.  If you have questions about how the meeting is running please ask.  The draft agenda is on the screen, we’re going to move through the agenda points 1 through 5.  There are also paper copies of the draft bylaws if people want.

1. Approval of the Agenda

•                     Motion: Andrew Stevens, Sociology Stevens, Sociology

•                     2nd : Dave Thompson, History

•                     Vote: Approved

2. Approval of April 19th GMM Minutes

•                     Motion: Ralph Callebert, History

•                     2nd: Krystal Maki, Sociology

•                     Vote: Approved

3. General Update on the Local’s Activities

MaryAnne Laurico, English: On March 23rd 2010, voted to unionize. We’re now a directly chartered local of of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. PSAC represents over 160,000 members. Thousands of those members are in the academic sector. The largest portion of that membership is in the public service sector. On April 19, 2010, a Bargaining Committee was nominated and acclaimed.  A Bargaining Team of 8 was elected from the bargaining committee (5 core and 3 alternates). Now we’re getting ready to negotiate with University.  Kim Beemer has been assigned to be our negotiator.  We have a preliminary bargaining package that outlines non-monetary demands. After we’ve negotiated a Collective Agreement with the University, we will bring it to the entire membership for a vote. This summer, in preparation for orientation week, we contacted graduate co-ordinators in every department to invite us to give a presentation at departmental welcome events. We were invited in by several graduate co-ordinators; however, many did not get back to us or could not fit us in to their scheduling. The departments we did go into received information on the local’s activities, and about membership cards. Incoming graduate student TAs also had the opportunity to sign membership cards. We were also at Wallace Hall during registration, and at TD Development Day and the Sidewalk Sale. Outreach to members is very important to us so if members in your department would like us to come in to answer questions or give an update, please encourage your graduate association or co-ordinator to contact us. Our email address is: psac901@gmail.comOur website is: We have a team working on outreach and administration, but we need more volunteers to help build a strong network representative of all departments that have members. Membership cards: we are asking everyone to sign a card.  Being a full member means that you’ll be able to participate in the local’s activities (come and vote at meetings or run for executive positions). You must be a full member in good standing to grieve. Signing a membership card also means better participation in our larger union, PSAC (in the form of conferences, training courses, committee participation, etc.). Signing a card does not change the dues structure. Every member has to pay dues. In 1946, the Honourable Justice Ivan Rand ruled that every member of a bargaining unit receiving the protection and benefits of a collective agreement and union has to pay dues. Having said that, no one will pay dues until we’ve ratified a collective agreement. We have also been doing a lot of outreach and card signing, but again we need participation. It’s a very exciting time because we are shaping the direction of this local. We’re looking forward to building strong networks in the community and at Queen’s. We have met with the administration and we have had talks with SGPS, CTL, CEE, AMS, and other groups on campus.  We have joined the Kingston District Labour Council, and the PSAC Kingston Area Women’s Committee. If you are interested in women’s, LGBTQ, social justice, health and safety, or other pertinent work and social issues, please get involved. There’s something for everyone. Recently, TF members raised an issue regarding promised wage increases. The university said  the lower contract amounts were a result of the wage freeze across Ontario.  Consequently, PSAC lawyers sent a letter to the university about withholding promises to TFs as a sign of bad faith during a bargaining period. PSAC lawyers are recommending we encourage all TFs to sign contracts ASAP. If need be, this issue will be taken to the OLRB, and any decisions at that level involving payment of the wage increase will likely be paid retroactively. Ok, we are sending around a sign in sheet, please sign up to participate or get involved. Although we are negotiating our first collective agreement, we’re looking for department reps to begin building our Stewards network.

4. Question and Answer:

•                     Chair: If you have question please say your name and department first

•                     Aaron Ettinger, Political Science: Can you please repeat point about TF contracts?

•                     MaryAnne Laurico, English: The University promised a raise, but retracted.

•                     Ralph Callebert, History: the university said it was because of public service wage freeze, Bill 16, and also because of the certification of the union, the university said it cannot increase TF pay until there is a Collective Agreement

•                     MaryAnne Laurico, English: Bill 16 should not have changed TF promises because we had a bargaining certificate before Bill 16 was passed, and Bill 16 refers largely to non-unionized staff. Moreover, the “freeze of conditions” during a union drive or after the certification means that the university should continue to operate “business-as-usual.” That means that any promises made should follow through, and that there is no degradation in working conditions. It does not mean that they cannot offer promised pay increases. The PSAC lawyers sent letter to the university regarding the wage freeze, and also advised us to urge members to sign their TF contracts immediately.

•                     Chair: Other questions?

•                     Phil, Philosophy: Can you go over again details regarding approaching negotiations and opportunities for feedback?  If there is an offer from the university, will that be sent to the membership? And, when?

•                     MaryAnne Laurico, English: After the committee met, we looked at other university’s Collective Agreements, basically non-monetary parts of a collective agreement. The bargaining committee has representatives from several disciplines, and through committee discussion, we addressed specific concerns at Queen’s and within specific disciplines. Currently, the package does not define non-monetary items, and the package is preliminary. We are meeting with negotiator again this weekend to go over things. Once we sit down with the university, we will send out a package to the membership. Members can then send us feedback.

•                     Christo Aivalis, History: Basically, we are going to sit down with university in 3 day blocks, first we’re going to work out the mechanical issues and the big monetary issues come in at the end.  Negotiations are going to happen over reasonable course of time.

•                     MaryAnne Laurico, English: When we have a complete negotiated package, we will be taking it back to membership to ratify.  The membership decides.

•                     Phil, Philosophy: Does the package include specific amounts?

•                     MaryAnne Laurico, English: Not at the moment. The way bargaining works is we negotiate non-monetary demands before we deal with monetary demands.

•                     Phil, Philosophy: amounts emerge in the course of negotiations, then when complete then it is sent out?

•                     MaryAnne Laurico, English: Yes. Everything is subject to the vote of the local.  You can decide what to accept. The specifics are hard to talk about until we sit down with the employer, because the employer has objectives as well.

•                     Phil, Philosophy: I presume the bargaining committee has some amounts in mind.  I’m wondering how do we find out amounts?  When will be there be opportunity?

•                     Dave Thompson, History: Sharing that info too early generally will not be helpful for negotiations.  At the very least we will be fighting for a wage increase, and also for health and dental coverage.  We need to first to go over non-monetary things, which will be very difficult.  We will not be able to send this out to our membership at this time because it’s not fully formulated and it might compromise our ability to bargain.  We can come to members after to ask if members comfortable with what we want.  When you submit the app to negotiate you can reserve, and if we tell them too soon they can use that to claw back in other non-monetary areas.  So we are reserving.

•                     MaryAnne Laurico, English: This is also why after the members have the proposed package, negotiating updates will be general, and not necessarily specific.

•                     Phil, Philosophy: that makes sense.  If it ever comes to a strike, do we get a chance for feedback?

•                     MaryAnne Laurico, English: Because it is our first Collective Agreement, before we’d have to go on strike, we’d have the option to go into binding arbitration. What that means is that a third party would decide what the collective agreement will look like. It’s a hard option to get to because it takes a lot to prove that one party is bargaining in bad faith.

•                     Christo Aivalis, History: That would be the much more likely result.  We are likely to reach an agreement before either of those options is upon us.  I agree with MaryAnne, if something became a sticking point, we would bring it back to the membership.

•                     Dave Thompson, History: There is no way members would not know what was happening if it came to a strike vote.  If we’re arguing for a 5 dollar increase, there is no way the membership would be left in the dark.

•                     Chair: Other questions? (none)

5. Ratification of Draft Bylaws

•                     Chair: Next is the ratification of Bylaws.

•                     Mover: Andrew Stevens, Sociology Stevens, History

•                     2nd: Christo Aivalis, History, history

•                     Chair: Debate? Andrew Stevens, Sociology, you can motivate.

•                     Andrew Stevens, Sociology: To be clear, we are ratifying the Bylaws altogether.  Now is the time to bring up issues, amendments, etc.  This is something the executive have been working on since March 23rd 2010, and it is consistent with the Bylaws at other locals.  They are also consistent with PSAC constitution.

•                     Chair: Discussion and debate?

•                     MaryAnne Laurico, English: An email was sent to the 901 email account by a member with an amendment suggestion that would fall under clauses dealing with quorum at GMMs and AGMs.  The motivation behind his amendment concerns representation of all departments on campus, which continues to be an important concern with the current Executive. He would like to see our bylaws state that 1/3 of the membership should have to sign membership cards in order to hold meetings (and, in turn, votes [which happen at meetings]).  I told him we would look into it.  Although representation is something we’ve been striving for, we do not recommend this amendment because PSAC Constitution states that the union has to be able to hold meetings and conduct votes (regardless of the amount of membership cards signed). *Proposed amendments put up on screen*.  This here is the amendment… (amendment is read aloud from screen to members in the room).

•                     MaryAnne Laurico, English: Ok so there are several things going on here.  Membership cards: it proposes that 1/3 of membership cards need to be signed to have meetings (conduct union business), which I’ve learned from Lorraine Diaper, the Kingston Regional Rep for PSAC, goes against the PSAC constitution.

•                     Lorraine Diaper, PSAC: The PSAC Constitution says that Bylaws cannot stop union business, we cannot have Bylaws to hold the Executive back.  Also this is difficult because of how frequently the membership changes at Queen’s (as much as 3 times a year).

•                     Member: Membership card-signing is an administrative step, but to have something in the Bylaws is a bit redundant.  It is good to have cards signed, but we shouldn’t have the Bylaws make the union chase membership to sign cards.

•                     MaryAnne Laurico, English: Currently, the local holds over 1000 signed cards.

•                     Chair: Does anyone else want to speak?

•                     Marsha Caswell, History: Is the amendment saying we cannot have a vote?  Or, cannot have a meeting?  I agree with representativeness, I think this is a very good point, but maybe not in the Bylaws.

•                     MaryAnne Laurico, English: It says in order to have a meeting. Votes take place at meetings. We cannot write in the Bylaws something that will dismantle the process, or actively hinder the daily activities of the union.  We are certified and have already gone through this process.  The emphasis is now on members to participate. We cannot force members to participate (freedom of association), nor should the lack of participation hold back the initiatives of the local. It is up to the members to get involved and shape this local. I really like the motivation behind the suggestion from the member: representation is very important, but we can’t force it.

•                     Christo Aivalis, History, History: I feel that we have tried to get a representative sample from across campus.  It is important to note that the Executive and Bargaining team cannot decide to make members sign cards.  It is the member’s prerogative.

•                     Marsha Caswell, History: I think we need union cards and to encourage participation, what happens in the future though?

•                     Christo Aivalis, History: We did meet with people, we tried to go to as many functions as we could to get folks to sign cards.  I have confidence that in future years we will go out and get member so sign cards.

•                     Dave Thompson, History: Two responses to this: I was made aware of this recently; union cards are just required for meetings, participation etc., but not for strike vote or Collective Agreement ratification.  It is not necessary to have this in the Bylaws because of the decertification process in labour law. There is a legal process governed by OLRB legislation. Having something like this our Bylaws will just make us ineffective.  This can go through labour board.

•                     Ralph Callebert, History: I don’t see how it will do what it is supposed to do, where are the other 900 members?  The vote will not change whether another 100, or whatever, members signed.  It will not make it more representative.

•                     Jeff Welsh, History:  We are meeting with administration to talk about incorporating the union into TA day where we will have an opportunity to have tables etc.  Plus, we will have departmental stewards which can talk to people in each department. Structurally it is part of their job to reach out to members in departments.

•                     MaryAnne Laurico, English: It is the ethic behind our team to make sure that we have those cards. We will continue to reach our members and get them to sign cards, but it should not be in the Bylaws.

•                     Dave Thompson, History: This year we were frustrated trying to get members to sign rand cards because the administration would not let local attend department meetings.  There has definitely been an effort to do outreach but this year there have been many road blocks.

•                     Chair: Questions? The proposed amendment was not put to a motion. There are no amendments on the floor.  You can discuss whatever, concerns, questions, debate etc.

•                     MaryAnne Laurico, English: To be clear, we are not-for-profit organization.  Also, a member wanted us to disseminate information about who signed cards per department and who did not, but we cannot do that because of privacy issues. In a department where there are 2 or 5 TAs or TFs it can be obvious which people signed and which haven’t. We don’t want to make people feel uncomfortable. I do think that statistics about membership cards can be posted on our website if they are general (either by discipline [not department] or overall).

•                     Chair:  Other discussion?  2nd call?  (no further discussion, or points of debate raised)

•                     Motion: Andrew Stevens, Sociology Stevens, History

•                     2nd: Christo Aivalis, History, history

•                     Vote: Approved, unanimous.


•                     Chair: We have now exhausted the agenda.  Do we have a Motion to adjourn?

•                     Motion: Dave Thompson, History

•                     2nd: Paul Chaput, Geography

•                     Vote: Approved, unanimous.


Meeting Adjourned: 7:54

Summary of Motions/Action Items:


Meeting Called to Order: 7:09pm


Approval of the Agenda

•                     Motion 1: Andrew Stevens, Sociology Stevens, Sociology

•                     2nd : Dave Thompson, History

•                     Vote: Approved

Approval of April 19th GMM Minutes

•                     Motion 2: Ralph Callebert, History

•                     2nd: Krystal Maki, Sociology

•                     Vote: Approved

Ratification of Draft Bylaws (No amendments)

•                     Motion 3: Andrew Stevens, Sociology Stevens, History

•                     2nd: Christo Aivalis, History, history

•                     Vote: Approved, unanimous.


•                     Motion 4: Dave Thompson, History

•                     2nd: Paul Chaput, Geography

•                     Vote: Approved, unanimous.

Meeting Adjourned: 7:54

Please see attached Minutes from the April 19th General Meeting. Minutes approved at the 30 September 2010 Special General Meeting.