Opt-In Ancillary Fees

Are you or your family members studying at U of T or other Ontario universities or colleges? The so-called “Student Choice Initiative” brought in by the Ford government allows students to opt-out of some ancillary fees when registering and paying their tuition. Widespread opting out will lead to serious de-funding of student unions, student media as well as some student services carried out by our members and administrative staff at other institutions. Here at U of T, the Family Care Office, the Sexual and Gender Diversity Office and the campus daycares are just some of the important services paid for by ancillary fees.  We strongly urge you to opt-in to ancillary fees when you register, particularly if you’re benefitting from your staff tuition waivers for study at U of T. Support your university community and ensure that important student services are not de-funded.  For more information on the impacts of the “Student Choice Initiative,” click here: https://cfsontario.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/WeTheStudents_GeneralFactSheet.pdf


USW Local 1998 Member Awards

2018 is the inaugural year for the USW Local 1998 Member Awards.  The awards have been established to recognize member contributions in two award categories.

USW 1998 MEMBER AWARDS

HEALTH AND SAFETY AWARD

This award recognizes the outstanding performance of a USW 1998 member or members towards fostering and promoting health, safety, and environmental issues in the workplace.

Selection Criteria:

  • Demonstrates commitment to health and safety in the workplace. Commitment goes beyond the requirements of the employee(s) role; it is proactive and preventative
  • Works towards continuous improvement of health and safety in the workplace. For example, activities/actions taken to prevent injuries or illnesses and prevention of unsafe conditions or practices
  • Encourages others to initiate health and safety policies and procedures
  • Promotes effective integration of health and safety in planning processes in their work area
  • Takes an active role in and being a strong advocate of health and safety
  • Makes an extra effort to improve or correct a specific aspect of safety within the workplace

MAKING A DIFFERENCE AWARD

To recognize a member who has a positive impact on others in the workplace and promotes a positive union environment that is respectful, collegial, and supportive

 Selection Criteria:

  • Has performed a special act of kindness or service that has had a positive impact on other members
  • Demonstrated sincere cooperation, a positive attitude and exceptional willingness to assist others
  • Their efforts and contributions are above and beyond their regular job duties

Who Can Nominate?

Members in any of the five units (Staff Appointed, Casual, UTS, VIC, SMC) can nominate a member. Self-nominations are not eligible.

Eligibility

All Local 1998 members in good standing.  Members of the Awards Committee will not participate in the decision-making process if nominated. 

Nomination Process

Nominations are open from Oct. 4 to 25, 2018.  Completion of the Nomination Form is required.  All nominations must be received by Thurs. Oct. 25, 2018 at 12:00 noon.  Late nominations will not be accepted.  Applications will be adjudicated by the Awards Committee.

 Recognition Reception

Awards will be presented at the annual Holiday Party in December.  The award winners will be featured in USW Local 1998’s Steeldrum.

Questions?

Please contact Margaret Bucknam at margaret.bucknam@usw1998.ca or 416-506-9090, ext. 222 if you have questions about the nomination process.

 


20th Anniversary BBQ’s

Please join us as we celebrate our 20th Anniversary

STG Campus: Thursday, June 21, 2018
Member Meeting: 3:30 p.m.
BBQ: 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
25 Cecil St.
Download the poster

UTM Campus: Tuesday June 26th, 2018
12:00 to 2:00 pm
Location: CCT Courtyard

UTSC Campus: Wednesday June 27th, 2018
12:00 to 2:00 pm
Location: H-Wing Patio
*Location will move to HW 305 if it rains  


Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act

EMPLOYMENT LEGISLATION 
NEW ONTARIO LAW EXPANDS EMPLOYER DUTIES TO ADDRESS WORKPLACE SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Ontario employers now have a legal duty to create a workplace sexual harassment program and must do so in consultation with worker health and safety representatives.
 
In passing Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act, the government amends six pieces of legislation to roll out their action plan across the province. 

New employer duties
Specific amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (the Act) add to employers’ existing duties by requiring greater accountability with regard to workplace sexual harassment, including:

  • Developing and maintaining a written program to implement the sexual harassment policy in consultation with the joint health and safety committee or representative. (As a result of feedback from workers and their representatives, this consultation was the one significant change made to Bill 132 as it made its way through to passage.);
  • setting up procedures and measures for workers to report incidents to someone other than their supervisor or employer, if those persons are the alleged harasser;
  • establishing how information obtained during harassment investigations may be disclosed;
  • ensuring investigations are appropriate to the circumstances;
  • communicating, in writing, the results of a harassment investigation to the worker and alleged harasser (if they’re an employee);
  • reviewing, at least annually, the harassment program.

Health and safety advocates welcome the new changes but suggest they fall short of providing workers with needed programs and protection against all types of workplace harassment. Bill 132 defines and specifies a process to address workplace sexual harassment. All other prohibited forms of harassment however do not appear to demand the same level of employer accountability.

According to the Ministry of Labour existing language in the Act is intended to cover all forms of harassment, defining workplace harassment as “engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.” As such the existing definition was drafted to cover all 15 prohibited grounds for harassment as set out under Ontario’s Human Rights Code, among them sex, religion and disability. In addition the Ministry says this language prohibits psychological and personal harassment.

With the changes, Ministry of Labour health and safety inspectors have new powers to order sexual harassment investigations, at the expense of the employer, by an impartial, qualified person.

Universities and colleges have additional duties to work with students to adopt campus-wide sexual violence and harassment policies and programs. The government is also committing funds for training front-line workers in health care, education, justice and hospitality sectors to enable them to better identify and respond during high-risk situations.

Issues unaddressed
Restricted access to investigation reports will limit use of that information in prevention efforts. Not deemed to be a health and safety report under the Act, employers are not required to share sexual harassment reports with the joint health and safety committee.

While many other Canadian jurisdictions have also enacted specific working alone regulations Bill 132 fails to address this significant risk factor for workplace violence and harassment, including sexual harassment.

On March 8, International Women’s Day, as Bill 132 received Royal Assent, the Ontario Human Rights Commission also weighed in with a new policy position on gender-specific dress codes. According to the Commission, sexualized and gender-specific dress codes may violate the Ontario Human Rights Code and may make workers more vulnerable to sexual harassment from others in the workplace.

Bill 132 comes into force on September 8, 2016.

Other related resources:

With these changes, Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act places adds to employers’ significant duties for addressing workplace violence and harassment. The Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC) offers a three-hour Workplace Violence and Harassment Prevention Training program designed to help workplace parties better understand workplace violence, harassment and bullying and to fully comply with the legal obligations. Be sure to check out WHSC’s compliance checklists for employers and workers and fact sheets on workplace violence, harassment and bullying.

Need information? Check out WHSC Workplace Violence Resources.

*Published by the Workers Health and Safety Centre