In this issue: Annual General Meeeting (AGM) Agenda, Reports of the Officers and Chairs of Committees, and upcoming event information.
Please be aware that CUPE 3902 is advising its members to avoid going into the Medical Sciences Building (MSB) on the St. George Campus, for any reason, until further notice. The way in which recent asbestos contamination has been managed has raised serious issues. UTFA members close to the events believe that neither the testing methodology used by the University administration nor the distribution protocol for (disputed) air testing complies with asbestos regulation requirements. UTFA remains extremely concerned that the asbestos contamination may have adversely affected our members as well as students and others at the MSB, and that their health and safety continue to be at risk. In light of all of these issues, UTFA feels compelled to urge its members and the wider community to think seriously about whether they should be entering the Medical Sciences Building at this time and under these circumstances. UTFA reminds its members that, as workers under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, they have the right to refuse unsafe work. UTFA will advise and support any members who wish to exercise this right.
Quoting the March 24 message to UTFA Council from the Vice-President, Grievances:
Over the past two weeks UTFA lawyers and I have been meeting and conferring extensively with UTFA members who work in the MSB, legal experts from Goldblatt Partners, U of T union representatives, the Ministry of Labour, members of the U of T administration, and others, to address these serious concerns. To this end, please see below Goldblatt Partners lawyer Mandy Wojcik’s legal opinion on The rights, duties, and liability of faculty members under the OHSA that we distributed to our members who work in the MSB (Additional information, including UTFA’s letter to the Ministry of Labour, is available below).
- Letter from UTFA to the Ontario Ministry of Labour (March 21, 2017)
- Legal Opinion from Goldblatt Partners on the Rights, Duties, and Liability of Faculty Members under the OHSA
- Letter from UTFA to U of T Vice-President & Provost Prof. Cheryl Regehr Requesting Task Force (March 30, 2017)
The U of T pension plan is facing both financial and political challenges. UTFA is currently engaged in discussions about possible changes to its pension plan and exploring a jointly sponsored pension plan model, and has developed a website to keep members informed about the situation.