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AESES-UM Bargaining Update – October 28, 2021

Thursday, October 28th, 2021

AESES has been able to meet with the University over the past few months to resume our bargaining discussions. Due to the protracted process, AESES requested a comprehensive offer and on October 7, the University provided the AESES Bargaining Team with a package to consider on behalf of our membership. Read more.

Extra, Extra: insideAESES Newsletter (October 2021)

Friday, October 1st, 2021

Welcome to October! The warm temperatures sure do not make it feel like fall, but soon it will be time to pull those flannel shirts and cozy blankets out from storage.

Grab a pumpkin spice beverage or snack and take a few moments to read the latest edition of insideAESES. Inside this issue, you will find:

  • A message from Laurie Morris, AESES President, including an update on the AESES-UM temporary layoff and recall grievances
  • A report about the AESES Town Halls
  • A FAQ to common questions relating to the vaccine mandates and return to work
  • A reminder about the upcoming Fall Education Seminars
  • Ongoing union and member grievances
  • A call for AESES Constitution and Bylaw changes

View the October issue and previous ones here.

Bursary Opportunities – Deadline October 1, 2021

Friday, September 24th, 2021

Bursary written on a chalkboardOctober 1 is fast approaching, and it is also the deadline for the AESES Bursary and the CCU/CSC John St-Amand / Madeleine Parent Bursary. To ensure your dependent child is included in the selection process, please apply before the deadline.

AESES Bursary

Dependent children (who are under 25 years of age prior to enrollment in the current academic year) of signed AESES members studying at either The University of Winnipeg (UW)or the University of Manitoba (UM) may be eligible to apply for one of our $1000 bursaries.

Details for UW Students
Three $1000 bursaries are available at UW. More information and to apply is available here: UW’s Office of Awards and Financial Aid

Details for UM Students
Seven $1000 bursaries are available at UM. More information and to apply is available here: UM’s Financial Aid and Awards Office

 

CCU/CSC John St-Amand Bursary and Madeleine Parent Bursary

The Confederation of Canadian Unions (CCU/CSC) provides annual bursaries of $1000 for dependent children of members of unions belonging to the CCU/CSC to further their post-secondary education.

Visit John St-Amand / Madeleine Parent Bursary page for more information and to apply.

AESES Fall Education Seminars – Register today!

Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

The AESES Education Committee would like to offer members five seminars to help you fall into fall 2021.

  • Beading Workshop | Tuesday, October 19 | 6:30 – 8:30 pm FULL
  • In-Person Pasta Making | Wednesday, October 27 | 6:30 – 9:00 pm FULL
  • Let’s discuss Discipline and Grievances | Tuesday, November 2 | 6:00 – 8:00 pm
  • In-Person Hot Yoga | Saturday, November 6 | 9:30 – 10:30 am
  • Paint and Wine Night | Wednesday, November 17 | 6:00 – 8:30 pm

All seminars will be conducted online (unless noted) and have limited capacity. AESES will be accepting registrations up to one week before the seminar (unless full or otherwise noted).

Visit our registration page to learn more and to register.

AESES-UM Temporary Layoff and Recall Grievances

Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

University of Manitoba logoSeptember 15, 2021

Following nearly sixteen (16) months of working through the grievance process, AESES is pleased to announce the resolution of our 2020 layoff and recall grievances. The final settlement totals approximately $1.5 million dollars and forms the largest grievance settlement in AESES’ history. Also included in this resolution was the restoration of pension, seniority, vacation and benefits premiums recovery.

These grievances challenged the University of Manitoba’s actions in issuing temporary layoffs to over two hundred (200) AESES members at the outset of the pandemic. AESES argued that the University’s approach was contrary to the provisions of the Collective Agreement. This lengthy process included seven (7) full days of mediation with Arbitrator Arne Peltz and included several hundred hours of meetings, phone calls, and thorough examination of the many document exchanges with the University.

Beginning in April 2021, discussions with the University moved forward more positively. From there, a concerted effort was made by both parties to focus on a fair settlement rather than to pursue the formal grievance process, which likely would have required another twelve (12) months or longer to reach a resolution. The growing financial burden on many of our members—including a large number that were still laid off—meant that pursuing a quicker resolution would be more advantageous than going through a protracted grievance process with no certainty in the outcome.

In total, one hundred and ninety-five (195) temporarily laid off AESES members are receiving a financial remedy from the settlement. Twelve (12) additional laid off members were left outside the settlement due to their Sessional employee category, which permitted annual temporary layoffs in accordance with the Collective Agreement. Although not all laid off members could be included or expected to receive the same level of remedy, we believe that more AESES members were captured in this settlement rather than if we had followed through to arbitration.

AESES has worked long and hard to support our members during this process. As of the time of this communication, nearly all members have either been returned to their positions or have been given access to their formal position discontinuance rights as outlined in Article 10 of the Collective Agreement.

Finally, AESES would like to thank the patience of the many impacted members who were in contact with us throughout this difficult process and were only provided limited details due to the confidential nature of the resolution process. We know this was frustrating, but we trust that the outcome has provided some relief from this challenging situation.

In solidarity,
Laurie Morris
AESES President

 

Related:

UM Today: Settlement reached between UM and AESES on behalf of employees laid off in Summer 2020

Workload and You

Friday, May 28th, 2021

To: All AESES Members

How productive do you think you are? Studies have shown that if you are overworked, it is damaging to your productivity and your health.

Years before the start of this pandemic, the Harvard Business Review provided insight that “…regardless of our reasons for working long hours, overwork does not help us. For starters, it doesn’t seem to result in more output.” The negatives associated with overwork outweigh the positives, contribute to long-term health issues, decrease morale, and increase employee sick time.

According to a KPMG survey that surveyed Canadian employees in April, almost half (49%) responded that they are dealing with heavier workloads. A more disturbing trend from the KPMG survey is that nearly 31 percent more reported that they are so overworked that they are on the verge of burning out or already burnt out.

It might sound like simple advice to stick to your normal seven-hour workday (for most AESES members), but it’s easier said than done. With increased pressure from management, short staffing situations and complexities from working from home, increasing workloads and stress levels are becoming a common experience.

Top seven tips to help you manage your own workload:

  • Make a list (paper or electronic) and prioritize tasks.
  • Set time limits for specific tasks, especially responding to email.
  • Be realistic with your deadlines and how much you can do.
  • Multitasking might not be the best option; switching back and forth from different tasks may increase the time to get things done.
  • Try not to procrastinate. Choose a task and work through it.
  • Take breaks and your lunch. Breaking up large tasks with mini-breaks will help you recharge; even taking a minute to grab a beverage can help change your perspective.
  • Ask for help if you need more details or might need more time to complete a task. Under most circumstances, supervisors are flexible and want to see you succeed.

If the issue is an unbalanced workload within your immediate team, check with your supervisor to see if they can make some changes. Your supervisor might not be aware of the situation, and a quick check-in may help rebalance the workload. For help on talking with your supervisor, please revisit the Can You Tell Me? article in the December 2020 issue of insideAESES. If you are having difficulties reaching a reasonable solution, please contact the AESES Business Office to be connected with our Labour Relations team.

Keep in mind if your area requires a change to your schedule to meet demands or workloads, there are requirements outlined in the collective agreements (UW – Article 12.4, UM – Article 12.5) as to the notice you need beforehand. Remember, schedule changes do not include your supervisor directing you to “flex” your time by essentially working overtime at straight-time rates. Any time worked over your seven-hour workday should be overtime, and your compensation should reflect this.

Articles of interest:

Resources of interest:

In closing, we all want to be productive in our jobs. But working unmanageable workloads and overtime hours is not maintainable in the long run and leaves you running on steam. With a bit of prioritizing and the help of your supervisor or team members, you can return to a balanced workload that allows everyone with enough gas left in the tank to enjoy your life outside of work.

Thanks, and enjoy your weekend!

Mental Health and You

Friday, April 16th, 2021

To: All AESES Members

How are you feeling? We all get asked frequently, but how honestly do we answer, not only to the person asking the question but to ourselves?

Some days it is hard to know exactly how we are feeling. Since the pandemic started, our days/weeks/months have blurred together, resulting in, for some, a rollercoaster of emotions, fatigue and stress.

You are not alone. The AESES Working During the Pandemic (WDP) survey showed many members are struggling with workloads, technology and experiencing mental health concerns. For some, the survey might have been the first time members told someone about their situation, albeit anonymously.

A recent Angus Reid Group public opinion survey detailed Canadians emotional state and other topics experienced during the pandemic. The report similarly mirrored the results of the AESES WDP survey when compared to equivalent emotional states. These similarities show that the entire nation feels the same way as our members. Your emotions are a natural response to adapting and reacting to the current conditions around us. Read the complete PDF report here.

Please don’t stay silent. If you think you need help, please speak to your healthcare provider. If you are experiencing issues related to your work or workloads, express your concerns to your supervisor first. If that proves unsuccessful, contact the AESES Business Office, and we can help provide you with guidance on available options to address your situation. We are here to help.

If you find your physical or mental health on the decline and interfering with your performance, please contemplate accessing your paid sick leave entitlement to manage your wellness. Depending on your position type, you may have access to 180 days of paid sick leave or banked sick leave. The length of time needed should be under a doctor’s directive and may need to be supported by a medical certificate. If you have any questions about your circumstance, please contact the AESES Business Office to be connected with our Labour Relations team.

With most members working from home, sometimes it is hard to remember to take your allocated breaks and maybe even lunch. Where Zoom or Microsoft Teams meetings occur during your normal break times, ensure that you make arrangements to take your coffee breaks and full lunch hour around these meeting times to destress and reset yourself before continuing your workday. Set up reminder alarms and leave your computer when they chime. You can also reach out to co-workers when it is break time, and they will be happy with the reminder! Now that the weather is getting warmer (well, maybe not until next week), take a stroll in your yard or enjoy the spring air from your balcony. Changing your environment does a world of good for your mood and wellbeing.

As of April 1, your annual vacation allotment was refilled and ready for use. Scheduling time away from work helps maintain a healthy work-life balance, and there is no reason not to take your vacation days. So do. If they are scheduled far enough in advance with proper coverage, you are contractually entitled to take them. Since actual trips are not yet a reality, stay home (or close to home, like your backyard) to destress and relax with your household, pets or binge-watch your favourite new series.

Articles of interest:

Resources of interest:

We appreciate our members’ hard work and dedication to your employer, but please do not forget about your overall wellness when asked to get the job done. It’s not a competition worth winning if you sacrifice your mental health crossing the finish line.

Did you know

AESES is affiliated with the Confederation of Canadian Unions (CCU).

AESES' Charter Meeting was held in December of 1972.

We offer scholarships for AESES dependants at both universities.

Anyone can attend a Board meeting by calling the AESES Business Office prior to the meeting and confirming their attendance.

AESES requires new volunteers for various committees. Please contact the Business Office if you are an AESES member interested in joining one of our committees.

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