Thursday, January 28, 2010

Upcoming Strike Vote?

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Do you want to go on strike? Do you want to take a paycut to avoid a strike? Are you willing to give up your benefits just to avoid job action? Do you need to know more about bargaining and the bargaining process before you can answer any of these questions?

The TSSU Contract will expire as of May 1, 2010 and we need YOUR help to bargain what YOU want. On Tuesday, Feb. 2nd the education committee will be holding a bargaining Question and Answer period with the TSSU Bargaining Committee in MBC 2290 from 1:30-2:30 (Refreshments will be served). This is your chance to meet the committee who will represent you and your interests to the university and to have your voice heard.

Most of BC's public sector is bargaining this Spring, and given that the provincial government has already put forward a mandate for no gains this year and our tuition fees go up by at least 2% every year, we need to put our heads together and come up with some creative bargaining strategies.

IMMEDIATELY following the Bargaining Q and A will be the February GM, from 3:00-4:45. FREE FOOD will be served at 2:30 SHARP.
Members' input is  VERY important at this meeting: even if you can only come for part of the meeting, please attend!

In solidarity,

TSSU Executive

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Caucus Meeting: Friday, Jan 29th, 3:30-4:30

Hello Grads,

Our next caucus meeting will be Friday, January 29th , 3:30-4:30pm (Bio grad lounge).

We'll be discussing the grad hosted speaker and symposium events coming up in March with Dr David Conover, who has agreed to come and give all three talks, the Departmental and Les Ecol seminars and the informal talk to grad students! Please come if you can, we've got some important decisions to make about what format we want the symposium to have this year.

As usual there will be refreshments and snacks.

See you there,

Isabelle Raymond
BISC Caucus Chair

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Benefit Plan Endowment Fund - GSS

Dear fellow Grad Students,

At next week's meeting, the  GSS council will discuss (and likely vote on) whether to establish a Benefit Plan Endowment Fund for financially needy grad students.
As your caucus representative I would like to have a discussion with my caucus to vote in the best interest of our department.
I would like to encourage every BISC grad student to meet with me tomorrow, Friday 15th at 3:30pm in the BISC Grad Lounge (where we usually hold our caucus meetings) to discuss the following issue:

For the unlikely event that the GSS general membership votes to eliminate the benefit plan in part or in whole the GSS retains a reserve fund for the graduate student health and dental benefit plan. After 4 years, the accumulated money now exceeds what the GSS would be required to pay out if it defaulted on its contractual responsibilities with its insurance providers. Since this money was collected by many students over a long period of time (many of whom have now graduated),  the GSS thinks it would not be ethical to dispense this money directly to current students in any way.
Instead, the Benefit Plan Committee recommends that the interest of the accumulated money be used to establish an endowment fund, from which annual bursaries can be given to financially needy graduate students to pay their benefit plan. The bursaries would be disbursed through an application process. At current interest rates, up to 10-12 financially needy graduate students could receive free health and dental benefits courtesy of the GSS. 

Please let me know your opinion.



Thursday, January 07, 2010



This is a reminder that the TA-TM Day Social will be held tomorrow, January 8th from 4-8pm in the Highland Pub. Join us for FREE FOOD and cheap beverages!

The first GM of the semester will be held on Monday, January 11th from 12-1:30 in MBC 2294. There will be FREE FOOD and we will be holding the survey draw for the iPod. This meeting is very important as the contract committee will give its first report and we will be looking for guidance and input from general members regarding bargaining priorities. As always, salaried officers will be available for questions before and after the meeting.