This newsletter is for members of CUPE Local 3911
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The CUPE newsletter is published by Local 3911. We welcome your submissions, letters and comments. Opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the author and not necessarily those of CUPE Local 3911.

Editor: Rochelle Sato

Compensable Items for AE's

Are you claiming everything you should be paid for? Read this article to learn more...

By Brenda Kuzio

Prepared on January 10, 2015

AE’s are required to fill out time sheets claiming for the work they have done as an AE (excluding marking – this is paid automatically upon entry of mark in Newton).  
All too often, AE’s do not properly account and claim for their time as AU employees. When you do not claim for the time you have spent as an AU employee in the role or AE, you are working for free. This detrimentally affects you and your co-workers.
As of January 2015, AE has updated the time sheets to provide drop down items under “Nature of Work”. The items are:

  • Academic Experting
  • Administration
  • Discussion Forums
  • Checking Grey Matter
  • Technical
  • Other
Be sure to include EVERYTHING you do as an AU employee on your time sheets. It is all compensable.  
AU has provided general Guidelines. Below are attempts to slot our functions under those guidelines. [Please note that this list is not exhaustive. If you do something as an AE that is not on the list, please let the CUPE Administrator know at so that it can be added to the list.
Ask yourself “would I be doing this if I was not an AE for AU? If the answer is “no” then you should be paid for it.
  • Time spent teaching and preparing for response to student query - Research to provide response when student asks unusual question or one that goes beyond course materials but is related to the course – perhaps students ask for additional information or a student is struggling so you provide additional resource to assist
    • Dealing with student issues – would include researching for a student issue; telephone calls. Email discussions etc.
    • Email discussions where student and tutor have direct email contact
    • Monitor Moodle for things like contract dates – student approaching end dates etc.
    • Checking archived GM requests for student history if required.  This is necessary when there has been a change in workload distribution or if you want to go back on the history with a student when you are running into some problems teaching them or for many other reasons that an AE, as an educator, would need to do so.
    • Review student drafts and resubmissions – anything that deals with your role as an educator
    • Making notations in Greymatter that go beyond existing GM requests (eg a student direct emails you – you may want to make a note in GM that says email discussion with student – keep track of the time that the email discussion occurred PLUS the time it takes you to go into the time sheet and make the entry)   
    • Dealing with any student issues that may arise – eg student who informally challenge marks; students who have questions on CMA’s, students who have questions on the markings on assignments
    • Dealing with student issues
    • Time spent on any platform used for teaching student (may be courses that use platforms other than discussion boards – eg video classrooms; conferencing etc
    • Keeping on top of course content (keeping current in your course content)
  • Providing feedback on issues that arise in the course (eg links not working; changes in text book result in course issues) or on ways to improve or update the course – curriculum development review and assistance (outside and apart from SME contract)
  • Dealing with plagiarism - Researching for plagiarism issues and corresponding emails with coordinator
  • Creating requests in Grey Matter
  • Communicating with other AU staff (Coordinators, course assistants, AE’s, etc)
  • Review student evaluations and other means of communication to AU from the students about the AE to assist in improving skills as educator
  • Performance evaluation process and review
  • ADMINISTRATION - includes administration  to do the specific teaching portion of the job and also those duties that come with being a part of the university community – this list is not exhaustive
  • Tracking time and the time spent filling out and submitting time sheets
  • Time spent discussing time sheet issues, should they be raised, with coordinators and others at AU
  • Emails - Opening AU email and reviewing and responding. Includes reading AU memos, bulletins, newsletters, etc – anything that makes you part of the university community –staying connected and informed is part of being an AU employee. Emails must be opened, read and then acted on, filed or discarded as the case may be.
  • All communications with AU personnel beyond the AU messages including but not limited to contact with coordinators, course assistants, other AE’s, SSC staff, directors, payroll, etc  (unless it is course content or student related and then it can go under Academic Experting)
  • Buying/Ordering supplies that are used for AU work
  • Checking Spam (PreciseMail) and Junk and dealing with anti-virus issues
  • Shredding documents
  • File management
  • Tracking time and comparing pay received to time records
  • Requesting leave or arranging coverage if required to do so
    • Claim for as much time as is spent on discussion forums. This includes reviewing and preparing/calculating and entering marks into Newton
    • NOTE: Claim 5 minutes a day per course to maximum of 10 minutes for checking GM
    • Dealing with/Resolving technical issues – includes any time dealing with the Help Desk , dealing with Citrix issues, Time sheet issues etc
    • Installing programs needed for AU work and learning how to use them
    • Any software or hardware issues/support
    • Training – attending any AU training sessions that enhance/improve your role as an AE or that are taken to learn AU programs and systems
  • Practice time spent working on new programs to become proficient at them – eg Citrix, GM
  • Preparing letters of reference for students
  • Responding to and doing AU questionnaires + AU surveys – eg ergonomic surveys; Climate surveys etc
  • Attending meetings (eg course revision meetings; course team meetings or other meetings called by AU)
  • Committee work – includes prep + attending
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Letter to Hon. Lori Sigurdson regarding a recent change to presidential search policy

AU bargaining units (CUPE, AUPE, AUFA) address the Minister about a recent change to the presidential search policy. Read it here...

Nov. 17, 2015

Dear Minister,

We are writing to you to express our concerns about a recent change in the Presidential Search Policy at Athabasca University. At the October 14,
2015 meeting of the Athabasca University Board of Governors, a change in policy was approved. The former “Selection and Appointment or Reappointment of the President Policy” was rescinded, and a new “Advisory Search Committee for President Policy” was approved.

The key changes from the old to the new policy are (1) the exclusion of vice-presidents and representatives of AUFA, AUPE, and CUPE from the search committee; and (2) the search committee becomes an advisory committee as opposed to a selection committee.

The position of University President is important and deserving of a credible selection process that involves the input of all university constituencies and bargaining units. The changes to the composition of the search committee have the effect of reducing the credibility and transparency of the presidential search process. The change in committee status to ‘advisory’ will further diminish the effectiveness of the search committee, and places all of the power to choose a President in the hands of the Board. This is against the spirit and tradition of collegial 
decision making at universities. In universities, the best decisions arise from open, transparent and consultative processes as opposed to closed and secretive ones.

Given the continuing state of interim leadership at Athabasca University, lack of indication that a new presidential search will be initiated, and this new search policy, we do not believe that the Board is acting in the best interests of the institution. We ask that you intervene in whatever manner you see fit.

Yours sincerely,
Lawton Shaw, President, AUFA
Dougal MacDonald, Co-chair, CUPE 3911
Mike Dempsey,
Vice President, AUPE

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Bryon Paege Memorial Award Winners

Learn more about this annual award that CUPE members can promote to their students and view this year's winners...

CUPE Local 3911 is pleased to announce two deserving individuals were awarded our Annual Bryon Paege Memorial Award:

Angela Benedict,Gatineau, QC (viewed right)
Azeem Kayum, Markam, ON

This award, is for $825.00, or the approximate amount of one three-credit course at Athabasca University. Recipients are selected by the Bryon Paege Memorial Award Selection Committee. Any AU tutor, AU counselor or advisor, or AU student may make nominations. If you are one of these, perhaps you know of an AU student who should be considered for the Bryon Paege Memorial Award. Self-nominations are also acceptable.

The Selection Committee makes decision based on the following criteria:

A nominee must:

  • be currently enrolled in an AU course, or have successfully completed one within the six months prior to the nomination deadline;

  • have, in the opinion of the nominator, demonstrated courage and/or resourcefulness worthy of commendation in the overcoming of, or currently coping with, some particular challenge or adversity in order to pursue distance education studies. Such challenge or adversity may include:

    • financial adversity;

    • being a member of a minority or marginalized group required to make challenging adjustments to mainstream Canadian academic culture;

    • physical disability, or any challenging health problems, generally;

    • personal loss (for example, loss of family member, loss of job);

    • adjustment to a new country and culture;

    • difficult family circumstances, past or present;

    • other challenges that in the opinion of the nominator corresponds with the spirit of these criteria.

Keep an eye on our website for details about the 2016 Bryon Paege Memorial Award. Our members are instrumental in information their students about this opportunity.

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CUPE Local 3911 Executive Elections - 2015 

Meet your 2015-16 CUPE Executive team...

On October 24th, following the Annual Tutor Conference in Edmonton, Local 3911 held its annual Executive Election. All Executive members are volunteers who work to represent their local in various capacities. The 2015 Executive team is listed below:

Co-Chairs                                 Complaint Review
Dougal MacDonald                     Ann Reynolds
Ronnie Joy Leah                        Glynnis Lieb
Glynnis Lieb
Recording Secretary                Labour Management
Ann Reynolds                           Rob Wiznura
                                               Brenda Kuzio
Grievance Officer                   Grievance Committee 
Rob Wiznura                           Virginia Gillese
Representative Officers          Communications
Lori Adams                              Rochelle Sato
Sonia Atwal
Lorraine Laville
Membership                            Bylaw Revision
Marie Weingartshofer                Dougal MacDonald
                                               Rob Wiznura
                                               Glynnis Lieb

PATME                                    Bryon Paege
James Doucette                        Alan LeBoeuf
                                                Helen Onderka
                                                Arlene Young

Conference Planning                 AU Budget                       Glynnis Lieb                              Liam Connelly             
Natalie Sharpe                       
Ronnie Leah
Wendy Benson

Health Benefits                          OHS
Lorraine Laville                           Marlyss Valiant
Ann Reynolds                            Glynnis Lieb

PD Fund                                    Trustees
Mark Dimirsky                            Lorraine Laville
Deb Foster                                 Joyce Miller
Alan LeBoef                               Evelyn Lien
Marie Weingartshofer    

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COCAL XII is coming to Edmonton, Aug 5-7, 2016

The Coalition of Contingent Academic Labour is a biennial conference that will welcome delegates from across North America, Aug. 5-7, 2016, in Edmonton at the UofA. Save the date and learn more...

The Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor (COCAL) is a network of North American activists working to improve higher education by improving the work environment of contingent academic laborers. They strive to achieve job reliability, better wages, academic freedom, and time and resources for academic research and professional development.
Every other year COCAL offers an international conference that welcomes approximately 300 delegates from Canada, the US, and Mexico. The twelfth COCAL Conference (COCAL XII) will be held August 5-7, 2016, in Edmonton (Lister Centre at the U of A) and is being organized by CUPE Local 3911. This conference is an excellent opportunity to interact with a diverse group of contingent/adjunct/precarious higher education faculty and staff from across North America.

Registration and a call for papers will commence in January 2016. Visit for details.


  • CUPE 3911 has taken on the welcome task of organizing this exciting international conference.
  • We are already moving forward on some of the long-range planning for the conference.
  • We welcome any suggestions from our members regarding the conference and its contents.
  • We are looking for volunteers, for any and every aspect of this conference; Contact Kristy Burke, your Local Administrator, at for more information.

We suggest that members begin by going to the COCAL website ( to get some sense of what has happened at previous conferences. Clicking on “Events” will bring up a description of the August 2014 conference in New York.

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Upcoming United Way & Labour Events

Stay informed of some upcoming events and training...

United Way Events:

Labour Community Advocate Training
Level 1 Starts February 1st,, 2016
Level 2 Starts March 30th, 2016 

Access more information and registration forms Here.

Labour Appreciation Night - 31st Annual Event
April 16th, 2016 Shaw Convention Centre Salon 8 – 1,
Cost:  $80.00

For more information on both of the above, contact:

Perri Garvin Coordinator, Labour Programs
United Way of the Alberta Capital Region
15132 Stony Plain Road
Edmonton, Alberta T5P 3Y3
Direct: 780 443 8330 Mobile: 780-905-6984 Fax: 780-990-0203

Other Labour related Events/Training:

EDLC Annual Labour School
The 2016 EDLC Labour School is now open for registration.  This year's education weekend will be on March 18-20th 2016 at Concordia University.

Courses offered this year:

1. Basic Shop Steward
2. Advanced Shop Steward (Representation Skills and Tools)
3. Contract Interpretation
4. WCB Advocacy
5. Conflict Resolution
6. Health and Safety Legislation
7. Communications for Local Unions

For detailed information download the attached brochure or go to or call the EDLC at 780-474-4747.  Registration is available online.

AFL/CLC Winter School – January 17 - 22, 2016
The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge 
Old Lodge Road, Jasper, AB T0E 1E0

Contact Linda Robinson at or 780-483-3021 for more info. 
Click here for registration:


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CUPE Press Release
CUPE AB endorses Province's plan to address Climate Chang. Learn more...

EDMONTON – CUPE Alberta’s President is adding her name to the list of people endorsing the province’s plan to address climate change.
Marle Roberts says the plan announced in November and endorsed by oil patch CEOs and environmentalists will help combat climatechange and open new economic opportunities for Alberta.
“This plan will change the world view of our oil sands, and the view of Alberta,” said Roberts. “It will develop greener energy sources while at the same time, open up new markets for our oil and gas products.”
CUPE Alberta represents 35,000 public sector employees in the province.  Roberts says that while her union only represents a small number of energy workers – like all Albertans – CUPE members rely upon the industry.
“When the price of oil is high, Albertans have done well, and when oil is low, our economy suffers,” said Roberts. “This plan is first real attempt in a generation to diversify our economy and get us off the roller coaster dependence on oil prices.”
“Climate change is real, it is manmade, and we have to address it.  This plan does so while tackling our economic problems at the same time.  It deserves our support.”

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Volume 5 Issue 8
In this Issue

Compensable Items for AE's
Are you claiming everything you should bet paid for? Read this article to learn more...

Letter to Minister Lori Sigurdson
AU bargaining units (CUPE, AUPE, AUFA) address the Minister about a recent change to the presidential search policy. Read it here...

Bryon Paege Memorial Award Winners
Learn more about this annual award that CUPE members can promote to their students and view this year's winners...

CUPE Local 3911 2015 Executive Elections
Meet your 2015-16 CUPE Executive team...

COCAL XII is coming to Edmonton - Aug 5-7, 2016
The Coalition of Contingent Academic Labour is a biennial conference that will welcome delegates from across North America, Aug. 5-7, 2016, in Edmonton at the UofA. Save the date and learn more...

Upcoming United Way & Labour Events
Stay informed of some upcoming events and training...

CUPE Press Release
CUPE AB endorses Province's plan to address Climate Chang. Learn more...


CUPE Local 3911


CUPE National

Calgary District and Labour Council

Edmonton District Labour Council

Alberta Federation of Labour

Canadian Labour Congress

Event of Interest...

Universal Design for Learning and Accessibility Conference - Edmonton, Jan. 28-30, 2016. Learn more Here.
Copyright © 2015 CUPE 3911, All rights reserved.

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