The What, When, Who, and How of CUPE 2626: All You Need to Know About CUPE 2626

CUPE 2626 acknowledges that the University of Ottawa and CUPE 2626 occupy unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin territory.

The information in these questions and answers is provided for information purposes only and is not the responsibility of CUPE 2626. Any questions specific to your situation as a member should be directed to us. You can write to us at info@2626.ca.

What is CUPE 2626?

A bit of History

CUPE 2626 represents thousands of Teaching and Research Assistants, Markers, Tutors, Lab Monitors, Demonstrators, Proctors, Lifeguards and Residence Life Workers at the University of Ottawa. CUPE 2626 is a local section of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (or “CUPE National”), the largest union in Canada, with over 680,000 members across the country. CUPE 2626 was formed in 1997 following a unionization drive organized by TAs and RAs in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering to fight against the arbitrary nature of contract allocation and pay rates in different departments. Since its formation, the union has been working for more than 20 years to ensure that all student workers receive equitable treatment, working conditions, salaries, and contract allocation across campus.

In general, unions are associations of workers that promote social justice. They work primarily to improve the quality of life and working conditions of their members. Successes achieved by one union can impact working conditions in all sectors of the economy. Union officers understand that people must work together to solve problems, and unions are a mechanism for doing so.

How do I know if I’m a member of CUPE 2626-01?

To be a member of CUPE 2626-01, you need to be a lifeguard, head guard or swim instructor at the University of Ottawa.

What is the difference between CUPE 2626, the Graduate

Student Association (GSAÉD), and the University of Ottawa Students’ Union (UOSU)?

CUPE 2626 represents you in all matters related to your contract position, while GSAÉD represents graduate students and UOSO represents undergraduate students with regards to academic status. If you have a workplace issue or question (i.e. unpaid hours of work, etc.), contact CUPE 2626. If you have a question or issue related to your studies at the University of Ottawa and are a graduate student, you should contact GSAÉD; if you are an undergraduate student, you should contact UOSO.

What are some of my basic rights?

To be unionized means that CUPE 2626 works to ensure that you, as an employee, are treated fairly and provided a safe and healthy working environment. CUPE 2626 negotiates with uOttawa to produce a document called Collective Agreement. Our Collective Agreement is an integral part of our member’s individual employment contracts. It outlines – among other things – the rights, benefits and work conditions of student workers at uOttawa.

How can I ensure a smooth working environment with my work supervisor?

Problems that arise are often not intentionally set into motion, but instead the result of miscommunication and misunderstandings about the rights and duties of student workers.

Common examples of problems that our members face include: surpassing the number of hours in your contract, being expected to perform additional tasks which are not included or related to the tasks in your contract and being asked to work beyond the contract date.

Therefore, we strongly suggest meeting with your work supervisor to clarify tasks and expectations at the beginning of your contract. In this meeting, be sure to clarify:

  • Your roles and responsibilities
  • How your contract hours are to be used

It is also useful to remember that you cannot be asked to:

  • Work beyond the number of hours of your contract.
  • Work beyond the end date of your contract.

It is best to remind your work supervisor of these regulations when discussing your roles and responsibilities.  This can help prevent certain miscommunications and misunderstandings. Often, when you are asked to do something against the terms of the Collective Agreement, it is done so unknowingly.

If ever you have problems with your contract or work supervisors, you can always reach out to us. All issues brought to our attention are taken seriously and remain confidential. CUPE 2626  adapts its approach  according to the specific situation you are experiencing. There are multiple ways to address a work-related issue (both formally and informally), and we do not do anything without your permission.

Do you folks have any workshops or events?

General Assemblies

General Assemblies allow members to elect union officers, vote on union finances, approve bargaining mandates, and generally have their say in union affairs.

Workshops and Other Events

Check our social media and website to find out more about our workshops and other events! We are still finalizing our calendar of events!

How can I get involved?

You can be directly involved by becoming a member of the Executive Board. Executive Board members are elected at the General Assemblies by the general membership.

How do I get a hold of you?

Our office is located in the University Center, room 303. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we are not in the office. However, you can get a hold of us by email at coord@2626.ca.

You can also reach out to us via Twitter and Facebook.