Let’s all agree to agree
Members of Teaching and Research Assistants at Concordia have ratified their first collective agreements with the university, which will be put into effect during the fall semester. A tentative agreement for TAs was rejected by members at the start of 2010, but an agreement was reached Aug. 17, with 68 per cent of TAs voting in favour of it. RAs, on the other hand, voted 100 per cent in favour of a Dec. 2009 proposal on Aug. 31. A post on TRAC’s website announcing voting times for the ratification apologized for appearing “a bit rushed” in the process, but said the union was working to have the agreement in place for the fall semester. Both TAs and RAs are guaranteed a wage increase of on average of two per cent per year, according to government adjustments salaries in education, and there will be no limits to paid hours that can be worked. TRAC was first certified in 2006, and represents the 1,000 TAs and 450 RAs at Concordia.
ASFA does it with election polls
The Arts and Science Federation of Associations announced at this year’s first council meeting last Wednesday the dates for a byelection to fill the VP communications position left vacant this summer by Marco De Gregorio. The nomination period runs from Sept. 20-28 and the campaign period will be held from Sept. 30-Oct. 11. Arts and sciences students will head to the polls Oct. 12 and 13 to vote for the candidate of their choice. ASFA’s bylaws require that empty positions be filled through byelections, unlike the CSU, which fills positions through a vote in council.
MASSA’s actions don’t add up, budget frozen
ASFA VP finance Alexa Newman announced towards the end of last week’s council meeting that the Mathematics and Statistics Student Association’s start-up budget has been temporarily suspended due to a bylaw violation. According to Newman, MASSA was operating an external bank account, which is not allowed under ASFA’s financial bylaws. ASFA’s financial committee, which has the discretion to freeze the budgets of member associations that have violated bylaws, will be meeting this Thursday, and also plans to meet with MASSA beforehand. MASSA president Alexandre Filiatreault declined to go into further detail after the meeting, stating, “We had a misunderstanding. We made a mistake that we want to fix.”
Journalism meets activism
Journalists for Human Rights is due for a revival at Concordia after the school’s chapter folded in 2008. Three journalism diploma students, Mel Lefebvre, Tara Sadeghi and HÃ©lÃ¨ne Robitaille-Hidalgo, are spearheading a campaign to restart a Concordia chapter of the organization, which was founded in 2002 to raise awareness of human rights through media projects. Lefebvre heard about the club through a friend who was involved with a chapter at McGill. The group is looking for students from all areas of study and will be seeking CSU club status this fall.