J. J. v. SD43 & CUPE 561

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J. J. v. SD43 & CUPE 561

J. J. v. SD43 & CUPE 561


I'm a woman who's pro-worker.  

That means I believe that every human being has a right to work.  

I also believe that every human being should have the right to help form, or join, a union.

And I believe that unions were originally created to ensure fairness for all workers, and to protect the rights of all workers.

As well, I believe that unions should honour their promises to the worker. And that if unions don't honour their promises to the worker, then the worker should be allowed to call the union on it.  

In another thread (The Rand Formula) Unionist said " 'No partial' payments", in regards to union dues.

Unfortunately, some bargaining unit members, in some unions, very often have no rights, in relation to other bargaining unit members, and yet they still have to pay the same full dues as the members with the full rights.

Again, unions were supposedly developed in order to ensure fairness, and to protect the rights, of workers.  

But that's not what's been happening in some unions for a very long time now. So, what happened.

Some unions, like society in general, have a tendency to classify people into certain categories, which has nothing to do with a person's skills, experience, training, education, or any other credible reasons.

In unions with two-tiered systems, as in seniority systems, there are the haves, and the have-nots. Very often the have-nots are forced to stay in have-not purgatory for many years, often decades. Some workers, in some unionized workplaces, will never be allowed to have the same chances for advancement as other workers.

Why is that.

And though the have-nots don't have the same rights as the haves, they still have to pay the same amount of union dues as the haves.

That is not fair.

What happened to real unions, where every worker should be treated fairly, and where every worker's rights were protected. Isn't that why unions were created in the first place?

In the same Rand Formula thread Munroe said "I know that some unions cannot obtain full recognition and settle for Rand, but most workers join anyways".  

The workers join anyways because they have the honest belief, like I naively had, that they would be treated fairly and decently in a unionized workplace, especially if you're told that 'we're an equal opportunity employer', as I was told.

Silly me. That last line really gave me hope that I would be treated in a fair manner. And for years I was under the honest belief, as assured by others, that we workers all had the same rights.  

Of course, since then I've found out that my employer was not an equal opportunity employer, and my union was rife with cronyism, favourtism, and discrimination - things you don't know when you first join the unionized workplace. Sometimes it takes years to find these things out, which is what happened with me. In the end I was told that I had 'no rights' under the Collective Agreement. And it took them 10 years to tell me that? If that were actually true, why wasn't I told that on my very first day on the job. Why was I lead to believe otherwise during all those years?

Sometimes the union and the employer are so closely connected that you don't know who's who. Some unions are not what they pretend to be.

Munroe said "I also know any union must fully represent all workers regardless of actual membership".

Too bad many unions can get around that, and too bad that many legal jurisdictions allow the unions to get around that. And there are too many bogus excuses as to why legal jurisdictions allow unions to get away with not fully representing all workers in a bargaining unit.  

My particular union did not fully represent all workers, and I believe it still doesn't. My local union president, and his friends, were very picky about whom they fully represented, which is why I've been in all kinds of legal jurisdictions, and still going to more, trying to straighten things out.

In a union context, I've very often discovered the following -

- words and promises, that some union leaders speak and make, often mean nothing.

- actions mean everything.

- often, there's no resemblance between words and actions.

Many unions, as well as the accompanying respective Collective Agreements, need to undergo serious reformations, in order to honour what the original promises of unions were - that ALL members be treated fairly and decently, and that ALL members have the same rights and opportunities.

If you leave even one person out of the promise of fairness you screw the whole bargaining unit up.  

The Rand Formula means nothing in the context of modern unions which allow unfairness to thrive in the workplace.

For a good example of what happens to a supposed have-not, in a supposedly unionized workplace, my story is being told here -


The Rand Formula thread, which I quoted from earlier, is here -


The Rand Formula has also been discussed on this forum -



Am I being gagged?

This morning I attempted to post, under my username 'prototype', another article onto this thread.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered I couldn't post anything.  Then I noticed this little blurb -

"You are not allowed to post new content in forum."

On April 21, 2009 I posted one article under the title of "J. J. v. SD43 & CUPE 561"

You can see it above.

This article can't possibly be offensive to anyone at babble.ca or CUPE. 

After all, didn't you invite me, and others, to join in the discussion, with the following words?

"Welcome to rabble.ca

Come on in — we're glad you're here.

rabble.ca was built on the efforts of progressive journalists, writers, artists and activists across the country. ........

rabble.ca is a registered not-for-profit organization. We rely on the support of individual and organization donors and our sustaining partners .

In addition to original news stories, in-depth features, provocative interviews, commentaries and more, rabble publishes columns from some of the few progressive voices in mainstream media (if we've missed anyone, let us know) and reprints articles you wouldn't want to miss from other alternative publications.

But it's our readers who make rabble thrive. Just check out our vibrant discussion forum — babble — to see what we mean. babble is an interactive space where rabble-rousers mix, mingle and mix it up, whether it's to comment on an article, post your own version of events, to follow breaking news or join in rule-breaking discussion. "

The quotes above were found here - http://www.rabble.ca/about/landing

Didn't you mean it when you said that "babble is an interactive space where rabble-rousers mix, mingle, mix it up ........ or join in rule-breaking discussion"?

Under 'babble policy' I found the following -

"rabble.ca is a public, independent, progressive news and information source. As part of rabble.ca, this message board (babble) was created to ensure that readers/participants could explore any issues of interest and concern. In defining itself as "progressive", rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist and pro-labour stance. Discussion which develops and expands progressive thought is encouraged and welcome."

Yes, those descriptions certainly sound like me - pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, pro-labour (which to me is the same as pro-worker).

And I know for a fact that CUPE doesn't believe in gag laws.  After all, CUPE just finished going to the BC Supreme Court regarding that very same issue (Court decision to scrap gag law ‘a victory for free speech’ - http://cupe.ca/communications/Court-decision-to-sc).

You don't really want to gag a woman who's fighting for her human rights, do you?

Would you have any rational reasons why my 'prototype' posting privileges, here on babble.ca, couldn't be unlocked before midnight April 24, 2009.


prototype (aka 'FreedomofSpeech', made up just for this one posting)

Feather Sky

Enough of your anti-labour rants.

The disclaimer you added doesn't mean anything. It's obvious that you hate unions and hate workers.

The moderators did the right thing by banning you, and I hope they ban your new account too.



Still gagged - 

Well, looks like Babble still won't allow me, as 'prototype', to post anything else on this forum.

That's pretty odd, but until things are fixed I'll continue to post as FreedomofSpeech (prototype)

To Feather Sky - 

You wrote the following - 


"Enough of your anti-labour rants.
The disclaimer you added doesn't mean anything. It's obvious that you hate unions and hate workers.
The moderators did the right thing by banning you, and I hope they ban your new account too."

What you wrote is very strange.

You used the word 'disclaimer'. That's a word very rarely used by the average person. Hell, I consider myself well-read and I don't even use that word. That's a word usually used in legal matters.


I'm wondering if you are who you claim to be in your other posts.

Well, unless I find out otherwise, I'll presume that you are who you claim to be.

You wrote, on April 3, 2009, under 'How important is it for authors to be female and FN?' -


"I have always been marginalized in society, both as a woman, and as a First Person, so much so that I have lost sense of the truth after having realized how much of the indoctrination of the privileged I have believed over my lifetime. 
What is your advice? Can it be worthwhile to read books written from the other perspectives?"

You write that you've been marginalized in society, both as a woman, and as a First Person.  

And yet, aren't you trying to marginalize, and help gag, another woman who's speaking up about her fight for her rights?

And you asked "can it be worthwhile to read books written from the other perspectives?"

I strongly suggest that you read books from every different perspective that you possibly can.  

You wrote, on April 6, 2009, under 'Harper supports women's rights' - 


"Harper's agenda is blitheringly transparent.
By drawing attention to the plight of Afghan women, he is trying to suggest to Canadian women, that our problems are insignificant compared to the women over there. Therefore, we should all just shut up and take it as he strips Status of Women funding and eliminates pay equity laws, and who knows what else."

Yet, again, didn't you basically agree to gag me in your post?

Have you read anything about my case?

Before you posted, did you bother to read what I've been posting on uncharted.ca?  
Did you bother to read my blog?
Did you bother to read about my case at the BC Human Rights Tribunal (5 posted decisions)?
Did you know that I mostly won my discrimination case against my employer, a school district? 
Did you know that I'm going to the BC Supreme Court?
Did you know that my systemic discrimination case against the school district, and union, hasn't been addressed at the BC Human Rights Tribunal?
Did you know that I'm preparing my case for the BC Labour Relations Board?

Did you know that I've belonged to 2 unions?
Did you know that I worked for 10 years, as a casual, in a unionized workplace?
Did you know I'm not only fighting for myself, but also for other women, and other people, whose rights have been infringed?

Did you educate yourself about what I posted, before you posted your reply?

You wrote, on April 10, 2009, under 'Government of Ontario cheating CAW employees out of pensions' - 


"You can't promise something to workers and then not give it to them, when it is something that they have relied on and expected their whole lives."

I agree with that. I also believe that promises to workers should be followed through, just like I similarly wrote in my first post on this thread.
You wrote, on April 22, 2009, under 'Man accused of rape acquitted' - 


"I hate our country and our so-called 'justice' system."

We are our country.  
We can all help make the justice system a better system. 

And exposure of the problems is the first step to fixing things.

Under the same post you also wrote - 


"What infuriates me is that the victim is being villainized.
You should never, never, never blame the victim in these cases, and make them look like the villain. It's horrendous. It's our government's way of telling all rape victims to just shut up, or else we'll humiliate you and run you out of town."

Yes, sometimes victims are told to shut up.  

I know all too well how common that is.

You wrote, on April 22, under 'Susan Boyle Part 2' - 


"Feminism is more than chatting on forums and at dinner parties - it's a lifestyle that involves making active consumer choices."

Did you really say feminism is "a lifestyle that involves making active consumer choices"?

Is that what you think feminism is?

Feminism is a whole lot more than that.  
Feminism is the belief that women should have the same socio-economic rights as men.
Feminism means not taking no for an answer when somebody doesn't want to hire you just because you're a woman.
Feminism means not accepting less wages than the man working beside you who's making more money than you.
Feminism means not accepting that the men advance faster than you just because patriarchal companies, and some unions, prefer it that way.
Feminism means we have to continue to fight for our rights, even when others keep pushing us down. 
Feminism means standing up for others whose rights are also infringed.
Feminism means that if you have the opportunity to expose the problem, to just do it.
Feminism means that you have to be tough, and true, in a very traditional world.
Feminism means that your sense of justice overrides everything else, including fear.

Do you believe in the principles of Freedom of Speech - 

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"

- Evelyn Beatrice Hall (in The Friends of Voltaire, 1906)

"Freedom of speech is our most basic democratic right. Sometimes it causes conflict and discomfort. But that is never a reason to suppress it."

- Judy Rebick, November 14, 2002, on rabble.ca

The internet -

I agree that women, first nations, and other traditionally marginalized peoples, have been badly treated in history.  


Look where we are now.

We're on the internet.

Think about it.

For the very first time in history every single person on the planet can have a public voice.

We can now all be heard.

You have the opportunity to talk about what's happened in your life, 
and what you would like done to make things better, for you and others.

Are you going to waste your words by just complaining?
Or will you help to transform the world into a better place.

You have the power to brings things to light.

How will you use that power.

Will you just help gag others, who also have stories to tell,  

Or will you make your own words count, for something more important?





A couple of points. 


First, we usually don't close an account without saying why, so I kind of wondered about this.  This morning we finally heard from the last mod, and no one closed your account.  With the changeover, odd little glitches have happened, so I assume this is one.  I'll reopen the first account, and close the next.


Second, I haven't really given the post a close read but will later.  I routinely use the word disclaimer btw.  It really ain't all that esoteric.


Prototype, sorry for the inconvenience.  You are not the only one having problems with their account.  I was frozen out a bit myself last Nov.


ETA: I have no idea why this happened, so if there are still problems, email me at [email protected]


oldgoat wrote:
I was frozen out a bit myself last Nov.


They gagged you too!!??


Maysie Maysie's picture

Well, that oldgoat says a lot of inappropriate things sometimes. We gotta keep him in check.


JACK'S MOUSTACHE HAS GOTTA G...*^%$#..muffle..thwak!....*thud*

Maysie Maysie's picture

*dusts off hands*

What else you need taken care of?



I can post again.

Thanks for looking into the matter oldgoat.  





The Have-nots win -

Casual Workers Win Rights in New Brunswick.

Hopefully it's the start of a trend towards full rights for Casual workers across Canada.

Read the story here - http://forums.uncharted.ca/about1484.html

And instead of fighting the lone woman who's fighting for her rights, perhaps CUPE 561 
could also start fighting for the rights of Casual Workers at the Coquitlam School District.

And CUPE BC could do their part as well, by fighting for the rights of Casual Workers in BC.

Or are you all waiting for the lone woman to do the fighting for you.


Prototype, from what I can glean from your voluminous posts here and your links to your blog, your single concern is that you have been on contract for 10 years with the same employer and you feel that your union has not done enough to help you get a permament job.

It is true that your employment situation is unacceptable. You are of course by no means alone in this problem. I can tell you that this is a hard row to hoe in collective bargaining, first of all because expanding the rights of part-timers may take away from opportunities for full-time employees, but mainly because all employers are extremely resistant to giving up the flexibility of a vulnerable contingent workforce.

However, as you point out, these fights can be undertaken effectively in strong bargaining units. Here in Ontario, the York U CUPE unit has a history of militance and they take seriously the responsibility to raise the bar for others in their sector who are not as strong. When they went out on a long strike this spring, one of the main objectives was to improve the rights of contract staff. Our provincial public sector union, OPSEU, was fully prepared for liquor store workers to walk out last week mainly over rights for part-timers. A strike has been averted and a tentative contract is now being voted on by members.

It is indeed a rude awakening to learn that your own Local may not be as well-organized, if that is the case, or that it may be subject to some of the same less than helpful interpersonal dynamics that are found in many especially volunteer organizations. You have also identified an area where you think the Canadian labour movement as a whole should focus more resources.

There is no question that there is often room for improvement on the local level and even, in my view, a fundamental change in the landscape of organized labour. As a pro-worker woman in this situation however, rather than simply deriding the people, the process and the movement, the greater challenge is to roll up your sleeves and find a way to contribute to the changes that need to occur. This would mean signing up for union educationals -- on a wide variety of topics. It means helping fellow union members -- including those with similar problems to your own, and those with other needs. For you as a contract worker, this may mean finding a way to assist the leadership in your local, perhaps by providing research or administrative support, without yourself becoming a target for termination.

Frankly, if you can step away from being consumed with your own individual problem, in my experience you will find it easier to come to terms with and navigate the collective enterprise of a union, with all the opportunities it can allow.

Good luck.


Well said, Triciamarie.


Thanks for that, triciamarie.


Thanks guys.

BTW I received from Lancaster House today that New Brunswick CUPE decision referenced your last post, Prototype, and what this decision says is that "casual" employees of the provincial government of New Brunswick will now (in one year's time) have the ability to join a union to try to improve their working conditions. This is different from your situation as I understand it, where you do already have full union membership.

Ref: CUPE v. PNB - 2009 NBQB 164, 17 June 2009


Triciamarie - 

Thanks for taking the time to reply to my posts.

A big problem in the make-up of my personality is that I tend to be too polite, and forgiving, when it comes to responding to the condescending behaviour of others towards me.  

That said, I'll try to be gentle as I respond to your reply.

I find that your comments are similar to that of a politician's - general, detached, unhelpful, and grossly uninformed.

You claimed to have gleaned through my 'voluminous' posts on babble and through my links to my blog.  

Actually, it doesn't sound like you 'gleaned' anything I'd written.

You got all your facts wrong. Every one of them.  

In my opinion, missing every pertinent fact about my case doesn't qualify you as being knowledgeable enough to post what you posted.

If you would have 'gleaned' what you claim to have gleaned you would have known that the advice you so helpfully administered in your comments don't apply to my situation, as I don't actually currently work at the Coquitlam school district - hence, I'm supposedly not a member of CUPE 561 (accordingly to the President of CUPE 561).

I haven't worked at the Coquitlam School District since 2005.

I was told by the school district that I had no rights. The union didn't protest that statement. So much for supposed 'full union membership'.

In September 2008 the BC Human Rights Tribunal confirmed that the Coquitlam School District discriminated against me. 

The school district still refuses to bring me back to work.

CUPE 561 still refuses to represent me.

See what you missed, in a nutshell?

As for helping fellow workers, you obviously haven't read my very first letter on my blog, which will show you how I stuck my neck out by writing a letter on behalf of a fellow worker.

How many people reading this would do the same thing?

You should also read what I posted here on April 24, including the part which says "Did you know I'm not only fighting for myself, but also for other women, and other people, whose rights have been infringed?"

In the future, inform yourself before you continue posting opinions which have no basis in facts.

Also, if you had paid attention to the link I provided, on my June 19 posting, you would have found the CUPE v. PNB decision already.

(identifying information deleted by moderator)   

Michelle - What are you thanking Triciamarie for. I'm surprised that you, as a moderator of a large forum, would merely parrot acquiescence to someone else's comment without apprising yourself of all the facts. I would think that a moderator would behave more responsibly in this kind of situation.

So, if you 3 want to comment knowledgeably about my case, you should go back and read every word of my previous postings on this thread, my main thread on uncharted.ca (To Members of CUPE 561 who work at SD43), my other posts on uncharted.ca (do a search through my profile), my blog (accessed through uncharted.ca), and 5 published decisions regarding my case at the BC Human Rights Tribunal (easily accessed through my blog). And if you're really clever you can easily find out where else I've spoken on the internet. Munroe already knows of other places I've posted.

Helpful and intelligent comments are always welcome on this thread :)

Finally, I thought it would be appropriate to quote here what Unionist had posted on another thread on babble on Jan. 24, 2009 - 


If the oppressed and marginalized of the society don't unconditionally support each other's struggles, NO ONE will have any rights.

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

And here's another one -  

CUPE's motto - "An injury to one is an injury to all

So, CUPE, where are you. I've been injured. How come you're not supporting me.


Thanks.  Those are long posts, so if I missed something please let me know.

Prototype, if you attempt to give identifying information about another babbler, or engage in more personal attacks like that, your account will be locked.


Prototype, here is the cold hard truth: your posts in this thread are so rambling and digressive, accusatory and self-pitying, and contain so many leaps in logic, not to say errors in fact, that even a sympathetic reader is unable to discern what you are talking about. I made my best guess and responded accordingly. Be assured that no one here will read every word of your blog -- which you apparently came here to promote, considering that you have had nothing to contribute with respect to any other topic on this board.

My advice to you at this stage is to let this go and move on with your life. Find someplace -- if not a union, then maybe an injured workers' group (if this is what you are now claiming to be) or an immigration support network or poverty action centre -- where you can draw from your hard-earned experience to make a positive contribution to the lives of other workers.

I will be asking a moderator to respond to your attempt to out another babbler.


triciamarie -

Sorry you found it all so confusing.  

Unfortunately, you've admitted that you made your 'best guess'.  

Since you never actually read anything that I wrote (gleaning isn't the same as reading), and you didn't check out the links, then your grossly off-the-mark opinions, and advice, doesn't count for anything, does it.

What you've done is akin to glancing at the dust-jacket of a book and then trying to give a critique on the whole book.

That's not logical, is it.

As for you stating that I've had nothing to contribute with respect to any other topic on this board, yes that's true.  

But I have thought about posting comments.

What's held me back from commenting is something I've been observing for a couple of years on babble - that many of the discussions on babble degenerate into nasty free-for-alls, with some horrific name-calling and all other manner of insults.  

And you never know when someone's going to come at you on this forum. There seems to be a core group of individuals - pretty predictable which ones, actually - who'll jump in and, for no other reason than they can get away with it, derail the topic by baiting the posters they don't agree with. Differences of opinion are definitely not tolerated by the long-term babblers here.

oldgoat -

Why would you think I would "attempt to give identifying information about another babbler"?

If you're talking about munroe, he's well known in forum circles on the internet for being in those positions I've mentioned, as he talks it about himself. He hasn't attempted to keep the information a secret.

You can't 'out' someone who's already outed himself.

As for your 'personal attacks' comment, the comments I made about munroe were my personal observations of his behaviour on discussion forums, including on a thread I had started on another discussion forum.

munroe's pattern of forum behaviour is quite predictable, and well known, in the forum world.

I welcome munroe, or anyone else, to discuss the relevant topics of this thread, but I won't tolerate baiting or trolling.  

By the way, the term 'your account will be locked' is another term for being banned, isn't it.

You might as well use the term that babble usually uses.

Did you know that babble is more famous on the internet for banning people than for anything else. Other forums and websites tell first-hand accounts from someone who's been banned from babble.  And there are lots of them. Frankly, some of the reasons for the bannings are absurd.

I've also read comments on babble, when some people leave babble, announcing the reason they're leaving is because of the 'toxic' atmosphere on babble - including one very recent one.  

It's sad.

Babble can be a great forum for ALL workers, in all their diversity, with all kinds of opinions, but it hasn't worked out that way, has it.


You know what's really sad, prototype? It's that you have constructed this whole little cottage industry of the ego out of rehashing your personal experiences in that long-ago union job -- whatever they were. I personally would be more than happy if you will warn anyone else who wants to come here and stew in their own sour grapes, that this is not the place for it.


These cases take a long time to wind their way through the courts.  

I went to the BC Human Rights Tribunal in May 2006 (after giving my union plenty of chances to help me for many months before that) and the final decision at the Tribunal didn't come down until September 2008. I was unrepresented.

It took nearly two and a half years at the Tribunal.

And now onto the BC Supreme Court.

How much faster would my case have been resolved if grievances had been put in for me and it all went to Arbitration. And how much cheaper, for everyone concerned.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

prototype wrote:
So, if you 3 want to comment knowledgeably about my case, you should go back and read every word of my previous postings on this thread, my main thread on uncharted.ca (To Members of CUPE 561 who work at SD43), my other posts on uncharted.ca (do a search through my profile), my blog (accessed through uncharted.ca), and 5 published decisions regarding my case at the BC Human Rights Tribunal (easily accessed through my blog). And if you're really clever you can easily find out where else I've spoken on the internet. Munroe already knows of other places I've posted.

Helpful and intelligent comments are always welcome on this thread :)

If the price of being permitted to make helpful and intelligent comments on your case is to wade through "every word" of that voluminous and highly repetitive material, I predict you will receive very few such comments here.

What are you doing here, anyway?


Yeah, good luck with that. But, hey, in the meantime, why not continue to dedicate your life to knocking down unions over your own experience of perceived injustice? In fact, why not do that in perpetuity, since you already have the infrastructure set up for it all across the internet.

Just not here, eh.