CUPE 3903 has given Notice to Bargain today, June 1st, 2023. This legal notice is the first step in bargaining new collective agreements for Units 1, 2, and 3. This round of negotiations will require swift and decisive action. Precarious academic workers can’t afford to wait. We must fight for improved wages, job security, employment equity, and more.
We all know that the last few years have been difficult. Under the pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic, a conservative government, and a cost of living crisis, the problems festering in academia for decades have swelled to a point where they affect every last one of us. Despite years — often decades — of trying to address systemic problems, we have seen little to no change in terms of job security, workload, equitable hiring, and addressing racialized violence. The unfair employment practices within the School of Nursing persist, and we face job losses within Kinesiology and Glendon. The employer’s union-busting of research assistants continues, robbing hundreds of graduate students of benefits and protections. Atop this mountain of entrenched issues sits Bill 124. This bill prevented us from bargaining for fair wage increases by limiting our collective agreements to a 1% increase, far below the gigantic cost of living increases we currently face. Not only was Bill 124 declared unconstitutional, but it is now expired. We are free to demand wage and benefit increases that represent fair and dignified compensation for the valuable work we do.
The situation may be difficult, but it is far from insurmountable. Our opportunity is here to fight back against our immiseration. Bargaining is our moment to come together and express our collective will and power. The solutions to our problems exist, and we have the power to demand them, as we have done successfully in the past.
Your voice and your experience are an essential part of this struggle. If you have yet to fill out the bargaining survey, please take a few minutes to do so here:
- Unit 1 Bargaining Survey – Full-time graduate students who work as Teaching Assistants, Marker/Graders, Lab Assistants, Tutors, and more.
- Unit 2 Bargaining Survey – Contract faculty who are not full-time graduate students.
- Unit 3 Bargaining Survey – Full-time graduate students with a graduate assistantship.
You can read the full Notice to Bargain here. The notice also includes a list of documents and other information requested by the bargaining team in order to inform the bargaining proposals.
We can’t afford to wait. It’s time to bargain. Let’s do this.