Items in this update:
- Bargaining news
- Upcoming meetings
- Pictures from the bargaining meeting
Supported by a large number of rank-and-file members, the CUPE 3903 Bargaining Team (BT) met with the Employer on Tuesday, December 2 to get the Employer’s responses on the Unit 2 job security proposals that were presented the week before. The BT also discussed the Union’s Wages and Benefits proposals.
The Employer provided verbal responses to 3903’s job security proposals around qualifications. Additionally, it tabled counters to our conversion, Long-Service Teaching Appointments (LSTA), and Continuing Sessional Status proposals – the first major counter that the Union has received from the Employer during negotiations. Nonetheless, the Employer’s counters were quite problematic, to say the least, coming nowhere near what we are asking for. The BT is currently working on a detailed response to these counter-proposals, but this much is clear: they do not even begin to address contract faculty’s concerns around employment precarity and stabilizing our work.
We did not even get a response around some important proposals, such as treating Unit 2 faculty as “internal” candidates for all tenure-track hires (professorial and alternate-stream) and Contractually Limited Appointments (CLAs) within the York University Faculty Association (YUFA). The Employer instead made vague comments about the constraints imposed by the University’s budget that would limit the number of tenure-stream hires in general at York. We don’t buy this. Departments are being told by Deans that they will get new hires to restore York’s depleted faculty complement. The Employer is also aware of the large number of looming retirements of faculty who have taught beyond normal retirement age but are now entering their 70s. In short, there is an imminent faculty crisis of even greater proportion than that of the last decade headed York’s way. York needs more tenure-stream faculty and we are more than ready and willing to step up to the plate to take on these positions.
After hearing back from the Employer, the BT advised that we are filing for conciliation, as we have not seen any significant movement on most of the three units’ proposals. Our hope is that a conciliator will help our Employer recognize the importance of the proposals we are advancing and how they attempt to address a number of serious problems and gross inequities associated with our work at York. As we said at the beginning of negotiations, York is “broken” and we are presenting a number of important solutions that will benefit both our members and the students we teach. We hope that, through the conciliation process, the BT will be able to extract a more substantial and positive response from the Employer.
For the remainder of the meeting, the BT focused on presenting our wages and benefits proposals, including implementing a refund for transportation for off-campus residents and reducing rent for members living on campus. The BT emphasized our proposal that will ensure that the minimum guarantee for Unit 1 members will not be offset by scholarships and other forms of funding. We also discussed making increases to our Ways and Means and Extended Health Benefits funds, improved funding for childcare, better-paid maternity leave, and improvements around post-retirement benefits and continuing access to work and post-retirement benefits after starting your pension.
The Employer ended the meeting by promising a comprehensive response to our proposals at our next bargaining session on Tuesday, December 16, which will be a day-long meeting, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (location to be announced shortly). Please come out to support the BT as we try to negotiate a fair settlement for CUPE 3903 members.
The BT encourages all members to attend bargaining sessions with Employer.
The next meeting of the Bargaining Mobilization Committee (BMC) will take place on Thursday, December 11 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (location to be announced shortly). This meeting will focus on all the tasks related to the mobilization for a strike mandate vote in January 2015. All members of CUPE 3903 are welcome to participate.
If you have any items for the agenda, or would like to get involved in the Bargaining Mobilization Committee, please email CUPE3903csu1@gmail.com.
For meeting dates, times and locations, please see Events.
Please contact Sheila Wilmot at CUPE3903.firstname.lastname@example.org or at 416-736-5154 ext. 3 if you require any of the following: ASL interpretation, reimbursement for childcare/caregiver/attendant care, and/or transportation costs for members who are unable to secure Wheel-Trans, or other requests for accommodation.
Pictures from the bargaining meeting