Bargaining update #17

A CUPE 3903 bargaining ad inside a TTC subway car

A CUPE 3903 bargaining ad inside a TTC subway car

Items in this update: 

  • Bargaining news
  • Upcoming meetings

Bargaining news

The CUPE 3903 Bargaining Team (BT) has been negotiating with the Employer via a Ministry of Labour appointed conciliator since January 16. In addition to the meeting that day, the BT and the Conciliator have met January 19 and 22, as well as February 2, 4 and 6. During these meetings, both parties have been exchanging counter-proposals via the Conciliator with the goal of moving towards a negotiated settlement.

On February 6, after seeing a lack of responsiveness from the Employer to the Union’s latest offer, the BT requested that the conciliator file a “no board” report as soon as possible. Once this report is issued – likely between February 10 and 12 – the Union will be in a legal strike position after 17 calendar days. This would place the Union in a legal strike positions between Friday, February 27 and Monday, March 2, although the Union could choose to hold off on calling a strike until a later date if it wished.

At the February 4 meeting with the Conciliator, following the February 3 Special General Members’ Meeting (SGMM) at which members of each of CUPE 3903’s three bargaining units identified priority areas, the BT made significant progress in narrowing the proposal package, withdrawing a number of proposals that fall outside of the priority areas with the goal of pushing the Employer to respond to the Union’s key demands.

The Employer, for its part, has showed some movement during conciliation, such as withdrawing its demand for Units 1 and 2 to make student evaluations available to all undergraduate students. The BT and the Employer have signed off on some smaller items, including an increase to the Extended Health Benefits (EHB) fund, and a clause that requires the parties to discuss how to integrate intersectional analysis into hiring practices. The BT and Employer are close to agreement on intellectual property language for Unit 2 and are continuing to pass counters on course design language.

Nevertheless, the BT remains disappointed with the Employer’s latest offer. Though there has been some progress, on the major items the Employer is not demonstrating sufficient movement. The Employer’s package continues to include a 1% across-the-board (ATB) increase in compensation rates, which is well below inflation. On the important question of skyrocketing international tuition fees, the Employer has offered only a small increase ($50,000 total) to the Units 1 and 3 Bursary Funds. And, it continues to refuse to offer a minimum guarantee for Unit 3 members.

On the crucial question of Unit 2 job security, the Employer continues to stall. While it has countered the Union’s proposal for Continuing Sessional Status with a program it calls Advanced Standing Appointment Process (ASAP), it has not included any work guarantees in its counter. On the subject of conversions, the Employer continues to ask for a reduction in the number over the life of the collective agreement from seven to four. It has not countered on the Union’s proposal for an internal hiring process for alternate-stream appointments. With respect to the the Long Service Teaching Appointments (LSTA) program, the Employer continues to adhere to only offering a small number of these types of positions (as opposed to the Union’s proposal that they be automatic upon meeting the specified teaching intensity and years of service criteria) and has refused to uncap the total number of such positions, instead suggesting to increase the cap to 60 from 51 positions. While an improvement, the BT is pushing the Employer to move further, and to respond to the job security package as a whole, rather than only certain elements of it.

Overall, while the Employer has showed a modest amount of movement since the start of conciliation, it needs to negotiate more seriously on the central issues of this round of bargaining. The BT is ready to continue to push forward with negotiations, but its ability to do so is contingent on the Employer making more substantial and serious counter-proposals on the Union’s priority issues.

Upcoming meetings

The BT encourages members to show their support by attending upcoming bargaining sessions. The next bargaining meeting with the Employer and Conciliator will take place on Wednesday, February 11 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in 1014 Osgoode Hall, Ignat Kaneff Building. Two more meetings have been scheduled for Wednesday, February 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (location TBA) and Monday, February 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (location TBA).

For more information about upcoming meetings, please visit the Events section of the website.

For more information about bargaining, please visit the Bargaining section of the website.

To get involved in the mobilization, please email or

Please contact Sheila Wilmot at 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.