Last week, on February 2, 2016 our bargaining team met with York University representatives for the ninth round of talks.
We are continuing the “sign off” process through which both sides discover Articles of agreement and continuing with negotiations regarding benefits, leaves, seniority, and compensation. The University had agreed in principle to a benefits package for Part-time Librarian and Archivists corresponding to existing CUPE 3903 agreements. This would have been a big plus for our members. However, at the current time these articles have been withdrawn leaving us, as we were, casual labourers with no job security. Today, February 17, we will request their return, along with additional articles of agreement.
At our next meeting we will continue talks specifically relating to seniority and roles and responsibilities. The University bargaining team has already signaled its intention to regard our service to York as ‘lesser’ than that of our full-time colleagues. Their argument will rest upon two items relating to the roles and responsibilities of YUFA librarians: service and research. Our counter argument will hinge on accreditation and qualifications. But this is not enough. We will need to prove not only that we are capable of fulfilling the job of the YUFA librarian, but also that in the course of our duties we do so. Some of our members have already forwarded their reflections on this matter to the listserv. Before the next meeting we will be formulating a strategy that clarifies our position.
The University has also suggested, on more than one occasion, that as this is a first contract our membership should expect less. This is not so much a first contract as the long overdue righting of a wrong and we should have compensation and benefits equal to our full-time YUFA colleagues on a prorata basis. Again, to right this wrong, and to amend this challenge to our professionalism, the Bargaining Team and CUPE 3903 needs your support.
This is a matter not only of financial remuneration but of professional pride. The presence of members from our unit during meetings is crucial at this juncture. Anyone available is strongly urged to attend. We will post the location and time of each meeting on the Unit 4 Bargaining page as that information becomes available.