CUPE 3903 Unit 4, which represents part-time librarians and archivists at York University, ratified their first collective agreement on Friday January 27.
Some gains resulting from this agreement include:
- A guaranteed minimum of 12 hours employment per week.
- A seniority scheme based on length of employment, not number of hours worked.
- A significant pay increase from the previously woefully inadequate rates.
- Full medical, dental, vision and other health benefits, as well as a long-term disability plan and leaves in line with those of the other units.
- Access to a pension plan for members who meet the minimum earnings requirement.
- Academic freedom.
These gains are a significant win for the members of Unit 4, who were denied the benefits and protections of union representation for much too long. However, there is still room for improvement. While a significant raise in numbers, the salary increase does not reflect the value of the labour done by part-time librarians and archivists. Unit 4 are professionals who do the same work as other librarians and archivists, and that labour should not be devalued simply because they are part-time. Furthermore, members of Unit 4 have been denied any extension to CUPE 3903’s excellent benefits package, which is crucial for numerous members who have contract gaps. The other three units receive a 5-month extension.
We must applaud the perseverance and hard work of the Unit 4 bargaining team. This agreement was an absurdly long time in coming. It is but the first of many more agreements to come, each a further step in securing rights and respect for the labour of part-time librarians and archivists.
To read previous bargaining updates, visit the Unit 4 Bargaining page.