November 6 Bargaining Update: Equity Continued and Job Security

On Monday, November 6, the CUPE 3903 and York University bargaining teams met to continue discussing CUPE 3903’s equity proposals and to present the Unit 2 job security proposals (numbered 50 through 74 in CUPE 3903’s bargaining proposal package). Overall, we are disappointed that the employer does not seem to take equity proposals seriously. We are also very far apart when it comes to job security.

Thank you to the rank-and-file members who attended the meeting. Open bargaining and membership mobilization are the source of our strength. The next meeting will be on Monday, November 13 at 10 am in the Harry Crowe room, 109 Atkinson. The employer will be presenting the details for their Unit 1 funding plan.

Outstanding Labour Management Issues

The ongoing issue of Continuing Sessional Standing Program (CSSP) payouts has finally been addressed by Rob Lawson of Faculty Relations, who confirmed that members who are owed a payout will receive it with the November paycheck.

CUPE 3903 highlighted another example of the employer contravening the Collective Agreements and failing to provide required information to the union. Departments have been inconsistent in meeting the CA requirements to post lists of hiring unit appointments for Units 1, 2 and 3 to departmental bulletin boards as well as providing them to the union. Rob Lawson has indicated he will email departmental administrators, reminding them of this requirement.

Another labour management matter is that the employer has suddenly stopped paying for the dependents of UHIP recipients. Previously, dependents have typically been covered. This change is a violation of two parts of the Unit 1 and Unit 3 CAs (15.14/15.20 in U1 and 20/23 in U3). Mario Verrilli (FGS) says they can no longer cover these costs due to a growing international student population. However, he failed to reference the two CA funds mentioned above which are available to cover these costs. We requested the accounting of the funds and the employer has agreed to provide us with this information.

Continuing our discussion on Article 22 and the employer’s failure to produce phone numbers and emails for the majority of members, Rob Lawson now claims the data can in fact be pulled, and will request that this information be pulled for the union. The bargaining team and staff have spent multiple sessions prior to and in bargaining, asking for this information.

Equity Proposals Continued

Continuing last week’s negotiations on equity proposals, the union provided revisions to proposals 82, 82 and 90 to provide greater clarity on our benchmark for equity hires based on the GTA census data.

The employer continued to rehash matters the union thought were settled in the previous meeting. These included questions about the current availability of breastfeeding facilities on campus. The employer pointed to inadequate facilities such as two daycare centres on campus. Our members need more accessible facilities (one example being a site at Glendon). The same attitude was taken when addressing our proposal for ASL interpreters, with the employer suggestion a computer program fitted to convey ASL online. Our proposals exist because the current institutional resources are not meeting people’s needs. York needs to take this seriously if they are to tout their commitment to equity.

After the lunch break, the union expressed its disappointment with the employer and negotiations thus far. The union expected sign-offs for equity proposals presented the week before for which the employer raised no questions or concerns. The lack of movement on proposals that would simply bring our Collective Agreements in line with existing legislation and human rights rulings is disappointing.

Job Security

Unit 2 members of the bargaining team delivered a presentation on job security, proposals 50 through 74. The presentation was framed in the context of Bill 148; the “Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act”, and York University’s Academic Plan 2015-2020, which details York’s stated commitment to increasing the number of full-time jobs. U2 BT members addressed the reality of precarious work for contract faculty, along with the lack of respect and representation U2 members are afforded within the broader university. U2 BT members brought data on the gender and sessional wage gaps, pointed to York’s stated commitment to “seven Inclusive Excellence Principles to advance equity, diversity and inclusion on campus and in society” – brought forward by the Universities Canada’s Board of Directors and Education Committee – and touched on the continuing success of the Conversion program.

The employer is standing firm on Contractually Limited Appointments (CLAs) as an alternative to the Conversion program. The employer’s attempt at trading off conversions for CLAs, which are temporary positions, is a major concession.

Setting the Stage for Unit 1 Funding

Finally, the employer provided the union with some documents on the proposed new funding language for Unit 1 along with their position on teaching evaluations as the session came to a close. We expect to pick up these two issues next session.