January 25 Bargaining Report: Employer Refuses to Discuss Important Issues

On Thursday, January 25, the bargaining team for CUPE 3903 Units 1, 2, and 3 met with the employer and the conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour, Greg Long. It was yet another frustrating day where very little happened in terms of bargaining.

Most of the proposal documents which have been tabled so far are available on the Reports page.

Minor Movements on Equity

The union’s bargaining team, in consultation with our Equity Officer, have provided yet more counters on equity language. We have also signed off on an increase of $10,000 to the Trans Fund.

Employer Confirms Attack on Unit 3

From the beginning, the employer has refused to discuss Unit 3 (Graduate Assistant) issues, including the fact that they have cut upwards of 90% of the Unit. Today, the employer provided counters on equity hiring for Unit 1 and 2, but refused to do so for Unit 3. When pressed to justify this omission, the employer appeared to acknowledge what we have suspected all along: they intend to keep the number of GAs low and their hiring arbitrary, making — in their opinion — equity hiring unnecessary. Leaving aside that equity is essential even in small bargaining units, this is yet another attempt to divide the union in the hopes that Units 1 and 2 will abandon Unit 3. Combined with the employer’s demands for double the number of tickets and a funding model for Unit 1 that would facilitate keeping PhD students out of the priority pool, it is clear that this attack on Unit 3 is part of a larger pattern, shifting work out of all three Units. The bargaining team, following the membership’s direction, retains solidarity for all three Units.

Main Bargaining Proposals Remain Off the Table

The employer finished the day with a slap in the face: they provided a written response that reiterates that they will not move on job security for contract faculty, that they do not acknowledge Unit 1’s concerns around the impacts of the fellowship model, and that they intend to maintain the eradication of Unit 3. The response ended with a sentence saying they are willing to bargain, which does nothing to attenuate the intransigence of their position. There is no meaningful desire to bargain if they will not touch what has been stressed numerous times are the essential proposals in this round of bargaining.

One Day Left to Vote YES!

It is abundantly clear that only a strong YES vote will force the employer to bargain. In excellent news, the turnout for the Strike Mandate Vote has broken the previous record as of Thursday afternoon. There is still time to cast your vote! Let’s show York that we treat bargaining seriously, and support the bargaining team.

Polling stations are open Friday in the following locations:

Keele Campus

  • Vari Hall link: 9 am – 8 pm
  • Vanier College (front lobby): 9 am – 5 pm
  • William Small Centre (near the Tim Hortons): 9 am – 5 pm

Glendon Campus

  • Across from the cafeteria: 11 am – 6:30 pm