On Monday, January 29, 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. This was the first bargaining meeting after the union secured an 85% Strike Mandate Vote.
Most of the proposal documents which have been tabled so far are available on the Reports page.
Stalemate for Unit 1
The main issue for Unit 1 is that the employer is proposing to radically change how funding is paid out, which would facilitate clawbacks and confirm the loss of summer funding. The employer asked how we envision resolving these issues as if it had not been discussed at length. The Unit 1 bargaining team directed the employer to proposal 47, which is a compromise to the fellowship funding model. The employer has so far been unwilling to even discuss the contents of that proposal.
Conversation Continues for Unit 2 Job Security
The employer continues to oppose any increase to the very successful Conversions program, asking instead to reduce it to one conversion a year. The message our bargaining team received seemed to indicate that York would be willing to discuss other job security proposals. However, there have not been any concrete discussion on these other proposals. The bargaining team is hoping to meet face-to-face with the employer on Monday February 5 in order to specifically discuss job security proposals.
Employer Refuses to Discuss Numbers for Unit 3
The employer has clearly stated that they will not negotiate on complement, i.e. the number of Graduate Assistant (GA) positions. York cut more than 700 jobs by artificially inflating the cost of GA benefits and warning faculty members that hiring GAs at the new cost would cause their grants to be denied. The year these changes came into effect, the number of non-unionized Research Assistants ballooned. This is clear union-busting, as the work is clearly being done elsewhere, without workers being granted protections and benefits. We strongly urge York to honour its publicly stated desire to bargain and actually come to the table to resolve this.
‘Red Lines’ General Membership Meeting: February 6
Following the 85% strike mandate vote, the bargaining team is asking CUPE 3903’s membership to give more direction in the form of “red lines”, i.e. what we won’t settle without. This meeting will take place at 5:00 pm on February 6 in Vari Lecture Hall A.