On Friday, February 16, the bargaining team for Units 1, 2, and 3 met with the conciliator to continue progress on bargaining, despite the employer’s refusal to meet. It is cause for great concern that the bargaining team received a “missive” complaining about a minor supporting document which had been posted as a link on our website a week and a half ago. As the strike deadline approaches, the best spin we could put on the employer’s refusal to meet this week was that they were working among themselves to approach a deal. Instead, we get this petty act, specifically engineered to irritate our bargaining team.
Their missive is not worth quoting at length, making such ridiculous claims as to say that they are not “doubling” tickets, since they are not asking for 40 tickets, but 30 tickets and an additional 10 tickets. Perhaps the most irritating part of their missive was the claim that their numbers on the increase of Teaching Assistants held by Master’s students does not support our position; however, when the bargaining team asked for such numbers, they were told that they are not available. The union has a right to request data in order to inform bargaining. The fact that York has been resistant to sharing this data — forcing the bargaining team to file Freedom of Information requests — is a sign of bad faith, only worsened when they conveniently have the data on hand when it works for their position.
York’s own update says that they have never refused to bargain. This is news to us, as one wonders where they were while our bargaining team met twice this week. These dates and times were shared with the employer some time ago, and our desire to bargain this week was expressed to the employer’s bargaining team in person last week.
Bargaining is scheduled during reading week on Tuesday and Friday. When the employer comes back to the table, we can only hope they do so with the intent to find common ground, rather than wasting everyone’s time with petty arguments.