February 20 Bargaining Report: Still Waiting

On Tuesday, February 20, 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. After the employer declined our request to meet last week, we were hopeful for movement at this meeting. However, the employer had only prepared a package for Unit 1.

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

Movements Go Unanswered

CUPE 3903 takes very seriously the need to reach an agreement in the next couple weeks. It is with this in mind that the bargaining team met twice last week (February 12 and February 16) in order to prepare proposals. We have also been presenting counters and compromises, many of which the employer has not addressed since January 25.

Counters presented by the union since January 25 which have not received an answer:

  • Information provided with benefits enrollment
  • Equity provisions for course design
  • Accommodation for ASL interpretation
  • Collection of equity data
  • Procedure for the accommodation of members with disabilities
  • Office space and use of bulletin boards on Glendon and Markham campuses
  • More Unit 2 Research Leaves (dropped the proposal to increase their value)

Suggested compromises to help reduce the proposal package:

  • The Union is prepared to drop the Travel Conference Fund for Units 1 and 3 and agree to a modest increase to the Tuition Cost Fund (for non-York courses related to members’ employment) in exchange for a larger increase to the Professional Development Fund.
  • The Union is prepared to accept the employer’s proposal for increases to on-campus childcare centres in exchange for a Letter of Intent establishing a consultation process between York and CUPE 3903 to investigate the need and feasibility of childcare centres at Glendon and Markham campuses, as well as an increase to the amount of the Childcare Fund.
  • The union is prepared to drop transit costs, the refund for campus residence, and the Accessible Course Content Fund entirely in exchange for the establishment of a Racial Discrimination Fund and a Sexual Violence Survivor Support Fund

Proposals Accepted Since February 12:

  • Employee and Family Assistance Program
  • Ways and Means (emergency) Fund increase

Key Issues Remain Unaddressed

While the issues above are important, they will not make or break a deal. The issues that have been affirmed by the membership as ‘red lines’, namely funding for Unit 1, job security for Unit 2, and jobs for Unit 3, remain insufficiently addressed, or not addressed at all.

Union Maintains Commitment to All-Units Bargaining

It is alarming that the employer, with a whole week to prepare, only provided a package for one of the three units. We have told the employer many times that we bargain together, and that we will not let them split the units. The bargaining team remains committed to the principle of all units solidarity, and will engage with the employer’s proposals for Unit 1 once Units 2 and 3 are also on the table.

‘Final Offer’ Meeting: Friday March 2

The ‘Final Offer’ meeting, at which the membership will accept or reject a deal, will take place on Friday March 2. The location and time are still to be confirmed, as we are still looking for a suitable room.