Report from the First Day of the Industrial Inquiry

On Sunday, April 15, the CUPE 3903 bargaining team met with William Kaplan, the Commissioner for the Industrial Inquiry appointed by the Ministry of Labour.

Kaplan began with an attempt at mediating between the parties. The union’s bargaining team spent considerable time going over the issues for the Commissioner. York has yet to provide a counter-offer or meaningfully engage with bargaining since the membership of CUPE 3903 overwhelmingly rejected the forced ratification vote.

The one piece of good news is that we have signed off on the union’s language for lactation accommodations! There is no doubt that the amazing (l)activism from many members played a significant role in this outcome.

Most of the afternoon was dedicated to unit-specific caucuses to strategize going forward. This resulted in Unit 2 passing some reduced proposals to the employer through the Commissioner. We await a response. The changes are:

  • 10 conversions or 10% of new tenure-track hires, whichever is greater
  • 10% of Contractually Limited Appointments (CLAs) reserved for Unit 2 members
  • Withdrawal of incumbency proposal
  • 7 Long Service Teaching Appointments (LSTAs) per year for a (renewable) 5 year period
  • 10 Special Renewable Contracts (SRCs) per year on the old model (as previously existed and is still outlined in the YUFA collective agreement)

The Unit 2 bargaining team is holding firm on qualifications and the Continuing Sessional Standing Program (CSSP).

The bargaining team will be meeting with the Commissioner again on Tuesday April 17 at 9 am. Despite today’s lacklustre results, we remain committed to the process and hope that a settlement is possible. Should mediation fail, the Commissioner will write his report. There is nothing preventing York from returning to the bargaining table while we wait for the results of the report. As highlighted by last Thursday’s Senate meeting, returning to the bargaining table to negotiate a settlement is the right thing to do for the entire York community.