CUPE 3903 Memorandum of Settlement

On Wednesday, May 30, the bargaining team representing Teaching Assistants, Contract Faculty and Graduate Assistants proposed an offer of settlement to end the current strike. The offer, presented without prejudice, responds to the issues identified by the employer as “barriers to settlement,” and expires on Friday, June 8 at 11:59 pm. The union invites the employer to engage the services of a mediator to discuss issues remaining on the table.

The union continues to disagree with the employer’s characterization of these barriers, as job security is a reality that all employers in the post-secondary sector must grapple with. Yet in the spirit of continued compromise, the union is offering a hybrid solution, creatively combining negotiation with arbitration on select issues.

The employer has only met with the bargaining team once since the dispute began 87-day days ago. A strategy that completely refuses to engage with key issues at the bargaining table has unnecessarily prolonged this unprecedented strike.

CUPE 3903’s bargaining team has demonstrated it is ready and empowered to settle the labour dispute through compromise. York must also compromise to ensure everyone can get back into the classroom in time to salvage the summer semester.

Read the full offer of settlement here, or see the summary below.

Accepted employer proposals

The union is prepared to accept the employer’s position on the following proposals:

  • Vacation pay in line with new legislation
  • Childcare Fund of $260,000/year (increase of $60,000)
  • Extended Health Benefits Fund of $220,000/year (increase of $40,000)
  • Post-retirement benefits for Unit 2 (increase individual limit from $1650 to $1800, increase total potential employer contribution from $84,000 to $100,000)
  • Partial parking costs for off-campus assignments
  • Equity hiring for new courses
  • Unit 1 Research Costs Fund of $110,000 (increase of $10,000, increase individual cap by $100)

Proposals to be sent to arbitration

The union is prepared to send the following proposals to arbitration.

All units proposals:

  • Wages
  • Adding orthodontics to the dental benefits
  • Increase to paramedical benefits
  • Long-term disability
  • Paid maternity leave
  • Gathering equity data for graduate students
  • Accommodation procedure
  • Health and safety proposals

Unit 1 specific proposal:

  • Year-round benefit coverage for Unit 1 members in the Priority Pool

Unit 2 specific proposals:

  • Authorized replacements
  • Nursing-specific qualifications
  • Conversions
  • Long Service Teaching Appointments (LSTAs)
  • Special Renewable Contracts (SRCs)
  • Qualifications
  • Nursing-specific class sizes

Unit 3 specific proposals:

  • Graduate Assistant employment opportunities for incoming full-time Master’s students

Remaining union proposals

The union is holding on its position for the following proposals.

All-unit proposals:

  • Contribution of $50,000 towards operating costs of Lee Wiggins (Student Centre) Childcare Centre (increase of $13,000 for daycare centre used by entire York community)
  • Creation of a joint committee to discuss childcare at Glendon and Markham campuses
  • Sexual Violence Survivor’s Fund of $50,000, managed by the union
  • Racial Discrimination Fund of $30,000
  • Professional Development Fund of $137,000 (increase of $12,000)

Unit 1 specific proposals:

  • Clawback protection for Unit 1 members who receive scholarships up to $15,000
  • Letter of Intent committing to communicating to Master’s students how their funding will be clawed back when they accept Unit 1 work
  • Language to protect Unit 1 funding

Unit 2 specific proposals:

  • Improvements to the Continuing Sessional Standing Program (CSSP): see here for a summary of these improvements and their rationale

Unit 3 specific proposals:

  • Removing barriers that prevent Principle Investigators (PIs) from hiring GAs, including reversing the inflation of the cost of benefits
  • Unit 3 minimum guarantee
  • Summer assistance

Proposed Return to Work Protocol

The following elements are included in the union’s proposed Return to Work Protocol:

  • 100% back-pay (the employer providing “provisional” and “assessed” grades promises to make extra work for course directors and teaching assistants for many months to come)
  • No reprisals whatsoever against union members
  • No reprisals whatsoever for members of the broader York community who participated in strike or solidarity action including, but not limited to, Reclaim York students, members of YUFA, former CUPE 3903 members, among others
  • One-semester funding extension for Units 1 and 3
  • Return of summer classes and agreement to aid in remediation