Report Back – Mediated Bargaining Session with Chris Albertyn, March 27

On March 27, the CUPE 3903 Bargaining Team (BT) met with mediator Chris Albertyn. Discussions focused on security for members up to and after retirement, and the Employer’s responsibility to collect and share data under Unit 2 Article 5.03.

Transitional Continuing Appointments (TCA) Program and Post-Retirement Benefits

The BT presented a new counter on TCA, which holds firm on the severance amounts and length of the appointment. We also communicated to Chris Albertyn the concerns voiced by members at March 26 SGMM about the potential coercive use of this program to push long-serving members out, and about the inadequacy of post-retirement benefits. We look forward to further discussion with Albertyn and the Employer to address these very real concerns.

Equity Proposals

We spent the bulk of our meeting working through the Employer’s latest proposal on Article 5.03. The Employer has framed the removal of significant parts of the current CA language as “housekeeping,” but we see this as concessionary because these changes would release the Employer from much responsibility in collecting and reporting data related to equity. Additionally, this language determines how we measure and define underrepresentation, and thus, when equity hiring is stated as a central goal, we want to be careful to note and evaluate every suggested change to ensure that we are actually working towards redressing racialized underrepresentation.

We also  reviewed  the Employer’s latest proposals on Article 12.04, which spells out the hiring process, and what happens if there is conflict between equity and seniority. We are holding our position on that proposal for now, and prioritizing clarification and consensus on 5.03.


The Bargaining Team flagged a few issues of process with Albertyn that we think could lead to more expedient and transparent sessions. We would like the Employer to be more consistent in how they format changes in their proposals, and we would like to avoid the use of  closed caucuses in order to continue our open and coordinated bargaining protocol. We believe that creative problem-solving can be balanced with transparency.

Next Steps

Members are encouraged to join us for bargaining meetings. Exact times of all meetings can be found on our calendar. Please register in advance. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to join the meeting.

Members can also get in touch with the Bargaining Team for questions and comments.