Report Back – Bargaining with the Employer, April 19

During the bargaining session on Monday, April 19, 2021, the Employer presented their  “comprehensive” proposal packages to the Bargaining Team (BT), and issued an ultimatum: agree to every proposal, or none of them. After caucusing, the BT rejected the Employer’s proposals for all three units. 

Employer’s “Comprehensive” Proposal Packages

The so-called “comprehensive” proposal packages are inadequate. The only movement is proposals to make the Childcare and Extended Health Benefits funds permanent. 

Unit 1:
  • The Employer’s new proposal on contract deadlines for Unit 1 includes that a Unit 1 member must accept the contract within 5 working days. This is worse than the current practice.
  • The Employer also demanded the withdrawal of three proposals “in the interest of expediency”: including Fellowship Funding in the Unit 1 and Unit 3 Collective Agreements; a priority pool extension into the summer of PhD 6; and increased Executive service funding, which is an all-units proposal . 
  • The remaining employer proposals reflected those presented prior; the Union is working on responses. 
Unit 2: 
  • For Unit 2, the Employer’s proposals fail to address any of the key issues in the School of Nursing. The Employer’s latest counter-proposal would further entrench the problematic Proof of Practice requirement in the Collective Agreement. This would only make the already toxic work environment in the School of Nursing worse. 
  • The Employer noted that they were reserving proposals on job security, for ongoing discussion with Chris Albertyn.
Unit 3:
  • The package for Unit 3 does not respond to any of the Unit 3 specific issues we brought to the table, and fails to address the ongoing issue of RA misclassification and the need for shared oversight of the GATF. 

Bargaining Team Rejects Employer’s Proposal Packages

After caucusing, the BT unanimously rejected all three of the “comprehensive” packages. The BT rejects the Employer’s strong-arm tactic of issuing an ultimatum, and insists that bargaining should continue as normal with proposals discussed individually. By giving us a series of packages and processes not altogether different from the “extension” framework we rejected last year, the Employer has effectively wasted a day of bargaining. We also indicated that the Employer’s demand that we withdraw proposals is inappropriate, as only our membership can determine what is and is not kept on the bargaining table.

While the Employer continues to emphasize their desire for an expedited process, the fact is that the Employer received a complete proposal package from us on December 9, 2020. We have yet to receive replies to many of the proposals we presented over four months ago. Many of these proposals directly address the lack of stability our members face, and the best way to provide stability to the York community would be for the Employer to adequately engage with and bargain around the CUPE 3903 proposals.

CUPE 3903 Monetary Proposals

Due to the delay caused by the Employer’s ultimatum, we were unable to present the monetary proposals approved by the CUPE 3903 membership at our last SGMM. The monetary proposals that would otherwise have been presented at today’s meeting was sent to the Employer to help speed up our next meetings.

Next Meetings 

Members are encouraged to join us for our upcoming bargaining meetings with the Employer. Dates and exact times of all meetings can be found on our calendar here. 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.