Report Back – Mediated Bargaining with Chris Albertyn, May 29th–30th

Employer Refuses to Engage in Meaningful Discussion of Job Security in Seventh Weekend of Mediated Bargaining with Chris Albertyn

On May 29th and 30th, the Bargaining Team met with mediator Chris Albertyn. We are disappointed to see that more than two months into this process, the Employer still refuses to commit to meaningful improvement of job security for our members. The Employer’s lack of response on equity runs counter to the priorities identified by the membership and York’s own stated commitments. Click here to see the Union’s latest proposal package.

1) Job Security


a) Transitional Continuing Appointments (TCA)
In our latest pass, the Union made significant movement:

  • Appointments of 1, 2, and 3 years would be granted except in exceptional circumstances, while appointments of 4 and 5 years would not be unreasonably denied. The Employer would have to provide a written rationale for the rejection of 4- and 5- year appointments within 30 days.
  • The minimum threshold for eligibility would be 2.0 average course load for the last X years.

The Employer’s subsequent pass included:

  • No movement on their initial position of a maximum 3-year appointment, as opposed to the Union’s proposed 5-year appointment.
  • Minimal movement on the maximum course load commitment by raising it to 3.5 FCE. This still remains significantly below the Union’s proposed maximum course load of 5.0 FCE.
  • A rephrased seniority requirement for eligibility as “taught” seniority. The BT asserted that this qualification would undermine seniority points accrued through grievance settlement, leaves, and union service; hence, this narrowing of the definition Applicable Prior Experience is discriminatory.

The BT reiterated to the Employer that the BT might discuss a shorter TCA “runway” with the membership if the Employer made movement on other job security provisions that would provide our members more predictable and consistent workload throughout their career in the bargaining unit.

b) Post-Retirement Benefits
At the April SGMM, members directed the Bargaining Team to negotiate a continuation of our current benefits plan after retirement. Upon request by Chris Albertyn, the Employer presented the BT their research on the cost of a plan comparable to the post-retirement benefits of YUFA members (Click here to see the Employer’s document).

Based on the 32 participants currently enrolled in our post-retirement spending account, the Employer’s estimate of the premium or cost to members was quite high–about three times as much as what YUFA members pay in annual fees for a similar package. The BT will engage in further research and consultation with the membership to determine next steps. We reiterated to the Employer that an improved post-retirement benefits plan is a crucial part of our job security vision.

c) Continuing Sessional Standing Program (CSSP)/ Continuing Appointments Program (CAP)
On March 13, the BT introduced the proposal on Continuing Appointments Program (CAP), an improved version of our current CSSP. However, the Employer opted to backtrack and responded to our December 2020 CSSP proposal, and their counter does not address the significant problems that exist with the CSSP:

  • Hiring units attempt to opt out of running the program altogether by citing inability to determine which courses would be granted under CSSP
  • The Employer’s increased use of the payout structure rather than providing work to eligibility members. Repeated use of the payout structure also leads to our members being dropped out of the CSSP pool
  • Lack of guarantee of a minimum workload

In their counter, the Employer also inserted language about the equity provisions as per Article 12.04 that is currently being negotiated. This contradicts the Union’s proposal, since the equity provisions in the proposed Article 12.04 are supposed to apply to courses that are not offered as part of the CSSP and LSTA appointments. This is another attempt by the Employer to pit equity against seniority, a move the Union categorically rejects.

2) Employment Equity

Despite coming really close to a sign off, the May 8 session didn’t conclude negotiations around Articles 5.03 and 12.04. Chris Albertyn proposed to draft language that addresses the concerns of both parties, and requested that the sides then provide counters to this draft ahead of the May 29 session. The Employer initially agreed to Albertyn’s suggestion, but then tried to present new proposals, which needlessly slowed down progress when we were coming closer to a sign off. The BT remains cautiously optimistic as we move forward with the same process, but nonetheless disappointed at the loss of momentum when we expected negotiations to accelerate.

Upcoming 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 your registration is approved, 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.