Report Back – Bargaining with Employer, June 7th

On Monday, June 7th, the CUPE 3903 Bargaining Team met with the conciliators as part of the process of conciliated bargaining. The Employer presented counter proposals for Unit 1, 2 and 3.

Unit 1

The Employer presented a counter proposal in response to our proposal for paid voluntary training. While the Employer was responsive to our earlier concerns around only allowing first year TAs to access training, we still feel the Employer’s proposal is too restrictive. Our response would allow for the entire first year cohort of TAs plus an additional 500 TAs to access training, would see TAs compensated for the entire time required to receive the Teaching Common’s Record of Completion Certificate rather than arbitrarily capping the compensation at 5 hours, and would mandate the Teaching Commons to ensure adequate space in the trainings for all eligible TAs wishing to complete the Record of Completion Certificate.

Unit 2: School of Nursing

Close to the session’s end time, the Employer presented a counter proposal specific to the School of Nursing. The counter addresses the definition of Clinical Course Director (CCD). Adding a definition of a CCD is an important step to addressing the overwork and unreasonable standards that are applied to our members within the school of Nursing. It was also mandated by arbitrator Hayes that a definition must be negotiated in this round of bargaining.While we are pleased to see movement on this proposal, it remains crucial to change the arbitrary Proof of Practice language and the restrictions on Authorized Replacements. The Proof of Practice language represents a potential erosion of seniority that should be of concern for all U2 members, and the restrictions on Authorized Replacement are an impediment to CCDs being able to take sick days. Support 3903 CCDs by signing our petition: read more about it here.

Unit 3

The Employer presented us with a counter on the Graduate Assistant Training Fund (GATF). Through a reallocation of existing U3 monies, this fund incentivizes the hiring of GAs by Principal Investigators, Organized Research Units, and academic units. Though there has been some movement with increasing the re-allocation of available resources within the fund, we still require the removal of toxic language that limits our Unit 3 scope clause, and we need inclusion of a transparent fund allocation process.

We asked the co-conciliators yet again for a response to our proposal requiring Principal Investigators (PI) to cover only 15% of the standard benefit rate associated with the hiring of an employee in Unit 3. Currently, the cost to PIs is a four-fold increase of the cost of Unit 3 contracts compared to 2016 levels. We are currently working on a counter proposal to address the misclassification of RAs as GAs.

Next steps

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.