Report Back – Bargaining with Employer – June 24th and 25th

The CUPE 3903 Bargaining Team met with the Employer on June 24th and 25th. There have been significant developments to the bargaining timeline. The Union received counter proposals on a number of issues including: Unit 1 appointment deadlines, and the outstanding Unit 3 issues of the Graduate Assistant Training Fund and job misclassification. In turn, the union presented the first pass of a Letter of Understanding to ensure a safe return to in-person teaching in the fall. The union also finally got confirmation that York is going to comment on monetary issues.

Bargaining Timeline: Intensive Bargaining Ahead
As per the letter received on June 23rd, the Employer has committed to providing comprehensive packages, including monetary items, before the Strike Mandate Vote begins on July 5th. York has now committed to providing those packages on June 30th, so that intensive bargaining sessions on July 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and the morning of July 4th can be productive.

Unit 1 Appointment Deadline Counter: York Misses the Mark
The Bargaining Team received a counter to our latest proposal on Unit 1 appointment deadlines. The Bargaining Team wanted to ensure that an expired offer would not be taken to mean that a member was no longer entitled to their minimum guaranteed funding. Instead, the Employer now suggests that an expired offer counts against one of the three refusals allowed by our right of first refusal. The Bargaining Team considers this to be concessionary and unacceptable.

Unit 3: Inadequate Movement on the  Graduate Assistant Training Fund and Misclassification
York continues its union busting with regard to Unit 3. While their latest counter does increase the amount in the GATF (and by extension the amount allocated per GA), York continues to insist that only full time faculty members, instead of Principal Investigators, who organize research units and departments, will be eligible to access the GATF. Additionally, York refuses to commit to specifying what types of work fall under the scope of Unit 3, thus exacerbating the ongoing issue of misclassification of workers who should be Unit 3 members.

Safe Return Letter of Understanding
As per York’s letter on the 23rd, York indicated a willingness to engage on the question of a safe return LoU. The union presented a draft to York on June 24th. This LoU would ensure that no member who has not been vaccinated will be required to teach in person. In turn, it would also tie returning to in-person work to a number of key public health indicators which would suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic is under control. The LoU also contains provisions to protect not only our members, but our members’ families in the event that having a member return to in-person work would cause undue risk to them.

All Unit Monetary Items
After York finally agreed to engage on monetary items (funds, benefits, and wages), the Bargaining Team was given a presentation from York on how they have costed our collective agreement. Discussion is still ongoing before the bargaining team responds, and we eagerly await York’s monetary counters.

Keep Up the Pressure: Vote ‘YES’ in the Upcoming Strike Mandate Vote – July 5–9, 2021

The bargaining team notes substantial movement from York on the question of monetary items and the safe return LoU. That, after 10 months of bargaining, there was this amount of movement so soon after scheduling our strike mandate vote is no coincidence: York feels the pressure of our membership. A strong ‘YES’ vote in the upcoming strike mandate vote will increase that pressure and result in better collective agreements for all units.

For more information on how to vote in the strike mandate vote please see detailed information here:


Special General Membership Meeting on Red Lines and Strike Mandate Vote – July 5th (Noon–3pm)

All members are strongly encouraged to attend the next SGMM to discuss the latest developments in bargaining, to establish the red lines in bargaining, and to discuss the strike mandate vote.

Please register in advance using the link provided below:

You will need your employee number to register. Your employee number (not your student number) can be found on your pay stub. If you need information on how to find your employee number, please click here. After your registration is approved, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to join the meeting.


Upcoming Bargaining Meetings with the Employer
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.

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