We are writing this statement to express our solidarity and support with staff represented by
the York University Staff Association (YUSA) who are currently engaged in collective bargaining
with York University.
During this round of bargaining the university has demanded numerous concessions from the
staff. These concessions include but are not limited to: reducing the amount of vacation staff
can accrue and removing the requirement for managers to give consideration of staff members’ preference in the selection of vacation days they wish to take; allowing unlimited numbers of non-unionized interns to perform work currently done by unionized YUSA staff; dismantling their prized Joint Job Evaluation system which gives staff the power, jointly with management, to maintain and administer the system which evaluates jobs to ensure that staff are paid fairly for the work they perform, and replacing this with a system that is unilaterally managed by the university; eroding job posting rights in numerous ways including by allowing external applicants to apply for YUSA jobs before current YUSA members are even considered; doubling the probationary period for new employees, and many others.
The university is also refusing to engage with YUSA’s proposals regarding fair opportunities for
remote work, protecting the psychological health and safety of workers, and training for health
and safety worker representatives. These actions stand in stark contrast to the University’s
stated commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
These concessions are especially galling given the large budget surplus that the university is
currently enjoying, and the fact that due to Bill 124, staff are limited to a 1% pay increase which is far below the current rate of inflation. We condemn this concessionary approach, and we call on the university to treat staff with the respect they deserve, to take these punitive concessions off the table, and to give staff a fair contract.
We are thankful for the hard work and dedication YUSA staff have always shown to keep the
university running, and the flexibility and tenacity they have demonstrated throughout the
pandemic. We are deeply disappointed at the concessionary approach the university is taking
with this group of staff who are integral to the functioning and success of the university, and we call on the administration to treat these staff, and all workers at the university, with compassion and respect.
YUSA staff have faithfully supported the students, faculty, and teaching assistants at the
university for over 45 years and we call on the university now to support them and deliver a fair contract that is free from concessions.