Job Stability Committee Extension and Next Steps on a Mentorship Program

The Job Stability Joint Committee has agreed to an extension of the June 30th deadline into September in the hopes of arriving at a program that we could recommend. We are planning to use this time to push for the integration of the feedback from the Job Stability Townhall and to get the ball rolling on a mentorship program.

On June 21, 2022 was the last scheduled date of the Job Stability Joint Committee, which originally had a deadline of June 30th to draft a long-term job stability program to replace the Continuing Sessional Standing Program (CSSP) and Long Standing Teaching Appointments (LSTAs), as per the agreement in the last round of bargaining.  

The union side of the joint committee has agreed to an extension of the committee until September so that mediator Chris Albertyn, who has been facilitating the joint sessions, could take away both parties’ positions and try to draft a suggested compromise. This draft would then be hashed out over a single weekend in September, at which point there would either be something to recommend to the membership, or the joint process will have failed. The union’s reps were very clear with the joint committee that this is not an indefinite extension. If nothing can be arrived at in September, we will have to continue this conversation in bargaining in 2023. 

Leaving the draft in the hands of mediator Albertyn does not mean that the very valid concerns and objections raised at the townhall won’t have an impact. The union side of the committee is planning to have multiple meetings with him to help clarify what a program that has a chance of being ratified by the membership looks like, following the feedback we have heard:

  • While there is some hope that a job stability program could address precarity at York in a long-term way, there is also a very valid worry that this program could be used to increase precarity instead. 
  • Specifically, seniority and incumbency remain very important rights to ensure, as they offer an additional layer of protection for Unit 2 members 
  • A successful program needs to have full participation of the hiring units, and not have entire departments simply opt out of offering stability to members.
  • Helping stabilize work for lower seniority members should not be done at the expense of the workloads of higher seniority members
  • Professional development opportunities are very important given the constant “qualifications creep” on Unit 2 work.  
  • Employment equity is a priority for the membership. In order for the program to meaningfully address barriers to job stability for members belonging to Employment Equity Groups, the Employer must provide accurate and complete data and set specific equity goals

Rest assured that the committee will not bring a program to ratification if we do not believe it will be acceptable to Unit 2 members. Even if the committee does recommend ratification, the decision rests entirely in the hands of the Unit 2 membership.

While we wait for September, we intend to keep working to improve job stability in the ways that we can begin on our own. The 3903 members of the Job Stability Committee want to hold a consultation session focused around a possible mentorship program; Unit 2 members, please watch for date and time info in the coming weeks!