Bargaining Team Report Back Week of July 24 2023

Proposals change hands and priorities emerge during the first full day of bargaining

On July 27, the CUPE 3903 Bargaining Team joined the Employer at the table for the first full day of bargaining. Although proposals were not exchanged until the afternoon, the first set already signals a difference in priorities between the Union and the Employer. While the Union led with equity-focused proposals, the Employer instead brought forward a proposal to essentially expand their power through Employer-initiated grievances. We hope this focus on management rights is not a sign of things to come.

Hybrid Bargaining 

In response to what we previously outlined as consistent with our bargaining parameters and necessary for bargaining, the Employer booked a fully hybrid meeting room and support from UIT, and we did not encounter any significant technical difficulties. We hope to continue in this format to keep our bargaining practice as open as it has always been, while also supporting members’ wellbeing.

Equity Proposals

The Equity proposals discussed at the last General Membership Meeting (GMM) were introduced to the Employer. These proposals focus on updating fair representation data to reflect the 2021 census; calculating fair representation so that it more accurately reflects the full number of 3903 employees; and making parental, adoption, and caregiver leave more equitable with language that is trans-inclusive and gender neutral, and that does not elevate some types of families over others. The Employer had some questions about where to find information referenced in the proposals, but otherwise received them without a substantive response.

Employer’s Proposed Grievance Process

The Employer led off with a proposed revision of our grievance process which they framed as “streamlining.” In addition to reducing the timelines within which members can currently file grievances, the Employer also wants our collective agreements to recognize their right to grieve the Union under the Ontario Labour Relations Act. While the BT is skeptical of the Employer’s motivation, we are open to revising the grievance process to improve its efficacy and outcomes for members.

Wages and Funds Sub-Committee Prepares Proposals for Next SGMM 

During the hours before and after our brief exchanges with the Employer, the BT looked over data on the rising cost of living in Toronto and nationwide to develop wage proposals. Members can look forward to seeing those proposals at the next Bargaining SGMM on August 10. 

Get Involved: Upcoming Bargaining Meetings with the Employer

Upcoming Bargaining Meetings with the Employer

The Employer suggested cancelling the bargaining session previously booked for July 28, and the Union agreed since we have nothing further to exchange at this time. 

The BT will meet with the Employer on Tuesday, August 1. In keeping with the principle of open bargaining, all members are encouraged to attend bargaining meetings (the regular weekly meetings as well the meetings with the Employer).

Tuesday, August 1, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.

The in-person location is 519 Kaneff Tower on the Keele Campus.–qrDsvH9Ykh_gGXmTaemxwQSXFBkS-

There is a one-hour break between noon and 1 p.m. See below for details about accessibility.

Upcoming August 10 GMM

We are hosting a General Membership Meeting via Zoom! At this meeting, we will be discussing bargaining and upcoming events and voting on important union business. All members are encouraged to attend.

  • August 10, 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Please register in advance for this meeting here. In order to register, you will need to provide your employee number, which will be kept confidential. Your employee number is on your monthly pay stub. If you don’t know your employee number, please click here for instructions.

CUPE 3903 is committed to open bargaining, which means all members are welcome to attend bargaining meetings (either in person or via Zoom). Upcoming bargaining meetings with the Employer (also shared on 3903’s website’s calendar):

As always, we encourage members to participate in our regular bi-weekly bargaining team meetings (without the Employer), all on Zoom. Here are the next few meetings (also shared on 3903’s website’s calendar):

Accessibility of Bargaining Meetings 

For the regular twice-weekly bargaining team meetings, Zoom captions will be enabled. For the bargaining meetings with the Employer, CART will be available. If you require ASL interpretation or reimbursement for childcare/caregiver/attendant care or have any other requests for accommodation, please contact our Equity Officer, Nadia Kanani, at

Due to the high demand for ASL interpreters, we encourage members to provide, when possible, two weeks’ notice if ASL interpretation is required.

Kaneff 519, the location for 3903 bargaining on August 1, has some interior doors that are not power assisted. If you require support with any doors, please email the 3903 Equity Officer ( to let us know when you will be arriving, so that someone can come out to meet you at the elevator on the 5th floor. All gender, single user, accessible washrooms are located on the same floor. Masking in the meeting room is encouraged.