Bargaining Team Report Back : Week of August 28, 2023

Bargaining Team Report Back 

Week of August 28, 2023

There were two bargaining meetings scheduled with the employer this week on August 29 and August 31 from 10-5pm. During these two days of bargaining, both sides presented and discussed proposals. Most notably, the union presented our proposal for a wage increase and several increases to funds and benefits.

Bargaining with the employer August 29 and August 31

Employer proposals

The employer (ER) provided three documents.

Regarding disciplinary procedures (Article 8.03.1), the employer’s most recent proposal includes language intended to address CUPE 3903’s concerns that the changes would make it easier for a supervisor (e.g., department chair) to call a member in for a meeting—the first step in the discipline process—based on an unspecified “concern.” The current language in the collective agreement requires a formal “complaint” be made about a member’s job performance before such a meeting can take place. The ER’s new language attempts to make the proposed change more palatable by stressing that the meetings are to be held “informally.” But, most of the language remains unchanged since July 31. This proposal and the ER’s original proposals can be found on the CUPE 3903 website.

The ER’s second set of proposals would make substantive changes to Article 13 Evaluations in the Units 1 and 2 collective agreements. These changes would give the ER more control over the evaluations process by, for example, taking away a members’ right to choose their own informal evaluator and instead placing the choice in the hands of department chairs (or relevant academic administrators). The ER’s proposals would also give chairs greater power to initiate a formal job evaluation by disregarding the recommendation of an informal evaluator that a formal evaluation was not necessary.

The ER also proposed changing Article 13.07.1 of the Unit 2 CA to make the results of the core institutional questions from student course evaluations available to students. The ER suggested that this change would merely make the information shared with students uniform across all courses, since the results of student evaluations are already shared for YUFA members. 

All proposals presented by both sides can be found on the CUPE 3903 website

In answer to a query the employer changed the language on Article 15.01.3 – Unit 1; 15.01.8 Unit 2 and Article 11.01 – Unit 3 found here. This is in regards to persons with disabilities and accommodations.

CUPE Proposals

Unit 3 proposals

The Bargaining Team presented the Union’s proposal to Article 10.03 to ensure that the full value (“financial value”) of the GA contract would be laid out in the letter of offer so that members have a clear idea of the monetary value of the contract before accepting an offer.

The BT also proposed making the language regarding appointments to GA positions similar to the language of the Unit 1 CA, especially by substituting the term “notice of appointment” for the current “notice of assignment” and by the inclusion in the CA of a contract letter modelled on the Unit 1 letter of appointment. 

All-unit wage and fund proposals

The Bargaining Team also presented to the ER our monetary proposals, including demands for increases to our wage and funds. In recognition of the fact that Bill 124, enacted by the Ontario government in 2019, placed unconstitutional restrictions on CUPE 3903’s right to free collective bargaining in negotiating contracts for the three-year period covering September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2023, we proposed retroactive salary increases of 6% per year, over and above the 1% increases stipulated in the 2020–2023 collective agreement.

In addition, we proposed a 7% increase in years one and two of the next CA. In year three, we proposed an increase of 5% or the rate of inflation for the Greater Toronto Area, whichever was higher. Furthermore, we proposed that wages be indexed to inflation in this manner in subsequent years. 

We provided justification for the increases in the bargaining survey of union members in which 96%, 85%, and 76% of Units 1, 2, and 3, respectively, indicated they are struggling with the cost of living and 56%, 60%, and 44%, respectively, stated they have to supplement their income with other employment.

Finally, we proposed significant increases to funds that had been identified as needing significant increases, including the Ways and Means, Trans, SASSF, and Childcare funds, as well as increases to other all-units funds that would allow them to keep pace with inflation. The ER has not commented on these proposals to date.

All proposals presented by both sides can be found on the CUPE 3903 website

All-unit benefits proposals

The benefits package includes increases to existing benefits with an addition to orthodontics, endodontics, and major dental procedures for members and dependents.There is also a new preventative care article which would add $500 for fitness, health or wellness equipment.

The union’ sall-units benefits proposals to the employer found here

Upcoming Bargaining Meetings with the Employer

CUPE 3903 is committed to open bargaining, which means all members are welcome to attend bargaining meetings (either in person or via Zoom). The next few meetings with the employer will take place on the following dates:

Friday 22 September, 10 a.m.–5:00 p.m. (Hybrid)

Monday 25 September, 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. (Hybrid)

Wednesday 27 September, 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. (Online, via Zoom).

Further details on the in-person locations for the hybrid meetings and Zoom links for all meetings will be included in a an upcoming bargaining report (and also shared on 3903’s website’s calendar):

Upcoming 3903 Bargaining Team Meetings

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

Thursday, Sept. 7, 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Accessibility of Bargaining Meetings 

For the regular 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.