Bargaining Team Report Back: Week of Sept. 11, 2023
This week, the bargaining team got feedback and discussed strategy with the larger 3903 membership and members of the Union executive. The foremost topics were the Union’s new equity proposals, the Employer’s stance on monetary proposals, Unit 3 issues, and meeting process and quorum.
BT brings new equity proposals before the membership, and discusses strategy on monetary proposals
This week we met with the membership during the bargaining SGMM on Sept. 12, 2023, and presented a holistic perspective on all the proposals from the Union and Employer sides.The bargaining team presented equity proposals to the membership around mentoring and assistive technologies funds. These proposals need to be voted on before they can be passed to the Employer, so we are asking members to please show up to the Sept. 21 GMM (see below for details). The meeting ended with members sharing ideas with the BT on how to approach future bargaining meetings, especially in regards to the Employer’s disciplinary proposals, and the Employer’s stance on not discussing monetary proposals until all non-monetary proposals have been presented. Low wages, Bill 124, and inflation have negatively impacted the 3903 membership, so we seriously hope that the Employer’s position does not represent an indication that they plan to stall on responding to our wages and funds proposals. We will seek clarification from the Employer on their position and continue to emphasize that our members cannot wait for remedies on the high cost of living.
All members count!
During the joint Bargaining team and 3903 Executive Committee meeting held this week, we followed up on some of the issues raised during the SGMM. To address quorum issues, the executive referred to existing by-laws which direct us to use the last available membership list from Summer 2023, until an updated membership number is received from the employer after the September payroll deadline. We brainstormed several ideas on how to engage with new incoming members through an expanded communication strategy. In the next month, we will be doubling our efforts to reach out to new members both through in-person mobilization and via our social media channels. We encourage all members to not only sign-up for weekly newsletters and keep an eye on 3903’s website in order to be fully updated on critical bargaining issues, but also join us in all SGMM’s, GMM’s, BT meetings, and Bargaining meetings with the employer.
Not backing down on Unit 3
Unit 3 (Graduate Assistants, or GAs) representatives on the bargaining team also discussed ongoing concerns about the lack of information shared by the employer on the Graduate Assistant Training (GAT) Fund. The GAT Fund, which is meant to incentivize the hiring of GAs, exists due to the Union’s past bargaining efforts, and in recent years, it has contributed to a marginal increase in GA hirings across the university. The employer has a history of misappropriating GAT Funds and continues to neglect the concerns of this unit. and in this round of bargaining the union aims to not only protect but also further fortify this fund. We will continue to follow up with the employer on our previous requests for details about how much it costs faculty to hire a GA. If you have any concerns around GA positions being informalized into non-unionized RA positions we request that you reach out to Unit 3 members of the Executive Committee or 3903 departmental stewarts. Given the Employer’s efforts to excise Unit 3 work from the Union, we remain on high alert.
Joint Letter from the Cross-Campus alliance on Wage Reopeners
Back in August of this year, CUPE 3903 came together with the York University Staff Association (YUSA), York University Faculty Association (YUFA), and CUPE 1356 (representing Custodial, Grounds, Maintenance, Parking, Security and Transportation Services workers on York campus) to call on the University administration to do what other Ontario universities have done and renegotiate wages for workers affected by Bill 124. In the last round of bargaining, Bill 124 placed a 1% cap on wage increases and thereby violated workers rights to bargain freely (read more background on the CUPE 3903 website). This summer Bill 124 was struck down by the Ontario Superior Court because it violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In the coming days, the Cross-Campus Alliance will be meeting the administration to discuss the “wage reopener” added to the last round of Collective Agreements and re-negotiate the portions of those salary and compensation provisions that were limited by Bill 124. We will share more information on the same, once the employer responds with a joint meeting date.
We rely on the membership in our many efforts to bargain for a better future. We can leverage our combined strengths at various opportune moments and we hope you will consider joining one or more of the following scheduled meetings.
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). Location: Kaneff Tower, Room: 519
Register in advance:
Wednesday 27 September, 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. (Online, via Zoom)
Register in advance:
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):
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 12:00-2:00 p.m.
Upcoming 3903 GMM
We encourage all members to participate in the 3903 GMM, online via Zoom. To receive your personalized link to the meeting, click on the pre-registration link below. Due to security and privacy concerns, we request that members not forward the zoom links they receive after registration.
Here’s the link to join the next bargaining team meeting (also shared on 3903’s website’s calendar):
Pre Register here:
Upcoming 3903 Joint Bargaining Team–Executive Meeting
As always, we encourage members to participate in our (now semi-)regular joint meetings with the CUPE 3903 Executive Committee. The next joint meeting will take place:
Tuesday, October 17, 3:00–6:00 p.m. (Registration link to be shared soon.)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to the high demand for ASL interpreters, we encourage members to provide, when possible, two weeks’ notice if ASL interpretation is required.