Bargaining Report Back: Week of September 18

BT pushes back on Employer withholding the Professional Development Fund and a significant portion of the Ways & Means Fund and continues other negotiations, approves Equity and Unit 3-specific proposals. 

Bargaining Report Back: Week of September 18

The Bargaining Team had another busy week passing proposals by the membership and presenting them to the Employer. At the meeting with the Employer on Friday, September 22, the BT presented Unit-specific and all-Unit Equity proposals. The BT received a “comprehensive package” of grievance proposals from the Employer that would both cut out steps from the current grievance process and allow the Employer to bring grievances against the Union. 

Employer’s Shifting Messaging on Process

We continue to make progress in approving and presenting proposals, but are being met with employer distraction tactics such as withholding funds or insisting that employer proposals must be accepted as a package. We have been responding to shifting messages from the Employer about how proposals will be presented. The Employer had previously stated a desire for the two parties to engage in a back and forth on the proposals thus far presented. In response, the BT began to formulate responses to individual proposals presented by the Employer. However, running directly counter to what they had previously stated, on September 22nd, the Employer presented the BT with an ‘all or nothing’ package on the grievance process. 

Equity Proposals 

We presented proposals that would see the extension of an 8th year in the priority pool for members of Unit 1 and Unit 3 under OHRC (Ontario Human Rights Code) grounds; would establish more transparency around course directorships with specific information on whether they were granted to those identifying as being in one or more of the designated employment equity groups; and would establish a Union Mentorship Fund where senior members of each unit within 3903 would be trained in connecting with newer members to support them in navigating York processes.

Unit 3 Proposals

The Unit 3 members of the bargaining team passed proposals by the membership that will be presented at the September 27th meeting with the Employer. These proposals clarify and ensure the timely payment of Graduate Assistants and prioritize the hiring of qualified MAs for GA positions.

Union Funds withheld by Employer

The BT is currently in discussion with the Employer around the releasing of the Union’s September 2023 funds. While most of these essential funds have been released to the Union, as per the Collective Agreement, the Employer has not released a significant portion of the Ways & Means Fund, nor any of the Professional Development Fund. The Employer wrongly cites past practices and wording in the Collective Agreement as the impetus for not releasing the funds. This is particularly troubling with respect to the Ways and Means fund, which is where many members go when they are experiencing serious hardship. Knowing how our members rely on the Ways and Means fund in dire circumstances, the last BT spent considerable time working out how to best apportion the 1% restrictions of Bill 124. Our strategy in the 2020-2023 round of bargaining was to increase Ways and Means more than other funds with members’ needs in mind.  The BT spent some time in the September 22 meeting pushing back on the Employer’s attempts to deny our members the full amount of their needed and due funds, and we will continue to push and ensure the rest of these funds get released as soon as possible. 

Data needed for some proposals to be complete

The BT is working hard to complete all the proposals we are bringing to the table as fast as possible while still allowing time for debate, member feedback, and coherent research and strategy. That process is being delayed as we wait on information requested from the Employer going back months. This includes Practicum Kinesiology and Integrated Physical Activity for Life (PKIN and IPAL) job description language that we were supposed to receive at the end of May, and employment equity data that was requested from the Employer in July in order to complete some of these proposals. 

Get Involved: Upcoming Bargaining Meetings with the Employer

We have a busy month ahead. 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).

Bargaining Meetings with the Employer – 

Check the website’s calendar closer to the bargaining dates for in-person location. 

Sep 27, 2023 10:00 AM–12:00 PM (online only)

Register in advance for this meeting: 

Oct 11, 2023 10:00 AM–5:00 PM (in-person location TBD)

Register in advance for this meeting: 

Oct 18, 2023 10:00 AM–5:00 PM (in-person location TBD)

Register in advance for this meeting:

Oct 27, 2023 10:00 AM–5:00 PM (in-person location TBD)

Register in advance for this meeting:

Bargaining Team Meetings

 Oct 2, 2023 01:00–3:00 PM

Oct 10, 2023 02:00–4:00 PM

Oct 16, 2023 01:00–3:00 PM 

Oct 23, 2023 01:00–3:00 PM 

Oct 30, 2023 01:00–3:00 PM

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.