Bargaining Report Back: Week of October 2

BT digs into (counter)proposals and meets members who are hungry for change

Bargaining Report Back: Week of October 2

There were no bargaining meetings this week, which gave the newly complete bargaining team a chance to focus on the big picture of Union proposals (what proposals still need to get written, what other needs members are expressing), organize our responses to the Employer’s proposals, go back to our timeline to update it based on where we’re at now, and meet with members at the Oct. 3 BBQ.

Meeting the challenge

At our Oct. 2 bargaining team (BT)  meeting, we had an exciting moment of realizing that for the first time since 2017-18, all three units are represented by a full slate of members. We are really looking forward to how much more we can win on wages, equity, and other pressing issues with this many hands and minds devoted to bargaining.

Even though we were not at the bargaining table with the Employer (ER) or meeting with the membership, the BT had many meetings this week! From our regular BT prep meeting, as well as unit-specific caucuses and subcommittees on equity and benefits, BT members discussed the proposals that are still in the process of being drafted, and how to ensure we are capturing the issues that are most pressing for members.

For example, the Unit 1 caucus met with members of staff and the executive to discuss strategies and priorities for Unit 1-specific proposals around the fellowship and minimum funding guarantee, intellectual property, ER overpayment, and the rights of members to determine the mode of delivery of certain duties. We plan to present these to the membership at the Oct. 31 GMM. The Unit 2 caucus met with a member of the Bargaining Research and Preparation Committee to hear details of people’s write-in answers, and to focus on answers from members in Nursing, and about Practicum Kinesiology and Integrated Physical Activity for Life (PKIN and IPAL). As such, at our Oct. 12 SGMM, the BT will present a list of all the current and planned Unit 2 proposals. 

The Employer’s overreach

We also did a close review of the Employer’s (ER) proposals so far, and what we saw confirmed that  the ER wants to bring concessionary language into our collective agreements (CA). As we previously detailed in the July 31 and Sept. 4 bargaining reports, the ER’s proposals on discipline seem invested in extending their powers, while proposals on harassment seem invested in reducing the strength and protections of our union.

We are very clear as a bargaining team that concessions are non-starters, and we have heard the same from membership each time we present the ER’s proposals at (S)GMMs. At the Oct. 12 SGMM, we’ll report more on our counter-proposals or responses to ER proposals–AND, in keeping with our process of open bargaining, members can see the process in action at our Oct. 11 bargaining meeting! You can see more details about that and other meetings below, and we want members to know you are free to come and go from our meetings with the ER as your schedules require: you don’t have to show up right at the start or stay until the end–but of course, if you can stay, please do!

Getting the timing right

As folks may already know, earlier in the summer the BT laid out a timeline for bargaining that captures our own process as well as the steps required by the Labour Relations Act. You can see the timeline here–as well as a primer on bargaining! Back then, we were contemplating an accelerated process that would have had bargaining culminate in the Fall. With further discussion about mobilizing the membership, taking time to be able to work together well as a bargaining team, and drafting proposals to address entrenched inequities and newer hardships, including those produced by Bill 124, the BT in consultation with the executive and the membership slowed the process down. We are working on a new proposed draft of the timeline; stay tuned for more at either the Oct. 12 SGMM or the Oct. 31 GMM!

Members hold the (BBQ) line

Finally, the annual 3903 Welcome Back BBQ on Oct. 3 was a big success! The very long line of folks waiting for lunch tells us that 3903 members are showing up for Union business; it’s also worth thinking about how much people need and deserve affordable (even free) food. Members of the BT and the executive as well as rank and file members were on hand to cook and serve food, answer questions about bargaining, connect with folks from other locals and organizations on campus, and sign people up to the newsletter.

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.  

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 10, 2023 02:00–4:00 PM

 Oct 16, 2023 11:00–1:00 PM

Oct 17, 2020 Joint meeting of the Bargaining Team and Executive Committee 

 Oct 23, 2023 01:00–3:00 PM

 Oct 30, 2023 01:00–3:00 PM

General Membership Meetings

Bargaining SGMM

Oct 12, 2:00-5:00 

October GMM

Oct 31, 2:00-5:00 

 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.