What We’re Bargaining For 2023

What We’re Bargaining For:

Negotiating new collective agreements is an opportunity to improve working and learning conditions that only comes around every three years. This round, we have four broad priority areas addressing crucial issues that need to be addressed now; there’s no time to wait!   

Addressing the Cost-of-Living Crisis

The cost-of-living crisis is affecting everyone but hitting those who are already vulnerable the most. Between the unconstitutional Bill 124, which restricted wage increases to 1% per year for three years, and record high inflation (the Bank of Canada Inflation Calculator uses a change rate of +15% for this period), the real wages (adjusted for inflation) that precariously employed academics earn for their work has dropped drastically. Inadequate wages impact us every day—at the grocery store, at the rental office, at the pharmacy. The state of low wages for Contract Faculty, student workers is an equity issue that impacts both the quality and accessibility of education at York University. We need not only substantial increases in wages and graduate funding, but also significant increases in our health benefits and other funds that we rely on to make ends meet.

Protecting Our Rights

On one hand, the employer has proposed language for an employer-led informal resolutions process, making it harder for members to file discrimination and harassment grievances. On the other, we have proposed a better trauma-informed process for dealing with discrimination and harassment cases. We need to push back against these attacks on existing protections. In fact, we need to make those protections better! We have proposed ways to improve the workplace accommodations process for members with disabilities, an accommodations process and supports for members experiencing racialized violence, and a new mediation-arbitration process so grievances can be resolved faster. These proposals help make the university a more inclusive and accessible place for everyone!

Ensuring Job Security

Did you know contract faculty (members of CUPE 3903 Unit 2) have to re-apply every few months for courses they’ve often taught for years? York relies on precarious contract labour for more than half of its teaching needs yet resists recognizing the value of that work. This bargaining round, we want to strengthen our existing job stability programs.

Graduate student employees also need stability! This round we have presented proposals to strengthen the priority pool for Unit 1 members (graduate students employed in teaching), and we’ve proposed a comprehensive set of proposals to protect graduate student researchers in Unit 3.  

The Employer’s final offers provide little to either Unit 2 (contract faculty) or Unit 3 (graduate and research assistants) to address our job stability needs. Job stability and equitable hiring improve students’ learning experiences by giving instructors more time to plan courses and creating an overall better learning environment at York University.

Our Working Conditions Are Students’ Learning Conditions

Members of CUPE 3903 are the instructors and educators that students interact with most! Improving our working conditions has a direct impact on students’ learning conditions. In this round, we have made proposals to address class sizes and workload, so that students can get more one-on-one instructor attention. Our plan has consistently been to put classrooms first, improving education at York is at the core of our proposals!

Please visit our Bargaining Proposals page for a detail look at all proposals submitted to date!