Bargaining Team Report for the week of December 18-22

In Wake of Strong Strike Mandate Vote, BT Urges Employer to Sign Off on Agreed-To Items!

Bargaining Team Report for the week of December 18-22

Bargaining finished for the year as the Bargaining Team met with the Employer on December 19. There has been some positive movement as two sign-offs were finalized this week. However, we have yet to see significant movement on a number of items, or even any response at all on many proposals. Members expressed their commitment to the issues on the table with a strong strike mandate vote of 84% in favor of strike action if necessary.

Counterproposals from CUPE 3903

Unit 1 (full-time grad students with teaching contracts) presented a counterproposal on Article 10 to provide more clarity about the different sources of funding that can make up the total remuneration for Unit 1 members — e.g., TA salary, Grant-In-Aid (GIA), Graduate Financial Assistance (GFA), York Graduate Fellowship, and the International Tuition Offset (ITO). This counterproposal was a response to the Employer’s proposed restructuring of Article 10. While there is agreement that Article 10 needs to be reorganized to make sources of funding clearer for graduate students (in Units 1 and 3), CUPE 3903 is advocating for changes that would outline graduate funding in as holistic and clear a manner as possible. These changes would be in addition to the across-the-board increases to wages, GIA, GFA, and the York Graduate Fellowship that CUPE 3903 has already proposed.  

For the Letter of Understanding: Severance (in the Unit 2 CA), the Union had proposed new language to ensure that leaves of absence for Human Rights protected grounds would not interfere with severance eligibility. The Employer made some minor modifications to that new language, which the Union incorporated.

The BT also presented all Units responses for Article 8 (Discipline) and Article 4.06 (Printing Agreement). On Article 8, the Union accepted some of the Employer’s housekeeping changes, while standing firm on our proposal that discipline processes must disclose the supporting evidence that is the basis of the discipline before the initial meeting. The printing agreement counter proposed that the Employer should assume the responsibility of distributing an electronic version of the collective agreement to each new employee. 

Counterproposals from Employer

The Employer came back with a counterproposal to the Unit 2 workload proposal; however, this counter is only for Type 2 or tutorial work. While the employer has so far not engaged with setting out parameters for the number of hours associated with Type 1 or course director work, the language to protect against overwork of Type 2 positions is a meaningful gain for the Union. 

The Employer also introduced a counterproposal to an all Unit’s proposal for ongoing consultation about policy covering workplace accommodations. The Employer counter is a letter of agreement for a single collective agreement that would provide two meetings a year in which the Union would receive data and discuss the experiences of members with the accommodations process. While we are encouraged to see the Employer engaging with its responsibilities, this counterproposal falls short of the necessity to treat accommodations as a tripartite process where the Union and members have a say.

Signing off on agreed to items

From the first time we have seen the Employer’s “comprehensive package”, they have said that their proposals are an all-or-nothing package deal. While they have since agreed to sign off on particular items–indicating it isn’t quite all-or-nothing,–they have been reluctant to remove language that says agreement to one proposal is agreement to all proposals. Since the Employer’s framework in effect asks us to commit to their incomplete “Schedule C,’ which we would not and could not do, the Employer’s seems quite meaningless.  After many attempts to ask about their rationale and articulate our position, the BT has decided to proceed in the way we always have: finding agreement on individual proposals until there is a settlement agreement. 

As of December 21st, CUPE 3903 and the Employer have signed off on two proposals, both of which improve access to Union processes: 

  • Unit 2 Article 12.19 Appointment Information and 
  • Unit 3 Article 11.05.4 Executive Service.

Get Involved! Upcoming Bargaining Meetings

Our union practices open bargaining, meaning all meetings of the Bargaining Team—including our face-to-face meetings with the Employer’s bargaining team—are open to all members of CUPE 3903. All members are encouraged to attend both our weekly Bargaining Team meetings, which take place online, and our meetings with the Employer, which usually take place in a hybrid format. As members of CUPE 3903, you are free to come and go from any of our meetings as your schedules allow. Check the CUPE 3903 website’s calendar for any updates.

Bargaining Meetings with the Employer

Due to shorter meetings this month, all bargaining meetings with the Employer are taking place online only. Register in advance using the links below.

Wednesday, January 17, 10:00 AM–5:00 PM

Register for the Zoom meeting in advance.

Monday, January 22, 10:00 AM–5:00 PM

Register for the Zoom meeting in advance.

Friday, February 2, 10:00 AM–5:00 PM

Register for the Zoom meeting in advance.

Bargaining Team Meetings:

Monday, January 8, 11:00 AM–1:00 PM

Moday, January 15, 3:00–5:00 PM

Friday, January 26, 3:00–5:00 PM

Wednesday, January 31, 11:00 AM–1:00 PM