Bargaining Report Back: Week of January 17

On January 17, the Bargaining Team and the Employer met for the first time with the government-appointed conciliator, Erinn White.  At our Red lines SGMM on January 19, members reaffirmed the bargaining priorities, particularly significant wage and benefits increases, originally identified in last spring’s bargaining surveys. Unit 2 members passed the job security counterproposals first presented to members at the GMM the week before. 

Bargaining Report Back: Week of January 17

Bargaining Jan. 17th

After the land acknowledgement, the BT, as has been our current practice after October 7th, 2023, read a powerful statement on Palestine, touching upon our CA and the problems of Freedom of Speech, which ended by asking:  “How do we want to be remembered?”


The BT presented several counters, including on 3903 executive service increase, on the Labour Management Committee, clarifying “Tutor 3” positions, cleaning up the CA to clarify the cap for unit 2, cleaning up various articles, and our insistence that for U2’s who have designed a course we want the right of the designer to mount the course to increase from 36 to 48 months.

Employer Counters

The Employer proposed a counter to our proposal on automatic Personal Expense Reimbursement for U2, where they rather unacceptably suggested a Joint Working committee on Personal Expense Reimbursement.  They also proposed a Letter of Understanding for CUPE 3903’s grievance against misuse of Graduate Assistant Training (GAT) Funds for U3, but which completely disregards what we have already insisted is proper restitution for lost monies and mismanagement of the GAT Funds. We have raised these concerns on several occasions, and the Employer, as evidenced by their most recent Letter of Understanding, continues to dismiss and ignore the proposals we have put forth. 


We had a redlines SGMM, wherein firstly U2 settled on the January 19th “Job Stability” programs, which are a slight expansion of the handful of programs that already exist.  These should be presented to the employer on Monday January 22.

During the redlines themselves, the membership courageously stood firm with the BT.  We were told by the membership that they were supportive of all that we have put forward.  Especially all units told us (which was also obvious from the surveys done back in Summer 2023) that wages were super important, and something that is a clear redline.  The importance of wages is based on the cost of living crises and the current problems of life in Toronto.  We were also told to stand firm on not allowing the university to restructure our jobs.  In regards to both our wages and benefits proposals, we were told that we had been conservative with our proposals and that we must not bargain them down!


We met with the conciliator and discussed very early basic issues and concerns, and set up the guidelines of conciliation.  Conciliation is the last step before we are in a legal strike position. The conciliators are interested in moving the process forward, and keeping communication open between us and the employer, which to be clear, we are trying to do as well, but for the employer’s intransigence.  However, while it is early in the process, conciliation might not lead to a worked out Collective Agreement.  We will continue to insist on developing the best CA we can for you, our members, and while doing so, we wait to see what happens next. 


Upcoming Meetings with the Employer (Registration Required):

CUPE 3903 is committed to open bargaining, which means all members are welcome to attend bargaining meetings to observe, pass notes to the bargaining team, and participate in bargaining team caucuses. At this point in the process, the bargaining team is working with a conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour. This is a hybrid meeting. For those attending in person, the room location is 519 Kaneff Tower. For those attending remotely, registration is required. Please register in advance to avoid delays in accessing these meetings:

January 22, 2024 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

February 2, 2024 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Accessibility: For all bargaining meetings with the Employer, CART closed captioning 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


Upcoming Bargaining team meetings (no Registration required):

Friday, January 26, 3:00–5:00 PM

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

Joint Executive and Bargaining Team Meeting

This is a joint Bargaining Team and Executive committee meeting to focus on bargaining strategies. All members are welcome to join.

Jan. 29, 1-4pm BT-Exec Meeting: