Bargaining Still Stalled Even with a Conciliator
Bargaining Team Report for the week of January 22-26
On January 22, the Bargaining Team and the Employer met for the second time with the government-appointed Conciliator, Erinn White. However, even with the Conciliator present, we have seen little to no significant movement from the Employer, especially concerning the priorities members identified at the Red Lines SGMM on January 19, such as increases to wages and benefits. We know that members are really struggling with the cost of living, and with racism on campus, as we saw in the strong strike mandate given to the 3903 bargaining team.
Academic Freedom and Members’ Rights
After the land acknowledgement, we read a statement standing in solidarity with Palestine as we have at each bargaining session and named the concerns we have with the Employer’s disciplinary actions and reprisals against students and workers who teach and speak up about Palestine. We also highlighted serious concerns members voiced at the Palestine Prohibited event, where they spoke about loss of academic freedom and how racialized members, in particular, are censured for their advocacy and solidarity.
The Union stands firm on the right to academic freedom, which is protected by our Collective Agreements, and has also brought forward proposals that provide supports to members who confront and navigate an attack on their rights. For instance, proposals on accommodations and funds for racialized members who experience discrimination, harassment, and violence (proposals 1 and 42) would significantly support many of our members. To date, the Employer has not offered any response on these important Union proposals that we brought forward on November 7, leaving us to wonder whether the Employer sees racial violence as a bargaining chip to leverage against other proposals, or whether they intend to continue a course of inaction on a serious gap in supports. The Employer’s treatment of racialized members who openly speak about and call attention to colonialism, genocide, and racial injustices further underscores the importance of protections such as these ones the Union has proposed.
Pressing the Employer to Provide Us with Better Tools to Work for Fair Representation
We continued to press the Employer to provide the Employment Equity Committee with better, more comprehensive employment equity data. We need this date in order to be sure we can accurately work toward fair representation thresholds, a commitment the Employer has repeatedly stated it shares. We have presented proposals to produce more accurate data, including intersectionality totals that are correlated with information including number of positions held, position type, and salaries (in dollars). We questioned the Employer’s claim that it could not provide intersectionality totals correlated to more than two equity groups. The Union’s position is that, if this is really the case, the Employer needs better software to report data. We insisted on the importance of being able to count beyond two groups when discussing intersectionality; like the ‘denominator issue,’ there is potential for generating incorrect data if only two out of the five equity groups are being considered.
Counterproposals from the Union
Unit 2 presented the Job Stability proposals approved by members at the Red Lines SGMM. These included improvements to the Continual Sessional Standing Program (CSSP), Long Service Teaching Appointments (LSTA), Conversions, Transitional Continuing Appointments (TCA), Time-Limited Severance Program (TLSP), and Special Renewable Contracts (SRC).
The Union also presented counters on equity-related proposals, including providing adoptive parents a paid leave that is the equivalent of a pregnancy leave, increasing the funding for the Lee Wiggins Childcare Centre, and to clarify language on the proposal for Code Based Extensions Requests.
Despite being in conciliation, the Employer has not engaged with most of our proposals, especially monetary proposals. We heard loud and clear from members at the Red Lines SGMM, as well as through the bargaining survey conducted in the spring/summer of 2023, that wages are a top priority. The cost of living crisis in Toronto is stifling for our members. Yet, conciliation has not brought the Employer any closer to taking our proposals on wages and benefits seriously. We will continue to make our best efforts during conciliation to fight for a fair Collective Agreement for you, our members, and we remain in communication about our next steps.
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 (in person in 519 Kaneff Tower). 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
Register in advance using the links below.
Friday, February 2, 2:00-5:00 PM (ONLINE ONLY):
Wednesday, February 7, 11:00 AM-5:00 PM (ONLINE ONLY):
Thursday, February 15, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM:
Wednesday, February 21, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM:
Friday, February 23, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM:
Monday, February 26, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM:
Wednesday, February 28, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bargaining Team Meetings (no registration required):
Monday, February 5, 1:00-3:00 PM: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86056814105?pwd=eU9BWlRPWVdJdDBVeWVrbENBeTl6UT09
Monday, February 12, 1:00-3:00 PM: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82686988222?pwd=WXdTV0xsWlNsUTBMYnJhYm85aTRmdz09
Monday, February 19, 1:00-3:00 PM: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86147429020?pwd=ZlRzR1dpb0tjYWN5OWhrSGt6WFFQUT09
Thursday, February 22, 1:00-3:00 PM: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86828310546?pwd=TU5RMGpPaFErU0hpVGU5ZmtNY2d4UT09