CUPE 3903’s Bargaining Team’s Response to Dan Bradshaw’s March 13th 2024 public letter on bargaining.

CUPE 3903’s Bargaining Team’s Response to Dan Bradshaw’s March 13th 2024 public letter on bargaining.

Dan Bradshaw
VP Labour Relations
York University 

Mr. Dan Bradshaw, 

We were pleased to read in your March 13 letter that you are willing to return to the bargaining table next week, if not before. In your letter, you express a shared concern for students and a common sense of urgency to arrive at an agreement. As educators who work closely with students, we want to be in the classroom teaching; as graduate students, we want to be in the classroom learning. Those concerns suggest to us that we should return to the table without the mediator if necessary, or with another mediator if we can agree on one. Accordingly, we propose to bargain on the dates we sent you previously, via Zoom this Friday and over the weekend, while we arrange a meeting space to continue bargaining in person next week. 

While the needs of students are foremost in our minds, we do not agree with your characterization of negotiations in your recent communications. Our streamlined proposals packages involve a significant reduction in our demands on benefits and collective agreement funds. We have made these changes in order to keep the bargaining process moving, including reducing our proposals on paramedical services, vision care, orthodontics, and extension of benefits; revising our proposal on the internal cap; and withdrawing three other proposals entirely. We have also withdrawn our proposals to increase the Professional Development Fund, as well as five other funds. Contrary to the Employer’s March 13 letter, CUPE 3903 has responded to all past proposals with counter proposals or clarifications on the membership’s redlines, including that the JSP has been rejected multiple times by the Unit 2 membership. With that said, we have several points of agreement ready to be finalized and we are close on many issues, and believe that we can resolve what remains at the bargaining table. 

We also feel an obligation to express concerns about the administration’s comments on student well-being and pedagogical integrity. The Employer’s efforts to continue classes during a strike is troubling. We note that this position is echoed by YUFA, which has taken the position that the Employer’s current process around continuing classes represents such significant “managerial overreach and arbitrariness that they have filed a policy grievance against the administration. We urge the Employer to demonstrate our shared commitment to all students by engaging in meaningful negotiations without delay to ensure that York students and instructors are teaching and learning without constant worry about how to afford food and shelter.

To reiterate, we are available to meet with the Employer on the following dates: 

  • Friday, March 15, 2024, 10-5pm (online only) 
  • Saturday, March 16, 2024, 10-5pm (online only) 
  • Sunday, March 17, 2024, 10-5pm (online only) 
  • Tuesday, March 19, 2024, 10-5pm (hybrid) 
  • Wednesday, March 20, 2024, 10-5pm (hybrid) 

Workers’ and students’ livelihood and access to high quality education are on the line. We await your response and look forward to returning to the table in a manner that reflects that urgency. 

The CUPE 3903 Bargaining Team 

Cc: Erinn White
Sandra Shime
Leanne De Filippis