Bargaining Team Report April 13, 2024

Bargaining Team report April 13, 2024

The employer indicated that they would join us at 11:15 AM.  Before they joined us, we made a plan for the process of the day and collected questions for our staff about what kinds of protections members would need to see in back-to-work protocols.

The Employers joined us as planned to share their latest pass. It contained little movement or improvement on wages (0.1% in the first year of the renewal agreement), but it did contain some agreement on a number of crucial funds: the Mentorship Fund, the Child Care Centre Fund (finally bringing amounts for both Lee Wiggins and the Co-op up to a workable number), the UHIP fund, and the Support for Racialized Members Fund. These gains in funds will make a tangible positive impact on members across a broad spectrum of needs.

After months of work and motivating by the Union, the Employer finally accepted our proposal to create a Mentorship Fund. The Employer also introduced a new proposal, a Letter of Agreement on a Severance program for PKIN instructors. We spent the afternoon going over the Employer’s pass and then creating a new pass, which was presented in the late afternoon.

We responded with a pass at 4:45 PM, which involved the difficult decision to withdraw some significant proposals where we saw no response over multiple passes and motivations. We withdrew our remaining benefits proposals and the U1 fellowship proposals in order to get to a fair deal that would best meet the needs of our members.

We did keep firm on the GFA, raising it slightly to balance the drop of other proposals. We also provided multiple counters for the Employer, including coming down on wages by 0.5% (0.1% in the first retroactive year, and 0.4% in the first renewal year); moving on our ask for Ways and Means; proposing $2500 per year for Post-Retirement Benefits; and offering two options of possible LSTA proposals.

In response to our 4:45 PM pass, the Employer promised a further pass at 8:45 PM. We spent the early evening conceptualizing our Return to Work Protocol.

The Employer joined us at 8:45 PM, and they showed us their latest pass, which included an ATB increase of 0.25% in the third retroactive year. With movement, finally, on executive service, as well as agreement to the Time-Limited Severance Program, we are starting to see the possibility of a pass that we would consider bringing to our members. Much depends on what can be agreed to in the Return to Work Protocols, where we need to see a simple process for members to be fully compensated. The individualized approach to compensation that was part of the 2018 protocols was an administrative headache, only seeing completion recently, so the BT aims to push back against this.

With a view to emphasizing the remaining proposals that would most benefit our members, the BT spent the next few hours making our next pass, which we sent to the employer around 1:30 AM on April 14th.  After taking time to consider where movement had stalled despite the BT’s best efforts throughout, we made the tough choice to further refine our package and dropped several proposals. Having repeatedly motivated and explained our proposal for workplace accommodations for racialized members experiencing racial discrimination, harassment, and violence, and having first moved to make it a pilot project, and then a Letter of Agreement, with no uptake from the Employer, we determined it was time to consider a different strategy to ensure that proper accommodations programs are developed for racialized members of CUPE 3903.

Also, after multiple concerted efforts to preserve the technological protection proposal, it was cut to hone the package in on the most critical member concerns.  Nevertheless, we still think our pass would be one that our membership would be proud of accepting and contains significant, meaningful gains. Now, what remains is to see if the employer will follow through on their purported priorities.

Bargaining on April 14th is scheduled for 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. All members are welcome. You can register for the meeting in advance with your employee number by using the following link: