Bargaining Team Report April 14th: Bargaining Team Reaches Tentative Agreement!

Bargaining Team Reaches Tentative Agreement!

After a long, intense weekend of bargaining in which both sides exchanged multiple passes, the Employer delivered what it characterized as its final offer to the Union on Sunday afternoon. At 9:00 p.m. Sunday, the CUPE 3903 Bargaining Team agreed to sign a Memorandum of Settlement with the Employer and to send the deal to the membership for ratification.

In our last pass to the Employer, delivered at 1:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, we had continued to push for improvements for all three units. In response, the Employer’s final offer contained some meaningful improvements, including an additional 0.25% in the second year of the retroactive wage period, an increase to Graduate Financial Assistance (GFA) for Units 1 and 3, an additional six LSTAs (Long Service Teaching Appointments) for Unit 2, and, for all units, a guarantee of at least 90 percent remediation pay for completing Winter 2024 contracts. (The final 10 percent will be subject to a remediation process based on the work remaining to be completed and, for Units 1 and 2, the number of students remaining in tutorials and courses.)

Over the weekend agreement was also achieved 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 fund for Racialized Members Experiencing Violence, Harassment, and Discrimination. 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.

Although we didn’t achieve everything we wanted to in this round of bargaining, we have obtained some notable gains that make this deal—the best we could get under the circumstances—worth endorsing. Our final wage gains over the six years of the Bill 124 period (2020–23) and the renewal collective agreement (2023–26) are well below both what we were seeking and what our members deserve. But at 14.8% (or 17.8%, inclusive of the 1% per year already earned during the Bill 124 period), they are sector leading in many ways and that itself is an achievement.

The CUPE 3903 Executive Committee is currently working out the logistics of the ratification vote, which will be held at this week’s Strike General Membership Meeting. (Date and time to be confirmed.) As per the Union’s Bylaws, voting will take place during the SGMM, at which the Bargaining Team will explain the tentative agreements, and for two hours afterward. Our strike will continue until the membership votes to ratify. Thank you to all the members who have held the lines for the past seven weeks and who joined us in bargaining this weekend, including for our marathon 16-hour Zoom meeting on Saturday. And thank you to our incredible and devoted staff for their support and advice throughout this process, particularly during our final push this weekend. The Bargaining Team looks forward to discussing the tentative agreements with members this week and to our eventual return to work.