Current Grievances in Brief

**please note that all individual grievances are confidential and no details will be given on this webpage, at GMMs, or other meetings open to Members at large. While grievances settled at arbitration become part of the public record, those that are settled beforehand remain confidential. Policy Grievances will here be spoken of relatively candidly, with reservation on certain items that both parties have agreed not to divulge. Questions can be directed to the Grievance Officer Greg Flemming:

Tuition Increases
The Employer claims that only current students are covered by Letter of Intent 6 and Letter of Intent 1 of the Units 1 and 3 CAs, respectively. These portions of the CAs guarantee that all increases in tuition will be offset by the Employer. The Employer argues that this applies only to current, and not incoming, students. This, in their view, means they can increase tuition for any incoming student, whose tuition will then remain at the level set when they enter the University.

In 3903’s view this is a novel reading of the letters of intent. The intention behind these sections of the CAs is to freeze tuition at the rates set in 2001. 3903 bargained this language in the face of the introduction of summer tuition and the elimination of post-residency fees. These letters were in part the product of the three-month strike that took place in 2000-1.

This grievance is currently in arbitration. Dates are yet to be confirmed for 2015.

Long Service Teaching Appointments (LSTAs): evaluations
The LSTA program was developed at the end of negotiations in 2008-9. The first round of renewals for these types of appointments came only last year. The Employer claims that before any appointee can have their LSTA renewed they must have their classroom work evaluated.

3903 is of the position that ‘evaluation’ in this section of the CA does not refer to an in-class evaluation. In-class evaluations are a process that should instead occur only as a means to develop teaching skills, as per article 13 of the Unit 2 CA.

This grievance has been to arbitration. A decision was returned in October, 2014, and is largely in the Union’s favour: teaching evaluations do not necessarily mean in-class evaluations. The decision can be read here: LSTA_Decision_September_24_2014

Failure to Accommodate: Right to Gender Selection
Various divisions of the University have not developed policies, forms, nor adequate database infrastructure to accommodate Members who wish to have a name other than that given to them by birth appear on official documents and communications.

This grievance was filed in the spring of 2014. While some policies, forms, and educational material for York employees has been developed, work with Faculty Relations is ongoing.

Late Appointments
As many in Communications, Humanities, Social Sciences, and other departments are well aware, NRAs and contracts were posted incredibly late this fall. 3903 has recently (late-September) filed a policy grievance demanding a formal explanation, a systemic fix to the enrolment procedures that lead to these delays, and a lump sum payment to be made to the Ways and Means Fund, among other things.

Systemic/Recurring Grievances:

Hiring Grievances
Some of the most common grievances filed by 3903 have to do with hiring. Because neoliberal ideology has crept into Ontario’s university system, over half the in-class teaching at York is done by contract faculty. Some of these contract workers are grad students, while others are not. Those 3903ers who aren’t graduate students have to re-apply for work every year. Often times the Employer doesn’t hire the 3903ers that have the most seniority (aka your ‘APE’ count – applicable prior experience), incumbency (being deemed to meet qualifications if you’ve taught the course before), or the most years of service (‘Long Service Override’, used to protect long-service, low-intensity members). Most of these grievances are solved quickly, while some go to arbitration and can take months. This work is ongoing, though it is most often happening in August-September and April-May of each year.

Academic Extensions for Students with Disabilities
Our CAs guarantee that students with disabilities receive academic extensions (see for example article 11.05 of the Unit 3 CA). The Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS), however, has in recent years made the process of having these extensions approved too lengthy, and for no apparent reason. The Union is currently in discussion with FGS to remedy this problem.