Update on negotiations with CUPE 3902 Unit 1
February 9, 2018
The University and CUPE 3902 Unit 1 reached a tentative agreement last night with the assistance of a provincially appointed conciliator. The Union has scheduled an ascension meeting for Monday, February 12th at 6:30 p.m. in Convocation Hall to present the tentative agreement to Unit 1 employees and determine whether it will proceed to a bargaining unit-wide vote for ratification. The University encourages all Unit 1 employees to attend the ascension meeting and participate in the process.
January 26, 2018
At a January 22 CUPE 3902 Unit 1 membership meeting, those in attendance voted to set a strike deadline of February 26, 2018. The University and the Union are continuing their efforts toward reaching a tentative agreement. Ongoing bargaining meetings are scheduled for January 29th and 31st. Conciliation at the Ministry of Labour with a government-appointed conciliator will continue on February 7th. The parties jointly filed for conciliation and jointly requested the appointment of a conciliation officer with the most experience to assist the University and the Union.
Members of CUPE 3902 Unit 1 have voted to give their bargaining team a strike mandate, the union announced today. A vote was held on all three campuses between December 5 and 12. The University and the union are currently in negotiations for a renewal collective agreement.
CUPE 3902 Unit 1 represents approximately 7,000 part-time employees who work as teaching assistants, teaching laboratory assistants, markers, graders and course instructors.
“A strike mandate vote is part of the collective bargaining process,” said Kelly Hannah-Moffat, vice-president, human resources and equity, “This is the result we anticipated.
“We have three more dates scheduled for negotiations this month, and the University bargaining team is committed to continuing productive discussions toward an agreement.”
A strike mandate vote is one of the statutory requirements for a union to be in a legal strike position, but a positive strike mandate from the employees who vote does not necessarily mean there will be a strike. The union is not currently in a legal strike position and cannot legally strike before mid January at the earliest.
All academic activities are continuing as normal.
The University and union bargaining teams have met on 12 dates since the end of September.
The University of Toronto is committed to reaching a renewal collective agreement with CUPE 3902 Unit 3, representing approximately 1,200 sessional instructors at the University of Toronto. These employees are engaged in teaching, demonstrating, tutoring and marking on employment contracts of less than one year.
Talks between the University and the union are headed to conciliation on Friday, November 24th, after collective bargaining meetings on sixteen dates since July.
A key issue in the negotiations is the union’s proposal that would require the University to “convert” a minimum number of Sessional Lecturers to full-time teaching and tenure stream faculty positions in each academic year, without them having to participate in the existing competitive and collegial hiring process applicable to all faculty positions at the University of Toronto.
Employees represented by CUPE 3902 Unit 3 have always been welcome to apply for advertised teaching and tenure stream faculty positions, competing with all other applicants, said Professor Kelly Hannah-Moffat, the University’s Vice President of Human Resources & Equity, but the union’s “conversion” proposal is “fundamentally inconsistent” with the University’s open, collegial and competitive faculty recruitment process.
On Wednesday, November 22nd, the majority of employees who voted gave the union a strike mandate. A strike mandate does not necessarily mean there will be a strike. Hannah-Moffat says “The University has been and remains focused on the best interests of its students in the context of achieving a renewal collective agreement with the union representing this very important employee group.”