Bargaining Bulletin #3
- At the bargaining table between your Bargaining Team (BT) and the Employer, there has been moderate progress. The two sides have mutually agreed to sign off on several articles in the Collective Agreement (CA).
- The BT has not yet tabled proposals for some of the priorities identified in the Unit 3 Bargaining Survey, but there are early signals from the Employer that they will resist Unit 3’s efforts to make gains in areas such as advancement and a pathway to permanent employment.
- On October 5, your BT filed for conciliation on behalf of Unit 3, as it is increasingly likely that the assistance of a conciliation officer may become necessary to reach a fair CA within a reasonable timeframe.
- If you have already signed the pledge to demonstrate to the Employer the solidarity of Unit 3, great work! If not, please consider doing so today.
- If you missed previous bulletins, see Bulletin #1 and Bulletin #2.
Please see below for more details.
Your Bargaining Team (BT) has now met with the Employer eleven times as of September 30, 2022. On your behalf, the BT has signed off on several articles for a new Collective Agreement (CA), and there have been many “wins” by adding provisions beyond those contained in our now-expired CA. Most notably, Unit 3 has secured the following:
- Inclusion of all Unit 3 members in Departmental Meetings.
- Eligibility for all Unit 3 members for Teaching Awards.
- Alignment of the processes of filing a report under the University’s Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment and filing a grievance on the same through the Union.
- Expanded list of arbitrators to support Unit 3 members in resolving grievances.
- Limitation on the use of student evaluations to negatively assess Unit 3 members for hiring and advancement.
Even some of the small victories, though, have not come easily. Already, the Employer has insinuated that Unit 3 members’ mandates and roles were never intended to be permanent jobs but rather that Unit 3 work was created to “fill in for leaves and emergencies” when tenured-track folks needed temporary replacements. You know this is not the case, as many Unit 3 members can look back on significant long-term service at the University of Toronto.
Even before your BT has had the opportunity to table proposals around priority bargaining items such as advancement and a pathway to permanent employment, the Employer has suggested that these priorities would lead to an erosion of quality at the university. It is an illogical notion that providing permanent jobs rather than precarious ones would diminish quality, and this outrageous assertion should be an insult to all Unit 3 members, as it does not reflect the dedication to the profession and the commitment to excellence that defines Unit 3. If you have not yet signed the pledge to demonstrate your commitment to this bargaining process, you are strongly encouraged to do so here. Individual names will not be shared with the Employer.
Knowing that only three bargaining dates have been offered for October and recognizing that there are early signals from the Employer that they will resist Unit 3’s efforts to make CA gains in areas such as advancement and a pathway to permanent employment, on October 5, your BT filed for conciliation on behalf of Unit 3. This means that the Minister of Labour will soon appoint a conciliation officer, who will meet with your BT and the Employer in an effort to assist the parties in reaching an agreement. Conciliation is a routine step in negotiations when parties have been unable to resolve differences at the bargaining table. As indicated in previous bulletins, your BT is frustrated with the pace of negotiations and the resistance from the Employer to recognize that Unit 3 members have a vested interest in ensuring that the quality of this institution is not eroded but rather raised to new heights.
The appointment of a conciliation officer does not preclude the two sides from continuing the negotiations, however, and both sides have indicated eagerness to press onwards in the hope of finding mutual agreement even without the intervention of a conciliation officer. As such, the next confirmed bargaining session is set for October 14, and your BT will continue to advance positions prioritized in the mandate given in the Unit 3 bargaining priorities survey: (1) pathways to permanent employment; (2) improvements to job security and advancement; and (3) wages and benefits.
The Unit 3 Bargaining Team