๐Ÿ“Œ Bargaining Bulletin 10: Preparing for a Strike

Unit 5 Bargaining Bulletin
February 23, 2024
Bulletin #10


On Feb. 22nd, the Bargaining Committee (BC) met with the employer. We received formal and verbal responses to our โ€œglobal proposal.โ€

  • A global proposal allows the employer to assess our demands in their entirety, including thoughtful revisions to our original proposals, with the goal of timely ratification.
  • In response to our global proposal, the employer proposed only a very small increase to the proposed minimum salary, raising it from $45K to $47.5K in January 2025. We know that this is still well below a living wage in the GTA: it is not enough to pay bills and groceries now, and it will be even less adequate in 2025. Our proposed minimum salary schedule includes gradual annual increases from 2023 to 2026, ending with a minimum salary of $55K.
  • The employer made it clear that they will not agree to relocation reimbursement, even though this is a standard feature of many postdoctoral fellowships at other institutionsโ€”recognizing the undue burden placed on postdocs to bear the cost of expensive moves (often for short contracts).
  • Your bargaining team was able to secure funding for expenses incurred by postdocs who are directed to attend conferences by their supervisor. We continue to push for critical professional development funding for those whose valuable conference and research activities fall outside of this scope.
  • Many proposals still remain unaddressed.


On February 15th, our strike vote closed. The results were historic: voter turnout almost doubled compared to previous years, and 95.1% of our membership voted yes. (Unit 1 also had a major win, with a 94.4% yes vote!)

We asked you to send a message to the employer, and the employer is definitely listening. Now is the time to ramp up our efforts to make it clear to the employer that we wonโ€™t back down until we get a fair contract.


While a strike is not guaranteed, we need to be prepared. Your bargaining team is showing up, ready to negotiate, at the bargaining table. If we cannot reach an agreement by Mar. 4th, however, we will be in a legal strike/lockout positionโ€”meaning that we need to be informed about what a strike entails, participate robustly in events, and take whatever actions build and demonstrate our power.

Click here to visit our LinkTree, where you can RSVP and find more information on these items (and more)!


“After all the sacrifices made during the PhD, my family and I need stability, a living wage, and a viable future. This is what the current round of bargaining means to me and my coworkers.” ~ Anthony Scott, Unit 5 Department Steward

Unit 5 Bargaining team:

Federica Berdini
Sami Mamand
Eriks Bredovskis
Sarah Warren
Alexander Tinius

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