JANUARY 16, 2024


On October 26, 2023, your Unit 1 Bargaining Committee served your employer with notice to bargain. While U of T had a legal obligation to meet with the Bargaining Team within 15 days of notice served, they only convened at the negotiating table on January 15, 2024 — 82 days after we sent our notice to bargain!

With 82 days to carefully prepare proposals reflecting your concerns, wants, and demands, your Bargaining Committee was eager to get to the table. They presented the full package of substantive proposals on the first day of bargaining, covering topics like financials, health care, work appointments, and more. Below are some highlights from the proposal package.

Wages and Salaries

You and your coworkers have made clear that your current income falls very short of providing for your most basic needs. To show the employer how important it is for you to earn a living wage, your Bargaining Committee tabled financial proposals first.

We propose a 19% increase in TA salaries over three years, as follows:

  • 10% increase to $52.88/hr in 2024 (retroactive to January 1)
  • 5% increase to $55.52/hr in 2025
  • 4% increase to $57.75/hr in 2026

For Course Instructors, we propose the following:

  • Salary increase in 2024 (retroactive to January 1) from $8124.51 to $10,000 per half course and from $16.285.02 to $20,000 per full course
  • 5% increase in 2025 to $10,500 per half course and $21,000 per full course
  • 5% increase in 2026 to $11,025 per half course and $22,050 per full course 
  • Expanding the additional stipend for first-time Course Instructors to include any CI teaching a course they haven’t taught before

Please note that all of the above figures for TA and CI wages do not include your vacation pay.


The University of Toronto is a global leader in environmental and social sustainability, yet it is also one of the few major Canadian universities that does not subsidize transportation for students or student workers. You should be able to take advantage of Toronto’s extensive public transit system without worrying about the increasing cost of getting to your job. 

To alleviate this, your Bargaining Committee proposes that U of T cover the cost of a monthly TTC pass or equivalent for Unit 1 members from the date of hire until the end of the academic year (August 31). 

Every employee required to perform duties at UTM will still be reimbursed for all work-related travel between campuses at the cost of a return-trip shuttle fare.

Policy Grievances 

We propose removing the language around policy grievances that allows departments to create or apply policies that ignore or contravene your Collective Agreement (CA). When university policy violates your CA, your union can file a policy grievance with the goal of ensuring that policies follow your CA. However, your employer can argue that if the grievance can be remedied at the individual level, then it’s not actually a policy grievance. 

Not sure what all that means? Here’s an example: 

Article 26:10 of your existing CA has a “no offsets” clause to prevent your department from reducing other sources of your overall funding package, such as your university stipend, if you get additional TA hours. Extra paid work should equal extra money in your pocket, right? Not necessarily! Your department’s policy might allow them to adjust your funding because you got extra TA or RA work. Beyond violating your CA, this devalues your work as a researcher! 

If a coworker notices that a departmental or university policy violates their CA, they can file a policy grievance through the union. Your employer, however, can argue that they can resolve the grievance on an individual level (i.e. paying out individual students who notice they’re being shortchanged in spite of the “no offsets” clause), and therefore do not need to change the policy even if it knowingly violates your CA. Solving systemic policy problems with individual band-aid solutions benefits the employer, allowing them to compartmentalize identical complaints. We know we are stronger when we work together, so our proposed revisions make it easier for us to leverage our collective strength.

Why should your employer be allowed to have policies that infringe on your rights under your Collective Agreement? Our proposed revision to the policy grievances aims to prevent placing the burden on you, and rightfully places the onus on the employer to ensure that all departments and graduate programs with Unit 1 employees abide by your Collective Agreement.


Your Bargaining Committee presented a full package of proposals on the first day at the table. The employer came to the table with no preliminary proposals of their own, nor any initial responses nor articles of their own to discuss. (You can also track our full proposals and the University’s responses.)

Our next confirmed days at the table are: January 22nd, 24th, 26th, and 30th. The employer even offered us additional dates in February! After making us wait for 82 days, this new offer signals that the employer is more serious about meeting us at the table in good faith. This shift didn’t happen out of nowhere – it is because of your collection action: your departmental letters, your growing Contract Action Teams, and your organizing and mobilizing within your departments and workplaces.


There are only 8 people representing 6,000 Unit 1 workers at the bargaining table. The Bargaining Committee is committed to tabling proposals that will improve living and working conditions for Unit 1 members, but the only way to get movement at the table is for you and your coworkers to build worker power in your departments and workplaces. Get involved in your bargaining campaign now! 


“Living wages are not just a matter of survival, they also show that we are valued employees and members of the U of T community”

Louis Plottel
Teaching Assistant in the Department of Anthropology
Unit 1 Steward

“TAs, Course Instructors, and other Unit 1 workers are indispensable to the functioning of the university across our campuses and departments. However, our jobs are just not viable without the changes we’re asking for in our wages, overwork protection, health and transportation benefits, and workplace safety. As we’ve done in the past, together we can win the conditions we deserve.”

Aleksandra Elias Chereque
Teaching Assistant in the Department of Physics
Bargaining Support Committee Member

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