In the summer of 2023, you and your coworkers in CUPE 3902 and 3261 began a unified bargaining campaign. From the beginning, the university has insisted on keeping us divided, but you organized, built collective power, and together you are part of the first unified campaign at the University of Toronto. Five bargaining units started our contract negotiations united and united we won. We are strong together.

At midnight on Sunday, your Bargaining Team signed a Tentative Agreement. A Tentative Agreement means that your team and the employer’s team have tentatively agreed to a contract. It is now up to you as the members to vote on the agreement, after which it would then become your Collective Agreement (CA), your contract for 2024–2026. Just like the strike mandate vote, it’s a two-step process: first there’s a membership meeting where members decide whether to send the Tentative Agreement to a referendum so that all members can vote. 

Your Bargaining Committee and your Bargaining Support Committee unanimously recommends you vote YES to approve this Tentative Agreement.


In this round of bargaining, you aimed to make big strides in: pay and benefits (including transit), workload standards and job security, healthier and safer workplaces, and inclusion and anti-oppression. 

The wins achieved in these areas are due to the organizing work that each of you has done in the last year, and particularly the last 6 months. You all should feel proud of what you have accomplished.

Our goal, from the beginning, has been to improve our economic conditions. The rising cost of living and Bill 124 wage constraints that we faced have made this even more important. This Tentative Agreement includes across-the-board wage increases of  9%, 2%, 1.8%. This alone does not meet the cost of living. That said, the Tentative Agreement as a package includes substantial financial wins that have never previously been achieved in a single Collective Agreement, and that your employer has historically rejected. These wins put more money in your pocket through additional means. On the last day of bargaining you secured:

  • A reduction to the amount of Unit 1 work that can be counted towards base funding. Unit 1 work also cannot make up more than 50% of your base funding. This effectively requires U of T to find other funds for many of our members and pay them for their Unit 1 work on top of their funding package.
  • A premium of $1,069 (subject to annual increases) for Course Instructors teaching a new course for the first time. This means that not only will you receive the premium when you take on your first Course Instructor appointment, you will also receive it  whenever you teach a course that you haven’t taught before.
  • A brand new benefit, which CUPE 3902 will be the first on campus to have: a financial commitment to subsidize transit. The process of securing subsidized transit continues beyond the bargaining table. U of T made a commitment to form a joint task force composed of an equal number of U of T reps and Unit 1 members. This group will work alongside the TTC to get you at least 45% off transit by January 1, 2025. If the task force fails to secure a 45% discount by January 1, 2025, they will have to pay $1 million/year for the duration of the CA to distribute to Unit 1 members.
  • Recognition of the crucial role that undergraduate and master’s students play as TAs and Exam Invigilators. These members who work at least 100 hours in their first appointment will be entitled to a second appointment at least 50% the size of their first appointment.
  • The Child Care Benefit to be administered by U of T instead of Unit 1, starting January 2026. CUPE 3902 will be the first and only group of non-permanent employees to have a university childcare benefit. In addition, the cost for administering the fund ($500,000) will not be clawed back by the University once they take over administration of the benefit – it will be retained by Unit 1 and redirected towards the Employer Financial Assistance Fund (EFAF). EFAF includes the Student Workers Assistance Fund and Equity Funds.

You achieved the above wins thanks to your threat to strike. You also secured substantial gains in bargaining before this weekend. The majority petition, strike vote, and rallies all helped to put pressure on U of T to win these gains, including:

  • A doubling of your mental health coverage from $2500 to $5000 per year, increases to vision care (from $225 to $300) and an increase in the per-appointment and overall cap for physiotherapy (from $30 to $50 per visit, from $600 to $1000 annual cap)
  • For the first time, total security of our health plan: your Employer will remove the capped premium amount and assume full financial liability; there is also a guarantee of no reduction to benefit levels for the life of the CA
  • Include caste as a protected category against discrimination
  • $1 per hour shift premiums on weekends for CPOs, Assistant Invigilators, and Invigilators to Persons with a Disability.
  • A reduction in the number of hours needed to work to be eligible for the CUPE healthcare plan from 30 to 15. 
  • Minimum turnaround time of 96 hours for marking assignments. If no turnaround time is listed in your DDAH, minimum 2 week turnaround time from when your supervisor informs you
  • Minimum 35 hours for first TA appointment; recognition of prep time for office hours and practice time for musicians as paid duties; strengthened commitment to departmental workload standards that will be enforceable by the union
  • Increased entitlement to bereavement leave and sick leave
  • Immediate moratorium on student TA evaluations until a system can be devised that protects us from inappropriate comments and harassment
  • Increased paid training entitlement for TAs.
  • Unit 1 Members are now included in departmental meetings that are open to all staff and faculty.

In light of the gains above, the members of the Unit 1 Bargaining Committee, the Unit 1 Bargaining Support Committee and the CUPE 3902 Executive Committee unanimously recommend that you ratify this agreement!


We will have a member-wide meeting to go through the Tentative Agreement (TA) together and discuss it. The meeting will be held on Friday, March 8, at 1:00 to 4:00pm, in Convocation Hall (doors open at 12:30pm). It will be a hybrid-format meeting. If accepted at the meeting, the TA will be sent to the entire membership for approval by online referendum. If you want a full membership vote on this offer, you need to attend Friday’s meeting! 

If accepted by the membership, the TA becomes the new Collective Agreement! If you decide the Tentative Agreement is not sufficient at either stage, then a strike will commence and the bargaining team will attempt to resuscitate negotiations. 

You can read a summary of the Tentative Agreement here and read the full Tentative Agreement by logging in to your member portal.

You can sign up to attend an info session on Thursday at 2:00pm by clicking here and Thursday at 4:30pm by clicking here.

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