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UNIT 1 BARGAINING BULLETIN #1

You and your coworkers are ready to bargain!

Your work as Unit 1 workers at UofT is essential to the day to day operations of the university – it is your work that makes UofT a top-tier institution, and the university cannot function without it! Your contracts, however, do not reflect your immense value. Now that your collective agreement is up for negotiation, it’s time to demand the pay, job security, health care benefits, workplace safety, and equitable conditions that you and your coworkers deserve.

What’s at stake?

Over the last few years, the cost of living has skyrocketed. Your pay, however, has not – thanks to Bill 124, a union-busting piece of legislation introduced three years ago by the Ford government that capped increases to pay and benefits at 1% per year. Now that Bill 124 has been deemed unconstitutional, you and your coworkers are free to negotiate for a pay increase that actually accounts for this loss in wages and the astronomical cost of housing, groceries, childcare, and other living expenses.

Your employer doesn’t just decide to grant you better pay, benefits, and workplace conditions out of the goodness of their hearts. It is up to you and your coworkers to harness your collective power to fight for more just work conditions so that you don’t have to struggle to make ends meet. Your involvement is crucial. Join your colleagues in the fight for a fair deal!

CAMPAIGN UPDATES

At the Unit 1 general membership meeting held on November 2nd 2023, you and your co-workers unanimously approved your Bargaining Platform. After reading through hundreds of bargaining surveys, your Bargaining Committee put together a plan to fight for better work conditions. Here’s a snapshot of four key elements of your Bargaining Platform for 2023-2024:

1. Pay and Benefits:

You deserve to live and work in Toronto with financial stability and access to adequate benefits. Your bargaining team has identified enhanced pay and benefits, access to secure transit options, and increased financial assistance and equity fund resources as top priorities.

2. Workload Standards & Job Security:

You deserve to live and work in Toronto with financial stability and access to adequate benefits. Your bargaining team has identified enhanced pay and benefits, access to secure transit options, and increased financial assistance and equity fund resources as top priorities.

3. Healthier & Safer Workplaces:

Your employer is obligated to provide you with a healthy and safe work environment, whether you’re working on campus or remotely. Your bargaining team’s key priorities include removal of hazards such as asbestos, improved language and mechanisms surrounding workplace harassment, guaranteed access to workplace safety training, and creating more ergonomic workplaces.

4. Inclusion & Anti-Oppression:

You want more inclusive and equitable workplaces that are better equipped to address institutional inequalities. Your bargaining team will fight… for transparent processes for reporting and addressing workplace discrimination, harassment, and violence, protection for workers’ intellectual property and outside work, guaranteed access to critical infrastructures/resources (such as gender neutral bathrooms) and paid anti-oppression training.

TAKE ACTION!

Active members build power together!

Now that you’ve approved the Bargaining Platform, it’s time to hit the ground running! Want to help mobilize our membership around the bargaining process? There are so many ways that you and your coworkers can help mobilize our membership around the bargaining process. Want to join a Contract Action Team, do on-campus postering, become a phone banker, or join the Bargaining Support Committee? Or, do you have other skills or ideas to contribute to our shared fight? Sign our Get Involved form.

MEET YOUR BARGAINING TEAM

“Being a TA at UofT is one of my favourite things. I’m constantly awed by the intellect and creativity of my students and continually inspired by the patience and thoroughness of my fellow TAs. But being a TA at UofT is also one of my least favourite things. We’re asked to work more hours than we’ll be paid for. We’re expected to do work that’s not in our contracts. We’re told to cut our trips to see our dentists and therapists so the university can save some cash. We deserve a university that treats us with respect and dignity. I am excited to fight alongside my peers to build one such university here at UofT.”

Owen Mototsune, TA in the Dept. of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, and Chair of the Unit 1 Bargaining Support Committee

“I love my program and TAships, but UofT’s attitude towards professional programs is inequitable. The SGS website blatantly states that students in professional graduate programs are expected to self-fund their education by relying on external income and loans. Master’s students in these programs often receive no funding or guaranteed TA work, and my Doctor of Musical Arts colleagues and I are only given 70 hours of TAing per year. With next to no stipend, my income comes from six different sources. All UofT students should be granted the same professional development and financial opportunities, regardless of the program. Education should not be a business.”

Marie Haines, DMA student in Piano Performance and Pedagogy, Unit 1 Steward, and Bargaining Committee Member

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