CUPE 3903 ratifies mediated multi-year agreements with York

All three units of Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3903 have ratified three-year collective agreements with York University that include wage increases of three per cent per year over three years, plus other benefits.

"This negotiated agreement upholds York’s guiding principle of promoting the best interests of our students based upon academic integrity and financial sustainability," said Mamdouh Shoukri, York University’s president & vice-chancellor. "York University values the skills and talents of our employees represented by CUPE 3903 and we also acknowledge the union’s bargaining team for its constructive approach during the mediated sessions over the past two months that was key to reaching this agreement."

"We can wholeheartedly press forward with the academic mission of the University to serve our 50,000 students," said Shoukri. "I trust that together we can create an atmosphere of greater cooperation during the life of this contract that will benefit the entire York community for many years to come."

The ratified deal is in line with what was offered to the union prior to the strike that commenced in November and is in line with the other agreements reached with other union groups on campus, including another CUPE local.

"The York community needs a sustained period of labour stability so we can fulfill our academic commitments to those we serve. Consequently, we will be taking a hard look at our relationships, policies and practices to build on this latest agreement," said Shoukri.

"As we mark our 50th anniversary in 2009, York University has many goals to pursue for the future, including the establishment of a medical school, growing our ever-expanding research base, accommodating enrolment growth in the GTA, to name but a few. There is so much for all of us to achieve together."

Here are the voting results posted by CUPE 3903:

Unit 1 (teaching assistants):

68% Yes (265 people voted)
28% No (110 people voted)
4% spoiled ballots (15 people voted)

Unit 2 (contract faculty):

70% Yes (117 people voted)
28% No (46 people voted)
2% spoiled ballots (4 people voted)

Unit  3 (graduate assistants):

55% Yes (45 people voted)
43% No (35 people voted)
2% spoiled ballots (2 people voted)

191 of the members voted No
427 of the members voted Yes

639 members voted (18% of the membership).

Frequently asked questions regarding the settlement with all three units of CUPE 3903
(FAQs issued by York University)

Are classes affected at all by the result of this vote?

No. All University operations continue as normal.

How long is the period of the agreement?

Three years.

What are the details of the agreement?

In broad terms, the agreement provides for 3 per cent per year over three years, plus other improvements.

Isn’t that less than what was previously offered?

In monetary terms, the wage amount is less as during the mediated negotiations, the union chose to divert some funds from wages into other areas.

Where can I see the settlement in detail?

A summary of the settlement is available here.

Is this settlement in line with other union agreements on campus?

Yes. It is financially in line with agreements reached with other campus unions including with another CUPE local.

Was this agreement negotiated or arbitrated?

It was negotiated by the two parties with the assistance of a mediator/arbitrator.

Why did it succeed this time but not before?

The mediator/arbitrator has the power to impose an arbitrated solution if the parties are unable to reach an agreement.