The University has remained unwavering in its commitment to reach a negotiated agreement with CUPE 3903 to end the Unit 1 and Unit 3 labour disruptions as expeditiously as possible. To this end, the University has remained in contact with the provincially appointed mediator.
As communicated in Bargaining Update #10, CUPE 3903 e-mailed a document directly to the University last Thursday rather than tabling the document through the mediator. The document purported to set out proposals which, if accepted as is, could settle the strike.
In an effort to settle the outstanding issues to end the strike, the University has tabled new offers of settlement for Unit 1 and Unit 3 through the mediator that provide responsive proposals on the key outstanding issues of principle:
- “tuition indexing” (Letter of Intent 6 in the Unit 1 collective agreement and Letter of Intent 1 in the Unit 3 collective agreement); and
- inclusion of LGBTQ as an employment equity group.
The University has specifically proposed:
- new Letters of Intent (1 and 6) that provide full offsets against any future graduate tuition increases above 2014 levels for current and future teaching assistants in Unit 1 and graduate assistants in Unit 3 (with a continuation of existing exceptions for professional programs); and
- a process for the inclusion of LGBTQ as an employment equity group under the Units 1 and 3 collective agreements and the CUPE 3903 Employment Equity Plan.
These proposals are in addition to the collective agreement improvements in the University’s last tabled settlement offers for Unit 1 and Unit 3, including significant increases in graduate financial assistance for international students (40 per cent increase) and for domestic students (10 per cent increase). These increases, which are in agreement with the union’s proposed increases, build on the existing graduate financial assistance to provide the following (in addition to the negotiated salary for work assignments):
- up to $2,442 per year in non-taxable support for domestic teaching assistants in Unit 1; and
- up to $3,885 per year in non-taxable support for international teaching assistants in Unit 1.
The increases in graduate financial assistance combine with a $500 or 28 per cent increase in summer assistance in the Unit 3 collective agreement to provide the following (in addition to the negotiated graduate assistantship salary):
- up to $3,878 in non-taxable support for domestic graduate assistants in Unit 3; and
- up to $4,840 in non-taxable support for international graduate assistants in Unit 3.
For a fuller listing of collective agreement improvements in the University’s last tabled settlement offers, see Bargaining Update #9 or the settlement offers at yorku.ca/labour2015.
The University believes its new settlement offers represent a fair and responsive basis to resolve the outstanding issues between the parties and end the strike. The University looks forward to the union’s response through the provincially appointed mediator.