A tentative agreement has been reached between CUPE 3902 Unit 3 and the University of Toronto bargaining team on Saturday, November 25. The two parties are currently undergoing ratification of the offer by Unit 3 members.
CUPE 3902 released a brief statement on their social media pages the following day on Sunday, acknowledging that a tentative agreement had been reached after 24 hours of bargaining.
According to an update on the U of T News page posted on November 28th, the tentative agreement was presented to employees during an ascension meeting that same day.
CUPE 3902 posted on their website that 92.5 per cent of Unit 3 members voted in favour to send the tentative agreement to a bargaining-wide ratification vote during the ascension meeting.
CUPE’s website also states that the results of the ascension meeting permitted a tri-campus referendum open to all Unit 3 members on whether to ratify the tentative agreement.
Polls remained open on all three campuses until December 1.
The university and the bargaining team have been renegotiating contracts for sessional lecturers for several months. The university’s bargaining team had offered Unit 3, which represents over 1,200 sessional lecturers, music instructors, and writing instructors at U of T, at least five different offers, according to CUPE’s fourth bargaining bulletin.
Kristin Cavoukin, a representative from the for CUPE 3902 Unit 3 bargaining team was unable to respond to The Medium’s request for comment, as of press time.
A labour dispute had previously occurred in 2015 when U of T and CUPE 3902 Unit 1 failed to negotiate a tentative agreement. The strike, primarily concerned CUPE’s wish for increased wages, affected all teaching assistants across the U of T campuses and lasted four weeks.
The 2015 strike came to an end after binding arbitration was decided in an emergency meeting.
Unit 1 is currently still undergoing bargaining with the U of T administration with their contracts set to expire on December 31st.
According to a November bulletin post, the Unit 1 bargaining team has met with the university’s administration five times in order to reach an agreement.
“The employer has now responded to the majority of our nonfinancial proposals and we have had initial discussions about many of our priority areas,” the bulletin reads.
“In particular, it is clear that funding increases will continue to be a major challenge. The administration’s position has remained unchanged since the strike: funding is not a matter we negotiate with CUPE. But we know that our bargaining and strike actions in the past have always led directly to long-overdue funding increases.”
Part of Unit 1’s demands are $10,000 half course rate for Course Instructors, increased financial support for unfunded students and better support for individuals on parental leave and with mental-health needs
According to CUPE’s site, Unit 1 will be hosting a strike mandate meeting on Tuesday, December 5th at the United Steelworkers Hall on Cecil Street.
The meeting will permit the union members to vote if they are willing to initiate a strike in the case that the parties fail to come to an agreement by the end of the month.
The strike mandate does not guarantee a strike would occur but gives permission to the bargaining team to begin a labour dispute as a last resort.