U of T has accepted an offer from Unit 1’s bargaining team and it now awaits a vote by members tomorrow.

On Tuesday evening, the university sent a new offer through the mediator but it was rejected by Unit 1 bargainers, the team wrote in an email to members yesterday night.

The bargaining team then made a counteroffer “because of concerns that the [university’s] offer did not provide enough financial security”, which the university accepted.

The agreement must be sent to the full membership for ratification before it becomes the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

A double vote on whether to send it to ratification and, if so, whether to ratify it, will be held tomorrow afternoon. The ballots are to be counted the same night.

It is still possible that the membership might reject the agreement.

“The bargaining team is not unanimous in its recommendation,” states the email. “Our counterproposal brings us financially ahead of the proposal that was endorsed by members at the meeting last Friday.

“What it does not do, however, is create the structural changes in as clear a way as we wished. […] It is important for members to review this new tentative agreement and again decide for themselves whether to accept or reject it.”

Key university administrators also commented in a press release last night. Provost Cheryl Regehr said that they were “very pleased” to have reached a tentative agreement.

“We hope all CUPE Unit 1 members learn more about the offer, attend the meeting and let their voices be heard,” said Angela Hildyard, VP human resources & equity. “We remain hopeful that the strike will end soon.”

The new agreement includes slightly higher wage increases over the rejected agreement of February 26, as well as an increase to members’ minimum funding and tuition assistance from $3.3 million to $4.9 million “through the reallocation of funds”, said the bargaining team’s email.

These funds are not per-person as the union had hoped, they wrote, but are still enough to bring each members’ minimum funding up to $17,500 per year.

Strikers will be paid for 15 of 22 days they would have otherwise have worked, as spelled out in the back to work protocol for the agreement.

There will also be no consequences for those who chose to strike or to continue working.

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