University proposes arbitration

Unit 1 to vote tomorrow on whether to accept process of binding terms over negotiations

Unit 1 members will vote tomorrow on whether to accept U of T’s offer to settle the strike through binding arbitration.

The members will vote on the offer at an emergency meeting tomorrow at 2 p.m. at the Royal York Hotel.

According to an email from the bargaining team to its members, U of T proposed the offer of binding arbitration earlier today with a deadline of 5 p.m.

“Accepting this would mean that all of us instantly return to work,” they said, before adding that the bargaining team rejected the offer because they “felt unable to agree to this solution without first consulting our members”.

In a statement issued this afternoon, U of T President Meric Gertler said that if CUPE 3902 agrees to binding arbitration, the provincial mediator will appoint an impartial third party to “arbitrate all matters that remain in dispute and determine a final resolution that both parties would have to accept”.

“Agreeing to binding arbitration would also mean an effective and immediate end to the strike,” he said.

U of T Issues & Media Relations Officer Noreen Ahmed-Ullah denied that the deadline to accept arbitration was only until 5 p.m., saying that Gertler “indicated that the offer stands today, tomorrow and next week”.

According to the bargaining team’s email, the bargainers had responded to U of T’s offer to begin binding arbitration with a counterproposal which the team agreed to unanimously recommend to its membership if U of T accepted it.

The main changes to the proposal include the introduction of “per-member” language in the agreement to guarantee members a minimum amount of support through the package. This is in contrast to the agreement rejected early Monday which offered funding in lump-sum amounts, which could result in a decrease in per-member assistance if more students become part of the funded cohort.

It is unclear whether U of T intends to respond to the counteroffer. The Medium is following up for comment.

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