Your bargaining team met with the Employer’s team on April 27th. Unfortunately, that session lasted for less than 1 hour. Your bargaining team tabled a fair and reasonable package that continued to emphasize your key priorities. In particular, this includes improved job security and meaningful wage increases. We also made considerable movement on some priorities; for example, we are now proposing a working group to meet on retirement security over the next four years instead of proposing an immediate pension.
The Employer has no interest in expanding our job security, no interest in any sort of retirement security, and no interest in a wage increase that comes anywhere close to the rapidly rising cost of inflation. Despite making some movement to present a focused offer that addresses your major priorities, the Employer believes that we have reached an impasse in bargaining and decided to walk away from the virtual bargaining table and file for conciliation. Quite simply, the Employer does not want to bargain with us any longer, which is a shame, because we are committed to continuing to work toward a fair and equitable settlement.
“Conciliation” occurs when one or both Parties believe that they have reached an impasse and require assistance reaching an agreement from a government-appointed Conciliation Officer. A Conciliation Officer helps the parties try to work through the impasse and reach a settlement, but they cannot force the Parties to come to an agreement or make decisions about what proposals will form the Collective Agreement. The Parties are required to participate in Conciliation prior to either party triggering a strike or lockout.
In order to be successful at conciliation, it is unwise for the Union to enter Conciliation without a successful, strong strike vote. The only way to make any movement on our key priorities at this point is with a demonstration of the members’ support through a successful strike vote. A conciliation officer will help the parties to work to a fair resolution, but they – and the Employer – need to know that the membership is behind their bargaining team. That is why the Union is calling for a strike vote.
A strike vote does not mean that our Union is going on strike. It is, however, the bargaining team is asking you for your support to call a strike in the event that talks with the Employer break down at the bargaining table. We believe that a strike vote will give us the added leverage that we need to secure a fair collective agreement. A strike would only occur if the talks break down and the bargaining team determines that the Employer is unwilling to provide a fair offer.
What is a stake? A lot! Below is a chart outlining some of the key priorities that remain on the table. Based on the results of the bargaining survey, you directed your bargaining team to secure meaningful wage increases, make improvements to job security, and explore options for retirement security. Despite meeting with the employer on 14 occasions since last summer, the Employer is unwilling to put forward a package that addresses your priorities in any substantive way.
|Issue||Your Union’s Position||The Employer’s Position|
|Wages||Year 1 and 2- 1% per year
Year 3 and 4- 5% per year
|Year 1 and 2- 1%
Year 3- 3%
|Job Security- First Consideration||Increase 4 automatic appointments to 6 automatic appointments during Enhanced First Consideration Phase||No Improvements to Job Security|
|Job Security- Right of First Refusal||Introduction of an ongoing right of first refusal following completion of Standard and Enhanced First Consideration||No Improvements to Job Security|
|Job Security- PhD Appointments||Limit of 2 PhD appointments without posting per department||No Improvements to Current Language|
|Retirement Security||Introduction of a Committee to discuss options for retirement security options over the duration of the agreement||Unwilling to discuss options for retirement security with the Union|
|Large Class Stipend||Yearly increase from $2.00 per student per unit to $2.25/$2.50/$3.50/$4.50 per student per unit, make it available to all sessionals||Status Quo of $2.00 per student per unit, available only to some sessionals|
|Training Fund||Training fund beginning at $5,000 per year, increasing to $15,000 per year in 2024||Unwilling to agree to continuing finance the training fund|
|Term/Duration||4 Years (2021 to 2025)||3 years (2021 to 2024)|
As a result, your Union is calling for a strike vote. The strike vote meeting will occur at a virtual meeting being held online via Zoom on Tuesday, May 10th at 2 p.m. The vote itself will occur online after the meeting (beginning at 4 p.m.) and will continue until 11:55 p.m. on Thursday May 12th. All eligible members will be sent a registration link for the Zoom meeting as well as an electronic ballot via Election Runner for the strike vote.
We encourage members to vote “YES” in the strike vote to send the Employer a strong message. It is the best way to secure a fair and reasonable agreement that provides you with the gains that you deserve!