This article has been updated.
|February 13, 2018 @ 5 a.m.|
CUPE3902 Unit 1 members have voted in favour of sending the tentative agreement to a unit-wide ratification vote, following an ascension meeting held on February 12th.
Ratification of the agreement will require 50% of union members to vote in favour of the deal in order for the agreement to be implemented. If passed, the strike will no longer take place.
Voting polls for Unit 1 members will be dispersed across the three campuses from February 13 to 15 between 10am to 6pm across St. George and from February 13 to 16 from 10am to 2pm at UTM and the Scarborough Campus.
The UTM poll will be stationed by the RAWC.
Information regarding the proposed deal has still not been made available for public viewing.
This article will be updated as more information becomes available.
CUPE 3902 Unit 1 and the University of Toronto reached a tentative agreement last Thursday, February 8th, which requires ratification by Unit 1 members at an ascension meeting on February 12th. If the agreement is ratified at the meeting, all Unit 1 members will vote on it immediately until February 16th, which, if approved, will end the possibility of a strike.
According to the U of T bargaining page, ratification is defined as: “A democratic approval process whereby members of the bargaining unit vote to accept or reject the terms of the tentative collective agreement reached by the University and Union. The ratification vote happens at the end of collective bargaining, after the University and the Union have reached a tentative agreement.”
The ratification will see all members of the bargaining unit vote on the proposed agreement. The agreement requires more than 50 per cent of the vote in order to be approved and implemented. Each member of the bargaining team is granted one vote.
If the agreement is not ratified, the two bargaining parties will return to the conciliation period and attempt to draft a new deal.
CUPE 3902 Unit 1 has previously set a strike deadline of February 26th for an agreement to be achieved and ratified. If a tentative agreement is not met by this date, then the labour union is in a position to legally instigate strike action.
Representing around 7,000 employees including teaching assistants and instructors, Unit 1 had initially set a strike deadline of February 26. The University and the CUPE 3902 have been partaking in bargaining meetings with the help of a provincially-appointed conciliator.
The announcement of a proposed tentative agreement came a day after a strike rally was held by CUPE on February 7th.
Last Wednesday, Unit 1 members and supporters gathered outside Simcoe Hall for a rally to sound their demands. U of T’s Students’ Union released a statement on their Facebook page shortly after the rally, addressing the university’s vice-president and provost Cheryl Regehr, with their concern regarding the strike.
“We urge you [Regehr] and your colleagues in the University administration to do whatever you can within the collective bargaining process to avoid a strike,” read UTSU’s statement.
It added a set of demands in case the strike does happen, including having an extension for the Credit/No Credit policy, for divisions that originally do not allow the policy to temporarily implement it, and that students will not have to delay their graduation because of the strike.
The details of the proposed agreement are currently not available for public viewing. According to CUPE’s Twitter feed, all members of Unit 1 have access to the agreement through their membership portals.
As of press time, no changes or updates have been posted to Unit 1’s website regarding the proposed agreement.
In online bargaining groups, some members of the union have expressed concerns that the new agreement does not fully represent all member concerns, such as appropriate salaries.
Unit 1’s demands include better mental health benefits and an increased pay rate with the university.
The February 12th ascension meeting takes place at Convocation Hall at 6.30 p.m.