Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bargaining Updates

University of Toronto: The parties have jointly filed for conciliation. The use of a government-appointed conciliator is mandatory before any strike or lock-out action (more info here). Union representatives continue to drum up support for a possible strike, assuring undergraduates that classes would not be suspended.

Carleton University: CUPE 4600, representing teaching assistants and contract instructors at Carleton, recently called a vote for a strike mandate. The mandate was defeated by a narrow margin: 51.6% of members voted "no", amid record turnout. This followed a resolution from the Carleton Academic Student Government (CASG), opposing strike action and calling on CUPE members to vote "no".

Between union defeats at Queen's and Carleton, and a disappointingly low strike mandate at U of T, are the effects of York's bruising ten-week strike being felt throughout the Ontario university sector? Speaking of which ...

York University: The supervised vote (also known as the forced ratification vote) on York's most recent contract offer concludes today, and we should know the results either tonight or tomorrow.

Some interesting possibilities are in play: there are three units in CUPE 3903, and their strategy is to bargain together. If any individual unit votes "yes" tonight, that unit accepts the university's contract offer, and the strike ends for that unit; if any unit votes "no", that unit stays out on strike. As we know, a two-year contract has been a key demand for this union, while the administration's offer is for a three-year deal. In the event of a split vote (with some units voting "yes" and others voting "no"), CUPE negotiators would have to decide between maintaining unity among the three units (by going for a three-year deal for the units still on strike), or continuing with the 2010 project with the remaining units (by going for a two-year deal).

1 comment:

OCAP said...

The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty stands behind the striking CUPE 3903 workers until the bitter end, just as you have supported us morally and financially for more than a decade.

And if the province were to force back to work legislation I hope CUPE 3903 would not follow such undemocratic laws.