Update on CUPE 3903 strike mandate vote

The CUPE 3903 logo

Dear colleagues,

As you are aware, the members of CUPE 3903 have voted approximately 85% in favour of giving a strike mandate to their union (see the full results here). The two parties are still in conciliation and it is quite normal for the union to ask for a strike mandate to strengthen the hand of its negotiators. Neither side has yet asked for the conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour to issue a "no board" report. Once a no-board report has been issued by the Ministry, 17 days must pass before the union can go on strike or the employer can lock out the employees (read a strike and lockout FAQ here).

In view of these legal constraints, the earliest a strike could be held would be late February and possibly early March.

It is difficult to predict the outcome of negotiations at this point. The union is seeking to address a number of challenges regarding compensation, the loss of Graduate Assistantship work, and the problem of precarious employment, and the Employer is seeking some significant concessions from CUPE 3903.

The members of CUPE 3903 play a vital role in delivering courses and supporting the academic mission of our University, and we therefore support their efforts to have good jobs and improve their working conditions. YUFA is watching keenly, not only because we want a fair settlement that avoids a strike, but also because we will soon be indicating to the Employer that we would like to begin negotiations in advance of the expiry of our collective agreement on April 30.

YUFA will endeavor to keep our members informed as the CUPE 3903 negotiations develop, and especially if there are indications that a strike or a lockout may take place. In the case of a strike or lockout, the academic work and teaching schedule of the University would be severely affected, and could potentially be suspended completely.

For more information, please email [email protected].