On April 2, five weeks after our members approved our package of primary negotiating positions, YUFA served notice of intent to bargain with our employer. Our collective agreement expires at the end of April. We are expecting to meet with the employer in the coming weeks and plan to keep members informed by sending out bulletins explaining and contextualizing our key issues and also providing updates about the progress of negotiations.
The challenging bargaining environment at York in the past year reflects a pattern faced by many employee groups in the university sector more broadly. The strike by CUPE 3903 highlighted issues of graduate student funding and contingent academic employment, among others. In the meantime, the York University Staff Association (YUSA) has been without a contract for nine months as very difficult negotiations drag on dealing with employer efforts to hire interns to do YUSA work. Faculty Associations at Queen’s, Ryerson and other Ontario universities are now involved in negotiations.
YUFA intends to bring a number of issues to the bargaining table based on priorities expressed by our members. These include improving collegial input and governance, boosting the faculty complement, achieving teaching loads that provide parity with other similar universities, strengthening equity provisions for hiring, seeking competitive salary increases and retiree benefits and others. We urge you to attend the Annual General Meeting on April 29 where our bargaining agenda will be reviewed and several additional proposals will be discussed.
We are very fortunate to have an extremely knowledgeable and committed bargaining team which includes the following members:
- Scott Forsyth (Film and Political Science) Chief Negotiator
- Sheila Embleton (Languages, Literatures and Linguistics)
- Frances Latchford (Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies)
- Justin Podur (Environmental Studies)
- Art Redding (English)
- Miriam Smith (Social Science)