Toronto, Ont. – University of Toronto sessional teaching staff – or contract faculty – members of CUPE Local 3902 Unit 3, reached a tentative settlement with the University administration on Sunday November 8.
“We’re relieved to have averted a strike for the sake of our students,” said Dr Leslie Jermyn, the Union team’s spokesperson and a sessional lecturer in Anthropology. “We’ve been motivated from the beginning by concern for the quality of their education. Our efforts to improve our teaching conditions are as much in the students’ interests as in our own.”
UofT sessionals perform 30% of the teaching at the UofT. The Union began negotiations with the University in July, and both filed jointly for conciliation at the end of August due to a stalemate on the issue of job security. A further impasse on the issue of wages resulted in the Union setting a strike deadline of November 9. On the eve of the deadline, the parties reached a tentative agreement which the Union’s bargaining team agreed to recommend to the membership.
“This is only the third contract for UofT sessionals,” said Robert Ramsay, CUPE 3902 Chair. “We’re still catching up to what many of our colleagues across the province, and indeed across the country, already have in terms of job security and wages. But it was the strength of our members’ resolve that allowed us to make the gains we did make in this round of bargaining.”
“UofT students have stood by their instructors throughout negotiations,” commented Sandra Hudson, President of the University of Toronto Students’ Union, representing 41,000 full-time undergraduate students. “While we’re pleased to avoid a strike, we’re just as pleased to see sessionals treated with a little more respect than before.”
Details of the settlement will be made available to members at a ratification vote meeting on November 16.
Unit 3 of CUPE 3902 represents Sessional Lecturers who teach academic courses, and Sessional Instructional Assistants, Writing Instructors, and Music Instructors, who collectively perform around 3 per cent of the teaching at the University. The Union also represents nearly 5,000 Teaching Assistants and other student employees, who reached an agreement with the University last winter.
For more information, contact:
Dr. Leslie Jermyn, CUPE Local 3902 Unit 3 Bargaining Team Spokesperson
Robert Ramsay, CUPE Local 3902 Chair
Mikael Swayze, CUPE Local 3902 Staff Representative
Sandra Hudson, University of Toronto Students’ Union President
Wendy Forbes, CUPE Communications, Mobile: 416.892.8716