TORONTO - Contract faculty, teaching assistants, and graduate assistants at York University voted to ratify a tentative agreement on Wednesday (Nov. 16). “The agreement represents a vindication of our democratic process,” said Rajiv Rawat, chair of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 3903, which represents the workers.
The course of bargaining was marked by months of preparatory work and a remarkable series of member interventions, including broad based consultation, mass canvassing, and even a vote on a preliminary offer that was rejected. “This allowed the bargaining team to extract further concessions from the employer on the last day before the strike deadline,” said Rawat.
Major gains include the satisfactory resolution of many equity issues, improvements to benefits packages, and significant movement towards parity for graduate assistants and job security for long-term contract faculty.
“While we didn’t get everything we wanted, we opened some important doors and set some important precedents for the future,” said Rawat. “More significantly, the months-long mobilization has revitalized our union, leaving us well prepared to contribute substantially to the academic and political life of the workplace over the course of the next three years.”
The new collective agreement will expire September 2008.
CUPE 3903 represents over 2,200 contract faculty, teaching assistants, and graduate assistants at Toronto’s York University.
For more information, please contact:
Fred Ho or Val Patrick
CUPE Staff Representatives
416-292-3999, ext. 278