Sessional lecturers, music professionals, writing instructors and sessional instructional assistants at the University of Toronto made important financial gains with a new collective agreement thanks to union-busting Bill 124 being struck down, says CUPE 3902.
“Members of Unit 3 came through for students during the pandemic, and yet they faced precarious work and wages that didn’t keep up with inflation, despite teaching at a world-class institution,” said Amy Conwell, President of CUPE Local 3902. “This new agreement is a big step forward, with wage increases for all of the over 1,800 members; improved benefits; and strengthened job security. Now we are prepared to fight back in the event that the Ford Conservatives appeal the welcomed court ruling that struck down Bill 124.”
The three-year agreement was ratified Sunday December 11 by an overwhelming 94.3%, due in large part to wage increases, including retroactive, across the board; paid preparation time for music professionals; and GRRSP contributions. But with the December 29 deadline for the appeal to the court ruling regarding Bill 124 looming, the union is concerned about what such a move would mean for their members’ wages.
“Members know all too well how destructive Bill 124 has been,” said Conwell. “It was an unconstitutional interference in the free and fair collective bargaining process that capped our wages well below the rate of inflation in Canada’s most expensive city. We saw such overwhelming support for this agreement’s wage increases because of this recognition of what Bill 124 has meant. I know now, more than ever, that we’re ready to defend this agreement against any possible, legislative attack.”