Unit 3 is Back to the Table: Why We Bargain, and How You Can Help
The Unit 3 Bargaining Team met the Employer at the table on July 31. That means an early start on an ambitious bargaining platform which has strong support from the membership. At times such as this, it is only natural to look ahead at the changes for which we are fighting:
- $10k half-course rate, and across-the-board raises for all of our Unit’s hourly employees
- improved health and family benefits
- a pathway to permanent employment
- fairer hiring, evaluation and assessment processes
Each of us—sessional lecturers, SIAs, writing instructors, and music professionals—deserve to see such changes. We should also look back at how far we have come,and remind ourselves that the benefits that we currently enjoy, right now, exist thanks to the past efforts of CUPE 3902 members.
To put a finer point on it, we should remember that none of the benefits that we can now access through our Local was the result of munificence on the part of the Employer. On the contrary, each benefit was the result of collective action and hard-fought bargaining, and we are on the threshold of such a period of great change once again. Our platform is particularly ambitious this round, but we should remember that our past gains also involved formidable challenges, which we overcame together.
We know all too well that the summer, despite the sunshine and warm breezes, is a time of particular hardship for many of us. Our survey data indicates that while over 60% of our members have worked in Unit 3 for over 4 years, and over 60% count Unit 3 work as their primary income, only a little over 40% have work over the summer. This is yet another reason to review the benefits and funds that we already have as Unit 3 members. As you may already know, in July, we organized an information session at each of the three campuses for this very purpose. Thanks to the members who came to the sessions, for their feedback and their support.
In addition to those information sessions focused on benefits, we will also be running information sessions focused on this round of bargaining. Note that these meetings will take place after three meetings between our Bargaining Team and the Employer have taken place, so process will be underway.
- UTM: August 28, 12-1 p.m. – Davis Building 3130
- St. George: August 29, 12-1 p.m. – OISE 4420
- UTSC: August 30, 12-1 p.m – BV 359
We hope to see you there! And we are asking for your help. Your support is huge, but it need not involve a huge commitment. First of all, your presence at meetings, and input on bargaining priorities, are invaluable to the effort. A number of further options to help out were outlined in the recent Bargaining Bulletin, and we will continue to keep you informed about those. In addition, throughout this process we want to keep you informed and keep a channel open for your feedback. This blog is that channel.
As a democratic, member-driven organization, our Local is open to critical discussion. With that in mind, we encourage you to ensure that your own voice is heard by means of the comments section below every blog post. Moreover, we hope that you will share these posts widely, providing your own interpretation and commentary as you see fit. Finally, even though we will be writing the posts, we are here to listen. For starters, we urge you to email us personal perspectives on each of our broad bargaining commitments:
- Salaries & Vacation
- Job Security & Advancement
- Workplace Respect & Inclusion
Each of the next four blog posts will address one of these commitments in detail, and we would like to incorporate your own specific experiences in each of these areas. This is your union. We are fighting for your rights. We want to tell your story.
You can also, at any time, send any questions or concerns you have about the bargaining process to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This blog is written in support of the CUPE 3902 Unit 3 2017-18 round of collective bargaining. For info on Unit 3 Bargaining, watch this space. We will periodically post short pieces giving bargaining updates, the context and motivation behind our proposals, and other information pertinent to the bargaining process. We also invite members to provide feedback in the comment section of posts, and to share the posts on your social networks. For more information on bargaining, check the Bulletins, and other resources on the main Unit 3 Bargaining page.