CUPE members on strike in 2015. Mallika Makkar/THE VARSITY

A settlement has been reached between the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 3902 and the University of Toronto.

CUPE 3902, which represents U of T’s teaching assistants and sessional lecturers, filed an unfair labour practice complaint at the Ontario Labour Relations Board in December 2015. The union argued that the university bargained in bad faith during their labour negotiations last winter by supplying outdated and misleading information regarding per-student funding.

This was following a 28-day legal strike by CUPE 3902, unit 1 in March 2015, which came to an end after the university and the union agreed to enter into binding arbitration. The key point of the dispute was over the minimum level of funding provided for teaching assistants. CUPE 3902 requested the minimum level of funding be raised from $15,000 to $17,500. In June 2015, the arbiter ruled in favour of the university.

Under the settlement, the university has agreed to add new money towards the Graduate Student Bursary Fund, increasing the minimum level of funding to $17,000.

Despite accepting the settlement, CUPE 3902 maintains that the university was still at fault.

“[T]he evidence is clear that U of T knowingly bargained in bad faith, and we have no doubts that the Ontario Labour Relations Board would find against them,” read a portion of CUPE 3902’s release. “However, all of the information available, including our legal advice and the legal precedent, tells us that the financial damages U of T would be ordered to pay, if any, would not likely reach the amount offered in the current settlement.”

This story is developing; more to follow

 

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