Roughly 100 demonstrators gathered outside Simcoe Hall on September 25 to support members of CUPE Local 3902’s Unit 1 Bargaining Team, who met with U of T administration inside the hall to discuss the union’s 2017–2018 Bargaining Platform. The meeting between the two parties marks the beginning of a negotiation process that will hopefully result in a new collective agreement. The current collective agreement between the two parties expires on December 31 of this year.
The crowd included teaching assistants (TA), postdoctoral and student course instructors, and PhD students from several departments at U of T. Some attendees expressed the hope that their presence would influence the university’s decisions regarding Local 3902’s platform.
Members of Unit 1 voted unanimously to adopt the 2017–2018 platform during a membership meeting on July 6, 2017. The platform includes, among other points, a course instructor rate increase to $10,000 per half course; an increase in net minimum funding to $20,000 per year; improvements to mental health coverage; better-paid and more accessible pregnancy and parental leaves; and more accessible overwork review process, timelines, and expectations to prevent overwork.
Unit 1 of Local 3902’s membership includes TAs, student and postdoctoral course instructors, TA trainers, Accessibility Services workers, exam invigilators, lab demonstrators, writing instructors, sessional lecturers, and postdoctoral research fellows.