I thank everyone who came to our meetings last Friday and voted on the interim agreement for the full-time and part-time bargaining unit. The agreement is in effect until June 30, 2021, when we will resume negotiations on a new collective agreement. Earlier this year, the University and USW signed a new collective agreement in 1998 (appointed). This three-year agreement, ratified on 11 September, provided for improvements in wages and working conditions. Meetings to ratify a new provisional agreement will take place on Friday 11 September. This process will be entirely online, including the session and the voting process. There will be three online meetings and members will be able to participate. The meetings will take place: 12:00-14:00, 17:00-19:00 and 22:00-12:00. Anyone attending a meeting will then receive a link through which they can vote online for the provisional agreement. There are unions that actively represent workers and have fought in the past for strong trade union rights. It`s cupe. Then there are the unions that sign 10-year contracts and agree on employer-friendly provisions while leaving workers in the mud.
Cleaners at the St. George campus deserve strong union protection, and meeting the minimum requirement to have a union by name does not mean that workers are adequately supported or represented. We ask the university to show us their collective agreement and we can convince ourselves of the type of provisions they have. For the „core“ bargaining unit, full-time and part-time members in St. George, UTM and UTSC reached an interim agreement. In order for the provisional agreement to be accepted by members, they must ratify it by a vote. Details of the agreement will be presented to members at information sessions on November 9 at the three sites. A ratification vote will take place on 13 November and the voting locations will be announced in the coming days. U of T has made the decision to hire contract workers. But they also had the choice to hire CUPE 3261 concierges. COVID-19 was heralded as a pandemic in early March 2020 and the university has had enough time to recruit more caregivers pending reopening in September.
Instead, they ressigned cupe temporary workers` contracts and moved permanent janitors from 18 buildings. In the event of a change of company, U of T has the possibility to recruit CUPE 3261 „Term“ employees, who can work for up to two years and enjoy many of the same protections as their permanent colleagues. They can also hire „temporary“ employees for up to 120 days, who are excluded from many benefits of the collective agreement, but who nevertheless have decent wages, strong union representation, and a preference for applying for tenure. . . .