Bargaining Update #3
Web-posted:November 13, 2019 by President
We met with the employer (representatives of the University) last Friday in our second round of bargaining. The employer submitted their responses to the proposals we presented last week on the hiring process, which included issues of qualifications, skills and abilities, seniority, coverage of required work assignments, and the question of departments fulfilling their JSP promises. An issue that we spent a good amount of time on this session was levels of consideration, the terms of which the employer wishes to significantly modify. This is a particularly complex issue; the employer wishes to enact ‘efficiencies’ in order to ‘clean up’ the process, which are, in our opinion, problematic. The levels of consideration that are already included in the article are the only relevant factors needed in the decision process; no change is needed. I have included a link to the relevant section of the Collective Agreement in this message; if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also made a case for the elimination of student evaluations in the teaching evaluation process. They have been shown to be ineffective at best as indicators of the value of a course by several major empirical studies, and at worst they are unnecessarily detrimental to instructors. At the same time, we do agree that they do have a limited application in the peer review process, generally in the context of a department’s Tenure and Promotions committee. The employer will be responding to this specific proposal on Friday.
In this session we also presented our key proposal for Unit Two: improvements to the Right of First Refusal process, and the addition of a Continuous Term appointment article. The former addresses weaknesses in the current language, expands the rights of persons with disabilities in the process, and addresses the issue of completion of a work assignment in terms of serious illness; the latter adds a gateway for members to attain a continuity of work over several semesters.
Last, as Bill 124 has passed, we can now enter into a discussion regarding tuition indexation, the key proposal for our Unit 1 members, with the employer, as well as other related proposals including wages. Indexation will be a difficult negotiation, given the potential cost on the employer’s side and the financial limits imposed by the bill itself, but we are nevertheless determined to ensure our proposal finds its way into the Collective Agreement in as effective a form as possible, if not in the ideal form of our proposal. We will be tabling this proposal soon, and we will need your help to make sure the employer listens!
One of the most effective ways in which you can contribute to the process is to participate in our strike vote. This will take place in early December, so please keep an eye out for updates on this. At that meeting we will outline our argument for a “yes” vote, and the vote, via secret ballot, will take place at that meeting, and on subsequent days at the CUPE 3913 office.
Dr. Scott Duchesne, President, CUPE 3913.