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Tentative agreement reached with York University workers, union says

The Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3903 said its contract faculty, teaching and graduate assistants, research assistants and part-time librarians at the north Toronto university are looking forward to eventually returning to work after walking off the job on Feb. 26.

“Although we didn’t achieve everything we wanted to in this round of bargaining, we have obtained some notable gains that make this deal — the best we could get under the circumstances — worth endorsing,” the union wrote in a statement on Sunday.

“The CUPE 3903 Executive Committee is currently working out the logistics of the ratification vote, which will be held at this week’s Strike General Membership Meeting.”

Until the vote, the union said the strike will continue.

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The union has said issues at play in contract talks included the need to address an affordability crisis, job security and workplace equity.

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Among the several items agreed in the tentative deal, the union said the university agreed to increase wages that also take into account the 2018 cap the provincial government placed on salary increases for broader public sector workers at one per cent a year for three years. That law was deemed unconstitutional in February.

“Our final wage gains over the six years of the Bill 124 period (2020–23) and the renewal collective agreement (2023–26) are well below both what we were seeking and what our members deserve,” the union wrote.

“But at 14.8 per cent (or 17.8 per cent, inclusive of the 1 per cent per year already earned during the Bill 124 period), they are sector leading and that itself is an achievement.”

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The union said the university also agreed to increase funding for several funds including one for mentorship and another to support racialized members experiencing violence, harassment and discrimination.

“These gains in funds will make a tangible positive impact on members across a broad spectrum of needs,” the union said.

York had said its campuses were open and most courses were continuing through the strike as it worked toward an agreement with the union.

On Monday, the university confirmed the tentative deal had been reached but it did not provide further comment.


&© 2024 The Canadian Press

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