I have confirmed that this is a legitimate inter-union memo released earlier tonight. It is good news that they are talking – we may be back in class by the middle or end of this week.
BARGAINING UPDATE JANUARY 3rd 8:30 PM
This afternoon we resolved some of the outstanding issues surrounding health and safety, Unit 3 grievance procedures, and the letters of intent in the Unit 1 and Unit 3 collective agreements concerning tuition indexation ~V this being one of the major gains from the 2000-2001 strike. We also communicated that we would accept some of the fund increases they proposed, that we’re holding our position in others, and altering our demands in more key areas. Our counter-proposals to their movement on funds issues are indicated in the attached document. We distributed a similar version to the employer. Today the employer put a total of approximately $232,000 on the table for funds. We have responded by reducing our demands for total funds by $256,850, while, we think, maintaining the key points where we want to develop more gains. We consider this to be a mutual sign that both parties are actually committed to bringing the negotiations closer together. Hopefully this is the beginning of more to come. We also stated that we would be willing to accept the fund protections language they’ve proposed, provided certain issues can be clarified. We also said that we would be okay with the list of funds that would be protected under erosion of our funds by membership growth. The fund protection language is included here. Article XX Fund Protection There will be no diminution in the per employee amount in the funds listed below during the term of this collective agreement as a result of an increase in the number of employees in the bargaining unit as at October 1, 2009 and October 1, 2010. The basis on which growth in the number of employees will be measured is the number of employees as of October 1, 2008. For example, if the per employee amount available is $10 based on 100 employees as of October 1, 2008, the fund will be supplemented by $100 in the second year of the Collective Agreement. If the number of employees is 90 as of October 1,2010, no supplement will be required and the fund will be $1000.The list of funds protected:
Childcare subsidies (Unit 1, 2, 3)
Professional Development Fund (Unit 1, 2, 3)
GA Bursary Fund (Unit 3)
UHIP Fund (based on number of international students in the Unit 1 and 3 bargaining units)
Graduate Student Bursary Fund (Unit 1)
Masters Bursary Fund (Unit 1)
PhD Completion Fund (Unit 1)
Research Grant Funds (Unit 2)
Conference Travel Fund (Unit 2)
Teaching Development Fund (Unit 2)
“We also communicated that we agree with a number of their counterproposals to health benefit improvements, (dental, vision, and paramedical services), but under the condition that we need to maintain the Extended Health Benefits (EHB)fund in order to be able to assist our members to cover greater necessities in health care costs, health emergencies, or the need to access services not covered by our health care plans. They have suggested that the cost of their proposed post-retirement benefits program would come from money saved from their proposed removal of the EHB fund ~V we reiterated that this is not an acceptable condition for us, and that we will be bargaining on these items as separate issues. We also discussed that there were a number of omissions and discrepancies in their recent documents, and indicated some small changes to their new proposal packages that we are continuing to review. We requested that they compile a list of what has in fact been agreed upon.