Unit 3 (Postdocs) Bargaining Update #5

Brad WalchukUncategorized

 — After a summer away from the bargaining table, the CUPE 3906 Unit 3 Bargaining Team met face-to-face with the Employer’s Bargaining Team on August 20th. We have continued to make progress on non-monetary items, and are beginning to see some movement on issues such as the base salary.

We secured modest gains on items such as the grievance process, employee evaluations, health and safety, and workplace accommodation. Under the workload article, we have secured protections from overwork involving the mentoring of junior colleagues, and under the resources article we have prevented the Employer from charging a key deposit and have secured better access to storage space. We have also gained a seat on the adjudication committee of the Postdoctoral Support Fund to ensure that postdocs have a voice in the process, and are now determining an expanded criteria and increased total benefit level to this fund.

Despite these gains, there are still many hurdles. The Employer continues to insist on language that we feel would adversely affect your right to vacation entitlement by creating a process by which vacation accrues monthly, and therefore making it harder to secure enough days for a sustained vacation. We are continuing to push back against this.

The employer continues to insist that they can only bargain within the limitations of Bill 124 (which is not law and therefore has no limitations), tabled by the provincial government. This bill seeks to limit total compensation increases to 1% per year over three years.


As this bill is not law, we do not believe that the employer is mandated to limit compensation increases to an amount that is well below the rise the cost of living, and we continue to pushback against what would amount to a wage cut after considering inflation.

The employer has agreed to our salary floor, which will see the minimum salary rise for postdocs increase from $31,717.41 to $35,200.00 by September 1, 2020. Although this represents a meaningful increase to the lowest paid postdocs, the employer is still proposing a limited 1% pay increase on postdocs earning above this amount.
The employer’s proposals on benefits and the professional development fund fall well-below the amount needed to ensure the sustainability of these funds, and we are continuing to push for increases here. The employer also withdrew their proposal on pregnancy and parental leave, which would have increased the entitlement period from 19 weeks to 30 weeks. We remain committed to ensuring increases for those needing to access these leaves.

We want to be clear – your Bargaining Team takes its direction from you and is accountable to you, the members, NOT to Doug Ford! To be clear, the government has simply tabled a bill, and has not passed a law. As such, we are looking to secure additional bargaining dates with the Employer and will continue to push hard for the gains that you have identified as being important.

For More Information:

Kenneth Taylor Hall, B111
905-525-9140 x24003