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YUSA Collective Bargaining Update #14 - June 30, 2022

After five days of scheduled meetings between the University and the York University Staff Association (YUSA) with the assistance of Mediator Eli Gedalof, the parties have reached agreement on a number of key items, with some issues outstanding. The parties have agreed to meet again on the afternoon of June 30 to continue negotiations.


YUSA Collective Bargaining Update #13 - June 22, 2022

On Friday, June 24, the University and the York University Staff Association (YUSA) will commence three straight days of collective bargaining with the assistance of Mediator Eli Gedalof. The University is committed to achieving a negotiated collective agreement in a timely manner and avoiding a work disruption.

On June 16, the University provided YUSA with a revised Comprehensive Framework Proposal for Settlement in which the University proposed that a number of items be withdrawn. 

In order to maximize the upcoming three days with the mediator, since the June 19 meeting between the parties the University has worked to provide:  

  • Responses to YUSA questions regarding benefit costings, and
  • Counter proposals and agreements to various proposals that YUSA presented at the end of the June 19 meeting.

The University is committed to working diligently with YUSA’s bargaining team over the coming three days to achieve a negotiated collective agreement.

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YUSA Collective Bargaining Update #12 - June 19, 2022

On Sunday June 19, 2022, the bargaining teams for the University and the York University Staff Association (YUSA) met for a full day with the assistance of mediator Eli Gedalof. The University remains committed to working diligently with YUSA to reach a negotiated agreement that recognizes the importance of YUSA-represented employees in the operation of the University, and in the lives of our students.

The University has identified several areas of focus during this round of collective bargaining, including clarifying vacation accruals and increasing the efficiency of the job evaluation process. You can read more about the University’s goals for this round of bargaining in our November 23, 2021, Community Update and specifically about the shortcomings of the existing job evaluation process in our March 7, 2022, Community Update.

On June 8, the University provided YUSA with a Comprehensive Framework Proposal for Settlement. This proposal includes compensation increases to the maximum allowable limit under Bill 124

After hearing from YUSA colleagues, and in an effort to further move the parties towards an agreement, on June 16, the University provided YUSA with a revised Comprehensive Framework Proposal for Settlement in which the University proposed that a number of items be withdrawn. This Framework Proposal also identified a number of other counter-proposals that the parties might each withdraw given that to date they have not been able to achieve reciprocal agreements on those items.

Additionally, at the June 19 mediation, the University proposed a new Letter of Understanding to accompany its proposal on vacation accruals. This has been an important topic of discussion at the bargaining table in which the parties agree on the value of employees taking their annual vacation. With that in mind:  

  • The University has responded positively to YUSA’s proposal that limits blanket restrictions that a department might place on taking vacation at certain times of the year.
  • For employees with over two years of accrued vacation, the University’s newly proposed Letter of Understanding provides options for these employees to either receive a vacation payout or to gradually reduce excess vacation accruals over time. 

Alternatively, the University has advised YUSA that it will provide vacation payouts to all YUSA-1 represented employees who have accrued in excess of two years’ vacation credit as of June 30, 2023 (as was originally announced in 2019 and planned for, but not implemented in 2021).

Throughout bargaining neither party has proposed changes to collective agreement language that would alter the entitlement, accrual, or usage of vacation entitlements by employees with less than two years of accrued vacation.

Also, during the June 19 mediation session, the employer undertook to provide YUSA with a revised proposal regarding internship and co-op placements at the parties’ upcoming meetings.

The parties will be meeting on June 24 to 26 and again on June 28 and 29. The University believes that with a shared commitment and the assistance of mediator Gedalof, a negotiated agreement can be reached in this time. 

Any renewal collective agreement must be within the parameters of the Government’s Bill 124, as are the University’s six most recently completed renewal agreements with the Canadian Union of Public Employees 3903 Units 1, 2, 3 and 4; the York University Faculty Association; and the York University Staff Association-2. The University has also recently reached a tentative agreement with the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 772.

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YUSA Collective Bargaining Update #11 - June 14, 2022

The University remains committed to achieving a negotiated collective agreement with the York University Staff Association (YUSA).

Since bargaining began in November 2021, limited progress has been made during the 25 negotiating meetings. That is why the University has taken the steps of first requesting the appointment of a provincial conciliation officer on April 29, 2022 and then subsequently requesting a no board report on June 8, 2022. We have now received the no board report, which sets July 1, 2022 at 12:01 am as the date on which either party may decide to commence a legal work stoppage.

In addition to requesting the no board report, in an effort to bring collective bargaining to a successful conclusion, on June 8 the University provided YUSA with a Comprehensive Framework Proposal for Settlement. This proposal includes compensation increases to the maximum allowable limit under Bill 124.   

On June 13, the University agreed to YUSA’s proposal for the parties to engage Eli Gedalof as a third-party mediator to assist the parties in reaching an agreement. The University believes that with the assistance of the mediator an agreement can be reached before July 1, 2022. The parties are scheduled to meet with Mediator Gedalof on June 19, 24, 25, 26, (evening of) 28, and 29.

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YUSA Collective Bargaining Update #10 - June 8, 2022

The collective agreement between the University and the York University Staff Association (YUSA) expired on July 31, 2021. The parties commenced collective bargaining in November 2021 and since then have met 25 times, including most recently two full days with a provincially appointed conciliation officer.

The University remains committed to achieving a renewal collective agreement with YUSA. In order to do this, on April 29, 2022 the University wrote to the YUSA to advise that an application had been made to the Ministry of Labour for the appointment of a conciliation officer.

Today the University initiated the next step in the bargaining process and has written to YUSA to advise that it has requested a “no-board report.” The University believes that this will aid the parties in reaching a renewal collective agreement in a timely fashion.

Over the coming days, there are a number of meetings scheduled between the parties and the conciliation officer.

The University will continue to work diligently with the YUSA-bargaining team in our collective effort to achieve an agreement that respects the important role that YUSA-represented employees play in the operation of the University and in the lives of our students, including throughout this difficult period of the pandemic. Any renewal collective agreement must be within the parameters of the Government’s Bill 124, as are the University’s six most recently completed renewal agreements with the Canadian Union of Public Employees 3903 Units 1,2, 3 and 4; the York University Faculty Association (YUFA); and the York University Staff Association-2.

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YUSA Collective Bargaining Update #9 - June 1, 2022

In an effort to assist York University and the York University Staff Association (YUSA) in achieving a negotiated renewal collective agreement, on April 29, 2022 the University wrote to YUSA to advise that an application had been made to the Ministry of Labour for the appointment of a conciliation officer.

The conciliation officer was recently appointed and will be joining the scheduled June 2 bargaining meeting. In addition, the following dates have been set for conciliation meetings:

June 6
June 8
June 22
June 23
June 28
June 29
June 30

The University remains committed to working hard to achieve a negotiated renewal collective agreement with YUSA that is within the parameters of the Government’s Bill 124, as are the University’s six most recently completed renewal agreements with the Canadian Union of Public Employees 3903 Units 1,2, 3 and 4; the York University Faculty Association; and the York University Staff Association-2.

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YUSA Collective Bargaining Update #8 - May 18, 2022

The University and YUSA continued with collective bargaining, including the most recent meeting on May 12, 2022.  This marks the 20th time the parties have met. While some progress is being made, including agreement on a new letter of understanding on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, there remains a significant number of outstanding issues for the parties to discuss.

In order to aid the parties in concluding a negotiated collective agreement, on April 29, 2022 the University applied to the Ministry of Labour, Training, Skills and Development for the appointment of a conciliation officer. You can read the letter here. Collective bargaining is continuing on the dates scheduled by the parties while we wait the appointment of a conciliation officer.

Sign up to receive email updates about York and YUSA’s ongoing negotiations here.

CUPE 3903, Unit 4

The University and CUPE 3903, Unit 4 representing part-time librarians and archivist, reached a renewal collective agreement which was ratified on May 6, 2022. This is the sixth renewal collective agreement the University has negotiated under Bill 124, Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019.

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YUSA Collective Bargaining Update #7 - May 1, 2022

Collective bargaining between the University and the York University Staff Association (YUSA) commenced in November 2021. The current collective agreement expired on July 31, 2021. Since then, the bargaining committees have met 18 times. These meetings have included much discussion and exchange of ideas, however, despite the parties’ efforts, the progress on reaching agreement on proposals has been slow, with many proposals outstanding.

In order to aid the parties in concluding a negotiated collective agreement the University has taken the next step in the bargaining process and have applied to the Ministry of Labour, Training, Skills and Development for the appointment of a conciliation officer. You can read the letter here.

The University is committed to continuing to work diligently toward achieving a renewal agreement and believes that the assistance of a neutral third-party conciliation officer will assist the parties in achieving this positive outcome.  

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YUSA Collective Bargaining Update #6 - April 26, 2022

At York University, terms and conditions of employment for the vast majority of our employees are defined through 14 different collective agreements negotiated by the University and various unions and associations.  Since the introduction of Bill 124, five collective agreements have been ratified. These are with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 3903 Units 1,2, 3, York University Faculty Association (YUFA) and York University Staff Association (YUSA)-2. The University and CUPE 3903 Unit 4 have also now reached a tentative renewal collective agreement.

Collective bargaining is currently underway with five other unions: the York University Staff Association (YUSA), the Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OPSEU) Local 576 Units 1 and 2, and the CUPE 1356 and CUPE 1356-1.

YUSA

The University and YUSA continue their collective bargaining that commenced on November 4, 2021. The parties have met 16 times and have reached agreement on some issues. A number of issues remain outstanding, and much work remains to be done.

The University is committed to achieving a negotiated collective agreement with YUSA that reflects the important role that YUSA-represented employees play at the university while also respecting the parameters put in place by Bill 124.

Further meeting dates are schedule with YUSA in the coming weeks. The latest updates are available on the University’s website.

CUPE 3903 Unit 4

On Friday April 22, 2022, the University and CUPE 3903 Unit 4, the union representing York’s part time librarians and archivists reached a tentative agreement, which is now subject to ratification.

CUPE 1356/CUPE 1356-1

On April 22, the University commenced collective bargaining with CUPE 1356-1, the union representing security officials and parking officers working over 24 hours a week. This was followed on April 25 with the commencement of collective bargaining with CUPE 1356, the union representing university employees engaged in maintenance, services and plant operations.

OPSEU

The University and OPSEU, the union representing English-language instructors at the University, are set to commence collective bargaining, Wednesday April 27, 2022.

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YUSA Collective Bargaining Update #5 April 10, 2022

The University is committed to negotiating  a  renewal collective agreement in a timely manner with the York University Staff Association (YUSA). As such, the bargaining teams have been meeting regularly since November and completed their 14th meeting on Thursday April 7, 2022.

To date, the University has provided YUSA with written counterproposals that address approximately 24 different articles, letters of understanding, letters of intent and appendices for which YUSA has tabled proposals or counterproposals. The University continues to work through the many initial proposals tabled by YUSA with the intent of seeking further YUSA proposals on which we can be responsive.

Since January 20, 2022, we have received 3 written counterproposals from YUSA. The university has either responded to or is currently reviewing these counterproposals. We look forward to receiving additional responses to our various proposals and counterproposals as a means to continue to move the process forward.

MEETINGS TO DATE

2021:

  • Nov 4, 18, 30
  • Dec 9, 16

2022:

  • Jan 20
  • Feb 3, 10
  • Mar 1, 3, 10, 25, 31
  • April 7

UPCOMING:

  • April 14, 21, 28
  • May 5, 12, 19, 26

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YUSA Collective Bargaining Update #4 March 7, 2022

The bargaining committees for the University and the York University Staff Association (YUSA) met for the 10th and 11th time over the course of the last week. Through these meetings the University has tabled all of its initial proposals of which there are approximately 75. YUSA has tabled approximately 140 proposals to date and has indicated that they hope to have delivered all of their non-salary and benefits proposals when the parties next meet on March 10.

Among the proposals that the University presented to YUSA this past week is a new Letter of Understanding regarding Job Evaluation/Pay Equity maintenance which aims to improve the current process for employees and managers by, among other things, making job evaluation more expeditious, consistent and objective. The proposal also includes a collaborative referee process that would put job evaluation disputes in the hands of external expert referees (one selected by each party) with specific decision-making timelines, thus reducing what can be a prolonged and adversarial process for the parties currently. 

Job Evaluation is an important discussion topic in these negotiations given the shortcomings of the existing process which has been documented in this presentation that the University provided to YUSA at the most recent bargaining meeting.

The University looks forward to upcoming meetings, including the receipt of all of YUSA’s proposals, and discussions on a number of important topics including those raised by the University through its most recent proposals.

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YUSA Collective Bargaining Update #3 December 20, 2021

On December 16, 2021, the bargaining committees for YUSA and the University met for the final time in 2021. Throughout the fall, the parties met six times and exchanged a number of proposals aimed at achieving a renewal collective agreement.

The meetings to date have provided the parties an opportunity to learn about each other’s proposals and to reach agreement on a small number of items. YUSA has indicated that an unspecified number of additional proposals are still forthcoming. The University remains committed to exploring different possible solutions to many of the issues that remain outstanding.

In 2022, the parties have now scheduled three meeting dates, with additional meetings to be scheduled.

On behalf of the University’s bargaining team, we wish the members of YUSA bargaining team a safe and restful Holiday season and look forward to resuming negotiations in the New Year to achieve a renewal collective agreement.

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YUSA Collective Bargaining Update #2 November 23, 2021

On November 18, the bargaining teams for the University and YUSA met for the third time following an initial informal meeting to discuss the bargaining process. The parties have now exchanged proposals, with the University having identified a few remaining non-monetary proposals that will be forthcoming, and YUSA having indicated that they have an unspecified number of proposals yet to be tabled. 

For the University, it is important in this round of bargaining to address several key areas, including:

  • increasing the number of employment opportunities for York students through paid internships and co-op placements, with written assurances that students will not replace YUSA members or cause a reduction in their hours;  
  • clarifying the vacation accrual provisions of the current Collective Agreement to ensure that vacation is used for its intended purpose, as well as managing the financial liability of growing accrual banks; and
  • increasing the efficiency of the job evaluation process for positions in the YUSA bargaining unit.

From the outset, the University has stressed the importance of it tabling proposals on issues that have emerged, and has indicated a willingness to explore different possible solutions to those issues.

Over the coming months, the parties will continue to meet to discuss proposals, and work towards achieving a renewal collective agreement that respects the important role of YUSA-represented employees on campus while mindful of limits set out in Bill 124.

The parties are currently scheduled to meet again on November 30, December 9, and 16.

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YUSA Collective Bargaining Update #1 November 8, 2021

On November 4, 2021, the bargaining teams for the University and the York University Staff Association Unit 1 (YUSA), the union representing 1,650 staff members at York, met to exchange collective bargaining proposals. This meeting follows an earlier informal meeting between the parties to discuss the bargaining process.

Between now and the holiday break the parties are currently scheduled to meet on November 11, 18 and December 9, 16 to work towards achieving a renewal collective agreement that aligns with Bill 124.

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