Friday, April 27, 2007

CUPE 3903 Counter Proposal to Job Cuts.

TO: York Administration

FROM: CUPE 3903 Labour Management Committee

RE: Shifting of Tutor Positions from Unit 2 to Unit 1

DATE: April 20th, 2007.

To the York Administration,

The following document sets out a series of proposals to mitigate the impact of the shift in the distribution of tutor positions from CUPE unit 2 to CUPE unit 1 per article 3.02.4 of the CUPE 3903 Unit 2 collective agreement.

Please be advised that in presenting these proposals, the Union is in no way indicating it agrees with the proposed alteration to the distribution of tutor positions amongst the bargaining units. We remain steadfastly opposed to the changes the York Administration has proposed and our campaign to oppose the job cuts will continue. Our view is that members of CUPE Unit 2 are the foundation on which York has provided an excellent undergraduate learning environment and that your planned actions denigrate their contribution.

Our Proposals

i) In the context that the employer presented their maximum number of positions shifted in each hiring unit at the April 5th LMC, the employer immediately contact the relevant hiring units and ask that they post no more than the predicted maximum number of additional tutor positions in CUPE unit 1. As an example, the Division of Social Science will not post any more than the number of additional tutor positons in CUPE Unit 1 reported in the April 5th, 2007 LMC (which the employer reported is roughly one third of tutor positons posted in 2006). We need to emphasize that in our view, not agreeing to this is a gross violation of articles 11 and 12 of the CUPE 3903 Unit 2 collective agreement. To post all the tutor positions in CUPE Unit 1 is an exercise of your management rights which is unreasonable and in bad faith.

We further propose that decisions on making appointments to the additional tutor positions in CUPE Unit 1 be completed by no later than May 21st and that any unfilled positions be re-posted into CUPE Unit 2 no later than May 22nd (which is already fully one month after the common posting date).

The timelines set out Article 11 and Article 12 stipulates that the employer take the steps necessary to plan the job offering in EACH bargaining unit concurrently. Our view is that our proposal is no more than what is clearly expected in the collective agreement.

The unpredictability of contract work for those in CUPE unit 2 is a difficult fact of their work life. The timelines that the employer has agreed to Articles 11 and 12 is an important aspect of the collective agreement which the Union strongly holds because it minimizes that unpredictability.

ii) The Union propose that the employer agree in writing that the maximum number of tutor positions shifted in each faculty be no greater than the number of positions needed to satisfy the priority pool entitlement for the additional doctoral student intake for 2007 which was reported to the April 5 LMC. We further propose that the employer commit to providing a thorough and accurate reporting of the above within a reasonable timeframe to be negotiated by the parties.

iii) We propose that the York Administration agree in writing to in good faith enter into negotiations with CUPE 3903 on the following four new programmes to mitigate the impact of the proposed job cuts:

a) Voluntary Employment Re-training Fund

b) Employment Placement Programme

c) Voluntary Severance Amount

d) Underemployment Supplement

iv) In the context that a significant number of CUPE Unit 2 members will have to look for other types of positions in CUPE Unit 2, we propose that:

a) the York Administration agree to an expedited appointments process. What we propose is that at a minimum, the timelines set out for appointments be strictly adhered to and that the York Administration provide the necessary resources to aid each hiring unit in adhering to the timeline for appointments.

b) the York Administration agree to an expedited grievance/arbitration process for appointment grievances for Fall/Winter 2007-08. That expedited process would include but not be limited to agreeing to reasonable requests to by-pass steps in the grievance process, reducing the written reply time by one-half in each step of the grievance process, and cooperating with any request from the Union for expedited arbitration.

c) the York Administration send a memo to instruct all merged hiring units (for example Psychology in the Faculty of Health) that the Union be duly notified in the case where qualifications for positions will be enhanced. We further propose that the memo communicate the neccessity for all qualifications to strictly adhere to the test of reasonableness and demonstrable relevance set out in article 11.01.3.

v) the York administration agree to extend the commitment to scheduling flexibility set out in article 12.22 (i) to conflicts for positions accepted outside of the University for any persons who can demonstrate that proposed shift in the distribution of tutor 1 positions has impacted them.

Our view is that at a minimum the above proposals be substantively agreed to as a gesture toward the dignity and respect our members deserve. What we can guarantee is that unless we get substantive agreement on the following proposals, our campaign to stop the job cuts in CUPE unit 2 this year and going forward into bargaining next year will be even more concerted.

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