Yesterday we learned the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety was informed on November 7 that negotiations between the union representing sessional lecturers, CUPE 3287, and the University of Saskatchewan had reached impasse. The employer confirmed there are no essential service considerations in the sessional bargaining unit and the parties are awaiting the appointment of a conciliator.
Bargaining has been underway for nearly two years. Recent voluntary mediation did not result in a tentative agreement. Issues at the bargaining table include:
- Maintaining right of first refusal provisions.
- Recognition for the work that sessional lecturers do outside of the classroom.
- Fair integration of DEU instructors in the CUPE 3287 collective agreement.
- Access to a decent pension plan.
- Improved health and dental benefits, in particular, vision care benefits.
- A fair and equitable wage increase.
The USFA shares a common interest with the other unions on campus in negotiating fair compensation, job security, and safe working conditions for workers on campus. We are facing our own challenges at the grievance table and we will be notifying the employer of our intent to enter into collective bargaining this spring.
There are good reasons to support CUPE 3287 – their employer is our employer, and positions at one bargaining table are often echoed at other tables. Fortunately, there are many ways you can support CUPE at this time.
First, talk to your CUPE colleagues. Let them know they are a valued part of our university.
Talk to your Dean. Express your appreciation for the valuable work done by CUPE employees. Let them know that you believe their work is important, and that they deserve reasonable security, compensation, and benefits.
Talk to your students. Tell them about the importance of CUPE members’ work to their education and to our university.
Pay attention to what CUPE is saying. Watch their website. We will also keep you informed.