Bargaining Update #4 (March 15, 2024)

From Mar 15, 2024 email titled: “CUPE 1230 Bargaining Update #4: No meeting + Next week’s actions”.

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Dear CUPE 1230:

We were not at the table yesterday, Thursday, March 14, 2024 from 9AM-1PM. We had requested up-to-date membership pay distribution data during Monday’s negotiation but did not receive it from the University in a timely manner. Since this data was critical for us to formulate a well-informed counter proposal, we chose to cancel negotiations as they would not be fruitful.

Once we received the information at 10AM, we took this time to work on our counter proposal.

We have requested more bargaining dates for next week and will continue to keep you posted. Join us in taking action! Our collective action determines our power at the bargaining table and the collective agreements we win.

📢 Take action NEXT WEEK 📢

  • EVERYDAY: Wear your buttons until we get a contract. Don’t have one? We will be bringing some more around come Monday.
  • MON-WED: Sign the petition if you haven’t already! Final stretch!
    • Thu, Mar 21, 12-1PM. Location + details TBD.
  • FRIDAY: Bring your questions, comments, and energy to the General Membership Meeting (GMM).
    • Fri, Mar 22, 12-2PM. Blackburn room, Robarts 4F.
In solidarity,
CUPE 1230 Student Casual and Full-Time & Part-Time Bargaining Teams

Julia Greenfield
Pat Grace
Alex Jung
Maya Larrondo
Murat Simsek
Amanda Wagner

Bargaining Update #3 (Mar 12, 2024)

From Mar 12, 2024 email titled: “CUPE 1230 Bargaining Update #3: University response to our proposals”.

Full University responses are linked at the bottom of this post.

Dear CUPE 1230:

Yesterday, on Monday, March 11, 2024, the Student Casual and Full-Time & Part-Time bargaining committees met with the University for our third round of negotiations. At this meeting, the University responded to some but not all of our proposals.

We encourage every member to review the full response. Here is a summary:

Our proposals – see past update for details

Univ. response – see attachments for details


A City of Toronto living wage ($25.05) for all, including SLA’s/ACAFA’s

5.7%* (Jul ’23) 2% (Jul ’24) 1.8% (Jul ’25) annual across-the-board (ATB) increases

Back pay only for employees actively employed on date of ratification

$2/hr lead premium when assigned lead duties

Agreed for SLAs

1 sick shift/mo (current: 1 Jan-Jun + 1 Jul-Dec)

doctor’s note reimbursement if applicable

4 sick shifts** per calendar yr, taken anytime

no response on doctor’s note reimbursement

bereavement leave to cover 5 shifts

(current: covers immediate shift)

No response


5.7% (Jul ’23) 3% (Jul ’24) 3% (Jul ’25) annual ATB increases

5.7%* (Jul ’23) 2% (Jul ’24) 1.8% (Jul ’25) annual across-the-board (ATB) increases

Back pay only for employees actively employed on date of ratification

5 days PPL (current: 4 days PPL)

Proposed 1 additional PPL for a total of 5 days. HOWEVER the University insists on eliminating our right to take these paid personal days in 1hr increments. They propose we can only take them in ½ days or full day increments.

AWA language

Verbally proposed to adopt USW 1998 language and phase out flex time (Kronos)

5 days PPL (current: 4 days PPL)


$200 boot allowance

Agreed in Student Casual response

Retirement Bridge Benefit Outside of the Pension Plan / Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program for retirements effective Jun 30, 2024-Jun 30, 2026, based on “first come first served” basis then seniority

No limits to healthcare appt flexibility

(current: 7 hr/yr)

No response

Health benefit coverage maximum increases

Increase Educational Assistance by $200 for UofT graduate programs, and by $50 for non-degree work-related courses

*The 5.7% University-proposed wage increase retroactive to July 1, 2023 is lower than the 9% retroactive increase achieved at USW 1998 and other CUPE locals since our prior increase was not capped at 1% by Bill 124.
**This is a win we build on from the We are U of T campaign, and CUPE 3261 Casual Unit’s tentative agreement. While we are no longer bargaining on the same timeline as CUPE 3261 (service workers) and CUPE 3902 (TAs and postdocs), we are excited that their organizing efforts have made for defining wins, outlined in these historic tentative agreements (Mar 3, 2024) securing living wages ($25/hr) for all and huge improvements to working conditions.

We will be returning to the table on Thursday, March 14 from 9AM-1PM.

We are stronger together. The progress of our petitionnow showing the majority of our local united, has been critical to getting the University back to the table. The University’s lack of response to a demand for a living wage for all members tells us that we must continue to unite behind this demand if we are going to make significant gains – we are clear that our collective action determines our power at the bargaining table and the collective agreements we win.

To do your part: Sign the petition if you haven’t yet, wear your pins EVERYDAY until we get an agreement (coming soon near you if you don’t have one), and stay tuned for forthcoming actions.

In solidarity,

CUPE 1230 Student Casual and Full-Time & Part-Time Bargaining Teams

Julia Greenfield
Pat Grace
Alex Jung
Maya Larrondo
Murat Simsek
Amanda Wagner


Bargaining Bulletin #2 (Feb 9, 2024)

From Feb 9, 2024 email titled: “Bargaining Bulletin #2 – Update”.

Full proposals are linked at the bottom of this post.

Hello Everyone,

As indicated in the most recent bargaining e-mail, on Wednesday, January 31, 2024, both the Student Casual and the Full-Time & Part-Time contract negotiation committees met with the Employer for our second round of bargaining.

Management demonstrates a lack of urgency

At our first round of bargaining on December 6th, almost two months ago, we provided our wage proposals for both units. Management showed up to bargaining without any counter proposal to wages. We understood this to mean that they don’t see it a priority to make significant progress towards reaching an agreement.

Local 3902 and 3261 request a no-board and schedule strike votes

As you may recall, we decided to coordinate our bargaining among our two units, as well as with the 5 other employee groups from Local 3902 and 3261, who are also bargaining with the university. Currently there are over 8000 CUPE members negotiating with the University across all campuses. On December 5th we, along with 3261 and 3902, asked the Ministry of Labour to appoint a Conciliation Officer in the event that we will need assistance to mediate an agreement. This also means that, should negotiations continue at such a slow pace, we have the option to request a no-board report from the Conciliation Officer, which would start the process for us to be able to take strike action if necessary. While we are currently nowhere near this point and remain hopeful that we will reach a fair agreement, it is important to note that Local 3261 and 3902 have reached the point where they requested a no-board report yesterday February 8th during a press conference at Simcoe Hall. This is the first time 8000 UofT workers will be in strike position at the same time.

Teaching Assistants and Post-Doctoral Fellows begin vote on strike mandate

Local 3902 also started their own strike mandate vote yesterday for both their Teaching Assistants and Post-Doctoral Fellow units. If you are a student casual worker at the library and also teach a course, you are also a member of Unit 1 at Local 3902. You are currently eligible to vote on that strike mandate, the negotiating committee is recommending a YES vote.  More information on Teaching Assistants strike vote here.

What happened at the bargaining table on January 31st?

No written proposals were provided, however, they verbally proposed the following:

  • Employer would agree to our proposed increase FT-PT Paid Personal Leave (PPL) from 4 days to 5 days.  However, they stated they are interested in taking away our ability to take these days in one hour increments and move to a half day or even full day increments.
  • There is verbal agreement to increase FT-PT safety shoe reimbursement to $200 per year and replacement if/when necessary outside of this.
  • Some form of the Early Retirement Bridge outside of the pension plan and the Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program are expected to return.
  • Extended maternity and parental benefits are expected to increase to 78 weeks to align with changes to federal Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.

In addition to this, CUPE 1230 tabled the following new proposals/demands (PDF’s attached):

  1. FT-PT & Student Casual Article 6: Negotiating Committee — Language changes to negotiate as a joint committee for both bargaining units. This proposal is critical to ensure we fully use our collective power at the bargaining table and the employer cannot divide us.
  2. FT-PT Article 37: Occupational Health and Safety — Language changes to align with other Unions on campus and to resolve information disclosure issues which were urgently needed during COVID-19.
  3. Student Casual Article 19: Bereavement Leave — Extending bereavement leave from the current, where if a close friend/family passes away one can simply go home with pay for that shift, to having all scheduled shifts for five days thereafter also paid out in full.  This is designed to allow for proper time to grieve and recover.

What’s Next?

A special CUPE 1230 Bargaining Update Meeting will take place from 1:00PM to 2:00PM on Thursday, February 15, 2024, in the Robarts Library 4F Blackburn Room.  A reminder e-mail with online synchronous connection information will be sent next week.  This will allow for an opportunity to discuss where negotiations are at, proposals and our plan to win the best possible agreement for both FT/PT and Student Casual Workers.

The upcoming bargaining dates are as follows:

  • Wednesday, February 14, 2024: FT-PT & Student Casual
  • Tuesday, February 27, 2024: FT-PT
  • Friday, March 1, 2024: FT-PT & Student Casual

Dignity & Respect: United We Win!

Coordination is ongoing between CUPE Locals 3261, 3902, and 1230, and the Employer has taken notice.  It is essential we keep up the pressure and achieve the better working conditions and wages all workers deserve.


In Solidarity,

CUPE 1230 Student Casual & FT-PT Bargaining Teams

  • Maya Larrondo
  • Murat Simsek
  • Paul Whittam
  • Amanda Wagner
  • Julia Greenfield
  • Pat Grace


Bargaining Bulletin #1 (Dec 7, 2023)

From Dec 7, 2023 email titled: “CUPE 1230 — Bargaining Bulletin #1 First Day at the Bargaining Table”.

Full proposals are linked at the bottom of this post.

Hello CUPE 1230 Members,

Yesterday, December 6, 2023 both the Student Casual and Full-Time & Part-Time contract negotiation committees met with the Employer and began bargaining our next collective agreement.

As we have promised, this round of negotiations, we will be transparent. No confidentiality at the table. Attached are copies of the language and wage demands we provided to the Employer and the University’s list of issues they would like to discuss.  These proposals are just the beginning. We will be making more at upcoming rounds at the table. But these are just proposals, they don’t become real until the other side sings on the dotted line. How do we make these proposals a reality? It starts with unity, unity across our two units and unity across CUPE locals on campus.

December 18th Holiday Solidarity Rally

Remember this winter, over 8,500 CUPE members across three locals are negotiating. This is why on December 18th all CUPE locals 3261, 3902, 1230, USW, and student groups on campus will be come together for a Holiday Solidarity Rally at Simcoe Hall from 3 to 4:30pm where we will be sending in a delegation of members to address the Governing Council. Join us!

Respect and Dignity demand has management confused and hurt

Management has noticed our solidarity already. At the table they addressed the issue of respect and dignity and stated that managers are confused and hurt that we don’t feel respected because after all they do a great job, and you work at UofT, world class institution and top rated employer. We know management is out of touch. Wear your “Respect and Dignity” button until we win. Don’t have a button? Email [editor’s note: this email is defunct; please email instead]

Our demands are substantial; but they are not at all unreasonable:

  • Full-Time & Part-Time have tabled 5.7%, 3.0%, and 3.0% across-the-board (ATB) wage increases, one in each year; and

    • Alternative Work Arrangement language

    • Unlimited healthcare appointment leave

    • Increase Vacation Severance Pay from 15 days to 20 days

  • Student Casual have tabled even larger demands which would bring hourly wages in line with a living wage in the City of Toronto ($25.05), even for our lowest paid SLA’s and

    • $2 Lead Pay for any Student Casual assigned additional responsibilities

    • 1 sick shift per month

    • Reimburse required doctors notes when sick

The response to our demands was pretty resounding, with the Employer making it clear that such a living wage is not something the University of Toronto is even willing to acknowledge as a valid concept or discuss for our SLA’s, GSLA’s, and AHDA’s, our student staff members.  They made it clear that Student Casual hourly wages aren’t designed to help make ends meet.  We must fix this!

None of us needs an Economist to know how unaffordable living here has become, and many of us are working simply to pay tuition or help make food or rent.  This is NOT some side gig just for a bit of fun or experience, and hourly wages are NOT some honorarium given out of the kindness of the Employer’s heart.

What is next?

We will be meeting again after the holiday break, but our work doesn’t stop now. This year we are building a campaign that will require all of us to be involved. We have a team of members called CATs (Contract Action Team) who have volunteered to be the point person for specific areas or groups of workers, your group doesn’t have a CAT? Email [editor’s note: this email is defunct; please email instead]

We will be providing an in person update at the holiday party/gmm tomorrow. Additionally, we will be scheduling a zoom meeting to update members and review our plan to win.

These fully transparent updates are also something new for CUPE 1230 bargaining, and it is something we plan to continue going forward.

In Solidarity,

CUPE 1230 Student Casual & FT-PT Bargaining Teams

  • Gabrielle Browne

  • Maya Larrondo

  • Murat Simsek

  • Paul Whittam

  • Amanda Wagner

  • Julia Greenfield

  • Pat Grace


Welcome to our new website!

Dear CUPE 1230 members,

We are excited to launch our new website to help keep you informed on what’s happening in our local, and to provide easy access to a number of resources.

Please let us know if you have any feedback and if there is anything in particular that you want to see. Get in touch and let us know what you think!

CUPE 1230 Executive