CUPE orders re-vote after striking contract faculty at York U. opt to accept offer
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Thursday, June 14, 2018 9:06AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 14, 2018 11:51AM EDT
Striking contract faculty at York University voted to accept the school’s latest offer and return to work on Wednesday night but the result was overturned by the local’s parent union amid what it said were “significant discrepancies.”
Members of Unit 2 of CUPE Local 3903 voted in favour of accepting the university’s June 6 offer; however representatives from CUPE who were overseeing the process opted to nullify the vote and order a re-vote after it determined that the “number of ballots did not match the number of signatures of eligible voters.”
The re-vote will be held between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Thursday and between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday. The union says that it will not hold any additional informational sessions about the offer itself, which was tabled following a 17-hour mediation session.
“The number of irregularities is such that it is impossible to account for the results of the vote with absolute certainty,” CUPE 3903 said in a message to members on Thursday. “It should be noted that we requested an extension until Monday on the employer’s deadline in recognition that the lack of notice and Eid create significant barriers for these dates. The employer refused to give us longer than until Friday, with no regard to the accessibility needs of the vote.”
Controversy had surrounded vote
Wednesday night’s disputed vote was itself subject to some controversy.
It was initially agreed to over the weekend but CUPE Local 3903 subsequently ruled that the two representatives for Unit 2 on the bargaining committee wrongly agreed to hold the vote during a “secret meeting,” where they did not have quorum.
The ratification vote, however, ultimately went ahead after a union-specific vote at a meeting on Monday. Representatives for the other two bargaining units did not similarly agree to send York’s latest offer to their membership.
About 3,000 members of CUPE Local 3903 have been on strike since March 5. About 1,000 of those members belong to Unit 2, which represents contract faculty and sessional lecturers.
The main issues of contention in the three-month long strike have mostly revolved around job security and the path to permanent tenured employment for contract faculty.