President’s Message to CUPE 2424


DATE: March 6, 2018

TO: Members of CUPE2424

FROM: Alastair JS Summerlee

View the original memo (PDF)

During the negotiating session on Sunday, March 4, the University and the Union continued to debate critical issues raised by both sides.

Unfortunately, it was not possible to reach an agreement at the table.

Since the Union made the decision to walk away from the negotiations, the Union has made several statements in the media. University Management believes that it is important that CUPE 2424 members know the exact offer that was on the table that their representatives turned down.

The offer included:

  • Confirmation that the University does NOT intend to move to a Defined Contribution Plan
    The University has no intention to move to a Defined Contribution Plan and it is regrettable that the Union team has continued to misrepresent the situation and stir up concern that the University might take such action.

In fact, to re-assure members, the University offered to include language in the collective agreement that affirmed that the University will maintain our Defined Benefit Plan.

  • Composition of the Pension Committee
    Despite no intention by the University to change the composition of the Pension Committee, the Union expressed concern that the composition of the Pension Committee should not change. The University agreed to include language in the collective agreement indicating that there would never be less than 50% representation by union representatives and that CUPE 2424 would always retain a seat on that committee.
  • Remuneration
    The University offered to increase salaries by 5.4% over the period of the contract:

    • 1.9% in year one
    • 1.8% in year two
    • 1.7% in year three.

In addition, the University agreed to many benefit improvements including massage therapy and vision care, as well as vacation entitlement for eligible employees.

  • Internal wage equity
    The University offered to absorb the cost of wage adjustments upon implementation of a new job evaluation system. The University offered to pay the full cost to ensure employees will experience no loss of current salary while also implementing increases for employees in jobs that are evaluated at a higher level in the new system.
  • Other issues
    The University and the Union agreed to make a number of changes in the language in the contract to improve clarity and conditions for employees.

I want to be clear that CUPE members are highly valued and respected members of the university community, and the university remains committed to reaching a negotiated settlement with the union.

I remain confident that the two negotiating teams can find a way to resolve this impasse.

Alastair J.S. Summerlee
President and Vice-Chancellor