This week saw the most promising and effective bargaining session this round. Both sides started the day keen to get an agreement concerning the Graduate Facilitators. TSSU tabled a proposal in response to the Employer, and the first ninety minutes were spent in productive discussion and exchange of questions, particularly around the area of qualifications for the different GF teams.
The Employer took much of the day to caucus and to try to draft their own response, but here the cracks began to show: their lack of familiarity with the work and working conditions of the Graduate Facilitators introduced roadblocks. On several occasions, concerns and issues TSSU presented were met with denials and dismissals. For example, when TSSU mentioned that Graduate Facilitators need to design workshops and sometimes work on evenings or weekends, these points were flatly denied, and we were asked several times to provide the specific example of where an individual GF was obligated to have such an experience.
Ultimately, the Union and the Administration moved much closer to agreement on the language for the GFs, and we did receive a revised position.
This morning, on December 12th, we were to move to discussing the University’s response on our proposals for Teaching Assistants. We proposed solutions on April 3rd that addressed our member’s critical issues around overwork, ever increasing class sizes, and the growth of mixed online and in-person teaching models. We still have not heard a full response. However, this bargaining session was abruptly cancelled by the Employer following unforeseen circumstances, so your Contract Committee retired to AQ for a workday.
Bargaining will resume in January.