We had to put the $15 in place. The Law of the Land allowed employers with existing collective agreements to delay increases. Without him, we would not be able to sign a collective agreement. We made it clear to the employer that no collective agreement would be signed for full-time and part-time workers without a minimum wage of $15 for casual workers. We have also introduced a provision for equal pay for substantially similar work, which is expected to come into force in May 2019 – before the deadline for workers with collective agreements in the January 2020 legislation. “This is an uncompromising agreement that makes significant gains in both monetary and non-monetary areas,” said Colleen Burke, president of ETC Local in 1998. The three-year collective agreement, in effect until June 30, 2020, includes 4,300 administrative and technical officers at the university. Members of USW Local 1998 voted in favour of the treaty on Monday. The collective agreement provides for a 2.5% increase in wages this year, followed by a 2% increase over the next two years. This year`s wage increase implies a wage adjustment of 0.7% retroactive to July 1 to compensate for an increase in employee pension contributions.
On January 1, 2018, the University of Toronto raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour for the majority of its casual non-union workers. This is done as a result of CUPE and UofT residents in UofT negotiations and a gain of at least $15 for all unionized employees. This is a tangible example of how unions, when they raise minimum standards, are helping to increase the field for all workers. We spoke to Colleen Burke, President of ETC in 1998, and Leanne MacMillan, CUPE Servicing Representative, to understand how they fought and won the fight for all UofT workers. To win them, we coordinated our negotiating dates and proposed tariff changes; We coordinated our strike dates and conciliation requests, worked together to improve the working conditions of full-time, part-time and casual workers at U de T. And we continue to support university workers who are members of CUPE 3902, while continuing to negotiate a collective agreement for their largest bargaining unit. “The negotiation process was very difficult, but our negotiating committee was stimulated by the tremendous support of our members,” Burke said. Before a preliminary agreement with the university last week, union members would have voted 94 percent in favor of a strike mandate, she noted. There is a great contrast between a for-profit company like Aramark and employees at the University of Toronto. When, after the end of its contract with Aramark, the university “stopped” food services on the St. George campus, they became employed by UofT and were covered by the collective agreement of CUPE Local 3261.
Their salaries and benefits have increased dramatically.