CUPE 3906 Unit 1 Bargaining Blog
~ your issues, your process, your contract ~

Groundrules

DEMOCRACY AND RESPECT

“The strength of our union and our ability to win fair collective agreements is a reflection and a product of our dedication of participatory democracy, including consultation, transparency, elections and member-driven bargaining.  We will not engage in any form of confidential bargaining, including media blackouts, except as mandated by members at a GMM. Further, we will not engage in ‘side bar’ bargaining, and at no time will anyone involved in our bargaining efforts, including but not limited to any general member, member of our Bargaining Team or any other representative body of our Union, and Local or National staff, discuss bargaining with our Employer in any forum other than the bargaining table, conciliation and mediation.  We will not engage in late night bargaining designed to limit the participation of anyone involved in the process, to limit membership consultation or to violate our established bargaining groundrules.  Finally, because bargaining is a fundamentally collective process, all members have a right to bear witness to this process, at the discretion of our Bargaining Team. As all members are equally invested in the outcome of the bargaining process, all members are encouraged and expected to participate in the process and will be afforded an equal say.”

NO CONCESSIONS

“We will not concede any of the gains we have made in previous Collective Agreements, including defacto concessions such as the loss of wage increases to inflation, tuition fees or insurance costs.  Further, we recognize that bargaining is a collective process that impacts all members, and sometimes in different ways.  As such, we will accept no Employer proposal intended to diminish any member’s current rights and benefits while advancing those of another, and we will advance and defend our proposals as a cohesive whole, upon the principle that no member shall be disadvantaged in rights or benefits.  Finally, any consideration of a multi-year contract requires substantive gains in each successive year, and may not include concessions, including defacto concessions (as described above).”

RESPECT

“In accordance with the principles of participatory democracy, respect, equity and solidarity, neither bargaining team, bargaining support committee or executive members, nor other elected representative or staff, shall be blamed, singled out, attacked or otherwise disrespected at any time during the bargaining process, including as a result of implementing decisions made collectively by the membership.  Further, as union members are crucial to the functioning of the University and the academic education system, we deserve respect, fair compensation, and access to benefits and academic supports, and will accept no less in our new collective agreement.  Finally, we will not be belittled or devalued by our Employer at the table, and will cease any bargaining session at which our Employer relies upon these tactics.”

SOLIDARITY, COORDINATION AND AUTONOMY

“Our Union’s first duty is the protection of our most vulnerable members, which requires structural changes to our contract, vast improvements to our employment conditions, and adherence to the principles of solidarity, respect, mutual investment and recognition.  Further, we understand that our struggle for a better contract is intimately connected to other workers’ struggles here at McMaster, in the university sector, in the public sector, and throughout Canadian and global society. Specifically, we will coordinate our bargaining efforts within our Local and other university sector workers in Ontario and ground our efforts upon the basic principles of the OUWCC’s coordinated bargaining campaign, and we support and are supported by other unions locally, provincially, nationally, and internationally.  Finally, while we act in solidarity with other workers’ struggles, we assert our Local’s autonomy and will not make settlements or take actions that violate the principles outlined in these groundrules under pressure from any external body, including our National and Provincial Union.”

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