TORONTO – United Steelworkers' (USW) Ontario/Atlantic Director Wayne Fraser announced Friday that support, technical and administrative staff of the University of Toronto, members of USW Local 1998, have ratified by 90.6 per cent an agreement reached last Sunday with the University at its three campuses in Toronto, Mississauga and Scarborough.
"This three-year contract is the result of challenging negotiations backed up by a strong membership at the University of Toronto," said Fraser. "Their strength and support was key to making precedent-setting gains and thereby setting a standard for university staff. Salary increases of 3.5 per cent in the first year will be followed by increases of three per cent in each of the following years, with the agreement in effect until June 30, 2011.
The agreement, covering 3,500 employees, contains a groundbreaking provision on child care that will ease the burden for parents juggling jobs and family. Other work/family balance improvements include work flexibility, compassionate care leave and better compensation during parental leave and primary caregiver leave.
Local 1998 President Allison Dubarry said the agreement protects employees during reorganization and contains a process to fast track and complete job evaluation and pay equity. "With the new leave provisions and a child care funding program, this agreement also recognizes the need for work/life balance and is a victory for union members as well as their families," she said. "Collective agreements are about more than wages. They are about creating a 21st century workplace that is welcoming, fair and productive. We believe this agreement sets the stage for that kind of progress."
The agreement also recognizes the need to stop harassment and bullying, boosts employment equity and gives employees more time to consider filing a grievance on sexual harassment. "The breadth of this agreement will help to set the standard for labour relations at other universities," said Fraser.
The USW also represents staff at two of the university's federated colleges, Victoria University and St. Michael's, where negotiations will begin soon.
Canada's most diverse union, the USW represents more than 280,000 men and women working in every sector of the economy, including close to 7,000 in the university sector.
CONTACT: Bryan Adamczyk (USW Representative) 416.977.7274; 1.905.516.0466
Allison Dubarry (Pres., Local 1998) 416.506.9090; 416.949.9008