CUPE 3902

July 04, 2012 14:16 ET

St. Michael's College Bargaining Hits Impasse

Union Concerned About Bullying /Sexual Harassment Protection

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 4, 2012) - CUPE 3902 represents the newly unionized contract instructional staff at the University of St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto. We are in the 37th week of bargaining for a new collective agreement and have hit an impasse.

The employer's representatives have drawn a line in the sand by refusing to accept basic human rights language that protects workers from bullying and sexual harassment. These protections include the inadmissibility of a complainant's personal background or lifestyle during sexual harassment grievances and the protection of witnesses during sexual harassment or bullying complaints from academic or institutional reprisals. These protections are in place in 3902's three other Collective Agreements at U of T.

"Society as a whole has come to recognize that sexual harassment and bullying have no place in the workplace. It is of concern to CUPE 3902 that St. Michael's bargaining representatives appear to be lagging behind societal norms," says Dr. Leslie Jermyn Chief Negotiator of CUPE 3902 Unit 4.

The Union has several other concerns including the employer's bargaining representative's refusal to commit to exercising management rights in a way that is fair, reasonable, and equitable. CUPE 3902 is of the opinion that St. Michael's College, as a Catholic institution, not only has the opportunity to be a fair and equitable employer but also to bear witness to the importance of workplace justice.

"We risk undermining our capacity to serve as witnesses to the world, if we cannot even secure justice in our own backyard," says Dr. Daniel Bader, Chair of Unit 4's Bargaining Committee and sessional instructor at St. Michael's.

CUPE 3902 is unable to move forward on substantive issues such as wages and benefits until these human rights issues have been addressed. The Union has sent out an open letter to St. Michael's College's Collegium informing it of their concerns. A copy of the letter can be found at: In addition, over the next several weeks CUPE 3902 will be communicating with members of the St. Michael's community, including regular faculty, students and donors, about our concerns.

The CUPE 3902 bargaining team members are available for comment and interview. You may contact us at:

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