Campaign Statement


Murray Cooke, Candidate for Unit 2 Bargaining Team

I’ve been a member of Unit 2 since 2003, teaching mainly in Political Science. Like most members, I have no real job security. Despite my mid-level seniority, in 2015-16 I didn’t get any work at York at all. This needs to change for all of us!

I’m an active member of CUPE 3903. As the Chief Steward Unit 2 from 2014-2016, I was a member of the Grievance Committee and, during the last round of negotiations, I often attended bargaining meetings.

Thanks to past bargaining rounds, and past struggles, we have one of the best collective agreements for Contract Faculty around. But we know it’s insufficient and that York attempts to undermine it at every opportunity.  As a member of the Bargaining Team, I will work with other members to improve our collective agreement.

To obtain a stronger Unit 2 collective agreement, we need to:

  • involve as many Unit 2 members as possible in developing our bargaining proposals,
  • ensure our diverse Unit 2 membership is reflected in our bargaining priorities,
  • engage in open and transparent bargaining,
  • ensure that our Unit 2 Bargaining Team is accountable to Unit 2 members.

We’re stronger when we explicitly address our diversity. Expanding and strengthening our equity provisions will help, as will bargaining on behalf of all Unit 2 members regardless of their seniority, academic qualifications, teaching position, campus, department or faculty.

Unit 2 bargaining proposals will be determined by the broad Unit 2 membership, not by members of the Bargaining Team. Still, some issues clearly demand attention:

  • Postings and Appointments: The process needs fixing to limit employer manipulation. Timelines need to be strengthened. Late appointments require additional compensation. Incumbency should be lengthened to ensure that members remain considered qualified to teach courses that they’ve previously taught.
  • Continuing Sessional Standing Program (CSSP): We need to listen to members’ experiences with the CSSP and improve it. All members of the pool should be eligible for compensation when their workload declines. That compensation should be increased.
  • Long Service Teaching Appointments and Conversions: We need 15 LSTAs and Conversions per year, with more appointments going to candidates from all equity-seeking groups. LSTAs should be 5 years (not 3).
  • Grievance Process: We need enforceable deadlines to deal with the employer’s stalling tactics.

If I’m elected to the Unit 2 Bargaining Team, I will undertake that responsibility with my full commitment and enthusiasm.

In solidarity,

Murray Cooke