CUPE 926 is Bargaining in Good Faith
CUPE Local 926 continues to try to find a reasonable solution with Wilfrid Laurier University. Our Union has proposed the creation of a new custodial position with a starting pay of $17 per hour, similar to custodial classifications across the university sector in Ontario. Other cost saving measures included review and recommendation of sick leave which would represent a sustainable short term sick leave plan for WLU employees.
The WLU management team’s response was to withdraw their sick leave proposal and reject our proposal related to a new custodial position at $17.
Mismanagement Blamed on Workers
WLU is demanding the Union agree to their proposed amendments that will remove language which protects bargaining unit positions and retirement benefits. The reason given by the WLU administration is that they are not seeing value from our members’ work.
However, the statistics show it is management that is preventing quality cleaning, not workers.
WLU has not been filling custodial positions vacated due to retirements and resignations. This means that your custodians are trying to maintain a high standard of cleanliness even though they are required to clean significantly larger areas especially in light of the fact that the number of custodians has been reduced from approximately 100 to 68.
In addition, WLU’s VP of Finance, Jim Butler has been misleading the university community on sick leave in an attempt to blame absenteeism for service quality issues. However, disclosure of sick leave shows the average yearly personal sick leave at 11 days, well below the 19 days per year outlined by the administration in a recent letter.
WLU management has not provided required cleaning and paper products necessary to maintain cleaning quality standards. Again, it is the reduction in the number of custodians and mismanagement of cleaning product inventory that has resulted in lower quality, not our members work.
It is clear to Local 926 that WLU management proposals are not related to cost containment. Instead, they are part of an attack on the Union to replace good jobs at WLU with low wages and precarious work. In the end, we see this strategy as one that will undermine the university and the community.
CUPE Local 926 will continue the fight against deterioration of the bargaining unit, erosion of our collective agreement and the growth of precarious work at WLU.
The Board of Governors has indicated that it is their obligation to ensure the best student experience at WLU. Our members believe that labour unrest is not in the best interests of anyone at WLU.
A fair settlement can be achieved if the administration simply withdraws the proposal relating to contracting out.
CUPE Local 926 Bargaining Committee