Brock University and CUPE 4207 Unit- 3 reached a tentative agreement on October 21. Unit-3 consists of all instructors in the ESL Services offered at Brock. The previous deal expired on July 6, 2017.
According to CUPE 4207 president Phil Wachel, the two parties had been negotiating a new deal since the summer and had met a dozen times during that season. Details of the negotiations and deal have been available on the union’s website; however, Brock has made no public statement regarding the negotiations.
The union has voted to ratify the deal as of Oct. 27. The university Board of Trustees still have to meet and vote to ratify the deal.
On September 27, 90 per cent of the members in Unit-3 had answered yes to give a strike mandate to the union’s bargaining committee. However, the union never reached the point to actually strike.
In a statement on the CUPE 4207 website, the union states: “The overwhelming ‘yes’ vote doesn’t mean that there will be a strike but it demonstrates the level of Unit 3 members’ support for the bargaining priorities negotiated by the bargaining team.”
Back in 2012, Unit-3 members did strike as the union and Brock failed to reach a tentative agreement. The strike lasted from March 26 to April 4, before a deal was reached.
Most people can recall last year’s negotiations between the university and CUPE 4207 Unit-1 members. The negotiations during this time also reached a point were Unit-1 was ready to strike, which would have included Instructors, Teach Assistants, Lab Demonstrators, Marker/Graders and Course Coordinators. The two sides came to an agreement a couple hours after the deadline had passed for the strike to begin.
Although, Unit-3 members do not affect a majority of students at Brock, a strike would have slowed traffic down entering the campus and other potential obstacles.
According to the CUPE 4207 website, all three of its units will be in contract with the university until 2019. The deal between Brock and Unit-2 (Full-time coordinators in ESL) expires on June 30, 2019. While the deal agreed upon last year between Brock and Unit-1 will expire September 6, 2019.