Staff balance wage, pension

Union decries ‘unjust bargaining environment’
By Gordon Sova
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 10/12/2011

A strong vote in favour of a new collective agreement between the United Steelworkers and the University of Toronto will see moderate wage increases and significant new contributions to the pension plan.

Going into negotiations, the 3,800 administrative and technical employees were in no doubt as to the climate. Local 1998 president Allison Dubarry summed up the confluence of government policy of no increases, the need to increase pension contributions to qualify for provincial assistance, a downward trend in public sector wage increases and a recent multi-million-dollar job evaluation as: “not only an unjust bargaining environment, but also an incredibly unforgiving bargaining environment.”

In the end, she expressed pride that both moderate wage increases had been negotiated and pension contribution hikes were smaller than at most Ontario universities.