Academic staff at York University cast their vote on a new contract last month — the product of an “intensive and demanding bargaining process,” according to faculty association president Arthur Hilliker — with an 80 per cent margin of approval.
The university’s offer addresses the issues that faculty and librarians said were important to them, Hilliker said, even though the influence of current economic conditions together with the repercussions from a recent 85-day strike at the university “created some special challenges” in renegotiating the contract.
“We achieved a reasonable salary settlement, better equity provisions and made advances toward achieving a lower and more equitably distributed workload in a later contract year,” he said.
The agreement provides for an 8.5 per cent salary increase for the three years spanning 2009 to 2012 with a provision to reduce teaching loads to two full course equivalents by 1 May 2011, failing which salaries increase by an additional 0.9 per cent.
The contract also increases librarians research days, overload and administrative stipends, funds for leaves, fellowships and conference travel support and addresses health and retiree benefit concerns, among others.