We have recently received emails and phone calls regarding CUPE member concerns of the ongoing contracting out of caretakers by the employer. Some members have inquired why the union did not attend the several meetings with caretakers and supervisors. The union was not invited to these meetings, and these meetings were held without official knowledge of the union.
However, this does not change much of the situation. Under the Collective Agreement, the employer has the right to contract out work as long as existing CUPE 3261 members do not lose their jobs.
We have raised our opposition to the employer about this move, and made it clear that they have the option to hire temporary CUPE 3261 employees, as well as hire from existing members who have been laid off due to COVID-19. This idea has been ignored. Instead, the employer would prefer to save money by hiring caretakers from a private company – justifying and normalizing low-wage labour under the guise of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.
While the union will do what it can to protest this move, it is paramount that members take action as well to help us protest. The union leadership will be developing campaign material in the coming weeks, including posters, leaflets, videos, town halls, online notices, and organizing potential action through pickets and protest.
If members want to see U of T stop contracting out, then we must work together to raise awareness. Sign the petition if you haven’t yet, share it with your colleagues, and when the time comes, we will need your increased participation so that U of T hears us, and knows that contracting out will not be taken lightly by workers and the public alike.
CUPE 3261 Executive