The status of negotiations for both Unit 1 (TAs/RAs) and Unit 2 (Contract Instructors).

The Bargaining Teams are very encouraged to hear that more than 700 members have signed up for strike duty on Monday, March 6th.

  1. Will the strike start on Monday?

  2. How are negotiations going?

  3. If we strike, what about OC Transpo and Para Transpo?

  4. Is it true we will be paid for strike duty from day one?

  5. Where can I sign up for strike duty?

  6. What if I have other questions or need more information?

  7. Bonus Materials!


1. Will the strike start on Monday?

The strike is scheduled to begin at 6:00am, Monday, March 6th. Negotiations will continue through the remainder of the weekend. If a deal is reached before that deadline, we will notify all members by email, and the wider campus community via social media. If you have not yet signed up for strike duty, you can do so by filling out this online form.

2. How are negotiations going?

Both Unit 1 and Unit 2 Bargaining Teams continue to meet with the employer. Negotiations ran late into the evening on Friday and Saturday evenings, and will continue Sunday morning. Talks will continue as long as it appears that a fair deal is achievable at the table.

Unfortunately, most major issues remain unresolved. Your Bargaining Teams remain committed to reaching a fair deal, but there will have to be significant developments at the bargaining table tomorrow if a strike is to be averted.

There has been very little movement on most of the major issues affecting both Unit 1 and Unit 2.

At the Unit 1 (TA/RA) table, the main outstanding issues are:

  • Tuition Increase Assistance (TIA): The employer has not moved away from their proposal that would eliminate the tuition rebate for hundreds of Teaching Assistants. In particular, as the employer’s proposal currently reads, no TA in a two-year program would receive the TIA. Accepting this would mean a major concession on the union’s part, and would mean our members have even less money to live on.

  • Class Sizes: The employer has rejected our proposal to establish a TA-to-student ratio. Our initial proposal was that there be no more than 25 students per TA. When this was rejected, we responded with a proposal of no more than 50 students per TA. The employer rejected this entirely, and has indicated they are not willing to negotiate on this topic.

  • Salary: The employer is currently offering a 2.8% increase over 3 years (1%, 1%, 0.8%) to all TAs and has rejected any movement towards wage parity between grad and undergrad TAs. This is less than the projected cost of inflation over the next 3 years, and significantly lower than what has been agreed to at other Ontario universities that have recently reached tentative deals, including Brock, Guelph, and the University of Ottawa. Additionally, Carleton University has announced that it will increase tuition to the maximum allowable amount by law: 5% for graduate students, 3% for undergraduate students, and no legal maximum for international students. TAs at Carleton have seen their wages and take home pay decline steadily over the past decade; in order to have the same take home pay as in 2009, a currently working TA would need a pay increase of over 15%.

At the Unit 2 (CI) table, the main outstanding issues are:

  • Salary: The employer is currently offering  a 3.1% increase over 3 years (1.5%, 0.8%, 0.8%), which is well below projected inflation over the next 3 years. CIs at Carleton are already paid well below the provincial average, and this offer would put Carleton on track to be having the lowest paid CIs in the province.  A sessional working at the University of Ottawa makes nearly 20% more for the same work.  

  • Multi-Year Contracts: The employer continues to completely reject multi-year contracts. The union’s proposal is based on a pilot project that had been developed by both the union and the employer in the last collective agreement but was never implemented.

  • Student Teaching Evaluations: The employer continues to flatly reject all attempts by the union to improve the student teaching evaluation process. Unlike the current system, which only decreases the already minimal job security CIs have, the union is seeking an evaluation process that helps CIs improve their pedagogical skills. The union has approached this issue from a variety of perspectives, but all proposals have been rejected wholesale  by the employer.

  • Classroom Support: The employer continues to completely reject any attempts to ensure increased teaching support or compensation for CIs leading large classes.

3. If we strike, what will happen with OC Transpo and Para Transpo?

If a strike occurs, OC Transpo buses will not enter campus but Para Transpo buses will enter campus as normal. The O-Train will operate as normal.

4. Is it true we will be be paid for strike duty starting from day one?

Yes. At a recent General Membership Meeting, the members of CUPE 4600 voted to pay striking members for their first four days of strike duty from the local’s Strike Fund. From the fifth day of strike duty onwards, strike pay funds will come from CUPE National. Strike pay is earned at a rate of $300/week for 20 hours of strike duty.

5. Where can I sign up for strike duty?

You can sign up for strike duty by filling out this online form.

6. What if I have questions or need more information?

Contact CUPE 4600 at

7. Bonus Materials

Remember that time Carleton’s former VP Finance said “If we could find a way to attract more graduate students and pay them less, that would be a very good thing for us”?

Remember that time Carleton’s President Roseann Runte said “The savings can accrue rapidly if the course is massively enrolled and subsections are taught by less well-paid individuals”?

In solidarity,

The Unit 1 & Unit 2 Bargaining Teams

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