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Briefing Note Regarding Negotiated Changes for the CUPE Local 233 Collective Agreement

This includes a summary of changes to the collective agreement and the implications for managers. A copy of the new collective agreement is now also available on the HR website. Please consult with your HR consultants or Union Representatives if you have any questions about these new provisions.


Four-year collective agreement – July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2022.

Wages and benefits

One-time increases

The parties agreed to the following one-time market increases:

Position type Percentage Amount of increase
Caretaker 2.40% $0.54/ hour
Groundskeeper/Driver 2.00% $0.49 / hour
Trades** .8% $0.24-$0.28/ hour

**There were no one-time increases to General Maintenance Worker, Lead Hand or Student Helper rates.

Lead Hand wage differential

The salary differential between lead hands and other positions within the bargaining unit had progressed beyond the historically agreed to $2.50 per hour differential. The parties agreed to maintain a $2.50 differential in years 2, 3, and 4 of the collective agreement.

Annual increases

The parties agreed to the following across the board (ATB) wage adjustments:

  • July 1, 2018 – 1.75%
  • July 1, 2019 – 1.75%
  • July 1, 2020 – 2%
  • July 1, 2021 – 2 %

*Note: Because of the Lead Hand wage differential described above, Lead Hands will receive slightly less than 1.75% in year two and slightly less than 2% in years three and four of the agreement.

Shift premiums

The parties agreed to increase CUPE’s shift premiums to match those of OPSEU.

  • Night shift (hours between 11:30 pm and 7 am) - $1.25 /hour
  • Evening shift (hours between 3:30 pm and 11:30 pm) - $1.00 /hour
  • Saturday hours (day or night) - $1.10 /hour
  • Sunday hours (day or night) - $1.20 /hour

July 1, 2018 across-the-board increases were provided on the pay of November 23, 2018. Retroactive payments were also paid on this date.

There were no changes to benefit provisions for CUPE 233 staff.  

Union security (Article 6)

The University will continue to provide reports to CUPE 233 with employee information such as names, positions, seniority, leave status and contact information. CUPE 233 will also receive position numbers, which they have asked for in order to better track positions, in particular term/task positions.

Union release time

Addition to article to 7.01 re: Union meeting with new hire - The Union will be invited to New Employee Orientation and offered 30 minutes to speak to new members.

New article 7.0 - Employer agrees to help Union find space for meetings.

New article 7.05 - Union staff representatives have the right to access campus during work hours to meet with local union and/or employees.

Addition to article 8.01 - The Union will advise Ryerson of members of Negotiating Committee in advance of bargaining. Members of committee will be given time off with pay to attend negotiations, but no overtime for meetings extending beyond 8 hours. Work schedules will be adjusted as necessary for those on the bargaining committee.

New article 8.06 - Confirms there will be two ratification meetings, one-hour meeting for night shift and one-hour meeting for day/afternoon shift. This is paid work time.

Revision to Article 25.03 - Members will now have 30 employee days in a calendar year for two (2) employees to represent CUPE at Union conventions, seminars, conferences, etc. This has been increased from 20 days.

Revision to Article 25.06 - Union executive release time has increased to six (6) days, equal to 48 hours per month. This is increased from four and a half (4 1/2) days, equal to 36 hours.

Seniority (Article 9)

Employees who are transferred outside the bargaining unit can continue to accrue seniority for a period of six months.

New addition - If the temporary assignment is to replace a supervisor on protected leaves such as pregnancy/parental/adoption leave, seniority can accrue for up to 18 months.

Probationary Period (Article 9.05)

Probation for FTCE employees has been increased from three to six months.

Probation is waived for Term/Task employees who obtain an FTCE position, as long as they have six months of service (this was previously 12 months).

Progressive Discipline (Article 10)

New language has been added to indicate that employees will be advised of their right to union representation before any investigation meetings, as well as (already indicated) meetings regarding attendance, performance or that may lead to discipline. The Union wanted to ensure that this includes any meetings where employees are called to answer questions from Security and Emergency Services.

The following was also added for clarification (additions in bold):

  • “The Employer shall advise the Union, in writing at the same time the employee is notified, of all administrative investigation leaves, verbal or written reprimands, suspensions and terminations.”

Job postings, promotions and transfers (Article 12)

Term Positions

Term/Task positions were previously a maximum of three (3) years in duration and are now eligible to convert to FTCE after two (2) years.

Job postings

Job postings will continue to be posted on the HR website, but the University will also post them on the bulletin boards located outside of the CUPE 233 office and in the staff lunch room for the foreseeable future.

Offer letters

THe Union now receives employee’s signed offer letter from HR.

Trial period

The trial period (for FTCE employee moving from one position to another) is now sixty (60) working days for all employee classifications. It used to be only 20 working days for custodial positions.

At the end of the trial period, supervisors will now confirm in writing that the employee has passed their trial, or whether they will revert to their previous position.

Resulting vacancies (new article)

This article will replace the “shift preference” process.

  • The vacant shift is posted internally and awarded to the most senior employee within that classification, e.g. Caretaker.
  • All resulting shift vacancies are awarded by seniority.
  • Applicants within the same classification will move shifts without an interview.
  • If a CUPE 233 employee from another classification applies, they will be interviewed for the position and shift in order of seniority.
  • Whatever vacant shift remains once this process is complete will be posted “externally”.

Hours of Work (Article 18)

New shifts for Custodial

Custodial and Grounds Services implemented new Friday to Tuesday shifts a few years ago. These shifts were added to the Collective Agreement:

  • Shift No. 8 - 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m (Friday to Tuesday)
  • Shift No. 9 - 10:30 p.m. to 7 a.m (Friday to Tuesday)

Employer-implemented shift change process

If management decides to change employees’ shifts, e.g. to add a new shift or to have more employees on afternoons and less on days, the department will ask for volunteers to change shifts before using seniority to assign employees to a new shift.

Sick Leave (Article 23)

Updates to the Collective Agreement reflect the University’s current practice. Language was updated to indicate that independent medical exams may be requested in exceptional circumstances, and that the Employer will first request that the employee obtain the medical information from their own physician. All costs for independent medical exams are paid for by the University.

Leave of absence (Article 25)

Addition of Political Leave, allowing a member who is a candidate for elective political office leave without pay for up to one (1) month for parliament or legislature, and five (5) days for a municipal council, commission or, board. Confirmed continued entitlement to compassionate care, family medical, organ donor, family caregiver, reservist and other Ontario Employment Standards Act job-protected leaves.

The eligible period where an employee may begin their Parental leave has increased from 12 to 18 months, in line with ESA.

Allowances (Article 30)

Tool allowance was increased from $175 to $200, and steamfitters are now also eligible. Boot allowance has increased from $145 to $180 and remains annual.

University will endeavour to provide uniforms within one month for new hires. Names are no longer required on uniforms, but will be optional as uniforms are replaced in future.

Technological Change (Article 31)

If new technology is introduced, employer will now normally offer employees at least two weeks’ notice, rather than just one.

Tuition Waiver (Article 32.04)

The University gave the Union notice of estoppel on past practice of waiving tuition beyond the annual domestic undergraduate tuition fee. While this is not a change to policy, it was not previously enforced.

Any existing employees or dependents who may be adversely affected by this change will be grandfathered.

Professional Licensing (Article 34)

Employees are required to prove the renewal of their licenses specific to their job on an annual basis, prior to the expiry of the license. The University will continue to pay for these fees.


Refrigeration/Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic (“Systems” was added to the title).

Personal Protective Equipment (Schedule C)

Each mechanic now receives their own balaclava and helmet with face shield.

Schedule D

A member of the Union may now request to view the overtime list, with advance notice. This request will not be unreasonably denied.

WSIB (Letter of Understanding #3)

The period of WSIB paid coverage has been increased from twenty-two (22) to sixty-six (66) working days.

Complement (Letter of Understanding #5)

An increase in complement for staff in Custodial and Groundskeeping Services, as well as Maintenance and Operations, was agreed to in light of both the new Daphne Cockwell building, as well as the increase in CUPE 233 staff for both units prior to the latest round of collective bargaining.

The new agreed-to complement for each unit is:

  • Custodial Services - 69 FTCE positions (increased from 64)
  • Maintenance and Operations - 38 FTCE positions (increased from 35)
  • Grand Total - 107 FTCE positions (increased from 99)

Service Review Committee (Letter of Understanding #7)

The parties acknowledged that there has been progress through this committee with respect to reducing the amount of work contracted out. Union Management meetings will be extended by 30 minutes every other month to allow for Service Review discussions to take place.

Priority on Indigenous Hiring (Letter of Understanding #7)

The University and CUPE Local 233 have committed to fostering equity, diversity and inclusion within its community, including a strategic vision to Indigenize Ryerson and increase the number of Indigenous employees.

External postings will now include an open call to Indigenous applicants and Union Management Committee meetings will have standing item addressing the recruitment, hiring and retention of Indigenous staff.

Potential Brampton Campus (Letter of Understanding #14)

The Union requested that the University commit to expanding CUPE 233’s scope clause, as the bargaining agent for any relevant positions if there is to be a Brampton Campus. While the University has made no commitment at this time, if Brampton is confirmed prior to the expiry of this Agreement, the parties will meet to discuss the operational plans for building services.

Hours of Work for Trades Shift #2 (Letter of Understanding # 15)

Trades Shift #2 hours on Fridays have changed to 1:00 pm - 9:30 pm, unless operational needs dictate a necessity to revert to regular schedule outlined in 18.01 (a).

If operational needs require reverting to previous schedule, Management must communicate the change to the Union, four (4) weeks in advance.