Officially announced by CUPE 3903

*CUPE Local 3903 is on strike as of 12:01 AM, Thursday November 6, 2008.

*At a General Membership Meeting on Wednesday November 5, 2008, the
membership recommended overwhelmingly to the Executive and Bargaining team
to reject the concessionary offer of the Employer. The Executive and
Bargaining Team decided unanimously to take the Union out on strike,
following the will of the voting members.

Picket duty begins at 7:00 AM tomorrow morning. There is also a rally in
support of CUPE 3903 being held at 9:00 AM at York Boulevard and Keele St
(the main gate of York University). Please come out, and bring family,



Filed under Uncategorized

25 responses to “Officially announced by CUPE 3903

  1. me

    Thanks so much for all your information! The York site still isn’t updated…

  2. GG

    So we don’t have classes as of 12:00am or what?? WTF is going on ??? Fuck this strike

  3. Laura

    I have lost all respect for my TAs.

    They can take their 41% wage increase and use it to pay back my tuition fees. That, or shove it up their asses.

  4. Jean-Sébastien Marier, Glendon Student Senator, York University Senate

    And another reminder the Senate sent earlier this week:


    Local 3903 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (which represents teaching assistants, contractual faculty and graduate assistants) has announced a strike deadline of November 6, 2008. This does not mean that a strike will occur, or that it will begin on November 6. However, if a strike does occur, and with the few exceptions listed below, all academic activities will be suspended for its duration. Classes and examinations will not be held. If a disruption is short in duration (seven days or less) appropriate remedies will be determined by course directors in the first instance. It is assumed that a disruption that lasts more than seven days will require adjustments determined by the Senate or its Executive committee.

    The University Senate (which is responsible for the academic policy of the University) has enacted a policy with three governing principles that will guide decisions that may be required:

    Academic Integrity: The primary obligation of Senate is to ensure the academic integrity of all programs. No dilution of standards normally expected of students should be permitted and there should be as little diminution as possible in the instructional or supervisory support given to students.

    Fairness to Students: Students will have reasonable alternative access to materials, to reasonable extensions of deadlines and to such other remedy as Senate deems necessary and consistent with the principle of academic integrity. Such remedies shall not alter the academic standards associated with the missed activity nor shall it relieve the student of the responsibility for mastering materials covered. The availability of a remedy under this policy does not guarantee students the same learning experience that they would have received in the absence of a disruption.

    Timely Information: Students, staff and faculty members have a right to be informed in a timely manner of changed requirements, rescheduled academic activities and procedures to be in effect at the conclusion of the disruption.

    If a strike by CUPE 3903 occurs, Senate Executive will make a declaration to this effect and take the steps outlined in the policy. This will include a request that University officers use their best efforts to inform relevant external agencies about the disruption and to ask that externally imposed deadlines be extended. Although any labour dispute is bound to cause difficulties, Senate Executive wants to assure the University community that it will deal quickly and sensitively with academic implications as they arise.

    The full text of the Disruptions Policy can be found on the Senate policies and procedures Website Any authorized changes in deadlines or rescheduling will be posted on the Websites of the Senate, Registrar, Faculties, Colleges and offices serving students. The University’s home page will be an important source for information and links (

    Professor Brenda Spotton Visano
    Chair of Senate

  5. Flying J

    Go CUPE!!! See you all after christmas!

  6. alex

    man, this site was soo key tonight. that was sick work. strike is sick, might suck later, but for tonight it was soo legit.

  7. yorkstrike2008

    I am an undergrad student so don’t think that I am bias but it is not just the TAs that are striking. It is a lot of your professors as well. There are many professors who have been teaching at York university (I have one who has been here for 25 years) and has still not received tenure or any sort of job security. For somebody who was spent the better part of their life supporting academic institutions and higher learning to not be given any recognition of that by not even offering them better contracts or tenure is ludicrous.

    Ontario Public School Teachers in Ontario are nearly impossible to fire and earn generally much more than PhD professors (teachers in Ontario can make as much a $87,000 +benefits).
    Why? Extremely strong union. How often do public school teachers go on strike ? Last time I can remember was in the Harris years.

    I know professors who make $50,000 a year. That is simply not reasonable.

    Unions break the corruption in bureaucracies! Have you not seen the York president roll around in his Rolls Royce Phantom with a driver ever (pun intended)!?!?

  8. NV

    Omg people keep ur STUPID comments to yourself and your friends. You have no idea whats going on there so don’t express ur anger here.

  9. pp

    just wondering, i had an assignment due on nov 5th, but we were allowed to take a one week extension on one of the essays of our choice in that class. So, i took the one week extension so my essay should be due on nov 11..however, because of the strike would it be due one week after the strike is over…or as soon as the strike is over…i emailed my prof and ta the same question but i don’t know if they will even reply. thanks.

  10. jane

    Go to the York “Current Students” page…. scroll all the way down and click on the red “read ylife for students” button… that will lead you to the newsletter where there is an official annoucement from the univeristy….

    why it isnt on the main page I dont know, but there are NOOOOO classes tomorrow (thursday)

  11. NV

    btw teachers in highschool go on strike very often

  12. TJ

    The facts were published on yorks website. The union has rejected all attempts by york to bring in an arbitrator which in my mind shows that they know what they are asking for is unreasonable. Any sympathy once felt for this union was lost with their outrageous demands and rejecting arbitration.

  13. Don’t be retarded. What the TA’s are asking for is absolutely ridiculous. With the economy being so bad right now how do expect the university to afford this? I am an engineer at york and find that 90% of my TA’s are useless. I understand there are people out there trying to support themselves out in this world, but there are also undergrads who are working their asses off to support themselves in school. By that I mean they are working more than a measly 10 hours a week. My suggestion to the TA’s … get a real job…

  14. - Education student

    Faculty of Education Students cannot go to their school placements to teach b/c even that is considered crossing the PICKET lines.

    This order is from OTF. If I go and it gets reported that could mess up my chance of getting a future teaching job. So my grade 9’s are affected too since I”m trying to plan a trip for them in a few weeks I am not sure if i will be able to follow through my commitment, the lesson marking their work and teaching them .

  15. ff

    they reject arbitration, because if you know anything about arbitration they look at other contracts in the industry and york is already the highest paid in the province.
    Why is the idea of paying workers fairly so outrageous?
    Get the facts before spouting venom, at least have a sense of the situation.

  16. endy

    Again, I ask..who stands for us the students who are impacted by all this? I was one of the students back at York during the historical 2.5 month strike. What support did we receive when we wrote exams worth 20-30% of the final mark? When 2.5 months were cut off our summer and therefore money taken from our pockets for our schooling, food off our tables..who represents our voices and our interests? Who vocalises our concerns..can we pull some stupid stunt like strike against the srikers? We all know the politics of our university would have us kicked out in a heartbeat..where is the justice and fairness in such a course of action..ultimately your strike is affecting your fat cats really do not care about anything except saving media face…

  17. TJ

    “fairly” would be lining up yorks CBA with this union in comparison to all other mid level schools in ontario, NOT giving them more money on top of them already being amoung the highest paid employees. From the york fact website our TA’a average about $63 per hour worked. They are paid handsomely as it is, fairly was out of the window a long time before they reached $63 per hour. At that rate working full time hours means an income of over 115, 000 annually. Poverty line my ass ff.

  18. ted the dog

    Look, it’s very simple. The University offered the Union a 9.25% increase in wages over 3 years. However, that works out to roughly 3% a year. That is what the inflation rate is around. This is not a raise. It is keeping parity with what they are earning in current dollars. If the Union is asking for more it is because its members are living at or below the poverty rate in this country. And let us all remember that grad students – who we might be one day – are not allowed to work outside of the university if they are employed by the university. Thus all their funding comes from the university itself or from external sources. How can we look at the demands of the Union and excoriate them while University administrators grant themselves raises? Didn’t the Dean receive a 15% raise in 2006/07? Think about it.

  19. ff

    TJ, in addition to being belligerent, you are also using non sense to support your ‘arguments’.
    What is a ‘mid level school’? You mean the largest by population? or something ridiculous like ‘prestige’ which really just reflects where the ruling class choose to get their credentials.

    TAs are student workers, and this $63/hr figure is insane. Their job is being graduate students, they are paid to do other tasks on top of already working more than 50 hours a week. There is no option to work more hours, and TAs are not allowed to get jobs outside their positions. Get the facts straight.

  20. Wang

    For how long they are on stirke?

  21. Artem

    A. TA’s ARE allowed to have jobs outside of their positions (perhaps not at the University, but they may have other jobs). Many-a-grad student that I know, have other jobs on the side. And YES, they are getting paid as part-time.

    B. Grad students are precisely that… STUDENTS. They should be getting a stipend not getting paid to work hours (but that’s besides the point).

    C. I am at the Science and Engineering faculty. As far as I know most grad students have half of their salaries covered by the professor, the other half comes from TA’ing. I don’t know about other faculties.

    D. Job security for professors is a different question, but I don’t think there are enough of these professors to cause a strike of this scale.

    E. CUPE is out to lunch if they think they will get their 41% increase over 2 years. That is a joke, there is no job in Cananda that will offer raises like that. Most employers offer 2-3% raise every year. Some give 5% raises. NOT 20.5%/year raises. With the economy on a down-slope many people are taking PAY CUTS, so GET REAL!

    F. It is highly irrelevant what the president of York drives.

    G. Grad students work 50 hours/week to complete their projects so they can LATER get better jobs with higher pay. When I was working on my undergraduate thesis I was also working 50 hours/week and taking a part-time job and PAYING for school.

    H. The ONLY people benefitting from this strike are the beaurocrats in the union and at York. In the event the strike takes a long time EVERYONE is affected negatively. Graduate students included since their own degrees (and hence their ability to get into the work force and ACTUALLY get rewarded for their degrees) are being put on hold.

    Cheers everyone! I’ll enjoy sleeping-in in the morning!

  22. The Man With The Plan

    Please have the strike going for a week or two. Please give us undergrads a chance to catch up on some work, for the love of god!

  23. Get Real

    Um …. grad students at York ARE allowed to hold outside jobs. There hasn’t been any “ten hour limit” on non-academic work for many years.

    It’s pretty disgusting that TAs complain about their 10-hour/wk jobs and their $65/hr pay, when many undergrad students work FAR MORE then 10 hours/wk and earn FAR LESS per hour!

    It will be even worse when tuition gotes up to pay for TAs increased pay after the strike is over.

  24. MF

    The strike really isn’t about wage increases for TAs. The Union went from demanding 30% increases to 7.5%. The University is using the original wage demands as fuel for the media and the belligerent, and uninformed people, to give them something to complain about. Its easier for people to understand statistics (like 30%, $63/hr, etc) than the sticking points like job security for instructors.

    As its been mentioned over and over again on this blog instructors need to re-apply for their jobs each semester. What the union is fighting for is to get the university to reinstate an old policy that allowed experienced contract faculty to need not apply for their jobs each semester.

    How would any of you like to re-apply every 4-8 months for your jobs? Think of how difficult that is when you have family and responsibilities. These people aren’t MA or PhD students (for the most part) the TAs and GAs are just part of the union.

    So please read the CUPE website, the York website, and get fully educated on what the sticking points are before making ignorant comments.

  25. ff

    Get real – you contradict yourself. You say it is irrelevant what the president makes, but then you compare graduate students to undergraduate students saying that they need to do the same, and ‘get outside jobs’.
    I’m sorry, if you’re going to say that Prez Shoukri deserves to be making money (For whatever reasons) – then it is only fair to suggest that some of the most highly educated people in the country should be able to put food on their table and a roof over their heads.
    Maybe York shouldn’t be taking on so many grad student it cannot afford to compensate fairly – oh, that’s right the provincial government mandated them to!

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