We are on strike!

Classes suspended as strike hits York University
Posted: November 05, 2008, 10:33 PM by Sarah Millar

By Sarah Millar, National Post

Classes at York University have been suspended as CUPE 3903, the union that represents teaching assistants, graduate assistants and contract faculty have voted to strike.

The union had a strike deadline of 12:01 a.m. Thursday and made the formal announcement around 11 p.m. on Wednesday. The university had decided in the case of a strike all classes would be suspended until the labour disruption is resolved. 

The main issues of contention include wage increases and job security. The university had offered a raise of 9.25% over three years, which the union rejected because it was not in line with increases in the cost of living. The university’s unwillingness to provide job security for contract faculty also pushed the union to reject York’s offer.

A picket line is expected to start Thursday morning at all gates of the university beginning at 7:30 a.m. 

York is the country’s third largest university, approximately 50,000 students will be affected by the strike. 

The last major strike at York was an 11-week strike in 2000 that cancelled some classes and confused students and faculty.

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36 Comments

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36 responses to “We are on strike!

  1. Ryan

    finally… answerrrrrs!!!

  2. HALLELUYAH NOW WE CAN ALL CATCH UP ON READINGS!

  3. VERY angry student

    I am attempting to apply to Grad School in a matter of weeks.

    How on earth can I make their deadlines now??? Do you think they’ll care to extend anything for me when thousands of other students are in line for a few dozen spots?

    The next TWO to FOUR years of my life are on hold now.

    THANKS, both sides for not working something out like human beings. I am not on either side, and an ANGRY with both.

    GROW up and think of the students.

  4. Dark Lord

    FYNALLLY!!! I am so happy but I hope the strike ends after 2 weeks or so.

  5. Sarah Clarke

    yyayyy, ive anxiously been waiting to decide whether i should start an essay due tomorrow or not!

  6. Pat

    Why is there still nothing on the york website there now two new articles saying its on but nothing official from the school itself

  7. Jay

    now the question is, how long will this last?

  8. aa

    the york site is useless

  9. It is officially posted on the CUPE 3903 website
    http://www.cupe3903.tao.ca/

  10. answers finally

    From the cupe 3903 website:
    Strike
    *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,

  11. ff

    Very angry student, i don’t know why the strike would effect grad school applications – I am in the same position, and I can assure you that I will be meeting every deadline regardless of the strike’s length.

  12. Pat

    its finally up now but is slow (I think 50000 people is too much for it all at once)
    http://www.yorku.ca/ylife/index.asp?Article=670

  13. all i can say is that the union is greedy…students who are paying tuition are the ones being robbed here!! also people most affected are exchange students, people who have booked and paid for xmas vacations, students applying to grad schools…and yes, York has (mostly, not all) terrible TAs and if you have a part time position, don’t expect full time wages! Especially in this economy, people are lucky to have a job and a 9.25% wage increase definitely covers whatever cost of living increase and inflation!

  14. Ree

    Not long, I hope – if we end up finishing the F/W term in June because of this mess, heads are gonna roll.

  15. You’re now on strike? Nice, lawsuit against the TA’s here we go! I’m coming for you TA’s Friday. Disrupting people’s future in attempt to make yours better. Nice. You’re not getting away with this. See you bastards Friday.

  16. Still have work to do..

    Sadly, i still have to do my work, cuz who knows when it will end.. and then everything is due at once. I sure do hope it lasts for a while.. 2 weeks maybe, and thats it. It does suck for people applying to grad.. thank goodness im taking a 5th year hah

  17. VERY angry student

    ff, my profs are obviously not going to want to write reference letters for me while they’re on strike, nor is the department going to want to work on my application to various grad school scholarships.

    Not to mention the fact that my final grades are going to be later coming in than the rest of the applicants. Do you think Unis are going to accept me without seeing final grades, especially when other applicants will have theirs available to them?

    If you’ve found a way around this, please let me know (I’m entirely serious, I am at a complete loss right now.)

  18. ff

    V.A.S – I have spoken to my referees and they have agreed to write letters on my behalf during the strike. It is only academic activities which are being suspended.

    As for the rest of the application process, I can only speak to Faculty of Arts programs that I am familiar with – but, you should have no issue with most elements of them.
    Writing samples, statement of intent, resumes, etc. – all things you can get done on your own.
    Transcripts: can still be ordered online, its on the yorku.ca website – so you can have those sent to the departments.

    I don’t know what department you are a part of, but mine has agreed in private that the strike should not effect graduate school applications as that would be unjust.

    As for marks, I am in the same boat, I have been working my ass off this term to really impress the schools I am applying to, and if the strike goes into next term, that will indeed be an issue.

    However, many of the programs I am applying to have a late January deadline or later…so, it should be alright – I don’t know what your situation is. I should mention that I am not anticipating this strike going on for more than 2-3 weeks, as the sides have moved much closer in the last few days.

    The other thing I should mention is that you should have already been in touch with your department, but, you should still get in touch with the programs you are applying to – let them know the situation you are in, and see if they have any measures in place to deal with it. Often times committees that meet to discuss grad student candidates will meet more than once, and if your marks are late in coming in, it may be possible to leave the review of your file aside until they come in, or review it pending your marks.
    You might also consider asking your referees that you might have classes with now to write into the letter what your current grade is, or what they expect you to finish with. Although, I can’t say with any certainty they would do that.

    I hope that helps!

    We will make it through this, and then next year we will have this work action to thank for the benefits we might reap.

  19. NV

    I agree TA in york are horrible, all of my Ta’s are either biased, or are lacking the knowledge fo the subject…

  20. Marco

    A strike again at York University!

    I think the third largest university in Canada should be fairly treating its members. Instead of wasting money on many of its projects, there are lives of TAs and professors that are involved.

    For people who are applying to grad schools, write a letter explaining that some documents will be delayed due to a strike. You should’ve collected all documents/references as you knew about a strike. But O well.. I did the same mistake in 2000.

    Big advice: Don’t go to York University. It’s where your future is not the matter, it is your dollar!

  21. endy

    Trevis please post details about this class action suit or an info link for those who would like to partake or assist in some way..thanks

  22. DeeDee

    Well, I guess the strike is both good and bad…
    I heard that they would be taking the time off our holidays…
    I also went to the york MAZE(site) and yes I also found it useless…

  23. DeeDee

    does this constitute under a breach of contract? Can we sue the school???

  24. Hi,

    Please e-mail me if you wish to take legal action against the CUPE’s selfish actions. I am organizing a class action lawsuit and I have a lot of people on board for the already. If you wish to join against this (and you should, WE students pay the TA’s and the school), please e-mail me at xyrodon@yorku.ca

  25. ff

    If we value a supposedly free market, is it not only the RIGHT of CUPE3903 to strike, but their DUTY? They HAVE to be as selfish as possible otherwise the communists win!

  26. Paul

    Thank-you SO much CUPE3903 for striking!! I’m so excited about paying for education that I am not receiving. How many people have lost their jobs this year due to the economy and you’re complaining about not getting paid enough?? If you don’t like your job no one is forcing you to do it. Don’t screw over 50 000 students! Students’ education should not be used as a bargaining chip.

  27. Dharm

    Come on please stop this…its dirty…..u r making our place of education dirty …..
    its politicized….

  28. You TA’s make me sick. All you people do is look at students work and take a pen say good, change this, and minor comments. You think that now you are part of a union you could do what ever the heck you please. Being a TA is a privilege, and to get paid, wow that is amazing. If you do not want to work, pay me, I will do the work, if not stop complaining about money and find another job, or here is a fun fact…get another job to make your income larger. You TA’s are suppose to be the smart ones. You are proving all 50,000 students of York university that the role of a graduate student is not possible for you and you should quit while you are young and make room for the next guy because there is always somebody who wants to take your spot. Heck, there are two people right now on this website who would be interested. Think about it.

  29. Strike Nightmare

    did I mention that I can probably do the job of 50 TAs .. Give me their combined pay and I’ll be happy. =)

  30. Pingback: York U Strike - More Thoughts « Minimum Cost Flow

  31. Nenuphar

    Not only is Strike Nightmare’s “poem” misogynistic and homophobic, but it’s full of death threats. It’s also poorly written! I can’t believe that you were even admitted to York! Maybe this is a sign of the times….lowering the intelligence barriers to allow more “consumers” to pass through university?

  32. yorkstrike2008

    Strike Nightmare’s post has been deleted. You cannot post comments that defame character, personal attacks or threats of any sort of violence.

    I should warn you all that the internet is not a lawless land. Threats written here are threats none the less and that is illegal.

  33. voiceofthevoiceless

    (1) I have written the union
    (2) I have written my MP
    (3) I have crossed the picket-line.
    (4) I have yelled insults at the strikers.

    These are all things you can do people. I am very sympathetic to VERYangrystudent(VAS). my friend lost an internship at Universal Studios in LA because of this strike. I wanted to see if anyone was interested in gathering a group of protestors to rally on the students behalf. Since we are not striking, we can protest right outside of the buildings where the president has his office or others have theirs.

    Anyone in?

  34. UofT BComm

    Hahaha suckas! Shudda went to UofT

  35. Waheeda

    York univ is known for strike, if I knew that before I applied to york, I would have never come to this univ. Both sides are robbing students. At this time that most people dont even have a job to feed the family, our TAs goes on strike and ask for more $$$…wow how smart!!! I am very angry since I will miss my licensing exam for this year, and if it was not my last year, I would have changed univ.

  36. Waheeda

    voiceofthevoiceless…I am in for the rally.

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