York President’s Announcement

Presidential Statement to the York Community on the Strike by CUPE 3903

Dear Members of the York Community,

As you are aware, classes are currently suspended at the University owing to a strike by one of our unions, CUPE Local 3903, which represents teaching assistants, graduate assistants and contract faculty.

I recognize and regret the inconvenience and concern this strike is causing to our 60,000 students, faculty and staff.

I appreciate that the suspension of classes is an extraordinary step. However, the purpose of this suspension is two-fold: to protect the integrity of our academic programs and to provide clarity to our students with regard to class scheduling. We know that many of our students have other family or work commitments and commute to York as just one part of their busy lives. We owe it to our students not to leave them guessing about which classes are on or off.

I do also want to emphasize that classes have been suspended under the authority of the University’s Senate at the request of the Deans and with the consent of the Chair of Senate. This decision has my full support and that of the Vice-President Academic and Provost.

It is important that we find a solution that preserves the integrity of our academic programs and gets our students and teachers back in the classroom as soon as possible. I think we all agree that the primacy of the academic program is paramount if we are to maintain the integrity of our degrees. This remains our top priority.

Finally, I would like to say that members of this union are also our students, colleagues and future colleagues. They are valued members of the York community who make an important contribution to our academic life and we look forward to a timely resolution to this difficult situation.


Mamdouh Shoukri

President & Vice-Chancellor


Yeah right Mamdouh! How many secretaries were working on that one. My favourite part is when he called students “valued” parts of the community. Who’s community? The roll around in a Rolls Royce Phantom community? I guess our tuition does help pay for your bonuses…



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22 responses to “York President’s Announcement

  1. sam

    What a load of crap.

    I suppose York assumes that they aren’t educating anyone of any intelligence, and that filler statements like this will suffice.

  2. Z

    Why the hell is there always so much focus on what car this guy drives? Grow up! Who cares, it’s irrelevant and immature. Unless you have the documentation to back up random claims of bonuses and cars bought on tuition money don’t make blind assumptions, you know what they make you. (An ASS just in case you didn’t know!)

    Now I know why you guys have all those damn road blocks, just to stop that bloody president and his car. Well good job you stuck it to him real good. (Insert sarcasm here.)

  3. S

    I don’t understand how after everything, including disrupting our education, which we pay for, the president STILL has the guts to say things like that to us students.

  4. The Man With The Plan

    Omg… i can’t stand all this complaining. It wont resolve the issue. I hope the strike goes for like 3 months just so all of you can shut up after the 1st month.

  5. Basil El-Salviti

    The president hasn’t been part of the negotiations at York, as far as I know. Maybe I’m wrong…someone want to verify that for me?

    All I know is he should be taking a larger role in the negotiations, at least as a mediator.

  6. yorkstrike2008


    The car was not bought on tuition money but a Rolls Royce Phantom costs between $350,000 – $423,000 bucks. That is a lot of cash flow and he gets it from his York salary. Dean Drummond in 2006-2007 got a pay raise of 15.6% from 130 some thousand to 160 some thousand.
    The top crest of the administration is making wild amounts of money while the bottom is trying to get JOB SECURITY!

    Democracy has never been dished out from the top. It has always been taken from the bottom, through force. 😉

  7. Basil El-Salviti

    To: The Man With The Plan

    I think that until we have been given an active role in pushing for an end to the strike, we have a right to complain….we’re not given any other choice.

  8. yorkstrike2008

    Basil has it right on. We have been completely left out of this entire process yet we are the ones who are going to have to stick around another month at the end of the year NOT getting paid.

  9. The Man With The Plan

    lol we (undergrads) will never have an “active” role in this situation. This is between the union and the administration. Trust me when i tell you all, undergrads have no say in this matter,

  10. Artem

    Z… I think you’re confused. This is a site run by and written on by undergraduate students…

  11. john

    to The Man With The Plan

    If you have problems about our complaining simply stop visiting the site and start your great plans

  12. yorkstrike2008

    Thanks John,

    This site was made to try and keep everyone as informed as possible about what is going on. CUPE and the University will only release information after it has been sealed 100%. We want to know when it happens. There is no other central place for people to discuss this matter.

    To get people “active” in this we have to be informed and relatively in the loop of what is happening. If you have any great plans, please share!

  13. Laura

    Um, he is the PRESIDENT of an entire UNIVERSITY. I think I understand why he gets paid a tad bit more.

    Maybe when these TAs quit whining, finish their degrees, and move up in the corporate ladder, they can grow up to become the president of a university too.

  14. yorkstrike2008

    The Prime Minister of Canada is the leader of an entire country and doesn’t make ANYWHERE near what the President of York makes!

    Your logic is invalid. FAIL…..

  15. ff

    he is the prez of the university – a position traditionally held by academics; not people with business connections. That the university is being viewed as a corporation is one of the problems.

  16. Karl

    Exactly ff,

    Universities in Canada are”public” institutions. That is not to say they don’t receive private funding or have private interests involved but they are funded by the government and are given tuition price indexes etc.

    That is also a weak argument though. You don’t even want to know the salary of the CEO of Canada Post…9.76… with a whole bunch of zeros at the end…

  17. So, I really understand both sides of the argument and I understand why a binding arbitration won’t be accepted. But this is really immature (if I spelt that correctly) on part of the TAs. The prez gets a whole lot of money because he’s a president! He runs the university! You’ve GOT to keep him happy. Besides, I have to take a stance here: Mamdouh is very, very, pro-student and I’ve seen him talk to individual members of the community. I never saw Marsden do this.

    Seriously, Tyler and Christina, you need to keep a check on what is said on your website. You guys do represent a union.

  18. Oh and the reason the prime minister of Canada doesn’t make as much money is because he’s a public servant. York is a private institution. Your understanding is FAIL, yorkstrike2008.

  19. yorkstrike2008


    “Ontario has 19 publicly funded universities. These universities, as well as the Ontario College of Art & Design, receive funding from the Ontario government. You can learn about Ontario’s publicly funded universities on this website. You will also find a list of other educational institutions that can grant degrees in Ontario.”

    Now go here:


    and you will find York University under the list of publicly funded Universities in Ontario…

    You FAIL so badly…

  20. ah well. I accept your correctness. However, don’t take it personally man. For a second I thought this was the official website for the CUPE strike and thats why I was taken aback by the childish attitude. Never mind though. Good luck to you.

  21. oop

    there is a reason why he makes more than everyone else. it’s not a position of public office, so obviously he will make more than the PM.

    TA’s are like interns. and interns get paid shit. deal with it.

  22. an opinion

    I agree with “The Man with the plan” we can all complain, and yell, and fight back, and throw stones, and break windows, and write all sorts of nasty complaints in this site but at the end, it only serves to ease our own frustrations, because really the administration does not give a damn about us at this present moment. They have their reasons and they believe the strike is the right thing to do, thus no matter how much we throw fire and stones at them, they just won’t care. But hey, whatever works for you.

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