Bring our voices together

Dean Drummond has agreed to have an interview with YorkStrike2008. The flood of emails his office is receiving is tremendous. So, one consolidated interview of your most pressing and common concerns would get you guys the answers as fast as possible and right from the source.

I know this may not seem like that big of news but there are quite a few thousand York students here. If the undergraduate body is going to get a voice somewhere it is going to be right here. The first step in doing that is by defining and unifying your concerns and opinions.

You can leave your questions, comments and opinions as comments below this post or email them to me at

Once a sufficient amount of questions, comments and opinions are given I will sift through them all and try and synthesize it all. I will then re post what I will be taking to the Dean for the interview and you guys can make further corrections if you wish. 


Ps. If the strike was over I would have told you guys immediately. I am not that cruel…



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138 responses to “Bring our voices together

  1. T

    Hmmm…wonder what it could be. Any ideas?

  2. R

    The strike is over

  3. Soraya

    please tell me its not over…

  4. i dont appreciate you leaving us hanging like this. Do you think I enjoy visiting this site constantly?

  5. A

    i think it’s probably that the union and admin are negotionating with a possible mutual agreement

  6. yorkstrike2008


    I am do this because I am not releasing any new information. You are and it will be important. The purpose is to get everyone to come to the site tomorrow to consolidate your information. So tell all your York friends to come and participate.

  7. R

    Please dont let the strike be over….

  8. A

    will the new info be up by 12 am

  9. ………I hope its negotiations. In all honesty another week off would be super, but for it to end so abruptly would be detrimental to my……sleep patterns…

  10. yorkstrike2008


    There is no new info. Reread the post. I added a little bit more information. It is a great opportunity for us as undergraduate students.

  11. ff

    I realised today that I haven’t shaved since Wednesday or Thursday. I’m not shaving until this strike is over. Who is with me?

  12. I wish I could go without shaving, but work demands a clean appearance. However I support your war on not shaving!!!

  13. Soraya

    I’m betting that someone from one of the sides will be here to answer questions and reply to comments.

  14. Laura

    Eh, it’ll probably be a Q & A with someone on the inside. We’ll ask the same old questions, they won’t be able to tell us anything new, end of story.

    Now, back to existing in a state of semipermanent hibernation until all this is over.

  15. T

    I’m thinking the same thing Soraya.

  16. A

    i am so down for the no shaving..and thanks for the clarification yorkstrike2008

  17. yorkstrike2008

    You guys wanted a unified voice so I am trying to get us there.

    Come back tomorrow with some good questions. Put your thinking caps on and stop whining!

  18. Ben

    I, too, am growing a strike beard.

  19. yorkstrike2008

    Take pictures of the strike beards (before and after) and I’ll throw them up here if you want for everyone to see!

  20. R

    please, dont go for the beard thing!!! or else york u will set a new record for the ugliest guys around!!! PUHLEASEEEE!!!!

  21. sheiiiiiiiiiit

    I think I’m going to have one of those Rick Ross beards by the time this strike is done:|!!

  22. randy

    my t.a. told me the strike is probably going to last until mid-december so don’t make any travel plans folks!

  23. Basil El-Salviti

    lol this went wildly off topic…

    Everyone make sure to gather great questions. This will be a treat.

  24. ff

    I can’t grow a full beard so i will end up looking like a musketeer with a neckbeard attached…oh well, tentanda via!

  25. A student

    please let my beer drinking afternoons continue – say it aint over…

  26. A

    sickk..where do we submit beard pics?

  27. ff

    I am thinking a blog/facebook group? I don’t have facebook tho.

  28. whats wrong with a beard? i think only a truly confident man has the balls to grow one without worrying about all the feebleminded females who try to persuade us men into thinking that they are ugly. The Man-Law has clearly stated this, boys.

  29. pp

    soraya what ended up happening with your essay…is it due a week after the strike?

  30. one corner of the box flap

    I dont understand the heading, is the strike over, if not its not a very nice joke

  31. MR Two

    I could really use another week of fulltime work…

  32. john

    at last , lets be there all of us who dont support their strike to express our opposition

  33. hullo

    strike must go on…. Don’t give up. Remember remember the 5th of November

  34. Soraya

    pp, i have no idea whats going on. i’m writing it and handing it in when we get back. all we can do, right?

  35. Soraya

    btw, did the prof reply?

  36. Relaxo-Grad

    So…..has anyone actually HEARD anything new about future talks, meetings, collaborations? I’m all for a break, but I don’t want my procrastination with papers to bite me in the a$$ if this thing ends soon or abruptly.

    Are we still looking at another couple of weeks here?

  37. yorkstrike2008

    submit your pics to

  38. hullo

    Huss do what I did. I finished most of my assignments. Another 15 more to gooooooo

  39. yorkstrike2008


    I am doing the same…three papers, four exams and them finals for 3 credit courses…oh and this website that takes 3-5 hrs a day to maintain.

  40. Jennifer Li

    I am a student at the faculty of ed consecutive program. I appreciate your efforts to meet with the dean. I am wondering if at any point the student body will get reinbursed for the tuition we have paid for the duration of the strike? After all, our tuition is a business transaction. If the services ie. instruction time is not rendered, I would like financial compensation.

  41. yorkstrike2008

    Thanks Jennifer I will get you the answer to that question. Check back in a couple of days 🙂

  42. Basil El-Salviti

    Hi folks,

    Let’s try and get more questions here in this blog that will be directed towards the dean. It’s important that we raise questions – but also, bring up persuasive points that could be, shall we say, food for thought?

    Make sure your voice is heard, as the undergraduate community is being unfairly held hostage at this point due to this strike.

  43. Jim

    The union should have agreed to binding arbitration. The strike is their fault.

    p.s. Arts TAs should be happy they have a job instead of striking for more.

  44. LL

    I would like to know what the dean plans to do with regards to being able to finish our year. If this strike lasts for awhile will the year run into summer? Is that even possible?

  45. Soraya

    I don’t know if this question is necessarily directed at the dean but what happens with 3 credit courses if the strike goes on longer then 3-4 weeks? Will they be extended as well?

    I have heard 2 possible scenerios:

    1: The average or highest mark given to you in the class will be used as your grade.

    2: Get your money back, pay for it again, re-take the class.


  46. hey, has anyone seen the movie “the shining” with Jack Nicholson? I feel like we all have cabin fever and are all going to go crazy. I think this strike was psychological too, because I think the majority of you will agree with me that we just needed a break – seeing as end of october and november are brutal months! … and the strike was a good opportunity to give us all that break. Strikers onyl have to be there for about 4 hour shifts per day, and they get paid for it, so They also get a break!
    BTw, i was crossing the picket line last night….they are sooo annoying!!! I just wanted to honk my horn at them and hit the barracades with my car. But anyhooooo… I am a female so I can’t grow a beard, but I can grow leg hair? However I will not post a picture of that. I will not actually grow it. That’s gross. Sorry to all the feminists who are anti- hair removal.
    Good Day. 🙂

  47. Shal

    I am a first year undergraduate student. I’ve been keeping up to date with this website and it seems as if the strike is going to be a long one. If the strike lasts until December, will the semester be extended into the summer or canceled entirely? I’ve heard rumors that the University has permission to refund each students money. If it is canceled does that mean we get held back by a semester or can we make up the entire year? Also, what is the University doing to prevent things like this?

  48. Jon

    @ Soraya

    I’ve heard 2 professors of mine tell me that the second option is the most likely, and the option I’m most hoping for.

    I’d really like to know if this is true; that we will get our money back if the strike goes longer than 2 weeks. I don’t’ have classes from January on, and I graduate in June…I’d gladly redo my classes after January and be done in time for grad.

  49. Gabby

    I heard somewhere that they were just going to extend the semester into the next one if it went past a week and then second semester would be extended into the summer.. but i could be wrong

    and i really don’t get why they are asking for more.. in my experience most are useless anyways, when i do ask them for help i get nothing because they have no clue what they are doing

    and have they met or atleast planned to meet? I can’t find any updates on that

  50. ff

    Jennifer and Soraya – both of your questions are answered on the yorku website

    You will get your credit, and degree, so why would you get any money back in the event of a rescheduling? I’m not sure I follow the logic – if anything you have more time to learn things.

    The strike in 2000/01 lasted 11 weeks – look there for some precedent, if you want. I don’t know where you’ve drawn the ‘possible’ scenarios from – do you have a source?

    I have several questions for the Dean:

    The union has claimed that you got a 15.6% raise last year – if the school is doing so well as to be rewarding the administration, it seems to follow that this is the product of a faculty and graduate body that have produced an environment where these bonuses are warranted. What makes a cost of living adjustment so out of reach?

    Many have argued that the economic downturn will lead more people to return to school to upgrade – meaning that, perhaps ironically, the university stands to profit. What historical evidence is there to the contrary?

    Will you consider raising fees elsewhere, (undergraduate, York Lanes rent, ancillary, etc) to cover the costs of a deal? What about more creative sources of revenue streams? What about expanding on-line courses?

    I’ll leave it at that for now –

  51. Shey

    My last test for this semester was orignally supposed to be on dec 1, and i already booked a non-refundable flight for dec 10, and i was wondering if courses are extended, will i be able to write my exam before my vacation…students should not be penalized for making vacation plans because deadlines were already set and its clearly not our fault if the strike goes on for some time

  52. yorkstrike2008

    Does anyone live in residence and have fears of having to stay longer and pay for it? How about any international students whose visas run out soon?

  53. Thinker

    Hey, I want to tell the Dean that the money back option is not at all sensible if they are planning to do so. Because we are not in a retail store with 100% refund policy.

    Some students have invested their efforts and hard work to score good in the tests and assignments and so have the teachers who have given informative lectures.

    Also, it is unfair for students who have scored well, because it could be possible that teachers may make a difficult paper next semester out of frustration of having to teach the same students same thing again.

  54. Frustrated

    I am in already compressed program (2nd entry nursing) that means I already have to take a full course load in the summer. How can fall/winter classes extend into the summer, if students ARE REQUIRED to enrol in summer courses? Does this mean I have to juggle more than 15 credits for a certain time period in the summer? What about clinical placements? Am I required to complete placements for 2 courses during the same time period? There is already no room for flexibility in the school year, how can they possibly compress an already compressed program?

  55. s~

    hm…its impossible for me to grow a maybe i shouldn’t trim down there for a while…LOL KIDDINGG!! haha strike sucks.

  56. Basil El-Salviti

    I think that we need to devise a new forum that is exclusively for questions, and disregards any or all discussion of beards…..that’s just my opinion.

  57. yorkstrike2008

    How many of you are worried that if and when we get back to school we will have absolutely ridiculous amounts of work to do.

    As of now, I have 2 papers to do (which I am working on), a midterm and a final for one class that have been delayed, two finals and a whole series of french grammar and oral exams that are NOT in the exam period. I have then two more exams during the exam period. If we come back, one week before the official exam schedule is suppose to begin will we be expected to do all that in one week?

    I am sure there are many other stories out there like that. I am seriously soiling myself right with work…

  58. ff

    Shey – fall term officially goes until December 23rd; so the administration owes you nothing, and does not have to make any accommodation for any work you might miss in that time. Should a strike end before then – you would likely have to work something out with the instructor, failing that the head of the department, failing that the senate. Just follow the appeals process. Chances are it will be a non-issue, and most instructors will likely be understanding in the event that a conflict should arise anyway.
    The dean is currently negotiating with the union regarding the contract -so it would be helpful if people would direct questions to him on these matters, rather than those that can be answered elsewhere. This is an awesome opportunity to have our voices heard, let us take advantage of it!

  59. yorkstrike2008

    I good question would be: Will the university ever sign a two year contract, allowing the Union to sit down with other Ontario universities in 2010 for a province wide negotiation?

  60. JMac

    “Jennifer and Soraya – both of your questions are answered on the yorku website

    You will get your credit, and degree, so why would you get any money back in the event of a rescheduling? I’m not sure I follow the logic – if anything you have more time to learn things.”

    Where does it say that? I looked at the site and at the Disruptions Policy and the significant item I found was:

    “ If a Disruption continues to a point where no feasible remedy consistent with the principle of academic integrity is available, then, Senate Executive Committee shall after consultation recommend to Senate that credit not be given for the course(s).”

  61. A student


    I’m a faculty of Ed student as well. Faculty of Ed students have their block plans cancelled which means the Faculty of Ed has to reschedule an opportunity for us to be able to graduate with the requisite amount of teaching hours in schools. Atm, we aren’t allowed to be in schools to practice-teach. Maybe the Dean could provide some answers regarding students doing their practicums that has been called…

    As well, I’m wondering if York intends to continue charging students interest on their balances that haven’t been paid in full yet. If a strike removes us from the school, we’re not fulfilling our contractual agreement to York, but if they still charge us interest is it legally acceptable?


  62. Milky Way

    @ YorkStrike2008

    Regarding International Students, it would just result in a minor inconvenience only. They can extend their visa once the strike is over and academic plan is laid out.

    The most uncertainty comes with Residences. I live in Grad Rez and it cost around $900 a month. It would be outrageous if we have to be penalized on paying rent that we should not pay in the first place. I think the same applies to Undergrad who have budgeted their money to pay for 8 months rent for a year.

  63. ASDF

    @ ff
    “You will get your credit, and degree, so why would you get any money back in the event of a rescheduling? I’m not sure I follow the logic – if anything you have more time to learn things.”

    The thing is, if classes are to be rescheduled, we are likely to be shortchanged some lectures. The money we pay for in tuition goes into time paying for profs and people that are suppose to aide us in our learning and not entirely the credit itself. So if we miss those classes that we should have had, how are we able to learn more things? We may have more time to learn more things in theory but in all likelyhood we’re probably not.If missing more class means more learning, why not make lectures an optional part of our school fees? Why not just make every course an independant learning course and for those who want lectures pay for them? If someone wants more time to learn, then they choose to take time off. It is ridiculous that you would even try to make that argument . Of course we should be reinbursed for classes we missed! Last strike, there was a class action suit against York for missed classes and I’m sure if not all lectures are fully reinbursed this time around, the baby lawyers from Osgoode will have something to say about this.

  64. Basil El-Salviti


    Where’s the source you heard with regards to the employer currently negotiating with the union? I haven’t heard a word, and I spoke with someone yesterday….someone update me!


    To the Dean: A lot of speculation has erupted online where students are charging that the only route to a resolution between York University and CUPE 3903 is forced arbitration. Many students feel that the provincial government must flex their muscles and enact back to work legislation to quickly end this strike, which would ultimately result in forced arbitration. Do you feel this is the proper approach, should this strike prolong itself? Why?

  65. TS

    Will we get refunded for parking passes for the month of November? (and December, if the strike lasts that long)

  66. Al

    1. Strike goes longer than a week, school extends by the time of the strike less 1 week thus no hastle or “more work”

    2. Use this time off to do all of your projects/essays/assignments so when classes resume you will be up-to-date, resulting in less work

    3. Why you want money back when you will complete your term anyway, let it be in the summer. York performce its job, you pay for it.

    4. Every negative situation is an opportunity to do something positive!

    5. My plan goes as follows: all this week (excl. weekend) and half of last week work and finish 3 huge group projects and 1 language essay
    All next week and the following weeks if strike continues, work full time
    When strike ends, back to classes, finish extended curriculum, study for exams.

    DO not care about refunds, additional costs, not completing the degree
    BTW im graduating after this acad. year

  67. yorkstrike2008

    @A Student

    That is a good point to bring up. I will ask the Dean your question.

    As far as interest on unpaid York accounts I have absolutely not idea. I know there are some Osgoode Law students on this forum sometimes. Maybe they will answer that for you…

  68. yorkstrike2008

    @ Al

    A lot of students cannot afford to not work jobs in the summer/during the year. This strike is providing a lot of confusion with peoples’ work schedules.

    I for one, cannot afford to not work a month less during the summer. One month represents about $3500 for me! That is more than half my tuition.

  69. ff

    Basil: by negotiating now – i meant the labour dispute on whole – not that there are meetings taking place as we speak. Sorry for any confusion.

    What was the result of that lawsuit? Elsewhere we’ve had discussion about why such lawsuits are ill advised and will get shot down, even if the claims they make have any validity.
    You don’t pay for lecture time, or hours of instruction – those things are standards set by the institution which are meant to confer legitimacy on the degrees.

    Universities have not always been structured the way they are, and we hardly consider people trained at Oxford or Cambridge uneducated.

  70. JonQ

    If they extend the winter semester, I am definitely screwed, what about plans we’ve made months before hand for International internships and Global exchanges, which run during the summer, right after finals.

    What would be the most plausible option for the administration to deal with the schedule if the strike lasts till December? I am deeply concerned with this matter, thanks YorkStrike2008 for the updates, the YorkU site isn’t quite up to date with theirs.

  71. Soraya

    @ ff

    I don’t want to have to re-do my 3 credit course. I’m pretty sure I killed the exam and I don’t want to get screwed over after working so hard (like many others, I’m sure)

    As for my sources, I never claimed to have any. I said that I heard there were two scenarios… it’s all hearsay.

    As far as the strike goes, I’m on the fence. I don’t want my 3 credit course to go to shit and the chance of going to summer school (possibly) taken away. At the same time though, I’m taking this week to work on an essay (can’t start any other assignments without instruction) and if it goes longer I’ll be putting in more hours at work.
    Every situation has its positives and negatives.

  72. hullo

    apparently that’s why those anti- strike guys going on a rally against the strikers… The drama continues. Just enjoy your life and catch up with friends and family.

  73. ff


    The last thing the university wants to do is give back money. Which means they will do everything in their power to make sure you don’t have to re-do anything. 3 credit, 6 credit – whatever.

    Although there is a Senate policy that no one can be punished for a work stoppage, I’ve continued to do the work scheduled just in case. If an instructor doesn’t want to cut any material, I will have my butt and marks covered in this crucial year.

  74. Sarah

    I am 34 and quit a good job of 12 years to return to school to get my degree. I have two children under 3 in daycare full-time. Does anyone know the cost of daycare? More than twice my mortgage. True, it’s nice to have a few days to catch up on the many assignments I have due, but now I have both kids in daycare while I am sitting at home and if I take them out I lose my spot. I just wish they would come to an agreement soon. I also have to do summer school so I can finish as quickly as possible and start helping to support my family again….if the semester is extended into summer I don’t know what I will do. This sucks.

  75. yorkstrike2008

    Yes! Continue to do your work everyone. If the strike ends tomorrow it could get ugly if you haven’t been keeping up with assgnt’s and readings etc.

  76. The Man With The Plan

    oh thank god. I thought the strike was gonna be over for a min when you put up that news post. Don’t scare us like the!

  77. Guess Who

    I wonder when York will declare the official stoppage of this semester so that I can go back home!!

  78. sheiiiiiiiiiit

    So is there a planned meeting tomorrow or what?
    Even if there is I doubt the negotiations go anywhere past preliminary discussions. So it looks unlikely that we will be back to our class this week. DAmmmittt

  79. JMac

    “You don’t pay for lecture time, or hours of instruction – those things are standards set by the institution which are meant to confer legitimacy on the degrees.”

    What do you think you are paying for?

    I’d suggest students are paying York to deliver courses just as they have been delivering them. If it includes 12 or 13, 24 or 26 lectures per semester in normal circumstances, then that’s what students are paying for.

    If the school knew they would have to fulfill their side of the agreement, or risk refunding tuition etc., they might be more motivated to come to an agreement with the union.

    Students have enough stress in their lives without having to put up with this crap. The school and the union are equally to blame for using kids as pawns in the fight.

  80. Soraya

    @ ff

    I’ve heard 3 credit courses are different because they are only 1/2 year courses but thinking about it now that doesn’t make much sense.

    As for work, I don’t want to bother reading because who knows what they will cut out and what they won’t. I can’t do other assignments because they haven’t been explained or assigned yet. I will be working (after I stop procrastinating) on one essay and 2 summaries.

  81. Pingback: Top Posts «

  82. York is proposing binding arbitration – “Binding arbitration: an alternative to a strike” ( Why then did York’s VP Michael Stevenson say “binding arbitration is not used in university contexts” during the last YUFA strike? (,%20number%204.pdf)

  83. Nellyli

    I am a visa student whose study permit is about to get expired soon. I am just concern about the consequence which this strike is going to bring to me. Do I get my study permit extended immidietely or I will get kick out (I will graduate next year and my study permit only get extended 2 months after the official grade is posted). If you can please ask this for me or you may can offer me some answers, thank you.

  84. joe

    does our break from december 23 to january 5th still stand no matter what? will there be classes or exams during that time if the strike goes on?

  85. ff


    I don’t think, I know what I am paying for – courses that amount to a degree. In the end, it is me that determines how much I learn. Anyway, although there standards for the amount of hours of lecturing per credit students are supposed to receive that is, to restate what I wrote, to give the degree legitimacy. By setting up courses to have X amount of hours of instruction, you create standards, standards are good because then you can compare things.
    People can say “well, a degree at York is only worth 7/8ths as much because they don’t go to as many lectures, or write as many papers, for example. This is really the only reason that hours of instruction matter. Someone that is autodidactic will continue to educate themselves above and beyond whatever is expected of them – limited by such things as “getting a ‘real job” and so on.
    I am paying for a few things: interlocutors, a credential and beyond that – a network and a career. It really doesn’t matter to me how many hours of instruction are left, although I do like going to school. Still, I find that I’m actually being more productive without the commute both ways. Lemons –> Lemonade.

  86. gg

    Can the strike be called off without the union reaching an agreement with york ???

  87. so are there classes tmr or not? is the strike going on? i like going to school, even if im not caught makes me feel like i should be..being at home just makes me lazy and not want to study..and i really do hope that this does not go into our winter break! that would suck!!!

  88. JonQ

    @ Jeff, that post is outdated, we already know about that, and the union rejected binding arbitration.

    Are there any new updates regarding negotiations here? Are they meeting tomorrow or what.

  89. Basil El-Salviti


    Until officially announced, all courses are canceled. York stated this was done as a way to stop any confusion….but it’s probably a strategic move on York to cancel the classes….who knows, this is all speculation on my part….but for certain, all classes are canceled until further notice.

    Keep up to date here and we’ll fill you in on details when classes actually arise.

  90. Basil El-Salviti


    I don’t think they’ve scheduled anything as of yet.

  91. MC


    You’re conveniently ignoring the fact that in that strike YUFA was asking for binding arbitration, and the administration was refusing. If you’re going to question the administration’s actions then, you’re also going to have to question why the union thought it was a good idea then, while in this case the union is claiming that binding arbitration is only good for the employer.

  92. yorkstrike2008

    Guys this is not the place to be arguing. Please move it to another post. This is for people to offer questions and concerns.

  93. Sam K.

    Ok so im not sure if this was already asked.. but im supposed to be graduating this year (June).. and this strike is really stressing me out!

    Not knowing where we stand, when our assignments will be due, if they are extended, if there will be extended classes… With the plans i have, i cant afford to make up classes during summer! and i definitely don’t want them to refund our tuition for the 3 credit courses and force us to retake it!

    So main question: What will happen to students graduating this year? If the strike goes on for a longer period of time, will graduation be effected? and how?

  94. yorkstrike2008

    @Sam K.

    Good question.

    Related directly to that I will be asking the Dean at what point in time will the University concede to Union demands just to get us back into school?

  95. Sam K.

    i just checked out the york website that some few people posted on here. It has answers to some questions.
    However, i found that it was a bit contradictory in a sense that (as far as graduation goes) they say [as updated nov. 6] that they will ensure that the fall term will be completed hence allowing june 09 graduation to occur. BUT they also mention in a seperate section that if the strike (heaven forbid) extends over a long period of time which they cannot make up for, then there will be no credits given to the students….

    So if there are no credits given how will the fall term be completed? and if there is no completion of fall term then clearly theres no 2009 graduation.

    Am i making sense?

  96. Basil El-Salviti

    Sam K, while I read the same passage you read, I doubt it will extend to that point….there will be immense pressure to reach a settlement before such a time arises.

    But we will certainly forward the question to the dean, to get his insight.

    Please keep the questions coming!

  97. JMac


    You KNOW that you are paying for courses that amount to a degree. And who at any post-secondary institution doesn’t know or understand that?

    My previous point was that students pay for the entire package that a course delivers. You are telling people that they “don’t pay for lecture time, or hours of instruction – that those things are standards set by the institution which are meant to confer legitimacy on the degrees”. I hate the expression but give your head a shake.

    You may not like the commute and you may do better without lectures etc. but that really is neither here nor there.

    Students, or their parents, pay for the entire package and when a student doesn’t fulfill their side of the bargain they go home without those credits or without that degree.

    It isn’t unfair for people who have paid their hard-earned money for a complete course, complete package, whether YOU think it is of any value or not, to expect a refund, for missed instructional time, from the school when the school has failed to live up to its end of the bargain.

    And – to repeat – if the school knew they would have to start refunding money as soon as there was a disruption, they might try alot harder to resolve this type of dispute.

  98. How much notice?

    How much notice will students be getting before classes resume?

    ie: If strike ends on a Tuesday, are we expected to be in class on Wednesday? Do we get 24 hours? 48 hours?

  99. Jamie M. A. Smith

    My question to ask Dean Drummond is this: Why do the admin think that TAs should take a pay cut? Are we not doing a good job? Is the teaching at York done by instructors and TAs (more than 50%) bad?

    The deal they have offered (9.25% over 3 years) is not only below the rate of inflation (3.7% /year), but doesn’t even mention our health funds, which are the same size as 3 years ago, even though there are now 28% more grad students at York.
    York admin are not taking pay cuts, so why should we? It is CUPE 3903 member who do more than half the teaching that students are paying for, not the well paid executives/deans/presidents, etc etc.

    We want to get back to work, but we can’t live with a reduction in our wages and benefits. Please support us so we can get back to normal, and be AT LEAST not poorer than when the bargaining started. CUPE has compromised all the way along, and the admin has not given an inch – they have effectively forced this strike. Honestly, it wouldn’t take much to resolve this, but the admin needs to stop playing games and give a serious offer.

    If you care about the strike, please learn both sides of the story; check here ) ) for basic info, and if you want more details, ask a picketer to direct you to someone who is brushed up on the issues.

  100. ff


    Where is the contract you signed that guaranteed the number of hours of instruction? I think you are looking at this in the wrong direction. Hours of instruction protect the institution’s reputation more than they necessarily grant the student ‘an education’.
    While York, or any university for that matter, won’t admit that to be the truth, you will see that in order to avoid having to pay money back – it is tacitly the case.
    I’m sorry if what I’m paying for at this point is not in line with what you believe it should be – ie. guaranteed hours of lecture – and I do not feel that my head is in need of the shaking you suggest.

    It appears to me as a truth that most students, even those vociferously opposed to the strike, really only care about the piece of paper, not the hours of instruction. This isn’t about what I THINK, as I said before, it is about what is going on, and what will happen – that doesn’t make it right, but I am graduating and resigned to the fact that nothing I do at this point will change how and why most students get a bachelor’s degree these days.
    Look at 2000/01 – what happened there? I agree with you that undergraduates are getting short shrift here – but we could go on strike ourselves. Imagine what York would do without Undergraduate income next year – that’s over a quarter of a billion dollars that we would be speaking with, they would have no choice but to listen.
    Another issue is that, directing anger at the union or the administration is short sighted. The union members have valid concerns – and the administration only has a certain amount of money. Either we play the neo-liberal game and accept the hegemonic mode of thinking and politics, being passive and accepting our lot in life, or you do what the union is trying to do and take action. I think the latter might be coming back into fashion.

  101. The reason I posted that isn’t because of who was involved (YUFA vs. York,) but because York clearly said that binding arbitration wasn’t the way to go. My question for the dean is simply what has changed to make all of their previous points invalid. My feelings as to why binding arbitration won’t work aren’t the point. I just want him to explain the change in position. Yes, it’s been 11 years, I’m not refuting that, but a good point is a good point and they made a lot of them:

    My question: “Dear Sir,

    York University has been presenting binding arbitration as a totally fair and non-biased way of getting a contract for CUPE 3903. Considering York University made the following statements during the last YUFA strike something must have changed. Can you explain what? Many Thanks.

    “Arbitration risks handing over the future of the institution, and the definition of a new contract for faculty, to a third party who cannot possibly appreciate the subtleties and complexities of a university such as York. University administrators and faculty must determine an effective contract and its budgetary implications through collective bargaining. Engaging in arbitration on these issues is tantamount to allowing an outsider who has no continuing interest in, or commitment to, the University to have the authority to decide academic priorities for the institution. The arbitrator, unlike faculty and administration, is not accountable for making his or her decision work. Arbitrators do not have to find the money to meet the costs of their judgements, nor must they live with the impact of their decisions.

    Some might note that arbitration is a standard way to end disputes in other sectors (e.g. in the essential public services sector) and in other universities. For example, at the University of Toronto there are negotiations on compensation matters between the administration and the Faculty Association. If the negotiations fail to resolve matters the final positions of the two parties are put to arbitration. However, there is a good reason for this process: faculty at the University of Toronto do not belong to a labour union and, therefore, have no legal right to strike as a means for forcing the resolution of a dispute. At the U of T, the parties must have some alternative method in place for resolving an impasse on compensation negotiations. For YUFA, as with other trade unions, the right of employees to withdraw their services is the ultimate method of resolving disputes.”

  102. ff

    How Long: 72 hours notice before resumption of classes.

  103. y/n

    Whats the latest news at this point? I think York hasnt agreed for any negotiation yet.
    but from some of the above posts it seems like york strike is going to be ending soon. is that so? Blog owner, could you please verify this for us?

    P.S.: You are doing a great job with the site. Keep it up!

  104. A student

    Hi Yorkstrike2008:

    Thanks for replying.

    I have another out to left question that anyone can take a hack at.

    The amount of speculation and chatter among ed students is reaching fantastical proportions. The doom and gloom being spread by naysayers is projecting that the year will be a write-off, and that anyone optimistic needs to ‘face this reality’ that York can do it.

    I’m curious if the university has any contingency plans for the extraordinary. Am I the only one thinking that sheer folly is setting in among those who think the university can simply ‘write the year off’ with a stroke of the pen?

  105. I’ve been following the progress of the strike quite closely but my opinion is that the two sides are still very far apart from reaching an agreement.

    However, there has been speculation that the strike may end sooner than we think because as some of you may have realized, Thursday will be the 7th day of the strike, which is important since after this point missed classes must be made up. At this point it will no longer be a “Free Reading Week”. In a sense the strike will “Officially on”.

    As a result of the changing conditions resulting from the “significant 7th day” There will be a lot more pressure put on both parties to find a solution.

    Can anyone share their own opinion on how long they believe the strike is going to last? I realize that it’s an impossible question to answer even if you are a well informed member of either CUPE or the administration but an guesstimation would be good 🙂

  106. Basil El-Salviti

    A student,

    This will certainly be a point to take up with the dean. That being said, I have a feeling that such a situation will not occur…..I don’t think the university could jeopardize their national reputation with such a step….

  107. A student


    Agreed – that seems to be the main response from the voice of reason among students not succumbing to pandemonium and anxiety attacks. I would guess that the university wouldn’t make that bold a move…

  108. ff

    I think York is just trying to get CUPE’s strike fund to kick in. So long as the union is on the lines they aren’t getting paid by York – so York is saving money. The longer the strike goes, the more they can pay for the deal when they finally cave in.

    Effectively the union pays for a good part of the wage increase – but other universities will later benefit from York’s action, so in the end everyone is happy – except , of course, the undergrads.
    We’ll still get all our credit and degrees we paid for, so no refunds, and T.S to everyone set to graduate in December, especially international students planning on leaving.
    This is my guess for how things will go, barring the province turning its back on labour law and forcing arbitration.
    What sucks is that if I go and get a job, I will lose my millenium bursary. I guess I’ll try and learn some more French or PHP instead.

    Opinions, comments?

  109. yorkstrike2008

    I would rather the school year be extended by one week rather than lose reading week.

    My 6 year courses’ assignments have already been given due dates with the reading week in mind! I need it to do papers!

  110. JMac


    If you take away the hours of instruction, what is left? Ohhhh Athabasca U.? Not to crap on AU but then you’d be paying more for tuition and books than York. And the workload might be greater. But the parking is free!

    I am not looking at it from the wrong direction, just a different direction than you.

    Students get accepted to a public university, in Ontario anyway, on the basis of what is presented in a course calendar. They pay tuition based on the services that the school will provide and the requirements for success which are laid out in that calendar.

    If the student fails to live up to their end, such as not attending the required number of classes or achieving failing grades, they risk losing credits or a degree.

    Although it may not be written in the form of a contract, I believe that universities should be required to refund tuition to students during disruptions for services not rendered or for cancelled classes for that matter.

    Students too often get treated like crap and they continue to just accept it.

  111. Nathan

    “I think York is just trying to get CUPE’s strike fund to kick in. So long as the union is on the lines they aren’t getting paid by York – so York is saving money. The longer the strike goes, the more they can pay for the deal when they finally cave in.”

    York isn’t saving money. Every CUPE member isn’t going to be paid any less when you actually look at it. You get 12k for TAing a course – it doesn’t matter if that course ends in December or February.

  112. yorkstrike2008

    If the union wins, however, York has to be back wages on the time they were on strike. So York has to win now…

  113. yorkstrike2008

    CUPE3903 will only accept a 2 year contract so they can sit down in 2010 with the other unions at the provincial bargaining level.

    Waterloo, McMaster, UofT all will be finished their contracts in time for 2010.

  114. ff

    Hey Nathan,

    Thanks for the clarification on that rampant 2am speculation on my part.

    previous strikes have indicated that students will not be reimbursed for any or part of courses affected by labour disruption. Hence, I do not get where you draw the idea that what students are paying for is in fact connected to hours of instruction – if there were some codified guarantee, then it would stand to reason that some form of repayment would have occurred in some case historically.

    I am not saying that this is right or not, I am just saying it is the case. If undergrads were willing to strike on the matter – we could probably change it, but personally, I take this as part of the YorkU experience.

  115. JOhn

    so are we off the rest of the week or what?

  116. york student

    On the cupe 3903 site it says that the union would like to have negotations this Thursday, on the York web site the university writes that they are “again” offereing binding arbitration….does anyone if either side has agreed to either of these solutions?

  117. yorkstrike2008

    We are still on strike until further notice.

  118. JMac

    “We are still on strike until further notice?”

    Who is sponsoring this web site anyway?

  119. Basil El-Salviti


    The precedent has already been set. In 2000/1 the strike lasted 11 weeks.

    I am hoping the university wont let it extend THAT long.

  120. hullo

    k I’m tired of this now. I think I’m going to find fulltime work…. Hope u guys give it a thought as well. Whateva u do…. Finish your school work.

  121. joe

    I hope this strike lasts until everything is actually sorted. It would be such a waste otherwise.

    Until then I’ll be reading and writing essays.

  122. Milky Way


    Nobody. This is an anonymous student’s website.

  123. Y/n

    I agree. who is sponsoring this website anyway? we arent getting any concrete answers. i think right now most students are freaked out abt the strike possibly ending rather early than anticipated.

    What does the general public here think? Is the strike going to end? Will the Union accept the binding arbitration. Because according to newspapers, the strike could end in 24 hrs if the union agrees.

  124. Milky Way


    If you are looking for official answers, then you are in a wrong place. This website accumulates information but YorkStrike2008 do not make them therefore it is impossible for him/her to know when the strike is going to actually end

    Go to CUPE3903 or York U website for latest information. CUPE3903 states it very clear that they will not accept binding arbitration. Had they want to accept it, they already voted YES the other day.

  125. Basil El-Salviti

    Y/n, I’m not sure what you’re saying. Many of the students I’ve been speaking to firmly believe that this strike is unfounded, and it infringes on our rights as students.

    You are afraid the strike will end sooner rather than later? I don’t think many other students fear that; rather, they would welcome that.

    Anyways, to those students who are preparing to contact government: don’t contact our municipal government as, unfortunately, they do not have any jurisdiction to intervene in these measures.

    I emailed the Mayor yesterday, and this was my response:

    Dear Basil El-Salviti,

    Thank you for your email letter.

    We appreciate you taking the time to write.

    Unfortunately, we have no jurisdiction over this matter.

    I would encourage you to speak to the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.

    Joanne Miller

    I will be sure to ask YorkStrike2008 to make this a header on this forum so that people know who to contact in terms of provincial power.

  126. yorkstrike2008

    I cannot officially say when the strike is over. I simply meant that the strike is on until there is further official notice.

    I can assure you, though, I will have up if the strike is over before the University or the Union website. Or at least, at the same time.

  127. yorkstrike2008


    I will be closing the questions, comments and concerns opportunity at 8PM tonight. Hurry and get all your thoughts on here.

  128. Guess Who

    This strike has definitely caused an inconvenience for international students.

    I am stranded here not knowing how the future of this semester stands. I can’t even go back home as the strike is uncertain.

    From a source at CUPE, I heard that the management has still not set any negotiations. Also my source tells me that the strike shall last for another week to ten days which makes it obvious that the semester is in jeopardy.

  129. ff

    the last strike went 11 weeks – no one lost a semester. what is your source on this?

  130. JMac

    Milky Way,

    I found it more than a little odd that the user named yorkstrike2008, same name as the this site, stated earlier:

    “We are still on strike until further notice.”

    Maybe it was a slip or maybe this person is representing the union, or the TAs …

    That’s why I asked who is the sponsor or maybe a better question would have been “does the operator of this site owe allegiance to one of the groups in this labour dispute?

  131. ff

    I guess you believe in objectivity.

  132. yorkstrike2008


    I am the moderator of this site. I started it. I am an undergrad in my 2nd year at Glendon college.

    I do not owe allegiance to any of the groups. I started this site specifically for a neutral place for people to discuss and for the undergraduate body to form some sort of voice.

    I have tried to moderate this blog as neutrally as possible.

    I said ” we are still on strike until further notice” in that we (the school) is on strike until some notice further in the future.

    I did not mean “we” as in the union or the TAs.

    I wish I was a TA and could make what they make…but unfortunately I am not.

  133. yorkstrike2008

    This post is now closed for questions to Dean Drummond. I will leave it open for further discussion, however.

  134. ff

    dang –
    i wanted to know why in a situation where the Dean himself got a $25, 000 raise last year alone, that the ‘best’ the university could do was 3% a year for grad students.
    How does the Dean justify his own salary? Does he work harder/longer/better than grad student or contract faculty? More education?

  135. yorkstrike2008


    That question would not be answered for obvious reasons.

  136. Sheena

    I’m going to start a group on facebook so that more students using this site. By doing this I hope more students will begin voicing their opinions.
    “Students Against The York Strike 2008”

  137. Sheena

    I’m going to start a group on facebook so that more students will begin using this site. By doing this I hope more students will begin voicing their opinions.
    “Students Against The York Strike 2008″

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