Review your questions and leave comments for changes!

Questions From the York Strike 2008 Undergraduate Community

 

1. Can the University simply write off a semester or the year and not give any credits to students that have paid? If that is the case, at what point will tuition be reimbursed if instruction time is not made up? If that isn’t the case, what measures is the university preparing to compensate for students’ missed lecture and tutorial times?

2. A) What are the steps to ensure that the academic semester, and possibly year, is not lost? 

B) Under what conditions will the University determine whether students simply cannot make up the time to garner their credits?

C) There is specific concern for 3 credit fall courses. Will they be continued in the winter term if they cannot be completed in the fall term? 

3. Will an increase in Union member wages and benefits augment undergraduate tuition, residence etc? 

4. If the strike causes the academic year to be extended into the normal summer months will we be expected to pay for residence in undergraduate and graduate residences?

5. If the year is extended what will happen to “compressed programmes” such as 2nd entry nursing that have year round full time course loads? If students in such programmes are required to enroll in summer courses will they be expected to juggle more than 15 credits during any overlap period?

6. Faculty of Education students are required to do practicums (in class room teaching). The faculty has had to cancel their block plans and has to reschedule. How will the University give students the opportunity to graduate on time with the requisite amount of practicum hours?  

7. a) The Union appears to be persistent on a 2 year contract so that they can participate with other CUPE locals in 2010 for a much larger bargaining project. Will the University ever sign a 2 year agreement? Explain.

b) Under what conditions will the University be willing to sign a two year agreement, if this appears to be the only hope to end this strike?

c) If the University, nor the Union, can be expected to agree on any terms for an agreement, is it a safe assumption that the provincial government could enact back-to-work legislation, whereby a forced arbitration takes place? Why or why not? 

8. Will York University charge interest to outstanding student accounts during the strike? 

9. Will York University refund bus passes that students purchased with the intent of having a reliable means of transportation from their homes to the school, and back? Similarly, will the University refund parking passes for the disrupted weeks?

10. Many international students are constrained by study permits and visas. What will the University do to rectify a situation where international students are no longer legally allowed to study in Canada? 

11.a) What will happen to students graduating this year? If the strike goes on for a longer period of time, will graduation be effected? Explain.

b)Will deadlines be pushed back for graduate applicants? If not, will committees, or departments be asked to give special consideration to students at York?

12. If – and when – an agreement is signed between the Union and the University, how long will it take for students to return to class? How much notice will we be given?

13. Many students require OSAP to live and study during the academic year and then have jobs during the summer. For these people who have OSAP funding until the usual end of the school year, will the University make arrangements with OSAP to extend that funding further if the strike prolongs the academic year?

14. In the negotiations with YUFA in 1997 the University was strongly opposed to any binding arbitration. Indeed, it has been 11 years, but what has changed? The University made many very strong arguments against binding arbitration: 

 

http://web.archive.org/web/19970605003333/www.yorku.ca/admin/academic/apr10a.htm

http://web.archive.org/web/19970605003409/www.yorku.ca/admin/academic/apr8a.htm” 

 http://web.archive.org/web/19970605003243/www.yorku.ca/admin/academic/apr21.htm

 http://web.archive.org/web/19970605003258/www.yorku.ca/admin/academic/apr18.htm

“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.”

15. Can question #13 be explained by the University’s low profit from last year? Is the University in rough financial condition?

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32 Comments

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32 responses to “Review your questions and leave comments for changes!

  1. Cheese

    these questions are amazing

  2. me

    Some good points in there, yorkstrike2008
    I hope these get adddressed/asked soon enough!

  3. joe

    looks good to me 🙂

    now sleep time. and in the morning, more essay writing.

  4. Q

    These are really good questions!
    Thank you. Now hopefully we will get some helpful answers 🙂

  5. yorkstrike2008

    Thanks guys!

    I feel you Joe, I am just finishing my outline for the big 5,000 word political economy paper that begins in the morrow!

  6. yorkstrike2008

    Remember everyone,

    These are your questions and concerns that I have consolidated here. They reflect your position and opinion concerning the strike so be critical. The YorkStrike2008 team is only the messenger.

  7. ff

    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?

  8. A student

    Yorkstrike2008:

    with all the rumours and hearsay floating around, this site and your work is topnotch. You have the screaming naysaying moron banshees in education on First class put to shame with your composure.
    I await the replies to your questions, especially #6.

  9. ff

    Graduate admissions question: will deadlines be pushed back for graduate applicants? If not, will committees, or departments be asked to give special consideration to students at York?

  10. i have some serieous reservations as to wetehr Drummond will be able to answer all of these without beating around the bush. who is with me?

  11. yorkstrike2008

    @ff

    I will try and get those two integrated into the questions. 🙂

  12. yorkstrike2008

    @A Student

    Thank you for your kind words. I have tried to read between the lines as prudently as possible since day one. I must say though, there are a few others who have contributed quite significantly to this site that need recognition. Basil, Tanya and Jeff have all contributed to the great quality and indeed quantity of information available here.

    Thanks again!

  13. yorkstrike2008

    @Hebrew

    We will never know unless we find out. Considering that the university is pushing for undergraduate support this is a very good opportunity for him to gain some trust from us. There will be much reading between the lines, or peering through the branches if you will, to see what is really being said.

  14. Bobby

    amazing questions.

  15. dawn

    hey how about a question for people who have booked flights and will be away in december, as to whether classes and exams will go into december and up to the christmas break if the strike ends before the christmas break.

  16. Flying J

    I sent in a question regarding some OSAP funding concerns. I don’t see a question that addresses this concern, namely that for that thousands of students who rely entirely on OSAP to meet living costs, how will the strike affect us come June/July when OSAP only provides funding until May?

  17. yorkstrike2008

    @Flying J

    Sorry. You must have sent that in by email?

    I will put it up 🙂

  18. yorkstrike2008

    @Dawn

    Legally, on the exam schedule it says that the University reserves the right to change the exam schedule. I am sure they will have sympathy for you and you probably could get your exam deferred with arrange through your professor.

    However, as I said, the University does hold that right to change the exam dates.

  19. yorkstrike2008

    @ Flying J

    Your questions is up – #13.

  20. A student

    @yorkstrike2008:

    I have another question for you if possible. Apologies in advance if it has been answered elsewhere.

    Is there a Senate policy somewhere stating that after a specific number of days (people are saying it’s 85) of strike action that the year will be “written off” and tuition refunded en masse to students? This is the latest conjecture among Faculty of Ed students.

    Again, big thanks in advance.

  21. yorkstrike2008

    @ A Student

    That question has been asked above. It is question #1…

  22. A student

    Haha so it is. My apologies for overlooking it.

  23. Gabby

    any idea when these might be answered? especially #12 i don’t want them to tell us at midnight that classes start that morning or something because I have 3 exams on the first classes back..

  24. Thinker

    So are the union and university meeting today finally? Sorry I’m not that up to date about this issue.. I just read it somewhere that the union wanted to meet on thursday.. so are they meeting? and is the offer still of binding arbitration only?
    Also, if the strike ends after their meeting will the classes resume immediately? or we will be given a certain date from when we will have to come back to the university?

  25. Milky Way

    @Thinker

    Yes, they are going to meet with the employer today.

    To answer your second question: No. We will not return to class immediately since all the member will need to vote on any new offers. The next GMM will take place on Saturday 15th November. Earliest we return to class is therefore next Monday.

  26. Thinker

    @Milky Way

    Thanks for the answer 🙂

  27. Yeah. I think the questions are great and I would only ask that you stress how students work in the summer to pay their tuition for the school year. If the school year gets extended, is the University going to assure it won’t disrupt current/set it stone plans that students have to work? As well, students have other obligations in the summer, like visiting relatives overseas, etc. How is the University going to accommodate their students in cases like that?

    Mind you, my wording is off, but I’m sure you get the drift. But in anycase, most of your questions address the concerns; I just don’t think its fair to extend the school year when students have obligations.

  28. Jim

    Both sides are meeting today according to the cupe site:

    http://cupe3903.tao.ca/?q=node/844

  29. Flying J

    Thanks for adding question #13!

  30. york student

    does anyone know what has changed since the last meeting….has cupe lowered their demands or is york administration giving into the union’s demand.

  31. Alex

    I have an awful feeling that we won’t be getting any answers until the strike is over.

    I’ve heard that some CUPE members were actually threatened with knives recently. Fellow students, keep a calm demeanor. These people deserve better. In the words of Ron Burgandy, famed news anchor, stay classy.

  32. Student

    I completely support the CUPE strikers, it is understandable that they would like to see job seccurity after dedicating years to university research and development. The workers help the students and aid in their education more closely than professors often, and do the same work and yet are completely under appreciated and underpaid. Should they strike? YES! Should we remind ourselves that we may one day face the difficulties of university administration and bull that they do, YES! Go Strikers GO!

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