Senate Executive Committee Statement

The Executive Committee of Senate has been monitoring the disruption of academic activities resulting from the strike by CUPE 3903 that began on November 6, 2008. It has been doing so in accordance with the Senate Policy on the Academic Implications of Disruptions or Cessations of University Business Due to Labour Disputes or Other Causes(

Professor Brenda Spotton Visano

Chair of Senate

*For information on academic activities that are suspended or are continuing, please see the document “Suspension of Academic Activities Beginning November 6 Definition, Suspensions and Exceptions” posted on the University Secretariat Website

The University homepage provides access to essential information and links ( 

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 is the 7th day of the strike. Senate policy deems that a disruption of 7 days means that:

1.  all suspended Fall term half-courses and courses running on more compressed schedules will require some remediation*;
2. the exact nature of the remediation for these courses will depend on the length of the disruption;
3. remediation will be overseen by Senate Executive, and reflect recommendations from the Vice-President Academic and Provost, Faculties and the Registrar;
4.  Senate Executive’s guidance to those responsible for remediation will be based on the principles of the Disruptions policy: academic integrity, fairness to students, and timely information. 

Senate Executive will continue to monitor the situation in accordance with its responsibilities defined by the “Disruptions” policy. Those having items of business for Senate Executive arising from the disruption should contact the Committee’s Secretary, Harriet Lewis (



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55 responses to “Senate Executive Committee Statement

  1. Flying J

    Does this mean that the strike is probably over? C’mon I know someone on this site has the inside scoop! Let us know.

  2. yorkstrike2008

    No that just means that since the strike has lasted one week remedial action (ie. make up classes; ie. reading week) has to be taken for 3 credit fall term courses. After 14 days remedial action has to be taken for 6 credit courses.

  3. sam

    i dont think its over yet…. becuase if you go on cupe3903 it sounds like there making adjuments to there offer so….. i dont know if york has accepted them yet, but im not sure everything is out in the open it seemes.

  4. york student

    omg….what does this mean? remedial action? does that mean that the exams for our 3 credit courses are going to be in the winter session cause I will die if I have 7 exams in a row.

  5. Flying J

    Yeah, I was just on the CUPE 3903 website, and it looks like they have made plans to hold a GMM meeting this Sat. and another one next Thurs. My guess is that they are in the process of discussing York’s latest offer. Am I right?

  6. sam

    so wait a min , next weeks is gone to becuase if there still having a meeting on thurs that will make it almost two weeks right?

  7. Those plans were made before any offer… if you click the article heading it says:

    “It will be important for us to have a discussion about where we go from this point in terms of our demands. As a tentative agenda, please consider the following:

    1. Bargaining Priorities
    2. Bargaining Strategies
    3. Strategies to End the Strike”

  8. Bobby

    ok so as of right now, the strike is still on. Am I correct?

  9. yorkstrike2008

    Yes the strike is still on. If the strike is over there will be EXPLICIT notice of it.

  10. sam

    So the meething that they will have on Sat will be the BIG new breaker ?im guessing or is it the one on Thurs?

  11. Nathan

    No, at the moment, the Saturday and Thursday GMMs are just to discuss strike strategy – whether to take a hard stance or a softer stance.

    However, should something spectacular and dramatic happen, then the agenda for those GMMs will be adjusted accordingly.

  12. UndergradSupporter

    I’m not sure what came out of the meeting. Nathan seems to know… I don’t think anyone would be discussing strike strategy if they just called off the strike.

    Also, it appears (20 minutes ago) that they have set up a daycare:
    The time is now 7:47. I notice that the time on the blog is off.

  13. Art

    ouch.. if they went that far and “created a fun children’s space at the Strike HQ” – that doesn’t sound like strike is nearing its end, now does it?

  14. Sarah

    But is the meeting actually over? I wonder when we will hear what happened there. The fact that they set a daycare up this late in the day kind of says something I guess.

  15. ok, wtf
    this is getting ridiculous
    I’m on York’s side and I don’t see how you can call 63$/hour – poverty. Go to Africa people, see poverty. If you don’t like your jobs – go into construction. I hear it’s real swell for those guys, they don’t complain. Cause no one cares. I don’t see UofT staff complaining and UofT is even less likely to pay out best salaries, they barely give out half-decent scholarships to their students.

  16. MR Two

    If they’re having a meeting next Thurs, then barring York admin completely caving in and giving them everything they want, it’s going on for at least another week or 2, if not more. They’ll probably have the meeting next thursday, then another week for actual negotiating if they bring something else to the table, and possibly another few days notice before school starts…

  17. MR Two

    And that’s assuming the meeting is constructive and they offer something that York wants to listen to. If not, back to the drawing board and a longer strike for us =\

  18. Can’t York just hire other people that are NOT in that union to work while the strike is happening? I bet it would speed up the process of reaching a decision.

  19. Sarah

    I just read that they changed the big meeting to this Saturday on the CUPE website.

  20. Jafac

    Great, now the strike has officially impacted our schedule.

  21. Art

    “GMM Tentative Agenda

    1. BT elections
    2. Bargaining Priorities
    3. Bargaining Strategies
    4. Strategies to WIN the Strike!”


  22. york student

    i am hella confused!

  23. Taka

    Okay, WTF. If they’re having a meeting on Thursday to DISCUSS the strike, then does this mean ANOTHER WEEK is guaranteed?

  24. UndergradSupporter

    @ Sarah,

    The meeting was always on Saturday. The announcement was made yesterday. There will be another one on Thursday.

    So I guess nothing came out of the meeting today, huh?

    Oh well.

  25. Jafac

    It doesn’t appear that there is a new offer on the table, or it would’ve appeared on the meeting agenda. The next meeting is next week Thursday, so that’s another week written off. I think its time for a trip to a tropical destination…

  26. joe

    @ Jafac

    haha.. indeed.
    I shall be boarding my g five and heading to bora bora.

  27. Art

    Let’s all go to bora bora and let University and Union fight with each other.. and when the strike is over they will realize that all the students migrated to bora bora and that it was all for nothing.

  28. Kelly

    You know, if this strike will cause me to miss half of my summer vacation or something like that – I’ll be making a deal with UofT or something to let York students transfer there and York will have to decrease salaries due to having close to 10000 students. CUPE will be finally satisfied THEN.

  29. Thinker

    Hey Guys,

    I’m so confused!! So is the meeting that was supposed to take place this thursday i.e. today between the Union and employers over? what was the outcome? are these people still on strike?

    and what about the meeting on saturday? will we get to know whether the strike is over or not by saturday? or is the meeting on some other issue?

    and if these meetings were general meetings then when will the union and employer meet to discuss their new offer? coming thursday?

  30. Anxious York Student

    Hi All,

    I found this on the National Post website. It is very recent… posted at 8:25 PM.

    Here it is:

    Update: Talks between York and striking union break down
    Posted: November 13, 2008, 8:25 PM by Sarah Millar
    toronto, Education

    Update: Talks between York University and CUPE 3903 have broken down.

    “The mediator has advised both parties that in his assessment there would be no productive use of further meetings at this time,” said Alex Bilyk, York’s director of media relations, on Thursday evening.

    According to Bilyk the union had not changed any of its demands for wage raises or contract terms despite asking for a meeting earlier in the week.

    “We want to express our strong disappointment that the union falsely raised expectation among all parties,” he said.

    The union also continued to reject binding arbitration, something the university has been seeking.

    “We continue to repeat our offer of binding arbitration as the quickest way to get our 50,000 students back to class,” Bilyk added.


    York University and CUPE 3903, the union which represents teaching assistants, graduate assistants and contract faculty, are meeting on Thursday, one week after the strike began.

    Alex Bilyk, York’s director of media relations, confirmed the two parties were meeting.

    CUPE 3903 voted in favour of a strike last Wednesday night after rejecting the university’s most recent offer of a 9.25% raise over three years. The union wants their contract term brought down to two years and an 11% raise over that time. They are also looking for better job security for contract employees.

    The university has repeatedly requested binding arbitration, which the union has turned down. Graham Potts, the union’s chief negotiator, said the union would prefer to bargain with the university than go to binding arbitration.

    When the union walked off the job, classes were cancelled for 50,000 York undergraduate students. If the strike lasts longer than two weeks, students could miss some of their Christmas break, reading week or summer holidays to make up the time.

    And here is the actual link just so u know that I am not making this up:

  31. Art

    Nobody knows.. Just have a little patience. I highly doubt the strike will be over by THIS Saturday, but we can only guess at this point.

  32. ff


  33. i heard the strike is over

  34. Thinker

    @ Art..

    Thanks for the reply.. but i just googled and i found this article.. which contains the recent update of the discussion that took place today evening i.e. thursday.. Here is the link to the article..

    Hope it is of some help…Also, I guess that we are on strike till the union and university meet again!! and i obviously have no clue like many others as to how long it’ll last.

  35. joe

    @ thinker.

    thanks for the link. very helpful.

  36. Art

    From the above link it looks like there is no progression so far. See you folks here next Friday….

  37. Soraya

    I have read everything and am still confused…

    Why are 2 different meetings set up, one for Saturday and the other for Thursday, 5 days apart? Either no one knows the answer or I’m just misunderstanding something…

  38. flushafleshfarm

    While I recognize that this thing could conceivably end at any time, I think we can all start getting comfortable.

    Based on the York website’s current headline “Does CUPE 3903 really want to settle?…”, it is obvious that little progress has been made.

    Another week (at least) for sure.

  39. ff

    I am assuming.
    Saturday meeting is to go over the meeting from today. Possibly vote on any new offer the admin. made.
    Then you have 5 days to meet again with the admin. and another meeting scheduled to do the same.

  40. dawn

    its on the york site…nothing came out of the meeting…cupe didn’t change their demands so they didn’t move any closer to a resolution, the government intermediate said that it would be a waste of time to meet again in the next little while.

  41. Anxious York Student

    What do you guys think? Is the union going to budge this time or no? how much longer could this strike last? we are all sitting on the fence here!

  42. Nathan

    The Union scheduled multiple GMMs probably because they’re finding it difficult to book large rooms ahead of time. Also, they have to warn people ahead of time so that they can get to the GMM. It’s not like they can hammer out a deal with York and have a ratification vote 2 hours later – no one would show up.

    The GMMs will likely be used to discuss whatever developments have occurred, or of nothing has occurred, to discuss strategy.

    “What was the mediator’s assessment of the Thursday meeting?
    The mediator advised both parties that in his assessment, there would be no productive use in further meetings at this time.”

    THIS is interesting, because the mediator has been the trump card that the Union has been playing the whole time – look at us, we can accept a 3rd party. Well, the 3rd party believes that it’s hopeless (both sides fault apparently), and that strengthens the Admin’s argument for arbitration.

    My honest opinion: if it lasts into December – it’ll last into January. It’ll likely go into December.

  43. Mr.X

    Guys, this is what I think. In this vid, the kid represents us ‘students,’ while the wii he is playing is our ‘education.’ When the ‘dog’ comes along and keeps disrupting us, that really is the union, trying to screw us over. Think about it.

  44. Anxious York Student

    I wonder why CUPE did not post any updates on their site.

    by the way, the update on york website abt whether CUPE really wants to settle this dispute is hilarious.

    “did not amend any of its 150 outstanding demands”


  45. alex

    and it’s in folks – today was unsuccessful

    official release

  46. Art

    LOL Mr.X
    Thx for cheering me (and hopefully others) up! That was amazing.. Now I can go to sleep with a smile on my face! haha

  47. ff

    Dog = “The Man”
    – yea. I went there.

  48. UndergradSupporter

    It’s incredibly unfair that the administration is just standing by and rambling on (albeit, in capital letters) about the Union’s lack of progress when they are the one’s waving the “Binding Arbitration” flag. That’s ridiculous. If the admin is so much wiser, maybe they should start negotiations. The union has been explicit on refusing Binding Arbitration… try something else!

    Next week is likely gone, too. They will have the meeting on Saturday, decide that their demands are reasonable (I am not criticizing their demands btw) and not return to the table. The Thursday meeting will consist more of the same. Maybe the self proclaimed adults at admin should try something different.

  49. Art

    The disturbing thing is, it seems like they haven’t learn a thing from the past strikes.

  50. Jon

    York admin = epic fail


    im actually reallly considerin to fly bak to vancouver.. im from van. since another meetin is set up for the nxt week and the tests r postphoned to winter term. correct me if im wrong~

  52. ff

    winter term officially goes until the 23rd of december, meaning that depending on how they compress it, we could still have exams in late december.

    best bet: write your profs/instructors and tell them what is up. most will probably be willing to work something out.

    A friend of mine had a job taht started during May exams last year out in calgary, and they arranged for her to write it at the university out there on a day off.
    tthis was at the uoft, tho.

  53. Amelie

    Whatever, whether this strike is on or not, continues or stops – I am still doing my readings and studying with the same pace as if the classes were still on, which is something I suggest everyone does. In fact – if everyone did do that – profs wouldn’t have to make up every single hour of class but compress the missed material into just a few hours and move on. It’s an optimal thing to do for students right now. And of course, those who WANT to do it – will find ways without even complaining, those that are too lazy will always look and probably find reasons not to do it.
    Good luck!
    P.S. The Union could care less about the students, obviously, and since it doesn’t look like they’re going to lower their standards until it’s too late for us (in fact they’re getting comfortable with the wait), then the strike will probably go on for another week at LEAST.
    Maybe 2.

  54. ff

    I have to disagree. I don’t think saying this is CUPE’s fault is correct. They aren’t doing this to us, our situation is merely an externality of the impasse between two parties. Assessing blame is pointless – and the strike will go on as long as it takes. Don’t be surprised if we aren’t back in class until february.

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