Yorknothostage.com rally video

Hey everyone

Supporting the Yorknothostage.com group is a great way to get involved in this strike! They are demanding back to work legislation and binding arbitration.

They are collecting a petition and are trying to get everyone to write letters to Premiere McGuinty and your local MPPs. I will post them here and they will be available on a new page that you can get to at the top. 

Click HERE for to download the petition and HERE to download a letter to send to your local MPP or the Premiere. Or you can send Dalton McGuinty an email right from his website by clicking HERE.

Here is a video of their first rally (sorry I couldn’t embed the video):




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75 responses to “Yorknothostage.com rally video

  1. Doesn’t look promising to me, even though there is effort, I don’t think its enough to impact either side.

  2. Ams

    everyone MUST do this…

    I already have.

    I think we should do one for each day the strike continues.

  3. Disillusioned


  4. yorkstrike2008


    783,712.00 is how many hits this website has gotten. Seven hundred and eight three thousand – seven hundred and 12!!

    This site averages about 25,000 independent hits per day with about a 93% daily return rate.

    So there are a lot of people, even if they don’t comment all the time.

    If we had even ten thousand people rallying at one time that would be fantastic!

    If there were 10,000 undergrad students chanting for an end to the strike outside of the negotiations room during a meeting that would have an impact on somebody!

    We can end this strike sooner if we are optimistic about HOW MUCH POWER WE HAVE TOGETHER!

  5. ff

    This is a stupid idea, and their letter is juvenilia – not worthy of an MP’s time. “This strike effects me negatively therefore you need to make it against the law and punish people who have the right to barter their services.”
    This is typical of how poorly reasoned their entire campaign has been. Binding arbitration is not the answer, and the idea of forcing the union back to work is equally as imbecilic. They have no contract. Let the school hire scabs.

  6. ff

    People need to realize one very important detail: asking the government to end the strike is siding with the administration and it also is asking the government to get involved in a private labour dispute.
    It is an attack not only on the union, but an attack on the autonomy of higher education in Ontario.

  7. 1 out of 50,000

    ff – but not everyone sides with the union on this issue. But I do agree with you. This “neutral” group is a bit poorly organized.

    With the various CUPEs looking to line themselves up for 2010 though and effectively shut down a good chunk of Ontario universities, should their be some level of government involvement to avert this? Universities do receive some public funding after all.

  8. @yorkstrike2008:

    imagine the revenue you’d get if you implemented google adsense…

  9. Dale

    @ff… agreed.

  10. Andrew

    1 out of 50,000 — CUPE 3902 (U of T’s TA union) just called a strike vote, and one of their key demands is a two-year contract. I’m starting to think that the universities’ strategy will be to fight them now so they don’t have to fight them in 2010. In any case this is about to get very interesting.

  11. ff

    1/50K, I agree that not everyone is going to think my way.
    If the government gets involved, then it is effectively removing a level of autonomy from the university beyond the tied aid it forces upon them, and it could and probably should be viewed as trying to avert dealing with the unions directly in 2010.
    Social democracy is in sad shape as it is.

  12. jack

    Dear McGuinty,

    Could you pretty please end the strike, and also if your not to busy help lower tuition fees?

    Thanks a bunch!

  13. yorkstrike2008


    I thought about. I wouldn’t do that because I don’t want to be a profiteer of peoples’ distress. Most people come here because they want to know what’s going on. This site is for us to eventually get organised and piss someone off enough to get some change.

    Plus if you guys do some really wicket investigative journalism, I’ll write some sweet letters of reference.

    All of that, plus only wordpress.org sites are allowed to have google ads. This is a wordpress.com site. .org you pay for and can do whatever you want and .com is free and there are restrictions – one of them being no ads or they will shut you down.

  14. ff

    on the topic of the blog – what’s with the banner at the top? I don’t recognize it – it doesn’t look YorkU related to me? Can it be changed?

  15. Jay

    Wait a second Yorkstrike2008

    I might have read your comment wrong, but are you assuming that me visiting the site means I want the strike to end sooner or that I support these useless attempts at bringing both sides together? I have not, and will not, write a letter to anyone.

    I guess it feels good to sit here and think we make a difference, because thats what we want to believe, but in reality, our letters wont make a difference. It’s between York and the Union and right now, both will say they care about the students, but the reality is their interests (themselves) are priority number 1.

    As sad as it is to say (it pains me to say it) but I think whats best to do is sit back and make the best of it. Enjoy your time off, spend a little more time with your friends, put a little more effort into your assignments which are going to be due. People need to take a chill pill and realize its out of our hands at this point

  16. Jay

    P.S – Above comment isn’t meant as a flame or a complaint at you. Like I’ve said in every post, I love the site, easily the best around for updates

  17. jack

    @ Jay

    Thank you!
    You said what I was too lazy to type.
    You are awesome.

  18. ff

    Fry: “Now here’s a party I can get excited about. Sign me up!”
    Apathy Party Guy: “Sorry, not with that attitude.”
    Fry: “Ok, then screw it.”
    Apathy Party Guy: “Welcome aboard, brother!”
    Fry: “Alright!”
    Apathy Party Guy: “You’re out.”

  19. Dharm

    Instead of criticizing the people who are doing something to go back to classes join them….

  20. yorkstrike2008


    … no. I just finished a 4719 word paper. I am not going anywhere…


    I don’t think the letters will do anything. I think that the YFS union is a big piece of crap. They are a formal body and aren’t really doing anything. The debate right now is between the union and the employer and that is a problem beyond the context of this event.

    The union needs to take undergrads more seriously. It just seems tragically apathetic to do nothing.

    I am getting all my work done and putting more hours into work then I would have usually. This year will probably boost my GPA for grad school so I am not complaining that much now. If this strike goes another month I will be outside of somebody’s office yelling and probably get pepper sprayed and dragged out by security and it would be cool and have more affect if there were 100 or 10,000 people doing it with me.

  21. ff

    yorkstrike2008 – YFS isn’t all that shitty. You should run if you think it does nothing. It would look good on a grad school application/any job application.
    besides, they are elected by the students, so doesn’t that mean…we are stupid for electing people that do nothing?
    also, I think getting behind the union from the get go was the right call and still do. If the Prez and admin got 50, 000 letters of support for the union – or even half that, I’m sure we’d already be back in class.
    The only truth is that whatever undergrads do (or don’t do) is going to be read as a political message by both/all sides involved.

  22. Jay


    And I applaud you for being reasonable about it and going on with your life during the strike. Get a little extra work for extra cash, a little more time for those all important assignments for Grad school. Thats what most of us should be doing at this point instead of sitting here complaining. Its been a week and a half, which I think is a little to early to hit the panic button and start writing letters and marching and all that wonderful stuff. Like you said, if it lasts another month, than maybe we should consider holding protests, taking action. But like Ive said, reality is, we have to give them time to sort this out. Its their legal right.

    And I was thinking earlier, maybe some of you can give your input into this, but I think if the strike isn’t solved by December, we are looking at a January start up. My reason for this thinking is they wont schedule school in December because of peoples travel plans, holidays and all that. The University will than, purposely, avoid bargaining to save all that money since there wont be classes anyways… Anyones opinion?

  23. ff

    Jay, winter term officially goes until December 23rd. I think admin and so on are there until then anyway – so school will definitely take place up to and including december 23rd if the strike resumes before then.
    Anyone with travel plans will be S.O.A.

  24. climbing

    “Supporting the Yorknothostage.com group is a great way to get us all back to classes sooner! They are neutral and are just trying to pressure everyone and anyone to settle this thing now.”

    Yorknothostage.com is NOT neutral. They claim “FORCE ARBITRATION, NOT A HOSTAGE SITUATION”.

    Binding arbitration is what the universaity administration has been asking since the beginning, while the union opposes it. Therefore, they support the administration. I am not saying I am against that or not, but people should stop saying that this group is neutral.

    A real neutral position would be to urge both parties to negotiate and settle asap.


  25. yorkstrike2008

    I have heard that the senate goes on holiday/ceases activity from December 12th until January 5th and so if they are not there then they cannot reinstate classes.

    This is just a rumour. I have no idea of the validity of that.

    I am calling for a January start up as well.

  26. yorkstrike2008


    Indeed you are correct. I will take down my comment of neutralism immediately 🙂

  27. ff

    I have found that a lot of the rhetoric coming from the anti-union side of things is based on half truths and hearsay.
    The “days of summer lost counter” is cute, but inaccurate. Nowhere in the senate’s policy does it suggest a 1:1 collation between strike days (beyond 7) and extension of the winter term. There is no source for this information.
    As for the Senate – their last scheduled meeting is december 11th – they only schedule meetings once a month. If a strike were to end, it seems likely that they would just call a meeting to order that day to determine what is to be done. This is something the dean could answer more definitively.

  28. @1 out of 50,000 – Universities don’t just receive government funding, they are owned by the Government of Ontario and represent the government under the Crown Corporations Act.

  29. By the way, York doesn’t have 50 000 undergrad students… http://www.aucc.ca/can_uni/our_universities/york_e.html

  30. Thomas Malloy

    Hey yorkstrike2008 – i dunno if this can be counted as ‘breaking news’ but if you go to CUPE3903’s site – they have a new banner that reframes their demands based on the 5 points of a star – no mention of a wage increase at all.
    “protection from inflation and indexation of funds” are the two things that might cost money – but neither of these things makes reference to the 11% we’ve been hearing for weeks.

    Maybe a deal is closer than we think!

  31. Nathan

    The wage increase falls under “protection from inflation.”

  32. Thomas Malloy

    I guess what I am saying is that it seems to indicate that it isn’t a hard-and-fast 11% over 2 years

  33. yorkstrike2008

    I think the union is trying to move away from numbers to make this whole thing even more ambiguous. They haven’t met yet so I doubt anything has really changed unfortunately…

  34. MES

    This web-site is no longer neutral. The idea that a binding arbitration would solve the issues, and not lead to yet another strike is ridiculous at best, selfish at worst. Let’s the strike run it’s course for now so there are no more strikes in the future. Thoughts?

  35. Andrew

    @yorkstrike2008: “I think the union is trying to move away from numbers to make this whole thing even more ambiguous.”

    The union has yet to do anything to convince me that they have the faintest clue about what they are doing.

  36. Nathan

    @Thomas Malloy
    No, it still is. 7% boost to get up to a living wage, 4% in the 2nd year (and every year subsequently) to adjust for inflation (3.7%). I assume they also want fund pools and bursary pools tied not only to membership, but to inflation as well. It’s a clever way to disguise the monetary demands without actually being too far from the truth. Mind you, if they only wanted compensation from inflation, it would be 4% and 4% – 8% over two years on the table.

    On another note: apparently (I’m getting this second hand from people in the dept who attended the last GMM) the Union membership has voted down a move to allow the bargaining team to er… bargain (as opposed to stand fast on what is already on the table). The strike therefore, will not end until after the next GMM on the 20th.

  37. Nathan

    Er, unless the University gives way. Forgot about that.

  38. Andrew

    4% annualized inflation is horseshit.

    Annualized inflation for the past few years:
    2004-05: 3.24%
    2005-06: 0.74%
    2006-07: 2.47%
    2007-08: 3.40%


    In the most recent year, inflation was relatively high (but still under 3.5%!) due to the overheated economy and high fuel/food prices.

    Annualized inflation for the upcoming year is projected below 3% thanks to the impending recession. Source:

    My buddy, who is a mutual fund manager, says price deflation in the coming year is a real possibility. If that happens, would CUPE accept a wage cut to maintain their standard of living?

  39. Disappointed Parent

    I am a parent of an international student. There is no way anyone anywhere gets the kind of wage, benefits and job security that CUPE is demanding. I pay hard earned money to send
    my child to your university only to find out that
    faculty is being selfish in their demands. Get the faculty back to work. If I could I would withdraw my son/daughter. I thought this was a
    world class University. I have paid tuition for
    a world class university. This is disgraceful!

  40. mm

    @ Nathan
    maybe it’s interesting to comment (all by second hand) that the motion was proposed by the bargaining team, and the people that vote against it won by very few votes. The total number of votes was around 400 (almost half of the GMM where strike started).

    For the next GMM there’s a special care about running the meeting according to the schedule, so that everyone can stay there until the end and vote. There are also emails encouraging all members to attend to the meeting.

    My impression is that most of the people that doesn’t go to the GMM is either against the strike or supporting it, but less radical than those that voted not to lower the demands at all. Which means, if more people go to the next GMM and there’s a new motion to lower the proposals, then there are some chances that it gets approved, and therefore the bargaining team could meet the administration in a new framework to restart negotiations. This last paragraph is 100% speculation/fantasy, of course.

  41. ff

    I guess both you and your kid is getting an education about what labour politics are like in a superior country.
    You are welcome from the bottom of my working-class heart!

  42. yorkstrike2008


    That is uncalled for. Do not make derogatory comments about other peoples’ countries please. Canada is by no means a ‘superior’ country by any stretch of the imagination.

  43. ff

    feel free to delete it. and this.
    I happen to think Canada is superior, and the reasoning is that if someone comes here and pays 5x more than I do to do so, they must think there is something they are getting here that they can’t get at home for cheaper. Hence – superior.

  44. Nathan

    @Andrew, re: inflation –
    Yes, it is. However, contracts aren’t altered mid term, and that’s why CUPE can twist the 2 year contract by saying “hey, you can always adjust it in 2010 instead of 2011 if the economy gets better and inflation goes down!”

    Your scenario is certainly a possibility. One that would be favourable for just about everyone involved.

    Also, the mandate vote had 1000+ in favour, the strike vote had (if I recall correctly) 6-700 in favour, and this motion would roughly be… 200-250 in favour. Looks like the Union is leaning towards flexibility – or general apathy at the moment at the least.

    To be fair, only York does this.

  45. kat

    This whole thing is ridiculous! I paid 16 000/year to go to osgoode so that I can be TAUGHT!! Now I am getting emails from my profs designating areas for “self study” – I did not pay to teach myself and neither did anybody else!!!

  46. ff

    and it happens frequently enough that someone should be aware of the political leanings of the faculty and student body – even Ross, for crying out loud.

  47. Nathan

    Maybe he’s a first year. This particular aspect of York’s reputation isn’t exactly dabbled in bright colours on the recruiting brochures.

  48. Lee Savoy

    Disappointed Parent: York is still a world-class institution; but to keep it that way, they need to make sure that the life of contract faculty and grad students has some degree of security.
    In order to attract the best and brightest, this is what is needed. It is unfortunate, but in the end all the undergraduates will get the degrees and educations that they deserve.

  49. ff

    lol – I learned from my previous institution that reputation can mean one thing to some people, and something totally different to others.
    That said, I did do my research before I chose to come to York – so maybe I was learning there after all.

  50. ff

    To disappointed parent:
    I am sorry for my previous comments, because I want to get back to school today myself. I am graduating, and I need marks in for my graduate applications. This strike is stressing me out.

    I guess I am just frustrated by those that equate money with education – I’m not saying you’re doing this, but simply paying for a degree doesn’t mean you learn anything. Part of what makes York great is the community of scholarship that it has. If this strike ends by students forcing arbitration on the union – there are going to be a lot of instructors and TAs who are going to be really hurt by that – not financially, per se, but idealistically.
    Sure, write and say that this is all just feel goodery, but think about how well you would do your job, if they changed the law to force you to work against your wishes. Most of us would soldier on because we are hard workers, I’m sure you didn’t make enough money to send your child to school internationally by being lazy. CUPE’s demands pale in comparison to the auto sector’s job security, pay and benefits – and yet the government is set to bail them out in the near future. I think that money would be better invested in education. But what do I know?

  51. Basil El-Salviti

    To ff,

    What you wrote was uncalled for, and completely lacked class. I

  52. ff

    I agree, Basil. I am sorry. I need to work on not being such a hot head. If I were posting under my name I would never have said such things – out of frustration or not.
    I suppose I am just frustrated by the comodification of education – which is no excuse, of course. I should not have made a personal attack on a stranger.
    My apologies to anyone else that was/is offended.

  53. Cantakerous

    “I thought about. I wouldn’t do that because I don’t want to be a profiteer of peoples’ distress. ”

    hehe- zing!

    Disappointed parent: there are actually people who make a killing more than the CUPE people. They are asking for peanuts in comparison to the 30% raise one of the Deans was apparently given.

    All of this social activity re: petitions, rallies, etc is great.

    I just wonder what McGuinty will do since I am guessing he is on more favourable ground with the teachers’ unions and may think twice about stepping in this one….

  54. anyone in upper year politics/law will tell you that this is useless. MP’s (as of right now) have no power to do anything- UNIVERSITIES ARE FOR PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS!

  55. hullo

    That was a bit extreme I must say. But hey nobodys perfect.

    Here’s my input of this situation. At this point, I kinda gave up on going back to school this month since it seems unlikely. My advice to you would be… Just do whatever you can to stay ahead of your school work and start looking for that December Job now. This way, might you drain some positives out this negative situation. Merry Christmas everybody.

  56. Another student

    Does anyone know if the CUPE meeting tomorrow could result in the strike ending this week?

  57. Nathan

    @another student:

    Highly unlikely.

  58. yorkstrike2008


    I have spent a lot of my life in Mexico and I can say the reason people send their kids to Canadian schools, at least, is because a) it is sort of a thing that wealthy people. A status symbol of sorts. The US has lost a lot of sway since Ivey league schools have been deflated as big corruption scandals and weak academic integrity. And B), to speak English in this world is something you and I take for granted. If you speak English you can communicate with anyone who matters, unfortunately.

    It is not generally because Canada is superior. I think Mexico is superior to Canada in a lot of ways. To say one country is superior to another in any facet is pretentious.

    I won’t delete your comments. You seem like a smart guy and some loose words slipped out. It happens to everyone. 🙂

  59. mm

    Excalibur today:

    “Students mobilize to implore both parties to come to an agreement”

    It’s talking about Nov.17th rally organized by one of the Facebook groups.

    In the same article then says:

    “Binding arbitration is used when two parties cannon agree to a contract…”

    “The rally’s slogan, “Arbitration, Not a Hostage Situation”, heavily promotes that idea”.

    Can anybody explain how somebody can implore both parties to agree and at the same time claim that arbitration must be forced?

  60. Heeeeyyyy

    Since when did more money bring happiness to ones life and improve their teaching style?

  61. Heyyy

    since when did more money mean happiness and improve ones teaching style?

  62. nikgs

    if everybody writes the premiere he’ll have to pay attention. Doesn’t matter if you’re for or against the union, the more crap he takes over this the sooner something will get done.

  63. Pedi

    This strike is ending in either back-to-work legislation or binding arbitration.

    I’m going to work. Someone let me know when the strike is over.

  64. york.ca

    do you guys think that tomorrow’s meeting could result in end to the strick? who are supposed to be in this meeting? anyone any suggestion?

  65. MPP Peter Shurman was at the rally and said he would bring our concerns to the premiere. This is what happened yesterday.


  66. ff


    I agree – how is giving one side 100% of what they demand a “neutral” stance or asking ‘both sides’ anything?
    It is the same as asking the administration to give the union everything it is asking. It is taking sides.

    Appreciate your words, as usual you are doing a great job. I shall pick my words more carefully when I am attempting to be intentionally provocative.

  67. ff

    Peter Shurman can say ‘education is a right’ but what did he do about the thousands of students asking to have fees dropped?
    Where is he on that issue, on in which he doesn’t get to use undergraduates as political pawns to further erode the autonomy of universities and labour relations?

  68. Anon

    So it looks like Schulich classes are back on as of next week – is it the same for any other faculties?

  69. yorkstrike2008


    Care to elaborate on Schulich classes back on? Source?

    I though Schulich and Osgoode were diff. unions.

  70. Schulich classes are back on. An email was sent to all schulich students from Prof. David E. Dimick
    Associate Dean – Academic – Schulich School of Business. Only some classes for schulich students are back on (all 3rd and 4th year classes and some 1st and 2nd year classes) and the main reason for that is due to exchange students.

  71. Gele

    Hey Andrew (or anyone else who can help me with this),
    Could you post a link or more info on U of T’s decision to strike or not?

  72. Gele

    Thanks a lot!

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