Hey everyone

As I am sure you are aware of there was a GMM, or General Member Meeting for CUPE 3903 yesterday. As of yet there has been no official release communicating any developments. As such, I have found a website from a comment with a link posted on this blog this morning with information written by a CUPE member who was at the meeting.

According to the member the biggest development was that the members voted strongly to give the bargaining team with the flexibility to bargain at their discretion. In other words, the bargaining team is not stuck to a set of static rules that either must be conceded to or not. This is excellent news – it means that there may be some new developments as the Union and Employer initiate talks again. The last GMM effectively tied the hands of the bargaining team and that led to the 15 minute walk out of the last meeting.


So our blogger’s interpretation of the new developments are:


– The current 150 demands amount to a 41% increase in the value of the contract over a two agreement (including wages, benefits, funds etc). The new framework will drop the entire value of the demands to 15% or 7.5% over two years.

– the last proposal the employer made to the bargaining team before the strike had a value of a 2.7% increase per year over 3 years to the total collective agreement (not in wages, in the value of the whole collective agreement)

– other unions associated with the university have recently negotiated collective agreement increases more in the range of 4% per year, and the university has admitted that they have not made their best possible offer to us yet.

– 7.5% per year is just a starting point for the new negotiations. The whole point of bargaining is that the two sides begin at separate starting points and find a middle ground. (And interestingly enough, the exact numeric middle ground between 2.7 and 7.5 is 5.1% which is not drastically more than other unions at York have gotten in recent contract negotiations – so it is believed to be a reasonable goal.)

– Some of the key issues in returning to the table are not strictly monetary, like job security for Contract Faculty which a big part of the membership seems to think is one of the key demands. 

Thus, the bargaining team should now call the employer back to the table with a sincere offer of significant changes in their demands. The distance between the two positions is now a lot more reasonable, (at one end 2.7% to the total contract per year for 3 years, at the other end 7.5% to the total contract per year for 2 years).

According to our blogger is saying that the best case scenario is that the two sides will meet next week, appreciate the initiative and get serious about reaching an agreement and we could be in classes by December 1st. This is only a ‘best case scenario’. 

That is a decent start that the Union has given their bargaining team some authority over the decision and bargain making process. This will speed up all future talks as they have now been promoted from Union paper boy. However, they are still stuck on the 2 year contract! I highly doubt the University will sign an agreement that will almost certainly guarantee some labour disruption in 2 years.


A December 1st date for back to classes is highly unlikely.





Filed under Uncategorized

61 responses to “Update

  1. hullo

    Once again, we are back to the waiting game. Ahhh imo I rather go back to school in Jan to be honest. And also I hope that the Uni compress the course load or the amount of assignments. Fingers crossed.

  2. jack

    @ hullo

    I’m with you on that one!

  3. Disillusioned

    Well I was optimistic for about 2 hours today till I read this…..I really want to get back asap so I can enjoy a bit of a Christmas break without worrying about exams, assignments, etc. I just want to get back to reality.

  4. Guess Who

    I agree with hullo too.

    No point of going back to school now. We’ve lost crazy amounts of time.

    They might as well give us the time off now and get bacj in January with a clear mind and this strike behind us.

  5. jack

    Hopefully I finish my assignments up this week, and then I can just be free to do all the little things I don’t have time to do when schools in, and spend some extra time with family and the girlfriend.

  6. Mhm

    i agree with you guys as well!!! personally, i just booked my vacation for begining of decemberr so i just have my fingers crossed and hope for the best 😛 ive wanted to go back to school since the strike started, but since it’s lasted this long and since we’ve all been soo stressed we all deserve a little vacation time before we get back to reality lol.

  7. Soraya

    @ yorkstrike2008

    Can you please let us know asap when the next meeting is between the union and york?

  8. hullo

    @ Soraya nobody knows yet. Probably early next week as I fancy. But do not be so optimistic though. It’s going to be another disappointment.

    And yes guys just finish your work and spend time with your loved ones or just relax and get ready for a pounding next year lol.

  9. cabby

    ahhh this is getting ridiculous. i agree with hullo and guess who — going back next week or the week after will be pretty much pointless, as classes will end within 2-3 weeks anyway due to the holidays. they should just suspend classes til after the break. that way they have more time to work out the details, and we actually have some kind of timeline to deal with. the universtiy needs to establish a much better dialogue with the students. i don’t know about you but i’m getting tired of planning my work schedule day-to-day because i never know what’s going to happen. we’re paying for our education.. they at least owe us some kind of communication as to what’s happening. besides this website and the few others like it, there really isn’t alot out there on the strike for students to easily access.
    either knuckle down and get us back asap, or just wait til january.

  10. Laura

    At this point, would returning to school on December 1st mean exams would end up being after the Christmas break?

    If so, that would be horrible, I don’t want to spend my holiday season studying…

  11. Curious Yorkie

    I agree with Cabby. These guys owe us better communication for the money we pay them. We have no idea what is happening and it is our right to know these things. I almost want to call up the media and tell them what kinda crappy info we are getting/not getting about the strike even though we are the ones most affected by it.
    Both parties are engaged in stupid tactics/bashing games against each other to our detriment! Grrr!!!

  12. Jon

    Shit, I better get my ass in gear and finish up my assignments. lol

  13. sam

    this is really frustrating…
    now i hope that we won;t have classes till jan. so i can go back home!

  14. R

    its pathetic… i’ve completely lost my tempo for studyin… i hope we dont have to go back to school before january… this is so frustrating!

  15. I hope we do. At least then they might not take away our reading week.

  16. yorkstrike2008


    Reading week is one week away from being gone 🙂

  17. Luckily I don’t have any plans for reading week but I know others that do…sucks majorly for them. I guess the same can be said for people who have plans in december too

  18. hullo

    york just sent out an email saying that keep up with your work and be active as in exercise lol. I have not gone out the whole day and its a Friday too!!!! Shame. And consider reading week gone.

  19. yorkstrike2008


    I have been stupartying. It’s sick, you should try it.

  20. Anonymous

    Can meetings between the union and York take place on the weekends?

  21. MR Two

    Reading week is pretty much gone if we’re one week away – Dec 1st is the “best” scenario (I’d rather have January) so that leaves one more week, which should = no reading week. At this point, might as well go back January because we’ve pretty much lost reading week and I’m not sure how many people want to study over the holidays for exams… I wish there was a way to just give the uni/cupe until Jan to reach a conclusion.

  22. MR Two

    Well, to be honest I think that we’ll be here till Jan… I doubt the University wants to give cupe the 2 year contract…

  23. hullo

    stupartying??? lol what’s that?

  24. Basil El-Salviti

    MR Two, yorkstrike2008 conducted an interview with Dean Drummond, who conceded that if it ended up that a two year contract is what stood between a settlement, they would concede…provided the union concedes some of their demands.

  25. Soraya

    I don’t want the strike to end right now either. I have an essay due that requires reading a novel and I’m still 100 pgs off. I also have 2 summaries due that require reading and tons of other readings to catch up on for exams. I was full-time this week but I won’t be next week and I neeeed next week to finish my essay. As much as I prefer a January start, I’ll take December 1st. School on Tuesday would kill me 😐

  26. Soraya

    *this Tuesday

  27. yorkstrike2008


    study-partying. I study during the day, leisurely of course, and go out and party at night. It is working out nicely. Almost done all my papers for this term and about to start on papers for second term by the end of the week hopefully 🙂

  28. MR Two

    Basil – thanks for the info, I was unaware O_o We’ll see how much the union is willing to give up… their conceded demands (or lack thereof) might offer some insight into what cupe is really after.

    Soraya – Dec 1st is the earliest possible, no need to worry about tuesday =P

  29. ts

    If reading week goes, screw it, I’m leaving for a week anyway when it’s supposed to occur. It’s been my plan for months to go party in the Caribbean with friends at other schools, and by then I’ll have been screwed over more than enough.

  30. JK

    MR Two:

    So we’re SURE that Dec. 1 is the earliest possible date that we could be back? Is that just an assumption or is it a flat fact? Sorry if I missed it being said already, I just am curious about who specifically gave Dec. 1 as the date

  31. selin

    this strike will go on until january becasue york leave the union in the cold, once the union picketers have had enough of the weather they will approach the uni , and accept their conditions.

  32. yorkstrike2008

    December 1st is based on a timeline of the University and Union meeting sometime (early) this week, agreeing, ratifying a contract, ending the strike and we will back in classes next Monday.

    Like I said, highly unlikely.

  33. 1 out of 50,000

    if their is a possibility that the strike is over by early December, it’s highly unlikely that the admin will say “aw shucks, let’s give those kids a break till January!”
    The university is open till December 23rd. If it ends in early December, it’s reasonable to say we are back in classes till then with exam period in January. There are a lot of factors pushing for as minimal damage to school year as possible. Plus, final exams can be amended – take homes, etc if need be.

  34. Guess Who

    I agree with yorkstrike2008.

    Let’s not forget that this will be the first ‘grown up’ negotiation between the two sides; seeing how the last one was completely childish.

    I would still say that the union will not give into the demands of the university and vice versa.

    Negotiations done, ratifying a contract, ending a story, everyone lives happily ever after is not something I would expect so fast after just their first proper negotiations talk.

  35. GR

    im a non-union guest lecturer at atkinson. i find it frustrating with the lack of information. i get vague notes in code. and the imaturity of some of the professor responses is shocking. i guess this brings out the worst in people.

  36. Hostage

    I was under the impression from several faculty members that classes cannot be held past the 16th, but that we can have a 24hr exam period up til the 23rd, does anyone know if this is in fact true?

  37. Glenn

    does anyone know if we will get any sort of credit or compensation for missed classes? I work hard to pay off my tuition and I’m not getting my money’s worth.

  38. Amber

    This strike is as bad as the Twilight Movie.

    On another note…

    I would love it if the strike ended in January. It would suck if it interfered with the xmas break. I wouldnt want to go to class on Dec 23..know what i mean?

  39. cabby

    @ hostage – i’m not entirely sure but i’ve heard the same thing, i’d really like an answer.
    i agree again with ys2008 and guess who. the last meeting was essentially a joke, and only this coming week will they sit down and actually talk it out. the chances of them being able to sort everything out in ONE meeting is very unlikely. i know that i don’t want to be studying over the holidays, so i’m almost hoping that this gets a little more prolonged. the sad part is though, i have lots of friends from out of town who made plans for the break around their exam schedule. many of them had exams really early in the schedule and such accounted for a longer break. many of them have plans and vacations built around those assumptions. if we end up in classes til the 23rd, they’re screwed. i really wish the university would send out some kind of updates.. even if the updates said they were still at a stand still. at least then we’d all be on the same page, for once!

  40. yorkstrike2008


    You must be knew here. That question has been beaten to death and there is a post with answers from Dean Drummond similar to your questions!

  41. dontworry

    well, now that the union and the university have finally become adults and actually applied the things that they teach us about collective bargaining, i can start to take this strike a little more seriously. I was a victim of the strike at laurier last year and transferred over to york because i thought that it was a better institution to learn in (so far, i am very impressed with the caliber of teaching at york for the most part)

    The strike lasted 2 weeks at laurier and by the end of it, the majority of the profs were very lenient when it came to finals by either giving us take homes, telling us what was exactly covered on the exams, or just marking them a lot easier.

    As much as everyone is complaining about the strike on this website, if classes start after christmas break, it would be a big relief, but the breaks that you would potentially get on marking, exams, assignments, etc. could be overlooked by the teaching staff. I just hope that this all can be solved asap and we can get back to continuing our careers.

    In reality, the only thing that anyone should be worried about is the exams. All of this time off should have given you more than enough time to catch up on all of your readings, assignments, essays, etc. And to me, the exams are our highest weighted assessment. With this much time, we should all be perfecting essays, and taking them as free marks.

    Anyway, I just really wanted to voice my opinion, I haven’t commented on anything regarding the strike yet, but I felt now that everyone is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, I would offer my perspective after having to go through the exact same thing last year.

    Good luck to everyone!

  42. sam

    The union is begining to give way it was just a matter of time I think they will cave in this week for sure. Its cold out they probably dont want to picket anymore and they need any money that they can get know. So I think be ready for school come late next week or the Monday for sure

  43. Curious Yorkie

    Guys, u know what we should do? Contact the media and tell them what sorta shitty situation we are in! We have no idea what the hell is happening and we are getting snippets of “he said this, they said that” nonsense!

    @ YorkStrike2008… you can send them some of the comments from here and ask them to publish these things… we need the world to see how the Admin and the Union have not only taken us hostage, but have also left us blindfolded and alone in a unknown jungle!
    whatta mess!

  44. 1/50,000

    Curious Yorkie – that anti strike group is doing an (in)adequate job of showing student frustration to the media. The Star education report also recently had an article about the feelings of undergrads.

  45. ams

    id rather be in class till dec. 23 and have exams in Jan than be in school till may or june.

    dec= snow. shit weather
    may/june= SUNSHINE

  46. Shal

    Hey guys, I didn’t know this existed, I just found out about it and thought that you guys would be happy to know as well. It’s basically stating that since the strike has lasted longer then 14 days, all courses will have to be compressed.

    Here’s the link:


  47. yorkstrike2008

    @Curious Yorkie

    Such is a good idea. The media won’t write an article about a bunch of whining university students on a website. I was thinking that, perhaps, when the next meeting is announced between the school and the union we could go and rally outside of the meeting hall. There are more than enough people who come here to get a big enough rally happening. We can contact the media – I am sure they will want to film that – and we could present our argument then.

    In time though…

  48. Sam

    I am not sure, but I think that we wont get back to classes anytime soon for early Dec. the reason why is Because there is no news saying that union and york are going to talk, and second of all it is not really worth it to go back to classes for just 2 weeks and then holidays. I really rather wait until Jan to get back to school…. does anybody has any suggestion or news if we are anything close to get back to classes anytime soon?

  49. a TA

    I can completely sympathize with your frustration for lack of information. The unfortunate thing, is that there is not much information to share. I am a union member who has been attending union meetings, and spending time on the picket lines, and information can be sketchy for us too. But we have given the bargaining team the directive to go back to the table. That said, even if they are able to hammer something out this week, it will still need to be agreed upon by general union membership before the BT will accept it. We do not know how long it will last because it depends on how long it takes for both sides to compromise. After that, the senate will rule on what happens with classes.
    While I agree that the last meeting was unfortunate, from both sides, please remember that there were negotiations going on before the strike that did not reach any conclusions.

    And selin, we do know how do dress for the cold weather, and there are parts of the university’s current offer that we will not accept.

  50. eph

    here’s a crazy idea. Lock the admin & the union in a room and don’t let them out till they have a tentaive agreement!

  51. RBM

    I think york should post some info on their website about whats going on with the strike…so that those of us leaving for winter break can know whether to stay or to go..

  52. Worried

    Hi everyone,

    I apologize if this has already been addressed, but was wondering if anyone knew if it was possible for us to still have a compressed exam period in December, if say the strike ended this coming week? Or, has it past a deadline leaving us only enough time for make-up classes? Thanks!

  53. Gracie

    Shal, “compressed” in the link you have provided refers to the type of course, not the prospective exam period. Fall courses are considered a type of “compressed” course in contrast to the regular, full -year courses.

  54. Gabbar

    a Ta – Thanks a lot for giving us a rough roadmap about how things would work out in different phases/stages.
    I dont think classes would resume before 8th December monday.

  55. 4real

    WOW! maybe if you tas would have made a more realistic offer to begin with we would be closer to resolving this strike issue rather than making such selfish offers that completely fkd 50000 students over as a result. personally i enjoy the time off however i do feel for those who have other plans…but thats life.
    i do hope that when you tas get back to work after this mess that we get a far better performance from you guys (as you say your worth). oh and lighter grading wouldnt hurt either considering the fact that YOU OWE US!!

  56. rock

    well said 4real. i agree

  57. GR

    this is the note i received

    There is an update on the status of negotiations as of noon November 25 on theYork University website. After meeting with the mediator on November 24, CUPEhas requested a meeting with the employer on November 27 to discuss a new set of proposals. My own impression is that the strike will be settled over the weekend or not until January. In the event that an agreement emerges in thenext few days, I expect a big two week push to complete the semeter by ~December 12, followed by a compressed exam period that could run right toDecember 24.

  58. Commuter

    @ GR

    So they would compress 4 weeks of missed classes into 2, and 3 weeks of exams into 1? Hmm…

    If they somehow resolve this by Monday (which I highly doubt, after reading the latest blog) the more practical thing to do would be to hold classes till the break, and do exams in January.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s