York considering Union offer

This morning the Union and the University met to discuss the new Union proposal that was drafted over the two GMMs this past Thursday and Saturday. The Union has proposed a new plan with significantly reduced financial demands, a reduction of total demands from 150 to about 20 and has granted the bargaining team more authority to negotiate. That means that they have space to maneuvre the demands to reach a deal. These are hoped to speed up the very sluggish pace of these negotiations. The University is now in session to consider the offer. The Union is holding another GMM next week. These next couple of days could produce some exciting new developments.

 

YorkStrike2008

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98 Comments

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98 responses to “York considering Union offer

  1. Tom

    I really wish we had more than that to work with; this is making me incredibly antsy.

  2. cse student

    so how much longer atleast will this strike last?

  3. How on Gods green earth do you go from 150 to 20? Honestly? That is absolutely ridiculous and suggests, in my mind, that the union made up 130 demands just to prolong the strike

    Absolute bullshit in my mind

  4. Fred

    So what happens now?
    How long before we know if school starts on Monday?
    I’m tired of not having school. I know it sounds absurd; but I like getting back to school and be productive

  5. Kam

    Does this mean that the strike is still on? This whole situation is SO frustrating.

  6. ff

    Annoyed,

    From what I understand a lot of rank-and-file members showed up to the last GMMs and were like “we’re getting lambasted in the media and by students, let’s significantly weaken our bargaining position”

    Winston Churchill said something about how shit democracy is, and that, of course, it also happens to be the least shit thing we have figured out.

  7. ff,

    Agreed with the Churchhill quote, it’s a great one.

    But still, you can’t tell me that one meeting made the Union decide that, ya, those 130 demands are useless/irrelevant. This, looks bad on the Union.

  8. That's interesting...

    150 demands go down to 20? That’s ludicrous. I can’t believe this is actually happening… I thought the Union was ‘serious’ about their demands? What were all these past weeks used for, then? Just a fun time to revolt?

  9. international

    this is real unfair for you guys to want to go back to school now when it’s like 3 weeks before christmas holidays.. how unfair is that for the international students.. personally my ticket was booked for the 12th because my exams are done on that day and now if we have make up classes – i’ll have to change my flight and not only that but most of my friends who are not from canada have went back to their country – what happens to them? should they come back for the remaining classes and then fly back home for the christmas. absolutely f…kery!

  10. ams

    Annoyed, the union has really done a lot of PR damage thanks to stupidity.

  11. ams

    also, I saw the strike vote thing on the CUPE website, only like 200 ppl voted for it if i remember correctly.

  12. ff

    ams –

    i think the number was higher – it was a % that is roughly similar to the one that elected stephen harper’s government.

    that said, the union leadership at York tends to have a more leninist streak than elsewhere. York is one of the most vibrant community of marxist scholars in the world, and certainly the foremost in Canada. That said, the union’s rank-and-file is not entirely comprised of social scientists with this leaning.
    It still baffles me why they tried taht 30% increase demand from the get-go, if 2010 was the plan all along, then wouldn’t it make more sense to make they symbolic demand when there was more of a chance of having a wider conversation with the province/citizenship?

  13. York Student

    I think all of you should consider the source here

    This is a pro-union blog

    If talks collapse (which seems likely, but who knows) I guarantee the next post will be about the callous indifference of York University and how they’re a bunch of meanies who hate students and how the administration etc etc etc

  14. Um, I don’t think this is a pro-union blog.

  15. ff

    this blog is actually more ‘neutral’ than blogs and facebook groups that pretend that binding arbitration is somehow apolitical; in fact the mere idea that any political science student could suggest that anything is apolitical is so ridiculous it makes me wonder what the hell they’ve been smoking.
    yorkstrike2008 – who maintains this place, isn’t telling everyone to email the admin and put pressure on them to cave to demands. So, I have no idea what you’re talking about when you suggest this is pro-union.

  16. Jafac

    @ Fred
    We can’t go back to school on Monday, the union would still have to do a general vote on the new agreement, and that would only happen at the next meeting, which is Wednesday.

  17. ams

    @ff — no i don’t think so :S im not sure tho…i’ve looked at the cupe website no pics there so they must have been on this website ill continue my search.

    the reason i say no to the % is because arnd 150 votes were for now and 150% of ppl cant vote against it.

    but u might just be right.

  18. Still doing homework

    i believe it was earlier mentioned that this site has attempted to remain neutral but as the duration of the strike lengthened sympathy for the york administration waned

    regardless of whether this site is truly pro union or pro york administration… it is by far the most neutral of sources in regards to information about the strike… it is informative and has provided quotations from both sides.

    not many other sites are as helpful in providing information how things are moving (as far as available public information goes).. so don’t hate too much on this site

  19. ams

    i agree with SDH

    everyone has a bias. what’s the big deal?

  20. ff

    I know it was ~72% in favour of strike (of those that voted)
    I remember there being over 700 people at the GMM, so 150 against, and then ~500 for. Whatever the case, 500/3400 is something like 15% – which is about how many people out of the electorate (possible # of voters) went to the trouble of voting for the conservatives. It’s just how elections/democracy work. Not everyone is going to excersize their right – again, Churchill. 😦

  21. My prediction – nothing happens. Just a feeling…a lot of people feel the same. Who knows anymore.

  22. ron

    @international

    im in the same boat as you, i have a ticket booked for 14th dec, my exams end 13th. there is no way i can reschedule even if i wanted to; flights to asia are PACKED during this time of the year. There’s also no way im giving up my $2000 plane ticket too. F that. i guess i’ll have to skip a few classes if they do resume till 23rd.

  23. Kam

    @ Jafac — I really hope that is true

    Working during this time would probably be the only thing to do without feeling totally unproductive

  24. ams

    FF

    https://yorkstrike2008.wordpress.com/2008/11/09/videos/#comments

    aah this was it. srry its a vid not a pic.

    yes i agree with what you are saying. but what i meant to say by pointing out that only an X amt of people voted is in response to annoyed wondering:

    150 demands go down to 20? That’s ludicrous. I can’t believe this is actually happening… I thought the Union was ’serious’ about their demands? What were all these past weeks used for, then? Just a fun time to revolt?

    so yea, if only that many ppl voted and won, i am sure the rest were pissed at the image they had from the media and generally being out of work and thus the reduction of demands.

  25. ff

    Ron,

    it is my understanding that if you have proof the flight was booked prior to Nov. 6th, then you will be okay, and the profs will have to accomodate you.

    If you booked after, it is really up to them. That said, I know most of my profs and faculty to be infinitely understanding, so I doubt it would be difficult to reach some kind of a compromise.

  26. Jay

    I have said throughout the entire time of this strike, this site is easily the most informative site of them all. It has, for the most part, remained neutral and provide students with facts and updates that don’t contain the usual propaganda from either side.

    Now, as for this update, I don’t know exactly what to make of it. The 150 down to 20 demands bothers me a lot, as it seems that a lot of their demands were either to hold up the process or it seem as if they’ve given in to speed up the process (which is absolute B.S).

    Now as for York Admin taking it back to deliberate. Good thing, bad thing? I’m not to sure. May be a P.R stunt by York to show that they are making an effort. May be that they actually like the offer and think they have a point to work from. Not entirely sure, but I guess time will tell

    Also, don’t forget about the ratification. Yes, it does need to be taken to the GMM before it will be approved and we can be put back into classes. But also, don’t forget that at the GMM, the T.As can say no to the contract and we are back to square one. I will not get my hopes up until the contract is RATIFIED at the GMM.

  27. Fred

    Hey Jafac
    Thanks for update. So basically we have to wait till Wednesday to see if Union accepts the new agreement? Can’t they form emergency meetings?

    I don’t about you guys. But for the first time in my life I have realized University really kept me productive and focused. I’m someone who works out on a regular basis but sicne the last two weeks I’ve been feeling slow and tired because of no school. I never thought I feel this way, but I guess I was wrong big time!

  28. anonymous

    I thought well know tonight? I thought the york administration would give an answer as to whether or not they agree or whether changes need to be made?

  29. Sam

    Please keep us updated guys..

  30. nellyli

    So what does this up-coming GMM means? Does it mean if Admin approved the offer today and Union will not sign the new contract right after until someday in next week?
    So another week????

  31. anonymous

    I think first we have to see what the york administration says to the new offer then well see from there

  32. P D

    This really looks bad on CUPE right now. If they went from 150 demands to 20 demands so fast without making a big fuss, could they have not done this way before they actually went on strike. This whole strike now seems more pointless than ever since they dropped 130 of 150 demands. I dont know exactly what the 20 demands are but it seems like York has no reason to decline this offer since the CUPE dropped so many demands. Seems like we may be back to school next week…

  33. anonymous

    not necesarily york can refuse it due to the fact that they are still pressing for a 2 year deal

  34. CUPE member with child

    A few things to point out that may be of interest to your readers:

    1) Of those “150 demands”, many of them were non-financial changes to contract wording that were meant to promote equality and safety. Many of these were asking York to simply recognise many worker safety and equality issues that are already recognized by Ontario labour laws, but ignored by the university.

    2) CUPE members worked 2 months without a contract (Sept. and Oct.), and during that time we made many requests to talk with the university’s bargaining team. Almost every time we propsed to discuss our demands with them, they replied “we are dis-inclined to agree”, and shut the door on talks. If you notice, its always the union side inviting York to the bargaining table. We didn’t have to work in Sept – and striking during that month would have been much warmer. We could also have refused to negotiate, replying with “dis-inclined to agree” at only two university offers in over 3 months. We do care about the undergrads, and some indications of that are that we worked without a contract for so long as well as keep begging the university to come back to the table.

    3) the vast majority of CUPE members really do make below the poverty-line wages. Between tuition, books, and UI contribution, etc, I don’t take home much more than 6 thousand for the two semesters I teach and study at York – full time. I also have a toddler that’s dependant on my income. Despite what appears to be an attractive offer og 9.25% over 3 years, once changes to benefits are tallied in, York’s offer would mean that we’re taking cuts. I’ve heard some people say if we don’t like it we should quit school and get a different job. Honestly, its crossed my mind many times to do that. Part of what I’m fighting for in this strike is the right for not just the children from wealthy families to be able to access graduate studies. This is a right we don’t have and I come face to face with it every time I open my refrigerator, look for bus-fare, am in need of winter boots, or need to send my daughter to the dentist.

    Anyways, I wish you all the best of luck in your studies and I also hope to see you back soon. I hope your voice concerning when you go back and how lost time is resolved is seriously listened to by the university.

  35. R

    @Anon,

    Correct. Macleans did an article before that all things aside – they’re just smokes and screens. It’s the 2 VS 3 years contract that is the real meat

  36. R

    @ CUPE Member with Child

    Thank you for sharing with us.

  37. Commuter

    Perhaps this is worthy of a new blog entry:

    “Today the CUPE 3903 bargaining team met with representatives of York University to restart negotiations for a fair and equitable contract, with a view to ending the labour dispute that began on November 6th. After a full day of talks, the two parties have agreed to meet again on Friday morning (Nov. 28) to continue with negotiations.”

  38. CUPE member with child

    One last thing to point out. There’s a lot of propaganda flying around, especially from the universities side about how they care so much for undergrads, etc. If you think they really do care for undergrads and that they’re not spinning information to make themselves look good and the TAs look bad (as if they’re not bending them over a barrel), then here’s a case in point where the university screws all of us over with a smile:

    the campus bookstore

  39. Dale

    Hey Commuter… thanks for the update. Guess no news tonight then.

  40. 1 out of 50,000

    @CUPE member with child – when you only get paid to work 10 hours a week, it’s a bit outrageous to expect making above the poverty line much less at it.

  41. anonymous

    although they are meeting tomorrow has anyone heard from a credible source how the meeting went?

  42. CUPE member with child

    @1 out of 50,000

    “when you only get paid to work 10 hours a week, it’s a bit outrageous to expect making above the poverty line much less at it.”

    As part of our contract, we are full time students and workers and we are not permitted to take additional outside work. Regardless how you tally it up and despite your apparent scale as to who deserves to be poor and who doesn’t, we live in poverty nonetheless. What’s apparent by the improper placement of the comparative ‘much less’ in your note, is that our job teaching some of you guys is harder than it looks.

  43. 1 out of 50,000

    Then renegotiate the your not allowed to work anywhere portion of your contract or at least pressure your leadership to make that a clear concern in terms of the publicity generated for this strike. Right now, media attention has been on this working 10hours and making high salary demands.

    In any other sector, working 10 hours a week and making poverty line would be entirely unreasonable.

  44. ff

    I don’t know what was said at the GMM, but really turning coat and giving in this early in the strike was probably a bad idea.

    I can’t see the university signing a 2-year deal any time soon, and now the union’s bargaining position has been significantly weakened.

    The whole thing is looking more like a fiasco all the time; of course, only time will tell.

  45. 1 out of 50,000

    It’s not just my apparent scale. No one deserves to be rich or poor; it’s a situation your in and you deal with it or overcome it. But if you are working 10 hours a week, even at way above min wage, you’re not going to crack that poverty line. Address the underlying issue of the university crippling your ability to make a better income; and not just by asking for salary increases.

    Is this even still a demand with the reduced list presented to the university?

    @CUPE member with child – I really hope your not perceiving this as a personal attack or anything. It’s just that the idea of working min. hours and expecting more doesn’t sit well. But neither does the university not permitting you to work elsewhere. That isn’t the norm at other institutions.

  46. CUPE member with child

    @ 1 out of 50,000

    I think the suggestion of reworking that part of the contract underscores your misunderstanding of our situation. Between TAing, doing our own course-work (which usually consists of 300-600 pages of reading per week), on top of writing essays and conducting research, the work we do is already more than a full time job. Taking another job (which would be very difficult to find one that can accomodate our schedules) would not only be a ludicrous undertaking, but would take away from the time from which we are rightfully expected to make useful contributions to society at large through both our research and our obligations to undergraduates. Even at the undergraduate level, those who study full time find their academic contributions undermined by taking part-time jobs.

  47. MAC

    @ff

    (I just want to stress again. That i in no way agree with the strike.)
    I 100% agree with you and i ablsolutely hate to say this BUT if this strike ends now, in a blink, it was all one big joke…

    As for us 50, 000 undergrads…
    You didn’t care about us when this all started so I beg you not to say that you are trying to speed up the process because you even have a little but of consideration for us. Just do what you have to do now to make this not happen again.

  48. E

    @ CUPE member with child

    I’m confused. I thought I read from previous posts from other CUPE members (who were criticized for complaining about wages and were told to get another job) that some CUPE members actually DO hold multiple jobs. Is this not true?

  49. Chrissy

    People have flights booked during the month of december. We shouldnt have to loose more money if school starts back in december. It wasnt our fault york went on strike!!

  50. CUPE member with child

    Some do, in violation of their contracts and probably to the detriment of their studies and their obligations to undergrads. On the one hand if they’re in desperate need then who am I to say they shouldn’t. I think part of our bargaining effort to achieve wages and benefits that are at the poverty line rather than below it will in part alleviate that necessity and help reinforce their capacity to commit their duties to their own research studies and undergrad obligations.

  51. anonymous

    is there anyone here who was present at todays meeting? if so what does the outcome look like or has anyone heard anything from a credible source any input is appreciated im having a little anxiety at the moment

  52. CUPE member with child

    I wasn’t at todays meeting, and I too am glued to the net trying to find out the result. From what I can work out from this site (and somehow it seems to have the most current information of all), the university listened to the union’s proposal and is going to sleep on it. I can’t vouche for the accuracey (sp?) of that summary though…

  53. Concerned Student

    I just want to make sure of something. Is anybody certain of the fact that school can in no way resume Monday… meaning do we know with absolute certainty that the new agreement has to be voted on at the next GMM, on Wednesay

  54. jerrard

    @50,000
    I understand your confusion as to why anyone would expect to make good money and only work 10hrs a week.
    However, I think CUPE member w/child does a good job explaining the 10hrs wk. issue
    There are MANY issues aside from just wages that have not recieved much attention. A good example is this. Currently, TAs are given a certain amount of funding for teaching. If, however, they take the time to apply for and actually win a grant (which is a lot of work) the university simply takes the money that they earned from the grant out of their paycheque. Not only does this not allow TAs to make money legitimately above teh 10hr wk…it also works to entice TAs not to bring in external funding as it ends up being a waste of their time that only benefits the University admin despite their hard work.
    These are the kinds of issues that the union wants to resolve, but the University does not highlight these, rather they would like to paint the union as only having unrealistic “greedy” demands.

  55. anon.

    If I knew my hours were limited and I was prohibited from working outside of the school, and by simple math, my income was insufficient to cover my expenses… I simply would not have taken the job. The bottom line is you do what you can to make ends meet. I don’t think these jobs are intended to completely cover tuition and other expenses – but just to offset these expenses, at a higher hourly rate than most part-time jobs outside of school. If you chose this job over another job outside school, there must have been a reason why you found this job to be a more attractive option. If the limited hours is not enough to cover rent, tuition, and other expenses – tough luck, that’s life. Maybe you should have considered that before taking the job. If I can survive on my own in first year university off a grueling $11/hr telemarketing job to pay off rent and other expenses, forgive me if I have no sympathy for your situation. Let’s switch spots.

  56. ff

    MAC,

    I do support the strike, but I’m going to be pretty upset if the result of this is the rank-and-file squashing it, basically saying “well, we didn’t really want the strike in the first place, but 2 hours of our day to vote was just too much to ask”

  57. Commuter

    @ Mac

    It will be a joke if they settle now. That means they caved and gave into the 2 year contract, setting us up for the same disaster in 3 years.

    I don’t know what my personal feelings are on this one. In a way, I support them continuing to stay on strike until they get a fair settlement, but I’m not too sure about 2010.

  58. @ Commuter

    You said that the Union and Admin are meeting tomoroow morning to continue talks (Friday, Nov. 28th)

    That’s a pretty bold piece of news to dish out without a source/reference. Do you happen to have one?

  59. Qwerty

    So what’s happening now? Are the Union and the University meeting tomorrow again? And if they do agree on something, the Union will hold a vote on Wed.?

  60. Curious Yorkie

    hey all,
    i wasnt here all day and am just reading the msgs… are we all left hanging once again wondering about the result of the strike?! what nonsense!
    do these people have no consideration for their students?

  61. Curious Yorkie

    @ sources please,
    that info is posted on CUPE’s website.

  62. jerrard

    @ anon
    I will willingly switch spots with you. But first, maybe you can tell me how you are going to get two graduate degrees under your belt to be qualified to teach since you will be working the “attractive job” not the necessary one.
    By your logic, only the rich should be able to complete graduate work. Thus in the future, to become a prof you simply have to be rich to afford to put yourself through school (12 months of the year- no time for outside jobs). That will improve the quality of education.

  63. Commuter

    @ sources please

    Sorry, I forgot to include a Works Cited. I guess that’s what happens when you’ve been away from class for a while. Please don’t report me for academic dishonesty. :p

    Here’s the link:
    http://www.3903strike.ca/3903-negotiations-update-nov-27

  64. Worried Union Member

    I have to correct a major misrepresentation about TA claiming they are only allowed to work 10 hrs/wk. This is actually untrue. A very long time ago this prohibition was in place (law) but it hasn’t been the case for over a decade. Many graduate students hold additional employment for at least part of the year.

    An issue many contract faculty have is that the employer started offering multiple TA contracts to graduate students a couple of years ago. In places like humanities division it’s now common for graduate students to hold more than 1 TAship at a time. This is obviously not consistent with the claim that TAs aren’t allowed to work more than 10 hrs/wk.

    Guess where these jobs come from? Contract faculty, who lost a lot of work to graduate students especially in recent years. It’s an issue that harms chances for solidarity in the union.

  65. Susan

    At CUPE Member with Child

    I completely understand what you are saying. Here are some confusions that I personally have for all you TAs:

    1. If you knew the contract was unreasonable (can’t work any other jobs, too little hours, not enough money for your family ETC ETC), WHY did all of you accept the contract and worked this unreasonable job in the first place? Maybe it’d be so much better off for you and all of us, if unhappy TAs right now found a job elsewhere instead of accepting their current job offer.

    2. To my understanding, students, especially undergraduate students, are supposed to be full-time students, and that is their occupation. So they are not all expected to raise a family at the same time of their studies. Even if students decide to take up part time jobs, employers will not pay them a total annual income that is enough to raise a family, because they are, after all, students. York and other universities, don’t pay student TAs thinking that they need to support a family, so if you try using that as your only family income, then of course it is not enough.

    3. I hear many TAs arguing about the fact that they are ONLY allowed to work 10 hours, and I get it from your point of view that 10 hours is quite a lot along side with studies at the school. However, there are only so much work to go around, so if they increase the amount of hours per TA, that means the university can only afford to hire LESS TAs. Because if they pay you more wage, then our tuition have to go up, we all don’t want that do we.

    I hope I don’t sound too harsh, but it baffles me how the things CUPE is arguing for are things that shouldn’t matter to students. Or is it just the TAs who have a family that are in need of extra money? So, are there a huge percentage of TAs who need to support their families with their income as the only family income?

  66. jerrard

    @ Worried
    You should check you facts. TAs are NOT allowed to work more than 10hrs/wk. Just because some are breaking the rules does not mean it is allowed. Multiple contracts are allowed by the university under the assumption that the total time spent (not actually week to week) is under the 10/wk average.
    In my faculty, this is strictly enforced.
    Either way, this needs to be brought up with the university and clarified.

  67. Cincinnatus C.

    Worried Union Member: do you have a reference for that change in law?

    When I was at McMaster in the mid-’90s, removing the 10-hour rule from CUPE 3906’s contract was the main “victory” for the union in one round of bargaining. The province’s 10-hour law was still in place, but the conventional wisdom had it that that law was not going to be enforced. I haven’t heard of the law being changed, but I don’t know that it hasn’t been, either. What I do know is that Ontario Graduate Scholarship recipients are still required to work no more than 10 hours per week. My understanding is that that’s because by Ontario law you can’t technically be a full-time student if you work more than 10 hours per week (and OGS recipients must be full-time students). I had assumed that the 10-hour law just was this legal requirement that full-time students not work more than 10 hours per week. (CUPE 3903 Unit 1 members must be full-time students; I imagine the same is true for Unit 3.) But I could well be wrong about some of this!

  68. anon

    @ Jerrard

    All I am saying is that it is a better option that other part-time jobs out there. If I was trying to work towards two graduate degrees, obviously 10 hrs a week is insufficient to cover it, in which case I would have looked for other options rather than taking a job that has limited hours and restricts additional work outside the school. I realize that is difficult, and it is difficult for many others who are not TAs as well. All I am saying is that it was a choice – and in making that choice, whether or not the income earned from the job will cover expenses should have been considered.

    I’m not saying only the rich can complete graduate work. That is why many graduates continue to be in debt years after graduating. Maybe a better solution is increasing graduate funding to give all university students a chance, instead of putting these funds directly into TAs only. I admit that I was unaware that grants are deducted from a TA’s paycheque and I agree that this is completely unfair. Perhaps if the union highlighted these issues instead of focusing on wage increases, this may have altered the perceptions of many dissenting people out there.

  69. jacky

    are they meeting again tmr?

  70. Cupe Doll

    Can we get real for a sec here? Stop spewing party lines and pseudo-legalities?

    As former (looong time) grad student and now 3903 contract faculty, I can tell you this. From personal experience. First: most undergrads work harder. It’s true. The hardest part is getting into grad school. Second: grad students taking extra work outside academia was never punishable by anything. Hell. Some grad students start their own businesses. This gets nothing but admired. Third: lately the 10 hrs/week regulation means less than the nothing it used to mean. I know some TAs were getting pressured to accept 2 postings (20 hrs/week) this year — to which some said “great,” while others said “can’t make me.”

    This whole 10 hrs/week thing? Just blowing smoke rings over broken mirrors.

    None of this means there are no legitimate 3903 strike issues. Especially how 3903 contract faculty have absolute zero job security. As in totally medieval dark-ages.

    But neither 3903 nor the employer ever stand up for their contract faculty. Every time they even pretend negotiating? That’s what gets swept off the table first. Any shred of security for the most vulnerable.

    So, if contract faculty always get sold downriver by their own local, and washed out to sea by the employer — why haven’t contract faculty separated their own local? That’s what JMac suggested earlier today elsewhere this board.

    Well — yeah. We tried. Way more than once. But no go. Separating isn’t much different from union busting — far as those left behind are concerned. Not only that — all local 3903 needs to keep legitimating false strike issues? Point at how the employer abuses 3903 contract faculty. Meanwhile, is it in the employer’s best interest were contract faculty to separate this local? Nope. Contract faculty are the soft, vulnerable underbelly of 3903. Comes time for final offers and forced ratifications — who’s gon’na cave first? Who can the employer count on to cave right in and accept its final offers? Contract faculty. Of course. We get hurt most from these fiascoes. Even more than undergrads right now.

    Contract faculty vulnerability is great opportunity for vultures. Both 3903 and the employer.

  71. Commuter

    @ Cupe Doll

    Can you vote “no” when the tentative agreement is brought to the membership for ratification if it doesn’t include job security?

  72. ff

    CUPE doll,

    What’s with the drama? It seems counterproductive to your current situation.

  73. ff

    I guess my point is: if TAs are either so short sighted that they don’t see themselves in a contract position in a few years, or TAships are going to people with no intention on teaching – then separate. In the meantime, I don’t understand why this is an issue of discussion here and now.

  74. M

    A rant about the strike…
    1. I am on neither side but the union lowered its demands so significantly that it feels like this strike was basically for nothing. If they were going to lower their demands this much then why the hell didn’t they do this before the strike lasted 3 weeks?

    2. I am also frustrated with the lack of knowledge of whats going on. We deserve more to go on.

    3. York, if you mess with my Christmas holidays, there will be hell to pay.

    4. There’s no reading week? Well I may just take one anyway since I sure as hell will need one after this stressful semester. The strike was NOT our fault, why should we be punished? They should just alter the syllabus to remove assignments instead of taking the vacation that we deserve away. These past three week were hell and are not a substitute for our holidays.

    I am not taking sides at all. I am Switzerland in this whole thing. But when it comes down to it, the only people who really have to endure the consequences of the strike are the people who have absolutely no say in it: the students. For that reason, I feel the university should be lenient on curriculum we missed, and do everything they can to accommodate US. I hope the university admin, unionized profs and TAs DO NOT forget this.

    End of rant.

  75. Awe Struck

    @ Cupe member with child

    I just read through this entire comments page reading the comments made by you and in response to you. I have to say I agree with the original suggestion that for all intensive purposes you’re working a part time job, with the expectation of being able to support yourself and your family to the extent that a full time job should.

    I can understand your plight more than you realize, and sympathise with the complaints of the union. I even agree with certain demands that have been made. I’ve stayed silent on every blog and ever conversation surrounding me up to this point because I wanted to be sure to be informed, and fair. But I cannot and refuse to ever respect a group of people who not so long ago knew what it felt like to be in the position of us undergrads. You have used us as ponds.

    If you say otherwise you’re in denial or blind. I’m graduating this year and have a lot in the mix for next year… so this strike has been as detrimental to me as humanly possible. But your union has caused me such frustration that I truly hope (and I know the wrath of 49, 999 students is going to rain down on me for saying) that the university doesn’t comply with the 2 year contract. I don’t want them to cave. If we’re in for a long, hard battle then so be it – hell…we’ve already lost a month.

    As much as being on strike has been an inconvenience to me… I consider myself a fair and intelligent person, and I cannot respect what has happened here. Nor can I even acknowledge remarks about how much work and effort it requires for you to teach us – perhaps if I’d had more than 1 or 2 ta’s that actually did teach me a thing rather than creating bogus assignments to fill time and never even attempting to learn my name, or remember the email I sent the night before class, in my past 4 years, I’d be more inclined to be understanding. But the reality is for a lot of ta’s (and I don’t include you necessarily because for all I know you’re one of the few spectacular ones)this is a job of convenience… and you’re expecting far too much. The rest of the CUPE members I cannot speak for – but of this I am sure. Allowing the frustration of lost hours of class and money has been something I’ve avoided. Up until the strike had just about started, I was in agreement with CUPE to a significant extent. So don’t think I’m speaking out of spite or ignorance, because I assure you I’m neither. I just thought if you can look at these comments without bias, you should have a gander at the position of someone who may even be your own student…

  76. rock

    @CUPE member with child

    im gonna have to agree with 1 of 50000 on this one. its your choice to work as a ta for york. i attend york as a full time student, work 30+ hours a week and still make below the “poverty line”. do you see me taking selfish actions that fk 50000 other people over? not even. if people arent happy were they are they should quit! no one is forcing you to work as a ta but yet you choose to because you know it pays extremely well. i think many of you forgot that york is a SCHOOL and not just a business (as it might seem for some).

  77. Cupe Doll

    @ Commuter: “Can you vote “no” when the tentative agreement is brought to the membership for ratification if it doesn’t include job security?”

    Last time there wasn’t any job security. Contract faculty voted “yes”. Why? Hurting too much.

    @ ff: “I don’t understand why this is an issue of discussion here and now.”

    Seriously? This the wrong forum to talk about the strike? How it’s more ideological than about improving things for the membership? More about bringing the employer to its knees than getting contract faculty half a leg to stand on?

    See, ff, I’m addressing most same issues you are. For instance, (way) above you wrote, “From what I understand a lot of rank-and-file members showed up to the last GMMs and were like “we’re getting lambasted in the media and by students, let’s significantly weaken our bargaining position”. Which isn’t really what happened.

    Prior last GMM 3903 wasn’t bargaining at all. Because prior last GMM 3903 voted NOT to let the bargaining team bargain. Since this is war. Not about striking as in bargaining or negotiating or compromising. It’s about striking down “neo-liberalism”. Shutting York down hard.

    When more general membership got wind how the 3903 radical ideological core humiliate us — fighting an undeclared war while pretending to bargain and managing to accomplish neither — we got together larger numbers. Last Thursday’s GMM, many more “reasonable” 3903 members attended. A motion letting our bargaining team bargain passed. But so what? What does the 3903 radical core driving this sorry mess care if more general membership wants to let our bargaining team bargain? There’s endless ways to sabotage our own bargaining team bargaining.

    If unimaginative, radical 3903 membership can crash bargaining sessions and shuffle papers non-stop. Failing which, simply shout down our own bargaining team. Oh.. wait. Already done that. If more imaginative.. nevermind. Let’s not give them more imaginative ideas. Just watch bargaining break down. Again.

    And by the way, ff? I hope I’m wrong. I hope our bargaining team manages some bargaining — and that York really is “considering Union offer”. I hope so — but totally can’t believe so.

  78. Worried Union Member

    The so called 10 hr rule restricting how many hours full time graduate students could work was an official Ministry of Education regulation until the late 1990’s. I was still a graduate student at York when this policy ended, say sometime around 1998.

    The 10 hr average in the collective agreement is a holdover from that time but it isn’t tied to a requirement under the law. Even though some scholarships might limit how much you can work, it hasn’t been the law for a long time.

  79. ff

    Cupe Doll,

    I wrote a pretty infuriated missive that got deleted or lost or something.

    Basically: you are what is wrong with labour politics. Namely, you are more than happy to accept the benefits of being part of the union, but then you cry about the means. You have to thank the ‘radical’ wing you decry for the wages you currently are paid, and their leninist ways – which although you may think are painful, are nonetheless effective when you STICK TO YOUR GUNS.

    What bothers me more, is this idea that there is a radical wing of the union corrupting the otherwise ‘reasonable’ members. Guess what? take some fucking responsibility. you all had a chance to vote against striking, you all even had a chance to get involved in the union in the first place and be on the bargaining committee…but you didn’t.
    Now you blame the ‘radical’ core? Well, excuse me, but 72% of those that bothered to vote, voted FOR the strike. So, now instead of listening to your leadership, the leadership (that has won every strike it has ever fought mind you), you back down – and for what?

    I am actually anticipating being way more mad if this strike ends now and could have been averted than if it had dragged on another 2 months and CUPE ended up getting its demands.

    When you say CUPE3903 wasn’t bargaining at all, it just shows to me that you really don’t get how thigns work. You don’t get things by making concessions when you are in a position of huge power – which the union was; this new ‘bargaining’ is not outside the box thinking – it is the thinking of people who read the papers and believe that bullshit.

    Also, I fail to see how SPT – which is usually who people will point to as the ‘radical core’ – can be held responsible for anything other than their inability to educate the rank and file as to the import of what is going on.

    You have the opportunity to be a part of something important – ie. making education a real priority in this province, something that every kid can grow up and get. Not everyone has the chance to fight for something meaningful and it is truly sad to see that in spite of the ‘economic crisis’ which has (in my view) been caused by the free-market ideology that everyone seems to think levels the playing field, and the 8 TRILLION dollar bailout to the wealthiest in the world paid for by TAX DOLLARS – in spite of this, we still cling to the idea that if you work hard you get ahead and that the system will recognize the deserving.

    What a crock.

  80. ff

    I’m so offended by this idea of the ‘more reasonable membership’ ‘getting wind’ – oh, so my education because you were too lazy to inform yourself as to the issues and the tactics of the bargaining committee/leadership? I’ll have to try that when my next paper is due “oh, i didn’t ‘get wind’ of the due date”

    Are you humiliated by the strike in 2000/01? Are you humiliated by the bargaining in 2005? In 1987? Any other time?

    Does that humiliate you?

    You know what humiliates me? Never getting to play hockey because my parents were putting money into a fund so that I could even go to university. I’m not humiliated that my parents did that, but that I live in a place where my ability was aside from the point.

    Why would Unit2’s position be strengthened if it wasn’t backed up by the TAs?

    We already have people in holding patterns for their dissertations because there aren’t contract positions for them – if a unit2 only union went out, the schools in ontario would probably jump for joy, because they would effectively have gotten rid of a huge glut of people they have ties with, but have no excuse to cut loose for a cheaper alternative.

    The way the union is now is not only fine, it is optimal in terms of bargaining power for Unit2s. Unit2 job security is such a slam dunk issue which has and continues to be kept out of the PR circus this has turned into. I feel bad for Unit2s, but I don’t see how their position would be improved unless they became part of YUFA.

  81. jerrard

    @anon
    I’m glad that you see the problem with the way the funding is set up so that grants are subtracted from pay. The other thing I should mention is that the option of another job is officially controlled by the school such that we are forbidden to take other work. I believe the thinking is so that a) the teaching jobs are filled and b) so that grad students get there work done and move on. Otherwise some people would try to turn a TA or RA job into a career.
    Most importantly, I agree that these are the types of issues which are being overlooked and probably have the most merit in the struggle b/w the union and the admin.

  82. Worried Union Member

    ff, if you are a 3903 member you must be familiar with the way the union treats its members. Union meetings that go on for 6-7 hrs until only the most extreme people are left. Any one who speaks out is attacked and harassed.

    Go to http://community.livejournal.com/yorku/1613305.html to see an example of a union member removing everything she wrote about the strike because someone told her she is “just a member” and doesn’t have the “authority” to say anything about the strike. That’s not very “open and transparent” now is it?!

    People voted for the strike because they believed in the issues or believed what the union told them. I still believe in the issues although not much in the strike anymore, and when I go to the meetings it’s to say don’t forget about Unit2.

    The problem for Unit2s is that what we want in bargaining never happens in the end. I’m not alone in believing Unit2 “job security” is just a ploy by the union to keep us on the line while it bargains for a 2 year contract that will not benefit us at all.

  83. Cincinnatus C.

    I have found that the 10-hour rule is a policy of the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies, which is the body that accredits graduate programs in Ontario:
    http://ocgs.cou.on.ca/_bin/home/employment.cfm

  84. Hazey

    They should double the TA pay and increase tuition proportionally to cover this… i see no problem whatsoever in that approach. Uni is too cheap as it is… and the underfunded schools end up giving a lower quality of education.

    So: double tuition now and give these TA’s the extra dollars they need!

    also: Triple Grad student fees … need to recoup this increase in TA funding.

    Seems students all want a free ride… not on my watch. Not on my watch I say. Just because you don’t have a job at GM in the summer doesn’t mean tuition is too high.

  85. Cupe Doll

    @ ff asked: “Are you humiliated by the strike in 2000/01?”

    Not so much, ff. But then, this strike is just comic compared to 2000/2001. As if we’re out to ridicule ourselves. Ridicule who we were and what we accomplished back in 2000/2001. And I’m not just talking not letting the bargaining team bargain — which more general membership (not ONLY unit2s) flipped all over. No. This strike now is harming everyone while helping nobody. Only relief to come from this strike now will be comic. Just wait and see how we get ridiculed for this in the future.

    Why? Why is it so humiliating? Because while our right hand tries to negotiate, our ultra-left hand gets busy punching everyone in the face. Including punching ourselves in the face.

    Prior last Thursday our bargaining team got prohibited from bargaining. And the sides were so far apart they might as well been babbling different languages.

    We all know how ideological this strike is. We’ve all heard more than once, within 3903, how we’ll bring the employer to its knees. And you know what? Lots of us are eager for the good fight. We’re up for it. But if we are to strike any blows against “neo-liberalism” — then let’s get clear that’s what we’re doing. Let’s not go proposing absurd offers. Let’s let this exploiter know not to bother putting anything on the table — we won’t even try choking York’s crap down. This is a matter of principle. We’ve shut York exploitation down before — this time we’ll do it harder. We’ll shut York down hard.

    Otherwise, if not in pursuit of ideals or ideologies, if it’s about the best pragmatic interests of the membership here and now — then let’s try negotiating like intelligent life forms.

    Let’s stop contradicting and humiliating ourselves doing both — and managing neither. No positive relief can result from humiliating ourselves that way. Nothing but comic relief.

  86. Jimmy

    What time is the meeting today? When will we know the result? Anyone?

  87. I like that CUPE members will come on and flame people because they hate it when they see negative words about their union. Problem is, they come out and make themselves look even worse with the words they choose.

    I also feel no sympathy for them at all. This doesn’t mean I side with the administration (which many pro union people will be quick to jump).

  88. york student

    i wonder when we will know what happened at today’s meeting?

  89. Commuter

    @ york student

    Whenever the admin and CUPE decide to turn the lights back on and stop keeping us in the dark about everything.

  90. Frustrated

    The yorku website is no longer stating any updates on the strike….

    Does it mean we’re waiting till tonight for further updates or are they just gunna blow it all out on us over the weekend and expect us to be back in classes starting monday..?!?

  91. Worried Union Member

    Cincinnatus C., the “policy” you link to is simply a position of the COU. It has no teeth, and as the text admits it is impossible (and inappropriate) for a department to monitor the private lives of its graduate students.

    York’s lack of interest in upholding this so-called rule is clear when you look at the number of graduate students holding 2 TA positions of 270 hrs each. Ask around in humanities. The 3903 collective agreement doesn’t limit how many positions a TA can have, only that each position is supposed to entail an average of 10 hrs/wk.

  92. @ frustrated

    from what I’ve been told, even if talks went well today the Union would still have to vote on the new offer (which would be at Wednesdays GMM) and they the University would plan classes from there.

  93. JMac

    ff has been spewing his pushing his party line across these pages since the beginning. He certainly sounds like he knows all of the inner workings of 3903 so he MUST be a member, right? But I believe if you dig deep enough you’ll find where he claims to be a simple 4th year student hoping to become a TA next year. So either way, he has a definite stake in this.

    I suspect by most of the posts I’ve read on these pages that very few posters actually have any experience in union politics but I can tell you from experience that ff’s comments are typical of those hardliners who control union memberships.

    How do they do that? Well they do it exactly the way he has shown us. Firstly, not enough rank and file union members go to meetings. Secondly, of the ones who are left, that do go to meetings too few of them even know their rights within meetings. And thirdly, the ones that do know Robert’s Rules of Order or whichever meeting rules a union has adopted, speak up occassionally but they can be sure if they aren’t following the party line that they will be shouted down in much the same way that ff tried to shout down Cupe Doll, except in this case ff is looking like the guy who brought a sword to a gunfight.

    He will use the expletives and the old ” why didn’t you f**king do something about it when you had a chance!!” line … but he can’t silence Cupe Doll, she is a little too knowledgable and a little too intelligent for that.

    Sadly, unions and their executives are often controlled by outside interests. I’ve seen situations where the elected executive members seem to be the most bone-headed of all people and I have asked myself how on earth these people could be in charge of anything.

    But you know what? They really aren’t in charge of much … they are guided by the mother union – those Leninists that ff referred to … the ones down the road. These people know perfectly well that if 15% of Canadians can elect a putz like Stephen Harper for PM that they will have no problem whatsoever “taking care of the interests” of their union rank and file members who show even less interest in their union’s affairs than Canadians do in their own government.

    In the famous words of Sid Ryan on the 2001 York U. strike:

    “”Make no mistake about it, that university will be closed down on Monday morning…we will have steel workers and auto workers and food workers and other university workers and CUPE members in the public sector outside this university’s gates. …. . We will not be beaten into the ground!!!!!”

  94. ff

    WORRIED Union Member,

    I see what you are saying – and I think it is unfortunate, but after the decision to strike is made, my feeling is that you need a commitment to your strategy.

    I’m an undergrad, I support you guys whole hog, but I do also understand how frustrated you must be. The bargaining ‘strategy’ for this whole agreement (going back to the propaganda put out in september that I was seeing) has been by all measures a disaster.

    So, I agree with what you and CUPE Doll are saying to an extent – but when I roam around the web, I see a lot of dissent – and ultimately, I would say that this is weakening the union’s stated position, rather than demonstrating to the public that ‘there are reasonable members’ of CUPE3903.

    I try to limit the amount of shit that I talk about the union since I will (barring some unforeseen catastrophe) be among your ranks next fall – still, after this thing is done there has to be some change, i think.

    It saddens me that Unit2 issues are not coming up enough – especially since so many Unit 1s and 3s are eventually going to find themselves as Unit2s.

    What bugs me is that if 2010 was the plan, then 2010 was the time to plan to be more ideological. Let’s suppose for a second that CUPE gets the 2 year contract. You have labour historians like Bryan Palmer saying ‘well, i can see Ontario quashing that in about 3 seconds with back-to-work legislation’ – so, maybe it’s time for us poorer kids to realize that the liberal arts are really only for the already bourgie types.

  95. ff

    CUPE Doll,

    I probably over reacted yesterday night out of frustration, thanks for not lowering yourself to that level. Thanks to Jmac for calling me on being a ‘bit of a dick’.

    As for the Sid Ryan quote: really brings back memories – like when there was an auto industry.
    Does anyone remember the ‘family wage’?

  96. b

    @M :
    i definitely agree with what you were saying- the strike has been very stressful, and we do deserve accomodations when we return to class. i dont like how theyre gonna take away the reading week either- its gonna be hard without having a balance. i also think that us students deserve more acknowledgement during the strike- I feel like the students are left out. i think this blog is the only way i can express what i feel.

    I have a question for TAs- i have read that youre not allowed to hold other employment- is this true during the summer months, when you are not teaching? if so, then that would be hard to make enough money.

  97. uniondues

    York University will meet with a mediator and members of the striking teaching assistants’ union on Thursday to discuss a labour dispute that that has cancelled classes for nearly 50,000 students, the school says in a statement posted on its website.

    The meeting takes place four weeks into the strike, and the university says it will once again recommend binding arbitration in order to get students back to class quickly.

    The union’s membership voted to give its bargaining team “flexibility to negotiate,” the school says in the statement.

    The CUPE 3903 bargaining team will go back with a new offer, says spokesperson Rafeef Ziadah. But she did not say what part of the offer has changed.

    “We don’t want to bargain in the media,” Ziadah told CP24.com.

    York University has already said the school year will need to be modified in order to accommodate the strike.

    Exchange students with the Schulich School of Business resumed classes Monday.

    The international students are required to return to their home countries at the end of December, and the university says they would have no chance to make up for lost classes in 2009.

    Others are heading out on exchange programs at the beginning of January need to finish their first term course by the end of this year, and have also returned to the classes at the business school.

    Teaching assistants, contract faculty and researchers walked off the job on Nov. 6.

    The education of thousands of students was put on hold in 2000-2001 during a job action by the same union. The strike, which lasted from Oct. 26 to Jan. 10., resulted in postponing the school year.

    The union representing the striking workers and university administration has met once since the strike began but talks broke off after two hours.

    While some students have said they support the labour dispute action, several have been vocal in criticizing the strike.

    The group behind the site YorkNotHostage.com has been calling for binding arbitration to settle the dispute.

    Website cofounder Catherine Divaris previously told CP24.COM that it’s the majority of students who are hurt by the strike.

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    Comments are now closed for this story

    November 25, 2008 at 7:56:01 PM
    sarah
    its ridiciulous, that TA’s and contract faculty are walking off the job because they feel that they are not getting adequate pay. LOOK AT THE ECONOMY! Why should they be getting raises when the rest of the economy is struggling. I would like to get paid more at my job, but I’m not walking out the door. They are affecting thousands of students and I believe it is unfair and selfish.

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    November 25, 2008 at 8:20:18 PM
    Pretem
    the union is just being greedy. all they care is money and nothing else. i also heard that York U TA are among the highest paid in Canada. stop being greedy and let the university teach the student. thats what universities are made for, to teach, not to pay high salaries to some greedy union. this stirke has changed my perspective towards the union in very negative way. i kinda hate the union and the TAs who are in stike.

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    November 25, 2008 at 8:27:06 PM
    waheda
    I agree with sara. The only people losing are students like myself working towards a better education to establish a decent lifestyle, but obviously thats not the case!

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    November 25, 2008 at 8:42:20 PM
    Jenn
    This is ridiculous. It’s been almost 4 weeks. I just hope that we don’t have to re-take any classes, because if we do, they better refund our tuition. Tuition fees are already high as it is.

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    November 25, 2008 at 9:03:47 PM
    Jason
    It took three weeks for cupe to ammend their demands to a more realistic framework. This should make people question whether the employer was right all along, thus the strike would of been avoided if they prsented a realistic framework three weeks ago. Cupe even said it themselves, that they have to reprioritize their demands, well a little late,its three weeks later… at the expense of us undergrads, thanks a lot

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    November 25, 2008 at 9:10:53 PM
    Pablo C.
    This is absoluelte crap. Now the union decides to change their demands? The first week off as xfun but now a month in this sucks cuz now it’s cutting into my time off. Whry did the cupe not decide to cave earlier? Greedy people.

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    November 25, 2008 at 10:04:39 PM
    Shawn
    The union is being greedy – with the state of the current econmomic sitution the University should not give in to thier demands.
    Its unfortunate that the students end up paying the price for this strike.

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    November 26, 2008 at 11:04:04 PM
    Kris
    The union claims its fighting for a better quality of education. What kind of quality education forces students to stay home and lose their money? $6000 to stay home and teach myself. I wish I had never decided to go to York.

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    November 26, 2008 at 11:04:10 PM
    Tiger
    Is it true? TAs generally get paid a HUGE $63.00 per hour? And they (TAs) will get paid any missed hours during the strike one back to work? I do know one thing, they are not allowed to be stopping us on public streets which they are. One striker even admitted that stopping us on the public road is illegal as we drove though the picket line!

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    November 26, 2008 at 11:08:09 PM
    marco
    Does cupe even know what they are fighting for… they strike for three weeks with one set framework, and now change it in order to start negotations. Stick with one thing or the other.. you went on strike for three weeks with one set of demands, stick it out then…makes me wonder if cupe was really wanting the university to cave to their unrealistic demands. They saw that it wasnt going to happen so they now changed it. Why didnt they just ammend their demands before the strike, save the aggravation..of a strike. Pick your fight cupe… because I dont think your know what you are fighting for….

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    November 26, 2008 at 11:18:18 PM
    Lou
    It’s not fair to all us students at York. We pay money and have life plans that now are ruined and have to be adjusted b/c of greedy cupe.They are making unrealistic demands and just want a 2yr contract so they can have a superstrike with most universities in 2010. U of T may go on strike in early december as well b/c of this! Things will be messed up if this happens.

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    November 26, 2008 at 11:20:07 PM
    Jilvan
    I am a concurrent education student at York and I SUPPORT the Union as do many other students. We should look at the bigger picture, if the York administration can afford to give themselves raises they should consider the 50% of the faculty members who are TA’s and contract faculty. It’s about equal pay for equal amount of work.

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    November 26, 2008 at 12:52:55 AM
    George
    I’ve actually been through the first strike and now I’m going through the second one as a continue education student. Shame on the administration and shame on the union. Both are equally at fault for letting this happen, while students are the once that suffering. I believe that all students that are able to transfer to other schools, should now… As a sign of protest to York U.

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    November 26, 2008 at 1:00:16 AM
    David, Scarborough, ON.
    I see on CP24 News that the local CUPE wants students to pressure York U to give into the union’s demands.

    How dumb does the union think the students are, as the increased wages will ultimately be borne by increased fees for courses to be paid by….. Students. Why would the students want to support something that’s going to cost them more eventually.

    We’d all like a pay raise but it isn’t going to happen in the current economy so deal with it.
    One of the strikers was saying the increase would mean they wouldn’t have to work at other jobs, well what about the rest of us who do the same.

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    November 26, 2008 at 9:33:56 AM
    Linda, Aurora ON
    What the broader public needs to know is that the real issue in this strike is CUPE’s demand for a 2 year contract (instead of 3 year)that would put York PT and contract faculty into another potential strike position in 2010 along with, a lot of other Ontario CUPE university unions.

    This is not about York. It’s about the larger CUPE agenda to align as many CUPE university contracts to end at the same time. It’s no secret that they want to bargain with the province not the employers and it won’t be just the 50,000 students at York that would be caught in the middle of the dispute, but many more across the province.

    Sadly, if the 2 year contract is still part of CUPE’s demands when they meet with the University this Thursday, I feel this will not be over any time soon. For the students’ sake I hope I’m wrong.

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    November 26, 2008 at 10:08:50 AM
    Erin
    I just want to be back in class! I am a mature student who left my job to go to York, and I am getting really upset. Students paying for an education should never have to deal with such things. It is a mockery of our higher education system.
    GET ME BACK IN THE CLASSROOM!

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    November 26, 2008 at 10:24:14 AM
    Solidrock
    Universities are filthy rich…FILTHY RICH…sure they can raise tutions year after year…but when their own want better pay so they don’t have to work 2 or 3 jobs to support themselves…they say nu-uh.

    You think York is about education….its about MONEY…taking lots of you hard earned money…plunging you into many thousands of dollars of debt…i’d say your better off at a library or at home getting a true education…

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    November 26, 2008 at 10:57:41 AM
    Kumar
    I aint neva goin to university.

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    November 26, 2008 at 11:23:09 AM
    Susan
    I agree with Sarah, Pretem…
    Every time I pass York-U, and see what they are doing for these days, it makes me sick. Please stop it and go back to work. I am one of York-U’s parent

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    November 26, 2008 at 12:36:33 PM
    Dad
    Four weeks to meet. I guess they have the students best interest at heart. What a bunch of monkeys.

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    November 26, 2008 at 1:09:38 PM
    Justin G
    Just a bunch of greedy money grabbers. Why not negotiate and continue doing your job?

    I hope the students show the TA’s the same disrespect they received when classes eventually start backup.

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    November 26, 2008 at 1:38:13 PM
    Sam
    There is no reason for York to resolve this before the new year…

    The first two weeks of the strike were “freebies”: the missed time could be made up without any change to the calender.

    Weeks 3 and 4 (where we are now) can be made up by canceling reading week and running classes one week into the spring exam schedule.

    After week 4, in early Dec., we will be into the fall exam period, which doesn’t have to be made up, as there are no classes.

    So, York will leave the picketers out on the line until Jan 2009.

    ——————————————————————————–

    November 26, 2008 at 2:24:57 PM
    ?? WHAT ??
    This is very sad. I don’t attend the school myself, but this is just sad. What have the students done to deserve this strike?

    I understand the union is there to protect the workers’ rights, but this is just simply stupid. This is not the first time the union is showing how they like to show their ‘power’.

    I just simply don’t get it.

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    November 26, 2008 at 2:36:02 PM
    Ilya
    I drove by York recently and saw that their outside bathrooms were pushed over! I applaud whoever did that! I hope they are realizing the kind of frustration they are putting 50,000 students through. Many of us are in similar positions where we need to graduate already and are fed up with this sort of nonsense.

    Also, how are they legally allowed to block cars coming into the school. Some students are trying to study and stay up to date with their classes, other people just need to get to work.

    If your not happy with your job (which has been already shown that its one of the best positions in the field in Canada), then stand outside if you feel that will help you , but stop blocking people who actually care about their jobs and studies.

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    November 26, 2008 at 3:28:02 PM
    Dave
    Sue is right, even if the strike ends tommorow, classes will only resume for a week and then pick up after the holidays. The university has nothing to loose.

    Rest assured though…students will be back in class by Jan 5/09 one way or another…that is all I can say.

    ——————————————————————————–

    ——————————————————————————–

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