Support back-to-work legislation with

The group is holding a rally and will participate in the question period at Queen’s Park this Tuesday, December 2nd. MPP, Peter Shurman will introduce the group at Queen’s Park and present their grievances. If you want to go you must be there before 10:00 AM at Queen’s Park. 


They are holding some meetings (obviously the next one you can make it to is tomorrow): 

Thursday, November 27
Friday, November 28
Saturday, November 29
Sunday, November 30

Monday, December 1

Note this group is anti union and is demanding back-to-work legislation which will effectively make the current strike an illegal action and legally force the strikers back to work.


My posting of this is purely informational. I do not mean to pressure anyone into any particular opinion.






Filed under Uncategorized

100 responses to “Support back-to-work legislation with

  1. ram

    The university has already mentioned in one of its releases that the govt would very rarely intervene in labor disruptions… Take 2000-2001 strike.. It lasted 11 weeks and yet the govt did not intervene as these are very sensitive issues…I doubt whether such requests will be any powerful in making significant changes in the scenario.. WHATEVER BE IT I AM JUST FOR A JANUARY START.. but would not like the strike to go beyond that surely

  2. Jay

    Wasting your time with legislation. If the province does introduce back to work legislation, they will be swamped by other unions.

  3. Impatient

    As much as I would want to be in school right away, I do not want to be back on a work-to-rule legistlation, mainly because I dont want to deal with sour puss TA’s who are going to be bitter while they mark my labs/tests

  4. ff

    what a wonderfully sexist sentiment!

  5. BFD

    Isn’t this anti-strike rally, really just playing into
    the hands of the admin?
    From the recent developments and comments on this blog it appears as if the admin want to turn the student body against cupe3093.

    Rallying for back-to-work legislation puts all parties into binding arbitration, which is what the admin
    had been pushing for in the first place.

    So students wind up being willing pawns in that

    On the other side of that coin;
    There are alternatives to strikes or otherwise
    outright workstoppage. The union members
    could have implemented a work slowdown instead.
    i.e. Continued to complete the responsibility
    to teach and evaluate students, except they do not
    release those results until negotiations
    (or part thereof) are completed.

    Sadly the union pushed for strikes, put the
    university into an Us or Them scenario,
    and once again students remain as pawns in a game.

    How about we suggest some positive action
    from students?
    Instead of rally’s to cry on the shoulders of
    psuedo-sympathetic polititians, why
    don’t we occupy the campus for a day,
    sit in the lecture halls, sit in the libraries,
    and have a MASS TEACH-IN?

    Upper level undergrads, giving tutorials to
    lower level students. Everyone learning
    something, in spite of the events of the day.

    FZ -rip-

  6. Impatient

    how is that sexist?

  7. flushafleshfarm

    The entire education sector would shut down immediately.

  8. ff

    Puss – shortened form of “pussy”

    Does this require more?

  9. One More Student

    Errr… ff I dunno where you learn your slang from, but it’s totally off.

    Sour puss = Someone who is bitter about loss. Think sore loser.

  10. ff

    ‘sourpuss’ is in the dictionary.

    It is a compound word, Sour+Puss

    so, the etymological root (ie. puss) is related to the feline – ie. “pussy”
    1. a cat.
    2. Informal. a girl or woman: often used as a form of affectionate address.|”

    Having lived in North America my whole life, I’ve never heard someone affectionately called a ‘pussy’/’puss’ except on Arrested Development.

    That said, I stand by my statement that sourpuss/sour puss is a sexist term.

  11. Impatient

    yes, I said “sour puss”. If i said puss, and I meant pussy, it could have been directed towards either men or women. But again, I said sour puss, as in angry.

  12. Impatient

    Here you go genious, read the actual dictionary before you say something.

    sour·puss (sourps)
    n. Slang
    A habitually gloomy or sullen person.


    [sour + puss2.]

  13. ff

    It doesn’t matter, boys/men are called ‘pussy’ all the time to emasculate them; similarly the attached notions of being a scold that attach to the usage against females is similarly problematic.

    I’m not sure what you’re getting at.

  14. Impatient

    The point I’m getting at is I said sour puss, not puss and you decided to take that and say I am attacking females and being a sexist. When I said, sour puss TA’s = “habitually gloomy or sullen” TA’s.

  15. ff

    I did read that, I am unsure why you assume that discredits anything I’ve said.

    I’m sorry that you are a) unfamiliar with basic elements of linguistics/etymology and b) unable to admit that you have employed a word that can be construed as offensive.

  16. ff

    you could have said they are ‘habitually gloomy or sullen’ or any number of combinations, but instead you chose to use a word that has a loaded meaning.

    There are reasons I don’t say “i’m about to go spearhead this essay” – or ‘the niggardly shopkeep refused to barter’

  17. Impatient

    I’m sorry, but the last time I checked no one flipped out for getting called a sourpuss. It’s not a racist term, not a sexist term, and is used in every day life.

  18. Pedi


    Jay- you’re a moron for thinking that back-to-work legislation is impossible! Let’s go over some recent uses of BTWL:

    1) In 1984, a three and a half week college strike was ended by legislation.

    2) New Brunswick recalled its legislature and passed back-to-work legislation to end a public service strike that included college custodians after the union refused to be a contract offer to a membership vote.

    3) During a CUPE strike at the University of Regina and University of Saskatchewan late last fall, the government stated it would introduce legislation. The parties quickly reached an agreement and the legislation was not tabled.

    Clearly, BTWL remains the only viable way to end this strike.

    FF & Impatient: Your puss/sourpuss argument makes you both look like tools.

  19. lmao @ the discussion hahahaha this is jkz

  20. Impatient

    Also, out of all the dictionary’s that I just looked at they all have a single defintion for sourpuss. Which leaves me to believe that it is not a word with loaded meaning unless you decide to take the to compounded words out of context and use it that way.

  21. Impatient


    I’d rather be having a discussion on this then the strike, since there seems to be more information on puss/sourpuss goin around on the internet.

  22. ff

    Not in my life.
    Anyway, this is pretty stupid to fight over, I hate PC language – I think you should say what you mean.
    I just am telling you how I read it. You can do whatever you want with that.

  23. cito

    Okay, since none of that has ANYTHING to do with the strike… I guess this means the earliest that we’d go back would be wednesday then?

    Does anyone know what the chances of going back in January would be? I know a lot of international students that are scrambling for answers; go back home or stay here because classes start soon?

    It’s an expensive loss and I’d be so pissed if I had to try to cancel a flight because I don’t know of any insurance that would cover them in the event of a strike.

    Note to Impatient: forget it , it’s totally not worth it.

    f*ckin’ A,


  24. Just Another Yorker


    The point is we’re all still being screwed. Let’s just drown all our sorrows in choclate chip cookies for now.

  25. ff

    It is a compound word – you need to look at the roots.

    It is fun to uncover hidden meanings, I think anyway.

    Here’s an interesting anecdote, a while back there were a series of news stories. Canadians traveling in the Southern US were eating and would hear other people in the restaurant say “Oh, a bunch of Canadians just walked in” – not understanding that “Canadians” was a word being used to describe in a derogatory manner black people – effectively replacing the usage of “nigger”.

    When you look in the dictionary, I doubt you’ll see anything about that usage.

    See for example:

  26. Lola

    HAHA! the above argument was way to hysterical for me not to comment on! I love university students! It just shows we have been out of school WAY too long when we start debating such trivial things so vehemently! We usually use our academic environments as a place to argue our opinions but now we’re sadly relegated to silly blog fights! lol

    p.s. sourpuss does not have sexist connotation for most people. I’m fairly sure there’s even a sour candy sold at convenience stores called sourpuss. stop being an overly sensitive feminist. 🙂

  27. Relaxo-Grad

    Good grief!
    (*rolls eyes at you two tools arguing over ‘sourpuss’) I’ve lost a little bit of respect for FF after that unrelated feministic outburst.
    Shall we get back to figuring out how/when this strike is going to end?

    Anyone else think that the govn’t has something somewhat more pressing to deal with, say, I don’t know, maybe the looming coup d’état, versus our piddley little 3.5 week strike? Just a thought…

  28. Andrew

    Just to close the debate
    Impatient is correct, as the term sourpuss is simply a term used (and has been for ages) to describe someone that is grouchy. Hell, who hasn’t been called one in their life time?

    Ff you are trying to hard and truth be told, you can in fact take a lot of words, and if you cut them down find some sexist or racist remark. But I really don’t think outside of your self that anyone here would find sourpuss to be a sexist term. You would be in the clear minority by a long shot.

    And yes, I am well versed in language as that is my major, and I write for a living.

    As for the topic, Government will not do anything, so it is basically a waste of time. They will not do anything till the strike has gone on for months.

  29. Teachers college

    Sign this petition if you are in Teacher’s College
    If you’re not you can sign too

  30. Commuter


    NOVEMBER 30, 2008

    CUPE 3903 Negotiations Update

    Union requests continued talks as York University stonewalls

    TORONTO, Ont. – CUPE 3903 has requested a continuation of talks with York University on Tuesday, December 2, but union officials say university negotiators are holding up an agreement by refusing to address the key issues at stake in the strike.

    The two sides met for three days last week and some progress was made, but union representatives say university negotiators have stubbornly skirted their main concerns: job security for contract faculty, a reinstatement of benefits and funds to 2005 levels, and subsistence wages adequate for the cost of living in Toronto.

    “York would rather sit back, fold their hands and let 50,000 students lose their term than make us a workable offer to take to our members,” said union spokesperson Rafeef Ziadah.

    Members of CUPE 3903 do more than half the classroom teaching at York yet their contract represents just 7.5% of the university’s $848 million annual budget. Even as the economy slows, revenues are growing as a result of tuition fee hikes, increased graduate enrolments, bigger provincial transfers, and donations to the York University Foundation, according to the university’s own recent financial documents.

    “Hiding behind the current economic recession is downright deceptive,” said union member Katherine Nastovski. “They’re obviously putting the classroom at the bottom of their priorities, so we want to know where the fees paid by hardworking parents and students, tax dollars and public fundraising are going.”

    Ziadah says she finds the attitude of the York administration and negotiators toward employees and students “shocking.” “What is the university’s game here?” she asked. “We are indispensable educators at York and we’re asking for peanuts relative to the university budget. Their four-year accumulated surplus of $139.9 million by itself is worth twice a much as our annual contract of $62.5million.”

    “Before encouraging the province to get involved, we need to see some leadership from our new university president,” said Nastovski. “President Shoukri needs to step in and press his negotiators to get serious at the bargaining table. “It’s time to stop spending precious university funds on high priced lawyers and public relations flacks and start valuing students and educators by showing some goodwill and negotiating a fair contract,” she added.

    The union representing 3,400 teaching assistants, contract faculty, graduate and research assistants has been on strike since November 6.

    For more information, contact CUPE 3903 Communications:
    Rafeef Ziadah 416-616-4796 Katherine Nastovski 416-828-3851 Punam Khosla 416-779-3032

  31. BFD

    The looming coup d’état you speak of is happening
    at the federal level, while btw legislation would
    come from the provincial level.

    Of course, the looming coup does take media
    attention away from york’s petty problems which
    provides even less inducement for our MPP’s to see a
    need to deal with it.

    Waiting on other, somewhat disinterested parties
    is pointless. We need to make the feigned
    ignorance of our problem very uncomfortable
    for our MPP’s, or we should take other positive
    steps for ourselves. We’ve waited long enough,
    only to be told we don’t really count.
    (see my above rant as well)

  32. ff

    I think it can hardly be called a coup d’etat.

    Legislation led by some opposition backbencher trying to make a name? Yea, that’s real scary. McGuinty has a lot more to lose than gain. Ie. alienating the part of the electorate that is actually scared about their jobs/future in the current financial climate – people that depend on their jobs/unions.

    If anything, talking about what is ‘non-consequential’ should reflect of what little import this ‘action’ is.

    Still, saying that I’m the only one offended by that word implies that I have no right to be offended. I’m not really trying to force the issue, if you think it is a valuable word – by all means, continue to use it. I was just pointing out my associations (which can be found in the dictionary). I have still yet to hear a justification for why it is a useful term in spite of these associations and interpretations other than ‘ff is over reacting’ – that is all.

  33. ff

    The idea of a teach-in is one that I thought about earlier in the strike.

    I think we should do it.

  34. 47500

    And while we’re at it, how about ramping down the “hostage” imagery in general, everyone. The papers are full of images of what hostage-taking really looks like. I don’t think we need to compare our university’s legal strike with this week in Mumbai.

  35. Jim

    ” Puss – shortened form of “pussy”

    Does this require more?”


  36. Yorkie

    haha. Crying about language and reading different meanings into works. Crying and whining to high heaven , tears on your face.

    ff is totally a CUPE member or one of their permanent student allies who has never left the lofty ivory towers of academia.

    A QUERY:

    Have you guys passed another motion to prevent people from clapping at your general meetings because applause is “not inclusive”? Its not like you guys have other, more important things to worry about?

    Oh no! I said “Query”! That sort of sounds like “Queer”! I must be homophobic!

    Wait: i need a directive from the semiotics professors and department at my local liberal arts school: has queer successfully been reappropriated by the subalterns, or is it still verboten?

    OH if only Sapir & Whorf were still alive!


    There is no time to lose! Maybe you can make it a motion at the next meeting!


  37. Just Another Yorker

    Let’s all just eat cookies.

    Just. eat. cookies.

  38. Another student

    Too funny! That made me laugh.
    I think that the strike is putting everyone on edge – understandably.
    Nice to have a bit of humour now and then.

  39. ff

    LOL @ Yorkie.

    No one is saying this argument isn’t ridiculous. This whole situation is; we’re all going crazy. Kind of the point. When else am I going to have an hour to waste on such rubbish, though?

  40. Impatient

    I simply decided to use sourpuss instead of saying “a habitually gloomy or sullen person”. Why do you choose to use the word associations instead of “Organizations that make the rules regarding charge card issuance and acceptance”?

  41. Impatient


    and yes I agree with you, this stupid, but hey now that we got all this free time, why not argue about the things that don’t matter.

  42. ff

    If we accept the game we call language, and if we are prepared to venture so far as to suggest that meaning is that which attaches itself to ‘words’ then perhaps we may go on to suggest…

  43. TJ

    @ ram

    if you want a january start support this legislation cupe doesnt know when to cut their losses and dont seem to understand they will not get what they are asking for

  44. Yorkie

    Here’s the problem

    Negotiations are talking place between a non-profit corporate institution which seems happy to sit back and watch a group of spoiled children who have made bad life choices (GRAD SCHOOL) self-destruct in a particularly spectacular manner


    an organization which has leadership which is




    and thinks its a good idea takes up strike strategy meeting time to pass resolutions that stop people applauding because someone might feel all lonesome*

    So yeah, we all win

    *I am not lying or exaggerating about this at all.

  45. Fred

    Studenets need to do everything they can to prolong this strike throughout December so our December plans are not affected
    Right now CUPE needs to hold the fort and last this thing enough so no classes can be scheduled during the strike. This is in students favor

  46. Just Another Yorker

    I ate too much cookies.

  47. Stranded@York

    What’s the consensus? Do you think we’ll be back in class before January or are people going ahead and booking tickets and making plans for the holidays that don’t involve sitting here until the 23rd?

  48. I don’ t need to be a jerk or anything, but the YorkNotHostage people seem to be doing this more to indulge their ego than to actually change anything. They HAVE to know that McGuinty is not going to force back to work legislation.

    I hate to say it, but the only way students could make the university do anything is to go to York everyday and protest the admin offices. Organiing a rally may be something nice to put on your law school application, but it won’t solve anything.

  49. Confused and Exasperated

    @ff – Hell if we’re gonna have discussion on the etymology of words how about his…

    Pussy actually derives from the latin word Pusillanimous which means…
    pusillanimous |ˌpyoōsəˈlanəməs|
    showing a lack of courage or determination; timid.

    So basically it means cowardly…
    So when you say that pussy is used to emasculate men because it has a sexist connotation, I would disagree, I would say it is being used with the same derogatory meaning as the word it originates from.

    ‘Come on lick the ice cold steel poll, what are you a pussy?’ or ‘what are you a coward?’ same difference.

    Now it is no secret that cats tend to be pusillanimous or cowardly at times. A pussy cat generally refers to a fairly cowardly cat. Hence the association with pussy, or pusillanimous in reference to felines. Pussy is often further contracted as puss, such as ‘puss in boots’ when referring to cats.

    Finally, cats are also well known to have a bad temper. Sour puss normally referring to a grumpy or ill-tempered cat. Hence why the alcohol has a picture of a cat on it.

    I say this all because Pusillanimous is in my opinion one of the most awesome words ever, it has all the meaning of a fairly vulgar slang word, yet it sound so dignified at the same time.

    That… and I have nothing to do because the school is on strike…

    That is all..

  50. JMac

    Touché Monsieur ff!! 🙂

  51. ff

    Well, I agree that pusillanimous is a great word, but I am not sure that the etymology is there.

    I’m just going to copy and paste from dictionary dot com here re: the etymology of pussy:
    The origins of the word are unknown.

    The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) says that the word puss is common to several Germanic languages, usually as a call name for the cat — not a synonym for cat, as it is in English.

    The OED and Webster’s Third International Dictionary point out similarities with words including:-

    * Old Norse, pūss (pocket)
    * Old Saxon pūse (vulva)
    * Old English pusa (bag)

    The medieval French word pucelle referred to a young adolescent girl or a virgin, although this comes from a slang term for virginity puce (= flea) rather than referring to cats (but cf. French chatte (female cat), a current vulgarism for the female pudenda). In the 17th century, the term was also used to refer to women in general. Philip Stubbs, an English pamphleteer, wrote in his 1583 book “The Anatomie of Abuses” that “the word pussie is now used of a woman”.

    It has been informally suggested in folk etymology that it is a shortened form of the word “pusillanimous” which is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “showing a lack of courage or determination” or cowardly. This meaning would seem to be consistent with the intention of the word “pussy” when used as an insult toward a man. This term, however, comes from the Latin words pusillus (petty) and animus (spirit) and is unrelated to the Germanic derivations of puss and pussy.”

    So perhaps it is that going farther back behind puss/pussy becomes difficult and the connections between pusillanimous and pussy is merely coincidental.

    What is not coincidental are the colloquial usages of ‘pussy’ to refer to female genitalia/women, cats and cowardly/weak men.

    When faced with a word with connotations that are uncertain, I prefer to heir on the side of caution and use a word I am confident carries a more precise meaning.

    What becomes clear is the dialectic construction of language and meaning, a process that in asserting one way or the other that ‘sourpuss’ is/is not offensive – we are engag(ed) in and by.

    Now if only we could dig up a Roman dictionary of slang!

  52. ff

    and might I add: En Garde!

  53. Every York Student should gather together on york campus and rally

  54. annonymous

    this site is becoming a joke

  55. CUPE member with child

    While I would have to agree with ff’s side of the debate on the connotations of the term “sour puss”, I have to admit that I couldn’t really care less at this particular juncture that many of us are inadvertantly walking around with sexist attitudes, even when they don’t mean to or adamantly argue that they’re not…

    I highly doubt McGuinty’s gov’t is going to step into this, certainly not after 3 and 1/2 weeks.

    I think undergrads protesting the president’s office might have somewhat of an effect, but I’m not sure how many are informed well enough to want to do that (either simply as a ‘negotiate and end the strike’ measure, or its obvious political siding because that’s also what CUPE wants to do – negotiate and end the strike).

    I’m not going to ask undergrads to do something unless they understand such a position though – and exactly why I think the anti-strike groups calling for binding arbitration is extremely naive. Sure, they just want to get back to class – but if we’re all simply only looking out for ourselves, then by the token of that logic I shouldn’t care about what they want. I do care about the undergrads though, and I want to see this strike end with a fair contract as soon as possible.

  56. ff


    people keep saying that this strike is ‘a joke’; so how is the response not appropriate?

  57. For Goodness Sake

    You guys are being ridiculous. The word “puss” has nothing to do with female anatomy or cats. It is old fashioned slang for mouth or face. The term “sour puss” means that you are making a sour face, also known as POUTING. Get your facts before you start arguing about nothing. takes about two seconds. Are you seriously University students??

  58. F-Ed Up

    @ff et al.

    Thanks, this is (sadly) the most intellectually stimulating thing I’ve read in a little while, because I gave up on my school work a long time ago (it’s just too depressing).


    “I hate to say it, but the only way students could make the university do anything is to go to York everyday and protest the admin offices.”

    I would be up for that as long as we could ber certain that the student demonstrations wouldn’t get co-oped by the CUPE pickets. I’d love it if we as students could get together and do something to demonstrate that we’re not going to take this crap any longer, but without having to side with EITHER the union or the admin… just to say that we’re here, we’re pissed, and we want to get back to school in January.

    (Though I personally would like to get back to school on Monday, at this point I’ll settle for anything that won’t result in my losing a term of teacher’s college.)

  59. Confused and Exasperated

    @ff, I would argue that all three of those languages you offered, English, Norse and Old Saxon all borrow from words from Latin, so I think you can more look at them as derivatives. Anyway I think that is a circuitous argument. And we could keep going on and on about it for days, much like the argument about the york strike that seems horribly circuitous and built around frustrations…

    Nevertheless, I’d argue that racist/sexist connotations need to be recognized both by the speaker and the reader (or listener) before they can be actuated. Otherwise you are just ‘cathecting’ or imbuing meaning onto a word, perhaps erroneously.

    I had a friend who was once impressed by another friend’s skill with a guitar and called him an ‘idiot savant’ because he felt he was really talented and didn’t actually know what an idiot savant really was. After some confused looks for a while, we all accepted that the person wasn’t referring to the other as autistic because he had no idea of that connotation of the word.

    Anyway thats a kind of lame story, but I would say it doesn’t do the cause any good if you attack things said without any sexist intent as being sexist, which is what I think happened in this occassion, it tends to just make people put up their defenses.

    Meh either way. I must say this is a fairly amusing conversation tho.

  60. F-Ed Up


    “Sure, they just want to get back to class – but if we’re all simply only looking out for ourselves, then by the token of that logic I shouldn’t care about what they want.”

    I know that that’s kind of the point of what I just said, but I am really getting frustrated now at the idea of losing this term since I enrolled for a one-year professional program… I need to get a job next year, so I can’t afford to lose this term. This will have major consequences for me.

    I’m sorry if I’m sounding paranoid and crazy but this thing is staring to mess with my mind. I’m trying to make important life plans and I can’t because of this situation. It is difficult for any of us to feel total sympathy for the other when we begin to feel caged and threatened…

    I’m sure others can relate? Or should I seek help? lol

  61. CUPE member with child

    F-ed, Up

    Either way I think your protest would probably be co-adapted by both side. CUPE would say that there are undergrads that want to see York at the bargaining table and seriously negotiating an end to the strike (which is our position), while York would say that students are protesting to end the strike and therefore call out again for binding arbitration.

  62. F-Ed Up

    Very very true.

    I just feel the need to DO something…

    Maybe that post earlier about eating cookies is really the most productive suggestion on this thread… hmmm…

  63. Mike Oxbig

    just leave the union and york alone…let them do their thing

  64. R

    This group is definitely a wolf in sheep’s clothing. They always claim that they are not Anti-Union yet their position is EXACTLY Ant-Union by pushing for binding arbitration which is clearly what the university wants.

    I don’t mind any student group voicing their concern for binding arbitration and to be anti-strike but while at the same time for them to claim they are neutral and thus claim to represent all of York University students are just absurd and does not make any sense!

  65. @F-Ed Up

    I pretty much agree with your assessment 100%. Maybe you don’t necessarily have to protest the admin offices, but if anything is going to have the shot at making any impact whatsoever, it would have to be done at York.

    EVEN THEN, it still probably wouldn’t resolve anything.


    I appreciate your comments and agree with your assessment of the YorkNotHostage people. I do not mean to bash them. They could easily say bad things about me because I am not doing anything other than studying for my LSAT and writing notes on a message board, but they don’t seem to realize that they aren’t going to resolve anything.

    Oh well, this discussion makes for a nice study break.

  66. Confused and Exasperated

    Honestly you can’t argue that either side is really acting in the interest of the undergrad students, York is just doing a better job at rallying our support.

    I’m supposed to be finished university at the end of this year, I honestly don’t care if I don’t step into the school again afterwards, if there was some way to do the work at home I’d do it here and never have to show up for another class.

    If this strike has confirmed anything for me, it’s just how much I hate university. I’ve probably read more and been more productive during the strike because I haven’t been bogged down with nonsense assignments and tiresome projects that don’t really further my education, but rather take a remedial ‘do as we say’ approach to schooling. Being able to read whatever I like has really proved to me how much of a waste of time university is.

    Anyway that’s just me.

    As far as I’m concerned, if the students came first, we wouldn’t have been put in this situation to begin with. I can’t support the union’s because I feel that before they striked they stonewalled the negotiations with unreasonable requests. That even though they claimed it was symbolic, it still took them ’til about a week before the strike to change their demands from 30% a year.

    I think arguing about money is such a sore spot for a lot of students, because financially, this strike has made our lives far more complicated in terms of working during the summer, graduation plans (I was planning on working in BC come april because thats when my class was supposed to end, now I don’t know, and the ambivalence is irritating).

    I think the fact that CUPE 3903 is one of the best paid unions hurts as well.

    I mean if I’m going to get right down to it. I don’t really care what happens with the union, I just want to be in school and finish. The union members MIGHT end up making money out of this (indeed there were claims that some of the CUPE members had found a way to profit during this strike, although I believe that might have made them take on a fair amount of debt which is by no means a good thing), by having the university accede to some of their demands. I on the otherhand, as well as the other undergrads, are rather just financially responsible for a month or two off that we weren’t expecting, and then an extended school year which makes us committed to rent for longer periods of time.

    I’ve always had really supportive TAs, but that doesn’t make me feel like they’re needs come before mine. I realize how selfish this sounds. But the fact is, I’m paying for these classes, you’re paying as well as getting paid. We’re all customers tot he university, but as far as I’m concerned the undergrads are full-on university customers, we pay, we deserve service, not this, everything happens over our heads and yada yada yada. Isn’t the customer always right?

    I don’t think the university is by any means the innocent party. All I know is that the strike was precipitated by the union, and for that, they make themselves the recipient of our wraths and indignations.

  67. ram

    EXACTLY ! i agree with CUPEMWC. As it is i have seen many students at least in this site that want to get back only in january while there is another group which is against strike/negotiations and supports university’s call for binding arbitration to end the disruption.. BUT the truth is BOTH the parties have a good chunk supporting them. Finally one or the other has to be displeased.. I hope it is not me .. I WOULD LIKE A SOLUTION ARRIVED AT AFTER NEGOTIATIONS AS IT WILL BE A PERMANENT FIX INSTEAD OF THE TEMPORARY SOLUTIONS THE UNIVERSITY IS AIMING AT… I WOULD RATHER SUFFER MORE NOW AND BE RELIEVED LATER INSTEAD OF SUFFERING AGAIN IN FUTURE…

  68. F-Ed Up

    “just leave the union and york alone…let them do their thing”

    I guess, but c’mon, we’re all starting to feel (or perhaps have been feeling for nearly a month now) completely helpless when it comes to something which is very important to us.

    I am feeling a severe lack of student voice here. And it doesn’t seem right when we’re such a large group which is being so heavily impacted.

  69. @R

    That is just like YFA voicing their support for CUPE. I am 55-45 in favor of York. However, I DO NOT want back to work legislation. I would agree that it MAY be appropriate in this SINGLE case but, it sets a VERY dangerous prescent for future public sector strikes.

  70. Mike Oxbig

    obviously there’s a lack of student voice…as i said before…if students really cared about their education…they would be rioting in the streets…

    but there are other factors at play…most students probably welcome this, most are probably working making money,

    those who want school tomorrow are in the slim minority, or are just passive people…

  71. ff

    I agree, the context is key to how meaning will be construed; but, I think that language and usage extends beyond speaker/listener.

    Language is also code, so speech acts that take place in a ‘community of listeners’ will be overheard by more than one person. It is up to each listener to decide the meaning.

    Certain situations might require censored content, but simultaneously demand the meaning be transmitted uncensored.

    This returns us to the “Canadians” in the restaurant. It is likely that those deploying the term see its usage as a form of resistance. They would rather continue to hold prejudicial beliefs than give them up. The meaning continues while the content shifts.

    I agree that intent is a question worth raising. But, as the story I linked to re: the guy calling the jury a ‘bunch of Canadians’ when the law is involved, it is fairly easy to claim there was no intent. My initial comment was a means of interrogating intent, and I am satisfied that it wasn’t meant in a sexist manner,although, I still hold that the word can be understood in that way. In this sense I am simply marking the word as one which someone should “use at their own risk”.

    Regarding the copied material – Norse, Saxon, etc – those are also Germanic languages – and could probably also be traced back to Indo-Germanic languages, rather than Latin. Again, you are right to point out that the circuity of the debate we should probably avoid engaging further.

  72. F-Ed Up

    I think that you also need to keep in mind more complicate reactions…

    Some people are taking the opportunity to earn some money during the strike in anticipation of being broke in the spring due to an extended year… while others are discouraged by the lack of unity among students, or the fact that we have a huge student body which is impossible to unite, so they have not attempted to do anything.

    Also: “those who want school tomorrow are in the slim minority, or are just passive people…” how are they “passive”?

  73. Serge

    Ff’s endless posturing as to etymology and historical word sources is a bit rich, as it’s wrong. There is, indeed, an English word “puss” which refers to cats. The puss in “sourpuss”, on the other hand, springs from an utterly different source — it’s “puss” as slang for face. Derives from the Irish Gaelic pus (mouth).

  74. F-Ed Up

    I’m sorry I think I understand you now: they are passive for not voicing their opinion more forcefully? I thought you were implying they were passive in their education… needing it to be strictly guided and “fed” to them by profs… but I don’t think that’s what you meant… sorry, too much education theory floating around in a confused mass in my brain right now…

  75. Confused and Exasperated

    Yeah I figure we’re probably arguing the same thing at the moment. Actually to be honest this is an interesting little microcosm of the actual strike nonsense going on, where one side is saying that the other is being unreasonable, not considering the needs of everyone in general (the university on the TAs, the TAs on the university, you on sour pusses) and the fact that both sides are just arguing the same thing (‘we’re doing this for the students, the students remain our top priority’, ‘I’m not being sexist goddamnit!’) etc.

  76. Mike Oxbig

    passive because there is no significant voice out there…if every single person who wanted school tomorrow was out there pressuring the necessary people…there probably would have been school already….

  77. ff


    Too true. This strike is (re)producing itself.


    You’re going to have to source that for me, I’ve spent more than a few minutes today checking it out, and there really isn’t anything conclusive. I could see the Gaelic probably also being Indo-European in its derivation.

  78. Ridculous

    I for one, am taking advantage of the strike to earn extra money but it is difficult to plan and coordinate with the strike, talks, suspended,etc.

    What do I tell my boss,? Oh, I know: “I scheduled work for this week but I was just given 24 hrs notice to get my butt back in class so I can’t come in and thanks for the help can I now keep my job at less hours?”

    Clearly the above scenario is unrealistic. This sense of fustration and helplessness is what brought me to this site. I need information reliable information and or guarantee of a minimum of 1 weeks notice prior to recommencing studies.

    I am an A student, who plans on grad school and I am self-supporting. So, do I really care about my education. The answer is: YES!

  79. ff

    Any further attempts at flabbergastery will only lead this debate further along the road to full-on quagmire in which we get WAY too philosophical about languages, words and the production of meaning.

  80. Yorkie

    To ff & all the other critical theories wackadoodles who just proved why York is ridiculed nationwide :




  81. JMac

    I’d like CUPE member with child or even York Admin member with child to explain why binding arbitration is so bad.

    Could it be that you feel its bad because York admin is in favour of it? Or is it simply that you are worried that pissed off TAs will return to the job and screw you over on your marks?

    If this was November 10th and not November 30th and you had been out of class for 3 1/2 weeks, would you still be saying “let’s wait until January”?.

    If these were janitors on strike would you still disagree with binding arbitration?

  82. JMac

    I don’t know how many York students have to pay food, rent, heat, parking, tuition, and other associated costs because they attend York and don’t live at home BUT I suspect its in the tens of thousands.

    And then there are thousands who are not out working because they can’t or are trying to catch up on their work, or they are not allowed to work.

    And what if this strike forces those students to miss a month’s work in April/May. How much will that cost?

    If 30,000 students have to spend an extra month at school because of this work stoppage, they (or their parents or sponsors) could easily be forced to pay over 3 million dollars to live here that they don’t deserve to have to pay. And if 50,000 students lose a month’s income in April/May that could be another 9 million!

    Those students and/or their parents or sponsors stand to lose 12 million or more dollars as a group because of this mess. They deserve better than this, they did nothing wrong.

  83. More concerned with the strike than your etymology

    @ ff, With no intention of undermining your obvious expertise on the subject or your clearly good intentions, it seems a bit touchy to construe Impatient’s obviously innocent application of the term “sourpuss” as being derogatory towards women. This is simply based on the fact that Impatient clearly did not intend to direct his comments at any particular gender. I think it is silly to derail a discussion on the York Strike with your overly touchy feelings by applying your own interpretation of what Impatient said. It is you that applied sexist connotations to Impatient’s comment. Put simply, I feel you would be hard pressed to argue that sourpuss as it is applied today is directed at a particular gender, and to do so in this particular case would be pointless as it was obviously not the poster’s intent. I can’t believe I wasted my time reading your dialogue… at least york strike = tons of free time.

  84. Mike

    Is this “puss” debate actually happening right now? Wow, we really need to get back to school.

  85. Andrew

    They won’t take binding arbitration because that would give them no control. If an arbitrator looks at what CUPE wants and laughs them right out of the building, they have no control in what s/he will pick as the “fair value”. My belief is CUPE knows what they are asking for is insane, and getting binding arbitration would hurt their case more then help.

    What happens if an arbitrator comes back and says “you get a 9.75% wage increase over thee years? Well that says right away that the school was offering the fair deal and CUPE was unrealistic. Please also note before you jump on me that the ball could be in the other court as well, and an arbitrator could think the schools deal is a joke.

    But honestly, as it is now, I think binding arbitration is the only answer because let’s just be honest here. CUPE lowered what it wanted and “gave its team room to move” and yet the word is, they are still far apart. I don’t know why CUPE is so afraid of an arbitrator because in all my experience dealing with unions (my dad was a head of a bargaining team for a union) a government arbitrator is not going to screw you. He is going to give you what is fair. The problem is, they just don’t want to give up the small amount of power that they have.

  86. Basil El-Salviti

    I will definitely be going. See many of you there, hopefully!

  87. YU

    “Sour puss” isn’t sexist.

    You must’ve received your education from some twistied leftie prof in the Faculty of Arts.

  88. Mark G.

    I will be there too. I’ve got friends from York coming, and a few guys from UofT. Everyone needs to bring everyone they can. We need to stand together and demand that the government step in a do what is right. We are the future of the province, we have a right to the classes we pay for.

  89. Jay


    Great example Pedi! Too bad you gave me three examples over the last 24 years. And to make it even better, 2/3 are from a different province and 1 states that it happened somewhere in the world. If you are going to call people morons or call people names about their opinions and views, I’d double check to make sure your facts aren’t worth shit. Have a nice day 🙂

  90. KAZZA

    My parents have already got a lawyer both me and my sister are at the school. I think that it is funy that in a country like Canada it is the students who pay the tuition who end up not having any rights or any say. I find this whole situation unbelievable and I think that the school at the administration are equally responsible for the current situation we are in. I know that people think that no judge who set a precidance against the union and hold the accountable but I believe that the media is on the side of the students and so will the law. We paid for a service and we are not receiving it. The T.A’s contract works ect do deserve a fair deal but you know what I have worked 40hours a week for a lot less money and since I did not like it I came back to school. If these people do not like theirjobs then they should get a different one otherwise do your job so we the students can do ours!

  91. Stef

    Two things:
    1) Thinking sourpuss is sexist is as ridiculous as saying, “getting up when the cock crows” is sexist. (Not that I haven’t enjoyed the etymology lesson, as an English Major). It’s a dated idiom, along the lines of Puss in Boots, and “What’s New Pussy-Cat, whoa whoa whoa” are.
    2) My stomach hurts because I actually took Just Another Yorkie’s advice and ate Nanaimo Bars…ughhh.
    3) I just realized – on the topic of etymology, it’s PAWNS not ponds – like on a chess board. 😉

  92. End the strike

    Anyone who says that is a pawn for the university is an idiot.
    They want ANYTHING to happen that will end the strike ASAP. They don’t care who wins or looses, they just want to go to class.

  93. F-Ed Up

    @ Not Likely

    Not sure if that was directed at me… if so I suggest that you spend more time during this strike practicing your reading comprehension skills because you have totally skewed some of the things I’ve said, misread others, and ignored even more.

    I am concerned for EVERYONE who is in any SIMILAR situation but can only speak from my own personal experiences.

    And I don’t think that expressing the need to become employed after making extreme personal and financial sacrifices to pursue my chosen vocation is a “gimme gimme” attitude.

    Think before you post, please, and don’t go off half-cocked on some sort of bizarre personal rant which has nothing to do with anything anyone actually said.

  94. F-Ed Up

    OK OK

    Emotions are running high.

    After 3 searched through I FINALLY found that post… SORRY.

    Man I need to take my own advice!

  95. Ridculous

    @ Andrew

    Binding arbitrators due impartially review all the demands and the company’s (York) situation and choose the fairest route.

    Unfortunately, that means you are probably right or a binding arbitration would not guarantee 2010.

  96. KAZZA

    @ As If
    I work two full time jobs and three in the summer, my parents are only helping because I am working so much right now. I also have multiple loans and OSAP so please dont make it sound like I have some kind of hand out thank you.

  97. ff

    No offense, but you don’t have the right to tell me what I find sexist or not.

  98. F-Ed Up

    @ As if

    Wow. Wow.

    I appologized for my post immidiately afterwards. If I could have deleted it I would have once I finally found the post you were responding to. Beating up on someone in a blog after they’ve appologized for the thing you’re beating them up for is not a cool way to conduct yourself in public.

    I guess you’re just frustrated that with school out, you don’t have many other people to bully right now?

    And I believe “extreme” is a highly subjective term. That statement I made was true to my experiences. Please don’t flatter yourself by assuming that I was embelishing to make a point to you.

  99. Guys check the senate website and see what they say on “Academic Remediation: Accommodations, Adjustments and Modifications (Dec 1) ” which is as of 10:30 pm not a valid link….This just might be the answer we’re looking for…As someone already mentioned, the registrar’s office has removed the Exam Schedule and state that once the disruption is declared over by the Senate, the Sentate will give “lead time” between the end of the disruption and resumption of classes…It also states that classes or exams will not be held between Dec 23rd – Jan 4th inclusive…

  100. Dear ff,

    I think the T/As should go back to work, and stop perioding all over the place. The floor is getting slippery. If I have to slip and fall one more time on their periods I’m going to go ballistic.

    -John Smith

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