Back-to-work Legislation in the Works

MPP Peter Shurman has drafted a bill that will be presented to the Legislature at Queen’s Park on Thursday December 11th (link provided below). The bill requires that the Government of Ontario pass back-to-work legislation by December 11th if passed. Effectively, if this bill is passed there should be a grace period for the University and the Union to come to agreement on as many demands as possible before the legislation comes into effect. Once the legislation comes into effect all demands that have not been agreed upon will be decided by a Government assembly. This is certainly not favourable to either the University or the Union for there are many points of contestation that have yet to reach agreement that they would lose control over. Hopefully, the threat of this legislation will push the two parties back to the table before portions of the contract will be de facto legislated to them by the government.

A controversial point of this bill is that it demands a 3 year contract length. This is clearly in favour of the University’s preferences. As it stands now, and until the final contract is drawn this legislation seems to fall in the University’s court.  

Bill 135 available here:

Bill 135.pdf

You can send your letter of support here:

Find more information here:


I am not expressing any support for this movement. This has been posted as purely informational. Enjoy.



Filed under Uncategorized

105 responses to “Back-to-work Legislation in the Works

  1. Nat

    I bought a vacation package to Cuba from Dec 13-20, do you think I’m safe to go? What is the grace period?

  2. bebe

    oh my god!!!!!!!

  3. Commuter

    I appreciate you posting this. However, the title is misleading:

    a) The back-to-work legislation has already been brought forward in the Legislative Assembly.

    b) The title makes it sound like it WILL be introduced on the 11th. Rather, it is already going through the stages and there’s no guarantee of it being passed.

    Also, what’s more concerning than the 3 year contract, is the clause that states that the bill itself will decide on all the issues that are on the table.

    Talk about undermining the collective bargaining process, the right to strike, etc.

    120 issues to be determined by the government. Hmm…

    As a pretty left-wing person, I don’t support those clauses mentioned in the Bill.

    But I would like to be back in January.

  4. j

    WTH does this mean we’ll be going back in december?

  5. j


  6. whoa this is a little hardcore but hopefully it’ll get us in school by january!! hahaha good luck CUPE members 😛

  7. Its too late for passing back to work legislation, by the time the whole process completes we will be in school already!

  8. Cupe Doll

    Surprised heck out of me. But after some digging it turns out Commuter’s right. Not only is there no guarantee of it getting passed — it’s almost guaranteed not to. Since it’s a conservative private member’s bill and it sounds like both Liberals and NDP oppose it.

    Any evidence McGuinty’s Liberals might change their minds?

  9. tester

    Yes, it is a Conservative members bill, so it will be opposed.

    But it is in the best interests of the undergraduate students.

  10. Commuter

    I’ve read that this bill is designed to be a “ploy”. Shurman knows such a lofty bill wouldn’t be passed, but it’s his aim to pressure the government to make their OWN bill that will force them back to work, with the remaining issues settled by binding arbitration and not the government.

  11. Cupe Doll

    Done more digging. Looks interesting. Apparently the Conservatives are all for it. The NDP are all against it. But the Liberals are voting freely and, after first reading, though most abstained, twice as many liberals voted in favour (8 in favour, 4 against).

    If these ratios hold then this bill will pass.

    Check out more info @

  12. Pally Wally

    Heard this bill was written in crayon

  13. jk12

    Forget about who’s government it is and who proposed the bill.
    The fact that 50,000 students are out of school and university is a huge investment by students for both the economies of Ontario and Canada. I would be hard-pressed to believe that the opposition parties are willing to use politics as a preventative measure in adopting back-to-work legislation. I mean the public backlash would be so strong, and lets be honest, politics is a game of appearance vs. reality, or in simpler terms, what should be done vs. what is actually being done.
    Finally, at this point of the strike, no matter who you’re rooting for at this point, 29 days is a long time to keep so many students out of class. And should we not have school before January, our year is seriously in threat of being cancelled and ALL parties, the university, CUPE and even the government would be to blame.
    Essentially, I’m doing nothing with my life and I am purposeless. I can’t get a job and doing work is hard when there are no instructors and everything is prolonged indefinitely. This is a war and does it really matter who wins? Most students just want a resolution and to go back to school. I never thought I’d be begging to sit in a classroom but here I am….

  14. Basil El-Salviti

    This wont be passed….I just hope that we’ll be going back to school soon.

  15. yorkstrike..

    not expecting many things from this..
    at all…

    why don’t we just all stay at our homes and pray..

    i don’t understand the point of the “actions” and whatnot and make ourselves look funny..

  16. Cupe Doll

    @ Basil El-Salviti

    Don’t be so sure. Not yet. Check this out first:

    And if you want to help it along:

  17. confused!!!

    Hey guys! I have a serious doubt!!! Is this legislation framed by the government or by any person agonized by the strike that wants the govt to pass his bill? What are the nuances of this ” back to work” legislation???? So will we be back before 23rd if the bill gets passed??? Can anybody answer these questions and make me clear? i m totally lost..

  18. ram

    Can anybody explain what this is all about? I am totally lost…. So does it mean we will go to class before the 23rd?? Please someone clarify…

  19. Liz

    It’s Peter Shurman not Bill. Hope this bill fails.

  20. Commuter

    @ ram

    If back-to-work legislation is introduced, we could go back before the 23rd. To emphasize, this has NOT been passed yet.

    Also, the bill Shurman is introducing (which is quite out-there as it would mean the government would dictate the terms of the contract on all outstanding issues) is apparently designed not to be passed, but rather to force the government to come up with their own back-to-work legislation which would result in binding arbitration for every issue on the board.

  21. Aru

    I don’t think the government has the bile to actually do it. I see this as nothing more than posturing by Shurman.

    The only people who have the power to solve this are the people involved.

  22. ram

    Thank you commuter::
    As Aru says i do not think the government by any chance would want to interfere in this matter..Shurman’s bill seems like snatching away from cupe 3903 the right to strike and demand what they want (if agreeable).. Also it tries to work in favor of the university as it states that the contract will be of 3 years.. I am sure the importance of the key demands like the job security of contract faculty and indexation of funds cannot be appreciated by a third party(govt)…The end is only in their hands and should only be formulated by the parties concerned..

  23. Erin

    Honestly the whole Country is in chaos at the moment. There is no way that the government would actually pass this bill, they’re too busy worrying about other issues like the recession and the political controversy.
    I don’t think this will happen. They wont put us in school over the Holidays trust..

  24. JMac

    The people that have been at the bargaining table are the ones that should have reached an agreement by now. But they haven’t and they are screwing with 50,000 people’s lives and their pocket books. Passing back-to-work legislation that gives the 2 sides a grace period in which to reach an agreement certainly sounds reasonable to me.

    If they voted on and passed a bill on December 11th which gave the sides that grace period, you’d think classes wouldn’t start back up until January anyway.

    BUT students have to be back in class soon. Let York and the union come up with some other way to screw each other that doesn’t hurt the most vulnerable people in this equation, the undergrads.

  25. R

    I hope we dont have to return to classes in DECEMBER…

  26. iwik

    @ aru, ram, erin etc

    they will be snowboarding in hell before that bill gets past. its face time for shurman at best, he is, after all a politican. his job…. get re- elected.

  27. tester

    This bill is in the best interests of the undergrads. Even if back to work legislation is enacted, school won’t start until January. The restart will be determined by the university senate.

    The back to work legislation is to end the strike.
    The back to work legislation is what we need.

  28. B

    Bit early to start campaigning is it not? By the time the election rolls around – another 3 years or so – who is going to remember what face time Shurman got for this?

    Don’t think this bill stands a chance. Just for show. What else are politicians good for anyways?

    They are handling this right before they break for the holidays; a two month long break.

  29. Rachel

    Ok but didn’t Harper close down Parliament until Jan?? So how could this be passed?

  30. Kath

    I apologize that this link does not involve the Bill, but I wanted to hear your thoughts on it:

    Click on “Todd @ York”.

    Thoughts? Comments?

  31. @RAM or anyone.

    Pardon my ignorance, but what do you mean? How can Shurman’s bill force the Liberas to come up with their own back to work legislation bill? And isn’t the 11th the last day of voting until Feb?

  32. The Man With The Plan

    Stupidest thing ever… Who would want to go back to school possibly 2 weeks from now… for what? So we can have 1 week of class? It is going to mess up everyones plans. Just start in the new year.

  33. And just a note to everyone, just because you do not support back to work legislation, does not mean that you can not write your MPP’s a letter. I, for one, intend on writing my MPP a letter telling her that I DO NOT want back to work legislation. I work to go back to school as early as possible, but not like this. As has been stated in the past, going back to school this early sets a very dangerous prescendent for future labour disputes with other groups.

  34. Yorkie

    This is retarded. Who on earth would want BTW legislation now?! Are people really that intent on working during the holidays? Like The Man With The Plan Said, it only gives us one week of class before the holidays. We’ll have so much more time to make up after the new year. Totally illogical… Many people will be gone within the week for vacation, so what do they do? I want to start up again asap, but this is NOT the time to be introducing this. January start people it only makes sense. Not to mention how totally unfair it is to CUPE 3903. On top of that, if this strike is not solved properly, there WILL be more. Us undergrads should not only be concerned for ourselves, but also future York students that could be facing this very same poblem in the near future. There’s very clearly a problem that needs to be attented to if York has been going through this many strikes. Plus it’s about time this union got some justice.

  35. @yorkisawesome

    the bill won’t pass. regardless of a govt decision, it’s out of their jurisdiction.

  36. Besides, if back to work legislation was plausible, the would’ve done it by now.

  37. ahhhh

    I just think this whole strike is ridiculous. York should have just posted a notice on it’s website saying that even if the strike ends in December, school will resume in January. There is absolutely no use in going to class once or twice before the holidays. I am sure that the course directors would not want to. I for one, wanted to plan a vacation because I need my break from school.. I mean, who doesn’t? Some of you might reply and simply say we have already had one month worth of break. I would argue that no, it was not a break because I was constantly worrying about when school would start again, and if it does, how will it affect all my deadlines etc. A break = no worries, at least no worries about school (for me anyways). Some profs are even asking me to hand in papers during the strike. A prof even told us that a research paper will be due the day we get back. York posted a bulletin saying that all assignments will be due after having one class. However, if a prof tells you it is due the day we are back… are you really going to follow York’s bulletin and argue with the prof? The prof DOES mark your paper right? This past month has not been a break at all. If anything, it has just be frustration after frustration. It was just more relaxing because i had a lot more time to do my work as I also have a job. Now, about this back to work legislation… I don’t think that the government should be passing a legislation about this. I know it is not passed yet and it might not be… but who knows what will happen? I hope it doesn’t pass. It is in favour of the university and it is unfair for the government to stand on one side and not help the other. I am not a CUPE supporter or a York supporter. I looked at many issues from both sides and I came to the conclusion that supporting either side is stupid. For those people who actually try to support one side, I applaud you for your decision. But for those who are just getting the information of the strike straight from the York website, I ask you politely to look at the other side of the story and just know that there are always two sides to everything. Let the two sides solve their issue. When they are done, we will get back on track. So lets hope this legislation will not be passed because it is simply stupid and that MPP just wants to look “good”. I do not want to go back to school in December but I expect the union and the administration to be done negotiating by the start of January. If we are already on strike, we might as well stay on strike and enjoy the holidays. School is not easy and we all need time off. CONCRETE TIME OFF. Not time off where we should be stressing 24/7 and worrying about when school will start again. Many of your comments I applaud because I agree with many of you. For those that actually read my full post, I am grateful. This is the first time I wrote something publicly about the strike. I needed to get my frustrated out and it was nice. I hope that the strike will end soon but lets all pray for us to go back starting January. Have a jolly Holiday!! Merry Christmas to all and I wish you all a happy new year! =]

  38. B

    @Rachel – wrong government. Harper is federal. This is a provincial issue.

  39. Commuter

    @ Rachel

    Harper suspended Parliament. That’s at the federal level.

    McGuinty and his Liberals work in the Legislature, at the provincial level.

    The former is a Canada-wide issue, while the latter (and the party who would enact any legislation) is at the Ontario level.

    Harper’s decision to suspend Parliament has nothing to do with this, as that’s a different level of government.

    Hope that clarifies things. 🙂

  40. Dominik

    It would be interesting to see this bill pass, but the way it is worded, I don’t think it will based on what I heard at the gallery last Wed… Get comfortable people, this is going to be a loooong strike….

  41. Hullo

    OMG hopefully this bill will fail!!! I don’t want to face grumpy profs. and TAs. As they say, wish what you ask for.

  42. Hullo

    * I mean be careful what you ask for.

  43. tester

    This bill is in the best interests of the undergrads. Even if back to work legislation is enacted, school won’t start until January. The restart will be determined by the university senate.

    Plus, the Legislature will go on break on Dec 11 until mid FEBRUARY. If we don’t get back to work legislation now, we are doomed!

    The back to work legislation is to end the strike.
    The back to work legislation is what we need.

  44. F-Ed Up

    re: those worried about returning in December
    (disclaimer: I don’t mean the following to be taken as my support of btwl – I just want to offer some reassurance)

    As JMac has stated: “If they voted on and passed a bill on December 11th which gave the sides that grace period, you’d think classes wouldn’t start back up until January anyway.”

    In addition, if somehow we end up back in Dec:
    The most recent senate committee updates and communications from YFS (links or text of these have been posted elsewhere on this blog) have stated that course directors have to make exceptions and be fair to students who have plans during the period of time between when their original last exam was and Dec 23.

    In regards to the point “ahhh” brought up, yes it is possible if you have an unreasonable prof that they will try to go against what the senate policy has stated, but you should be able to hold them accountable for that and you should have some measure of protection against people like this. No guarantees but if you were in that situation you do have other options, which you could look into, to avoid suffering the repressions of an immature professor like that.

    But again, it is EXTREMELY unlikely, even if the BTWL is passed on the 11, that we will be back in Dec. So take that much-needed break!

  45. F-Ed Up

    *I meant to say “repercussions,” not “repressions,” but “repressions” kinda works too, I guess 😉

  46. Yorkie


    Yorkies galore

  47. Yorkie

    Amen to January start. Shoot this bill down. Negociate, don’t Legislate.

  48. Woot

    This Bill will NOT be passed, unless the individuals on strike are disrupting or inconvening the public as a whole, since it’s only undergrads at York being affected, government intervention is frowned upon.


  49. JMac

    Is there anyone here right now who seriously thinks that York and CUPE are capable of settling their differences any time soon?

    Is there anyone who has calculated how much this strike could cost you, as an undergrad, in time and money if it is allowed to continue? Remember that if they go on long enough that you lose the entire semester that is the addition of at least an extra 4 months of classes – and the associated costs.

    Sit down and figure it out. Don’t forget to include extra rent, food and transportation, not to mention lost wages for that job you had hoped to get as soon as exams were over in April. Then multiply that by 50,000.

    Back to work legislation, or the threat of it, is sometimes the only way to resolve a mess like this when innocent people’s lives and wallets are being affected.

    If you are worried or scared that you will be returning to classes with grumpy TAs and instructors, suck it up, everyone will be in the same boat. They can’t be blaming undergrads for screwing this up. They did that all by themselves.

  50. yorkstrike2008

    All this Bill is, is another attempt of another party to pressure the situation with their own agenda and again we undergraduates are stuck in the middle and can do nothing. YFS is pathetic. We should all withdraw our support from that Union. It is useless.

  51. ram

    YEAH Bill shall not get the royal assent.. But i am concerned about the fact that the bill has got 26 YES and 13 NO votes.. Since anyways “YES” is in majority, is it indicative of whether it would be passed / denied???

  52. Commuter

    @ ram

    Usually the first reading of a bill succeeds UNANIMOUSLY. The fact is that since it didn’t (and an actual vote needed to be taken), means that they are already behind the 8-ball. That’s why and those people are feverishly writing to their MPPs to get it passed.

    I would prefer that the THREAT of back-to-work legislation would get the sides talking, instead of the legislation actually being passed.

    One other thing I’m worried about is this (it is kind of selfish):

    If back-to-work legislation gets passed, their contract would be for 3 years. I would be trying to graduate in 3 years and they may very well strike again (since they wouldn’t be able to get what they wanted this time around) which would be a serious inconvenience for me: a first-year who may enjoy a strike to start, and finish, their undergraduate career at York.

  53. testing


    how can we withdraw our support from YFS?

    It is pretty clear that the Pres (and maybe more) will be impeached once school starts..

    I think withdrawing support from YFS completely might crush the organization as a whole, which I would also support.

    Lets brainstorm…..

    @Yorkie, regards of this bill, school will not start until January….
    The bill passing would guarantee school in Jan, and without, the university and cupe will continue not negotiating until they have destroyed our year.

  54. JMac

    If the bill doesn’t get passed there is no “threat” of back-to-work legislation and therefore very little incentive for the sides to get back to the table.

    What possible incentive is there for the TAs if they are getting paid more to be on the picket line and cruise sites like this?

    York cannot agree to give the union what they are demanding becuse they have a reponsiblity to the other workers at York and to the other universities not to set a bad precedent.

  55. BFD

    Sadly, I’m in yorkstirke’s camp on this one.
    Bill 135 appears to be an opportunity for one of those
    pseudo-sympathetic politicians I referenced in an
    earlier post, to get their fifteen minutes.

    Shurman is a rookie Conservative, with a seat based on
    an anomalous aspect of his riding in what was otherwise
    a sea of liberal seats at the previous election. In an effort
    to ramp up for the next campaign and give himself something
    to write about in the next update-flyer, he’s hooked
    onto our cause. (Not that we should deride the effort.
    Something, even as small as this, is better than nothing)

    Besides poor timing and ill conceived content, the bill
    still has to move through the process. After which
    the McGuinty’s troops will have to formulate another
    bill which would need to wind its way through the

    I have a link from Queen’sU that explains Ontario’s
    legislative process in an easy FAQ like format.

    This should explain why, even if Bill 135 does pass it will
    be a long while before any real btwl is in effect.

    The threat of btwl hanging over their heads may not
    lead to an appropriate resolution for ALL parties concerned
    in any event. The government has a particular way of
    screwing things up for everyone most of the time.

    “Well I’m about to get sick from watchin’ my tv
    Been checkin’ out the news ’till my eyeballs fail to see
    I mean to say that every day is just another rotten mess
    And when it’s gonna change, my friend is anybody’s guess”
    FZ -rip-

  56. Disappointed student

    I personally hope we start school ASAP. I did not mind CUPE 3903 going on strike for a week or two, but this thing has dragged on over a month now. Unfortunately, both sides are being so stubborn that I don’t see this strike ending any time soon. We need back-to-work legislation to send the admin and CUPE 3903 a clear message: negotiate NOW or the government will make the decisions for you.

    And to those who don’t care about class and don’t want class to start on the week of Dec 15 so that they can go on holiday, why don’t you stop complaining and just go on your holiday? If you don’t truly care about starting school ASAP, I don’t see why you would care about missing just 1 or 2 lectures.

    For those of us who want to start school ASAP, even 1 or 2 lectures before the holiday to clear things up is better than nothing.

  57. Sam

    Ok i fully agree with Commuter…if they DO go back right now, they probably won’t be satisfied with what they got so as soon as the contract ends they will be striking again! this is ridiculous.

    Is it possible that if this goes on for long enough they can cancel the school year??

  58. York Student

    who the hell will show up to class if classes resume in december? lol….seriously. it’s already the 6th and we have only 2 weeks left. so i’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that school will start in january.

  59. Andrew

    Agreeing with Jmac. York can’t just give into whatever the union wants because it not only screws them, it screws every University in Ontario, as they will all say “well York teacher’s get this, I want to be on par with them. I do the same work” and then every University will be in the same situation as we are. You can get into the “are they paid enough to begin with” stuff all you want, that part I honestly don’t care for, but there is a responsibility on York to not screw over everyone, even more so when the 2010 thing is coming up.

    I used a hockey example before. GM’s in hockey are accused of giving bad players to much money and making it hard for GM’s to sign other players. Because a guy who scores 50points, will look at a guy who scored 35 with a $4million dollar deal and say “well I score more, so I should be worth more then $4million.” Same thing applies here.

  60. help_me

    We need this BTW legislation to pass people.
    What makes you think this stike will not drag out until March?
    With BTW legislation, we should be guaranteed a January start. Without BTW legislation, we are at the mercy of the union and university, who clearly don’t care about us.

  61. TA's Opinion

    @ Andrew and Jmac

    I agree almost entirely with your analysis of what’s at stake, except for your presumption that that the precedent is “bad” for universities or the public. The GMs in your analysis want to cap the salaries and contract rights not of million-dollar players, but of the junior leaguers, second-stringers, waterboys, equipment managers etc at the bottom, who they need to fill rosters and field expansion teams, so that they can sell more games and more merchandise by sprinkling around a few high-paid “stars.”

    And JMac, the notion that strikers are making more on strike pay than by working is ludicrous. The CUPE members who are students have already paid tuition, so they’re netting $400 a month to do double the hours they do under contract. And at $800 a month, faculty are bringing in at best, two-thirds less than they would working similar hours teaching courses.

  62. TA's Opinion

    I should add, except that to be a junior leaguer, second-stringer, waterboy, etc in this analogy, you already have competed and proved potentially qualified for the NHL “star” standards, with a promise that at some point in the future you can compete for those positions. Except that to save even more money, the quantity of “star” positions are decresing year by year. This is good for owner’s profit margins, but not necessarily quality of the game.

  63. Andrew

    Actually these are players who are top players on the team. Look at someone like Jeff Finger, brought in to be a big defencemen for the leafs, paid close to $4m a season, yet isn’t worth it. It actually happens a lot where guys who are top players get massive contracts yet never produce.

    In a way, I could argue that contract teachers are like the second strong, if we consider full time as the stars. It is the second-string, 3rd and 4th line guys who win you championships, yet will never get any of the glory. I’m a Penguins fan, so I know all to well that our good 3rd 4th line last year is a big reason we got to the cup finals.

    So yeah, your top people are the ones you want to pay the money to. Full time teachers do research under the York name, where as contract works do not. But they do teach more, or, well that is what they say, and don’t get paid what the others do. Well to continue with my hockey reference, sometimes these teachers need to pull out a 50goal season to get noticed. Otherwise, they’ll be lost in the folds.

  64. yorkstrike2008


    It is all in the numbers. YFS should not have supported either side but should supported UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS! We are there constituents for god’s sake. They have the legitimacy, the funding and the resources to be a pressure group representing us. They should be at every meeting to remind these dorks that there are 50,000 people out there.

    By YFS siding with the Union has only prolonged this strike. The University has hardened itself and now sees that negotiating will not end this, the Union has to be knocked out.

    This debate has passed the point of rational discussion and is now simply ideological fervour.

    I wish more of you would jump on this wagon and come out on Thursday. If we don’t do something then we are facing a very long strike because they certainly aren’t doing much.

  65. Commuter

    @ yorkstrike2008

    I thought you might want to know this: YFS has abandoned us, once again.

    They used to do a decent job of sending out messages on Facebook keeping us informed about Town Halls, etc. and now their Facebook group is completely abandoned. They’re not even updating their website anymore.

    They didn’t provide a single update as to what happened at the last Town Hall and now nobody shows up there to tell us anything anymore.

    Many of us wanted to know what happened at the Town Hall… but nothing.

  66. York students betrayed by Shurman’s political posturing By Joey Coleman | December 5th, 2008 | 5:24 pm

    Comment by Peter Shurman MPP on 5 December 2008:

    What were you thinking when you wrote that headline? Strikes are entirely about posturing. I am representing many of my Thornhill constituents (and others) in this dispute. The bill does have a distinct edge to it but no one ever expected a debate on it. The bill was designed to ‘kickstart’ a process. I will continue to press the McGuinty government right up to the day we recess in hopes they’ll realize they’re the only ones who can end this in time to save the year for students. Then, hopefully, they’ll take their responsibility and we can see York U up and running again!

  67. nikgs

    Back to school ASAP. We’ve just had a month off dont bitch about working during the holidays. Here’s hoping the bill passes.

    I don’t like back to work legislation but between this or losing the year, pretty obvious choice. Careful what you wish for indeed.

  68. testing

    @ yorkstrike2008,

    I’ll be there on Thursday. Hopefully lots of other people show up.

  69. yorkstrike2008


    I know, they are useless.
    All the funding they get and what do they do? Pub nights?

    That’s fine when everything else is running smoothly and once a crisis hits they side with the Union under the pretext of solidarity so that they don’t have to be held accountable for their words and actions.

  70. yorkstrike2008


    Thanks for coming out. Bring a sign if you can so we don’t look like dorks! I will bring a sign. A megaphone can’t happen there though 😦

    I also have to look into getting a permit…

  71. testing


    how many people are coming out?
    I actually printed and posted some of your flyers today on campus.

  72. F-Ed Up

    @ yorkstrike2008 et al planning to attend Dec 11:
    Any good ideas for signs? I’ll make a couple to, but I have no idea what to write on them without sounding like a total lame-o.

  73. @TA’s opinion, the anti-cap argument is that players should be paid whatever the market decides they’re worth; the effect on hockey ticket prices is irrelevant, because nobody is entitled to affordable hockey tickets.

    Coming back to the hockey analogy, replacing “hockey tickets” with “tuition”, I think we’re getting onto shaky ground here.

  74. MR Two

    As long as we’re back at the beginning January (no Dec start, waste of time) I’m happy.

  75. Ridculous

    @ Fed-Up

    Not so good at signs but here are some ideas:

    1) Our Tuition = Revenue We are the university’s lifeblood so why aren’t are needs # 1
    2) York is a school: So Start Teaching!
    3) Our Academics Must Come First!

    Or signs with Questions:
    1) Why is my winter term tuition still due on January 10?
    2) What happens to dropping a Winter term class without financial Penalty after January 10?
    3) Will York Guarantee me a Spot in Graduate School if my transcript is not available in time for other Grad schools?
    4) Will York Negotiate with Governing External Testing Bodies to Ensure We Can Still Write the Exam this Year?


    I plan on getting a list together of relevant questions to bring in to the senate meeting and request that they be reviewed and addressed by the senate.
    I will probably have a question sign. Not 100% sure yet. Depends on what others decide to do.

  76. Ridculous

    Basically, I want to the senate to realize that undergraduates have important needs that must be prioritized.

    I feel we should be as tunnel visioned as Cupe and York so i.e. the only thing that matters in OUR NEEDS!!! The rest is THEIR problem!

  77. BFD

    @Miss Dee ( and Peter Shurman) ;

    I respectfully withdraw my fifteen minutes dig.
    I believe I was too critical of the Honourable Mr. Shurman.

    “I know it’s hard to defend an unpopular policy
    — Every once in a while”
    FZ -rip-

  78. Stef

    I drove by a Tim Horton’s today and noticed tons of study-ers inside. I was confused for a minute, before realizing they were U of T students, prepping for exams.
    I can’t believe I lost track of time like that.
    It made me sad I wasn’t one of them. 😦
    (Not that I like exams – I just like having a normal life.)

  79. Commuter

    @ F-Ed Up

    Well, since the point of the rally is to get the two sides back to the table, how about:


    How’s that?

  80. yorkstrike2008

    Come on tomorrow morning and we will talk about signs. Now I’m off to the pub.

  81. yorkstrike..


  82. gee

    I fought so hard to sit in that classroom. And I truly miss it.

    do you realize if no decision is made this week, everyone goes on vacation and talk will START again in January. Which mean no school until at least February.

    To the students in rez and everyone wondering what to do, go home, go on vacation. we will not be back until the new year.

  83. ams

    MCGILL went on strike 😐

  84. Impatient

    Even if the bill passes and they still have to write the contract, which will take probably 3-4 business days, since they wont work on the weekend, plus give us 24 hours notice before returning to class. By that time there will be 5 days before the christmas break and you wont be able to have any tests anyways, so whose gonna bother showing up in the first place?

  85. Graduating in June...

    If I’m not mistaken, a BTWL can only work within the first 11 days of a strike, but don’t quote me on that, so I don’t think this bill will be successful. Also, I think it’s completely unfair to deny the union the right to strike. If York would stop being such a hard a** and negotiate and try to meet some of the needs of TA’s, GA’s and Contract Prof’s we would probably be back to school sooner rather than later. These are the people who do the majority of the work in our classes anyway, why shouldn’t they be paid more? It’s not like the university doesn’t have the money, think about it, 50,000 students multiplied by $6000 (if not more) per student.

    Just my two cents:)

  86. AT

    Does this mean we could possibly be in class by the 15th?

  87. TA's Opinion

    @ andrew, bill williams et al.

    in truth i know f*** all about hockey, except that more people know more, care more, and think more about its labour politics, administrative bodies, and role in society than they do about post-secondary education.

    The strike and public sentiment have convinced me to quit the union and fund my remaining research/degree through private means, as is my option, given the resources my smart, “white-trash” father attained via the excellent educational deal the Canadian 60’s provided him to rise to the top. Bummer for the newer generations. but such is the logic of the market.

    As I leave the York community and my stake in this blog, my hockey ignorance puts Andrew et al in the position of teacher.

    If you were my TA, I would ask:
    Who are the stakeholders the university/GM is most beholden to? Fans (undergrads, tax-payers/players) or owners (non-academic admins/investors/tax-payers)? Is a good team worth more or less than a successful team brand? Are NHL marketers paid more than players, as they are at York? Do junior leaguers have to pay to try-out for starring NHL positions, or do they get paid a living wage to satisfy a public demand for the sporting experience? Do second stringers/non-stars contribute or bring down the quality of the game/profit for the investors/GM/fans? What mechanisms does the university have in place to evaluate/reward the performance/potential of second stringers re 50 goals a season? Is the university equipped to negoatiate merit-based contracts for its 3000+ contract workers? What mechanisms does it have in place to penalize low-scorers who have already won lucrative contracts/tenured faculty? Is Sean Avery really comparable to anyone who committed all of their youth to work in the education sector? Will the York marketing division find a way to turn this strike and its strife into an “edgy” brand, given enough money sourced out of undergrad enrolments/fans/peewee franchises?

    I give up. Hope everyone gets what they want. I know I won’t.

  88. TA's Opinion

    And yes, Bill Williams, in my flawed, ignorant analogy, undergrads and their parents are season-ticket holding fans. This is based on the dominant discourse that undergrads pay for some service/experience/entertainment in exchange for their customer satisfaction.

  89. Stef

    Geez. I am sure that there are some intelligent conversations happening here using the analogy of a hockey team, but I am completely not understanding any of them.
    I especially think TA’s Opinion’s point could have been really interesting, however it was a little like reading Jabberwocky by Lewis Caroll. (Oh, yes sportsfans, that’s an English literature reference!) 😉

  90. Proud Student

    i think im being prevented from posting dissenting opinions!!!

    haha….fascism is great!

  91. JMac

    @TA’s Opinion

    My apologies if I misunderstood what the 3903 web site said, but $200 a week without having to pay taxes and the option for more from the union if strikers can show a need is more than $400 a month. The catch is, they have to spend 20 hours a week on the picket line or other duties such as reading and commenting on blogs like this.

    Saying you have to spend twice as many hours on the picket line than on the job kind of blows holes in most TAs arguments here that they spend WAYYY more than 10 hours a week doing TA duties. A couple of weeks ago a TA came on here and explained how they were actually making more on strike pay than while working.

    Maybe that wasn’t accurate, but the bottom line is that for someone who normally makes $13,000 or so for 8 months of work to stop work and continue to earn the equivalent of almost $7,000 clear cash for the same period, certainly isn’t a bad deal at all.

  92. testing


    Heres to hoping TAs get frostbite and experience financial hardships during the holiday season.


  93. testing

    Support BTW Legislation.

  94. Cupe Doll

    @ TA’s Opinion,

    The major leagues metaphor’s too flawed. 3903 is nowhere near the major leagues. Begs the question how 3903 labour should get compensated too blatantly, comparing 3903 to the major leagues. If we were hockey stars, all-stars, etc. — then yeah, it would absolutely make sense getting stellar full-time wages for part-time labouring.

    Doesn’t even make sense comparing YUFA to the Leafs and 3903 to some farm team. By and large we’re all public-purse snatchers. And while somewhat insulated when marketplaces are wholesale collapsing — as right now — we are not entirely immune. Next few years will make “Rae days” seem like consummations of entitlement devoutly to be wished.

    That’s why, other than for contract faculty absolute zero job security, we get absolutely no public respect or sympathy. Just as North-Americans start paying their pipers and realizing how our profligate, a-historical way of life is collapsing — that’s when we in 3903 really get demanding. And the kicker? It doesn’t matter what we get or don’t get out of this. We can’t be bothered realistically bargaining about that. Since we won’t be ideologically satisfied unless we assassinate this academic year at York. Nothing less will give our fight against “neo-liberalism” any meaning.

  95. Ridculous

    @ All

    Wow this quote from Cupe Doll: Since we won’t be ideologically satisfied unless we assassinate this academic year at York. Nothing less will give our fight against “neo-liberalism” any meaning”@Cupedoll not picking on you and I have loosely followed the discussion so I know you don’t agree with that stance but the quote is from you post in reference to York and Cupe’s ideaologies.

    Really, says something I say F the strike. That is York’s and Cupe’s problem. We have our problem and that is school, graduating, etc. I really feel it RIDICULOUS (hence my name) that we are the pawns in this war. We have rights, Dammit!

  96. annonymous

    Peter Shurman is the only one who cares about us undergrad students.

  97. MR Two

    Peter Shurman? LOL? HONESTLY? I friggen LOL’D IRL.

    Nobody cares, not even the group that is supposed to remain neutral and represent us.

  98. Pally Wally

    “Peter Shurman is the only one who cares about us undergrad students.”

    Annonymous = Stephen Colbert?

  99. Pingback: Top Posts «

  100. JJ

    I think this will being the process of getting 50,000 york students back in class! However, this looks like only a consideration of the bill…so nothing is set in stone just yet.

  101. Back to work legislation!!!!!!

  102. Mike Oxbig

    dont force them back to work…they’ll just be striking again the first chance they get…

  103. Commuter

    @ Mike Oxbig

    That’s the worry I have. If you force them back to work now on a 3 year contract and they strike when it expires, the first-years like me who are dealing with a strike now will have another major inconvenience when we are trying to graduate/go on to graduate programs, etc.

  104. Jonah Rubin

    I support the back to work legislation. I will not say which side of the argument I support but I feel that it is for them to deal with on their own time and not the students. We can’t be wasting money and even taking on thousands of dollars of debt without having classes and we can’t make those thousands of dollars without the summer to work. This is the only solution to a battle that seems to be endless. This can’t happen soon enough!

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