Rally The Senate

On December 11th at 3:00 PM the York University Senate is convening to debate issues of this strike. Let’s go and rally outside of the doors of their meeting hall! 


I am going with a megaphone and an attitude on Dec. 11th at 2:00 PM to demand that the University get back to the table. WE HAVE TO PRESSURE EVERYONE AND ANYONE! Come out and support Undergraduate students and our rights!


Will you join me at 2:00 PM, Thursday Dec. 11th @ Robert McEwen Auditorium, Schulich School of Business, Keele Campus?


Download this PDF flyer and send it to as many people as possible:




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66 responses to “Rally The Senate

  1. F-Ed Up

    An overly-emphatic “Yes!”

  2. pp

    Hey, I’ve been so frustrated with the strike that I’m a little out of the loop. All I know right now is that if we don’t start by the 15th, we will just start in Jan. Are there any meeting scheduled as of yet, or are we still all just playing the waiting game (not that we haven’t since the strike started)?

  3. yorkstrike2008

    Glad you’re on board F-Ed Up!

    BTW do you have a megaphone or know someone who has one? I might go ask for a megaphone from some of the picketers at the front gates of Glendon. These Liberal Arts TAs can so easily be subdued if you bring them Starbucks and talk to them about how great Apple computers are. (Oh damn, that’s me!)

  4. yorkstrike2008


    Nothing is scheduled. They had a string of meetings that lasted 3 days and nothing came out of it of any substance. We are effectively 4 weeks into this strike with absolutely no end in sight unless someone miraculously caves or the government issues back to work legislation (which I do not condone and I am pressing no opinion on anyone as such).

    We have to start mobilising or we are going to be facing another 11 week long strike like 2001. So come out my friend!

  5. ram

    you have made a serious typo by saying ” 4 months” instead of “4 weeks”.. I request you to change the typo to months.. Keep up your work of maintaining this blog with up to date info!! appreciate it…

  6. JJ


    Where did you hear that if we don’t start classes by Dec. 15th than we will start in January? Can anyone else verify this? I need to plan for the holidays and this strike is making that very difficult. Thanks!!

  7. I’ll try to make it…

  8. pp


    Thanks for bringing me up to speed…I will def. try to make it!

  9. tester

    PP – you are wrong….the senate bulletin means that if classes do not resume by Dec15, they will not resume until the January OR LATER, depending on the strike.

    We need to protest, and do what we can to take back our education.

  10. tester

    and i will be at the rally outside the meeting

  11. Ridculous

    I will go! Maybe, with a least of things for them to consider in keeping students informed. Perhaps on bristol boards.

  12. Ridculous

    Boy, oh boy my insomnia is really catching up to me. Too many typos in my posts, I will need to start proof reading.

    I can poster around the library next week if you want.

  13. yorkstrike2008


    Whatever publicising you can do is great! All effort is really appreciated.

    PS. You should check out my post I made last night. 2 am, on the rocket coming up from downtown, a little happy and on my iPhone. Man. So much bad spelling.

    Cheers guys

    I will try and get a megaphone but if you guys can bring your own signs and everything that would be big. I will try and buy some stuff but unfortunately I don’t have tuition or union payments flowing in 😉

  14. Commuter

    FYI, the 11th is THURSDAY and not Wednesday.

  15. So what are the demands for the Rally asking the Senate for?

  16. suddenly

    Unless I agree with the opinion of this website, my comment will not be posted.

  17. DCB

    If I can get out of work I’ll be there. Funny how I’m working to pay for my education…

  18. F-Ed Up

    @ yorkstrike2008

    I don’t own a megaphone, unfortunately 😦 Mayhaps this is a useful investment? haha

  19. yorkstrike2008

    Damn the 11th is a Thursday! I just can’t catch a break these days…

  20. Soraya

    So I’m at York right now and I talked to some picketers and apparently there is no meeting today. Just thought I would let you guys know considering I brought it up last night.

  21. pp

    @ tester

    Yeah, you are right. Sorry for that…if we don’t start by the 15th then its Jan at the VERY BEST…it could be later though.

  22. mg

    I am deeply concerned about the proposed location for this demonstration. It seems clear to me that this is a demonstration against the administration, and for the union.

    Other student rallies organized so far have not “targeted” either side. For example, the have not targeted the union by demonstrating at the picket line, or targeted the university by demonstrating at an official university meeting or office. Instead, they took place in neutral spaces that did not imply suppport for either side (e.g., Vari Hall and Queen’s Park).

    Your demonstration targets the university by occupying and disrupting a meeting of the Senate. This non-neutral choice of target clearly favours the union.

    Which is fine, as long as that is what you and the demonstrators intend to do.

    I would strongly suggest either re-thinking the location and target of your demonstration, OR openly acknowledging that the demonstration is anti-university and pro-union. Either way, some clarification would be helpful.

  23. Yorkstrike2008,

    May I suggest you attempt and contact the YorkNotHostage people for this rally? While I do not fully agree with their position, they seem to be quite good at organizing people.

  24. yorkstrike2008


    Already done 🙂


    The stance of this web page and all activities organised are 100% neutral. We are not asking for back to work legislation or for the University to capitulate to Union demands. We are asking them to get BACK TO THE TABLE and work this out. It is week 4 and they are not talking, there is no date scheduled to continue this dialogue and we have progressed little since November 6th.

    We are protesting where the people with the power to pressure a party back to the table are. Nothing less, nothing more. I will organise a similar rally at Union head quarters in due time.

    Thousands of people come here to discuss, find out information and get organised. I cannot side with one camp or the other because that would fundamentally undermine the entire purpose of this website. By continuing to run this website as a ‘neutral’ space I have consented to follow one underlying principle that every undergraduate student can hold and agree to: to get back to school in the most beneficial manner.

    There may be more expedient ways of achieving that; by rallying for back-to-work legislation for example. However, that contradicts the fundamental principle that I have built this space on.

    When I go on the radio I will not say that undergrads want binding arbitration, I will not say that they want back-to-work legislation nor will I say that the University should capitulate immediately. I will say that we have no voice and no matter what political orientation you subscribe to in this conflict we all want to go back to school and we are prepared to fight.

    This site remains 100% neutral and it adheres to the common preference of undergraduate students. If you do not want to go back to school, then you are not a student. Period.

  25. Pally Wally


    May I suggest you attempt and contact the YorkNotHostage people for this rally? While I do not fully agree with their position, they seem to be quite good at organizing people.”

    DOZENS! of them!

  26. MR Two

    Can’t be there, I have work =\

  27. I received an email from Robindra Sidhu of PSYC UNDERGRADS with this web site.

  28. anonymous

    this rally will do absolutely nothing… I find it hypocritical of many people on this site as it was the case about 2 weeks ago when they were speaking that no one wanted to go back until january however whne the talks broke up everyone is like oh man im pissed off i want to go back…and now apparently many of you want to rally? so confused

  29. yorkstrike2008

    @MR Two

    Sorry to hear that. I will try and get someone to take some video while we are there and post it here.

  30. Ridculous


    I do prefer a January start but that is only because I am lucky and can work more hours for the month of December. Also, many were worried about classes being held from Dec 23 to Jan 2 when they had travel plans or family commitments.

    I believe 98% of the students are fustrated and if they were polled on whether they are happy about the strike or would prefer starting exams. I am bet all 98% would rather be studying for exams.

    Demonstrating to the senate will give us an opportunity to voice are need for more open communication on the timeline of the strike’s impact on our school year. This can influence important decisions such as being forced for financial reasons to drop the winter term entirely and plan for a full year next year, etc.

  31. @anonymous

    well you got a point there, but many students are sitting doing nothing and we need to get people mobile out there and take some serious actions. Without rallies and being vocal no one (York Admin nor CUPE) would take it seriously to negotiate and come to an agreement

  32. Ridculous

    I noticed some policy changes for undergraduate housing during the strike here is the link:


    Suprisingly they are now offering a refund for those withdrawing from studies, waiving the Christmas staying fee but this only applies to those in undergraduate housing. So, if you in York Apartments thus far you are out of luck.

  33. Nurse 1

    @Pally Wally

    “DOZENS! of them!”

    It would be nice to have the financial backing of a union to organize a rally, but, alas, these students weren’t so lucky . And I guess since numbers mean a lot to you, then 16 per cent of CUPE 3903 voting for the strike in the first place should come as a bit of a shock.

    The QP rally was organized in about a week and was intentionally small.

    However, quite an amazing job by YNH to get back to work legislation on the table. Indeed unprecedented.

  34. Nurse 1

    re January restart:

    I still can’t see how this would happen if the strike hasn’t ended. I seriously doubt that YUFA will cross picket lines.

  35. Nurse 1

    @Pally Wally

    I guess it also helps when CUPE can bus in supporters for their Dec 3rd Rally from other universities. I wonder how many of the 300 actually came from 3903.

  36. F-Ed Up

    @ MG
    I believe that the original idea for a neutral demonstration was to demonstrate outside of a negotiations meeting, urging BOTH sides to cooperate. However there are no negotiation meetings planned at the moment, and this is a decent alternative at the moment (rather that just picking some random location where neither of the groups are within a 100km radius which, for obvious reasons, would make no sense). Also, Ridculous proposed demonstrating at this senate meeting to get specific and pertinent information from students which has not been released.

    “Your demonstration targets the university by occupying and disrupting a meeting of the Senate. ”

    I do not believe that the goal here is to “disrupt” anything – just to represent our concerns to senate council. Yorkstrike2008, please correct me if I’m wrong.

    As for the following statement:
    “Other student rallies organized so far have not “targeted” either side. For example, the have not targeted the union by demonstrating at the picket line, or targeted the university by demonstrating at an official university meeting or office. Instead, they took place in neutral spaces that did not imply suppport for either side (e.g., Vari Hall and Queen’s Park).”
    Were the AIMS of these demonstrations neutral? I am not aware of any neutral student demonstrations which have taken place thus far in the strike. To my knowledge, there have been back-to-work legislation rallies, anti-union rallies and pro-union rallies. I hope you are not referring to any of these…

  37. F-Ed Up

    correction: information for students, not from them

  38. Cupe Doll

    Congrats yorkstrike2008 & those joining you for starting to organize and standing up for yourselves. Good start. But don’t think small. More can be done.

    Imagine re-occupying campus one day in January. In (too likely) case this mess won’t be nearly over yet.

    Imagine 1000 strong rising in protest. 3000 even. For your own rally at your own campus. With most every public sympathy already behind you — how eagerly do you think media would dive for coverage if/when undergrads re-occupy your own campus? Wow. And with media attention further leveraging public sentiment — politicians would just have to step forward. They’d be confronted with a jumping issue smoldering in public eyes and hearts.

    Keep on organizing. Not only are there terrific things you can do. It may become critically important to do them. Because all other sides in this mess are playing cynical ideological political games like no tomorrow. Games so cynical and ideological, there increasingly likely won’t be any tomorrow for York this year.

    The employer won’t even consider anything remotely reasonable when it comes to job security — the one legitimate issue this strike. Meanwhile, the union never intended striking for its own members. Just striking out against”neo-liberalism”. No joke. Over-privileged public employed grad-students against “neo-liberalism”. Kind’a like rabid toy poodles against the hands that feed ’em.

    Can this strike really be all that ideological? Yeah. And then some. Couple days ago, on the 2 year contract @ another thread here, Nurse1 wrote, “.. I greatly fear that the quality arguments for better pay and fair and sustainable contracts are taking a back seat to extremist ideology.” Sure — but not because of the 2 year contract directive which comes from CUPE Ontario. Looking to 2010 for co-ordinated bargaining. Might be a bit radical, the 2 year contract directive — but not radically ideological like local 3903 is. Because it’s still about bargaining.

    Our local is way more ideological than that. It’s not about bargaining for us. It’s against bargaining. We need to hurt the employer to feel we’re winning against “neo-liberalism”. That’s why, until more general membership got wind of it, our 3903 bargaining team was forbidden to bargain. Because the more we don’t bargain, the more likely we’ll hurt the employer. Shut York down hard. Successfully cancel the 2008-09 academic year.

    So what’s gon’na happen? There’s no possible way these 2 sides can sit at one table. The mediator will just keep sending them home. There won’t be binding arbitration. Most likely? Forced ratification just like last time. And, probably like last time, contract faculty will fold. Then the other units will keep striking a couple more days to save face, accept what’s on the table and declare victory. Like last time, we’ll say what amazing solidarity 3903 has. Like last time, we’ll say what a great victory it is for contract faculty. As if getting forcibly ratified and absolute zero job security is everything we were striking for.

    But what if it doesn’t go like last time? What if no unit goes along with getting forcibly ratified? What can the employer do? Start canceling contracts? If so — whose contracts get canceled? And what would that do to York’s reputation? On the other hand, if York doesn’t cancel contracts, then York would have to capitulate. Can York just capitulate what 3903 demands? And even if it could financially — what would *that* do to York’s reputation? Either way, no one able to hold a fork will be wanting degrees from York.

    You guys are the wild card. You could turn up heat nobody bargained for. ‘What would happen? Not much. Employer would put something about job security on the table for real. The union would drop most what it shouldn’t have put on the table in the first place. And a merely symbolic re-occupation of your own campus would become reality.

  39. Nurse 1

    @ Cupe Doll:

    “Our local is way more ideological than that. It’s not about bargaining for us. It’s against bargaining. We need to hurt the employer to feel we’re winning against “neo-liberalism”. That’s why, until more general membership got wind of it, our 3903 bargaining team was forbidden to bargain. Because the more we don’t bargain, the more likely we’ll hurt the employer. Shut York down hard. Successfully cancel the 2008-09 academic year.”

    This is an interesting statement. I take it from your post that are you a CUPE member?

  40. @CUPE Doll

    Thank you for that.

  41. yorkstrike2008

    @CUPE Doll

    Thank you. Perhaps you are a York troll?

  42. Cupe Doll


    Yes, I am. Though I will not be applying for alternate strike pay.

    There’s probably more dissident voices than anyone in 3903 cares to admit. See dwindling picket lines.

  43. Hullo

    Good stuff. 50-100 students will show—> do their thing—> nothing will change. So good luck. I am not going to waste my time with these impractical stuff.

  44. anonymous

    @HULLO…your premonition is absolutely correct i am not going to both either itll do absolutely nothing except waste my time as well

  45. Cupe Doll


    Am not. And if it really mattered I’d offer to prove it. But if what’s posted contributes soundly — how does it matter who’s behind the alias?

    Doesn’t matter. I’m nobody.

  46. Ridculous

    Here are some preliminary questions for the senate

    A) re: academic remediation

    “1)What about the tests and other assignments that were due during the disruption?
    With limited and specified exceptions, all academic activities were suspended as the result of a strike by CUPE 3903 beginning Nov. 6, 2008. Academic activities in this context means classes, examinations and other instructional activities, graduate and undergraduate, on or off campus. For all courses that have been suspended, this means no classes are held, no tests are scheduled and no assignments are due during the strike.”

    Then, it continues with:
    “Will there be time once classes resume before tests and exams occur and assignments are due?
    There will be a cushion period between the resumption of classes and tests and the submission of assignments. This means that:…assignments that were due on dates during the disruption need not be submitted until at least one class meeting has been held.

    So, does that mean if I had 2 papers and 1 oral presentation due during the strike. I must prepare them now because I may have to submit them the 2nd day back to class??? What if it is a group presentation and the groups havn’t been assigned yet??? How is this fair if some of the assignments required furthur instruction or lectures that have not been held???

    (So, basically that means we all have to prepare are papers just in caseThey are back next Tuesday!!! I for one was not clear on that!)

    2) As mentioned before I am concerned with financial implications and its effect on those who need a full 4 months of full time work in the summer. They need to have concrete days.

    If others have questions or concerns for the senate please bring the forth for the rally.

  47. yorkstrike2008

    “Cupe Doll
    December 5, 2008 at 12:36 pm · Edit

    Am not. And if it really mattered I’d offer to prove it. But if what’s posted contributes soundly — how does it matter who’s behind the alias?

    Doesn’t matter. I’m nobody.”

    Oh, I was just kidding. Don’t worry. I would know if you were a York Agent from your IP address.

  48. Ridculous

    Just to clarify by “concrete days” regarding a timeline this would mean:

    Hypothetically stike:
    Ends January 8 – Winter Term exams pushed to May 5-20
    Ends January 20 – Winter Term exams pushed to May 15-June1
    Ends February 1 – Winter Term exams pushed to May 25-June 5
    Having something to that effect would allow students to plan in advance whether or not they should continue with the winter term.

    ANOTHER HUGE CONCERN: After checking with Student Financial Services our Winter Tuition is still due on January 5th but how will that effect our ability to drop a class without FINANCIAL PENALTY if the term is pushed back a month???

    PLEASE THINK OF QUESTIONS We have rights and we do need to know these things.

  49. Ridculous

    How does the strike effect the last day to enrol in a winter course without permission of the course director?

    How does it effect enrolment windows for students who are not majoring in a course but would like to take it in the winter term?

  50. yorkstrike2008


    On Thursday we can go into the Senate meeting and ask these questions. Write them down and ask them 🙂

  51. Cupe Doll

    @ yorkstrike2008


    Just for the record. I got some degrees at York and now I’m contract faculting there. And some what I been posting about York wrt contract faculty job security would endear me to the employer almost as little as the union.

    lol. Since I can’t check up your I.P… I’ve only got your word that you’re neither York nor union troll

  52. Ridculous

    Okay, will do and I hope others contribute to the questions because I am sure they are a lot of them out there. 🙂

  53. Commuter

    In case I don’t attend the rally (I don’t live close by), maybe this question could be raised:

    – Would it be possible to come up with a timetable matching the length of the strike with the amount of remediation needed?

    4 week strike = 2 weeks remediation
    5 week strike = 3 weeks remediation

    Or something to that effect. It would allow us to make a rough approximation about when are exam period will be (given the strike is not over yet).

  54. Commuter

    Forgot to include in there “the point of no return.”

    A lot of speculation has been that at the 12th week mark, the year is lost. Can we get a confirmation on this?

  55. Pally Wally

    ….Back to work legislation that is doomed to failure. Private members bills take 2 forms: politicking BS from back benchers looking to make a name; meaningful and innovative policy (see for example: Svend Robinson’s Bill) which might get passed provided it doesn’t actually cost anything.

    This is just a crappy bill to enact anti-union legislation that was the impetus for the (potentially?) ill-fated coalition. Definitely type the first.

  56. CUPE member with child

    I’ve choosen not to continue on this discussion board and will be abiding by that decision. I’ve lost a lot of family time since discovering this blog in order to advance a cause that I believe in, which includes keeping undergrads as informed to the extent that I can be informative. Despite what some have suggested, I’ve not earned a penny from participating in this blog or any other type of online communication. I only earn my pay from being at the picket lines. I am considering joining the CUPE communications committee, not because I enjoy this (often it feels like I’m banging my head against a wall) nor would likely to gain any more money than the $200 per week strike pay that I get from picketing. I am only considering doing it because I’m thus far dissapointed with our communications so far (both internally and externally).

    Nonetheless, before I chose to end my participation in this site, I promised that if I received a reply from the Ministry of Labour on an email question that I submitted to their website, I would then share it with you. Today I have received a reply.

    Here is the question I asked them:

    “According to both York University, and the Toronto Star, “the mediator has suspended negotiations” in the bargaining of the labour
    dispute at York University. I believe the mediator has been appointed by your ministry – his name is Greg Long.

    Is it possible that that a provincially appointed independent mediator would do that when one or more of the parties wants to continue negotiations? Did Greg Long really step in and suspend negotiations between the two parties?

    Thank you and I look foward to your answer. ”

    Here is the reply I received. I’ve only ommitted my name from the Dear ______ line:

    “I am responding to your e-mail dated December 4, 2008 regarding the current labour dispute at York University. You asked about the mediator’s role in this issue.

    Please be informed that mediation between these parties is a voluntary matter. The mediator cannot compel the parties to come to an agreement
    or even to negotiate. He is there at the joint behest of the parties should they wish to avail themselves of his services.

    The parties are by no means precluded from continuing to bargain on their own if they so desire. The mediator’s role is to provide neutral
    assistance to the parties at the bargaining table. Between bargaining sessions, the mediator remains in touch and continues to make himself
    available to both parties.

    I trust this information is helpful to you.

    The Web Administrator”

  57. @CUPE member with child
    Thanks for all your time and info. Please keep in touch.

  58. bee


    thanks for all the info. i’m sorry that some of the bloggers may not have been as appreciative of your updates

    thanks again

  59. Commuter

    Thanks CUPE member with child.

  60. Commuter

    Here is Bill 135 introduced by Peter Shurman if anyone is interested.


  61. ram

    CUPEMWC::: I really wish you could continue your participation in this blog and keeping us updated with new information…. Even though there could be some people who might not have been appreciative of your TIME and information that you give, I am sure there are many more who are really happy and thanking you wholeheartedly for your support…Please keep in touch…

  62. RR

    Cupe MWC
    I understand fully about your family commitments and wish you the best of luck. On behalf of everyone here who listened to you thank you for your time, PATIENCE, and above all your thoughtful communication during this rough time.
    You will be missed!

  63. yorkstrike2008


    Please keep in touch. Your participation, as I have said before, is invaluable to this board. If people are offending you I encourage anyone to contact me and I will delete any offensive content.

    Please feel welcome to come back. You have earned a privileged position in this community.

    PS. I am secretly the President of York 😉

  64. Nurse 1


    I just started posting here (as you know with my screw up post). Have read many of your previous comments and greatly appreciated your “behind the scenes” look.

  65. F-Ed Up

    I would also like to express my sincere appreciation for your participation here and to wish you luck if you do indeed join the communications committee!

  66. Proud Student

    I wrote a letter asking our reps. not to enact BTWL…
    I suggest you do the same!


    b/c we’re effin Canadian! We should be proud of the Collective Bargaining process and support it. Our social values should not be compromised b/c we feel inconvenienced!!

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