Senate Sets Deadline for Resolution in December.

The Senate just released an update that says, essentially, unless a resolution is met before December 15th there will be no school in December regardless if a resolution is met during the month. That means that no classes will be held before the resumption date of January 5th even if a resolution is met after the 15th. Here are some other provisions outlined in the update:

If Senate declares an end to the disruption on or before December 15, priority 

will be given to scheduling make up classes for courses that normally meet on 

Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. 


No classes or examinations will be held on December 20, 21, 22 and 23 

regardless of when the disruption might conclude.  


Under normal circumstances the Winter term would have begun on January 5, 

2009.  As a result of the disruption, and with specified exceptions, the Winter 

term for courses that have been suspended will start immediately following the 

Fall term remediation period.  


So there we have it, the Senate has given a deadline for the resumption of classes. This safely secures us that there will be no school before January 5th at the very earliest. 





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67 responses to “Senate Sets Deadline for Resolution in December.

  1. Commuter

    This is very misleading:

    “The Senate just released an update that says, essentially, unless a resolution is met before December 15th the term will be cancelled.”

    The term will NOT be cancelled if we’re not back by Monday… it just means that we won’t be going back in December.

    This needs to be changed or else you’ll be having a lot of freaking-out people posting here. 😉

  2. Shal

    @ Commuter

    you are right, I almost had a heart attack !

  3. confused

    This safely secures us that there will be no school before January 5th at the very earliest. ”

    Is this a fact or ur opinion?

  4. Hameed

    wow..I was just about to say..”term cancelled”..that doesn’t sound too good

  5. Relaxo-Grad

    Haha! I had an immediate heart attack and thought, “Oh gawd, they cancelled the semester??”

    But actually reading the pr release made more sense.

  6. student

    Why don’t Thursday and Friday classes get any love from the senate?

  7. Relaxo-Grad

    Oh, and P.S.:
    What kind of incentive does this give both sides to keep their butts in the negotiating chairs? Knowing that the Senate has essentially confirmed that we are likely not going back until January, what are the chances that talks will even be scheduled over the break?
    I think both sides will take this opportunity for an extended Christmas vacay, and not even consider getting back to the table until the new year…

  8. Just on a side note, did anyone else write their LSAT on Dec 6 and get a huge bump to their score as a result of it?

  9. yorkstrike2008

    Sorry about the bad wording. I posted that thing at about 5:30 this morning. Couldn’t sleep 😦


    Consider that today is the 10th, there are no talks scheduled and there will likely be none and even if there was they would need a couple days to organise themselves, ratify the proposal from both sides. Logistically it couldn’t happen before the 15th.

  10. yorkstrike2008

    “Oh, and P.S.:
    What kind of incentive does this give both sides to keep their butts in the negotiating chairs? Knowing that the Senate has essentially confirmed that we are likely not going back until January, what are the chances that talks will even be scheduled over the break?
    I think both sides will take this opportunity for an extended Christmas vacay, and not even consider getting back to the table until the new year…”

    I was thinking just that. The picketers should take some time off. Go visit Christina in whatever sunny resort she is at. Nothing is going to happen until January.

  11. Nellyli

    what does this “priority will be given to scheduling make up classes for courses that normally meet on
    Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays” mean? Does this mean that if strike end on or before 15th of Dec? People whose classes on those three days will still be requested to go back to school on Dec until 23rd ? Or those three day’s classes will be rescheduled to a different time when we back from X’s mas in Jan?
    It just seems confusing to me!

  12. student

    i heard they were having a meeting today is that true, or do you know of any meetings in the future?
    have they said they are not accepting yorks new offer?

  13. ram

    I still think there is some possibility that talks could be scheduled during the vacation..(just a guess)..Because there is one more GMM scheduled on the 18th (thursday in the third week) and the strikers also can do picketing and other services thus getting paid by the cupe even during the holidays… If the university is concerned about its reputation(?) then it shall finish this before the 5th.. Again this is just my hope…

  14. alien baby


    Forced rat, offering similar to what is on the website, during the Christmas break.
    Rejected by those still around to vote, ’cause they’re the ones who’ve been picketing etc.
    New offer produced on its heels, giving contract faculty a deal YUFA and CUPE will support.
    Classes commence by Jan 5.

  15. Kelso

    I really hope we are back by the 5th of January. It’s starting to get too close for comfort for losing a whole year, in my opinion anyway.

  16. Andrew

    Jumping to conclusions for the loss!

    Seriously with full year round courses, how some of you thought they would cancel the semester is funny. If they cancel the semester, might as well cancel the year.

    Anyway, not like any of this matters. They are just saying what we already know. I wasn’t putting much thought into them coming to an agreement between now and the 15th anyway.

  17. oh really...

    Wow that freaked me out there for a second! Besides, we are almost done our first semester classes. Even if they do cancel the year (which I honestly don’t think would ACTUALLY happen), can’t we still finish our half-year courses because we really only have a couple weeks left?

  18. student

    @alien baby – the admin only get one shot at a forced ratification vote, wouldn’t they just be wasting it in that scenario?

    Thinking that they will wait till January. Let the paycheck losses really hit home over the holiday break with 3903 members and play that card in early January.

  19. F-Ed Up

    @ alien baby

    I like your prediction. I have amended my Christmas Wish thusly.

    @ Santa – I know you read this blog:

    Dear Santa,
    All us boys, girls, men and women at York University might not all be perfect. Sure, there have been times when we’ve wished for snow days so that we wouldn’t have to haul out butts in for another day of class. And sure, I look with envious frustration my cousin in construction who didn’t go to school and makes more money in 8 months than I will ever see in a full year.

    Now, there are plenty of books and DVDs I’d like to own and can’t afford to buy myself. And you can bet that I’d love to see some shiny jewellery under the tree, just once. But there’s really only one thing I want for Christmas this year:

    I want to go back to school on January 5, 2009.

    Please send your elves to sprinkle magical reasonability dust onto the members of both bargaining teams until some sort of resolution is made. Or, failing that, you could always bribe them with the promise of shiny jewellery. Or hipster glasses, maybe, for the CUPE side. Whatever – you’re the holiday mastermind, so I leave it up to you.


    F-Ed Up

    P.S. I’ll be sure to slip some Bailey’s into the hot coco I leave out this Christmas, as an extra incentive.

  20. @ F-Ed Up

    That made “lol” for real

  21. That made me “lol” for real

    I also feel Jan.05 restart is ideal, but because I’ve become pessimistic over the strike I feel it’s doubtful

  22. =)

    Ok……. so what about year long courses??

    BTW – I am going outta the country tonight .. should i take my stuff to work on my essay? (It’s a fall semester course) .. or would it be a lost cause?

    I am confused…………………… 😥

  23. ahhhh

    I’m so glad that the Senate has posted that bulletin. It gives students like myself a heads up of whats going to happen – at least for December. Having to sit around and be ready to “go” when they say so until the 23rd was too unreasonable. and F-Ed Up, that was quite a thing you wrote to Santa. I’ll put some bailey in for him too =]

    ps. I know some other people have posted this question already… but is there anyone who can CONFIRM they wont reach a deal before the 15th?

    Thanks in advance!
    Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year all of you!!!

  24. alien baby

    @ F-Ed Up
    love it.

    @ student.
    Yup, it’d be a waste. But by forcing YUFA (recall, these are the profs, who mostly make up the senate) to now weigh in on the contract faculty issues louder in public, the Admin is gonna have to deal with those issues one way or the other, or now YUFA will be pissed.

    See earlier post. I think the admin has known all along it has to deal with its untenured course instructors to keep undergrad running, but wants to look like it was forced to by an unreasonable, radical union.

  25. ram

    Please could you change the name of this post.. It is very misleading.. Every time i step into this site with that heading right there i have a shock not because the info is not true rather it has not been changed yet…

  26. anonymous

    would people agree with me that no agreement will be reached by the 15th? from what i understand nothing new is in the works so im takin a guess that nothing will happen by the 15th

  27. hullo

    well. I’m going to book my ticket tomorrow.

  28. RR

    Yes, it’s been evidant for a week now, you can be assured that NOTHING is happening for December. Look to the first week or so back in Janurary to see anything.

  29. anonymous

    kk thanks RR needed a little reassurance

  30. YUstudent

    anyone know what’s going on with the Back to work legislation bill being voted on tomorrow?

  31. Mike Oxbig

    is it true that the drummer from the killers went to York?

  32. Shal

    @ F-Ed Up

  33. Bree

    is anybody else totally unmotivated with doing any of their work for school?? Because I am. I haven’t touched anything since the second week of the strike and I just don’t feel like I should.
    I am usually very up to date with my stuff but this strike has just killed my liking for school.

  34. AnimalMans

    This is so ridiculous, if they honestly think they can push a month worth of school into 2 weeks and then expect us to write exams right after that’s just cruel. I don’t know how it will work, but how can they expect us to study material we learned back in september and then be examined on it 2 months later than expected…

  35. Soraya

    @ F-ed Up

    Is your cousin Portuguese? LOL

    Don’t take it the wrong way, I’m Portuguese-Canadian :p

  36. ram

    Hey! this is an article in the online version of EXCALIBUR paper..I am pasting it here as otherwise it will wait for moderation.The news is that the union has revised its proposals again and has already contacted the mediator for negotiations…Here goes the article…

    In the aftermath of the recently failed round of bargaining, both the university administration and the union appeared to reach a stalemate in negotiations. Although no talks have taken place in over a week, new revisions to the union’s proposal rekindled hope of restarting them. Graham Potts, CUPE 3903’s chief negotiator, didn’t divulge details on the revisions – citing the union’s refusal to bargain in public – but confirmed that the union has taken the downtime to alter their proposal and has asked the mediator to restart talks.

    “We have streamlined our proposals, we have our key issues on the table, we think the parties are quite close together,” he said. Potts added that the new modified proposal, in terms of overall compensation, is close to what they have won in past settlements. Robert Drummond, dean of the faculty of arts and spokesperson for the university’s bargaining team, was less enthusiastic. He said it was up to the union to make revisions because the university is running out of space. “We don’t have a lot of room to move,” Drummond said. “I don’t think we’re going to see [the strike] end this week. I think it may be January before we get a final resolution, but we’ll see.”
    Potts said he was cynical of Drummond’s assessment of the timeline for reaching a settlement. “We’re willing to negotiate now, if they’re so inclined. If the university would like to wait until January and continue to cause disruptions for students, that’s their prerogative,” Potts said. It remains unclear why a date has not been set to resume talks. Potts said the union is waiting for a response from the university after meeting with the mediator on Dec. 5. Drummond confirmed that the administration is taking cues from the mediator, who has not contacted them to schedule talks. The mediator may be waiting for the university to also modify their offer or he doesn’t think the union’s revisions will lead to any meaningful progress.

  37. student

    Don’t put much faith in the reporting done in the Excalibur. They aren’t exactly the most thorough of researchers.

  38. student

    York lost 55 million in the market downturn.

    From York:

    A Statement to the York Community on Financial Restraint

    Fellow members of the York community,

    At the Senate meeting in November, I outlined my concerns about the difficult and uncertain economic climate we find ourselves in, and how it will affect us going forward. Universities are not immune to effects of the global financial crisis, and we will be directly affected in a number of ways.

    In common with other universities across North America, our endowment funds have dropped substantially as a result of the overall decline in financial markets around the world. By the end of November, the decline in our endowment funds was 19% or about $55 million. The investment income earned every year on our endowment funds contributes significantly to supporting our operating budget, including funding of scholarships and bursaries to graduate and undergraduate students, and paying salary and benefit costs for faculty positions that have been created through endowed gifts. Given the significant drop in the value of our endowment funds so far this year, it is very likely we will see significant reductions to the amount of endowment income we will be able to distribute to Faculties and other areas of the University next year. Other universities are facing a similar situation, and several have already announced that they will be limiting or suspending disbursements from their endowment funds.

    The likely reduction or suspension of disbursements from our endowment funds next year will present a significant challenge for the areas affected by this loss of funding, especially given that the multi-year budget plan approved in June 2008 already required a base budget cut of 2% for this year, and further 2% cuts each year for the next two years.

    Our pension fund has also suffered a significant decline in value as financial markets have fallen. As of the end of November, our pension fund had dropped 19%, or about $250 million. Although this will not have a direct impact on the current year’s operating budget, we must be mindful of the statutory obligations that we have to current and future retirees, and pension funding requirements that must be fulfilled.

    Without a significant recovery in financial markets over the next 2 to 3 years, we face huge increases in annual pension contribution payments in order to address the projected pension fund deficit. These pension contribution payments are made from operating budget funds. Our pension fund is currently projected to have a deficit in excess of $250 million, and under current pension regulations, the additional payments required would be in excess of $50 million per year for five years. We understand that federal and provincial governments are reviewing pension funding requirements in view of the difficult situation facing pension funds across the country, and we will closely monitor this situation going forward.

    In the context of these financial realities, the worsening fiscal situation of the Province makes it very unlikely that we will see increased financial support from the Ontario government to help us meet the financial challenges ahead. There is also little likelihood that we can look forward to the same year-end funding allocations from the Province for universities that we have seen in recent years. The amount of government funding we will receive for the next fiscal year and for the foreseeable future is uncertain.

    All of this makes our forward planning extremely difficult. At York, we have been cautious in our budget planning in the past and this has allowed us to avoid having to implement the much more immediate and drastic measures that have started to emerge at other universities. However, even prior to the recent crisis in financial markets, our budget situation was a challenging one. Many Faculties are wrestling with emerging structural deficits, and our ability to maintain our faculty complement is of particular concern.

    As we begin to develop an updated budget plan over the next few months we must prepare ourselves for budget reductions greater than the 2% cut already announced for the coming fiscal year 2009-10.

    Therefore I have asked all the senior academic and non-academic leadership of the University to exercise tight financial restraint until further notice, particularly with regard to discretionary spending.

    All managers must plan to bring their budgets in on target this year, and look for flexibility that would help cope with reduced endowment disbursements next year and even larger budget reductions that will likely be required.

    I am asking that all areas across the university adopt a very cautious and prudent approach to hiring – for both academic and administrative positions. While some other universities have already implemented formal hiring freezes, we have not done that at York since it is recognized that certain key positions must be filled. However, any new hires will be reviewed very carefully and approved at the Vice-Presidential level, with particular regard for the projected budget situation of the hiring unit.

    The university is now facing a very difficult time and we do not know for how long this will last. However, if we take the prudent measures now and use this time to prepare our institution for the recovery that will eventually come, we will be better placed to take advantage of that recovery when it occurs.

    York is a very resilient community. I know we will get through this period of restraint, as we have done in the past, and emerge even stronger than before.


    Mamdouh Shoukri

  39. student

    i heard there was a meeting today

  40. student

    unsure if it is true or not, but if so can someone let me know please, yorks website is very slow at letting us know what is going on!

  41. Mad Student

    As long as York U wants a 3 year contract, their will be no stop this strike!

  42. student

    There was a BT team meeting yesterday. A GMM tomorrow.

    Who is this meeting between that you are referring to?

  43. Andrei MR

    (I’m a rank-and-file 3903 member.)

    There was no meeting today between York Admin and the union, if that’s what you’re asking.

    3903 asked for one, after winnowing down demands significantly, but York has not agreed to it. At least they’re no longer pretending they want to negotiate.

  44. anonymous

    No there was absolutely no meeting whatsoever between the union and the york administration i dont know where you ehard this…anytime that there is a meeting it will be publicly stated

  45. Commuter

    Some CUPE members apparently disrupted Schulich exams today. :\

  46. Andrei MR

    I feel really guilty about the effect this whole strike has had on other York students (although I voted against it twice). I know most (if not all) CUPE members do, which is why CUPE people are paid to spend hours on Facebook addressing angry students’ concerns and questions directly.

    The York admin really haven’t made any effort to reach out to York students, on the other hand. In the last two strikes (1997 and 2000), York held regular town-hall style meetings to keep people informed and allow them to address the Admin directly. I don’t know why they haven’t done it this time. Even CUPE is going to be holding a town-hall style meeting (to be held off-campus).

  47. Andrei MR


    Yes, I can confirm that that happened.

  48. Andrei MR


    … oh wait. No. I thought you meant picketing downtown. No, I cannot confirm that. I will ask around, actually, to find out if that’s true.

    You must mean MBA exams?

  49. ram

    “”3903 asked for one, after winnowing down demands significantly, but York has not agreed to it””

    Does it mean that the union has come down so significantly ? (previously it was 28% over 2 years..Has it come down so much that the parties are close enough?(as said by GRAHAM POTTS for Excalibur) .. Coming down too much just distorts the under lying need for the strike !!

  50. anonymous

    i think the union is full of it…two weeks ago they said roughly the same thing that oh weve made significant changes and we think we can reach an agreement i dont see anything happening..and even if it does it will be in january not december…guaranteed york admin is going to be going on vacation with all the money they have

  51. Andrei MR

    Okay. Nobody can confirm this. If it happened (indeed, it may have), CUPE does not endorse it. In fact, CUPE condemns it.

    If it happened, it may be that some rank-and-file people took it upon themselves to disrupt what they saw was some kind of capitalist — thing. CUPE can’t control what positions and actions rank-and-file members take. I’m a rank-and-file member, too, and I don’t even support blockading.

  52. Andrei MR


    “Does it mean that the union has come down so significantly?”

    Many demands are dropped or reduced (e.g. 11% over two years down to 8% over two years). CUPE is just focusing on the highest priority demands.

    “previously it was 28% over 2 years..”

    This is a high priority demand. 28% essentially brings benefits back up to what they were back in 2005 before the number of 3903 people hired grew by 28%.

    “Has it come down so much that the parties are close enough?”

    Well, no. CUPE feels the Administration wants us to take cuts to benefits.

    “Coming down too much just distorts the under lying need for the strike !!”

    This is still not too much. The reason why CUPE’s on strike is because York is saying no (or refusing to even talk about) basic things like cost-of-living adjustment or the multi-year SRC contract thing.

  53. Andrei MR

    “two weeks ago [CUPE] said roughly the same thing that oh weve made significant changes and we think we can reach an agreement i dont see anything happening”

    Yeah, ’cause the Admin doesn’t want to even talk to CUPE, which is why nothing’s happening. At least they could talk about it.

  54. anonymous

    @andrei MR: would you say then that in no way are they even close to one another (meaning the york admin and cupe 3903) and so in no way is anything going to happen anytime soon?

  55. anonymous

    i agree with you andrei MR im not attacking neither york admin nor cupe 3903 im just reiterating what was said a few weeks ago

  56. Andrei MR


    No, I can’t say anything like that at all.

    In my opinion, there’s gonna be a forced ratification vote very soon — possibly next week or earlier — and York has no reason to negotiate unless that fails.

  57. anonymous

    just for curisoity do you see us going back in december or not? i know you dont know for sure but you have a better idea than i do

  58. ram

    If there is a forced ratification vote by this WEEK END / Latest by the 15th and if the union falls into the trap, YES we shall see inhabited classrooms next week…

  59. ram

    Its too early to decide anything now.. i would say BE PATIENT till monday…hehehehe

  60. nellyli

    If there will be inhabited classrooms next week, I will be absent as a sign of protest for the strike…
    Well, also need to work 😛

  61. alien baby

    @ nellyli

    lol! that’d be hilarious if they finally work it all out and all the undergrads protest by not showing up.

  62. blahblah

    class on the 15th is the best thing that could happen… nothing would be due….and we can gain a week back before the new year.. whats the big deal?

  63. F-Ed Up

    @ soraya

    Nope, close: we’re Italian 😉 lol

  64. MR Two

    Class on the 15th? I LOL’D.

  65. Andrei MR


    At this point, no. I thought maybe the Admin would play its “forced rat” card by today, which would have placed the vote on Sunday. But, so far, no.

    The Admin will probably rest until after Christmas and hold the forced rat vote before New Year’s. I’ll bet they’re taking this opportunity to go off to Whistler for some fine downhill skiing.

    People at York do this kind of thing during a strike. During the strike in January early 2001, the Computer Science Department faculty went to the Bahamas on a retreat. McGill has a facility there (“the Bellair”) that many Canadian universities use for such things.

  66. theregoesourschoolyear

    so… i take it no agreement has been reached?

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