CUPE Activity Fail

So CUPE posted this on their website showing all the fun stuff they are doing to “keep their spirits up” (aka. painting over what many people think of this entire strike). In the first picture you can see in the star the word “LAZY” written in spray paint and in picture two you can see the “F-Word” (I won’t write the actual word to be polite) in the bottom left of the shed. Humorous stuff.  






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128 responses to “CUPE Activity Fail

  1. Here is something that should be in the news category posted today on the york website:

    Thats their latest counter offer, I think theres more chance now then ever that we might be back in class before Jan.

  2. anonymous

    @HA3AP: thats been up there since monday and nothing has happened so i would have to disagree with you on being back before january…including there isnt any ratification vote planned and no negotiations have been planned

  3. @anonymous

    This is a redefined proposal; the date posted on the yorku website shows it as 12/12/2008

  4. anonymous

    naw man your wrong

  5. anonymous

    the york site always changes the date on the side of that…its the same offer as monday its jsut that the date changes

  6. anonymous

    ye so im going to disagree and say no december start

  7. flushafleshfarm


    No way. Less than 1/100 chance.

  8. Andrew

    Again I am going to say this. It really doesn’t matter when they sign this, we won’t go back till January. I cannot see the senate putting us back into school Monday (should they sign it today) and do it for a week, only to then go on break again. It is just common sense.

    And in the case they do, well you can decide if you actually want to go back or not. You cant have any tests in this week, so it is just a lecture. In that case, I’d be skipping it.

  9. anonymous

    exactly flushafleshfarm

  10. ram

    HA3AP is totally wrong…
    when you enter the york university website, you always get to see the latest offer/update/media release/senate decision until something new takes place.
    For example, “Mediator confirms no talks….” was on the website for so many days until it got replaced by the present one… That does not mean that the mediator confirmed everyday… (hahahaha)…
    If you see clearly the pdf version of the latest offer it still says” December 8 2008″ which is last monday.. You have really wrongly understood..

    Bye bye for december and see you all in January if we are fortunate enough to see the classrooms then..

  11. Yeah, no offence, but if you think that we are going to be back before Jan you either have not been paying attention or you are crazy.

    Good night guys.

  12. These pictures purely depitcs CUPE’s distortion of reality…

    A side note though, I find it kinda weired, I was driving past this wooden cabin last night, I looked at it and the idea of spary painting it stuck my head and so long as I was on York’s Campus I kept feeling the urge to go and spray paint it with something along the lines of “F### CUPE” or “LAZY Bastards get 2 WORK”

    I guess I am not the only one, am sure there are thousands who felt like me…

    One of them was bold enough to do it 🙂


  13. My bad, I didn’t have enough time to fully examine the pdf, and took the date posted at yorku for granted…

  14. Student Victim

    kudos to those who spray painted the wall (before it was painted over agan by cupe :S). they expressed what a lot of us think of cupe!

  15. RR

    Hey guys,
    I was just doing some number crunching on the calander, and if christmas vacation is not counted as weeks, then the 11th week is technically the first week of Febuary. Given the climate of the situation now, and how it has pretty much played out exactly, like week for week, like the strike back in 00/01, is this the situation we should start to plan for? I just want to know because I just got a great new job and just need to make some budgets for rent/loan payback…

  16. Soraya

    Many of you have criticized the “MAC” parodies CUPE has made. You are no better than them if you spend any amount of time vandalizing their shelters. It’s okay to disagree with what they are doing but doing something like that just goes to show how immature the majority of undergraduate student body is…

    There are other ways to get your point across.

  17. Soraya

    *of getting

  18. @Soraya, CUPE and all those idiots who block the roads and vandalize other events on campus are very immature…

    They don’t want to work. Fine. But why do they have to plan road blocks and vandalise oncampus events?

    The same way they interfere into other people’s daily life and annoy other members of the York Campus. They deserve an equal disruption.

    A small spray paint on their wooden cabins is still no comparison to the stuff CUPE has been messing on campus daily…

  19. Soraya

    Obviously it doesn’t compare…

    However, it is their LEGAL right to road block, etc. Last time I checked, vandalism is something you can be charged for. Being on strike (because it is the only way you can be heard) isn’t.

    I’m not on either side. I’m just waiting. I’m using my time wisely. I go up to York 3 times a week to work out and essay/catch up on readings. I smile at the picketers.

    Saying “vandalize other events on campus” is wrong. They aren’t vandalizing anything. They’re just disruptive.

    Keep in mind, a little bit of spary paint isn’t going make anything better or make things move any faster.

  20. B

    It’s actually not their legal right to road block. Barriers are put up for safety purposes, not for blockading.

  21. Soraya

    Road block, restrict, slow down, whatever…you get my point.

  22. Andrew

    They need the barriers, because you have people who would just keep on driving. I already told one teacher to be thankful I don’t drive while at school, because I’d go through their damn road block (not flying through, not going to kill the people). They already are wasting my time by going on strike, so if they are going to waste time out of my day for their stupid BS, then I’ll use my right to drive through.

    Yes, it’s a joke, and I have a nice sense of humor about it, but basically they should be messing around with traffic. I remember one of the first days they were out there when I was leaving, I saw a milk truck stuck behind their wall. And the first thing I thought of was “this guy has nothing to do with any of this, and is trying to keep his route on time. GTFO of the way, and stop messing up more peoples lives.”

    These pictures, these videos, these attempts at trying to be funny by CUPE are making me more pissed off with them. I’m glad you find this strike funny, because I’m sure 50,000 are having just as much fun as you are.

    The majority of my teachers are contract, so it should be enjoyable going back.

  23. Impatient

    I need to venture up to York sometime this week, could anyone tell me where the go bus drop off/pick ups are now?

  24. Soraya

    I have to go, I’ll reply to your post tomorrow but I would like to say that I never said I thought the strike was funny. I said I was using my time wisely. Goodnight.

  25. shal

    @ Impatient

    The go bus drop off/pick ups are along Steeles, its hard to miss, depending on where you want to go its quite a walk across campus.

    If you go on the York U website under bus services, or even the go bus website you can find a map telling you exactly where the buses are.

  26. Baloney

    And they shouldn’t be allowed to burn wood/paper in garbage bins its unsafe; let them freeze.

  27. Pally Wally

    Also, they shouldn’t be allowed to stand outside – its cold – they might freeze to death – which is also dangerous.

  28. Cupe Doll

    Reading @all here it seems there’s increasingly strong expectations classes will resume in January 2009. I’m sorry, everyone — but that’s become unlikely.

    Regardless whatever we in 3903 keep claiming. And despite our belated attempts to begin bargaining reasonably — or at least seem like we are — 3903’s still fighting against “neo-liberalism” instead of for our own membership. Which means nothing less than assassinating this academic year will give our fight (against “neo-liberalism”) enough meaning.

    So like I’ve said from very start. It’ll go almost exactly like last time. Nothing but forced rat can clear our 3903 ideological dispute with this “neo-liberal” employer from the road. Not mediation, not arbitration, not legislation. Only forced rat. But York can only force ratification one time. Meaning they have to wait until the very last moment — when we in 3903 are coldest and hurting most. Otherwise there’s too many chances not even our unit2 might cave — and York can’t take those chances. Forced rat has got to work first and only time out.

    Best case if forced rat succeeds? Classes resume in February 2009. Just like last time. But even this is a little optimistic, though. Because there’s one potentially significant difference this time from last. Which is remembering how our unit2 caved last time — and whipping us into frenzied outrage against it happening again. Flipping total fits against having the rat forced down our throats again.

    Might not any 3903 units cave? Might not. Seems unlikely more adult unit2 at least won’t cave — cave pretty eagerly, even — but it is a possibility. Might not.

    So, what if none our 3903 units cave? Bad news for sure if the forced rat gets stopped in its tracks. Bad news not only (but especially) for undergrads. Since York can’t just capitulate to 3903. York would get destroyed worse than Concordia did if it capitulated to our radical militant grad-student run local.

    There will be neither time nor options left if the forced rat gets stopped. The academic year would be done.

    I’m sorry to have to be telling you this. But better that you know and either try to do something about it — or at least not get caught with your pants down. While not likely, it has become increasingly possible this academic year will get scrapped.

  29. Worried Union Member

    Cupe Doll’s predictions are pretty dire. I’m not sure it’ll take until Feb. for classes to resume, though. After the last strike (with the forced ratification vote) they started in mid-Jan. It’s just a matter of when the forced rat vote is timed.

    I agree on most of your other points ……

    For one thing, it’s a myth that the union won the last strike. For sure, the TAs got to keep tuition indexation. But it was the union, not the employer, who cave on just about everything else. It’s not true that the union won the forced rat vote last time … Unit 2 voted to accept the deal and the rest of the union settled a couple of days after that. They had to because 1/3 of the union was going back to work and classes were starting again anyway.

    Also, a lot of us in 3903 already know that however this strike ends we’ll end up with a deal a lot worse that it would have been if we’d just bargained. We’ll even wish we’d agreed to binding arbitration because it would be better than what we’ll get in the end.

    I was happy at the Dec. 5 GMM when the members told the bargaining team to bargain. I thought they would. But I think it’s too late now. Solidarity is an even bigger myth than the myth 3903 won the last strike.

  30. Gabby

    this whole situation is making me sooo angry! this is so incredibly selfish for CUPE to be fine with the university scrapping the year, it’s going to screw over soo many people but things are good for them so who cares? argh!!!

  31. Nathan


    The STRIKE is legal. Their pickets, their roadblocks, their portapotties, their sheds, are all technically ILLEGAL – because they’re all on York property.

    And invading Osgoode and Schulich is definitely trespassing.

  32. Ridculous

    If you are still around keep checking the York website especially after Tuesday. We have submitted on petition and are working on another one to be added to the 1st one for the senate executive committee.

    One of the request is a timeline as well as consideration for those students who were forced to get full time jobs that they be considered for deferred standing for the 1 or 2 weeks of class so they can give there employer notice when classes resume. There are no garantees but the registrar responded very quickly to clarifying about the winter fees (they are charged on our account in Dec. and normally due Jan 10 in fact when I called them last Monday they told me Jan 10). But if you go look at the website it is clearly stated that you don’t have to pay it on Jan 10. Not sure if the other requests will go so well (doubt it) but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

    @Cupedoll & WorriedUnionMember, I am also worried about only a Feb. resumption after the senate meeting. I would like to ask though because I have read that Cupe 3903 has a hardship fund so now I am thinking of lobbying the university or individual senators to help organize/administer a hardship fund for undergrads (some may run out of OSAP funds and be unable to get a job with the recession or at the meeting one women mentioned she may lose her subsidized daycare spot). Any suggestions that you may have on how such a hardship fund could be organized would be appreciated.

  33. Worried Union Member

    I’d suggest petitioning 3903 for hardship money, too, since you’re paying for the strike and will also pay for the settlement.

  34. Andrew

    Something for undergrads has to happen, because by the end of January, (should the strike not end) my girlfriend and I have paid $2655 in rent that we have not used. (As it stands $1770 has been lost to us going home during the strike so we are not spending the rest of our money on food, transportation and bills)

    I’ve made it clear that I cannot find a job while I am here. My city has a history of wanting long term out of people because of the cost of training. I basically live on OSAP and bursaries that I get. I’m not broke by any means, because I budget well, but I am going to some how have to come up with $2655 I don’t have in an attempt to pay my rent. I am just one person of 50,000, and it gives me a chill to think of how much money is just being wasted right now by students.

    And what just adds to this is the fact that we will never get any help to repay it. Residence students will have to pay more in the months that are added on. A reduced rate, but still more none-the-less. Students in apartments have to pay exactly the same. I don’t get a reduction in my rent because of the school. And yet there will be nothing to give us a hand. I don’t see CUPE or York helping out, and if someone does, it will probably be OSAP which we still have to pay back anyway.

    I’d almost like to say, even though I am against CUPE, that I hope they win this strike. Because then at least this isn’t all for nothing. At least then I am not paying $3000 in rent/bills for a deal they could have had in November. They want a two year deal to go along with everyone else. 2 years, 7.5% raise seems like a decent thing to ask for. It won’t happen though. I just got a $3000 bursary in the mail yesturday. It’s for education, to help pay for it. Take a wild guess at where it is going.

  35. Ridculous

    Andrew I am hoping to petition the senat executive to push for a volunteer who can manage a fund in trust. Then run with as many stories as a can to the media to get a public fund raising for Christmas. Then have a committe either dispurse funds or put it towards food at Yorks food bank.

    The idea is in its infancy but we need to do something. I want to get it running before Christmas to catch the holiday spirit.

  36. Ridculous

    I am toying with contacting the United Way for advice on Monday. What do you think?

  37. @Ridculous

    I still live my mommy and daddy so this does not affect me as much as other’s. I won’t get access to York’s food bank. The only thing I am going to loose in work at the beginning of May or however long our year last’s. While this is going to hit me pretty hard financially, I do consider myself to be in OKAY standing.

    With that said, do you need any help with this?

  38. ram

    You have said that you are worried about the February start after the senate meeting.. Does that mean you know what happened in the last york senate meeting.. Or did students have a chance to raise their questions..? Please can you make it clear..

  39. Ridculous

    Any help is appreciated. I am meeting with another student later today to discuss and start working on things. If you want to give me your e-mail. I’ll add you to the loop or contact admin for mine. Unfortunately food4thought at York is a division of YFS and is closed during the strike. So, currently I am trying to pressure senate executive to pressure that change or to set up an seperate emergency food bank or to get food4thought reopened (the ideal since they are already a trusted charity) or for a facultee volunteer to help administer in trust.

    Yes, I attended the last senate meeting which is open to all members of the York community (incl. undergrads). They are ending all senate meeting with a town hall where students can ask questions. If you have more questions let me know.

  40. ram

    My god!! I am so upset that i missed the senate meeting!! Do you when the next senate meeting/town hall has been scheduled??

    It will be wonderful if you could just post any significant news/information related to strike/resumption if it was shared with the york community in the last senate meeting…
    Thank you for the reply..

  41. ram

    Do you know ^when^ – Typo

  42. Ridculous

    @ Ram The next senate meeting is January 22, 2009. I will post the link to the senate website below. Myself and another student are working on a student information sheet when it is available I ask admin to post in on this site.

  43. Ridculous

    The link for the senate:

    If you look at the left hand menu you can surf the different links to learn more about how it all works.

  44. ram

    That is really appreciated..Thank you once again …

  45. UWStudent


    I don’t go to York but I read this blog almost everyday. I feel so bad for you guys. I don’t understand why your school is okay with screwing you over like this. I wish they would just give the CUPE people whatever they want and get it over with. In general I think both sides are being really immature.

    I hope your administration can pull it together over the holiday break and get you all back on track in January. It’s really ridiculous. 😦

    My condolences.

  46. Commuter

    Thanks for your support, UW.

  47. sangee

    that woman in the second picture is wearing a $300 coat. i know this because i nearly bought it, then came to me senses when i remembered i was a starving student. guess they must not be that strapped for cash.

  48. tester

    Cupe Doll,
    Your most recent post is the most depressing thing that I have read in a long time. But thanks for your input.

    With that said, I am confused about something. Aren’t TAs/Grad students missing classes because of the strike?

    Your post states that “Which means nothing less than assassinating this academic year will give our fight (against “neo-liberalism”) enough meaning.”

    Does this mean that CUPE members are willing assassinating their own academic year in their fight (against “neo-liberalism”)?

  49. jk12

    not if they want to support their families hence why the first unit to cave (if they do) will be unit 2 – contract faculty

  50. F-Ed Up

    @ Ridculous

    First: Thanks for being a saint and getting all of this info and organizing stuff, etc!

    Second: I noticed that you got some conflicting information about Winter tuition payments. Did they happen to mention OSAP releases?
    I had to pay my full year’s tuition in September due to the twisted inner-workings of teachers’ college, and now I’m worried that, if they delay the due date for Winter tuition (which would be good for everyone else) they’ll delay the resease of Winter OSAP (bad for me who’s already paid them everything and for those who need it for things other than just tuition). If anyone else knows anything else about this, any info would be much appreciated! Thanks!

  51. Nathan


    The situation varies. Generally, a 1 year MA would be class based until the summer, where the student completes a thesis/MRP.

    A 2 year MA/MSc has a limited class load – especially for an MSc – and most students get their classes out of the way in the first year.

    Now, PhDs are a whole different boat, usually completing their class requirements by year 1 or 2 of 4, 5, or even 6. It just may be that a lot of CUPE leadership/radicals are upper year PhDs. I don’t know.

    The other thing is that graduate courses are a lot more flexible – since they’re only 20 odd people and don’t require a lecture hall. They can be moved to weekends, 7 PM, 4 PM, 5 times a week, whatever. It’s very easy to make up lost time.

  52. Impatient

    Can anyone tell me where the GO bus drops you off and picks you up from, if your heading to/from Square One?

  53. ram

    Assuming that no negotiations are scheduled this week, Does anybody think this might end in Christmas vacation?
    What is the chance of students getting back on Jan 5? (It would be alarming if what cupe doll has said before becomes true…)

  54. Ridculous

    @ Fed Up

    RE:”Second: I noticed that you got some conflicting information about Winter tuition payments. Did they happen to mention OSAP releases?”

    I got the information in the pink box on YFS: site:

    At the senate meeting/town hall they said you have to contact OSAP regarding anything with them.

  55. RR

    I doubt anything will happen during the holidays to ensure a Jan 5th start. I honestly think the earliest will be the 2nd week in Jan, depending on that forced rat vote. I highly doubt though that this will go past the 11th week, it would be too disasterous on the school to scrap the semester

  56. Nathan


    It should be on Steeles, between Keele and Black Creek. After 7 PM though, the busses will return to their usual stops at the Commons.

  57. Impatient

    So I can’t catch a bus there and back around like 1 or 2?

  58. Cupe Doll


    You asked: “Does this mean that CUPE members are willing assassinating their own academic year in their fight (against “neo-liberalism”)?”

    Sounds pretty crazy, doesn’t it? But crazy as it sounds — yes. At least sometimes, we are. And more times than anyone would believe, we’re not just willing — we’re eager.

    First, it makes us feel like we’re not just academic. When we strike out successfully it makes us feel meaningful. Like we really matter. And because we’re striking out against the evil empire of “neo-liberalism”, that’s got to mean we are the good guys. Doesn’t matter how we damage or hurt anyone else. Our ideology defines us as the good guys. So when every public opinion turns against us, we can only believe that’s because the deathstar of “neo-liberalism” (aka York) is slandering and propagandizing against us. We can never believe the love we deserve as the good guys could be missing for other reasons. Like how we’re hurting you undergrads, for just one instance.

    Check it out — from our 3903 December 11th Strike News: “Instead of sitting down with us they have bargained in the media, turned us into walking targets of undergraduate anger, driver road rage and right wing talk-radio vitriol, and paternalistically treated us like children rather than valued educators. We cannot let them succeed.”

    See what I mean? It’s York doing all the Macpropaganda — not us. It’s York that likes getting shut down — to save money or something. Not our fault. It’s York and their pet mediator that kept refusing to negotiate reasonably — not us. It’s York that made all you undergraduates so mad at us — got nothing whatsoever to do with us. And it’s York that turned the whole public against us. Got to be. We’re the good guys.

    Not all of us in 3903 are that ideological, of course. In unit2, for example, there’s plenty tired old(er) adults just looking with utter disbelief at the carnage our local’s causing.

    But the radicals in 3903 driving this insanity? Some of them actually stand to gain from this. Gain time. Because they are late completing their theses or dissertations. And they stand to profit from shutting York down this academic year exactly the way an undergrad stands to profit when they call in bomb threats during exams they haven’t studied.

    Except undergrads calling bomb threats in know how illegitimate that is. Might even feel a tad guilty. Not so when it comes to our 3903 radicals. Because it’s so ideologically definitive we’re the good guys. So come on, already — where’s the love?

  59. Impatient

    Do you forget you got to York first to study and work comes second? You luckily get to join a union and work “10” hours a week and get complete benefits when the rest of the undergrad community works part-time and attends full-time classes without receiving complete benefits. In my opinion, TA’s have absolutely no right to strike and Unit 2 is the only one that should be able to. We ARE in recession no matter what any of u union members say, I can prove it to you, would you like to see me mutual fund statements? With this recession you don’t deserve any of the benefits you have been offered, take or leave, beggers can’t be chosers. I’ve worked the last 15 days straight pulling 11 hour shifts, so I can cover my tuition payments, can I go on strike? No, I’ll just get fired and replaced. Quit your belly-aching and get back to work.

  60. Impatient

    Btw. Ruin my school year, I will personally make every picketers life a living hell.

  61. Jason

    Please dont let them ruin this academic year, it is crucial that we all get back in January, February the very latest. That would enrage so many people attending York University, it cant happen.

  62. saddi


    I feel as though you are trying to appeal to us “students” by using your own form propaganda. I mean, do you really think this idea of radicalism applies? Radicalism is not only a form of social/political reform, but ECONOMICAL as well. Now that we have established that, what exactly does CUPE hope to achieve in a time of ECONOMICAL recession? You try to romanticize this notion of radicalism…with this idea
    of suffering for a greater cause? How about the deterioration of our economy…could CUPE not “suffer for a greater cause” and hold out until we can afford your “reasonable demands”?
    I will not get into what I think about your demands because it is irrelevant and I agree with that fact that its your right to strike but statements like,

    “It’s York that likes getting shut down — to save money or something. Not our fault. It’s York and their pet mediator that kept refusing to negotiate reasonably — not us. It’s York that made all you undergraduates so mad at us — got nothing whatsoever to do with us”

    make me incredibly frustrated! In response to your very biased comments…are we not supposed to keep a neutral stance? York is shut down for liability purposes, road blocks and a constant disruption by CUPE would only cause chaos. I believe that York has tried to negotiate and it is CUPE in fact who hasn’t budged? ? ? And if your goal is to sway “students” in your favour…I would like to say (speaking for myself of course) Please do not sit there and insult my/our intelligence by pretending for one minute that the reasons why undergrads are so mad at CUPE has “nothing whatsoever” to with you. That’s just not true!
    With all that said, I do not give a damn about CUPE or York, because neither of you care about the “students”, which…GUESS WHAT… essentially makes you two of a kind in my books!!!
    Oh and thanks for establishing “Except undergrads calling bomb threats in know how illegitimate that is. Might even feel a tad guilty. Not so when it comes to our 3903 radicals”….this comment made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
    The worst part is that eventually we will all head on back to school…and comments like yours unfortunately encourage anomosity between students and the establishment (which you’re a part of if you havent noticed)…I believe they call this counter productive?

    Oh and by the way…anyone can say that they are “ideologically” the good guys… I am tired of hearing excuses…from York and from the union…how about you guys just lay it out on the table and measure?

  63. Sshmr

    The ideology means that it doesn’t matter if we’re in recession, hell, everyone else in the world could be unemployed, and the radicals would still be out there pushing their strike agenda. The rest of the world is irrelevant. All they see is York’s 800 million in revenues, they don’t see its 525 million in salaries alone, they don’t see its disappointing economic forecast. Most importantly, they don’t see that OTHER UNIONS WILL DEMAND A MATCHING DEAL. Sure, 7% (or 4%) of 17,000 isn’t that much, but how much will the current 525 million in salaries increase when every other unionized employee at York demands the same amount in pay hikes? How in the world will York turn a profit then?

    To the ultra radical Union members, as long as they get what they want, the rest of the world can go to hell. Case in point – CUPE Local 3903 is DEAD BROKE at the moment. Their striking is funded by CUPE National now. Essentially, they’re striking on the union dues of other people.

  64. Basil El-Salviti

    @ CUPE Doll

    I think you need to tone down your rhetoric. I don’t care what inside news you have, you speculate far too dire of things and I can tell it worries undergrads.

    I am getting sick and tired of reading all these posts about us losing our year, there is NO basis for this argument.

    I will do my own investigation and get back to you on this.

  65. Andy

    Cupe Doll’s posts and the pictures really help illustrate why this whole thing is as ridiculous as it is.

    It’s just a handful of grad students, expecting everything to be handed to them on a silver platter, deciding that it’d be fun to play “revolutionary” for a while. They’ll haul out their tired Marxist rhetoric, paint some communist red stars on everything and have a ball . . . all the while not giving a damn about the harm they’re doing.

    It’s okay guys if your education gets completely ruined, they’re going to smash the “evil empire” and “neo-liberalism” for us. Doesn’t that make you feel better?

  66. D

    I would like to see a pool going for bets when the first day of class will be.

    I’m guessing January 22 🙂

  67. shoewe

    I have an important announcement…Since all those TA’s want more money, judging by those pictures it looks like they can afford expensive winter coats, running shoes, gloves, hats, even sunglasses that I am sure would run them a bill of 300.00 or more for everything. Where are they getting all of this money from? They still want more? Think about it.

  68. annoyed

    for all of you asking if we will still be back this December. a notice was sent out, im not entirely sure when…. anyways, it stated that if the strike does not end by December 15th they will not make us go back to school. So, on Monday if the strike is still not over, your Christmas vacation has officially begun.

  69. B

    The school year isn’t lost. Nor is it likely to be. If this plays out like the last strike, look for an 11th hour save.

    The Union and York need to put out propaganda to sway public support and put pressure on the other side.

    Radicalist rhetoric with very dire predictions and consequences is meant to instill fear in the masses and motivate you to increasingly fight for for that side. See it for what it is and don’t freak out and react in an extremist fashion.

    In the end, their is no noble fight in this situation. What good is beating down neoliberalism when you forsake the very people you claim to educate? When you strip them of their right to education? (York might have canceled classes, but the Union also put them in that position. The blame here is two sided regardless of the consistent claim that it is entirely the admin’s fault) Do you forget that you are a product of that very same system? It taught you to think critically in the end did it not?

  70. Fred

    People, this is what you get for proudly putting on tshirts with a picture of a marxist thug like Che. I’m as liberal as it gets, but it’s those ultra leftists feeling “revolutionary” that are going to ruin your school year completely. Couple that with York’s stupid planning and we have this big mess!

  71. annonymous

    This site is not being updated as much as it used to be. Is that because there’s just no new news to share?

  72. Disappointed

    I was thinking before of catching up with all the readings that I would have been doing in November up till now.. but if the curriculum is going to get condensed and changed, is there even any point? and what of the essays?

    Also, when’s the next rally/protest, yorkstrike2008? I think undergrads are even more frustrated, equaling a better turnout.

  73. MR Two

    Probably. Also, we’re not going back until January at the earliest, so most people are probably just sitting back and (finally) enjoying their holidays.

  74. ts

    It’s kind of sad that this site hasn’t been updated in a few days…. looks like there is no progress being made at all… Im betting there’s no way we’ll be back jan.5th. hmm.. maybe I’ll book a cheap trip that week…

  75. @Everyone!

    Maybe I am just the dumb one, but I REALLY don’t think that people here should be bashing Cupe Doll. She is one OUR side! She is one of us! She is simply telling US what THEY are saying. If I say that Hitler hated the Jews because he felt they were vermon, does that make me an anti-semite? No, it makes me a man reporting on a historical figure. The same principle can be applied for CUPE Doll. She is telling us what is going on in the minds of CUPE, and for that we should be thanking her. Not condemning her.

  76. Impatient

    In their minds, including hers as she made good use of the word “we” a lot, meaning cupe + her.

  77. anonymous

    so i guess its safe to say our christmas holiday has begun…?

  78. anonymous

    if a deal is not reached by the end of today doesnt that mean were safe until the second of january?..

  79. Andrew

    We are done for the year. That should just be common sense since no talks are going on, so nothing is going to get signed tonight or tomorrow, unless someone just gives in.

  80. Cupe Doll

    Can’t believe you guys @all.

    Here I am passing out inside scoops what it’s like among 3903 radicals. And you get all jumping like I’m agreeing with the radicals? As if I was one too?

    Give your heads a shake. Where did I say I was agreeing? Why would I be scooping 3903 inside out? If I was agreeing with 3903 radicals — if I was one myself — wouldn’t I be repeating the same party lies?

    Let’s get clear. You’re supposed to be adults so you should understand. At 11th hour there will be a forced ratification. If the forced rat goes through then the academic year will be saved. If the forced rat fails then the academic year may be lost.

    Probably the forced rat will make it through. But this time 3903 is doing everything to try and stop it getting through like last time. There’s some real chance forced ratification will fail. At the end of the 11th hour. And that’s something undergrads had better face.

  81. anonymous

    @cupe doll: what do you mean 11th hour?

  82. anonymous

    do you mean 11th week? im started to get stressed out we are not goin back in december are we? i thought forced rat was not happening well at least in time to get us in class in december? can you clarify that thanks cupe doll

  83. Cupe Doll

    @anonymous: “11th hour” means last minute. Forced ratification can’t happen too soon because chances of it succeeding are best at the last minute. But even at last minute — it still could fail. And then what? After the last minute?

  84. anonymous

    @cupe doll: o ok i was worried you meant that tomrrow or something it was going to be done (ratification vote) so i got worried because im going back home to see my family so im like o man i started stressin for a second…yea i hear u cupe doll thanks so much for information some people on this site are a little ungrateful many of us however appreciate your inside news enjoy the holidays….

  85. Cupe Doll

    anonymous, stop flipping about classes resuming in December 2008. My point was that there’s a chance classes won’t even resume in January or February 2009. That the academic year could be totally lost.

  86. anonymous

    ook thanks a bunch cupe doll

  87. anonymous

    i was worried just because i saw 11th hour im like wtf and as i said previously im goin back home so im a little stressed out when i see certain messages that i dont fully understand cuz i sure as hell dont wanna cancel a trip because of school for a week you know what i mean well have a great holiday

  88. ram

    @ Cupe doll
    You really have been informative through out.. I have a question.. In one of the articled tonight on NATIONAL POST (the link is already posted above by commuter) the university media person has said that it is ready to negotiate over the holidays too. I am just wondering if the union has come down in their demands (although I think they need not, as it would not be meaningful otherwise) to make the university come to the bargaining table..I do not see anymore GMMs being scheduled on the cupe website after the 17th (coming wednesday).. What is your overall view on this scenario?

    I personally feel there is still a chance for both the parties to come to a settlement over the holidays if they say they are willing to negotiate.. In that case we can be back on the 5th Jan without even a forced ratification.. Can we be little optimistic?

  89. Basil El-Salviti

    @ CUPE Doll

    Obviously, it’s a good thing to have the inside scoop on these issues….I just feel that it’s a kind of fear mongering that unfortunately is not working.

    Look, obviously one could argue that our school year COULD be lost. That being said, the university would never do that…if forced rat. fails, there is clearly the option of conceding to many of CUPE’s demands. York can afford it, too. I sincerely doubt that the administration would let 50,000 students be duped like this….it will ruin their reputation; therefore, it’s pretty much 100% unlikely we wont lose our year simply because of that.

    That being said, if the university does make the wrong decisions, or plays their cards wrong, OBVIOUSLY we’re entering dangerous territory. Though I highly doubt that the administration would let that happen.

  90. Cupe Doll

    Sorry @ram. These sides will not come together until and unless one side gets defeated — and humiliated. That’s what undergrads have got to face. This strike is not about job security or anything economic. This strike is about ideological trench warfare.

    Look. You undergrads are supposed to be adults. You need to understand this. There’s a real chance this academic year will be lost — and nobody is coming to rescue you.

    Only you undergrads can save the academic year if forced ratification fails. But you would all have to stop waiting someone else to rescue you — and take action to safeguard your own rights. Stand up for yourselves.

  91. Cupe Doll

    @Basil El-Salviti,

    Don’t think so wishfully. Neither side will capitulate before getting defeated. Even the mediator — who’s job is nothing but getting sides together — can’t bother any longer.

    Can York simply capitulate if the forced rat fails? Not likely. No university can afford what happened at Concordia.

    Like I said above. Only you undergrads can save the academic year if forced ratification fails. But you would all have to stop waiting someone else to rescue you — and take action to safeguard your own rights. Stand up for yourselves.

  92. ram

    Thank you Cupe doll..

  93. ram

    Cupe doll :
    Can you just say (very briefly) what happened at Concordia university.. I have not even heard of the university before.. Only if i know the analogy will i be able to understand our scenario better..Was it a labor disruption? If so when did it happen? Please do not mind if i sound ignorant..

  94. saddi

    OK please let me get this straight…”these sides won’t come together until one is defeated-and humiliated”…uhuh and we undergrads are the ones who need to “act like adults”? For once I am speechless…lol. We understand the possibility that we could lose our year obviously…but as Basil is highly unlikely. So in order to keep the morale up shouldn’t we concentrate on getting back asap?

  95. Cupe Doll

    @saddi: “So in order to keep the morale up shouldn’t we concentrate on getting back asap?”

    Absolutely. And you could do it, too. You’ve got every public sentiment on your side, you’ve got excellent communication — especially this forum — and you’ve got all the numbers on your side.

  96. Lola

    @Cupe Doll “take action to safeguard your own rights. Stand up for yourselves.”

    What exactly do you propose undergrads do? Are you saying there is actually something concrete we all can actively do to stop this ideological power struggle?? If if everyone of us were screaming at the top of our lungs could that really speed up the snails pace in negotiations? I am skeptical that either parties give a crap what we have to say.

  97. Graduating in June...

    So, can someone please tell me what I am supposed to do about over $600 of teachers college applications I paid for if this year is lost, and can’t graduate in June? Is York going to give me the money I’ve lost because I won’t be able to go to TC in September? Don’t think so…UGH! This is all so annoying!

  98. Andrew

    So basically we are screwed, because lets face it, no side gives a damn about what the students want. Lets not bullshit ourselves anymore, and lets not sit here and think either side cares about the students. If 50,000 students march up to York University and demanded they make a settlement…nothing will happen. If 50,000 students march up to the CUPE offices and demand a settlement…nothing will happen. We will simply be told the same bullshit either side has been telling us since day one.

    York: We have put out a fair offer, and in this economic time, this is what we have. Arbitration is what needs to happen to help students.
    Cupe: We are thinking of the students, and want to get them back into the classroom when a fair contract is reached.

    Even the government won’t step in to help us, so what power do we have. And please don’t kid yourself and tell me “my voice” because that is a bunch of crap. No amount of protests, meetings, newspaper articles, blogs, or websites is going to give us any more power then what we have now, which is next to nothing. We don’t control money, contracts, or anything worth money, except our own funds we pay to the school, and I’m not paying more so CUPE can have a pay raise, and I watch my student loans go up.
    Maybe I’ll draft up my own agreement with York, get 50,000 student signatures and present York with the students offer. That offer being that all 3000 cupe 3903 members be removed and new teachers be brought in while the settlement is figured out. Because at this point, I’d rather a new teacher in my classroom January 5th, and take a week to get her/him caught up and start fresh with a new teacher, then sit here and be held hostage by a bunch of people who are openly admitting to screwing us.

    You said it yourself doll. Cupe will give up the entire year for their cause. You want me to think like an adult, well HOW IN GODS NAME IS THAT IN THE STUDENTS BEST INTERESTS. This isn’t about us, this is about Cupe and their fight. And the sad thing is, anything I do will probably end up with me being arrested.

  99. Ridculous

    @ All

    I did a petition and as part of it I have included a student resource sheet where you can contact student senators, learn about the senate contact your dean. Flood them with stories of your hardship and cc. the press sooner or later it will have an effect. Heck one person said approach cupe 3903 for hardship money (since they have a fund already set up for there members). Make noise.

    Ideally I would like to get hardship stories together contact the united way before Christmas and get a food drive going for students who will be facing financial harship due to the strike. The media loves this stuff especially around Christmas.

    My position is simple: York doesn’t care about the consequence of their dispute and it takes priority. Cupe doesn’t care about about the consequences either and their issues take priority. So I say: its time UNDERGRADUATE ISSUES TAKE PRIORITY let the chips and pressure this causes fall where they may.

  100. B

    @Basil El-Salviti – not to fuel any of the school year being lost talk but….

    Excerpts from the recent President’s statement:

    “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.”

    “…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.”

    “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.”

    “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.”

    York can’t afford it.

  101. Cupe Doll

    Dear Lola,

    I can’t actually propose anything. But let’s do a thought experiment. Ok?

    Imagine undergraduates are all back in the new year, more than eagerly to return to classes — but classes have not resumed by January 15th. And it’s getting ever more questionable if and when classes will resume.

    What would happen if 3ooo undergraduates did return to classes on January 15th — despite classes not having resumed?

    Consider: based on how eagerly everyone wants to return — how hard would it be for 5% York’s undergrads pretending for one day there’s something there to return to?

    Consider: 3000 would be as many or more people than there are in all 3903 — how would that play in the media since all public sentiment already is in support of undergrads?

    Consider: how fast would media rush to cover undergrads sitting-in Vari Hall and Ross Building, waiting their profs and T.A.s?

    Consider: how could York stop such action — since university grounds are public space and since, nevermind, students already paid the right to be there? Similarly, how could 3903 legally stop such action?

    Consider: wouldn’t there be more than a few dissident voices from both York and 3903 coming out to support the students — maybe perform a few symbolic lectures at least?

    Consider: how humiliated would York and 3903 become in public eyes, minds and hearts? How could they maintain their mutual “intransigence” faced by a PR disaster that magnitude?

    Finally, consider what it would mean longer term. Instead of York becoming known as the university that’s been taken over by ideologically radical T.A. union. Instead of past, present and future undergrad accreditation from York getting totally devalued. Instead, York would become the place where undergrads stood up for themselves. Where young people learned to shoulder adult responsibilities most spectacularly.

    Am I getting carried away? Maybe. Favourite fantasy right now, undergrads standing up. Thing is, you could make it real. But it would require more than holding a salad-fork. More like a pitchfork.

  102. D

    @cupe doll

    This is something I envisioned would happen with a “student protest”. Imagine even 1000 students showing up. Alas, if we could barely muster 50 students for the Queens Park one… I wonder if this would be even possible 😦

    It seems most are just content with the way thigns are, and find it easier to play the victim…

  103. Cupe Doll


    I know. Pretty sad. And I can’t care about undergrads getting organized more than undergrads do. That would be a total waste of time.

    Yet it seems so doable. It’s not like going to Queen’s Park or anyplace unfamiliar. Just pretend you’re going to your own classes for a day. Call it “Back to School Counterstrike Day” or something. Get a band out to play Vari Hall. Have a truckload pizza delivered. I don’t know — I’m no good at organizing. But what’s wrong with taking over for a day and making York into a stronger community for undergrads? Ultimately any university campus has got to be about undergrads first. By 90% all the numbers.

    Anyhow. Done what I could and got’ta crash. Whatever you guys do or don’t — point is you easily could. Whether or not undergrads choose to stand up — it’s your choice. So you aren’t victims any longer.

  104. tester

    Cupe Doll:
    Undergrads are victims of this strike, and always will be. When the strike is over, we will say “we were victims, and abandoned by out TA’s”.

    As for organizing something, I like your ideas, but the undergraduate student body does not have many resources. We couldn’t buy a slice of pizza for people to share, yet alone a truckload. We cannot advertise effectively. Our union, the YFS, is support CUPE, not the students.

    BUT I do like your “experiment”

  105. Poor Student

    Cupe doll is right, we suck at organizing…

    everyone’s opinions are soo straw and inflexible more than five of us can’t agree at the same time….

    Its sad really, we probably could have actually done something had we not all been sooo aggressive in our opinions.

  106. now do you people wish we had unleashed a bear?! god.

    i’m giving my TAs so much cut eye when i get back, if ever. they better be ready.

  107. tester

    well, when school gets started, students will unite to have the YFS president removed from office.

  108. Lola

    The bottom line is is that undergrads have no leadership. we’re 50,000 kids scattered around ontario by now. It would be idealistic to say we can become unified under our own banner but the truth is none of us know what the hell we are doing. We need leadership to unify us. We have none.

  109. Andrew

    They key words lola used are scattered around Ontario. I’d say the vast majority of students went home, and asking students who live a distance away to come back for a protest isn’t going to happen. It isn’t that we don’t care, it is just logistics and other things going on. If I knew 3-5000 students were going to show up at York, I’d look into finding a way to get there. But with 50 people, well it just is not enough noise.

    Leadership is not hard to find, it is more students willing to follow. If I stand up right now and say “I need 5000 students to be at York starting January 5th ready to return to class” I know right now what I’ll be met with. “I’d love to be there, but I have to work” or a bunch of other things. Which I am not saying is a bad thing, since students were forced into doing other things.

    I will be returning Jan 5th, regardless if the strike is over or not. The word is that students are studying right now trying to get ahead. Well my idea, rather then getting protests going, and bands playing is to go to the school and do what we should be doing…learning. Instead of people staying home and studying, or working in the library, I’d rather imagine 5000 students in Vari hall (which would be filled with desks) working and learning. Then call in the media. We returned to school, ready to learn.

    The thing is, you need at least 3000-4000 people who are going to be there every single day. Not once or twice a week, but every day. Because if you have a core group that size, then anyone else who can join in for a few days a week, makes things bigger. But only a large group all the time will make any difference.

  110. tester

    So is what I suggest….On January 5th, go to school, and if there is no class, just hang out in Vari Hall until we are noticed. Unless we can come up with a more organized idea.

    On Jan.5th, I will go to school. If there is no class, I will go to Vari Hall. If others show up, then we can start making noise, and see what else we can do. If other are not there, then I will just go to the library.

  111. tester

    andrew, see you on the 5th.

  112. tester

    if there is no leadership, then people need to either work with the anti-strike group (, or find others to establish leadership.

    the anti-strike group has a small base, but it is the largest base of anti-strike supporters out there. the rest of the people are just not organized.

  113. tester

    also, andrew, let not try to get the thosands..
    let get 100, or 75, or something. if we build it, they will come.

  114. nikgs

    yes, impeach YFS for sure.

    Theres thousands of ppl talking about this strike online. I personally haven’t been to any rally yet but I will go to the next one, and yeah definitely something large should be planned for the 11th hour should we get there. Just get as many undergrads to York as possible… picket the CUPE portable toilets/shacks or something I dunno.

    If we could get a few thousand together we could probably accomplish something.

  115. Mark AMR

    Hi, all. I’ve just withdrawn from York. I just got a full-time job and am going to apply to other universities for next year. My grades are good and I am collecting references from a few of my professors and TAs.

    I figure an extra two or so years of university is worth the price of getting a higher quality and more reputable degree from a better university than York.

  116. An observation

    I got this joke in my inbox today. All it took was a little bit of amendments and voila!!! It made me smile!

    Lawrence Livermore Laboratories has discovered the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element, CUPEtium (symbol=CU), has one neutron, 3 assistant neutrons, 9 deputy neutrons, and 3000+ assistant deputy neutrons. The atomic mass of 3000+ particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since CUPEtium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A tiny amount of CUPEtium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take from 1 day to 78 days to complete. CUPEtium has a normal half-life of 2 to 3 years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons become volatile. In fact, CUPEtium’s mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that CUPEtium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass. When catalyzed by demands, CUPEtium reacts against Administratium (symbol=Ad), an element that radiates just as much energy as CUPEtium, since it has equal peons but twice as many morons.

  117. Cupe Doll

    There we go. Now at least you’re considering taking your fate into your own hands.

    Few suggestions. Don’t start right on 5th. Give York and 3903 a chance to force ratification or settle some other way. But let them know students are coming regardless if York and 3903 like it or not. Just knowing the undergrads are coming will put more pressure on them. Let them stew a few days. Might do it right there.

    Let media know well in advance that students are returning despite the total irresponsibility of their “valued educators”. Let media know that undergraduate student resistance to York and 3903’s irresponsibility will be totally peaceful — but absolutely determined.

    Invite everyone from York and 3903 that’s on the side of students to come out. Some will!

    If you guys manage to have a real party out the first day, that will very likely be all the pressure needed. Both York and 3903 will be forced to realize their private little war got crashed big time. So long as student turnout doesn’t look (a)pathetic in the media, York and 3903 can’t afford any PR disasters that huge.

    Good luck @all. Show what a pitchfork students hold when they go (back) to York.

  118. Cupe Doll

    @An observation: lol too hard. coke all over keyboard

  119. An observation

    @Cupe Doll: Glad you liked it! I’m CUPE too, but it was too hard to resist a little self-deprecating humour. Feel free to share.

  120. S

    @ An observation.

    Hilarious. Haven’t read something as funny as this in a long time. Thanks for a laugh in this dire situation.

  121. RN3rdYear

    This email was sent to nursing students today:

    To all Students,

    We are happy that the Senate Executive granted a limited exclusion to a small group of nursing students who are scheduled to write the CRNE in February,
    2009. However, I have also heard from many of you who indicated that was not so great for you personally as you continue to be frustrated by the strike. Unfortunately, it is now certain that there will be no resumption of classes and related academic activities before 05 January 2009, in accordance with an earlier Senate Executive announcement,

    We know that it must be very stressful, frustrating and disappointing that the current CUPE 3903 labour dispute continues to prevent you, our students, from obtaining the educational experience owed to you. It is also frustrating for our staff, full-time faculty, and part-time course directors and instructors that they are not able to carry out those very duties they were hired or contracted to do and about which they are so passionate, i.e. educating and supporting our students.

    There are no guarantees that a resolution to the current dispute will occur before 05 January so please try to pay attention to the York University website for related announcements.

    On behalf of the School of Nursing, I extend sincerest wishes for a resolution to the dispute between now and the New Year so that academic activities can resume on 05 January, in what will hopefully be a much happier New Year.


  122. RN3rdYear

    So basically…its OFFICIAL that the school year is done until Jan 5th at the earliest.

    Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas everyone

  123. student

    The first week of January is probably a write off as well.

  124. I’m choosing to look at this whole situation in a different light now…I’m looking at things as a countdown now rather than an accumulation. The way I see it, it is December 15th and my prediction is that the strike will be over middle of january or end of january/first week of february at the latest. That means we are almost there….A month or so left to go guys! Hang in there!

  125. theowne

    There needs to be some organized place to organize this “kids back to school without teachers” protest. Like, say, a facebook event/group or something.

  126. Disappointed

    true, you want to make a facebook group? for going back to york, i’m definitely in.
    let’s take cupe doll’s advice.. monday january 12th @vari hall? i know other ppl who would definitely do this as well. let’s publicize during the holidays!
    merry christmas!

  127. Theowne

    Spend the holidays getting as much people asp ossible to show up, bribe your friends, do anything it takes. I actually think this blog would be the best place to organize but that’s up to the owner…

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