Update From University

This is a really good update. It goes point by point through the key points of the Unions demands and shows what they have done on them. This is more than either side has done in the recent past. I am as neutral as can be in this debate but, however, I must agree with the University that a 20% increase over two years is completely unrealistic. If we look at the Ontario Secondary Teachers’ recent settlement of 12% over 4 years we can attain some perspective. In all forms the Ontario Secondary Teachers’ Federation is many times stronger and more powerful than CUPE or CUPE 3903 and they settled for 12% over 4 years, which was considered an excellent gain. Teachers in Ontario are extremely well paid and have achieved such through incremental increases in compensation, not by demanding 20% over 2 years. Although I agree with some of the ‘structural’ changes to the University’s system that CUPE is demanding, the compensation package is completely unrealistic, financial unfeasible and is doing nothing more than slow down this process. 

Grow up CUPE, you are losing support by the second. 

Link here: http://webapps.yorku.ca/NegotiationsUpdates/doc/Communication.pdf




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69 responses to “Update From University

  1. Jeff

    Hold on, putting benifits back to 2005 levels and indexing them in the future doesn’t count as an increase..

  2. Pally Wally

    3903’s position is strengthened, obviously, by the fact that they won’t be legislated back to work since they are employed by the university and not the government.

    Someone show me what YUFA’s contract works out to as a % of the University’s revenue. They do 50% of the teaching. What is the other 50% worth? We can probably agree YUFA deserves more, and that the 3903 contract shouldn’t be equal, but what is ‘unreasonable’?

  3. ram

    I do not know if you all know this option or not.. In 2000-2001 strike The university gave a pass/fail option without grade for the courses affected by the strike.. This is a good option as the grade will not be visible on the transcript yet we can have the credits counted.. they will not be counted towards the GPA. When we apply for masters, we can explain to the institution about the reason behind that option.. Hope they give the same one this year too if at all the situation gets worsened

  4. oh really...

    While it was a good update, it doesn’t sound like this thing will be resolved any time soon. I am betting on nothing much happening until that 11ish week period because I am sure CUPE is banking on the university caving to avoid loosing the year.

  5. Mark

    For Pete’s sake………..try making $12. an hour as a single parent and finally getting your kid into York…then this crap happens…..Sure I got some help from OSAP but it doesn’t cover everything….I want all my money back….I’ll give it to the local college where my son will get the education he so desires……….and THOSE educators CARE……….

  6. Jon

    @ ram
    Why is there an option for a pass/fail? Do we choose this?

  7. Cupe Doll

    @ Pally Wally: “We can probably agree YUFA deserves more, and that the 3903 contract shouldn’t be equal, but what is ‘unreasonable’?”

    Too late, Pally. Far too late to pretend we in 3903 could give rat danglers what’s “reasonable” or “un-reasonable”.

    We’ve got perfect good reason for asking the moon, the stars and — as we already admitted — the utterly impossible. Right? Because this is war. We don’t fight to be more “reasonable” for the membership. We can’t bother even asking job security for rank&file unit2s — the only legitimate issue this strike. Nope. We have to ask the absurd, the ridiculous and the impossible to better fight against “neo-liberalism”. We can’t take any chances York will fork over what we ask. That would completely stop our fighting against “neo-liberalism”.

    Nothing less than assassinating this academic year @York can give our war against “neo-liberalism” enough meaning.

  8. Mark

    I think cupe dolls needs to renew her meds

  9. John Doe

    you cant say your neutral and then conclude with “grow up cupe, your losing support by the second”

  10. P D

    @ ram

    I also heard the same that in the strike in 2000-2001, by the time the strike ended, the university was giving a pass option for the students. York would give you your credit for that course but there was actually no mark so although you gained the credit, that course did not have an effect on your GPA. I also am hoping that York will offer this if the strike continues further into January for this option will allow students not to worry about their marks in first semester being effected the strike and it will allow us to jump right into second semester. Also, by providing this option, we wont have to deal with a hectic schedule of completing as much of the course as possible once we get back. Instead, we just jump right into second semester with a fresh start. I can only hope though…

  11. Ridculous

    I am very unhappy about this strike for one. I only needed 10 credits to finish my b.a. and I was debating between just graduating or doing an honours degree. I have very high grades and an “a” average for the last two years. Believe me when I say this hard work I am by no means gifted as you can see by my writing…I have to plan on finishing my papers 1.5 weeks in advance then spend the rest of the time editing and proffreading. So, bottom line is this strike has left a very bad taste in my mouth and I am seriously thinking f school I’ll get my graduate and do an mba in couple of years…like 2011 LOL

    Cupe is demonstrating again today with a musical march…marching drums and all. Anyhow, I am off to work.

  12. @Ram

    @Ram, besides the pass/fail option, what was the other option?

  13. It’s okay everyone, York will have a forced ratification vote and either one unit will accept and the others wont or they all will not accept…following this the York admin will cave on demands and the strike will be over. I’m thinking we have a month left to go! Woooooo! Can’t wait to be back in class! Almost there!

  14. Marj

    You have no idea how silly you sound….wish some of you were in the real world and worked for a living

  15. Mark

    I want my money back…all of it….this year sucks…

  16. Mark

    all unions should be obliterated…let’s go back to the good ol’ fashioned way of doing things………..

  17. Pally Wally

    CUPE Doll,

    If you love neoliberalism so much why don’t you marry it? (Which is to say: go to Calgary)

  18. Pally Wally

    please stop talking “@ (‘at’)” me – I find it quite rude.

  19. Marj

    no Elle, not you..I am just totally frustrated with all this….no end in sight? lost semester? big time lost money? frustration plus

  20. Marj

    and cupe doll, grow up and look outside your small, one-sided little world.

  21. Mike Oxbig

    @ P D

    when they gave students the pass option and received a no mark…

    so the course isn’t included in GPA at all?

    not even the weight of the course?

  22. I’m completely frustrated too 😦 It’s hard to stay positive sometimes

  23. TinyXIII

    Yeah, it was nice to see a new update from the University on something, but I’m still not jumping for joy at the possibility of this being over any time soon.
    As far as I’m concerned, I wont even consider the possibility of us going back to school for this academic year till I hear that they are meeting again and talking this out. At least when they were meeting before, there was a chance something could be done to if not resolve the problem, push it a little closer to going in the hole.

    When we get a release saying union and York back at the table then I might jitter a little…

  24. Jafac

    Actually Marj, I think Cupe Doll was being a little sarcastic in that response. Basically the point is that the union is actually more concerned with gaining some sort of moral victory over the school system rather than actually improving the CBA for the members. Or at least that’s what I got from it.

  25. Mike Oxbig

    @ P D

    when they gave students the pass option and received a no mark…

    so the course isn’t included in GPA at all?

    not even the weight of the course?

  26. Stef

    I have to agree with Jafac,
    If I’ve read Cupe Doll’s statement correctly, I would have to say it’s dripping with contempt for her union’s bargainers. I really sympathize with her, I mean, it would be terrifying to have the collective voice of yorkstrike.com basically bashing TA’s all the time and really hard not to take personally.
    For the record, I don’t see any university admin here, trying to let us know what’s happening. (Thx Cupe Doll!)

    Oh, and PS – even though the TA’s do 50% of the teaching, a lot of the budget in the university goes to research and materials and such – lab equipment, various studies, etc. (Who knows, maybe even a monkey or two in some back-water basement.) Universities actually aren’t for the undergrads only – they’re for cutting edge development – otherwise they’d be giant adult high schools.

  27. An observation

    My goodness! Cupe Doll is not personally espousing the Union’s position. She is sarcastically presenting the militant nature of the members who are not willing to settle for anything less than the war they are waging against what they consider “neo-liberalism”. (I am beginning to really get sick of that word)!

    I don’t read that she is telling anyone what to do. She is trying very hard to get you motivated to launch a rally that might help you get back to class.

    Please everyone – frustration is definitely warranted, but personal attacks against any one individual is just not fair.

  28. Mike Oxbig

    people..what happened at the end of 2001…

    besides that pass option with a no mark..

    did we have the option of getting tuition returned?

  29. student

    Elle – yeah it’s hard to stay positive and all. But you need to think realistically positive. This thing will end in the 11th hour sure, but York caving to all demands? That’s delusional thinking right there.

  30. student

    Mike Oxbig – the chance that York will refund any tuition are about as good as the chance that we will all be back in class January 5th.

  31. David Allan

    To those frustrated students my heart goes out to you. I sat through the same non-sense from Late October 2000 to January 2001.(my first year.) That year they extended the school year and cost me substantial time to required to save money over the summer. As well shrinking my opportunity as quality jobs for the summer had long been filled by students working on a “normal” schedule. We spent 11 weeks in the clutches of this non-sense. All I can is wish you good luck, and offer my support that it doesn’t impact your educational experience like it did mine.

  32. Mike Oxbig

    okay..so then can you explain this pass/fail option?

  33. Mike Oxbig

    is it true if the strike goes past 12 weeks then the semester is scrapped no matter what?

    12 weeks from nov.6th is…january 29th…so i’m assuming the latest they’ll let this strike go is probably until january 15thish

  34. Pally Wally


    York’s international reputation stems largely from its excellence in social sciences and the humanities. So why are they the departments getting short shrift?

    Maybe it has something to do with the way the province is setting up funding; and maybe it goes beyond that, maybe a little ideology is just what the doctor ordered.

    I don’t know how you get sick of a word/concept that is very much at issue here, An Observation. Do you have some better way to talk about the pervading trends in high education that we don’t know about? This isn’t some pseudo-psychological crisis of labelling; it is social fact.

  35. yorkstrike2008

    @As if

    Indeed they have gone on strike in the past. However, teacher strikes never turned into the fiasco that we are witnessing now. The longest was in 1985, there was a 22 day strike.

    Now, public teachers are default legislated back to work after two weeks.

    What I am saying is that teachers have consistently worked towards increasing their pay grids and have never demanded such absurd amounts such as 20%+ over two years.

  36. yorkstrike2008

    “John Doe
    December 17, 2008 at 7:28 am · Edit
    you cant say your neutral and then conclude with “grow up cupe, your losing support by the second” ”

    Sure I can. Does seeing the positives on both sides mean that I cannot criticise both sides? 😉

  37. tester


    Please provide a link that proves that public teachers are default legislated back to work after two weeks.

    I believe you, and have heard about references to it in the news, but I haven’t read anything authoritative on the legislation. I’d like to incorporate it in a letter…

  38. student

    Neutrality \Neu*tral”i*ty\, n. [Cf. F. neutralit[‘e].]

    1. The state or quality of being neutral; the condition of being unengaged in contests between others; state of taking no part on either side; indifference.

    Men who possess a state of neutrality in times of public danger, desert the interest of their fellow subjects. –Addison.

    2. Indifference in quality; a state neither very good nor bad. [Obs.]


    3. (Chem.) The quality or state of being neutral. See Neutral, a., 4.

    4. (International Law) The condition of a nation or government which refrains from taking part, directly or indirectly, in a war between other powers.

    5. Those who are neutral; a combination of neutral powers or states.

    Armed neutrality, the condition of a neutral power, in time of war, which holds itself ready to resist by force any aggression of either belligerent.

    Source: Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

    Critical commentary does not make for an indifferent position.

  39. Ugh, Yorkstrike2008, any chance you could just put a disclaimer on the top of the page saying “CUPE DOLL IS SUPER SARCASTIC AND IS NOT PRO UNION”?

    Every time she posts something, it is followe dby 10 posts of “Fuck you, get a job” and it is annoying!

  40. Lola

    Sorry can someone just clear this up for me, i must have missed some information:
    1.Why is everyone so convinced we can’t get back by the 5th (no sarcasm here, i would really like to get the low down)? Is it because no one is in talks?

    2. When then is a good time to hope we will be back in class? Best and worst case scenario is…?
    When is this so called “11th hour”?


  41. Pally Wally

    A note on neutrality:

    “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice”
    – Freewill by Rush

  42. David Allan

    I think people have made a choice, to hate both sides equally. I remember in 2000 I had no problem standing neutral in the middle and being equally upset and disappointed with both groups.

  43. saddi

    does anyone else think that the union members are going through a major mid life crisis…why doesnt the University consider buying them some red convertibles…maybe that’ll shut them up!?

  44. An observation

    @pally wally:

    I am getting sick of that word when it is being used to undermine and de-legitimatize CUPE’s publicly released demands such as job security for contract faculty. How can one argue for a set of issues, when they are only being used as a diversion from the real issue?

    If fighting against neo-liberalism is really at the crux of this dispute, why hasn’t the Union’s PR department been more forthright about it all along? Perhaps if they had done so, the students and the public would be more able to establish an informed position regarding “the pervading trends in higher education”, which I grant you are indeed troubling. I would be willing to bet that without Cupe Doll’s insight, that few students here had ever considered that to be the “sticking point” that has kept them out of class for six weeks and counting.

  45. An observation

    Oh and by the way, I’m not feeling the love for the word “solidarity” either, but that I’m sure will open another whole can of worms…

  46. yorkstrike2008

    I will look that up for you.

  47. Sad Undergrad

    If courses are given a pass/fail option, how does that affect grades required for scholarships? I need to maintain my 8.0 in order to keep my scholarships.
    What a bummer. I just want to go back.

  48. yorkstrike2008


    If we took every word for its positive meaning, where would we be?

    Also, who says I subscribe to that definition?


    Oh the circles this argument will go in.

  49. yorkstrike2008


    I clarified this with my mom (she’s a teacher), and apparently it is not written in the law, the Conservatives tried to do it in 2003, but the tolerance is always about two weeks or less. The strikes over the last 20-30 years have never gone over two weeks with the exception of a 22 day long strike in 1985 – which was legislated back to work (I believe).

    The point is that, with Public schools, after the strike has gone on for a couple of weeks school is resumed by the government. I will get as many examples of this if you give me a moment.

  50. Andrew

    To try and explain the Pass/Fail for people.

    Basically what happens is, you do the class as normal, but rather then getting a GPA mark, or a mark in general, you get a pass or a fail. That is it. Meaning if you do all your exams, essays, etc and get a 90% in the course, you pass…end of story. If you get a 65% in all your stuff, you pass…end of story. If you get a 40% on all your stuff, you fail…end of story.

    There basically is no mark for the class. There are classes like this at the University, and teachers run them and like the idea of them because they hate handing marks ot students. I know my professional writing teacher wishes he could just do Pass/Fail because he doesn’t want to give marks on assignments, but rather just work shop them. Then at the end of the year, he basically picks if you pass or fail based on what you do in the class, if you show up, etc.

    The problem so people run into is they want that GPA mark. Because if you think about it, there is no difference between someone doing a lot of work and getting what would have been a 90%, and someone doing no work and getting through on a 60%. Both are a pass. Your GPA remains the same. For people wanting to go to grad school, this could harm them since they want a high GPA to make them look better. For people like myself, who do not want to go to grab school, it is fine because I don’t need a GPA.

  51. P D

    Anyone know what the chances are of York implementing the Pass/Fail marking scheme are? I believe York used this same scheme in the strike of 2000/2001 so perhaps they may resort to this again?

  52. Cupe Doll

    For the record. Because so many have asked. No, I’m not on the side of (my local) 3903. No, I’m not on the side of York. Yes, I am on the side of students. And yes, this academic year could be lost.

    My first comment ever on this strike should make it obvious where, with and against whom I stand. And why. To save time I won’t include the link here, but if you’d like it just ask. Cut…. paste.

    “Talks between York and striking union break down”? Of course they do.

    Don’t get me wrong. As a contract faculty member at York I’d love some job security. It’s worse than medieval how York treats contract faculty. Even back in dark ages, after 10 years’ faithful service servants likely received at least some security and recognition from whatever masters they served. Not so at York. Not when it comes to contract faculty.

    But can this strike help contract faculty? Help anyone? Of course not. This strike can offer no relief except comic. Comic relief.

    Imagine you’re checking out computers at a store. And one computer, price listed $450, catches your eye. So you go to the retail counter and ask to negotiate the price. Because you don’t have $450.

    The counter-clerk agrees to negotiate and asks how much you’ve got. You reply: “$39.33”

    The clerk looks you up and down — then directs you leave the store. And don’t come back until you’re prepared to negotiate. Since your absurd offer totally contradicts what you asked in the first place. To negotiate that computer you liked.

    And that’s how this strike is. Not about negotiating or anyhow compromising. The sides are so far apart they might as well be babbling different languages.

    This strike is ideological. I’ve heard more than once, within 3903, how we’ll bring the employer to its knees. And you know what? I can get up for a good fight. Lots of us are eager for the good fight. But if we are to strike any blows against “neo-liberalism” and exploitation of workers everywhere — then let’s get clear that’s what we’re doing. Let’s let this exploiter know not to bother with offers — we won’t even try choking them down. This is a matter of principle. We’ve shut York exploitation down before — this time we’ll do it again and more besides.

    Otherwise, if not in pursuit of ideals or ideologies, if it’s about the best pragmatic interests of the membership here and now — then let’s try negotiating like intelligent life forms.

    Let’s either negotiate that computer reasonably — or do what needs doing to shut the computer store down. But let’s stop contradicting and humiliating ourselves doing both. Let’s not be offering $39.33 for anything listed $450. No positive relief can result from humiliating ourselves that way. Nothing but comic relief.

  53. demarche

    Will the university “cave” to CUPE demands?

    Last month, all job searches (except two) for new professors, across the whole university, were cancelled. That means: after job ads were sent out worldwide, hiring committees formed, applications accepted, etc., etc., then because of the tanking economy the university had to about-face and publicly announce that it no longer had the cash for these new jobs.

    At the same time, CUPE is asking for 20 (!) new, permanent professor positions, all for CUPE members rather than the best applicants from all over Canada and the rest of the world, and also 67 (!) long-term contract (SRC) positions, “easily renewable” after five years, at $75,000, with sabbaticals (one year off out of every seven), for teaching 3.0-3.5 courses each year and no research or administrative work.

    York doesn’t have the cash to “cave” to CUPE demands, even if they wanted to.

  54. Andrew

    I’m going to start a drinking game with this blog.

    Every time Cupe doll says neo-liberalism I’ll drink a beer.

    I see many a drunken night ahead. 🙂

  55. Pally Wally

    CUPE Doll,

    I think most people are probably just bored of you repeating the same boring talking points and quips (Relief – comic – lul)

    I ask, why take the ‘side of the students’? By which you seem to mean undergraduate students at York, in this strike – but somehow not the students that you are (supposedly) unionized with.

    Your construction of Undergraduates as “student(s)” writ large is a little perplexing. Why would you take a position that ultimately hurts your own position? Clearly there are some motivations that you are not sharing – I suspect that all this amounts to nothing more than your own ideological desires brought to bear.

    Your analogy is not apt in any way; although painting the union as consumers is both interesting and possibly illuminating. I’m not going to psychoanalyze you, though.

    I’ve seen you say that you’re ‘up for a fight’ before, but it really doesn’t seem so – it seems like you want to be leading the bargaining team, but for some reason you aren’t. You were on here before arguing that the GMM needed to ‘let the bargaining team bargain’ – and look what that solved. Did you mean that, or did you mean ‘let the bargaining team weaken its position to the point that 3903 would end up taking the offer of November 5th’?

    What bothers me, is that I actually need more money – I’m going into debt for the first time in my life. A lot of people have family that can bail them out, or subsidize their education – I’m not one of them. It is easy for those that don’t absolutely need more money to say CUPE3903 are already paid enough and that this is unfair to students, but when are we going to stop gouging students? Or at least releasing labour market information that doesn’t lead everyone and their pet dog into academia hoping that the baby boomers all of a sudden retire all at once and that the university is going to jump to replace all those jobs with new tenure-stream positions?

  56. Andrew

    “I think most people are probably just bored of you repeating the same boring talking points and quips (Relief – comic – lul)”

    *Holds up hand* I am. It seems as if you have it copied into a word doc and are finding a way to throw it into every one of your posts. It’s like you have to make it your mission to get “neo-liberalism” into everything, and use all this wordy, tough, scary language to get your point across. My personal fav is calling this “trench-warfare”.

  57. Cupe Doll

    Pally Wally,

    I’m glad you won’t waste time psychoanalyzing me. As I’ve said before — I’m nobody. Just another alias.

    As for the rest.. too broadside. You’d accomplish equally as much or little declaring you don’t like anything I say.

    Reason I speak of undergrads but not grads as “students”? There’s a few. First, takes too long writing “undergraduates”. Second, there’s way more of them. Third, not all in 3903 are students — while all undergraduates are. Students. Nothing to it.

    Am I hurting my own position? Nope. That’s what 3903 has done. Terminally. (Not only) I will not be hired again next year. But it’s not about me — right? Why make this personal? Let’s stick to the merits of 3903’s striking. How everyone — whether undergrad, grad or contract faculty — is getting and will get way more hurt. For no reason but too much ideology. No good reason.

    As for you “absolutely” needing more money? Come on. I lived as a grad student probably longer than you will. I also worked (non-unionized) conditions you would not believe. Not that I’m anti-union, you understand. Just that we 3903 would have done so much better bargaining legitimately in the first place. This ideological “neo-liberalism” war only hurts everyone including ourselves.

    Sorry. But you’re the one made this personal. And while I don’t know you much, you do say far more about you than me. Maybe reaching out for help. So here’s a little advice.

    You don’t “absolutely” need more money. You’re doing fine in absolute material terms. Try to appreciate grad student life — it’s really rather sweet. Don’t feel diminished when encountering relatively wealthier individuals. You are not obligated to define yourself by relative economic class membership. Instead, figure out who you are, what you believe in and what you stand for. Once you do, everyone will respect you accordingly — yourself included. Nothing can beat self-respect. Hope this helps.

  58. Pally Wally

    CUPE Doll,

    I don’t disagree with everything you say, not even close. This strike has looked like a trainwreck before it even got going. I am simply disagreeing with the way you have attempted to frame the debates; I think a strike could have, and probably would have been wise to have been averted in the first place – but maybe there is more to it than is being talked about.

    That a strike has happened indicates to me that CUPE probably doesn’t think much will come of the coordinated position in 2010 – that the government will either refuse to bargain, or order everyone back to work. This would make the timing of this strike, and the relative girth of the demands make more sense.

    What I take issue with is the way that you post so matter-of-factly. I took notice that you didn’t really care for the supercilious quip I made about psychoanalyzing you, or the rest of my tone – I’m not a fan of this way of badgering one another either, but it has been the tone in most discussion I’ve come across online and the “@ soandso” is just another example of that. (thanks for omitting that)

    I’ve worked all my life – believe me, I know how good grad students have it. Otherwise, I’d do something else; that said, I know more than a little about unions, and you don’t have to look far (autosector right now, for example) to see what happens to job security when a union stops fighting, or when a union gives up its power for wages, benefits, whathaveyou.

    Are you leaving by choice – or for some other reason? (You mentioned your contract not being renewed – contrary to what you said, I think it [the personal] does matter)

    I don’t see this as hurting everyone – or perhaps a view of ‘short term pain…’ would be more accurate.

    As for the analogy I dismissed – you have CUPE as the customer; when it is York that is trying to purchase CUPE’s labour. The scenario, looks to me, more like this:

    York walks into the store and says “tough times out there, y’know” and CUPE says ‘Orly?’; York then goes, I’ll take the usual and CUPE says “it’ll be $500” and York is shocked, of course and says “WHAT!? last year it was only $350! what happened” and CUPE is like “hey, tough times for everyone – my main mannnn” and York is like “…” so CUPE says “well, don’t pay – but good luck finding this stuff anywhere else”

    That is how I see it anyway; as an episode of the Hills (or something)

  59. Cupe Doll

    Pally Wally,

    We certainly don’t disagree on that much. Just the “too ideological”. Let’s be honest. Nobody’s watching this old thread.

    I think it was last week Nurse1 wrote that the strike’s too ideological since it’s all about the 2 year deal — instead of pragmatically helping anyone here now.

    Well, I never thought the 2 year deal too ideological in itself. Sure, let’s go for it. But let’s be clear about it. If that’s our goal then we have to be prepared to drop (many!) other demands from the table. But 2 year deal + lots of absurd demands (frilly eyeglass frames/aroma/massage therapy) + nothing even asked re rank/file unit2 job security (sick)? That’s asking what one shouldn’t, not asking what one should — and altogether asking the impossible.

    Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t to say I could have done better on the bargaining team. It’s to say *anyone* wanting or allowed to bargain would do better. Couldn’t do worse.

    Maybe now we decided to let the bargaining team bargain it’s different. Don’t know. But it doesn’t matter. Too late.

    So let’s be honest. Why were we asking the impossible? Why was the BT not permitted to drop even one from hundreds absurd demands on top of 2 year deal? Come. It’s no secret. Haven’t you heard? We were to bring the employer to its knees. We were to strike a telling blow against… you know: “neo-liberalism”.

    It’s no secret among us in 3903. And fine. Some of us can get behind that. Not me — but I wouldn’t have thought it despicable. But after all that it got really nauseating when we kept on about how reasonable we were being. About what hardball York was waging against us. How hurt we were not getting properly treated as “valued educators”.

    “Valued educators”? We’ve done a lot of needlessly malicious damage, Pally Wally. Hurt a lot of people. And you watch. We will not be laughing either once the dust settles.

  60. theowne

    “”””>>I ask, why take the ’side of the students’? By which you seem to mean undergraduate students at York, in this strike – but somehow not the students that you are (supposedly) unionized with.<<<“”””

    Poor, overlooked, third-world-condition-working, disrespected grad students, eh.

  61. clennis

    “As for you “absolutely” needing more money? Come on. I lived as a grad student probably longer than you will. I also worked (non-unionized) conditions you would not believe. Not that I’m anti-union, you understand. Just that we 3903 would have done so much better bargaining legitimately in the first place.”
    Sounds like a whole lot of presumption.
    How is it you can be so sure?
    And why aren’t you active in “bargaining legitimately?”
    I (as you may have heard) make $659/month.
    Is that too much?
    Lend me a dollar?

  62. cdot

    i’ve been looking for the ‘real world’ for 28 years, and all i can find are sarcastic know-it-alls with ‘real world’ certainty and no arguments…
    could you help me out?

  63. Flying J

    Cupe Doll,
    I am a Faculty of Ed student, and you officially have me scared about the possibility of losing the academic year. Up until now, I have just assumed that we will resume come January without question. I agree with everything you have posted and I appreciate your insight.

    Pally Wally,
    As someone who has spent many years working in the automotive industry, I find it comical that you have used the US auto unions as an example of “what happens to job security when unions stop fighting”. You do realize that all 3 US automakers are currently begging for corporate welfare because they are on the brink of bankruptcy, right? That’s right, without corporate welfare, there will be no more US auto industry to speak of. That is the direct result of UAW and CAW bargaining. I am not anti-union; I am all for reasonable offers and a win-win settlement. Retarded ideology has prevented that from happening. And don’t tell me how hard it is for you because you are “going into debt for the first time”. I’m in debt $45,000, have a family of 4 to support, and rely on OSAP to put food on the family table. What the hell am I supposed to do come June when the sap runs out because I was supposed to be finished school come May?

  64. Impatient

    Lol begging for corporate welfare when they fly to the meeting in their private jets…makes sense

  65. Pally Wally

    CUPE Doll,

    The mudslinging has been hurtful – I agree; when the dust clears I can’t see administration or union being very happy/trusting of one another regardless of what type of deal is reached – so much has been said.

    The union went from demanding the impossible (40% wage increase) to just demanding the extortionate. I guess if you think that management will be intransigent to anything beyond their final offer – and a strike is necessary – then maybe it makes sense what is on the table. To most casual observers, it looks bad and I don’t know what the reasoning behind it was – I would suspect one of two things: you are right and the BT is totally incompetent or much more likely: there is/was a power struggle going on behind the scenes leading to contradictory tactics and messages leading up to and into the strike.

    Flying J,

    For all the bellyaching the big 3 are doing about paying workers, the truth is that their business model is/was the main problem; that coupled with the rise of ‘foreign’ automakers precipitated by NAFTA. There are a lot of reasons that they are in trouble – and honouring their contracts is just one; it is far from a ‘direct result’ of CAW bargaining. Perhaps if the company(ies) had looked for long term solutions rather than short term (I am talking about basing much of their business selling off-lease vehicles, refusing to build a quality version of the types of cars that sell, etc) then perhaps, we wouldn’t be in this situation. As it stands they are most beholden to their stockholder’s profit than anything or one else. Blaming labour for what is essentially a failure of ‘greed is good’ capitalism is simply scapegoating the little guy while the other guy makes away with what is left.

    I can’t speak to your situation because I don’t know you – but I’m suppose you could try and compete with your former brothers and sisters for some form of supplementary income in one of the many great jobs that have been created to supplant the losses in the autosector.

    I find it truly sad that so many people begrudge others rather than sharing in the strife that e/affects us all. Not knowing you, I will still tell you that I am sorry you have found yourself in that position – I hope that you and your partner are able to figure something out.

  66. Bobert

    @Pally Wally

    you do realize the @namehere is just a way of responding to a comment someone else made, complaining about @ symbols in front of your name is downright childish

  67. Pally Wally


    I know you are, but what am I?

  68. Andrew

    A garbage man!

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