Good morning everyone. I have been receiving a flurry of emails from many of you asking all sorts of questions. So instead of replying email by email I thought I would just reply as a new post. I will exclude your identities so no worries. Here are two that are very representative of the questions I have been receiving.
I was just inquiring about a possibility to terminate the year. Will this happen after a certain date or is it illegal/impossible to not finish the year? I am just wanting to know If we will be guaranteed our credits.
Disgruntled York Student
I’m just curious what this strike will mean for the remainder of our fall term classes. What, in the worst case scenario, will happen if strike goes on for longer than intended?
Longer than intended, meaning if no agreement is reached during the month of January 2009.
Also, what will it mean for full year classes? I’ve been told if the strike continues for much longer, the complete fall term would be canceled (I do not know how credible this information is). If this happens, does that mean we will also have to repeat the full year classes we are currently taking?
I will start by saying that the University will cancel a term or the year when pigs fly. York would kidnap U of T’s teaching faculty before they would refund tuition and other income from 50,000 people. That is just not feasible. The University has not stated any release with the words “cancel”, “term” and “year” in the same sentence. I have not been able to find the exact number of days that the Senate may cancel classes, but like I said the University would exhaust every other option before they would even consider. We are very far from that scenario as of now. If you consider that (see below under What sessional date changes have been authorized to date?) the University will only require a “maximum additional 13 days” of re-mediation for fall term classes and the exam period will be compressed from 18 to 12 days. So we don’t have to make up that much time to finish the fall term. Given this information, the fall term, the winter term or the entire year will most certainly not be cancelled.
“Longer than intended, meaning if no agreement is reached during the month of January 2009”
If you step back and review the situation, the options are slim. An agreement reached by negotiations will most likely not happen. The Union BT and Executive are living in the clouds if they think a 20%+ compensation increase over 2 year years is going to fly. They are, as per their own words “fighting the battle against neoliberalism,” or something to that effect. It is is obvious that they are more concerned with disruption of the University than they are with settling a decent contract with the University, because if they were, they would pull their heads out of the clouds and at least throw some realistic numbers on the table. I am saying this as non partisan as possible, such a demand of compensation increase is fantastically impossible and there are very few examples of similar settlements. What does this mean?
Most Union members realise this. Go out and talk to some on the picket line. They know that the University will never settle for such a large compensation package and that the Union should have reduced their demands to workable figures. The members that are most acutely effected are Unit 2 members and this will be the great exploit of the University. If you consider that CUPE 3903 represents such a broad spectrum of people, but such a virtue quickly becomes its greatest weakness. Unit 2 members are post-doctorate faculty. That is, they are the Professors and Sessional Lectures. These people are farther along in life, have houses and sometimes dependent family members. For them, the $200 a week or so is not nearly sufficient for them to make ends meet with the expenses that amount in your later years. On the other hand, there are the many TA’s, GA’s and RA’s who are generally much younger (masters and PhD students) and of course have lesser expenses. For these members $200 a week is more feasible. What this boils down to is that a large portion (Unit 2) of the Union members cannot continue like this and require that the strike be over. I am not drawing any black and white lines here, but the demographic division within the Union is evident. How will the University exploit this?
Two words: forced ratification. The University and the Union both get one opportunity (I believe only one, I stand to be corrected) to force a ratification vote onto the respective members of the two organisations. That means, the University can call a forced ratification and the Union would have to call a GMM and present the University’s offer. The GMM would then vote to accept or reject the offer. It effectively by passes the bargaining team and presents the offer to the members directly. I am confident that most, and certainly Unit 2 members will accept this. The University will probably wait until it is -20 degrees outside and the wind and snow are blowing very hard to offer this opportunity for a cease fire.
So to answer and offer some prediction to the future of this strike, I believe that a forced ratification by the University will end this strike. This is entirely speculation, although educated, and as such do not take my words for truth. No one knows what exactly will happen in the coming weeks, but this outcome is the most expectable I would offer.
Here is some information taken from the Senate website:
When will fall term classes resume and how much notice will we get?
Fall term classes will resume as soon as possible following the end of the strike. There will be at least 24 hours notice between Senate Executive’s declaration of an end to the disruption and the resumption of classes. The amount of lead time depends on such factors as back-to-work protocols for employees now on strike and the day of the week when the disruption concludes. (top)
Will classes resume on Jan. 5, 2009?
Unless there is a ratified settlement by Jan. 3, 2009, it will not be possible to resume suspended classes on Monday, Jan. 5, 2009. Class schedules for courses that have not been suspended or have been authorized for remediation by Senate Executive are available through the applicable Faculty. (top)
What sessional date changes have been authorized to date?
The completion of courses will be facilitated by the following changes to sessional dates:
- The fall term will have a maximum additional 13 days of instruction for courses that meet Mondays to Fridays.
- These classes will bring the total number of class meets for these courses to the equivalent of 11 weeks. There will be commensurate adjustments for courses that meet on weekends or are delivered in other modes. Depending on the timing of the resumption, it may be necessary to schedule classes on days of the week when they are not normally held (that is, on “virtual” days of the week whereby, for example, a Friday class might meet on a Monday).
- The formal fall term examination schedule will be compressed from18 days to 12 days.
- The reading week originally scheduled for Feb. 16-20, 2009 iscancelled.
- The winter term will have a maximum of 55 days of instruction and a compressed examination schedule of 12 days.
- The final day by which to drop a fall term class without receiving a grade has been deferred until after the conclusion of the disruption. Other specific deadlines will be adjusted to reflect revised schedules after the conclusion of the disruption.
Will student evaluations still be conducted?
Senate has mandated evaluations by students for all courses. However, for the Fall 2008 Term, course evaluations will be optional and will be conducted at the discretion of the course instructor. (top)
Cheers everyone and be careful driving or walking in this dangerous weather.