Union scared by supposed Government action

Here is a letter that has been circulating by email and in the blogosphere:

To all 3903 members and allies:

The threat of Provincial back to work legislation is now very real – a Queen’s Park leak tells us the Liberals are preparing the legislation and will not wait for a forced rat vote to recall the house. This is bad news for us and our contract and worse news for the collective bargaining rights of all public sector workers in Ontario. It would mean binding arbitration for us in the immediate and a precedent that a recession means public service/ sector workers lose our legal right
to strike and bargain.

Let’s mobilize on all fronts against this. All actions for Monday need to account for this new reality and shift messaging accordingly. See 3903strike.ca for talking points and phone numbers/ emails at Queen’s Park to call and write to immediately.

Also Please weigh in on today’s CP 24 poll question:
Should the provincial government step in to force binding arbitration
and end the York strike?
VOTE NO at: http://www.cp24.com/

I urge you all to go and vote your  OWN opinion here at http://www.cp24.com/. If there is consensus it will be well utilised most effectively here at a major news outlet.


In solidarity with undergrads,




Filed under Uncategorized

27 responses to “Union scared by supposed Government action

  1. Yushky

    if this happens then they just wasted 9 damn weeks…hopefully this is total BS and the strike either continues or in ended by actually coming to an agreement…btw legislation is evil!

  2. york student

    is this even true? is it from a real source?

  3. Sad Undergrad

    It is on the Cupe 3903 website (not the main page, the one with strike info). There is a non-scientific poll on CP24.
    Frankly, I am fed up. I voted yes on BTWL (which is actually forced binding arbitration in this circumstance). I want this strike over.

  4. Undergrad 2

    York Student is right:

    1. Are negotiations going poorly? Otherwise why would CUPE even worry about BTW?

    2. Is the “leak” reliable…what is the source? Something like that could really disrupt negotiations. What is CUPE’s intentions of posting an anti-back to work message at this sensitive time?

  5. ams

    I voted yes and I hope so.

  6. Undergrad 2

    This is what the official CUPE site has posted.
    Source: http://www.3903strike.ca/

    “Government Intervention? Five Reasons to Say No TODAY!

    Published on 04 Jan 2009

    Since negotiations resumed Saturday, Jan. 3rd between CUPE 3903 and York University, our Bargaining Team has been meeting long and hard to work out an equitable deal for our members.

    As the hours tick away and January 5th – what was meant to be the first day of winter classes – draws closer, all eyes are on negotiations. The media are pressing for information and speculating on solutions that they, as reporters, could announce to students and the public. Among their questions is whether the Ontario Government should intervene with legislation to force an end to our dispute…. a potential disaster for CUPE 3903 and ALL Ontario public sector workers.

    SAY NO to government intervention. VOTE NO in the CP24 Online Poll today. GO WRITE on the discussion boards of the newspapers and broadcasters watching us. CONTACT the Premier Dalton McGuinty and Minister of Labour Fonseca to voice your opposition (see below).

    Below are 5 reasons why back-to-work legislation is a bad idea:

    1. Back-to-work legislation subverts our legal right to collective bargaining.

    2. Back-to-work imposes binding arbitration, which York University has been using as their excuse for effectively not negotiating since September, 2008.

    3. Back-to-work sets a precedent for all public sector and public service workers in Ontario, signalling that a recession becomes the justification for threatening ALL of our legal rights to negotiate, bargain and strike.

    4. Back-to-work sends a message to public sector employers that they don’t need to negotiate in good faith with their employees.

    5. Back-to-work sends a message to public sector workers that – even as our jobs, services, programs and institutions become critically important to support large populations enduring economic and social hardship in a recession – the government will not prioritize adequate, appropriate and necessary public funds to these sectors.

    Premier Dalton McGuinty
    Tel: 416-325-1941
    email: dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

    Minister of Labour Peter Fonseca
    Tel: 416-326-7600
    email: webmin@mol.gov.on.ca & pfonseca.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

  7. Undergrad 2

    The big sticking point to me is was it a “leak” or a ploy by CUPE to bring up BTW legislation during the strike. What is the source of the supposed gov’t leak? What is CUPE’s motive for bringing up BTW now?

    It seems to me, from the post above, that the gov’t “leak” has turned into “media speculation”

    This type of potential mis-information from CUPE does nothing for the negotiation process.

  8. Yorkie

    BTW Legislation IS evil. Will only cause more problems in the future. No more strikes!

  9. MR Two

    I agree, get everything hammered out this time around so in 2-3 years it (hopefully) won’t repeat itself. I should be in my fourth year, but I took a year off to work and transferred faculties – if it’s in 2 years, I might still be here =__=

  10. Maria

    i hope they are forced to go back to work..

    they wasted enough time not being able to resolve the issue on their own.. its about time for the government to step in..

  11. Maria

    eliminate unions in this country and this wont happen..

  12. E

    Force them back….
    They’ve had enough time instead they wasted it on “cooling off”

    York U Admin and Union admin should not have been allowed Christmas Holidays until they resolved the strike…

    Hope you union guys enjoyed your two month holiday.
    Either find an agreement quicker or government back to work legislation all the way.

  13. t-monster

    Back-to-work legislation will NOT necessarily lead to another strike when the next contract expires. Circumstances will be very different in future rounds of bargaining. For example, we might not be in a serious recession. Universities might have more available to enhance the pay and benefits of all workers, and to start hiring more full-time professors.

    Also, the union’s leadership and priorities might change. This is especially true in a union made up mostly of graduate students, where there is a lot of turnover.

    I would welcome back to work legislation. Better late than never.

  14. Bobert

    Goodness golly, why would the nice union provide misinformation and propaganda? what possible reason do they have to lie to us? As far back as I can tell the CUPE3903 website has been as credible as Wikipedia in providing us strike updates

  15. tester

    BTWL is the only hope for a quick resolution to this strike. If you want to return to class, send an email to your MPP,and Premier, begging for BTWL

    Unions have destroyed GM, and now they are destroying our education. When will it end.

    BTWL will result in binding arbitration, which is fair for both parties. The decisions will be made by a neutral third party.

    Please people, email, fax and phone your MPP and plead for BTWL.

    Also, I believe that the leak is credible, because it does nothing in support of CUPE3903. They gain nothing in revealing this leak, except the ability to counter it.

  16. Enough!

    I seriously pray that this strike is resolved very soon.

  17. Yorkie

    BTWL is never a solution. It resolves nothing, it just forces the problem aside for the time being.

  18. Pally Wally

    “Unions have destroyed GM”

    Management, R+D, cars no one wants, bad business models based on selling high volumes of trucks and big vehicles (which use gas, which is expensive) are what ‘destroyed’ GM.

  19. Yorkie

    @Pally Wally

    Right on. ^_~

  20. Pally Wally

    “eliminate unions in this country and this wont happen..”

    I remember when they did that…oh wait, I’m thinking of Hitler. I’m sure that panned out for the best though! Right?

    Oh crap, the strike must be nearing an end if Goodwin’s Law just popped up!

  21. Confused and Exasperated

    @Pally Wally
    Any idea when Harris’ retrospective Mein Provincsh might be showing up on book shelves.
    Oh and its Godwin’s Law 😉

  22. Yorkie

    @Pally Wally

    Yorku Admin, the new Hitler. That’s an interesting thought, lol.

  23. Pally Wally

    Godwin’s – you are too right!
    As for Harris- who knows, maybe he has some kids that want jobs embarrassing themselves as talking heads; or maybe he’s busy looking for wife #4, you would think this economic climate was ripe for some kind of ‘common sense’ solution – not these trillion dollar stimulus packages that all the ‘conservatives’ are so keen on handing out.

  24. well this isn’t particularly related to this post or to the strike, but I had to post it somewhere.

    I think I have officially lost and and ALL respect I ever had for CUPE.


    I am personally appalled that CUPE would take such a stance, as this, especially in such turmoil dealing with their own issues. There is much corruption somewhere on the line if CUPE decides that boycotting Israeli professors is so important that they have to bring it up now. Firstly, academics are academics and they aren’t politicians. One of the fundamental elements of academia is the ability to discuss issues freely without political restrictions.

    “”In response to an appeal from the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees, we are ready to say Israeli academics should not be on our campuses unless they explicitly condemn the university bombing and the assault on Gaza in general,” said Sid Ryan, president of CUPE Ontario.”

    This is an abomination to what our school system stands for. If you’re a professor at my school, I don’t care if you think that the Sudanese genocide is fine or not, that’s not my business. As long as you don’t necessarily assent to it yourself as an act as a school representative, that’s fine with me.

    Now I’m not saying that CUPE needs to agree with Israel or with the Palestinians, but saying that Israeli academics shouldn’t be allowed to teach unless they condemn what their country is doing is ludicrous.

    I propose a motion that any professor who does not agree with the legalization of marijuana should not be allowed to teach because you should be denouncing your government’s decision, whether you agree with it or not. All anti-abortionists should be fired!
    -Is this idiocy not reminiscent of something seen in the link above?

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I understand that if CUPE wants to take an anti-Israeli stance, then that is the democratic civil right of its members, but advocating a boycott is wrong and unnecessary.

    Sadly, there is a very large propaganda war going on between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and it is very unfortunate that the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees felt the need to throw another log in the fire.

    This ‘stance’ is being held to vote, and I surely hope CUPE will withdraw such an absurd proposal before its members be allowed to vote on such.

  25. Yorkie

    @ READ THIS!! Appalled at CUPE…Playing Palestinian Politics

    You’re right, it has nothing to do with the strike situation, but I can’t say I agree with CUPE on the boycotting. They could just said they were an anti-violence/anti-bomb union or whatever. But to get people to “explicitly condemn the university bombing and the assault on Gaza in general”, you can’t expect that to be legalized. It won’t, bcause it’s crap and no one will buy into it.

  26. Pally Wally

    Academics and politics are usually a poor mixture, see Tel Quel + Iran, for example.

    Haven’t a lot of academics/department been boycotting Israeli unis for some time now? Or is that sort of unwritten? I could be wrong – I usually don’t pay much attention to international affairs for the above mentioned reason.

  27. ameliagoldstein

    FInally CUPE will get their butts kicked

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