“Government Intervention? Five Reasons to Say No!”

Government Intervention? Five Reasons to Say No!

Published on 05 Jan 2009 at 06:48 am

Since negotiations resumed Saturday, Jan. 3rd between CUPE 3903 and York University, our Bargaining Team has been working hard on an equitable deal for our members.

As the hours and days pass in what was meant to be the first week of winter classes, 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. 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). LINK HERE to see the results of the Jan. 4th CP24 Online Poll.

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.



Filed under Uncategorized

52 responses to ““Government Intervention? Five Reasons to Say No!”

  1. ameliagoldstein

    Ok, most York students are very much FOR the government to step in and take action.
    It’s time for a change, too many people – CUPE being the prime example – are abusing their given rights.

  2. Average Student

    yeah I agree with Amelia, I thought your blog was supposed to be neutral, not against the University. The government stepping in is obviously the only way to put 50,000 students first and end the incredibly absurd and irresponsible demands from CUPE 3903!

  3. F-Ed Up

    Though there may not be many, there are some students who do not agree with government intervention in labour disputes, so this might be something interesting/useful to them. I don’t think that this contingency of the student body should be ignored or denied information pertaining to their concerns just because the majority of students seems not to agree with their standpoints.

    Posting/sharing information does not = endorsement.

  4. york student

    have all teh cupe members dissapeared of the blog…..or have they not gotten any updates, as well?

  5. B

    The neutrality of this blog is a very debatable point.

    Although it’s worth pointing out that there has been no consistent pro-union/anti-admin, pro-admin/anti-union theme.

  6. Rob

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

    Actually, back to work legislation is a fantastic idea. We aren’t living in the 19th century anymore, unions and this strike are an absolute joke. Since the economy is going into recession, you should think twice about more money falling into greedy pockets.

  7. Shelly

    I think the main point is; us students really are helpless and have no choice but to sit around and wait for the union and the university to make the decisions of our education and career.

    Clearly, I am one of those frustrated students and would actually like to proceed with my education. Yet, have no choice but to watch this strike drag for more than 2 months now.

  8. Annoyed & Annoyed

    Precisely Why Back-To-Work Madate should be passed.
    To set a precedent that your behaviour is entirely unacceptable.
    The world should not have to come to a pause just so that your childish attempts should gain its 15 seconds of fame
    Do your job, and suck it up

  9. Sarah

    I am one of those frustrated students and would actually like to proceed with my education. Yet, have no choice but to watch this strike drag for more than 2 months now. I have paid for the dorm/residence too, because I did not want to have hard time in the winter to commute one and half hour for the late evening classes. Now the winter is almost over and the YU is on strike.

  10. iforone

    I for one, have not completed any of my essays and I have not been studying. I will get the royal ‘fuck me in the ass’ when this strike is over.

    Is anyone completing any of their essays? Studying? or doing anything of that matter this week?

  11. scared

    hey everyone,

    can someone please talk about how much time it takes to get to campus if you are going by car…i usually turn left at the entrance that says “founders” and comes after northwest gate…and if i had to take the viva on the way back where do I take it from?

  12. s

    if you go to the york website, there’s a map of campus that tells you exactly where transit (TTC, Viva, YRT, GO) drops you off and picks you up.
    i’ve also heard that CUPE allows one car onto campus every 2 mins – so it all depends on how many cars are in line.

    if you’re going, do your homework before hand, allow extra time, and just play it by ear.

  13. HBK


    I’m in the exact same position. I’m pretty much dreading to go back now.

  14. s

    you’ll find the map here:

    yorku.ca -> current students, faculty & staff -> current students -> transportation (under ‘student services’)

    and look under “TRANSPORTATION SERVICES DURING THE CUPE 3903 STRIKE”. you’ll find all you need there.

  15. F-Ed Up

    I’m also in the same position, and I have an appointment booked on Wed, when we’re supposed to get a bunch of snow. Just wondering if there’s anyone else out there who’s had to get to campus in a car during a snow storm before:

    Does anyone know if the plows are getting onto campus? I’m assuming that they are probably going in before/after picketers leave but if there’s a lot of snowfall throughout the day, are the York roads going to be a mess?

    Alternatively, I’ve heard of people parking in one of the plazas across the street. I’m assuming that I won’t get ticketed or towed if I do that but I was wondering if anyone has parked there on a regular basis and can confirm.

  16. scared

    THANK YOU S !!!!!!!!!!:)

  17. scared




    as if crossing the picket lines wasn’t bad enough *sigh*

  18. Jason

    On ctv news, it says they are several points away from reaching a deal, so Im assuming its only a matter of time

  19. Jason

    Im assuming we should be back for sure on Monday

  20. tester

    Of course it is a matter of time. but how much time. everyday that passes is time lost.

    BTWL needs to happen now, for the sake of the undergraduate student body.

  21. Shelly

    I don’t think it is safe to assume anything AT ALL with York and the Union.

  22. Woot

    Its only about a minute or two before they let 2 cars pass at the Pond entrance. I’m currently on campus processing my OSAP. For those individuals who applied for OSAP, get them processed NOW before the line ups begin when the strike is over! There was only 2 other people there processing their documents when I arrived.

  23. oh really...

    @ iforone and HBK

    ME TOO!!! I haven’t done ANYTHING since the strike, even though I KNOW I am going to regret that. However, I have basically no motivation, and I am not in “school mode” at all. I’m definately screwed once we get back in session, so I am dreading the resumption of classes at this point.

    Has anyone heard any updates today? I feel like there was a lot more discussion floating around yesterday and the days before?

  24. Soraya

    How likely is government intervention, really?

    I’ve been talking to a couple of people and government intervention doesn’t seem likely. York is a private institution, not a public service like the TTC that would shut the CITY down if they went on strike. The students at York are like nickles and dimes compared to the rest of the population of Toronto and the GTA.

    I know many of you want to go back but I don’t think you guys know how many people DON’T want to go back (for whatever reason).

    Just a matter of time now.

  25. Lola

    How did you deduce that the sides are close to coming to a deal when the article say’s “While talks have continued steadily over the past three days, sources say the two sides are still far apart”!?

    personally this makes me feel strangely pessimistic!


  26. Jason

    @lola, Who knows, there are all these contradictions, I watched the video on ctv, as provided also in the link. I didnt read the full article, but I do see what you mentioned

  27. B

    This whole notion of government intervention apparently stems from an NDP leak.

    That alone should tell you the likelihood of it actually happening.

    The NDP had to ask for official party status. They have 10 seats at Queens Park and are increasingly irrelevant on a Provincial level.

  28. B

    This whole notion of government intervention apparently stems from an NDP leak.

    That alone should tell you the likelihood of it actually happening.

    The NDP had to ask for official party status. They have 10 seats at Queens Park and are increasingly irrelevant on a Provincial level.

  29. scared

    @ woot

    are u supposed to just pick up ur documents at the bennett centre or do they also process it? i mean usually when they mail it you have to take them to ink blotz and what not to hand them in…but they asked for a void cheque this time to bring with you to the appointment…i wonder why?

  30. Bob

    apparently Graham potts and christina rosseau are getting married when the strike is over, to celebrate their victory

  31. Bob

    That should be one hell of a celebration, once the strike is over one more day without class, all cupe members will be there with their flags rooting for them..

  32. concerned

    this was also a communique meant only for 3903 members. please do not impede the bargaining process by posting updates such as these on your blog.

  33. a disappointed canadian

    QQ More union workers. All I gotta say.

  34. inlimbo

    @ Bob:
    “apparently Graham potts and christina rosseau are getting married when the strike is over, to celebrate their victory”

    2 CUPE locos unite! 😉

  35. Sshmr

    @ concerned

    Stuff posted on the front page of the very public CUPE Strike Site is “meant for 3903 members only”?

  36. Woot


    You pick them up and process them there on the spot! Just like it happens at the beginning of the year in Sept. Its a good idea to make an appointment, although no one was there they really didn’t care if you had an appointment or not.

    As you walk upstairs to N200 to pick up the documents theres a sign at the stairs that says check in at the round counter (where you first walk in). Ignore the sign since theres usually a line up. Just walk upstairs and tell them you have an appointment and you will be fine from there!

  37. Woot

    @ scared
    I filled in the banking information myself. I did not attach a void cheque or anything. As long as its complete.

  38. Disappointed

    @ iforone, hbk, oh really…

    wow, am i glad i’m not the only one. it’s not fair though, that it’s going to be super-intense for all of us now.. i don’t even want to think about the assignments and essays… scary. i hope they’re really lenient.

  39. concerned


    you’re right, my bad. The update from one of the previous posts on this blog was from an internal email, however.

  40. Jiggs


    no worries i’m in exactly the same boat (i’ve got about 3 essays i need to work on) but i e-mailed my profs and the dec 18th senate update applies. Basically upon resumption of classes we are not requied to hand in any assignments until class has resumed for at least 1 session, and no tests for the first 5 days upon getting back. So if you’re like me and have essays due for classes that meet only once a week, then once u get back u’ll have an entire additional week to finish/ask questions, etc. Basically the biggest priority at the moment is just getting back to class…

  41. tester


    BTWL can happen if we push the government hard enough. Fax/Email/call your MPP, the premier, and minister of labour and minister of training, colleges and universities…tell them how you feel

  42. MR Two

    Keep in mind that there are only a few thousand out of the 50k student body on here. Out of that few thousand, realistically, how many are going to take the time out of their day to email the MPP, Premier, etc. about a movement that’s whimsical at best, considering that alot of the people on here do not really feel too strongly about going back? If some of the people who made the effort earlier to search the web and find this site are losing interest in going back to a compromised year, how many of the remaining ~45k students do you think even really care?

  43. RR

    bargining set to continue tomorrow (wed. jan 7th), according to cupe website

  44. fob

    so are they reaching a deal from these 4 days of bargaining?

  45. oh really...

    Why does it take so many days of bargining?? If it’s going this long, does that mean it is going well, or does that mean they are not agreeing and that’s why they are still at it?

  46. scared

    thanks woot!

  47. scared

    i wish it would stop snowing:(

    i gotta celebrate my birthday!!!!!

  48. HBK


    That’s odd, because one of my professors said that we would have a test on the first day back from the strike.

    I just wish that if they were going to end it anytime soon, that they give us at least a week’s notice or grace period, just so we could get our heads on straight. I’m sure that many students would appreciate the time to get back into study mode. Right now they aren’t even telling us if negotiations are going good or bad.

    Gee, it’s almost as if nobody cares about the students.

  49. Retsage

    I love snow and wind. Hoping for some good ol’ fashioned frostbite for all those assholes standing outside today. 🙂

  50. CL

    I haven’t done any work either and I’m totally out of school mode. I’m considering filling out the request form for pass/fail for at least one or two of my courses. That way I wouldn’t have to complete the assignments or write the exams but I would still get the credit. It’s a good idea if you are worried about saving a good gpa because having a pass on your transcript doesn’t affect the average at all. When applying for grad school you can write a letter of explanation for why you didn’t get a grade for the courses and hope for the best.

  51. Commuter

    @ HBK

    That is strange. I suppose you could always challenge your profs on that. I don’t know if they have the authority to circumvent the Senate.

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