Email your TAs and Contract Faculty!

As Cupe Doll has said below. I urge you all to email your TAs and Contract Faculty, pleading to  them to show up tomorrow at the GMM and demand and end to this strike. The University has made its final offer and the Union should take this. Please remember that most CUPE members did not vote for this strike (only 22% of the Union voted, and of that only 75% voted for a strike!). The hardcore Union members are extremely intimidating, especially towards Union members who contradict the hard liner agenda. The majority of the Union members NEED TO END THIS STRIKE! 

I say again, please email your TAs and Contract Faculty and plead them to go to the GMM tomorrow and demand an end to this strike. 

You may copy and paste this generic email:



I am emailing you to urge you and all CUPE 3903 members to go to the Union GMM tomorrow and support York University’s final offer. This strike has lasted for more than two months. Our year has already been acutely effected and a continuation of this strike will not produce anything positive. I recognise and appreciate that you are fighting for improved working conditions and compensation. However, the disturbance this strike is causing undergraduate students is reaching a critical point. This strike has lasted far too long. Please help end it.

Thank you, 

One of your students





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171 responses to “Email your TAs and Contract Faculty!

  1. Jason

    All my TAS forbid to discuss anything about the strike, I did e-mail them. THey said they cannot and will not respond to any e-mails pertaining to the strike, and university work. They continue to press, WE ARE on strike!!!

  2. Jason

    So how is that going to help??? I am not getting involved in this, it will only cause more strife

  3. Jason

    This must be resolved at the bargaining table, or forcer ratification

  4. Mark

    I really hope that they don’t agree. I don’t believe that it is fair for them to put a months work into a few days, it is not fair that the students have to rush and get everything done and learn everything in a short period of time and then be rushed into exams. Just because the strike couldn’t be solved doesn’t mean that the students should be punished! The year should just be cancelled and us the students should get some of our money back. So CUPE 3903 please do not except this deal!!

  5. juliette

    i have a feeling im going to be alone in this or get hated in the comments, but I don’t want to go back, all course material is going to be jam packed and assignments may be weighed more in percentage as well I’ve left school mode, and I doubt I’ll be able to get back in it. So I’d rathe rget the pass fail option or not go back this year. So for my own personal situation I’m against going back at this point. The union dug their own grave so they should have to lie in it and face the consequences.Once again just expressing my opinion. Except for Cupe Doll, she’s the only member I appreciate and thanks.

  6. Mark

    I completely agree with you on that one juliette. We have lost way to much time and it will be impossible to get caught up and refocused on that task at hand….the school should just cut its loses and start again next year.

  7. akon

    Emailing your TAs is completely useless. They’re gonna listen to the union, not to a bunch of students.

  8. juliette

    @ Mark

    I wish this would happen and more students would support this. I wish we as students could strike. That would show everyone. Lol.

  9. Cassie

    I don’t want the year to be scrapped. I made a decision to change careers and go back to school. I am not going back to my old career and starting school again next September.

    I am sorry but I don’t believe that the majority of students want to waste the rest of the year and start over in Sept.

  10. Andrew

    Do you guys actually put any thought into what you think and say? Seriously, use common sense and what has been said.

    Fall semester is only at most 3 weeks more. We don’t get a week, some teachers may just drop something. After that we have a fast exam period. Ok that does suck, but are you honestly going to give up a year of school just because of this?

    As soon as the Fall semester is done, winter one begins. EVERYTHING GOES BACK TO NORMAL. Minus of course reading week, but I really don’t care. We go to school for 12/13 weeks and have exams. What is so hard about that?

    I think some of you are just scared that it is going to be to hard for you, most likely because you sat around and haven’t done anything.

    You need to get it through your head, YORK CANNOT PAY US ALL OUR MONEY BACK! That money has been spent on wages already. So they have to come up with millions of dollars to pay for this. It won’t happen.

    You have the option to quit. You can go right now, sign out of all your classes, go find a job and come back in September. But people like myself and many others don’t want to waste September – November of classes we worked hard in, and November to now studying at home and making sure we are ready for when we return, just to give everything up because “it’s going to be to hard”. Seriously, you guys are adults. If a boss ever came to you and said do a job, are you going to complain if it’s a tough job that you don’t have a lot of time to do? If you did, I’m sure he would find someone else and you could find a new job.

  11. Mrs. X

    i like how union is all like:




  12. fob

    doesn’t work for my TA i guess, she said she never use email and she is also unit 2’s leader..

  13. Aaron

    @ Andrew

    In so many words, that is basically what I’ve been saying. Everyone agrees that this strike has been terribly inconvenient and will bring undeserved anxiety to the student body, but it’s no reason to quit. People should have been reading and doing assignments during this break.

  14. Mrs. X

    oh btw Mr. X is hawt.

  15. Disappointed

    A lot of people are counting on getting the pass/fail option, but there are some regulations one should be aware of, although I don’t know if York would firstly offer this, and secondly, if it would modify any of these requirements.

    A “P” (or Pass) grade for any course during your last 60 credits or for any upper-level course, is likely to be damaging to any evaluation of your transcript.
    Eligibility Rules:
    1. Students must have passed 24 credits. This includes credits awarded as transfer credit.
    2. Students must be in good academic standing.
    3. The ungraded option cannot be used for courses taken to satisfy major, minor, general education or certificate requirements.
    4. The ungraded option cannot be used by students in the Faculty of Science and Engineering for 1000-level Science courses or non-major courses required to satisfy program requirements.
    5. Maximum number of credits that can be taken on a pass/fail basis: BACHELOR DEGREES = 6 credits
    HONOURS DEGREES = 12 credits

    taken from pg. 2:

  16. P D

    Yea once we get back it will really suck. I cant say for everyone but im pretty sure my marks will suffer with my proffs throwing as much content as possible and the shortened exam period doesn’t help. However, Im hoping that the proffs understand and go easier and hey maybe the proffs might just boost ours marks but i highly doubt. However, even if my marks suffer, i would never want the year to be canceled. I for one could not live knowing that i just wasted one year of my life. Time is something that should not just be wasted. I for one want to quickly finish my undergrad and move on to post grad as soon as possible.

  17. Yorkie

    We’ll just have to see how much we loose of our Winter semester. Then people might change their minds about wanting this precious year… -__-

  18. j

    @ Andrew

    well said!

    AND the university extended the drop date for courses, so those of you that don’t want to go back – don’t? It won’t affect your GPA. You won’t get ALL your money back, but you’ll get some.

  19. Disappointed

    DO NOT click on the link above! same as the previous spam.

  20. Andrew

    With Aaron

    Exactly. I haven’t done work every moment I’ve been home, I took probably 2 1/2 weeks off, but I am working my butt off right now to make sure I am ready for when we return. I know what exams I will have, and I know what needs to be done to make sure when I go back to school I have a-b-c to complete and I’m done the semester. Again, maybe because I have been doing this longer then most and have learned to keep on task even when you can’t keep on task, but I hope you people who are worried about this start working. Make a list of things that need to be done and start crossing things off. Put what you have to do, and a guess on how long it will take you to finish. Then do as much as you can.

    So far, no one has given me a good reason to cancel the year besides “I don’t think forcing students to do fast courses is good, so we should cancel the year.” Sorry, but that is a bullshit answer.

  21. demarche

    Andrew is right. Senate rules are that each term can only be reduced by one week. And most profs will drop material to compensate for this. So there is not going to be much compression of the term. Things will basically go back to normal, except no reading week, shortened exam periods, and winter term running a bit longer into April.

  22. Andrew


    You would be very sorry to hear how much I’d be willing to work to finish this year. If they said you have to do 6 hours of class each week and get it done in 6 weeks, I would find a damn way to do it.

    What point is served to cancel the year? They could still do a winter semester. Only problem is, people like me would be screwed since I have 4 courses that run all year long. So you can’t do that with really messing things up.

  23. oh really...

    Realistically, I don’t know anyone in real life that has touched a textbook in a loooong time. Yeah, that’s our problem and yeah, that’s why I am dreading going back and I will regret it. But seriously, most people aren’t that keen. I envy such skills though!

  24. oh really...

    Sorry, I mean in MY real life…like anyone I know of

  25. Yorkie

    Cancelling the Fall semester would be an alternative, and getting half credits and some money back. That way we’d have the appropriate time for the Winter term. Not gonna happen though, just a thought…

  26. Andrew

    Well then start. I’m not being angry at you, so don’t take it that way, but really look at what needs to be done and start working on it.

    I’ve been there, trust me. We all have. First year or second year, you really don’t understand what you need to do on your own to get things done. I blame high school for not putting more onto students to learn. And I’ve said many times, I myself am so unmotivated to do anything. First two weeks I was here I did nothing. I tried writing essays and doing a presentation and I couldn’t get it to come. So I switched up, and started reading because it was easier to force myself upstairs away from my TV, computer and Xbox and sit on the sofa and just read. I was finishing 2/3 books a week. Now I’m putting my focus on another class to get it done. I have a stack of books beside me. Two of them haven’t been read yet. They are for the Winter semester anyway.

    Thing with me is, I have been there so many times when I say “man, I wish I worked during that time” that I stop myself from saying it.

  27. scared

    @ demarche…my prof has already emailed everyone saying that he will NOT reduce the course content!

    i have been doing some work..but its hard to keep up with all the things that need to be u review the old stuff or do u read ahead to make sure ur ready when they compress the week? and how can you possibly remember everything that you have done in the past 2 months..revision of that is also needed…this situation just sucks. i was so happy when the strike started cuz i needed a break ..i have 30 credits and im a science major…but now i wish this strike never happened..not only did it ruin my first sem but it is now going to ruin the second also. i used to LOVE york:(

  28. oh really...

    I’m not being angry at you either…I just feel that what you do is rare, but it is something I would LIKE to do, but just can’t be motivated to do. You are obviously a good student…I am too. During school I work my butt off to get the grades I do, definately more than a lot of other people I know. That said, I have a horrible attitude towards school. I really hate writing papers, studying, etc because it completely consumes me. I am such a perfectionist, so even though I hate what school does to me…I do the work.

    So, without deadlines, marks, etc, I just cannot seem to have the motivation I normally do. It’s really a shame, and this strike has ruined the year for me, along with everyone else, studious or not.
    What is to come when classes resume is completely scary and unknown territory. A lot of us just enjoy the blissful calm before the storm while it lasts. I have mixed feelings about things now. I don’t want to go back, but I obviously know we have to and I need routine in my life!

  29. Andrew

    It is funny because I am in a class called “Learning”. lol it’s an psychology elective I am taking and the chapter I am on now talks about this very thing. How school systems are kind of messed up because students do all this work and studying and don’t get rewarded (in marks and grades) for long periods of time. Think about it, you put in 3 weeks on an essay, and you start doing other stuff, 2-3 weeks pass and you get it back. The reward isn’t there right away. So when you get a bad mark, you are more pissed then you would have if you got it right away. You invested 6 weeks into this and got nothing.

    Deadlines keep people going. I’ve just got to the point where I do things. Like tonight, I’ll watch TV till midnight, then I am forcing myself to go read till I want to go to bed (normally 3am). My marks are not amazing by most standards. I’m a solid B student I’d say. But school this year has put so much stress on me it is effecting everything I do. So the more work I can do now, means I won’t be stressed later on. That is my motivation.

  30. Davey

    I’m an excellent student as well. One question. How can we be expected to do work and assignments when there is a possibility that the year or semester could be lost? Also, what about courses whose profs might condense the syllabus? Should I do reading and assignments for nothing? What if I do a paper and it ends up being removed from the syllabus? Give me a break.

  31. Davey

    I will get back to work when the TA’s and profs. get back to work. End of story!

  32. oh really...

    @ Andrew
    That must be an interesting course. Yeah, that is exactly how I feel. Marks are my motivation to do anything…that and deadlines of course. I hate when it takes forever to get something back because then I am just like whatever, that’s old news

    @ Davey

    That’s also in the back of my mind! The syllabi will change, so I would be kicking myself if something
    I did wasn’t required!

  33. Davey

    @oh really
    I totally understand your perfectionist problem. During school I become an anxiety ridden freak. LOL

  34. Andrew

    Honestly, if your attitude is “I won’t work till they work” then please do not ask for school to be cancelled for the year. I shouldn’t have to lose my year because you don’t feel like working.

    I really don’t understand why people wouldn’t work. I’d rather get everything done now while I am sitting at home doing nothing, then doing it while at school. Then I can go out and do stuff rather then trying to stuff everything into a short period.

    I know it is hard to push yourself to do it, but every little bit will help remove stress come return to school and exam time.

    Also it has been announced before that if you do an essay, teachers can ask students to change the course assignments, but you can still follow what you already have and they will mark it. You won’t do anything for nothing.

  35. your inner consciousness

    We have become experts at taking it up the ass.
    Get ready to take some more up the ass, rapid-fire style.
    I quit school a long time ago, i simply don’t believe in modern educational institutions.
    “But i’m pursuing knowledge, it’s good for me!” they say.
    No, you’re pursuing a degree, a job, and, ultimately- money so that you can have a stable economic base for your future/current children, so that they can go through the same paces and be intellectually raped by the same institutions as you, and then reproduce some more; it’s just a big cycle.
    And they dare to ask “What is the point of life?”
    To take it up the ass.

  36. fed up

    The only students who would be advocating scrapping the year are those who have f***ed up their year anyway and don’t want to put in the work necessary to continue. They’re the ones who have made no effort to do any work since the strike started. Don’t listen to those slackers. End this damn thing. Now.

  37. As an economist and an unemployed, hyper-educated, struggling young adult I cannot understand what the funk is going on here. If people are not happy with their jobs and want more then they should step off and find a better job if they can. Why is the administration putting up with this nonsense?

    Hire people that want to work and TCB.

    There are a lot of people that are more qualified than the strikers that are out of work right now. Handle your shit people.

  38. Commuter

    Tyler Shipley (the CUPE guy) was on the news (I can’t remember if I saw him on City or Global as I was watching both) tonight at 11.

    He said the union will look over the offer tomorrow, but will go back to the mediator on Friday with some more requests/changes/improvements. So with him already coming out and saying that… no… I don’t think this deal will be accepted.

    So unless a forced ratification or back-to-work legislation appears out of nowhere, this doesn’t seem likely to end on Monday.

  39. Trying to Be Realistic

    I just wanted to say that I don’t think e-mailing your TA’s is going to help any. I watched the 11 o’clock news and they were talking to CUPE and they said that were going to send York counter offers. So I don’t think it’s likely their will be a ratification vote tomorrow at the general members meeting, but I could be wrong.

  40. Dray the CUPE Member

    Not only is there to be no ratification vote tomorrow, but the mediator has already scheduled a negotiation meeting for Friday. The Admin already agreed to be present. So, even the Admin expects to modify its offer.

  41. Peter North

    yeah baby

  42. transfer student who regrets transferring

    Kind of off topic, but do any of you know how they would go about making up time in film courses. We watch 1-2 movies each class, we’ve missed 9 films, how are we supposed to catch that up?

  43. Anon

    @Transfer student:

    “We watch 1-2 movies each class, we’ve missed 9 films, how are we supposed to catch that up?”

    Watch only double headers.

  44. tester

    @ Dray the CUPE Member:

    How do you know there is a meeting scheduled for Friday? Is there a source?

  45. scared


  46. Dray the CUPE Member:


    Thanks for asking. This is according to the Bargaining Team, as communicated on one of the CUPE listservs. I do not want to post it, because doing so could identify who I am, and I don’t want to be outed.

    I read whatever CUPE Doll reads.

  47. tester

    @ Dray the CUPE Member

    Thanks for responding. Not that I am suggesting you post it, as I understand you could be outed, but how would you posting it get you identified?

    I think I have an idea, but I don’t want to say…

  48. SML

    hey guy i just wanted everyone to kno that i think its best the cancel the year and for everyone who doesnt think we should cancel the year should reconsider further education at york at this time of the year. york university wants us to compress the remainder of the year which will impact our education because we dont get as much time to understand the new topics from the lectures. Happy new years to all and SML

  49. Commuter

    @ j

    Would they cancel classes?

  50. GI JATT


  51. This is from a few minutes ago — 2 threads back — to clarify what can/t happen tomorrow.

    @Dray the CUPE member: “You seem to suggest that tomorrow’s GMM will have a ratification vote.”

    Lol. Sure. Unless you actually read my post. And my 8:21 comment — 4 above yours. Why not read what you respond to?

    “At best, members can pass a motion to hold a ratification vote at a later date.”

    Yes. Thank you. You’ve managed to agree with me. Now then — there’s only one point of contention. When you say “at a later date”? Are you suggesting the membership can’t pass a motion to ratify “later” tomorrow? Because, if enough general membership shows tomorrow — good luck to you. Good luck if that’s what you’re suggesting.

    Ok, back to the present. I can’t help notice there’s *lots* of students hoping the strike will continue. If that’s the case then I’m pretty much done here. I’ve been fighting for what I thought were students’ best interests. If I was wrong — about what’s in students’ best interests — then please accept my apologies. Over and out.

  52. SML


  53. GI JATT


  54. tester

    SML – you are free to withdraw from your classes….but that is withdrawing academically, and has nothing to do with money.

    I absolutely disagree. They should not cancel the year, or the semester. That would be disastrous for many.

  55. tester

    @ cupedoll

    I also notice the increase of students in favour of losing the year. I don’t know what to make of it. Is this one guy posting under different names trying to sell the idea of loosing the year, or are these the people who have not done ANY school work since November? I dunno what to make of this lets loose our school year mentality. But I disagree with the concept. Loosing the school year is loosing a year of one’s life, and I don’t understand how someone who enrolled at York can be hoping that we loose the year.

    You are right in that getting students back to class ASAP is in the best interests of the students. Continue the fight.

  56. MR Two

    I’m all for losing the first semester with some form of compensation, but the second semester is more/less a normal semester… if you feel it’s gonna be stressful, drop a course if you have to. I don’t think we should lose our winter semester, just drop the fall stuff, reimburse the students, and reopen february (wishful thinking).

  57. tester

    MR. Two…that is a horrible idea.

    YorkStrike2008/CUPEDOLL: can you check the IP’s of posters to see if this site is getting spammed with lets loose the year posts?

  58. @tester: “You are right in that getting students back to class ASAP is in the best interests of the students. Continue the fight.”

    Thanks tester. I’m starting to think what we’ve got here is a 2 pronged attack. On one hand, a few self-declared 3903 members quibbling about syntax and tomorrow’s GMM. On the other hand, a few self-undeclared 3903 members enacting a parody of nihilistic, self-destructive students.

    Oh — and I forgot the whole porn-link distraction. So, a 3-pronged attack. If that’s what’s going on then, in a way, it’s a good thing. Means 3903 ideologues feel threatened enough to pay serious attention here.

  59. Red Wine and Cheese

    I have my Australian “Shiraz’ will doing my assignments, I would to like ask all Yorkie to join me for a back to school Wine Party, lets get drunk and finish the …. year.

    When the Strike come to end, no matter your student or TA.
    When cup is empty, no matter it was sweet pr sour
    Drink Wine, for after you and I, the days go on and on
    From the end to the begging and from begging to the end of the month.

  60. Red Wine and Cheese

    sorry to drunk to write properly, I mean sweet or sour.

  61. CanCan

    Just a random suggestion/wondering.
    I know my money would go to waste but I wasn’t doing so well in a course in the fall semester, and with this strike business… I have a feeling I’m going to fail.

    I’m thinking about dropping it without a grade once strike ends (hopefully.) The thing is… it’s a pre-requisite for another course in winter, but I can take this course again then, and maybe summer school the next course…

    Is it a bad idea? Do you think profs will go easy on us or will I pretty much get raped? lol

  62. alien baby

    @ all

    one “loses” a year, not “looses.”
    “To lose” means to suffer loss, go without, etc
    “loose” is a condition, the opposite of tight.

    The ubiquity of this confusion on all York websites is driving me bananas.

  63. tester

    alien baby – please don’t point out our typos as we’ve forgotten what is like to be accountable for our typing/spelling/grammar

    if only we had teachers…..

  64. SML

    @ tester – sml

  65. transfer student who regrets transferring

    I’m not all for being forced to “lose” the year, but I wish that York would give students the option for a refund. I would take it, I don’t see it as a waste of my life because I would do something with the remaining months, like travel or work. Basically the strike NEEDS to end, so everyone who is wishing it doesn’t, you must enjoy sitting at home waiting day after day for some kind of update. I’m all for the end of the strike, and then options on how to carry out the end of my year. ESPECIALLY because I received a lovely letter informing me of the cancellation of my internship in France if I cannot make the May 1 start date 🙂

  66. pass/fail

    personally, i think that we should continue with learning what were suppose to learn but they should give us the pass/fail option…i agree with “scared” about a certain point which is what are we suppose to be studying right now? should i study for the new chapters which haven’t been taught yet..or should i be studying for the old stuff since the exams will come a week after we’r really sucks and i don’t want my GPA to be affected by a 45% exam because of a stupid strike..some say that the profs will remove some of the materials but for us science students that is very unlikely especially since we need to learn everything in our current courses in preparation for next year’s more advanced courses..i don’t want the year to be cancelled but it would be great if they could mark us based on what we learned before the strike started..that way we will be marked all of my 4 biochem classes this semester i have atleast 4 to 5 remaining chapters which r considered the most impo chapters needed for a biochemist to know..those chapters should be taught but i don’t think that we should be tested on one of the few students who have been studying the new work and trust me those chapters need some serious amount of lecturing by a serious prof..i cannot c my head from my feet as im reading them..and whats worse is that none of my profs is telling us what to study during this long break..and they r completely ignouring our emails..i want this strike to end but i also want them to pay us abit more attention…

  67. saps

    everyone who hopes the year will go on and has this positive attitude of everything will be okay is a SAP. Doesn’t anyone give a shit about the big picture …. we are getting fucked over. We should have been working during the strike??? Are you mad? why should I have to work when I’m uncertain if it will even count. York knows it can go back and everything be a-ok because of you losers who say everything will be ok as long as you’ve done your work . Your parents must pay your tuition, because you don’t give a shit that you are getting severely ripped off.

    it really baffles me that not more people are against going back/ learning is compromised it has nothing to do with keeping up with my work during the strike , i payed to attend lectures not teach myself .

  68. CUPE member with child

    My god – this site has simply spiralled into really bad speculation and a platform for cupedoll to make up whatever she likes about some big bad union ideologues. And what’s her ‘side’ been doing all of this time, sleeping? Oh right, they’re all too scared to excercise their right to vote. What baseless tripe. Why not give her the keys to the front page so she can really get people freaked out? What’s that – it’s already been done? Go figure…

    I could see this site going in that direction as soon as the moderator Yorkstrike started posting directives unequivocally aimed at breaking the union with back to work legislation. So much for neutrality from the hosts point of view. It’s too bad because this site really had the potential to be the most accurate source of neutral news on the strike.

    In light of everybody freaking out about what’s going on, I’ll offer a cooler analysis.

    Here’s what is happening:

    1) the union presented a revised package (i.e. cut a number of outstanding issues) to the mediator before the beginning of holidays (early December). The university didn’t respond until the end of December. As you know, talks resumed in the beginning of January.

    2) Since then they’ve been at the table for 5 days negotiating. The university made the first move since coming back with an offer to increase funds by a value of approximatetly $250,000 and little else. This works out to approximately $73.50 per union member, total. The union responded by cutting an approximately equivalent amount from their demands. i.e. very slow movement.

    3) The university decides that it wants to assess the strength of the will of the union, so it posted its media PR release saying that it wishes the union leadership to put their “comprehensive” offer to a membership vote. Perhaps they thought the union would be fooled into thinking it’s a forced ratification vote and thus a ratification vote could occur without the university side “wasting” that card. As for the union – they’re unlikely to even vote on it, not wanting to play into the universities game. Whatever the case may be there are still negotiations scheduled for Friday – surprised cupdoll? It’s obviously not York’s final offer – there never are ‘final offers’ in negotiations unless bankruptcy is the only alternative.

    4) I would predict thattwe should expect a forced ratification vote to come next week. While I’m not brushed up on the proceedure, it could well be that York will increase its offer incrementally on Friday and send it to a forced rat. Unless it’s a significant increase, it will likely be rejected by the union.

    5) After a forced rat likely fails next week, we will see the university and the union sit down and seriously negotiate. We should expect lots of movement from the university side. I’ll explain why and why it’s taken so long to get here.

    The University claims that the union is demanding a 20% increase in their overall package (a figure that the union disputes). Even assuming that this figure is remotely correct it would amount to less than a 1.5% portion of the university’s overall budget. This isn’t a statement of opinion, this is fact. So if the union doesn’t budge, then the university has 3 choices:

    choice #1) Cancel the fall semester and possibly the winter as well, refund a significant portion of tuition fees (I ballpark it around 150-300 million dollars), lose appromximately 200% as much in government funding, and risk an exodus of angry students away from York (wether their anger is directed at York or at the union, doesn’t really matter).

    choice #2) capitulate to the union and give them the supposed 20% increase, which would be valued at a little less than $13 million dollars (CUPEs overall contract is worth 62 million dollars).

    choice #3) Speedily negotiate to save the term (or the whole year) as well as try to avoid giving the union everything it wants. It’s most likely that the union will get most of what it wants but may still make some concessions in the interest of getting back to class before it’s “too late”.

    You people do the math.

    To me it’s obvious that if the union doesn’t accept forced rat then we’ll see option #3 succeed within a short but intense period of time.

    So, keeping those cold numbers in perspective – how many people here really think it’s likely that the university is going to cancel the fall term, let alone the whole year? If they were to, then they would be utter ideologues with no other agenda that sticking it to a union.

    Last, why did it take so long to get here. Tthe answer is obvious:

    We’re only going to see significant movement and negotiations when there’s significant threat of something really bad happening (for the university it’s the threat of the term being outright cancelled, for the union it’s the threat of being starved out). The university had time to sit around and wait in November and December – they hoping that the union would fight amongst itself while the university wages a PR campaign aimed at making the union look greedy. It may have succeeded in convincing the general public, but to most CUPE members – the university’s plan has backfired. Alex Bilyik has been the biggest asset the union could possibly have wished for during this strike. By publishing what we know to be blatantly false and misleading information, it’s galvanized the union together.

    So, the next few weeks are when things are going to get very intense – there’s going to be a lot of threats and unbased speculation flying around. It’s going to feel like all is hopeless and will be lost. It is my view that unless the university side is absolutely insane, rather than cunning, the term will not be lost – it will be ‘miraculously’ saved at the 11th hour.

    Did anybody really expect that these things could get resolved before the 11th hour?

  69. Just Another Yorker

    Cupe Member with Child,

    Realistically, in your opinion what is the earliest date we could be back in classes in this scenario?

  70. MR Two

    So it’s just winding out like a repeat of the last major strike. Go figure.

  71. MR Two

    BTW welcome back CUPE member with child =)

  72. ruffled feathers

    yes welcome back cupe member with child – please let us know how the GMM goes….thanks

  73. Pally Wally

    Hooray, CMw/C, welcome back!
    There has been a serious lack of sane discussion here from people who actually have a studied understanding of ideology and politics.

  74. JMac

    There you have it. If any legitimate York student here was unsure of whether the CUPE group that is screwing with your life right now has changed their focus, carefully read CUPE member with child’s post above to learn that it hasn’t.

    These people think they have your best interests at heart or they think you believe that, but its pretty clear that you are nothing more to them than little chips in their poker game with York.

    The hardliners like CUPE mwc believe that they cannot lose this strike for the very reasons that she listed. They believe that York cannot afford to refund tuition because it would simply cost too much – and CUPE may be right.

    And I believe that CUPE had no expectation whatsoever that this strike would last any less than 11 weeks.

    These TAs have been collecting a couple hundred bucks in strike pay since the strike started and when its over they will go back to their jobs and get all or most of the pay they would have gotten anyway, plus a raise. So, in effect, they will have actually made more money by the end of this strike than if there had been no strike.

    So there isn’t much incentive for CUPE to hurry up and settle because YORK will eventually give in – so they believe. But at what cost to the reputation of YORK and to the perception that people in this province, and especially students, have of CUPE and unions in general?

    So instead of skimming over her post and then asking “so … when do you think we’ll be back in class CUPE mwc??”, read it carefully and figure it out for yourself.

    And then consider some other possibilities … like 1000 CUPE members showing up at today’s meeting and directing their executive to call a vote on York’s offer.

    Or consider that if that move fails that the Ontario government may have to step in and enact back-to-work legislation – because they may be looking down the road at a mass strike in 2010, and this would be one way to stifle some of that potential disaster.

    Sure it appears that York will be forced to give in to this group of union terrorists but I wish they could just say – screw you.

    And if York does give in I would expect that it will be a longggg time before many of these TAs ever get a permanent job with York.

  75. JMac

    … that’s a couple hundred bucks a week …

  76. Andrew

    @CUPE member with child

    You’re right, $13 million is less than the $500 million or so it would cost York to cancel the year. But then again, so is $26 million, which corresponds to the cost of the union’s mid-November offer, or even $40 million or so, which corresponds to the cost of the union’s initial offer.

    If the union knew that nothing would happen until the 11th hour anyway; that they would probably get whatever they want because it’s less costly than canceling the year; and that public opinion might turn against them but it didn’t matter, then why didn’t the union stick to its guns?

    On the other hand, say what you want about the administration, but at least they have always told a consistent story: we are in financial trouble, and we can’t afford much more than 10% over three years (or whatever it is).

    Meanwhile, the union has been all over the map. From the chaotic conduct of the strike, my impression is that the union is basically out of control, so one can’t really make a prediction as to how they will respond. Frankly I find that situation dangerous, as we can’t depend on the union to make rational choices.

    Also, if Shoukri is a smart man (and I think he is), he will make it a strategic priority to reduce York’s dependence on CUPE 3903, so that the union can’t shut the university down again.

  77. Cassie

    @sap – not all students that want the year to be salvaged have their parents paying their tuition. I am paying my own tuition and have every intention of graduating this year. My professors provided us enough information as to what assignments would change and what deadlines would change to. If anything, take the time to do some of the readings or start doing some research on some of the assignments (complete a % of each of them and then wait for further direction when the strike is over). You will be in for a rude awakening when we go back to school and everything is compressed and you have no free time.

  78. Tired

    ” the next few weeks are when things are going to get very intense – there’s going to be a lot of threats and unbased speculation flying around. It’s going to feel like all is hopeless and will be lost”.

    I was wondering if I could be more driven to despair than the past few months since the university has cancelled classes. But now, thankfully to the prophecies of Cupe with a child, I now know for sure that the university and Cupe are having plenty of fun playing with the emotional and psychology of students…
    Can I feel more hopeless? Perhaps that would give the University the final offer to you when we all feel completely miserable and helpless? Is a new concept in the union to drag this whole thing to the end by using our distress as a means to reach your deal?

    I appreciate the information. It just feels like someone give us a gun to help us to commit ‘suicide’.

  79. Andy

    This morning from the Toronto Star:

    “The union representing striking York University workers is not impressed with a new offer made by the administration and does not plan to even bring it to a vote.

    “We thought we had made progress in talks but this offer is a step back,” said Tyler Shipley, spokesperson for CUPE 3903. “We are going to keep at (negotiations) till we are happy.”

    Yesterday afternoon, York officials made public a three-year offer they say provides 0.7 per cent more in overall wages and benefits than previous offers, through improved child care and professional development, for example. The offer also provides more full-time faculty positions and links future benefits to the growing ranks of employees.

    “Time is of the essence, so we’re trying to negotiate a settlement by taking leadership and trying to find an expeditious way to solve this dispute,” said York University spokesperson Alex Bilyk.

    He said York’s newest offer carries a total dollar value that is 10.7 per cent more over three years in wages and benefits – up from 10 per cent – but has the same 9.25 per cent hike in wages as previous offers.

    He said York has sweetened the pot through richer benefits and job security, citing the offer of creating 22 new full-time faculty positions, which Bilyk said would help address union concerns over job security for contract faculty.”

    Big sticking point? The two year contract so they can collude with other locals and do this all over again in 2010.

  80. ...

    @CUPE Member w/ Child

    I hope you and the other members choke on all the extra money you greedy bastards.

  81. Outofschoolfor3months

    @CUPE Member w/ Child

    I hope you and your kid starve.

  82. D

    Both of you what the hell, leave CUPE Member w/Child alone, what happened about neutrality and hearing others opinions?

  83. KJN27

    ouch that’s a bit harsh.

  84. Welcome back CUPE member with child. I was so happy this morning when I saw that you’d returned!! We’ve been lost without you.

  85. Peace

    Don’t bash on CUPE w/Child, if he/she did not care about us at all, they won’t post. So be grateful for their contributions even IF they have a hidden agenda. We need whatever information we can get and only AFTER you should form your own opinion after reading everyone’s posts.

  86. Dray the CUPE Member

    @CUPE DOll:


    First off, I quoted your words back to you, in which you discuss the idea of ratifying the vote at the meeting. Your post to me then confirms you think the vote can be ratified at the meeting.

    He/She wrote: “Yes. Thank you. You’ve managed to agree with me. ”

    Yes, of course I do. While I think you’re as much a radical in your own right as you claim CUPE is, yes, I agree with you.

    “When you say ‘at a later date’? Are you suggesting the membership can’t pass a motion to ratify ‘later’ tomorrow? Because, if enough general membership shows tomorrow — good luck to you. Good luck if that’s what you’re suggesting.”

    Yes, I’m suggesting that you can’t hold a ratification vote on the same day as this GMM. A ratification vote would take multiple days and be by secret ballot. This takes a lot of organizing.

    You’re on 3903talk, right? Aren’t you also on 3903scouncil? You should already know this if you’re on these lists.

  87. @CUPE Member w/ Child

    Please ignore the ignorant. There are always some morons in every group.

  88. B

    So much for a cooler analysis…that analysis simply illustrates how the opposite end of the extremist spectrum is thinking.

    But you make an excellent point about this site spiraling out of control and how it ridiculously posits itself as neutral.

    The university, also does not necessarily have to issue refunds in that range. Colleges went on strike a few years ago and a cancellation of the semester resulted. They gave students the choice: 1)Refund or 2)Credits based on work completed.

  89. Wondering

    This is a bit off topic but would anyone recommend to transfer to another university at this point? I know its a bit late but just wondering. Also, do you think once York got back on track-the exams would be easier? I know its a big estimation but just would like some opinions. I was thinking of transferring to U of T but that might be a bit too late.

  90. Dray the CUPE Member


    Yes, yes, YES. I *highly* recommend transferring.

    York has been a disaster for many years, due to god-awful management. Nothing has changed. It’s my thought that nothing will change.

    I thought that, perhaps, with a new president focussed on research and applied science and committed to launching a medical school, that there would be substantial structural improvements.

    But, now that I see the president failing to show leadership in this labour crisis, I don’t think anything will change. If this president can’t show leadership in a crisis, he definitely doesn’t have what it takes to lead York towards implementing the necessary improvements.

    I really think York is imploding. And, I’m not surprised. Anybody who’s dealt with as many York administrative departments as I have (in research, in graduate studies, in teaching, in service, I interact with almost every department — including Physical Plant) has seen the writing on the wall for some time.

  91. Dray the CUPE Member

    (p.s. I want to stress that I’ve interacted with EVERY administrative department, here. e.g. Office of Student affairs at the highest level, many departments of Campus Services and Business Operations, with Facilities, with the office charged with defining and controlling the university budget at the highest level, with the Office of the President (indeed, with Lorna Marsden), with Central Mail, with Computing and Network Services at many levels, with Purchasing, with Security at a high level, with Parking Services at a high level, with York Apartments at the highest level. The list goes on.)

  92. Dray the CUPE Member


    Just saw your message.

    If you think you know who I am, then you know my e-mail address and where my lab is. Feel free to drop by!

  93. M

    Ok, I have listened to these conversations concerning the work that had to/has to be completed over this break and here goes… I am a fourth year political science student, who is obviously vastly affected by the duration of this strike. Saying this, I strongly believe that I WILL NOT be responsible for doing my work (i.e. finishing my essays and assignments) over this time to be handed immediately when I return. EXCUSE ME. I signed a contract with York U at the beginning of this year, stating that I would receive a number of classes I paid for. In order to complete my end of the bargain, I would be responsible for completing any assignments/etc that would be given to me by my professors and TA’s. Now, I have heard some students on here explaining that this type of approach is for students who do nothing all year . . .I am a top student in my classes and this is exactly why I chose NOT to keep my end of the bargain (i.e. my assignments and essays), until I receive what I paid and signed for: A CLASSROOM EDUCATION. Now, some might add that this approach is childish, as I am making it harder for myself in the long-run but I disagree. First of all, I WILL be given ample time to complete my project upon my arrival back into the classroom. I dare anyone out of my faculty and/or the admin. to challenge me on the given time I will allocate to MYSELF.
    Second, assignments and essays, at least for myself are not where I learn most of my information/education from. They are designed by professors to demonstrate the teaching they have provided, in order to examine the affectiveness of myself as a student and themselves and the professor. Well, until I receive my class time and by the way, lets remember that CORRESPONDENCE courses where students are required to do work, even when there is no classroom time allocated, costs quite a bit less then our full-time CLASSROOM tuition.

    I am not lazy. I am not being difficult. I am a student who has paid a full years worth of tuition and transferred here from another Uni to complete my honours. I am a student who has decided that if my professors, TA’s and administration all choose to strike for two months and not provide me with the education I am entitled to (REMEMBER A DEGREE IS ONLY HERE TO ATTAIN A HIGHER-PAYING JOB… KNOWLEDGE AND EDUCATION IS FREEEEE!!!!) then I too will not participate is completing the work that is designed to only be existent ALONG WITH TEACHING IN A CLASSROOM!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And that is all.


  94. @CUPE member with child: “Why not give her the keys to the front page so she can really get people freaked out?”

    Don’t be bitter, dear. You too can post an article here. Just get a wordpress account and send your entry to Yorkstrike2008. See? I haven’t taken over. Honestly. Anyone can post. Why not try it? I know you haven’t got much time — but it’s easy.

    “.. platform for cupedoll to make up whatever she likes about some big bad union ideologues..”

    Too late, dear. Your ideological friends have already admitted more than once how live and kicking the ideological faction is in 3903. As to you minority ideologues being “big bad”? No. You’re not. You’re only a minority. Hell — since yesterday it might be over half of you ideologues have been posting right here @ this forum. Ever since I started calling for more general membership to come vote York’s offer.

    Going by how swinging you ideologues came out here last night — that’s got you worried, hasn’t it? Because you ideologues aren’t “big bad”. You can barely even keep 1 picket going by now.

    “And what’s her ’side’ been doing all of this time, sleeping? Oh right, they’re all too scared to excercise their right to vote.”

    I don’t have a side, dear. It’s just me trying to get our local rocking some votes. That — and quoting your own articles (i.e., “The Neoliberal University:
    Looking at the York Strike”, “3903 Strike vs McJobs in the University Teaching Sector”) to better expose where our loco local is coming from. Ideologically coming from, that is. Why we need to strike out against York — regardless how we harm students — instead of for the best interests of our own membership.

    @Jmac: “.. consider some other possibilities … like 1000 CUPE members showing up at today’s meeting and directing their executive to call a vote on York’s offer.”

    Thank you, Jmac. That’s precisely what I’m fighting for. Also precisely what our 3903 ideologues are worried will happen.

    Honestly, though? It’s not going to happen. I’m fighting for it because it’s the right thing to do — not because I can actually make it happen.

    Remember when Andrew asked if majority 3903 regular membership are gutless? And, just above, where Cmwc says how we’re all sleeping — too scared to exercise our right to vote? All true — sort of.

    Democracy in 3903 is much like justice when you get a parking ticket. If you want to fight your ticket, you have to go far out of your way and deal with tons of bureaucracy just to get your day in court. And very few people have got the time and energy to do all that.

    If parking enforcement allowed people to set their court dates over the phone? Then lots of people would. And the City wouldn’t make such huge amounts of money from parking tickets any more.
    And that’s how it is in 3903 too. If people could vote electronically, or by proxy, or if important votes were held *NOT* at the end of 5 or 6 hour meetings? Then the majority would come out to way more GMMs — and 3903 would become far more democratic.

    It won’t happen, though. As with parking tickets and getting one’s day in court, it doesn’t take guns to make our loco local un-democratic. All it takes is a certain degree of inconvenience to the majority who, after all, are at York to teach.

    That’s why there won’t be any voting on York’s offer today. Even though the ideologues can’t even keep one picket going reliably any more. Since the majority of us probably aren’t even following this strike by now.

  95. Dray the CUPE Member

    In the years after this strike ends, academics are going to take particular interest in the ramblings on this blog, on Facebook, on the CUPE listserves, on YouTube, on Twitter, on other blogs. They’ll be interested in the spoofed CUPE strike site, in the silly site, the impressive group (and mightily impressive Lyndon Koopmans, who’s successfully launched what will likely be a spectacular career in ultraconservative politics — good for him!), etc., and perhaps argue that, in this, the first Web 2.0 strike, a brand-new dynamic has emerged in the labour context.

  96. Dray the CUPE Member

    @CUPE Doll:

    It’s not procedurally possible to ratify the current offer at the upcoming GMM. It has to be done by secret ballot. It has to be widely announced and there’s a minimum time between the announcement and the vote. That’s what the rules say. That’s the bottom line.

  97. Dray the CUPE Member

    … but, you can try to have a motion passed to hold a ratification vote a later date, like this coming Monday. That’s what you should be trying to do.

  98. Woot


    Secondly, I’m assuming the GMM thats happening tonight will not vote on the universities latest offer since CUPE already posted that it wants to return to the negotiating table on Friday?

  99. Dray the CUPE Member: “Yes, I’m suggesting that you can’t hold a ratification vote on the same day as this GMM. A ratification vote would take multiple days and be by secret ballot. This takes a lot of organizing.”

    I’m calling our membership to come out and vote to ratify York’s offer. Your objection is that the earliest we can ratify York’s offer is not today? Is that your *only* objection?

    If that is your only objection — then you too can call our membership to come out today and vote to ratify York’s offer. Don’t be shy 🙂

    And, just on remote possibility enough of us regular membership comes out? I bet we might find a way to ratify today. Maybe just symbolically? Maybe we could have us a symbolically-secret ballot set up — and go vote just for the democratic heck of it? Because — think about it — any even only-symbolic expression by our 3903 regular majority would end this strike then and there.

    Come on, already, Dray. Where there’s a will there’s many ways. All we, the 3903 majority need, is to express our will.

  100. blackflame28

    I know I am asking the impossible but can any one tell me what is *really* going on? I read this site and there is so much conflicting information, I have no idea what to expect, what to plan for or even if there is positive or negative news. I hear there is a vote, I hear there isn’t, I hear the union is meeting, I hear it isn’t. I have no idea what is going on.

    York Uni does not give updates so I don’t know what is going on?

    Can someone tell me what is actually going on this week? Is the Union meeting? Is there going to be a vote? Is there another meeting with university and the union on Friday?

    Any clarification would be helpful.

  101. Yes, we can move to put York’s offer to formal ratification maybe next Monday.

    But, you know how often we have shows of hands? Let’s not hang ourselves on formality. Let’s get our precious selves out tonight. Let’s have a show of hands. Who wants to continue this disastrous strike? Who doesn’t? Because, if even close to 50% our hands go up to get real and stop this crap? Strike’s over. There and then.

    The will of our majority is no mere formality.

  102. fracas

    at a previous poster who wishfully suggested that shoukri should try to loosen york’s dependence on 3903, so this wouldn’t happen again – the opposite dynamic has been unfolding over more than a decade. york’s (and other university’s) teaching force is increasingly made up of contract people, while tenure-stream jobs are far and few between . In addition, full-time faculty keep negotiating ever lesser teaching loads, with more opportunities for research leaves, increasing the total number of courses that need to be filled. So lack of full time positions (because of reduced funding to the post-secondary sector), low teaching loads of full time faculty, and increasing undergraduate enrollments means that more, rather than less teaching will be done by contract people, a trend that is happening in all universities.

    As an aside to those who think that people end up being contract faculty because they’re just ‘not good enough’ – consider how many PhDs graduate in Canada from every department every year, and then look at how many university jobs are posted nation-wide. There is a huge discrepancy between these two numbers, and unless funding formulas drastically change, many PhDs will be in stuck in perpetual ‘contract’ positions.

    @cupedoll. I will just this once respond to your attempt to dismiss me as some disguised 3903 member. I am not. I do work in the educational sector, I am a unionized worker (OPSEU), and I have a history at York as a student. All of those facts make me knowledgable about union and bargaining processes, and interested in what is going on in this particular labour conflict. I’m not sure why it’s so difficult to accept that there are people on this board (and in Toronto in general) who, without a personal stake in the issue, have an interest in it and even an informed position on it.

  103. Student

    DON’T let them bully the CUPE members into a longer strike!

  104. Dray the CUPE Member

    @CUPE Doll:

    It’s not an objection. It’s a statement of fact. You cannot hold a ratification vote at a GMM without a motion to hold a ratification vote and without an announcement and allowing some time to pass. Period.


    And, yes, the Administration and the Union are most definitely to resume bargaining on Friday morning. (That doesn’t mean it’ll last all day, though. Maybe the Admin will get up and walk away after 15 minutes.)

  105. JMac

    @ Woot

    If enough members showed up at tonight’s meeting, and if one of those members made a motion (with a seconder) at the right time in the meeting to vote on York’s latest offer, the executive would have no choice but to abide by the wishes of their membership.

    You can be sure, based on what Cmwc has written that CUPE would do everything in its power to dissuade workers from even thinking about having a vote.

    If only 20% of the CUPE members show up for this meeting then that means one of three things:

    1) the people missing couldn’t be bothered showing up because its too much of a hassle. But they do agree with their executive – they just don’t want to “get involved”. These people could care less if this costs York undergrads 2 or 3 thousand each.

    2) the people missing are intimidated by what goes on at these meetings. These people are more afraid of a couple of union radicals than of screwing 50,000 innocent students. These people are gutless and don’t deserve to be in the position they are in, but most importantly they could also care less about what happens to the undergrads.

    3) the people missing are working elsewhere or on vacation and can’t attend. York is really not a priority for them so why should they care what happens to the undergrads anyway.

    Obviously there are some people who won’t be able to attend because of person responsibilities and scheduling problems but for a union with a membership of 3400 supposedly educated people, there is no reason in the world that at least 70 percent of them shouldn’t show up at such an important meeting.

    I guarantee that the turnout would be a lot higher if these CUPE people were actually losing $2100 for each month that they are out with no chance of getting it back once classes resume.

  106. j

    From the maturity I see from some of these CUPE members, I can see why you don’t get a huge turn out at your GMMs.

    I have some brilliant contract faculty professors this year, and I can’t imagine them wanting to go and listen to a bunch of whiney TAs for 5h tell them to, “stick it to the man” or whatever nonsense seems to be thrown around at these meetings.

  107. Dray the CUPE Member


    “If enough members showed up at tonight’s meeting, and if one of those members made a motion (with a seconder) at the right time in the meeting to vote on York’s latest offer, the executive would have no choice but to abide by the wishes of their membership.”

    They would have no choice but to open the floor for a lengthy discussion lasting 5 hours and then, finally, those remaining hold a vote to pass the motion to hold the actual, binding, ratification vote.

    That’s what would happen.

  108. Disgruntled Student

    The government should just pass legislation and get these CUPE idiots back to work. They are obviously too dumb, childish and selfish to sort things out on their own.

  109. Basil El-Salviti

    @ Outofschoolfor3months

    “@CUPE Member w/ Child

    I hope you and your kid starve.”

    Hey, OSF3M, you are one disgusting pig. You don’t deserve to have your year renewed, you asshole.

    Also, when will the moderator actually moderate this forum and delete the FAKE cupe doll comments up there? Obviously, these comments are fake, so what are we doing wasting time on them? That asshole, too, should be ashamed of misleading people. We need the real CUPEDoll on here, and we NEED the critique of CUPEMWC, because unlike some of you…I know CUPE MWC, and that individual is not a hardcore liner, so cut the shit guys and let people who actually give a shit about us tell us what’s going on. Jeez.

  110. [edited by moderator]

    January 8, 2009

    There will be no bargaining today (Thursday) as there is a GMM at which the bargaining team will consult with the membership. Bargaining will resume on Friday.

    We are pleased that the parties remain at the table. We are committed to continuing to work with the employer to secure a fair deal for our members, especially for job security and adequate levels of graduate funding, given the current economic climate. Projected growth in enrolment affords the university far more economic leeway than is available to our members, many of whom live below the poverty line, and many more of whom remain precariously employed despite teaching at the university for 15 years or more.

    The union will review the employer’s latest comprehensive pass and looks forward to returning to the bargaining table with the employer on Friday in order to respond.

    [edited by moderator

  111. JMac


    Normal meeting rules allow for discussion after a motion is tabled. Once everyone has had their say, someone would make another motion to close the discussion and hold the vote. If this motion is seconded, the executive will be forced to call a vote on this motion (with discussion). If you do this after 30 or 60 minutes of discussion and before the hardliners who already spoke begin to speak again, it can work. Once the same members begin to regurgitate what they have already spewed there has been enough discussion.

    If members are ignorant of meeting rules they will be bullied and intimidated, and they will leave early. If they do their homework they can control the meeting the way they are supposed to be able to do.

  112. Dear fracas,

    I apologise for my dismissive tone towards you. Please understand, though. Whether internal or external to 3903, your position, analysis and justification for this uniquely and unbelievably damaging strikes is identical to that of our 3903 ideological radicals.

    And this position of yours and of our own ideologues logically reduces to nothing but how exploited we contract faculty get (not only) at York.

    But, fracas? I am contract faculty at York. And while I’d love some damn job security — this strike will cost me my job. And *that’s* a fact.

    Never even mind that, though. I am sick and tired getting told by every ideologue that’s bought into false economic determinism how exploited I am.

    I am *not* exploited, fracas. I do this job because I chose to — despite how much more money I could make elsewhere. I chose this job because I’m *good* at it. Can you understand that, fracas? Can you understand how a human being’s identity can be sourced more in what they stand for and how well they stand up for it? Rather than in economic class membership?

    I am not exploited at York, fracas. Sure — I’d love some damn job security. But I do my job by my choice. I actually take being a “valued educator” seriously. And this slash&burn the oppressor exploiter university strike, which has ruined this academic year, which will cost me my job next year, which has done students more economic damage than they can afford? Sorry, fracas. I don’t mean to dismiss your views. It’s just that, having heard that same ideological nonsense from every ideological orifice of our loco local — it’s hard to recall you are *not* just another ideologue whose identity hinges on “rolling back the neo-liberal university”.

  113. Dray the CUPE Member


    What tends to happen is that the motion to close discussion sets a time limit — not to close discussion immediately. Nobody will accept a 30 or 60 minute time limit, either.

    But the five hour long discussion thing is not really germane to my point. My point is that it is not procedurally possible to ratify the university’s offer at the current GMM. At best, you can move for one at this meeting.

  114. Worried


    I support you. I wish I were part of CUPE because I want you to draw as many members possible and push that this strike ends now! Do it on behalf of us all students who want to go back to class!!

  115. JMac

    Any CUPE member in this mess who is still unwilling to accept the generous offer that York has made is a hardliner. It’s pretty simple. If they were reasonable people they would take an offer that is better than what anyone else in education is getting right now.

    Instead they hold out for the same increase or better over a 2 year period instead of 3.

    For what amounts to about $220 a year each, these TAs are willing to screw each and every undergrad student out of about 3 or 4 thousand dollars each.

    That’s hardline greed and stupidity.

  116. Dray the CUPE Member

    Cupedoll’s really hung up on this “ideological orifice” stuff.

    Frankly, the most ideological voice I hear lately from CUPE members is that of Cupedoll!

  117. JMac

    Sorry Dray, I wasn’t suggesting that a ratification vote could be held at a General Membership Meeting. My point is that members have the right and the power to make sure that they are given an opportunity to vote on York’s offer.

    And I have seen motions to close discussion passed and voted upon immediately. It’s all in the wording. The executive and hardliners may try to take steps to prolong the meeting but if the members who want the vote stick around, they will get it.

  118. Nikki

    So during today’s GMM meeting, no voting will be taking place. They are just going to decide whether the offer is acceptable and only then can the offer be voted upon. Am I correct?? If someone could clarify that for me, I would really appreciate it.

  119. Basil El-Salviti

    @ Dray

    I doubt that’s the real CUPE Doll. I’m still unsure why the moderator hasn’t deleted those FAKE comments, and why this ‘cupedoll’ hasn’t rebutted my comments that it’s clearly an imposter.

  120. Basil El-Salviti

    @ Nikki,

    No voting will take place tonight. I believe that it’ll be a routine meeting, and that tomorrow the union will come with a counter offer to the administration. That is all.

  121. Veegirl

    @ Cassie you are lucky that your profs have stayed in touch. Mine have vanished. Not a single email since Nov 6th. Not even a how are you guys doing. Nothing. I have emailed one, who basically said just wait. I had to email her, she is not even Cupe.

  122. Dray the CUPE Member


    Thanks for your comment, but no. I’m sure it’s the same person. It’s not just his/her choice of words but also her sentence constructions that lead me to believe it’s the same person. Unless this person’s a former KGB agent ;), I doubt this is a fake cupedoll.


    I understand what you’re trying to say, but the reality is that the operating Rules of Order are such that nobody can move to terminate discussion immediately. That’s a good thing. If I were to move to hold a ratification vote, I would not want somebody to terminate deliberation abruptly. I would prefer deliberation. Otherwise, cupedoll’s “loco local radicals” (or whatever) would be able to shut down dissenting discussion. (Nobody in CUPE would ever agree to that.)

    Believe me, the university’s offer will be discussed for 90% of the meeting — motion or no motion to ratify. I’d put money on it.

  123. Dray the CUPE Member

    … And another thing. At GMMs, the meetings don’t take hours because radicals are trying to tire out the moderate members and have them leave out of frustration or exasperation. That does not happen.

    GMMs take a long time because 3903 members like to have careful, nuanced discussion on each detail of a topic as much as possible. That’s the culture at 3903. It’s both marvelous and exasperating.

  124. Dray the CUPE Member

    Okay. I’ll stop posting now!

  125. Nikki

    @ Dray the CUPE member

    ….So do you think that there will be a motion to ratify the offer? I heard that this offer is quite similar to the offer proposed in November.

  126. fracas

    @ cupedoll,

    nothing about my posts have been ‘ideological,’ so far all have been pretty straight up facts and information. yesterday, i responded to questions about the nature of any possible votes at today’s GMM to members who were confused by your post, and i explained what a forced ratification vote is and how it works, again as a response to a specific question about it. today i provided an explanation about the increasing volume of contract faculty at universities, again as a response to a comment about it. i didn’t say anything about what i think about the conditions of contract work at york or elsewhere, just why it’s increasing. if you think my explanation of why universities (and colleges for that matter) are increasingly relying on contract workers to do the bulk of teaching is incorrect, then by all means, let’s hear it. but i have no interest in engaging with you as to whether contract faculty are ‘exploited’ or not, hence i haven’t raised the issue.

  127. Mike Oxbig

    i have a question…if cupe gets this 2 year deal…along with all the other locals…

    in 2 it possible that cupe will want to merge all the locals and bring all the separate unions under cupe…merging all of the locals?

    is that even possible?

    because if that’s the case…if cupe doesn’t get what they want now…then this strike is going to look like a walk in the park compared to 2010…

  128. If enough members come out tonight.

    Then. First. A general membership motion that directs the executive to bring the employer’s current offer to the membership for a ratification vote by secret ballot. Like, as soon as possible. Because not doing so denies the broader membership the opportunity to express their wishes.

    Then. Second. B.i.r.t. the general membership take judicious notice if we, the membership, even wish to continue striking. Like, right here, right now. Let’s have a show of hands. A showdown of hands to indicate the true wishes of our own majority.

    If and only if there’s enough general membership show up. Since, if not — there will be nothing to see or hear other than our ideological minority.

    If we get 1000 members out — like JMac said — then we’ll win hands down. Hands up. Whatever. We’ll stop this strike dead in its own tracks.

    If we get, say, 700 members? Then it’ll probably go 55% to continue striking, 45% to get real already. But — guess what? 55% isn’t nowhere near the confidence needed for strike mandates in the first place. And for continuing a strike damaging and punishing as this? Nope. 55%/45% would effectively take the radical winds from all 3903 sails.

    Why not? Or am I wrong? Should we still continue this destructive strike? Despite how much better we would have done for the membership to just bargain realistically? Despite how we can’t maintain even one picket? Despite the harm and damages to our students? Should we just keep striking to “roll back the neo-liberal” university”? If so — why? Our strike mandate was only to more realistically bargain better for our membership. There’s never been a 3903 strike mandate to roll back York. And if we do succeed kneecapping York? How does our membership gain from that?

    Only our most radical ideologues will gain if we do succeed kneecapping York. But it won’t be anything remotely related to job satisfaction they’ll be gaining.

  129. Dear fracas,

    If you were citing contract faculty employment figures solely as a fact — not in any way intending to suggest there’s any exploitation involved — then I withdraw my earlier reply to you.

    There’s more contract faculty nowadays. Also — and I’ve seen this with my own eyes — there’s more bald eagles. Pretty cool.

    Got’ta run. Facts are fun — but issues do press.

  130. Mike Oxbig

    that’s all marxism and communism is

    democracy really transforms into a two-tiered society…

    those that govern and those at the top…the bourgeoisie…and the proletariat…those that are governed and controlled…

    and this is one great example…cupe as a union..merging all the locals…and creating one big power force against another big force…

    marxism and communism is all about the haves and the have nots much worse than capitalism…because in capitalism, the haves and have nots is a battle between individuals…but in marxism and communism…it’s a battle between individuals and those in power…those in power including the government…those in power are the haves…and they rule the have nots and tell them what to do…

    marxism = control through politics

    liberalism = control through economics

    pick your poison

    marxism = bullet in the head if you protest the bourgeoisie

    capitalism = starvation if you don’t work

    but here’s another reason why marxism doesn’t cut it…

    why share with others when they have their own anyways..not much earned, not much to give…

    in capitalism…more chance for people helping other people who are less fortunate…

    but anyways…the kicker in all of this, as always, is this…and which is why less government is better…

    the kicker: government has the guns…sorry, i take that back…the government has huge guns…and in a marxist society, they have more opportunity to exercise their gun rights…but in a free society…the government is not as free to exercise their muscle…

    there will be no more liberties…people will be told what to do…

    as this power game continues, the two forces will continue to grow…the haves and have nots…and it won’t be a fun time…

    marxist and communist elements of political control will face off against liberalism freedom and economic control..

    and as the Joker put it…to analogize between the immovable object and unstoppable force…

    marxism is the immovable object…liberalism is the unstoppable force…

  131. fracas


    no, there is no possibility of different CUPE locals become one entity. Each local is autonomous and bargains on behalf of each own members. CUPE-Ontario, which is the provincial umbrella organization for all CUPE locals in Ontario (not just at universities but all work sectors), has a plan to coordinate all university locals’ contract dates so that they all expire at the same time. This is because some in CUPE-Ontario are floating the idea that university educational workers could potentially bargain in similar ways that college teachers do – rather than with each school, the union bargains with the province directly. So in CUPE’s case, the idea is that bargaining can somehow happen more directly with the province (which funds all universities), rather than each individual university. Or perhaps, CUPE-O is looking at the high school and elementary models, where the unions bargain with school boards, rather than individual schools.

    This is right now an idea, and personally I’m not sure how do-able it is. That is because unlike all the other educational sectors, universities are uniquely autonomous from government. I can’t see any university wanting to relinquish its ability to bargain with its own locals, in order to prioritize their internal budgets. Also, i believe the province has already said (this is fuzzy so i may be wrong on this) that it has no interest in sector bargaining on behalf of universities.

    I do think 2010 could give the unions some leverage simply because if all CUPE locals in all or most universities start bargaining at the same time (which means they can all potentially go on strike), the province-wide potential disruption may be pressure enough to push the province to increase funding to the university sector.

  132. Mike Oxbig

    it’s like the matrix…

    when the immovable object met the unstoppable force…

    they merged…exploded…and then there was peace…

  133. Worried

    Has anyone seen the newest release? It breaks it all down by Units.

    University’s offers for settlement to CUPE 3903 Units 1, 2 & 3

  134. Mike Oxbig

    when marxism merges with liberalism…you get fascism…and that’s what we will end up with…

  135. Lee

    So as of now, is there a possbility that there will be no school next Monday?

  136. D

    @Lee I’d give it a 75% chance we arent goign back monday

  137. Bobert

    @Mike Oxbig

    most of your analysis on capitalism, vs communism would be great but you seem to be making the assumption that most of the historical examples of the two models have been purely followed but that’s never been the case there’s never been a country that’s purely capitalist or truly communist.

    In the former Soviet Union I don’t recall the dictatorship of the proletariat ever dissolving into a truly classless, stateless and moneyless communist society.

    As for most modern Capitalist states the governments still hold a great deal of influence in the workings of the economy, which depending on the country you’re looking at may very well border on socialist.

    but hey if people ever realized “true” capitalism or communism never actually existed people who warned of the boogeyman fearfulness of either model would have all been out of jobs ages ago

  138. Mike Oxbig

    @ Bobert

    lol yeah i know…but give me a break..i typed all that like in minutes…haha…

    but i would say capitalism in its theoretical form would be better…like what we have today isn’t what capitalism was supposed to be…

    and yes…marxism/communism, i’m assuming, was based on theoretical notions of good government also…and that didn’t happen…and nor do i think that ever will…

    which is why, if i had to choose, i would take capitalism over communism because i think there is a greater chance for good people than for good government…

    so to take it further…i would take some form of anarchy over anything…

    but that leads to an argument over apples and oranges anyways…so whatever…haha

  139. Mike Oxbig

    maybe all of these theorists assumed a man like ghandi or a woman like mother Theresa would take the reins of power…haha…

  140. Lee

    i’m glad, compressed exam schedule= poor grades, regardless of how brilliant you are!

  141. D


    Not it doesn’t. Back in the U.S my old university had 1 week for all finals. Worth just as much, and just as hard. We did fine. You honestly do not need 3 weeks for finals.

  142. Dray the CUPE Member

    So you know, York has posted complete details of its latest offer. You can see everything — absolutely everything — being offered.

    Don’t expect CUPE to accept this contract. This strike’s going to get much uglier, I think, starting tomorrow.

  143. D

    Uglier maybe, but I doubt it will last that much longer.

  144. Dray the CUPE Member

    No, you’re right. I give it two more weeks. Right up to the 11-week mark — just like in 2001.

  145. Nellyli

    Dray the Cupe Member:
    are you positive that we are in for a much longer and uglier strike, so maybe for another 2 weeks? God, this is beyond ridiculous now!!!!!!

  146. Stef

    I know the university’s stand is that they won’t comment on ongoing negotiations, but I wish that someone from the university would talk to us. (Maybe even on this blog)…
    Call me ideological and a dreamer but the one-sided flow of information is really frustrating – especially at this point. (Also, even as an ENGLISH major, I find it really rough trying to decipher the language the university uses in their releases. But maybe that’s just my brain turning to mush.)
    My only other comment is, and I might have missed something on CUPE’s website, but are CUPE members really being paid to “picket” on these blogs? If so, how much propaganda are we accepting as fact just because we’re desperate for information?
    (No offense, and I’m just as grateful for information as the next person, I’m just taking it with a grain of salt.)

  147. @Stef

    At this stage, you have to take *everything* you read with a pile of salt. If it makes you feel any better — nobody knows what will happen next.

    Want to know how the chatter inside 3903 sounds? Lol. This is really funny, actually. Got forwarded to me as a more-than-typically amusing instance of 3903 members struggling with our own ideology. Point being, though — lots of this information isn’t even worth passing on. Other than for amusement. Check it:

    I ask people, everyone:

    what do you really think is realistically (im)possible?

    Be Realistic : Demand the impossible – our t-shirts carry this slogan; this was on the cover of our proposals package back in July.

    What does that mean to you?

    I can see the debates and the attacks happening across this divide. One side will say the other is acting withint he status-quo systemic parameters of what “realistic” means, while the other side claims, in opposite and equal reaction, that the other is acting with a purely idealistic notion of “the impossible” without considering what is really attainable within the reality of our conditions. Insofar as we hold this dichotomy as the theoretical frame of our common straegic considertions – we are playing right into the employer’s hand: we cannot effectively be realistic in a sense that would be radically external to the traps of the inherently conservative structure of union collective-bargaining nor can we effectilve demand the impossible if there is no realistic pragmatic operationalization of what is realistically acheivable.

    the process we have set up for ourselves is infected with this very dichotomy. It hurts us, it hurts our common struggle – our common passion for radically altering the conditions of our common situation united action

  148. Dray the CUPE Member

    Thanks for that, Cupe doll.

    You should have read how many responses to this that were so much more pragmatic, and essentially dismissive of a literal interpretation of “be realistic: demand the impossible” (But you DID read it, did you not?)


    No, I’m really just speculating. But, my speculation is that the Admin will force a ratification vote real damn soon. If Cupedoll is right about the rank-and-file membership of CUPE, this vote should pass with a substantial majority. But, it will be absolute carnage for CUPE as an organization — ugly.

    But, forced ratification votes tend to fail (meaning the Employer loses), partly because they’re insulting to union members, but also because it weakens the Employer’s position considerably, making them much more amenable to giving in. That’s what happened in 2001. This situation is also ugly.

    If there is no forced rat vote and York moves past 11 weeks, the Summer term is cancelled and York stands to lose millions of dollars. That’s even uglier, still.

    Happy 50th anniversary, York!

  149. Enough!

    I am predicting that this whole things comes to an end tomorrow, when CUPE accepts York’s offer that is on the table, they shake hands, and everyone can move on. Those who believe in the virtue of prayer, raise your voices and ban with me.

  150. Enough!

    Maybe ‘predicting’ was not the word I wanted to use. Let’s say instead, I am ‘praying’ or ‘hoping’. 🙂 Cheers

  151. Mike Oxbig

    if whatever deal we end up with is more favourable for the union…then 2010 is going to be a bad year for york….worse than this…

  152. Mike Oxbig

    sorry…i meant more favourable for york

  153. ChairNess

    Can somebody summarize the situation at this very moment right now? the News just updated saying that the latest offer may be (or is…) rejected… what the FAHH?

  154. j

    @ enough


  155. fracas

    right now CUPE members are at a General Members Meeting discussing the latest offer, I imagine. I think the news outlets have been simply recycling the same ‘news’ since last night – that there is an offer York wants CUPE to consider at today’s meeting, and that York’s leadership have stated it is unlikely to be accepted, and that the bargaining team will not be recommending it. The meeting is scheduled for 5-8, and may even be longer so the next update (about what happened at the meeting) will probably be released quite late tonight.

  156. yorkette

    So thats todays headline saying that the Union has critisized the University’s offer and us students will likely have to wait even longer for this strike to end.

  157. aaaaaaaaahhh



    Enough is enough

  158. Disgruntled Student

    I have a question…how are CUPE members below the poverty line when they are making $63/hr and living with their parents in half a million dollar homes in Richmond Hill, Woodbridge and surrounding areas??? I have been at York for 4 years and have yet to meet a TA who is not well dressed, well fed, content and who shows no signs of poverty. You guys all baffle me. Seriously, just stop complaining and get back to work.

  159. yorkette

    @ Chairness

    I read the latest news headline too and by the sounds of it…the scales are not tipping in a good direction

  160. Worried

    If one of our valued CUPE members that post on this site could let us know what happens at tonight’s meeting that would be greatly appreciated. I know I would appreciate any information that you could give us either way.

    I look forward to your posting 🙂

  161. Yorkie

    The deal is basically the same, guys. This was never ment to be the final offer. For frik sakes, this isn’t even a forced ratification vote yet! It’s only York pulling a bitch move getting to media involved in something that was never supposed to be disclosed inthe first place. York’s just trying to see how desperate the Union is right now. They’re testing them…

  162. Debaffler

    @Disgruntled Student

    Most are not living at home, with their parents in half million dollar homes in York Region. Most live in Assiniboine and Passy. Assiniboine has cockroaches. Passy had mice.

    None are making $63/hr.

    Many of my TAs have disheveled appearances and many are not.

    No, I don’t begrudge them for claiming they’re living below the poverty line.

  163. Soraya

    @ Disgruntled Student

    ahahahaha, 2 of my T.A. practically looked homeless in my first 2 years.

  164. Stef

    Yeah, and maybe if we all clap our hands really loudly, Tinkerbell will live. 😉
    Maybe that’ll be next on my pointless things to do with my time list – rewatch Disney classics.

  165. sam

    this is all crap…this site has turned into a venting session..and ya feels kinda good to vent…no one cares about our it doesn’t matter what we say, do, feel…we are screwed for mega thousands and a serious education…..thanks…..

  166. Steve

    Dear CUPE Member with Child:

    You neglected to mention “choice #4”: namely, if there is a forced ratification vote and the offer in question is rejected, the Government intervenes and introduces/passes BTWL. If you genuinely believe that such a development is not a very realistic and imminent possibility, then you are unbelievably deluded. Do you honestly believe the Provincial government is going to risk allowing the undergraduate population of York University to lose an entire year? If you wish to obtain an idea of the type of collective agreement the Government currently deems appropriate, I suggest you review the information available on the websites operated by a number of Government employee unions, three of which renegotiated their collective agreements in 2008. You will quickly determine that the offer being made by the University is perfectly compatible with (and in certain respects, more generous than) the offers made to/accepted by the Government employee unions. So, even the current Liberal government will not have any sympathy for the type of demands being made by CUPE 3903. So, rest assured, there will be no opportunity to witness events unfolding over “the next few weeks”, at least not in the sense you believe/have suggested. To conclude with a question: If CUPE 3903 is so assured of the “reasonableness” of its demands, why has it not agreed to binding arbitration (which will be the eventual outcome of this mess)? And, please, spare me the “party line” about the purported desire for a negotiated agreement or, alternatively, conspiracy theories about arbitrators being puppets of the Government/employers.


  167. mose

    fuck the t.a.’s

  168. Frank


  169. Update

    @ Worried
    In case you have not yet heard, the membership did not like the offer. 90% voted against it at last nights GMM

  170. Union member

    As a member of the union who can see both sides, I encourage you to email your TA’s and encourage them to get involved when these votes come up. Do it even if you think they will not respond…they will still read the email. The strike happened in the first place is because many TAs did not show up to vote and hence the overwhelming majority who did were in strong favour of a strike. If we do not raise our voices and let our opinion be heard, then we are just as guilty as those in favour of continuing the strike action. In my experience it appears that there is a divide between hard science and arts/soft science union members wherein the hard science TAs are not as supportive of the strike. These are the TAs who specifically can help end this mess by voting.

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