Time To Get Real

By Cupe 3903 Doll

YorkStrike2008 Contributor

No real update again today.  Just that bargaining resumes tomorrow.  Yet the internal 3903 grapevine is drooping.  Our gossip sounds more pessimistic than it did yesterday.  As if we in 3903 had expected York’s return to the table and increasing desperation to save this year meant capitulation.  But it didn’t.  While we continue couching whatever we bring to the table in 2-year terms — York keeps couching everything in 3-year terms.  While we heard minor issues got ironed out, there’s only been the silence of major ones falling away — too far apart.  And there persists a sense that still no realistic bargaining goes on.  A sense of slipping past each other and vanishing into darkness.

I used to worry the academic year would get entirely lost.  Just because I understood how we in 3903 weren’t striking for our membership.  We were striking out against York University as our ideologically perceived class enemy.  Yet now time is rushing out, I’m confident the academic year will get saved.  Because of that NDP rumour we’ve heard so much of.  About Liberal back to work or binding arbitration legislation pending over our heads.  If true, the Liberals have had it with us.  If false, if the NDP plants any rumour that false in 3903 ears, then even the NDP have had it with us.  Either way, we have to get real — fast.  And even if we don’t really know how — like, without admitting what idiots we’ve been — we’ve just got to.  So we will.

However.  In light what I’ve been reading @ this forum and emails received.  What, precisely, is the use saving this academic year?  If the finances of too many students have been ruined and if the year is academically ruined — what’s the use saving it?  As one student expressed it:

Honestly i don’t wan to scrap the year – but I’ve been left no choice – i have no more money to keep forking out. I cant keep paying for res – when I’m not going to school. I cant keep flying back and forth to Canada – at the Senates beck and call…  Ur right – loosing the year is a waste of time – which i can never get back. But right now – if i get compensated and my money back. then work – gain experience now and earn money – i can come back in September and complete the semester properly – without compromise -to my future degree.  Delicia’s 1:41 a.m. post @ https://yorkstrike2008.wordpress.com/2009/01/05/most-people-want-binding-arbitration/#comments

One way or another, I’m pretty sure the year will get saved.  But I’m fully certain that we — in York admin, YUFA and especially 3903 — have utterly, inexcusably failed our students.  And we can’t make it up to them.  The best we “valued educators” can — and must — do is to fully guarantee never to fail our students so utterly and inexcusably again.  I know there’s many in 3903 would agree.  What I can’t begin comprehending is how even some of us in 3903 still do not.  How any of us could — and did — write that of course “students are frustrated”.  But that students don’t realy care about education.  All they care about is accreditation.  They only care about that “piece of paper”.  And they’ll still be getting that.  Since the year — however academically ruined — will still get saved.

So.  We can talk about how to go about it later.  Can we in 3903 at least agree that, as “valued educators”, we must never fail our students and ourselves the way we have this academically ruined year?



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132 responses to “Time To Get Real

  1. Jason

    I thought they have come to an agreement on the contract length, cupe doll, have they not??

  2. aaaaaaaaahhh

    honestly for how long is this gonna go on for? I was really hoping it gonna end next week

  3. mike

    good to see someone manning up.

    i also think that scrapping the year seems like an extreme choice, and wont happen. but after reading ur post, i have to say there seems to be a possibility.

    what are ur thoughts on summer school? my assumption is that class will occur more often throughout the week inorder to speed things up and content will be reduced. but, just my guess- so before i get flamed, i am no authoirty- just like u a york U aka an account number to york U.

  4. mike

    *just like u, a york u UG aka an account number to york U.

  5. Tired

    One hand I do not want to come back to school and continue what is left from this academic year – a morose and miserable one. I am enrolled in 33 credits … all of them with exams on December … all of them with fall term papers and other presentations as well. How can they feasibly finish with my academic year without swallowing significant information and details?
    I also do not want to hear the professors and ta’s talking about the failures of this strike for a week or two as they surely will do. I do not want to hear anything about this strike .. it was such a nightmare … so maybe starting a new year will make us forget all the wounds provoked by this labor disruption.

    On the other hand, I do not want to wait for more one year. I will freak out! If so, it will mean that I will have to work somehow to pay my rent … I did not count on living another year here in Toronto. However, as I lost my motivations to study, maybe the best to do is to finish my academic year quickly and disappear forever from the eyes of York University.

  6. Jason

    Well it happened back in 2000, and the strike was eleven weeks, and the school year was completed, so Im assuming up until eleven weeks the year is salvaged, even though there has been damage to the school year.

  7. future

    I have put in too much to lose this school year, financially, emotionally and academically. The thought of losing a year is short sighted.

    It is a year I cannot get back in my life. However stressful it is NOT moving forward, attending classes, exams and eventually getting that piece of paper would devetate me.

    This is my one chance to go to school full time and I was enjoying the experience.

    Patience. A deal will be worked out.

  8. student observer

    Along these lines, how can CUPE members resist the coopting of their interests by people driven by ideology? I think the best way to avoid drawn out, contentious, destructive strikes like this is to have a union leadership that’s committed yet pragmatic.

    What CUPE has now is a leadership that’s forcefully driven by ideology, inherently not pragmatic – “strike to win”; “demand the impossible”. Is that a way to build a relationship with students and the admin? Does going into a strike with that kind of animosity promote cooperation or elicit goodwill from the other side?

    How did CUPE come to be led by idealogues? If their views don’t align with those of the rank and file membership, why doesn’t the rank and file speak up?

    You have every right to strike, but there’s a concurrent responsibility to work with everyone to come out with the best compromise solution for all stakeholders. CUPE’s gone into this with a sort of winner take all, all or nothing mentality that’s alienated everyone.

  9. Rob

    I’ve completely lost the will to go to school even if it resumes. I’ve been working 60 hours a week. Just because will eventually end doesnt mean the damage hasn’t been done.

  10. Kelso


    Sorry did you say that you feel we only care about getting a piece of paper? Or were you mentioning that it has been said by cupe members that that is all we care about?

    That part confused me.

    I can’t speak for everyone but I know myself that it is not just about the piece paper.

    As a History major I am really interested in the courses I take. Of course I do want the piece of paper at the end because it proves to employers that I have finished the required education to get a good job these days.

    I dont think it was so much about wanting that piece of paper for so many people, I think we are upset that our timelines that we had planned for our life(school in x number of months/years finished) has been changed, and we are in a panic trying to figure out how to organize the rest when we don’t know when we will be getting back on track.

    Yes things will always happen that we have to get over in life, and plan new routes, but being left in the dark and uncertainty is the real clincher here.
    Worried is the best way I can describe how I feel right now.

  11. yorkstrike2008

    @Student Observer

    “What CUPE has now is a leadership that’s forcefully driven by ideology, inherently not pragmatic – “strike to win”; “demand the impossible”. Is that a way to build a relationship with students and the admin? Does going into a strike with that kind of animosity promote cooperation or elicit goodwill from the other side?”

    You are very correct. However, not only has the Union leadership ostracised and enraged the administration and the students, but A LOT of Union members as well. Go out and talk to the people on the picket lines. There will be the brainwashed idiots who scream “Death to neoliberalism….and America (right?)” and there are the many professors and TAs who want to go back to work and finish the year up.

    This strike, no matter the advances made by the Union, has done CUPE 3903 more damage than I think they realise. When they try to strike next time the reactions will be much more sharp and swift by the University, the government, the media and I hope undergraduate students.

  12. Thinker

    @ Kelso

    I think you got a good point, even i thought about the same thing while reading the post!! coz of course only the peice of paper doesn;t matter, Even i care about the courses I take and i enjoy learning rather than what that learning will yield, i..e a simple paper! Like honestly the paper means a lot but without true knowledge that paper would get us nowhere!

  13. still doing homework

    That piece of paper… (Keep in mind the following statments are purely opinion, based on minor observation of past conversations with fellow peers)

    It’s interesting the perspectives on that degree has shown up in this discussion..

    Personally, I believe that there is something to say about students, primarily aiming to be students merely for the goal of receiving that paper…

    Being in and out of the work force and school for the last two years as someone with both work experience (a “real job” and “mickey d’s type job” … a job for the sake of a job..) and a paritially completed post-secondary education, I have come to realize that unfortunately, a BA can only elevate you to better opportunities.. not the best. I think a big chunk of the masses are dishing out dollars every year simply to get that piece of paper.

    The reason, I feel, is the way this society is selfishly structured around monetary goals. So unfortunately, here at least, in a place where we unfortunately pay so much for that piece of paper… we are beginning to need that piece of paper to elevate ourselves up one rung of that ladder.

    So yes, there will be some students who will be satisfied, albeit frustrated, that they will ultimately “complete” their year, with their credits. Because I believe that there seems to be some unsaid understanding that many seem to only have that mentality, and as minute as this understanding may in actuality be, those involved in this inane fight can hold on to that and justify “the year will not be lost.”

    Unfortunately for people like me, those who value our education (and perhaps resent the cost that education has come to) we realize that our year has been compromised, and we have lost out. Both financially, and educationally…

    but, as I may have mentioned much earlier.. ultimately i don’t think the people making the big $$$ truly, and honestly give a crap… maybe on the surface of their “feelings” they “feel bad” but frankly.. they just want their money.

    And we, at the bottom of this ladder have suffered.

    Such is life, and we must deal with it eh?

    PS, has someone found out what to do with the lemons york has thrown to us? cause I find them quite sour, and no one will drink the lemonade.

  14. still doing homework

    uggh… i need a grammar gnome or something to constantly review my writings..

    I apologize

  15. Andrew

    I will not accept my school year lost. I have lost so much from this damn strike, and I won’t accept lossing everything just so they can make a stupid point. I agree with an article that was written a few days ago. If a contract is not signed by this weekend, the government should move in. “A fair chance to get a deal was given, it is not time to get serious and do it for them”.

  16. Andrew

    As with the “piece of paper”, yeah it is the way the world is going. Check any job desrciption now a days and it is always “A University degree in ____ field.” Excuse me if I want that piece of paper so I can get a job where I can make 50,000-60,000 a year, rather then working an hour to hour job making $10 an hour.

  17. MR Two

    I want to finish my first semester, and then I’m dropping a course out of my second depending on how crunched it will be. I’ll just take it in the summer =__=

  18. Curious Yorkie

    @ York Strike 2008

    While I completely agree with you and student observer in all that you have said, I have to respectfully disagree with you on this part:

    “This strike, no matter the advances made by the Union, has done CUPE 3903 more damage than I think they realise. When they try to strike next time the reactions will be much more sharp and swift by the University, the government, the media and I hope undergraduate students.”

    What next time? Why wasn’t it done this time? How many times does history have to repeat itself before we learn something from it? We thought that the reactions by the University, the govt, media, students etc would be sharper and swifter this time, keeping in mind that the last strike by the same group dragged on for 11 weeks! I am absolutely disgusted by CUPE 3903 and York Admin alike. They are acting like stubborn little kids fighting for a piece of candy! CUPE 3903 is indeed demanding the impossible, and its time to wake up, smell the coffee and GET REAL!

  19. still doing homework

    Andrew, I completely agree…. and it is rather unfortunate
    I like my education, but I am planning on my degree if I’m going to sit through class to learn something.. Might as well make it worthwhile.

  20. royally fed up

    OMG wow what has this come to? Danger for york students now tooo ???? Can it get any worse?

  21. Ryan

    Simply because CUPE says that there’s been a leak of information from the NDP doesn’t mean there was one. Very easily, it could have been a ploy to get the membership motivated to do some PR. A Macleans article from yesterday details why BTW legislation probably won’t happen. http://oncampus.macleans.ca/education/2009/01/05/more-york-back-to-work-rumours/
    It’s entirely politics, and if I were the Liberals I’d rather stay out of things than jump in this late in the strike. You know how opposition parties love harping on flip-floppers.

    Also, I would be surprised McGuinty would even consider such a thing considering his wife is a unionized teacher. It would set a precedent that I don’t think she and her colleagues would be fond of. Talk about making things awkward for her in the lunchroom when she’s chatting with the other teachers.

    For fun, if we address this rumour as truth, (as CUPE DOLL does) and let’s say tomorrow McGuinty ends his x-mas vacation early and asks for the legislature to reconvene, then at the earliest we wouldn’t be in class until the 19th, as there is a legislative process through which this would need to go through. It’s not as simple as a bunch of MPPs coming in to Queens Park in their pajamas and having a quick vote.

  22. What the @#%!?

    I think students should get a piece of their tuition back. Sounds crazy but in the real world when people/companies provide poor service customers complain, and argue to either get a refund or part of their money back.

    We students pay the university for a service, our education. It seems clear that even if we go back sooner than later, our money, time, and efforts, have been compromised. Whether we are graduating this year or in years to come, our degrees will always be associated with a University that has problems, and is not focused on delivering quality education. This university has always had strike problems.

    All of us are losing valuable time, and money (rent, not being able to work, etc…). Something should be done to let the University, and union members know, that they cannot do whatever they want with our time. We’ve paid them to provide a service, essentially we’re their customers, and that service has been compromised. I’m not into people messing with my money or my time.

  23. Aaaaaaaaah

    re. Maria’s post

    Please, the supposed CP24 story is hijacked off their web page and ALTERED, the man was arrested for bringing a gun to Driftwood community centre.

    Not helpful.

  24. u

    Wowww. I don’t even know what to say to that article. 😐

    This strike has been an utter waste of time. I finished all my work and caught up in the first few weeks and now I’m sitting at home with nothing to do. If the year is cancelled (hopefully not, though) I wish they’d tell us… sitting at home is getting me nowhere, I might as well find a job or somethhing.

  25. Disenchanted 4th year

    The strike has gone on long enough. I am an international student, paying for rent in Toronto and sitting unknowingly in my home country. I have no family and few friends in Toronto. It is my last year at York, and I am attempting to apply to foreign grad schools. Losing the summer would be devestating for many foreign students, let alone losing the year. To say that the undergraduates lives are being interrupted is a major understatement. Understandably, we’re the only pawns the union has to play with.

    Hopefully we resume soon, since losing the year means that many international students have to figure out what to do with leases, apartments, renewing study visas, plane tickets and without jobs. Many fourth year students would have to figure out what to do with cancelling applications, rescheduling their future plans and even turning down potential future jobs. And all undergrads get the sense that York’s best interests are York, rather than the students. It’s a far cry from tentanda via; it is a reiteration that they are not willing to try anything that does not suit their interests.

    At this point, I want the piece of paper, because that is all York seems to value their “corporation” for; manufacturing degrees, rather than knowledgable students.

  26. wtf people

    I can’t believe people would honestly want to scrap the year. That’s a whole year of your life wasted, and a whole extra year until you graduate. Do I really want to waste this year, working a $10/hour job when I could graduate and make $40,000-50,000/year?

    F*uck no

  27. proprea

    I’d just like to make one point. Whatever that “just in it to get that piece of paper” line was intended to mean, it is classic CUPE brainwashing at its finest. “We know we are hurting students, but keep in mind that most of them don’t even really care about their education anyway!” Even if that were true, that still doesn’t give you the right to prevent me from getting my diploma. I’ve paid my money, I’ve put in my work, I should get my diploma. Am I wrong? Also, I’d just like to point out how I am in my fourth year and all my classes are seminars, meaning that I have no TAs and all my teachers are full-time professors, so I am being held hostage for something I actually have no involvement in. And when I have had my TAs in the past, I’ve had 2 or 3 good ones, and all of the other ones have been terrible. Showing up 35 minutes late to a 45 minute tutorial terrible. And you want more money?

  28. ridiculous

    This strike is beyond ridiculous now. I mean we are on our third month without any education, and whenever THEY are ready, we are supposed to get back and be motivated to do all our readings, assignments/essays, and write our exams? RIDICULOUS!

    Moreover, they said they have to refun our money by Feb 15th. I honestlly think, they are going to push it till then, just to torture us YET not give our money back!

    SO, for everyone who has their hopes up of going back to school next week or anytime this month – theres a news flash for you!

  29. j

    @ Disenchanted 4th year

    “York’s best interests are York, rather than the students”

    York’s best interests is NOT scrapping the school year. The damages would be irreparable.

    Besides, there is no way they would scrap the ENTIRE year, at the very most they would scrap first semester and we would go back to start Winter semester.

    That’s not going to happen either though! York loves our money, waaay too much to let that happen.

    We’ll go back, get a crappy reduced semester and probably won’t even get an apology from York or CUPE.

  30. yorkstrike2008

    Curious Yorkie wrote:

    “What next time? Why wasn’t it done this time? How many times does history have to repeat itself before we learn something from it? We thought that the reactions by the University, the govt, media, students etc would be sharper and swifter this time, keeping in mind that the last strike by the same group dragged on for 11 weeks! I am absolutely disgusted by CUPE 3903 and York Admin alike. They are acting like stubborn little kids fighting for a piece of candy! CUPE 3903 is indeed demanding the impossible, and its time to wake up, smell the coffee and GET REAL!”

    Three, ten + week long strikes in ten years will tip the table I think. These strikes are not about getting fair compensation and working condition increases, they are about screwing everybody and their mother over.

    2000-2001, 2008-2009 and 2010-2011 (and if they don’t get their two year contract you can bet your bottom dollar they will walk out again).

    If the Union gets a 2 year contract them I am looking into my transfer options out of province or out of the country. I speak nearly 3 languages, so I am flexible.

  31. sizzurr

    oh my god… im turning 24 this year… i cant be in school until im 26-27-28
    i need to finish this year… lets go york and cupe..

    could york or cupe act MORE like red-headed step children?

  32. @proprea:

    I agree. I have no TAs this year, and the TAs that I have had in the past were all terrible. They were really useless to me.

  33. me

    I have lost ALL respect for both sides involved in this strike.

  34. distressed

    I still struggle with the idea that we could lose our year and don’t see it happening. I also struggle with anyones posts over the past weeks who has said that they don’t want to go back this week or next week because it will be too rushed etc. The fact that we could lose a year or have a degree that we have all worked hard towards comprimised is unacceptable. While I have seen all sides to this and understand both parties points I am left with the opinion that CUPE is a shameful bunch. Everything that has happened has been by choice. They are choosing to do this and if we lose a term or a year it is because of them. Should this not get resolved and the worst come to pass I would not want to be a TA attempting to justify their good fight to a full classroom in F/09. I don’t think the full realization of what this means to everyone at York has been actualized. I hope it never comes to that.

  35. Yorkie

    First of all, I’m pretty sure before they would even consider loosing the school year, they would scrap the Fall semester first, not the full year right away.

    Second of all, This strike hasn’t gone on for 11 weeks yet, I think until it surpasses how long that the 00-01 did, the governement won’t actually step in.

    As for refunds, I don’t think it would happen, though it would make sense. If anything, if they in fact scrap the semester for instance, we would just repeat the Fall semester some other time in the summer or the year after. So we’d end up getting what we paid for in a proper time frame. Just an option I was thinking about, not fact… -_-

  36. FuriousStudent

    Well, I had spoken to my prof. the other day to see whether I should bother doing assignments that were due the past Monday, as well as readings. She had told me not to do them since the course outlines will have to be re-done to accommodate the lost days of instruction.

    I’m not saying that students should not keep up with studies but contact your prof.s and make sure, as this has deterred me from wasting time on assignments that won’t exist if we go back.

    In regards to what is going on, I’m a fourth year student contemplating whether to apply to Grad school, and worried that other universities won’t bother admitting York students because the reputation has been tarnished by the strike.

    Frankly, I am so sick and tired of waking up and finding out another day has been wasted by a strike. Both sides have ruined the concept of “higher learning” and education itself. Of course we want a degree at the end of all of this, but I also want to learn the subjects which I had chosen. The undergrads have been left dragging behind a vehicle driven by both admin and Cupe and they don’t give a f**k.

  37. Mike Oxbig

    one thing is for sure…and students should all agree with this…

    if the next TA you have complains about “this tutorial is not a lecture” you guys have to do the talking…and he/she actually keeps to his word…and just sits there and do nothing…

    people should complain to that person about this long strike….regardless of whether they get what they want out of this strike or not…

    some TA’s do a good job talking in class..some sit there and don’t do much…

    well they all better do something now..

    yes, students should do most of the talking…but we obviously have to demand more out of the TA’s now…

    im in 3rd year and i think i’ve only have 1 bad TA out of alot of them…

    but i do hear a lot of complaints about this

  38. Jiggs

    what i don’t understand is WHY STUDENTS HAVE DONE NOTHING! I know that as a student im being little hypocritical, but seriously just a rumour of BTW legislation and CUPE has a bunch of photos on their website of protestors @ Queen’s Park protesting against it. Why Can’t we protest?! THIS IS OUR EDUCATION AFTER ALL! I think if things aren’t solved by the end of this week we’ve really got to consider organizing some sort of mass march onto Queen’s park. For us this isn’t even political or anything like that, this is a GENUINE INJUSTICE! This is like a person (whose name and address you are fully aware of) comes up to you in broad daylight and muggs you and neither you nor anyone around does nothing about it!

    I for one think a student uprising NEEDS to happen, even if only to pressure parliament to pressure CUPE!

  39. student observer

    Curious Yorkie / Yorkstrike:

    The problem, I think, is that there’s a new crop of CUPE 3903 TA’s every few years. Similarly, undergraduate students cycle through such that the student body is entirely different every four years. The lessons of past strikes are easy to forget and there’s no guard against the same mistakes being made again and again.

    But you know who stays the same? The students-for-life that occupy the leadership of CUPE 3903. The ones who have a personal interest in gaining concessions that make it financially possible to be a student in perpetuity. The same people who don’t see the irony in demanding the elimination of tuition fees while they strike for greater benefits/funds/financial guarantees for TA’s.

    The York admin stays the same too. They’ve learned to face CUPE as adversaries and reciprocate the take-no-prisoners attitude.

    These people should be working in concert. But no, instead it’s like a cold war that spills into the open every few years when contracts have to be renegotiated, laying waste to students in the process.

    CUPE 3903 needs to impeach its leadership, but I don’t think the limp noodles that form most of the union membership will stand up to the shouty elite that have comandeered the union for their own ends.

  40. Delicia

    @ CUPE doll

    I would like to thank you personally on behalf of all those that are walking in the dark right now. it sounds cheesy – but honestly that’s what i see. You have been the only light to follow . Thank you for all your relevant and guide information. Much appreciated.

    Now to the rest of CUPE

    With all due repect I think your acquisitions that all students care about is that “piece of paper”… is in fact somewhat …..


    Yes I will blatantly admit that although I value the education for its experience and learning process – that’s not gonna help me earn a living or help me get the career I want.

    Just like you are fighting for better pay and certain benefits – I am fighting for the right to have the BEST GPA I can. The difference is that I am not affecting 50,000 people’s lives directly in a negative way – and lets not forget that I paid for that opportunity too – in terms of not only money but time – something you cant buy – or get back or “Bargain” for.

    Put is this way – the rest of the world values that “piece of paper” as a ticket to job possibilities and the key to a career and successful future. I assume (cautiously), that majority of students feel the same way – or they would not being here trying to better their education in the first place.

    Some of us are ambitious and strive for even more. We are not satisfied with just a “piece of paper”. A HIgh GPA – is like first class ticket for a top career perhaps. So if i’ve earned it – and worked for it and PAID for it – who are you to deny me my right to that? Who are you to compromise and jeopardize my future and then turn around and call me selfish? I certainly have not denied your right to strike.

    I could easily turn around and say ” oh yeah – all Union cares about is money”. But i know that’s not the point. The point is that striking is a tool to asking for what you feel you deserve that you have earned. A high GPA on “that piece of paper” is mine. Grades matter to me – if they matter to the rest of the world – which they do the last time I checked.

    Just like you have the right to bargaining for what you rightfully deserve – I have to right to achieve the best that I can. If i fail or do less than i am capable – it should be on my own accord – not because of somebody else .

    Educations on its own – is precious – but in this world its accreditation that bears the true benefits. Accreditation is a way to standardize and measure education – to show how useful it is. A good looking degree – gets my foot in the door – not education and experience on its own. Unfortunately education on its own – it cannot be measured and therefore compared. Hence – it cannot reep the benefits without ranking. And by ranking I mean accreditation.

    Like Striking – Ironically education is a movement on its own. Its people saying that – “hey I want the chance to have a better my life – open up opportunities so that I don’t have to suffer from poverty or so that I can have the career I earned.”

    As far as I can see, the Union – with its main reason behind the strike is to bargain for better pay, daycare health etc – in a nutshell – a better life – a life that they think they deserve and have rightfully earned.

    Yet here I am doing the same thing and the Union has the audacity to tell me that I should accept second best – “Since the year — however academically ruined — will still get saved.”

    Well no – I stand up for myself thanks – I didn’t pay for an “academically ruined year”. Since money is so important to the Union – than respect that it is important to me and many others too – 50,000 actually.

    Once again I’d like to clarify – I do not go against the Union’s movement – or what they are trying to achieve. I respect their right to strike. But having said that the Union should respect our right to a PROPER FULL and JUSTIFIED education -since we have paid for it with more than just money -but time too.

  41. j

    This makes me pretty mad at York Administration:


    “‘They know where our office is,’ said York spokesperson Alex Bilyk. A university official later fetched a copy.”

    — I also love the use of the word “fetched” …. like this official was President Shoukri’s dog.

  42. still doing homework

    to J,

    just some food for though..

    from one perspective of “york’s best intrest is york…”

    theoretically, from a purely business perspective, not scrapping the school year IS york’s best interest as york and not students…

    my reasoning is… they can’t afford the lawsuit/refunds/whatever of 50,000 students… and not because they want kids back in class..

    my support? -> they would have already thought about giving us financial compensation for “lost time”

    therefore i am fairly certain we will go back to school, no matter how compromised it becomes..

    if the students’ interests were truly put at the top of priorities, the strike would never have happened, and we never would have been “locked out” figurattively from school

  43. Delicia

    @ still doing homework

    You are completely right. I agree – if they cant pay the union what they want – how can they pay 50,000 students back money the seem to have already spent

    Business is Business i’m afraid.

  44. j

    @ still doing homework

    I completely agree – that is what I was saying in response to the post made by ‘Disenchanted 4th year’

    Unless I have misunderstood your post..?

  45. F-Ed Up

    Sorry to bring up an old point, but:

    still doing homework: “I have come to realize that unfortunately, a BA can only elevate you to better opportunities.. not the best” and “PS, has someone found out what to do with the lemons york has thrown to us? cause I find them quite sour, and no one will drink the lemonade”

    and Andrew: “Excuse me if I want that piece of paper so I can get a job where I can make 50,000-60,000 a year, rather then working an hour to hour job making $10 an hour.”

    Most of my friends graduated from university a few years ago, and have struggled to find a “good” or “real” job. These are bright, young individuals, often talented in and passionate about their fields, who cannot get jobs because they do not have the superfluous additional accreditation of a post-grad degree or diploma, or because self-described “entry-level” positions are asking for several years of work experience in their field. And these are fields ranging from creative (“arts” to “marketing”), to business, to science. Most of these additional “qualifications” are unnecessary, and are asked for only because of the sheer volume of BAs and BScs out there from which to choose from.

    So how have these friends of mine been paying the bills these last few years (besides living with the “‘rents” way past their welcome)? Those good ol’ $10/h jobs that they could have gotten out of high school (and likely where they could have been promoted to a position paying, say, $15/h by now if they’d spent the last seven years working really hard at those jobs).

    So what to do about those lemons? I say it varies based on what happens, obviously. If the year is lost, and you’re currently working, take the time before the traditional summer months to perhaps find a new job that may be in some minute way related to your field. If you can afford to (let’s say you’re a strapping young lad or lass who can move back in with mom and pop and thus afford to work part-time paying gigs and part-time volunteer?), consider volunteer or internship positions to get exposure and experience in a career you would like to get after graduation. Take this time out of school to think about what you will do and make alternate plans for what may happen at the end of all this, once we go back next month or next year and you finally get that education and that piece of paper, for you may find yourself chronically unemployed or underemployed, as many (if not most) other “Bachelors” find themselves in the first few years after graduation.

    As for the “job where I can make 50,000-60,000 a year” with a simple university Bachelor’s degree? Well, if you find one, please let me know!

  46. Disenchanted 4th year

    @ j

    I think you misinterpreted me. I was just addressing the rumor that the year MAY be scrapped. Regardless, I still think York’s best interests are York. You said so yourself:

    “We’ll go back, get a crappy reduced semester and probably won’t even get an apology from York or CUPE.”

  47. ahhhh

    Thanks for the update CUPEDOLL.

    Do you think we will be back in class next week!?
    I don’t mind returning to class much… other than the fact that I’ve lost all my motivation to sit down and study.

    I am very upset that YORK and CUPE are not letting us know how their bargaining is going. I can understand why they are not willing to disclose any information. However, I also feel that it is very rude for them not to give us any leads to what will happen and when it will happen. When is school going to start? They should just give us a deadline so that they can in turn give THEMSELVES a deadline to binding arbitration. It’s not fair for them to ask the students to be “on the ball” to go back to school and study hardcore for a week or two and then be in a turmoil of a week and a half long exam. This affects the international students, the students who do not work, students who work and not sure how to tell their managers what hours to work, parents who study,…etc. I just find this outrageous. They should tell us what to expect and when to expect something.

    so, after all that rant… CUPEDOLL, do you think we will be back in school NEXT WEEK?!

  48. F-Ed Up

    “If you can afford to (let’s say you’re a strapping young lad or lass who can move back in with mom and pop and thus afford to work part-time paying gigs and part-time volunteer?)”

    Just to clarify: not implying that everyone who can move back in with their parents can afford to work part-time. This is meant to anyone who can feesibly do this.

  49. j

    @ disenchanted 4th year,

    Yup, now I’m just lost as to who is saying what – haha!

    York Sucks.
    Cupe Sucks.
    Let’s get back to class.

    something (most of us) can agree on!?

  50. j

    .. I’m going to get so many “I don’t waaaant to go back to class now” posts.

  51. j

    oh, and Pally Wally might come in, “for you to say CUPE sucks is completely unacceptable. . . . “

  52. Curious Yorkie

    I am at a loss of words and have got nothing more to say. The strike has numbed my brain and diminished my thinking abilities. 😐

  53. Veegirl

    Umm… once gain CUPE members are speaking on our( undergraduates) behalf. I care about my education. I am an adult who made a conscious decision to pay my money and learn . I choose my courses carefully and do my work diligently. I do not depend on CUPE members to learn. I can read and I can write. I only depend on CUPE members to assess my work, due to some contract York made with them.

    Please do not speak on my behalf… telling me what I need or what i came to school for. I am not an idiot !!!!

  54. fob

    so does that mean they are still far apart and government is going to step in and end this strike?

  55. Curious Yorkie

    And here’s a link explaining why the “Back-to-work Legislation” is far from becoming a reality for us. 😦


  56. mr schulich

    TA’s at york might want to consider hiring professional security guards to escort them to and from campus……things are getting hostile!

  57. Nellyli

    How many of you seeing Next Monday as our earliest back to class? I don’t since they still have not reached any agreement and it will require a vote by the member after the agreement to this agreement approved, that will likely be couples of days again. Errrr, it really bothers me…

  58. B

    From the Toronto Star article at http://www.thestar.com/article/562792

    “The university president should be transparent; his salary is partly paid by tuition,” said York Federation of Students president Hamid Osman.

    Shoukri’s salary is about $325,000 a year. Osman said students are frustrated by the strike that began Nov. 6.

    His group met with Shoukri early in the strike, when the president expressed faith in the university’s negotiating team to reach a deal. But with the strike dragging on, students fear their year “will be inadequate, academically,” he said; “and that’s why we signed the petition and why students want to talk to the president.”

    Hamid Osman: consistent tool.

    Why the heck is he just going after Shoukri? Why isn’t he pressuring the union as well? Oh wait. The representation for UNDERGRADS decide to not look out for our interests, support CUPE and push for that inadequate academic year.

  59. still doing homework....

    @ F-Ed Up..

    I agree with you, but andrew as well…

    Perhaps my grammar/language skills has failed to fully get my point across..

    When I say, “BA can get you elevated …not the best” I truly mean that…. it almost seems now you need a masters..

    What the BA does however, I feel gets you CONSIDERED. it does not guarantee you that job.

    That’s why I went back to school.. Not to sound egotistical.. but even for certain 15 dollar an hour jobs that were stilll mediocre and not quite career focused were being passed over me simply because I didn’t have the educational qualifications. Despite being overqualified in experience… I KNOW i can do it….

    I do know however, that without the BA, it is going to be harder to prove to those who just read resumes without meeting (i.e. online submissions) etc. how qualified one is. Consequently, a BA is more or less necessary…

    I could have stayed out of school as I did the year before, I probably could have been promoted and proven to my employer I could be a supervisor or something working 14-16 dollars an hour…
    or proceeded with my internship and probably have secured a slightly decent gopher with a better title position in a public relations firm with better more secure pay…
    but I wanted a self-satisfactory job.. somethign where it felt that I could do some good and maybe make a small difference in someone else’s life instead of trying to cut the feet out from the competitors…
    Or mindless but slightly richer…

    But I want / need my BA, I want my education, I want to learn about fascinating things I didn’t know about.. So I am back in school


    on the same coin.. some people with “real jobs” truly do not deserve the position they are in…


    My goal this year was to finish school by september – hence my 120% heavy courseload… and take all of next year to work/volunteer etc… for either an MA or just proceed onwards to my teaching degree..

    as for my lemons, i meant for the current situations..

    as I have found myself in a position unable to get a new job (my current job can only get me so many more hours)… and i’ve finished all my h omework at this point.. so really.. I’m kind of bored. hahaa

    I wanted to know, other than those who have been lucky enough to pick up more shifts/make more money/get more hours… what they have been doing, or is the majority stuck in limbo like I?

  60. still doing homework....

    .. i realize the contradiction in my statement..

    Those “jobs passed over me” were in reference to jobs I had to acquire in a different company…

    The “promotions” were in reference to the current employers I had who already knew my potential work habits…

  61. R

    Hey … Are the 2 parties meeting today for negotiations?? Cant find any info anywhere!!

  62. F-Ed Up

    still doing homework….

    I agree with you 100%. I don’t mean to deny the value of a degree in any way, and I hope that this is not what I’ve communicated. I believe education to be very important. But I worry sometimes that people have a false impression of what this degree can actually “get” them. It often takes a degree in combination with other things to get that sweet, interesting, meaningful, fullfilling, or simply handsomely-paid career. And it often takes more time than those 4-ish years of education to get it. People often still end up starting at the bottom (though the bottom of a different ladder, perhaps one that’s mounted atop a small step stool? lol) and have many years of working up that ladder before anything resembling a “real job” is reached.

    At the same time, it is also my personal belief (based on experience working both inside and outside of the academic world – don’t worry, I’m not a York TA – and based on people I know personally) that there are an alarming number of people who pursue university for the wrong reasons (often misled by others), are miserable most of the way through their degrees, and as are less sucessful/happy and lead less meaningful lives than they likely would have had they pursued other avenues (trades, college, etc., which are often positioned by parents and educators as second-class options for people who don’t have the intellect for university – a grave mistake). I also know many happy people who never went to university and who even have promising futures in fields they love.

    I guess my point is that I’m worried by comments (not yours – I was agreeing with your “not the best” comment) that indicate that people feel that once they just get back to school and finish up and get that piece of paper (whether or not they’ve appreciated the “education” they received while attaining it) everything will be OK. Hello good job, house of my own, nice car, etc… Hello security, stability, etc. Unfortunately this is not always the case and perhaps this experience with ruined plans and tampered-with futures can become something of lesson-learning time which will be very beneficial once these people have graduated and are confronted with additional roadblocks.

    Not to say that I am completely disillusioned by the whole education system – I’ve returned to school to complete me BEd and I also hope to return to school several more times over my lifetime. Just maybe not in 2010 😉 haha

  63. Disgruntled Student

    Whoever the hell wrote that stupid article totally misunderstands the students at York. Apparently I only care about accreditation??? Please. I, like a lot of my peers, value education and was promised just that when I signed up to attend York. What I received instead from the bureaucratic pigs at York was accreditation. I can’t tell you the number of times course material has been cut short, edited or mismanaged by York profs wanting to save time and just hand me my credit in exchange for the $ 500 or some odd dollars I paid them for educating me on a given subject. No wonder other schools don’t respect York. Look at the bullshit students have to deal with on a daily basis. York isn’t a university, it’s a money making machine staffed by elitist “educators” sucking dry the financial bloodline of naive students. I regret coming to this school. If I weren’t in my last year I would have transferred out weeks ago.

  64. Yorkie

    Here’s the best actual update I can get about how negociations are going:


  65. still doing homework....

    Ohh, J, I’m sorry I mis read your post…

  66. still doing homework....

    Haha, F-Ed Up,

    I agree… I was just discussing that with my parents.. I think I’ll avoid the 2010 year.. and make a little more moolah / gain more experience for that year…


  67. @ahhhh

    No point me speculating if classes resume next week. Not just me — I don’t think anybody knows at this point.

    @Ryan: “For fun, if we address this rumour as truth, (as CUPE DOLL does)…”

    Have your fun, Ryan. Don’t get so confused, though. My point was it doesn’t matter if the NDP-leaked rumour is true or false. Either way, it fires our 3903 butts to start getting real already. Since, if true, it means the Liberals have had it with us. And since, if false, it means even the NDP have had it with us. Had it with us bad enough to leak steaming lies right in our ears.

    @Delicia — well said indeed.

    @student observer: “CUPE 3903 needs to impeach its leadership, but I don’t think the limp noodles that form most of the union membership will stand up to the shouty elite that have comandeered the union for their own ends.”

    Totally right. I’ll do another post in a couple days dealing with how and why we 3903s must impeach our executive.

  68. B

    But what does it matter if the NDP have had it with 3903? They only have 10 seats. They are an insignificant party.

  69. theowne

    Man, I don’t get you sometimes cupedoll.

    What’s the point of saving the academic year?

    Maybe an YEAR OF MY LIFE.

    Am I going to sit here and waste an year of my life because of some stupid strike making some stupid point?

  70. B

    theowne – it’s not just you as well. It’s a year in 50,000 lives. For some of you, scrapping the year seems ideal. But it doesn’t speak to the majority.

    It also looks good in the short run, horrendous in the long term.

  71. Soraya

    Anyone else thinking we won’t be back on Monday? : x

  72. HBK

    I agree with theowne about scrapping the year, though B’s argument is sound. The majority don’t want the year to be scrapped, and in the long run, it’ll be really bad. Also, there is no way York will allow the whole year to be scrapped. It sucks for us because most of us are going to suffer academically, but there really is nothing we can do but complain…

  73. @theowne

    I’m not advocating scrapping the year. I’m making the point that scrapping the year isn’t much — or at all — worse than how academically ruined this year already is.

    See? My point was how inexcusable it’s been us 3903 “valued educators” totally ruining this academic year. We’ve academically ruined this year to the point there’s not much left to go back to. So bad, in fact, that some students — like Delicia — have started to feel it might be better just starting over.

  74. wtf people

    i can’t believe some of you are even considering scrapping the year

    that’s a whole fuckin year of your life wasted

    wow fuckin people

  75. KJN27

    I would really hope that no one would go to a website called Mr.Snake for strike updates – that’s got scam written all over it.

  76. D

    I wouldnt be surprised if some people want the year scrapped due to poor grades up to this point 😉

    A second year, a second chance to pick them up…. and you can blame it on York 😛

  77. By the way — just to clarify about that “piece of paper”.

    It wasn’t me trivializing university accreditation. Why would I? I spent maybe 20 years of my life chasing after more of it.

    It was the 3903 grad student arguing with me @ earlier threads trivializing university accreditation. And why? After all — wouldn’t a grad student normally value university accreditation least much as undergrad students? Spending more time chasing after it? Sure they would. Sure they do.

    To be fair, the 3903 grad student didn’t start out trivializing students and university accreditation as the “piece of paper” and “all students really care about”.

    Initially, the 3903 grad student was just saying how undergraduates are on our 3903 side in this strike. See, that’s very important to us 3903 strikers. You’re all supposed to be our “student allies”. After all — we’re striking in large part for you to get free, or at least cheaper, education. So, hey — show the love.

    And you know what? Given how student government has ideologically allied itself with our 3903 loco local — it almost seemed plausible.

    But we all know how true it isn’t. By this point everyone most anywhere hates on 3903 at near Middle-Eastern intensity. How could York students, the most victimized by my loco local, be anyway allied to our striking ideological tantrum?

    Couldn’t. But the 3903 grad student honestly didn’t get it. So I made up a little slogan. Just to help the 3903 student get it. Went like this:

    “Because we in 3903 don’t want students having to pay their education — that’s why we ruin the education they already paid for.”

    I kept repeating the slogan at this grad student. And he got it. He got how ridiculous our whole “we’re doing this for students’ own good” posture was. But then, instead of owning it, the grad student tried to argue it’s ok us ruining students’ educations. Since students don’t care about education. All they care about is that “piece of paper”. And hey — they’ll still be getting their “piece of paper”.

    Far as 3903 “shouty elite that have comandeered the union for their own ends” are concerned, students ought to be thanking us for letting them get victimized by us. By us — the “valued educators”.

  78. student observer

    They won’t scrap the year, the fear is that the remediation plan adopted to restructure the school year will result in a substandard education.

    It’s hard to see how they’ll make up for eight or more weeks of lost classes without cutting corners. I imagine material will be condensed or dropped; exam periods will be shortened; the school year will be lengthened; reading week has already been eliminated…

    I hope this is worth it for CUPE, knowing they’re doing all of this to secure two years of beneficial employment before they do it all over again in 2010.

    If I were a first year student at York I would seriously consider transferring to another school. I’m not trying to be dramatic, but there’s a very real possibility that you’ll be going through this again in a few years, whether the new contract has a two year term or a three year term. Get out while you can.

  79. KJN27

    @ Mark

    I don’t know lol it just doesn’t sound trustworthy…esp. it being their name instead of in dialogue…and then their grand finale comment “wow”. I could be wrong – but I doubt it.

  80. Tropic

    I agree with a lot of comments on this blog, like for example, the fact that the year is ruined, the slim chance of the year being cancelled. etc It makes sense but what I dont understand is why we are still talking about who is to blame? Its 2 months down the line and we are still pointing fingers.

    I think what we should really be discussing is how do we stop this from happening in the future? How should we reform YFS to protect student interests? Should we form committees that monitor potentially serious labour situations at York? What protections and privileges should students automatically have in the case that a strike happens at York?

    In the view that a strike will inevitably happen again in 2010/2011, I think we should really thinking of pushing through some protection for students.

  81. sam

    So as an undergrad and so new to the world of university, am I supposed to remember what I was shown/taught/discussed/ so long ago? I have continued to read and review, but will this be enough to get through the first term?

    I haven’t been in rez for 2 months, do I get that rent back? what about the meal plan I was forced to take, and unused books???????? HELP ME GET THROUGH THIS

  82. Curious Yorkie

    Bull shit. Nothing would be scrapped off. Can you imagine the consequences of such an action on York? They would go bankrupt! I am guessing that school would be back in another week or two. This is just an educated guess btw.

  83. aguyuno

    Right, because the year totally won’t STILL be a waste of fucking time if we go back, right “wtf people” and everyone else bitching out those of us who want this year scrapped?

    As someone already said, the first 2 weeks (more in the cases of those with more militant TAs, such as the one in my sociology course… Heather, I’m looking at you) will be spent with the professors and TAs whining at us about how fail the strike was and how this is a fail for all humankind and blah freaking blah, as if we’re supposed to still pity them. And then, those of us that DON’T pity them? We’ll be getting horrifically lower marks than we should be getting for even daring to roll our eyes at some of their comments.

    I have a friend taking African Studies. Apparently, on the day before this strike started, he took the class aside and informed them that he’d be boosting the marks of anyone who stood outside with them, for something like 1% for every 4 hours (not at once necessarily but yeah). What the hell? How is that even LEGAL?

    I don’t see the point to going back. I admit I’ve been slacking since this has began, the whole lack of motivation has kept me from doing any school work at all, but that has nothing to do with me wishing for this year to cancel out. No, my wish comes from the understanding that going back, even if I hand everything in, odds are very good I’ll get failure marks in response to thinking these cupe tools are just that – tools.

    And it’s not a matter of keeping my mouth shut. Because even if it doesn’t happen to me, it’ll happen to someone else in my class, which will then subsequently set me off and it’ll go down hill from there.

    Long live the system, eh guys?

  84. student observer

    “How should we reform YFS to protect student interests?”

    Remove the current executive, of course.

    Good luck though. Students (myself included) are notoriously apathetic. YFS has done a disgraceful job representing the interests of students during this strike, but it won’t take much for us to all forget it come next election. York is a big commuter school, fighting apathy won’t be easy.

  85. Loid

    pornography, so thats what it was. Ross you idiot.

    Does anyone know if there is still panic about back-to-work legislation? From what I read, it wasn’t due until mid February.

  86. wtf people

    I don’t care what anyone says but 95% of what we learn comes from being in the workforce. School is just a means to get there and what we learn in our courses is 95% irrelavant.

    It’s sad but true and that’s how the system works.

    So let’s just get through this year!

  87. Loid

    @ wtf people,

    That may be true for you, but its not the same for everyone. For my program, I have to complete a set of standard/designated exams to even get a job in my field. I have to use the education to pass these exams. So I’m screwed

  88. FedUpStudent

    Ah, where to begin.

    I guess it goes without saying how, as a student, I am royally unimpressed with my University – and even more so with CUPE and their attitude. For the record, if all I was after was a ‘piece of paper’, I wouldn’t have gone through the trouble of transferring to York this year. I transferred because I firmly believed that the learning at York came with a little extra pizzazz, and until about November 6th, I was not in the least disappointed (and let us not forget that was during the work-to-rule no e-mail zone). Hell, even for the first month of the strike I was proud of my profs and TA’s for standing up and sticking it to the man for what they believe in.

    But now that we’re rolling into January, I’m seeing more and more of the other side of the story. For instance, I’m good friends with a fellow undergrad who’s on work study, who hasn’t seen a nickel of income in over two months and can’t pick up another job without adversely affecting their agreement with OSAP. I don’t envy anyone picketing through a blizzard, but at the end of the day they’re still bringing home the bacon. And I don’t want to hear another word from an ‘impoverished’ TA/grad student. The key word is ‘student’, and unless you’re fortunate enough to have a rich uncle with an interest in your higher education, the sad reality is that being broke and in debt is a fact of life. I don’t even want to think about the amount of money I’m going to owe to various institutions by the time I graduate, because if I honestly sat down and thought about it I’d probably cry. But I made the choice to be here and that’s the price I’m going to have to pay – only my price isn’t subsidized by a sweet job working with my profs in a field I love making the best hourly wage that I’ve had in my life.

    So please. I’ve now paid three months of rent to twiddle my thumbs and enjoy the North York scenery, please don’t take a year of my life and throw it out the window as well. It’s high time that York and CUPE settled so that the students can carry on with their classes and their lives. And hey, if it weren’t for your students, none of you would have your jobs to begin with. So sure, settling now would mean giving up on some of those impressive gains you were hoping for, and sure, to a lot of people you’d look a bit like idiots. But sometimes you just have to take one for the team.

  89. @ Ross

    mrsnake.com is a porn site. lol. How did you find your way here?…can’t say I didn’t enjoy it…its a real stress reliever! I’m joking.

  90. @ shiiiiiitee

    lol. I thought about that too! My friends and I were about to do it but then decided not to. Its too risky, especially when I live right beside where they picket!

  91. theowne


    Man I still get confused over your motives here…I mean look we hate 3903 already, and whenever you post updates it’s nice and all but 60% of your posts are all about repeating the same thing about “We (CUPE) are evil, we don’t care about undergraduates”, etc….I mean you’re just repeating what we already think about 3903. What’s the point? Are you trying to soften the 3903 image as being somewhat ashamed of themselves so that we’re not all going to hate our TAs when we go back? Not that it’s a bad thing if you are but a lot of your posts seem redundant….I’m past the point of wanting to read about how evil Cupe is, now I just want updates and real news…

    By the way I don’t mean to be rude buy anyone complaining about wanting to start a new year for academic reasons probably was just doing bad to begin with and wants an excuse to start over. I’m an engineering student and I have a lot of work to do but I still want to go back. I dont’ care. I’ll put the extra work into it. I’ve been studying ahead to try and keep up. Nothing is worse than losing an year of my life. for no reason. If my GPA suffers a bit, I’ll double the effort next year. GPA can change. But you can’t get your time back [/wisdom]

  92. Pally Wally

    Students can’t identify themselves as students, only consumers/customers of the university. They demand classes, and equate that with education.

    It is only a small minority of students that cares one way or another, and as the comments on this blog clearly indicate – most seem to feel that their education is roughly equivalent to in-class time – in other words, take the view of themselves as customers, rather than students.

    Unfortunately, 3903 has some semblance of its power. Let’s take that sagely wisdom of the man on the street and fire them all. Who will replace them? Undergraduates? Graduate students from other universities? Or other countries? People on the street that just happen to have specialized training that they are getting less than $17K a year for? Or maybe all those doctors driving cabs we hear so much about…

    There is ideology behind the notion that our education is being screwed up by this strike. We’ve been students for ~20 years, somehow I think 2 months is going to have a relatively minor impact on that in the long run. That is, if education means something more than the number of hours you spend in lecture halls.

    Some students would be surprised to learn that until recently atOxford and Cambridge, students weren’t required to attend any lectures during their undergraduate degrees. They would “read” a topic, and set their own schedule, attending classes that they felt would help them. The idea behind this is that you have students proactive in learning, behaving and becoming increasingly autodidactic. The changes to this system are more the influence of economic pressures than any change in pedagogical philosophy that sees it as a bad way of doing things. After all, they couldn’t have been considered the world’s best universities and have been cranking out stupid, uneducated and screwed students can they? (Although, that might explain a lot about colonization, come to think of it!)

  93. lolwut

    “Most of my friends graduated from university a few years ago, and have struggled to find a “good” or “real” job. These are bright, young individuals, often talented in and passionate about their fields, who cannot get jobs because they do not have the superfluous additional accreditation of a post-grad degree or diploma, or because self-described “entry-level” positions are asking for several years of work experience in their field. And these are fields ranging from creative (”arts” to “marketing”), to business, to science. Most of these additional “qualifications” are unnecessary, and are asked for only because of the sheer volume of BAs and BScs out there from which to choose from.

    So how have these friends of mine been paying the bills these last few years (besides living with the “‘rents” way past their welcome)? Those good ol’ $10/h jobs that they could have gotten out of high school (and likely where they could have been promoted to a position paying, say, $15/h by now if they’d spent the last seven years working really hard at those jobs). ”

    that sucks, F-Ed Up

    yep, i can see it now, that’s my life in the near distant future 😦

    hey, at least ur friends didn’t have to go through this horrible strike like u and me

  94. student observer

    @ Pallywally:

    To the question of who will replace you – real professors and new graduate students. Units 1 and 3 of CUPE are merely stop-gaps, used by this and every university to avoid hiring more professors to teach and grade. They are easily replaceable, we have thousands of new and virtually unemployable BA’s graduating every year. There is no need to retain the current batch of perma-students, you have no exceptional expertise and should not be given any additional incentive to stay in school. A TA job is a temporary, part-time position held by students, it isn’t a career. You have no right to demand a living wage or long-term stability for that sort of position. You should be teaching for the year or two during which you’re completing your degree, and then move on to the workforce or, if you’re so lucky, higher academia (phd or professorship).

    TA’s at York are neither rare nor exceptional. They are, in large part, students with BA’s who didn’t want to enter the workforce, have done their stint teaching English in Korea and were rejected from better graduate programs (eg. U of T). It’s unfortunate that the school administration has allowed CUPE 3903 to become so entrenched as to develop the sense of entitlement necessary to demand the things you’re demanding.

    That’s the mistake of past administrations. Thankfully Shoukri is taking a hard line now. Hopefully his efforts stem your expansion.

  95. Jon

    Ive come across a few things over the past few weeks: Why is CUPE striking? so they can join up with all the thousands of TA’s and basically waste another few months of my life with ANOTHER strike that would engulf the provinces schools, regardless of the already lagging strike that has put so many of us in a position of near insanity (maybe not real insanity but I’m sure in a state i’ve never felt before)

    This is truly something of pure selfishness. Ive thought of dropping out many times and I’m only in first year. I can barely even imagine how pissed off someone who had one or two semesters left to finish an undergrad degree.

    This strike is never going to end, york will never give CUPE a 2 year contract and CUPE will keep fighting to receive something that york knows will end up just causing more trouble in the future.

    Ive had enough already.

    and P.S. CUPE stop messing around with things that are bigger then you (IE: Israeli Palestinian affairs)

  96. V!

    I don’t think $325,000 + benefits is considered a high salary to be president of such a large organization, tens of thousands of students, thousands of employees, etc. Many vice-presidential and presidential salaries in the corporate world with an equivalent amount of responsibility are WAY above that.

    Afterall, universities would not be able to attract much-sought-after leaders if the compensation package was not competitive. i.e. compensation is much higher in the states, so qualified leaders could just go there.

    I am also sure that at one point in his life, Shoukri also had to “suffer through” has own grad school days.

  97. RGyorku

    So this is the latest offer from the University posted on York’s website…., they’ve put it out there for the union to make a ratification vote as soon as possible…..let’s see what happens now!!


  98. nellyli

    Correct me if I am wrong, before this ratification vote, isn’t there suppose to be an agreement between Admin and the cupe mediator?
    Yes, let’s see what happened!!!!

  99. nellyli

    see what will happen. sorry, typo.

  100. D

    the only way I see this not passing is if CUPE is really willing to fight for 2 yr. IMHO it’s done….

  101. aaaaaaaaahhh

    really can’t wait to see what happens…

  102. sam

    Whats funny about this situation is that if cupe doesnt take the offer they will look like the bad guys even more, and then yorku admin will play the part of an innocent by stander, Wwhich we all know is not the case at all.

  103. zack


  104. j

    Will the rat vote take place at the GMM meeting tomorrow??

    yaaaay, hopefully this means an end is near!

  105. York Student

    i think we got school next week.

  106. Dale

    I guess we will know how good our chances of being back in class next week are after tomorrow’s GMM. CUPE’s site says it begins at 5PM.

  107. amanda

    I was thinking the same thing. Most CEOs make well above that. Besides, York is a huge organization and the stress he must have to manage is nowhere near worth that figure.

    Anyway, as messed up as this year already is, I really hope they don’t scrap the year. If I weren’t one year away from graduation, I’d have transferred ages ago. But according to my plan, I’ll be done in December 2009, just in time to miss the next strike of 2010 (if they get the two year deal). I need the credits this year and this summer!

    re: the settlement, I’m glad they’re standing their ground with the 3-year deal.

    Yes CUPE is having a GMM tomorrow, so hopefully they’ll ratify the offer then. if they accept it, we’ll probably be back on Monday or Tuesday right?

  108. Jenny

    no school please

  109. Fred

    this sucks why do we have to go back to school

  110. Roseanne

    the union should have to pay for being such cowards

    i dont want school

  111. Jerome

    no school

    this strike has gone on long enough

    the students deserve a longer break

  112. Ryan

    if we go back to school i think i will go insane

    i agree with the above posters

    no more school

  113. Robert

    look this whole thing has been a charade

    they took our education and im upset

    just start over in september

  114. lol @ york

    the most depressing thought ever: the only logical and almost optimistic thing I’ve read about this strike is scrap the year. Honestly, I doubt it will ever happen, and part of me hopes it doesn’t… but the bottom line is we all know this year has been tossed out the window, and any attempt at completing it would be nothing more than mashing in as many classes as we can. with many papers/exams to make up for and many more to come, I can do nothing else but call this entire year a wash. Even if we finish the year I wouldn’t feel like I was being taught anything, I would just be scrambling to finish the year so the university could give me the 30 credits I payed for. Yay… let’s spend a big chunk of the 1st semester out of classes and then bust our asses so York can keep our money. It’s been said many times on this site and it can’t hurt to say it again: we’re screwed no matter what.

  115. Commuter

    Posted by Matthew Geigen-Miller:

    “This is not a tentative agreement. It is an offer that York has made to the union. This is not a “forced ratification vote,” because York is simply requesting the union to hold a vote. The union leadership can decide whether or not to hold a vote.

    If the union leadership does hold a vote, I would not assume that the offer will be rejected. All of the hardcore strikers here on facebook say they don’t like the offer, but the majority (about 2/3) of union members haven’t been involved in picketing, commenting on facebook, or participating in the strike at all. This means that nobody has any idea how they majority feel and how they would vote (assuming that a good turnout would show up and vote at a GMM).

    It is possible that the union will refuse to hold a vote on this offer. In that case, York will be left with few options. One likely next step is to request a forced vote through the Ministry of Labour, but really who knows. It is also possible that the Ontario government will finally pass back to work legislation.

    There are many unknowns right now, unfortunately. We’ll just have to watch and see.”

  116. A

    Back-to-work legislation the wrong idea
    Written by By Ayla Raza, Contributor
    Wednesday, 7 January 2009

    Some student groups have been calling for the Ontario government to initiate back-to-work legislation against striking members of CUPE 3903 at York University. Not only is this idea ignorant, it is also very deceptive. This type of legislation may force teaching assistants (TAs) back to work, but the repercussions of the action may cause more trouble than it’s worth. Even the university administration has said the best way to end the current labour dispute is through regular meetings between both parties to hash out a fair, sustainable and equitable collective agreement. Government interference in a labour disruption puts the future of teaching assistants’ (TAs) contracts – and by association the quality of our education – in the hands of 107 members of Ontario’s Legislative Assembly, who have little or no concern for the future of our education.

    It also introduces a clear double standard for the purposes of electioneering. Apparently our post-secondary education is a service essential enough for our striking TAs to be forced back to work but not essential enough for the demands of tens of thousands of students across the province, calling for a reduction in tuition fees and an increase in financial assistance, to be heard. Finally, the assembly’s schedule makes the attempt to impose any legislation useless. The next sitting may not be until February, bypassing a full month during which students could focus their energies on pushing for the continuation of talks between both sides and advocating for a fair and speedy resolution to this disruption. In the end, it’s the students who are suffering, but we shouldn’t channel our frustration into futile attempts to force our teachers back to work. Instead, we should push both sides toward a fair end to a tiring strike.

  117. KH


    here they discuss a ratification vote but have negotiations actually got to that point or is this just a media stunt?
    clarification please

  118. Commuter

    It’s not a ratification vote. Just their latest offer, asking CUPE kindly to accept it.

  119. Undergrad@York

    If they have presented a comprehensive settlement… is the strike not basically over, can someone such as Cupe Doll, or Yorkstrike help us out and tell us whats going on?

  120. Andrew

    Seriously, if you guys don’t want to go back to school, fine, but I will be.

    Honestly, I think a lot of you need to just get over it. Yes the rest of the fall semester will suck because we got 2-3 weeks of fast classes and then a quick exam period. BUT once that is over, you basically got back to normal 13 weeks in winter semester. You just don’t get a reading week, which after this long off, I don’t think we need anyway. But it will still be the same 13 weeks as normal.

    I would be scared if a vote was put to students to cancel the year or continue it, because I would fear to many students would vote to cancel because they will have a tough time for a month or so. I’m 4th year, and suppose to “get my paper” at the end of the winter semester. I am not staying another year because people don’t want to deal with a month of tough work.

  121. Commuter

    Don’t forget the winter term exams have been shortened by a week too.

  122. Andrew,

    Cancelling the year would be the best option, all york would have to do is enroll less studnets next year, like 2000 instead of 9000 or whatever it is.

    I understand that your a 4th year student, but they are trying ot justify their deal in time of economic recession;which will be over soon. When you fight for a 2 year deal so long, and then try to counter with a 3 year deal, do you think they are going to accept when theyre deal dosent even coincide with teh cost of living increase.

    I am doubtful a deal will be reached, so i will take my 5K from tuition, work for the next 8 months, make 16K then have a 21K surplus with a fresh slate of new classes in September.

    That dosent sound so bad does it? LOL

  123. Mike Oxbig

    whats happening

  124. Andrew

    You may take your 5K for tuition, but who is going to pay my $8K for the rent I have had to pay over the year?

    So yeah, it does sound bad to me, because instead, I will be done by May, go work, and make 40K+.

    That sounds a lot better to me.

  125. Andrew

    See all this stuff doesn’t bother me. I don’t care if things are shorter, or if I have to study a little harder to make sure I get everything in. I’ve accepted very early in my life that shit happens and you need to deal with it as it is. Sounds like alot of people want to run away because things will be tough.

    We were told early that exam period would be short. We were told that the winter semester would be “rushed”. So instead of sitting around playing video games all day (I did play a good amount) I opened my books, read all my novels, started studying for exams. Yes I still have essays to do, but I will, as always get them done.

    I find no reason why I should have to give up my year when I have seen what I will need to do, adjusted my study habits and made sure I put myself in a position to do exams without much added stress. That is just being a smart student.

  126. amanda

    we’ve had two months off which has been more than enough time to catch up on work as well as slack off. i worked hard and relaxed hard, and enjoyed the vacation. i still have a bit of work to do, but i’m ready to get on with my life now.
    we are students..we are paying to go to school. if you don’t want to do the coursework, why go to school? let’s finish what we started, please!
    it will be faster-paced, but they’re probably going to cut down on the number of assignments and hopefully have some empathy for us.
    of course, the education we’re receiving this year will suffer but a) refunding us will cost york hundreds of millions of dollars and b) i hope most of us wouldn’t want to let the rest of this year go to waste! or maybe it’s only us graduating students who feel this way.. but man, if i were a first year, i’d transfer the hell outta the province where cupe strikes can’t affect you. i sure as hell am not applying to graduate school in ontario.

  127. Andrew

    That is something I don’t think under years understand. By the time you hit your final years, you are going to want to be done just as much as we are. And if you take a year off, and then when you get to your final year, you’ll be saying to youself “damn I could have been done a year ago”. This is my 6th year of post secondary so I know very well how much you “just want to be done” after a long time in class. Lucky for me, my long years have “papers” to show for it.

    You are willing to give up a year of school because of 2 months off and 3-4 weeks of tough work? As I said, I’m more then willing to go through the tough battle and ask for help from my profs if I need it to get through. I haven’t been in school 6 years to let a little 2 month stoppage hold up me finishing.

  128. To all the people who are worried about losing their year:

    York will never do that. It will cost them 250 million in refunds (assuming that each student pays 5K). I’m guessing that in total CUPE’s demands come up to less than 27 million. Even if York was stubborn as hell, which of the two options would it choose; refund or CUPE’s demands.

  129. amanda

    this is also my 6th year, so this year must go on! i took a year off, and wouldn’t take it back, but i can’t help but think i could’ve been done and dodged this whole fiasco.

    it’s true, by your third or fourth year, you get the urge to get on with your life as an adult, whether that means working or grad school. anyway i’m sure if it gets to this, either back-to-work legislation or some government intervention would prevent this year from being cancelled. i hope. hell i’d take credits over a refund. yes our degree may be devalued but my sanity will also take a dive if i have to stay another year.

    it’s really a shame that those radicals at the top who run cupe have the power to disrupt students’ lives. hopefully they’ll all come to their senses tomorrow.

  130. Saira

    I will only say this: Dissecting a worm and a cockroach was pretty gross the first time. I AM NOT GOING TO F*CKING DO IT AGAIN!

  131. Undergrad Student

    I personally do not want the year to be cancelled. I can understand frustrations of students, domestic and international, who feel the year will be morose and miserable and, to be frank, a real pain in the ass. However, from the perspective of a student who began at York in 2002 as a part-time student, and who is now in her final year, I do not want to come back to this school next year. I invested my time and energy into this year’s work, despite it only being a few months, I’ve paid for the tuition I can barely afford, and I’ve turned down full-time jobs in order to go to school. I want to graduate this year, I want to be done with this part of my life. I really hope everything works out…my sanity can’t take much more of this…

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