Union not happy with York Offer

Latest York Offer Criticized By Union

Thursday January 8, 2009

50,000 York students hoping to finally get back to class may have to wait a bit longer.

According to a published report, the union representing 3,340 striking York University workers will not even vote on a new offer put forth by the administration, saying it’s not much better than the previous ones.

The three-year offer, made public Wednesday, outlines 0.7 per cent more in benefits such as child care and professional development and offers more job security than earlier deals. But the wage hike remains the same at 9.25 per cent.

The university argues it would create 22 new full-time faculty positions, and boost funding for graduate teaching assistants by 5 per cent.

But a representative for CUPE 3093, speaking for teaching assistants, contract faculty and graduate assistants, claims the administration hasn’t addressed the union’s request for a five-year teaching contract for its faculty, increased funding for graduate students and more bargaining clout.

Students worried about losing the school year are becoming increasingly frustrated over the lack of progress since workers walked off the job back in November.

“It looks like York has made a serious and comprehensive offer aimed at ending the strike.The union has an obligation to take this offer seriously and give it consideration. It would be wrong for the union to turn down this offer just because they think they can get more,” noted Lyndon Koopmans, founder of the grassroots student website yorknothostage.com.

The two sides were set to resume talks with a mediator Friday.


680 News:

Toronto – The union representing more than 3,000 striking York University workers is not impressed with a new offer from management.

A union spokesperson called it a step back, and one that isn’t likely to end the two-month old strike.

University officials said the new offer is worth almost 11 per cent more over three years than previous proposals.

The union will present the proposal at a membership meeting Thursday, but it’s not expected to be put to a vote.

Negotiations are scheduled to resume on Friday.




Filed under Uncategorized

264 responses to “Union not happy with York Offer

  1. wtf

    what the hell? cupe sux ass
    also, first!

  2. mikael

    honestly, what did york expect presenting almost the exact same offer….

    again, with the ‘might lose their year’ already….enough paranoia…i think everyone knows now that thats a stretch. sad part is u cant blame anyone for thinking that.

    my question is, whats the deal with summer school?

    help pls?


  3. yah honestly. i wanted to do summer school, then work but i fear this strike will hold me back from such things.

  4. ieatsalad


  5. aaaaaaaaahhh

    SWEET, more bad news.

  6. aaaaaaaaahhh

    they should just accept the offer and end this stupid strike

  7. Jon

    This ride sucks…I want on another one.

  8. Soraya

    If they accept the offer everything they’ve done would look pointless and stupid. They can’t accept.

  9. Yorkie

    It’s not gonna happen til both sides are at their wits end and totally desperate. That is unless the Union caves, then I will loose the imaginary respect that I had left for them.

  10. Taj

    Is it true that if they don’t come to an agreement by January 16th, that first semester will be cancelled?
    This is what I’m hearing. Please confirm.

  11. Debaffler

    I’m disappointed with this blog. It used to be my main source of information on this strike. Now it’s become a joke.

    It’s like relying on the YorkNotHostage group for unbiased information! They claim non-bias, but they obviously are biased. Hate CUPE as I might, I still want unbiased information.

  12. Debaffler

    @Taj: no. the SUMMER TERM would be cancelled.

  13. Soraya

    @ Taj

    I hear they have until mid-February. All hearsay though.

  14. York Student

    why am i not surprised =\

  15. anonymous

    this just furthers the point the CUPE is pathetic.
    the entire school and the entire city of Toronto are fed up with them.
    and with a leader like Sid Ryan… CUPE should be outright ashamed

  16. Taj

    Why you know that

  17. Yorkie


    Yea, I heard they wouldn’t be cancellign anything until mid-Feb too. ~_~

  18. Soraya

    @ anonymous

    I think you’re exaggerating, just a little.

  19. Dale

    That headline is huge

  20. Yorkie


    Yeah, if anything this says more about how low and pathetic York is. Putting out an identical offer months later… The union will be quite pathetic if they take this deal.

  21. MR Two

    I agree w/ Soraya… I bet to the majority of people in Toronto, this is just like any other news headline – “oh that’s awful” when they hear about it, and once they turn the page of the paper it’s completely out of their head.

  22. R

    This SUX!! im sick of sittin at home, readin this blog now!!

  23. annoyed

    im not surprised with this new news. I am not surprised with anything cupe does anymore.

  24. Yorkster

    How do you know that the summer term will be canceled if the strike doesn’t end by the 16th?

  25. EV


    I agree completely. As much as I’m getting increasingly frustrated, one of the only reasons I visited this site was because it was (for the most part) unbiased and posted up-to-date news quickly. I might as well just go back to the facebook forums.

  26. Guess Who

    I’d say there goes another 2 weeks.

  27. SML

    if they are really going to take away the summer term, they might as well take there time for our education and not compress fall and winter term.i think they should just take away the summer term now, whats the point 2 months of education has been lost and thats too much time to cram

  28. P S

    This is getting really ridiculous now. CUPE might as well add immortality as one of their demands the way they keep going…

  29. MR Two

    @ SML

    Summer term is another chance for the University to make $$. Doubt they’ll want to can it.

  30. dsd

    As someone from Scotland would say, NO SHITE!

  31. Scared

    How is it going to work when we go back, I’ll assume we are going “back”. Are we going to be going to class’s till July? Are proff’s going to cut out course material?

  32. York Student

    if i were the union, i wouldn’t take this offer. the whole 2 months would go to a waste and the strike would’ve been pretty pointless and stupid if a deal is made.

  33. nooshin


  34. Student

    For all we know, there might be a motion put forward at tonight’s GMM to vote on the agreement. We might (slim chance) be back in classes Monday!

  35. Student Victim

    @ York Student,

    If I were the union, I would take the offer because I am still the best paid in Ontario, and I’m screwing over 50 000 students already.

  36. Jon

    Don’t get your hopes up Student…

  37. B

    YFS: Fail
    Government: Fail
    3903: Fail
    Admin: Fail

    What options do we students have left?

    This is way past ridiculous from both sides.

  38. a disappointed canadian

    one of my asian friend is taking a 3 week vacation saying that it would be a gamble. he’s leaving tomorrow. i think odds are for him this time.

    this is the part where we say DIAF. any of you gamers may know what this means. it means “die in a fire”. hostile? somewhat. half said jokingly. extremely grateful i don’t go to york. i definitely won’t ever be recommending that university to anybody ever, nor going to ever send my kids there.

  39. R

    @ Scared:
    I dun think that the winter semester would be stretched that much… they wont ruin yet another semester (summer) now… after fall/winter already in jeopardy!! So I THINK (mostly hope) that our vacations wont be ruined as I have my wedding in June… I really hope that the strike doesnt ruin all my plans…. 😦

  40. jan

    Anyone have any idea whats going on in terms of course work?

    What are the latest speculations on catching up on stuff due or that was meant to be taught during the strike?

  41. B

    jan – have you not see the senate updates from december?

  42. ...

    [edited by moderator]

  43. B

    The Admin needs to get smart with this: if 50% of courses are taught by 3903 members that means there are 50% of courses that can be conducted now. Start pressuring the union: resume classes that can be resumed. Offer some form of remediation for those classes that cannot.

  44. Yorkie

    Save some shit for York too! ^_~


    if u c the union leader then do us a favor and throw ur shoes at him..then let some1 else throw their shoes at the york adminstration..and we will compare and c who will be better at ducking the flying shoes..the winner will have the loser respond to their offer!!

    thats the best deal ever

  46. jan

    @ B

    Yes I have seen the update…I know that we don’t have to actually hand anything in during the strike, and that teachers have to give us at least 1 week or one class before assignments are to be handed in, I was just wondering if anyone had heard or found any further updates considering how much time has passed since that post was made…

  47. jan

    @ Shoe Fight

    That honestly might make way more progress than they have been making so far!
    I say we give it a shot 🙂

  48. ChairNess

    @ …

    Can you pleaseeee film yourself shitting on their faces and post it up on the net?

  49. peesed

    the union is pathetic this is a good offer, we are in a recession for heavens sake!!!!
    i wish there was a poll and we could see the true feelings of ALL cupe members, because im sure enough of them are fed up with this strike by now and if they were allowed, they would vote YES

  50. yorkstrike2008

    Ontario Secondary Teachers just accepted 12% over 4 year. Who does CUPE think they are?

  51. t-monster

    @ Debaffler:

    This has been said hundreds of times, but maybe it should be said again: YorkNotHostage does not claim to have no bias. They are against the strike and their whole purpose is to fight for an end to the strike as soon as possible.

    However, they are not endorsing either side’s offers or demands. That is an area in which they have decided to be neutral, for a whole bunch of reasons.

    Case in point, YorkNotHostage did not say that the union should accept York’s offer. Their statement, part of which was quoted in one of the above stories, explains it better than I did:


  52. Cupe just wants a 2 year deal because they want to strike again in 2010.

  53. Yorkie

    I dunno, I think it’s a matter of how soon you want the next strike to be. If they do get what they want now, they will have their strike in 2010, if they do’t they strike again so they can participate in that strike. So you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t…

  54. Pally Wally

    Ontario secondary teachers are required to have a BEd; they are already paid a living wage.

    3903 members are trying to eek out a living while full time students on ~12K a year in Toronto after food prices went nuts this past year. Being a graduate student is a job; no one is saying that they don’t want to or have to pay their dues, and live ‘like a student’ – but the old adage ‘live like a student now, or live like a student later’ is being replaced with ‘live like a student – FOREVER!’ as a result of the heaps of debt anyone from a non-privileged background who foolishly wants a career in academia is soon to find out.

  55. Still Doing Homework

    hahahaa.. for some reason, Jon, your post brought a smile to my face..


  56. free jobs

    Pally, i’m a full time student at Osgoode. I’m paying for my education entirely on my own, through a line of credit, OSAP and summer employment. I go about $25k further into debt every year. If I held a part-time job, say 20 hours a week working at Kinkos, would I have a right to demand a living wage? Absurd.

    Being a graduate student isn’t a job. Being a TA is a job, and a part-time job at that. 3903 has become an army of rent-seekers, trying to extract what they can to minimize the financial repercussions of choosing to go to graduate school.

  57. Andrew

    @Pally Wally

    I dispute that graduate studies should be thought of as a “job”, because that leads to all kinds of troubling consequences. For example, employees should only be hired in proportion to the need and expected return on investment. One would thus expect a radical decline in graduate spots available in the social sciences.

  58. flower

    i say we hold our own protest……

  59. Still Doing Homework

    I felt that TA’s should be lucky that they’re even being paid for the experience to teach in school… let alone be part of a union…

    and like i said, it’s unfortunate that the union, has abused power so…

    the term “protect” our employees … seems to be a little warped

  60. Cassie


    I like your idea about starting up classes that are taught by full-time faculty – that would definitely put some pressure for this strike to end. Could be a good petition…

  61. The Man With The Plan

    God, if you love all university students, please cancel the year by Feb so i can go to work till Sept. Also Cupe 3903 along with york is a big joke lol.

  62. JMac

    “Ontario secondary teachers are required to have a BEd; they are already paid a living wage. ”

    Yes, teachers are paid a living wage but during the school year they work full time as teachers, not 10 hours a week.

    You TAs are out of your minds. Like that news lady said in the video – if you don’t like $17,000 for 8 months work at 10 hours a week go out and get a job in the big bad world. You’ll never get a better deal.

  63. Pally Wally




  64. JMac

    @ The Man With The Plan

    “God, if you love all university students, please cancel the year by Feb so i can go to work till Sept. Also Cupe 3903 along with york is a big joke lol.”

    Why would anyone hope that 49,999 students get screwed so he could “work until September”.

    Just quit and work for crying out loud!

  65. Pally Wally

    Kind of looks like the “big bad world” is trying to enforce its ridiculous conceptions upon people that are a little too smart for all of that, doesn’t it?

    Enjoy a life of wage slavery, debt peonage and/or empty consumption!

  66. JMac

    Grad students agree to work 10 hours a week for 8 months for $17,000.

    Using your brilliant logic, undergrads should be getting about $15,000 a year because STUDYING AND WRITING THINGS IS WORK!

  67. Pally Wally


    “I dispute that graduate studies should be thought of as a “job”, because that leads to all kinds of troubling consequences. For example, employees should only be hired in proportion to the need and expected return on investment. One would thus expect a radical decline in graduate spots available in the social sciences.”

    Why are graduate departments taking on students that they cannot support? Which is worse, never getting in to grad school because you haven’t the ability – or telling students with the ability that aren’t from rich families that their scholarships have to fund the less capable? I’m not saying it is that simple – but what really, do we need advanced degrees in the social sciences for? The push to marketize research has led to increasing enrollments at the cost of critical scholarship. I just can’t equate larger enrollments with ‘more opportunity’ or more education – doing so would infer that education is a measure of time, and not something far more important.

  68. Pally Wally





  69. Soraya

    Isn’t the meeting ending any minute now?

  70. Pally Wally

    We already know the outcome

  71. Pally Wally

    Free Jobs,
    You’re profession determines its own standards and practices. That is the trade guild you chose. 25K/year with no support? Sounds like a way of keeping poorer students out – ones that might not have articling positions lined up at mommy’s firm. There are lots of gatekeepers in any profession.

    Academia has its own set of rules, so don’t bother me with what you THINK should be done. We aren’t telling you how to run a law school.

  72. Soraya

    Do we? I still want to know how many people showed up and IF they did vote.

  73. Pally Wally


  74. Frank

    @ Pally Wally
    What is the outcome?

  75. cancan11

    You never knooooow 😉

    Well… we do… but still… OPTIMISM!!!!! lol

  76. Pally Wally

    I know a lot of you like to believe what cupedoll feeds you – that union members don’t like the strike; no one likes a strike – there is no silent majority. That’s like saying – if only all the Liberal voters had showed up to vote against Stephen Harper, we would already have a liberal government! It doesn’t work because if they cared, they would have voted.
    I have a hard time believing that graduate students got to where they are without being able to anticipate the consequences of a strike.

  77. Pally Wally

    Outcome: strike continues.

  78. Yorkie

    You know what? Pally’s attitude illustrates the problem at york that’s starting to infect more and more universities these days. They are approaching the opportunity to do research at a university as a “job.” Back in the day, this was considered an experience and an honour. You didn’t do it for the money, you did it because you wanted to research “cool stuff.”

    Pally, people like you simply should not be grad students, sorry. Academia is not for the money-hungry, go get a real job and stop trying to turn grad school into something it’s not meant to be.

    But then again, why would you want to be a grad student at york? Everyone knows it’s a running joke.

  79. Andrew

    That is the problem, these GA’s and TA’s want to sit in school for years, having York pay them. And they want more money for it. A thing that started this mess was York wanted grad students to be done their studies in 4 years, and they were pissed about it.

    Basically York is tired of paying for life time students who don’t want to get their studies done with and get a real job in that ‘big bad world’.

  80. Yorkie


    Hey, you took my name! Lol

  81. Pally Wally

    Back in the day women didn’t vote, go to school or participate in the labour force either. Are those times we should return to as well?
    This is about holding government to its promise that those deserving will be moved ahead and taken care of. Where is the recognition of merit in a system that strips scholars of their scholarships to fund others less deserving?

    Researching ‘cool stuff’ generally implies having the support to do things like conduct fieldwork abroad; fly to conferences to present award winning papers, and so on.

    This is so far from being about wages, it is about justice.

    Clearly, you need a history lesson concerning York university. It emerged in a dialectic with research giants like the UofT as a school specializing in social sciences. Now you want to tell me that I have to go into debt to do my job? Get outta here with that noise, mang.

  82. gee

    @ Pally Wally

    Why aren’t you at the meeting?

  83. Andrew

    You are a student Pally. You are not a Grad Employee, you are a Grad Student. It is your choice to work while you are a grad student, but you are still a student none the less. No amount of rhetoric or language is going to change that.

  84. aaaaaaaaahhh

    sooo no updates yet?

  85. Pally Wally


    A lot of the 4 years and out stuff pissed off PhDs who were basically put in holding patterns so that their departments could claim that they were actually placing graduates into academic positions. Baby boomers aren’t retiring, and while enrollments keep expanding the trend of replacing tenured faculty with contract faculty is widespread in north america – so no one is finding jobs except the cream of the crop.

    I’m entering into all this now. I know what the picture looks like. I’m prepared for that; but many of the teachers are York entered PhD programs under the continuing assumption (fueled by the government’s own labour market research) that the baby boomers would be retiring around now – and that universities would be doing a huge wave of hiring.

    Ok, so things happen. This strike demonstrates that the 3903 has the power to shut down the university, and is politically organized enough to do so. If an education is simply a measure of time as represented by a piece of paper – as many increasingly see it (ie. a factory which appears to confrom to the contours of production logic) then why does a university exist at all?

    I propose one of two things: demolish all trade-guild like schools (medical, law, graduate) and instead have the training take place privately – make them all apprentice-like positions.


    Repair what we have on hand.

    I am inclined to the latter, personally.

  86. Pally Wally


    A magician doesn’t reveal their secrets. Nor do I.
    I will say that I could be there right now. I’m not.
    :it is a mystery:

  87. nittin babies

    The strike is turning out to be more ineffective than effective and it is really hurting York’s reputation as a reputable university. Many students have turned down great offers from other universities thinking that York will provide them with the best opportunities possible. However, in wake of the catastrophe this strike has caused, it has not only changed my mind but also the minds of other current and future students when considering pursuing their post-secondary endeavors at York University. This is a serious disappointment in my eyes and I for one, and also many of my friends, family, and their friends and family will be looking to go elsewhere next year. York has had terrible reputation when it comes to staff going on strike and I never thought it would happen again. I guess I was wrong. Considering the current trends, a strike is eminent for York University in the future and I am glad that I won’t be around to be part of this farce. Goodbye, York University.

  88. Andrew

    The thing is, you think the system is messed up. It isn’t to me. You can think what you want about me, by motives for coming to University have very little do with the paper (I’d be lying if I said I didn’t come for a degree, because it does help in this world trying to get jobs) but I came for what I could learn and get what I couldn’t get from my home town of Sarnia.

    I have skills now that I never would have got if I didn’t come to University. I’d be happy to leave with my knowledge. Maybe we should repair the system of hiring people in this country so we are not always looking for the “most educated” because there are a lot of really dumb smart people who only get jobs because of what they hold on the education line. It is sad that come the next few years, you won’t be able to work at a clothing store without having a degree in business.

    So if this strike is all about changing graduate programs and how they are ran, I hope you can understand why I don’t care and feel like a hostage since I have no intention of continuing with education in a University after my year. As you have pointed out, I could go to University grad school after, but I’d rather get out in the world and learn from doing and from experience. So in a way, I agree. I think to many people rely on school because they don’t know what they want to do and they keep feeding it until it throws them aside.

  89. Mr. T

    I really hope this strike ends.

  90. blackflame28

    I think TAs thinking their jobs are real jobs are insane. It’s a part time job at that and *no one* is going to expect a part time job is going to pay for everything.

    I think in that respect the union is being greedy. I hear York TAs make $65/ hr. If that is true that’s $650 gross per week. That’s over $200 more than I make a week when I work 40 hours a week. I managed to have an apartment, feed myself AND save for school on $400 a week. Why can’t you?

    Secondly, what’s going to happen when these grad students enter the real world and find out they aren’t going to get a job that will pay them $65/hr? What if the best they can do is $18/hr or less?

    Thirdly, no one is forcing them to be a grad student. Yes, I dream of getting my BA. I even moved to Toronto so I could attend York. I’m a first year student. This strike has dashed my dreams. I am going to return “home” this summer because I cannot afford to continue to attend a school which doesn’t care about its student… okay, I got off on a tangent. My point is if you can’t afford to be a grad school: quit school. Work full time for a while until you have saved tution and living expenses. That’s what I did and what I’ll have to do again.

    I want this strike to end so I can go back to living and not have my life on pause.

  91. Undergrad@York

    When does the meeting end??

  92. The source

    I just heard from source that by Jan. 15 York has to refund the tuition fees. So there is a deadline and if nothing happens …

  93. Commuter

    @ Undergrad

    It was *supposed* to be from 5-8 pm.

  94. Commuter

    @ The source

    Care to name it, or is this just one of those comments designed to get everyone’s knickers in a knot?

  95. Yorkie

    You can hear from sources all you want. None of you people should believe this until it’s mentioned in an official Senate article. They will decide if anything gets refunded. Sorry to sound bitter, but that’s the way it is.

  96. Andrew

    @Pally Wally

    “I’m not saying it is that simple – but what really, do we need advanced degrees in the social sciences for? The push to marketize research has led to increasing enrollments at the cost of critical scholarship.”

    Yes, and I’m saying that treating graduate studies as a “job” will make this problem far worse! What do we need advanced degrees in the social sciences for, indeed — in a world of finite resources, when the need for other things is generally more obvious and pressing. For instance, should the provincial government spend $50k to hire a nurse, or to “employ” somebody to get an M.A. in philosophy? Especially when it’s easy to find people who will benefit directly from the nurse’s employment, but not so easy to find the people who will benefit directly from the M.A. — except the degree holder.

    The current system solves this by putting the onus on the student to ensure that the degree is paid for. Frankly, until you can demonstrate that a social science graduate student is of the same immediate, direct, and obvious benefit to the public as, let’s say, a nurse, a social worker, or an elementary-school teacher, I don’t see what’s so wrong with that.

  97. cancan11

    Ah there’s so many rumours going around the “refunding issue” I don’t believe anything anymore 😦

  98. Kari

    This strike sucks. First we give the world our football team now we show them that we hate one another. The world is laughing at us!!

  99. Davey

    @Paully Wally
    What are you productively trying to accomplish by arguing with undergrads and spouting your rhetoric on this website? I get it. You are a Cupe hard-liner. Please stop taking this website hostage. We are all aware of your opinion.
    If you graduate students are as smart as you claim to be, maybe you should save your energy and intellectual zeal for the bargaining sessions? That in my estimation would be the more productive way to spend your time! (Does it make you feel powerful to win an argument with a 19 yr. old?)

  100. Mr.X

    werd up pimpz, anyone know what happened taday at da meeting? I’m so anxious about dis here strike ending!

    @ The Source,

    where did ya read dis here from? Sounds like another speculation ta me pimpz!

  101. Yorkie

    Please, no more blog fights… Have had enough of that already…

  102. Pally Wally

    I think more and more people are coming to the same conclusion that you are.

    I understand how you feel pushed aside. I’m not trying to justify that, because it is unfair – however many of the concerns you have (ie. needing a degree to work retail) are concerns of mine, and concerns of many people who are upset at what we are witnessing the university becoming in front of our eyes.

    Some say: that’s the way it is. Or that’s how it has always been. In either case, that does not mean that is how it SHOULD be.

    Does that make this an ideological fight? No more than the ideology that says you need to pay for 4 years of ‘university’ to get a job selling LC’s clothes. (holy f*ck i just referenced the f*cking Hills)

    We’re used to being the top of the global pile; but those days are coming numbered. We’re responding to global competition under the guise that our universities are somehow so superior as a way of protecting our relative prosperity. Sooner or later that rug will be pulled out from us, and we’ll be told that you don’t need a BA to sell clothes anymore, and we’re being let go.

    However, I think that there are times and places that people need to demand what they want. The truth is, the idea of having people holed up in big buildings that have esoteric knowledge of the Trobriand Islanders is being devalued by the fact that you can hit up wikipedia and immediately find the answers to many little questions; or through search engines we have immediate access to so much (journals, books, etc) on message boards I can even talk to someone from Papua New Guinea, so there is an increasing view that university professors are vestigial, and the nature of their knowledge is called into question.

    This however, misses something big. Something very big. For those of us committed to the liberal arts, an education is something that cannot be defined by the holdings of a library – or the internet. It is difficult to commodify what it is that makes this so special and in the shuffle, it isn’t something that is getting much attention.

    In the mean time, instead of ‘learning to think’ or practicing thinking, students are herded into huge classrooms, viewed as empty vessels to be filled with knowledge readily available to them in the public library.

    I know that isn’t the type of student that you are, and indeed, there are like you say many ‘stupid smart people’ as there are many ‘brilliant people in careers that others generally foreclose intellect as befalling to.

    Ugh. I’m trying to respond in earnest, but my htoughts are so unorganized. I have 3 other things on the go at the moment.

    I dunno, i hope that is of some interest.

  103. Mrs. X

    Honey, stop talking like that!

  104. The source

    Not a speculation, no. It will be officially announced early next week.

    The debate is weather CUPE will attend tomorrow baragaining meeting with positive attitude.

  105. yorkette

    so the meetings been done for 2 hrs now (it was 5-8) and i highly doubt the conclusion was anything drastic

  106. free jobs

    If ever there was a need to show that CUPE exists on a radical fringe…look no further than Pally Wally, self-appointed 3903 rep, for your answer.

    His posts betray CUPE’s real motives. Thanks for the enlightening series of rants, Pally.

  107. yorkette

    ( 5- 8 )*

  108. Binny

    Holy moly. Striking TAs are actually arguing that being a grad student is in itself a full-time “job”? I think I am beginning to understand the problem here.

  109. Grad

    I heard that art students had a wedding in their fat asses today. dunno, sounds like fun or at least shit fun

  110. yorkette

    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.

    Source: CUPE 3903 website
    For all those wanting the update

  111. Matt

    Hi Guys anyone knows when Cupe 3903 gives their counter offer, when at the very latest classes might restart any idea.

  112. RR

    guys, the dec.15 is just a date that, that site not hostage is proposing. I HIGHLY doubt anyone will give this a second glance other than our starved for a scoop media.
    But just to repeat, no one has agreed to this set up.

  113. Annia

    @ Matt

    I believe its Friday from what it said on the CUPE site

  114. gee

    as the union seems to have taken over here…
    I have been looking elsewhere for information.

    I’m sorry, if you truly cared about your ‘job’ as a T.A.

    You would have made your way to the meeting.
    It’s four hours of your life.

    I have no respect for people that can not give up a few hours of their lives to make sure their jobs, and their future is what they want.

    And you can give excuses of childcare, transportation, money, I don’t buy it.
    As a 1st year, with children, who does more volunteer work in a week than the T.A.’s even work, I can not read post after post of someone going on and on about how important their job is, yet they can’t go to a meeting to decide the very future of their job/career.

  115. Commuter

    Posted by Julie Miller (confirmed legit union member) in the ‘Support CUPE 3903 in Bargaining’ group.


    hey guys, just got home from the GMM.

    we voted overwhelmingly that the university’s latest ‘offer’ (it wasn’t actually an offer – it was a pass. an offer has a time stamp expiration date on it, and is called an offer. what they gave our BT was a ‘pass’ – i.e. their latest round of counterproposals. NOT an offer)- anyway, we voted this pass does not adequately address all the key priorities as outlined by members of cupe 3903, and therefore the membership endorses the bargaining team’s decision to return to the table with the strong support of the membership behind them.

    i.e. we saw the pass, voted on the pass, decided it’s not quite there yet (although there was movement on some key stuff which is good), and encouraged further negotiations tomorrow (and beyond if necessary).

    and just a word about york releasing page for page the ‘settlement offers’ – not TWO days ago, they publicly stated they weren’t going to bargain in the media. this is in DIRECT contravention to that. this is underhanded, sneaky, and completely unethical. i would expect better from the administrator’s of a post secondary institution. much better.

  116. V!

    Even if graduate studies were considered to be a job, there are two aspects of school that are priceless:

    1) The benefit of graduating with a masters or doctorate degree.
    2) The FREEDOM to pursue whatever tickles your intellectual fancy; the FREEDOM to engage in a research project regardless of any whether or not there will be any economic or beneficial return.

    The second point is something that cannot be appreciate unless you’ve been in the real commercial working world. In that world, your job requires you to do exactly what your boss tells you to do. You can only do things if they make economic sense or if something beneficial will come out of it. Your ultimate devotion, is not to your own intellect, but to company shareholders. Basically, in the real world, you work hard to make other people rich or other people happy.

    All this is to say that all “jobs” come with pros and cons. People can aspire to be a corporate monkey with no freedom, but excellent pay, or a starving artist with freedom to chase their dreams. You can be a high-billing corporate lawyer who has no time for their family, or a lawyer who does legal aid making less than 30K, but perhaps with more satisfaction. It’s a choice we all make. And in the end, we can’t just look at the money aspect.

  117. Annia

    oh wow. well atleast theyre ALIVE with the negotiating and junk. I mean as students, we’re totally in the dark about any form of progress.
    I guess, atleast they voted on something and felt some key issues were improved upon.. as long as the university increases wages I’m assuming there might be a light at the end of this tunnel? what do you think?

  118. anon

    well the strike continues what a surprise

  119. Andrew

    Coming from the people who spent their time making CUPE/York Apple youtube videos, I think we really need to get past York giving things out to the media.

    Thing is, nothing is stopping CUPE from doing the same thing, and contacting the paper for an interview or posting their offer on their website.

  120. Single

    Julie: are you married?

  121. Pally Wally


    I’m just going to use WedMD, and then you will get what you deserve! 10/hr to write the scripts that I myself have prescribed!

    I’ve caught my doctor looking stuff up online before. What’s wrong with that?

    You’re totally right. Don’t assume i’m a cupe member though, or older than 19. it isn’t about winning an argument – to me, it is all politics. that is where people fall down on issues.
    I am playing the fool today who is gloating, mostly because the matter-of-fact way people talk about who is a ‘victim’ of this or that. It is simply politics, and power at play. We don’t have the power to make the world just over night; and we aren’t stupid enough to think that if you work hard you will get ahead, or whatever it is people think – that everyone is lazy or whatever, or need to get a ‘real’ job – which really just means a job with shitty conditions, hours and benefits that is soul crushing – and the reason we’re to do this is what makes us so special?

    We’re not special. We just want things like healthcare, and educations without debt. Things that really you would give to every person in the world if you could. CUPE3903 has found itself in a position of political power in which it can make these (un)reasonable demands; and York has been effective in painting them as crazy, because people don’t like to see others trying to get something. What is lost, is that 2005 levels isn’t ‘getting’ anything, it is just a return to the status quo.

  122. random

    york offered the 9.25% increase right before cupe went on strike…..two months later, many negotiations later….they offfer 10.7%…….and they expect union to accept…??? such a waste of time!

  123. Pally Wally

    “It’s a choice we all make. And in the end, we can’t just look at the money aspect.”

    I agree. These are choices. I happen to think that they should be ones made affordable to every person; not just those with the ability to pay.

  124. Setting some things straight

    @ Andrew (and all)

    Andrew, I think most people can see where you are coming from. Why should you, as one of 50,000 undergrads (esp. one in his 4th year I believe), pay the price for someone else’s “choice” to enter grad school? You shouldn’t. However, I think what you need to bear in mind is the fact that TAs/GAs/RAs do not comprise all of the striking workers. The contract faculty consists of members who already hold PhDs. So we would be remiss to target TAs alone based on the argument that they “get paid to go to school”. Clearly they are not the only players involved in this dispute.

    As per the notion of the “big bad world” uttered by the anchorwoman during the interview on CH. I think anyone striving for a career in academia – in any capacity – was, and should be, completely irate upon hearing that remark. Here is a woman, who God only knows probably holds a college diploma (not that there’s anything wrong with that), talking about the “big bad world”. A woman who comfortably sits in a chair for an hour (maybe that’s too generous) reading the news, talking about the “big bad world”. Is she living in the “big bad world”? Is she affected by the “big bad world”? Let’s get real guys.

    Andrew, you seem like someone with a really strong work ethic and that’s very admirable. But let’s put this in perspective. Many grad students had stellar marks as undergrads and were overachievers in their own rights. Their transcripts alone, in all likelihood, was their ticket to a comfy job and would allow them to command comfy money in the “big bad world”, even if they might only be “smart dumb people” (that’s awesome btw!). But they didn’t choose this – for a lack of better words – “easy route”. A job in industry undoubtedly pays substantially more and affords more security. But students enter graduate school in the hopes of making significant contributions and advancements in their fields. Unfortunately, this route comes at a higher cost. Now does this mean that it should come at a cost to you? Certainly not. But that’s not what is being contended. I am merely suggesting that we should rethink what we mean by the “big bad world” before we use it so liberally. For a legitimate argument can be made that succeeding in the “the big bad world” is relatively easier than succeeding in academia.

  125. free jobs

    That’s sweet Pally. You’ve made a choice to fight for your definition of equitable access to education.

    Unfortunately you’ve done so on the backs of 50,000 students who didn’t consent to being your biggest bargaining chip. Very big of you. Noble, even.

  126. undergraduate

    Its ill in the hands of professor Dr. Shoukri.

    If he wants, he can be all back in classes tomorrow morning.

  127. Pally Wally

    Leave it to the law students to call social values like healthcare the “radical fringe”.

    The union could say whatever they want – their PR is constantly insulting to everyone’s intelligence and is the height of juvenilia. This is the level of discourse we have come to expect everywhere.

    Are we not entertained by ridiculous rants?

  128. Pally Wally

    I’m hungry guys.

  129. Pally Wally

    Free Jobs,

    I love the free market, and I love capitalism. Fire them all, and replace them with scabs.

    If it is possible, then the knowledge can’t be all that specialized…so we didn’t need them in the first place. Which means – joe the plumber should be teaching my kid history; which means we don’t need universities at all – in the same way we don’t need law schools because they too are inefficient brick and mortar dinosaurs.
    We will have significantly cut the cost of training a workforce, as well as negated wasted years of productivity spent in schooling that could have been spent in toil.

  130. free jobs

    No pally, health care is a right. Expecting a full-time wage and benefits for part-time work is not – that is a product of an exaggerated sense of entitlement most common to radical fringes.

  131. I’m starting this challenge were I visit a new restaurant each week that was on Restaurant Makeover.

    Saturday: Reliable Fish & Chips.

  132. Davey

    @Pally Wally
    Okay. I get your drift. I still think you are wasting our time. But hey, whatever gets you off.

  133. ...

    If they want full time wage for working part-time, then I want to get paid to take shit!

  134. AndrewB

    Even though I was the first Andrew, I am adding a B to make it easier to tell the difference

    @Setting some things straight
    I really do hate the ‘big bad world’ thing, and only use it because that is what everyone keeps saying. In fact the world to me is fairly easy as long as you as a person make smart choices. Hell I think everything is easy if you make smart choices.

    I agree on the first part and I think people do put way to much attention onto TA’s and GA’s. But in another way, I don’t blame them because they are the ones on here posting and causing the stir. I believe the majority of my teachers this year are CUPE members and I hope they are doing what they can to get me back into class. I understand with the hardships the world is in right now, they want job security and to make sure they have a job, but I think what is there now is good for them, and from what I’ve heard they agree but it is mostly the younger TA’s and GA’s who are keeping this going.

    I hope you have no issue with a college diploma because I have one! Lol. That was my first two years of post secondary. And I agree, the woman knows nothing of the big bad world because she isn’t in it. She has a comfortable job and is probably making a good amount of money to do that as well.

    Is it easier to succeed in academia then in the real world? I wouldn’t know. From my view, the academia world is heavily populated and needs to trim some dead weight. (I’ve been to enough schools and know enough dead weight that could be cut).

    I have no real issue with people striking. My aunt is a nurse at a jail and has gone on strike as has my other aunt with the government I believe. I understand it is a process. My dad went on strike in a former job he was on. So I am not going to curse unions because they do help people, but we always hear the bad. But the issue I have is when a union holds 50,000 paying students hostage so they can get some political message across. Hey, I’m not one to hold up the “I’m a pawn” side on the front lawn, but I do when I’m being jerked around more then I need to be.

    My mom always says to me “pick your battles” because I am known to have a little temper. (Who would have guessed it eh. lol) But I really do think that this situation is one of those pick your battles. I know CUPE wants to fight the system, be it political, neo-liberal, etc. But I feel 2010 is probably the better chance for that to succeed. A mass movement of people in a sector looking for a better way. Because the way people see this strike is 3000 people holding up 50,000 kids. And at the end of it, people are simply going to say when a deal is reached “was it really worth 11 weeks?”

  135. CUPE member with child

    Thanks for the welcome back to those who said so, and it doesn’t bother me that some people are hostile. Hostility is based on what people deem to threaten their own security and happiness, even if they are assessing these threats wrongly.

    A few things to report:

    At the GMM today we did in fact vote on a version of the university’s offer (the motion was worded that we reject York’s offer and insist that York bargain through the proper channels). While I don’t have the exact number of votes for, against and abstaining, I’m sure my approximate numbers will suffice to portray the overhwelming spirit of the vote:

    All those in favor of rejecting York’s offer?

    Ayes: approximately 450
    Nayes: approximately 65
    Abstentions: approximately 45

    Also a follow-up on what I perceived to be a very legitimate question in response to my earlier post. The question went along the lines something like this (paraphrased):

    ‘Considering the financial aspects that CMWC presented and concluded on that basis that York would be insane to let the term/year be canceled, why wouldn’t York have simply accepted Cupe’s original demand, or even, why would Cupe even drop their demands at all and simply insist it get everything it originally asked for (knowing that the university would be forced to capitulate at the 11th hour)?

    I think this is a great question and it warrants a thoughtful answer – one that sheds light on the strategizing and positioning that has taken place so far during this strike for both sides to try and achieve its aims.

    1st – other than the initial strike vote (Nov.) its been very difficult, up until todays GMM at least, to ascertain with any accuracey the will of the union to carry on the strike and ‘win’. Many union members even realized when we voted to strike that there wouldn’t be enough will in the union to stick firmly to what the university side costed as a 40% increase (I don’t know what the union costed it at). Just tas thte union aimed high, the unversity aimed very low. The university’s offer on the eve of the strike was actually a 1.4% decrease in the union’s overall package one inflation is taken into account.

    The university’s aim for the strike, was to break the morale of the union members in order to get a majority of its members to accept something less.
    The university directed a very clever media campaign in order to paint the union as greedy and uncarring about the students (whether you agree with that assessment or not). While doing that the university barely came to the bargaining table before the holidays, and when they did there was barely any movement in their offer.

    This strategy was for a time looking fairly successful. In the early days of the strike there did seem to be a significant amount of ‘infighting in the union’. One ‘side’ wanted to stick close to the original demands on the grounds that the university has barely budged either. The other ‘side’ felt the demands to be ‘unrealistic’ and preferred to approach bargaining whereby we fairly immediately presented to York exactly what we wanted in so far as we thought we could reasonably and fairly expect to get it. The perception here was that if we choose to be more ‘reasonable’ then the university will follow suit by bargaining in good faith and thus we could reach a settlement quickly. This would ensure that members didn’t experience undue hardship from loss of pay, AND undergrads wouldn’t be screwed out of a significant portion of the term. If I may add a third ‘side’ it would be a small minority of the union that didn’t want to strike at all, and wanted to accept the university’s pre-strike offer.

    In my opinion, the second ‘side’ won the argument in terms of how the union would strategize its bargaining. Many concessions have been made on the unions side – you’ll recall the initial estimate by the unversity that the union was demanding over 150 outstanding issues at the beginning of the strike. Before a month was up, this was dropped to less than 60.

    I believe that the union was doing this because, (a) it wanted to appear to the public and undergrads that it was bargaining in good faith and always open to coming to the table, and (b) so as to not ‘turn off’ a majority of the unions membership into thinking that we’re a bunch of crazed ideologues who were unrealisticly demanding posession of the moon. Furthermore, union members are losing their regular pay and many of them are hurting as a result – all of these are recipes for losing the strike.

    The university’s strategy was, therefore, to wait and watch the union fight amongst itself until it folds like cheap Chinese lawn-chair. The union seemed to be confirming that this strategy was working since it was constantly reducing its demands. As far as the university is concerned, the ‘term’ can always be compressed and made up anyways, so why not simply wait the union out?

    Enter Alex Bilyik – university PR man, paid well over $120,000 a year. And worth every penny in my estimation. His blasting of CUPE in the media, on York’s website and posting blatantly false information anywhere he could made a significant number of CUPE members look very carefully at what the university was really offering, where negotiations really stood, and the best way to fight against this slander (a fight we haven’t been able to win outside of our union, but within our union we easily see that the emperor wears no clothes. In short, he has so far galvanized us together remarkably. I said earlier that he is by far the union’s best asset in this strike – and I’d gladly say it again.

    So, from what I understand it, over the last 5 days of bargaining, the union has made some concessions (withrdrawn some demands) and the university has finally come to the bargaining table and and at least upped their offer slightly. Tonight they put it to a test in the union – lets see how the GMM responds to this offer (and one that I think is still very shitty). The union overwhelmingly rejected it.

    So, I believe we are coming down to the 11th hour within the next week or two. I obviously can’t say it with 100% certainty — but it appears that unless the university wants to really play with fire and seriouslyt threaten to cancel the year, they’re going to have to settle close to CUPEs demands very soon.

    Yes, this all could have been resolved on thte eve of the strike, but since cobody can tell the future with absolute certainty we all have to go through the exercise…

    Best to all, and I look forward to seeing you in class hopefully soon!

    Here, I agree to an extent with whoever asked this question – financially speaking the union could well have not budged at all and

  136. I was just wondering. Why didn’t CUPE go on strike during the summer and warn York that the school year will get seriously affected or even scrapped. That way the undergrads could of got a heads up. I mean its kind of F***ed up, especially when you graduate from high school 7 months ago, go to university for 2 months, and then thrown aside for 2+ months. Then be expected to do well when they shove readings/exams up your a**.

  137. Hungry

    What will happen to all of the businesses at York? How will they survive 2+ months without hungry students to bring in the money? Will we starve to death when we get back?

  138. Pally Wally

    Stripping scholars or scholarships so that they have to go into debt in order to get a PhD – where does that fall?

  139. free jobs

    A PhD is certainly not a right, Pally.

    Also of note, the poster above has a vote tally that totals at less than 600. I’ve heard CUPE 3903 has roughly 3000 members. That means 20% of the membership voted. 450 voted no – 15% of CUPE voted against this.

    450 people are keeping 50,000 out of school for their own misguided ends. Terribly inequitable.

  140. AndrewB

    In fairness though Pally, you don’t have to get a PhD. Again, that is your choice to continue being a student.

  141. CUPE member with child

    the last mumble on my post starting with “Here…” was stuff that got pushed along while I was editing and revising, and I didn’t notice it was still there before I posted. You can just ignore it – it’s not meant to be part of the post and I meant to simply delete it.

  142. Mika

    I’m done with this York, president Shoukri and this site.

  143. j

    following up with “Freejobs” post.

    How is it that:

    Ayes: approximately 450
    Nayes: approximately 65

    But, Abstentions: approximately 45??

    How does that add up to the apparent 3000+ membership of CUPE 3903?

  144. Pally Wally

    Free Jobs – you would take a PhD away from someone with entrance scholarships because they cannot afford to pay?

    How noble of you.

  145. CUPE member with child

    The ayes, nayes and abstentions add up to the approximate number of the people that decided to show up for the meeting. Any reason as to why everyone else didn’t show up is unfounded speculation, just as it would be to try and guess if and how they would vote in a forced ratification.

  146. amy doan

    just wanna kick any butt of CUPE

  147. Yorkie

    So… what week of the strike are we in now? 10th?

  148. CUPE member with child

    Here are the exact votes:

    For: 429 (89.9%)
    Against: 48 (10.1%)
    Abstentions: 28

  149. free jobs

    It does say something that 80% of the union didn’t bother to show up for the meeting. Don’t have to speculate too much about what that says about how engaged the vast majority of the union is with this strike.

    Pally, no, removing someone from school for financial reasons is an awful proposition. We differ on how we think that person should be assisted. I think they should be provided bursaries/loans/scholarships to get them through school. You think the school should pay them enough for them to get by without going into debt or having to compete for funding.

    My way would address structural problems with the way our education system works on a wider level. Your way is a short-term, narcissistic effort by current graduate students to extract considerable gains for the benefit of only themselves. Come to think of it, that isn’t so ideological after all. Get yours, Pally!

  150. CUPE member with child

    Here’s the exact motion as well:

    Moved and seconded by the joint bargaining team and executive of CUPE 3903:

    Whereas we recognize that the employer’s latest pass does not adequately address the key priorities as outlined by members of CUPE 3903,

    Be it resolved that we deem the employer’s latest pass to be inadequate.

    Be it further resolved that we endorse the Bargaining Team’s decision to return to the table with the strong support of the membership behind them.

    Be it further resolved that we condemn the employers attempt to bypass our representatives at the bargaining table and demand that they negotiate in good faith.

    For: 429 (89.9%)
    Against: 48 (10.1%)
    Abstentions: 28

  151. @all

    Ok, this is a brief update of tonight’s GMM. Now remember — this is just the stuff that most stood out to me during several tumultuous hours.

    About 500-600 members attended and were initially treated to extensive charts and numbers. What York was offering, what 3903s are asking, how far apart we are across all categories.

    Upshot: there’s been progress in some areas but, overall, not nearly good enough.

    Conclusion: 3903 asking 10.8% increase over 2 years. York offering 8.95% over 3 years. For comparison, 3903 got 4.1% increase every year between 2005-08.

    Question from floor: what accounts for discrepancy between what we 3903s say York offers us — and what York says it offers us?

    Answer: it’s complicated.

    Followup question: could it be because we 3903s don’t bother costing some stuff like what contract faculty who get converted to YUFA will get paid?

    Answer: er, yes.. but we’ve always done it like that. We never included what converted contract faculty would get paid once they’re in YUFA. That’s for YUFA to cost.

    Me (picking jaw off floor. Muttering to self): So if every unit2 contract faculty got converted to YUFA then, according how we massage, cook, bell and whistle our numbers, that would mean York was offering the unit2 part of 3903 a -100% wage increase. It would mean York wasn’t paying anything to contract faculty any more. By this logic, if York agreed to convert every unit2 contract faculty to YUFA, we 3903s would say York is asking a 100% concession. Regardless how much more York was paying those converted to YUFA.

    Unit2 woman marches to mic: Point of information! We never used to do it that way…

    Answer: You are out of order!

    Unit2 woman: I’m answering what he…

    Answer: You are out of order!!!

    Unit2 woman retreats.

    Some more bargaining updating. Graham Potts says some stuff about how he really believes York will capitulate to our 2 year demand and generally cave. We have to keep going, we’re almost there, we’re cold, we’re tired but we didn’t come this far to not go all the way. Someone else is saying this. I miss most of it because it’s just cheerleading and I’m looking and thinking at the numbers I wrote down. The ones indicating what York offered 3903 between 2005-08. Like, 4.1% each year?!? That’s way more than now. Is that what we would have had if we’d bargained reasonably responsibly instead of wearing t-shirts about demanding the impossible? What’s York really offering right now, anyway?

    Next I notice it’s Sharon Davidson (I think that’s her name) on the podium giving the unit2 bargaining update. Trying to pay attention again.

    Sharon: We are fighting back the neo-liberal agenda! We are fighting against labour casualization!

    Me (muttering): yeah, get on with it

    Sharon: lots of numbers……. and we want more conversions, more special contracts and the proportion of unit2 tutoring jobs to always get no less than 26% — with unit1s presumably getting the rest (something like that). Because we can’t have the number of unit2s getting eroded anymore. Unit2s have gone down from 29% to 23% in the past 3 years. If it keeps going this way, pretty soon there won’t be any unit2s left.

    Me (wondering): if unit2s are vanishing? How’s this jive with the whole “labour casualization” thing? Doesn’t “labour casualization” mean that always more work gets done by contract faculty casual labour? Oh — I get it. We don’t want unit1s getting our unit2 jobs.

    Sharon: the employer will just have to find another way to fund unit1s!

    Me (grinning): ayup. Thought so.

    Ok — motions. Lots. Only 2 worth mentioning. First, the motion by executive to (paraphrase) send our bargaining team back to the table, spit on York for feeding us crumbs and spit again on York for trying to bypass our bargaining team.

    And get this: York’s offer? It’s not an offer. It’s a “pass”. Because York’s just trying to bypass our bargaining team.

    Motion passes hugely in favour. With spontaneous chants of “STRIKE TO WIN” breaking out. Very tribal.

    The other interesting motion: from now on we the membership should get to paper/ballot-vote on any offer the employer makes. Since most membership won’t even show up if there’s no option to vote.

    Answer from podium: nah — membership already voted it’s up to the bargaining team and executive to decide when any offer by employer is worth putting to membership vote. So you’d need 2/3 majority to change that. And besides — this wasn’t even an offer. Right? This was a “pass”.

    Revision of motion: fine, from now on the membership should get to paper/ballot-vote on any “pass” etc…

    Answer from podium: you’re out of order. There’s only three grounds for paper/ballot voting. Elections, impeachments and ratifications (?).


    Alright. Obviously lots more happened but I’m getting tired. And this should suffice. Between the numeric cook-pot and the ideological crack-potting — there’s not a snowflake’s chance in nuclear holocaust for negotiated settlement. It will go to the wire just like it did in 2000/01. But this time, chances are, one side will have to capitulate completely. Obviously, the 3903 faithful believe the clock is ticking on York. Me? No clue. For sure I’m not the only one wondering if and what York’s got up it’s sleeve.

  152. Melanie

    I’m getting SO sick of this lack of information. Can someone please tell me whether or not we will be back to school on Monday? This is RIDICULOUS. Is this how they expect us to live our lives, sitting around and wondering when we might possibly go back? We can’t even make any plans or commit to anything because who knows when they will magically reach a deal that will put us back in class ASAP. CUPE I hope that whatever your doing is worth it in the end, because you have honestly put us students through hell. And the sad part is that once your deal is reached and your all sitting around acting proud of your accomplishments, we students will be faced with even more hell when we are bombarded with assignments and exams. It will be a fair resolution for all, wont it?…

  153. Jiggs

    I can’t believe they didn’t even let the CUPE memebers vote…can they do that? I’m a little confused on how this process works, but isn’t it extremely undemocratic to not even allow CUPE members to vote?! I’m not sure how the turnout was tonight but with all the e-mails curculating and the hype over this meeting im sure it wasn’t lower than usual. Everyone is losing time and money and is getting desperate, and even in spite of that (even if things are going well for CUPE members) shouldn’t they still have the right to vote about the plan of action that is supposed to represent their interests?! It seems to me that this CUPE executive started off falsely ‘representing’ the interests of undergrads (even though they have NO real authority or right to do so) but in the end ended up holding students hostage…NOW THEY’RE DOING THE SAME THING TO THEIR OWN MEMBERS?!?!?! I’m not entirely sure of a proper definition for tyranny, but this picture seems to fit it well!

  154. Timothy

    im confused

  155. Soraya

    @ CMw/C

    In your opinion, will this drag out until February or will we be back within the next 2 weeks? Everyone keeps coming to me for answers :s I know no one knows but I figure you or even CUPEdoll would know best.

  156. aguyuno

    “CUPE member with child” – I think I speak for everyone with knowledge of how organisations like CUPE tend to work, in regards to their underhanded support-gaining tactics, when I say that responding to someone who’s so obviously attempting to use emotional tactics to garner pity would be an enormous waste of my time.

    I mean for God sake, why not just make the name “CUPE member who is blind and only has one leg and is working to feed his starving african family back home”?

    Pally – Stop with your slippery slope arguments. It’s getting really tiresome to read and have to sift through, to the point where I’ve actually found myself refusing to read your posts just because it’s so irritating.

    Back when Cupe Doll first started posting here, I believe it was Andrew once again (Unsurprising, since everything he’s said, even if I disagreed with, I thought was phrased brilliantly) who requested s/he (unsure, and I don’t want more people demanding to know Doll’s gender all over again, since it obviously does not matter) “Stop with the excessive BS and just give us a straight answer for once”. So, Pally, this is a case of that once again. You’re not providing debates with these huge “Well if we go down that road, why not just blow up the world!” type arguments – you’re just spreading propaganda. Attempting to bully our opinions through arguments that don’t even make any sense, yet speak so vividly of this potential dystopia we’ll reach should things continue this way.

    Cut the crap and either argue for real, or just shut up. When you give legitimate responses to Andrew, I enjoy reading your responses as they’re usually intelligent. But when you pull the hyperbole slippery slope arguments, I just feel like tearing my hair out.

    Kay, that’s all I wanted to say. Carry on everybody.

  157. Pally Wally

    The system you are ‘proposing’ bears a striking resemblance to the one in existence.

    It just isn’t working.
    The university doesn’t HAVE to bring as many grad students in each year. They can cut enrollment, they can hire more full time faculty…there are lots of things they can do.
    Calling loans ‘funding’ doesn’t make education any more affordable for scholarship and award winners being stripped of their prizes so underfunded departments can keep tuition dollars coming in.

  158. Dray the CUPE Member

    I think Cupedoll’s telling of events is right on the mark. I still think she’s nuts, but she told it exactly as it happened. Well done, and thank you.

  159. Dray the CUPE Member

    @Pally Wally:

    I personally would welcome a reduction in Graduate Studies enrolment. York is trying to do the opposite — as mandated by the Province, but I really think York is not yet able to handle a large graduate/research culture.

  160. @Dray the CUPE Member: “I think Cupedoll’s telling of events is right on the mark. I still think she’s nuts, but she told it exactly as it happened. Well done, and thank you.”

    Lmao. No, no — thank you for confirming I wasn’t just hearing voices.

  161. Pally Wally

    aguyuno, i made a huge mistake in reading thestar’s reader’s responses today. my act of resistance was to crank out equally as baseless diatribes.

    i am better now.

  162. aguyuno

    Of course s/he is nuts. But that’s why s/he is giving us logical answers, is it not? After all, who else would be able to translate CUPE’s insanity by someone who long since has renounced their own sanity (Not an insult here, Doll; I think most of us are quite a bit nuts, myself included but on the more “quite a lot nuts” level xP).

    It takes a crazy person to be able to stand out in a storm, laugh in the face of said storm, and then walk out of it all completely unharmed. A crazy person whom I have nothing but the utmost respect for.

  163. hahahah 600 CUPEs at the strike right? and they were chanting that bullshit? ahhahahah and people were saying that most CUPES werent for the strike.. kiss my ass

  164. Yorkie

    It’s been said before, but I’ll say it again. Was NEVER meant to be an offer. That’s just York’s media ploy talking to test the strength of the union, or whoever shows up to Union member meetings. (Hey if they don’t come that’s their problem, obviously they have much more taxing things to do…)

  165. AndrewB

    @ aguyuno

    Yes, it was me who asked for simple answer. I find the CUPE members here (both sides) are using as much tough language as they can to scare students, sway opinions and get their “point” across. The word I keep thinking in my mind is “elitist”.

    I type the way I speak and not like I am writing an essay (hence why I ask them to stop with the copy/paste jobs). Some will think that isn’t academic of me, but I never claimed to be one. To me this ‘fancy talk’ says you have something to hide, so in order to conceal it, we polish it up with lots of fancy big words and rhetoric and language so people have to spend the time figuring out what on earth you are trying to say.

  166. aguyuno

    *Laughs* Believe me, I know enough not to believe thestar’s crap, or people who follow said newspaper, Pally. While I think your response was meant to be sarcastic to me, I’m going to take it as literal because, either way, I can understand why you’d do such a thing. Arguing against people by throwing their own arguments right back in their face, literally and not just metaphorically, is a tactic I myself regularly enjoy employing.

    Now that I understand that, I will back down from attacking you. I may not agree with your standpoint, but at least I know what your point was now. But nonetheless, I’m glad to hear you’re better now xD.

  167. KAZZA

    Ok so first of all being a student and receiving an education in not a job. I am very frustrated reading some of the posts and I can now see why we are in the mess we are in. With that being said, I have just received back to back emails from different profs stating that it looks like the strike will be over soon and outlining what we will be doing in the first and second class.
    On a side note I spoke with the admin and also recieved an email that stated that after 11 weeks the will cancel the first semester, (however I dont believe we will come to that).
    Please explain to me union members why I and most other students have to work 40 hours a week and take out student loans to get the same education you feel you are entitled to with little to no fiancial input from yourself. I watched one union member speaking and they were upset because money they had put aside to buy a house with after school may have to be taped in to. Come on now in this economy you and your enforcers need to give your heads a shake.

  168. Yorkie

    I’m with Soraya in terms of confusion here.

    Does it still look like we’ll be in school in the next two weeks? Or in Feb? Lol

  169. Bobert

    If these GMM’s are so valuable to the collective bargaining process then why do so few members come out to actually vote on whether or not to accept or reject offers?

    looking at Cupe Member with Child’s voting numbers in the GMM:

    For: 429 (89.9%)
    Against: 48 (10.1%)
    Abstentions: 28

    So out of a total of 3, 250 members who could have showed up only 505 actually did so about 15.5% of the union… so what happened to the other 84.4% did they not get the memo of the GMM… do they not realize the strike’s been on this long?

  170. free jobs

    That’s true Pally, but more funding would help. Dray has a point that, as a practical matter, enrolment would have to be limited until that funding came through. That way the best would get in and would have sufficient access to the money available to get them through their degree.

    And about loans – in our world, going into debt to get an education is inevitable. When we reach the time of Captain Picard, where money and scarcity and competition no longer exist, we can do away with loans. I’m not being dismissive either, I think that’s where we (even us self-interested douche law students) should be directing our efforts.

  171. aguyuno

    I could not agree with you more, Andrew, especially in regards to the second half of your post. I’ve always hated “academic” arguments – people who use big words just for the sake of sounding intellectual, and being able to hide from those they deem unworthy of their time. Especially when smaller ones would suffice.

    I, like you, type the way I speak – none of that essay crap for me unless, of course, I’m writing an essay. In some cases people think I’m BSing this _because_ I use big words and what not now and then, but that’s usually because I either a) Recently learned the word and am trying it out in my vocabulary to see if I can use it enough to be worth the effort, or whether I should just scrap it from my memory or b) I just talk like that sometimes, it happens.

    So yeah. The old intellectual checkmate has been replaced with snide remarks and casual insults at the intelligence of others through using terms and comments so ridiculous it sounds like they’re reading out of a god damned thesaurus. It’s a load of crap and I tire of it. Glad to see you’re on my side here.

  172. limewire

    @ Kazza: “On a side note I spoke with the admin and also recieved an email that stated that after 11 weeks the will cancel the first semester, (however I dont believe we will come to that).”

    Kazza, would you mind posting that e-mail, or at least the part that said the Fall term would be cancelled after 11 weeks? (Feel free not to include the name)

    Was this admin member you e-mailed a reliable source?

  173. hahah basically the only two ways well get back to school is if york completely gives into CUPE’s demands which is highly unlikely or if the government intervenes. either one would be a godsend

  174. Pally Wally

    Dray – good point, and that is the rub.
    The province will say “well, York doesn’t HAVE to increase enrollments” unless of course they want provincial funding…so York is stuck in a rock and a hard place, and we in social sciences are really feeling the pinch, economically and academically.

    Even though John Milloy and Daulton say they don’t want to intervene in university business what they have done is effectively create “structural adjustment policy” in the vein of the IMF/World Bank and passed it on the Ontario’s universities.
    The effects of which are only starting to be felt.

  175. D

    “Answer: You are out of order!

    Unit2 woman: I’m answering what he…”

    So CupeDoll is a he?

  176. V!

    @ Pally, I am sure you must be a stellar student as you have received scholarships/grants.

    I have heard (correct me if I’m wrong), that with a scholarship, you’re not allowed to TA for extra $ and you’re not allowed to get another side job. Which sucks.

    But, not all universities are like this. UofT sure isn’t. If the facts above are true, I agree, it sucks! But you chose York!

  177. KAZZA

    Ok so I will do this in sections cause it is to much to post at once. I was actually at the school and was able to get much face time Tuesday and Wednesday with reliable people. Below is the mass email sent to my section:

    Mass Mailing Announcement

    Edit Mode : 0 Subject : A Further Update on the Strike

    As you are all aware, the Winter Term has yet to begin because of the strike. In this regard, all I can tell you is that the University and the Union bargained over the past weekend and although they appear to be getting closer on some issues, they are still far apart on others. However, there is a rumour circulating that the University has successfully lobbied the government of Ontario to present back-to-work legislation. If this is the case, then we may see an end to the strike in the next week or so. Further, it appears to me that unless I am mistaken, after 11 weeks of no classes, the University is obligated to return your tuition fees. Some say that this is the reason the last strike was settled in the 11th week. While this may not be of any comfort to you, once again, let me stress that all reasonable steps will be taken to ensure that all students are treated fairly and no student is prejudiced by the strike.

  178. AndrewB

    Exactly aguyuno, there is a way to properly communicate with people, and I do understand that these people are grads and are use to using the mass language, but when speaking to the public, you need to keep the big words down. Otherwise, you simply scare people, and I think the students of York are scared enough.

    Hell, even in class I speak the same way. I’m not going to BS my way through school and not be myself. I swear, I use simple words, I tell it like it is. When a teacher asks our class why we disliked a book, I wait for the people around to give their “intellect” answers, and then I chime in and say “it was boring, dry and dull.”

    I’ve been known to be brutally honest. That is my rep in my family and with my friends and classmates. I just tell it like I see it, and I don’t spare feelings. Not great all the time mind you, but it has served me well.

  179. Dray the CUPE Member

    On the point that only 15% of CUPE members came to the meeting, this has a lot to do with the fact that people cannot make the 4pm – 8pm periods. The union’s accessibility committee is looking to move it to the morning. That will work much better.

    If there’s a forced ratification vote, the vote will involve a day-long poll in a central location, and there will be three days’ notice. I am certain that turnout will exceed 15% — more likely 80%.

  180. KAZZA

    I just received the email below as well:
    Mass Mailing Announcement

    Edit Mode : 0 Subject : Strike and presentation schedule

    Dear students

    It seems that the strike will be over shortly. When the strike is over, we will have three weeks’ classes before the final exam period starts. In the first week after the strike, I will go over the concepts in lecture notes of weeks 8 and 9 and students who were supposed to do presentaion on November 10th will do the presention. In the second week, I will review concepts for the final exam and students who were supposed to do the presentation on November 17th and 24th will have presentation. In the third week, all other groups will provide the presentation. Project reports will be due in the beginning of the third week’s class.

    Please feel free to contact me if you need any assistance. Thanks.

    Best regards

  181. B

    The Admin would never publicly state the cancellation of the semester without discussion to the ramifications or issuing what remediation they are offering students. Nor are they prepared to go that route. Canceling the term would result in a loss of government funding. Announcing a cancellation deadline and making it official tips some power to 3903 in this bargaining process. York will play their forced ratification card first. If that fails, York will do something, anything but cancel the semester. Canceled semester will ruin this university. The financial consequences are too severe.

    Anything out there in the media about a canceled semester is the result of some idiotic media remarks by an inexperienced and ill-advised first year student who created a facebook group.

  182. Dray the CUPE Member

    B wrote “Anything out there in the media about a canceled semester is the result of some idiotic media remarks by an inexperienced and ill-advised first year student who created a facebook group.”


    I agree with that, but I must say that said student has shown more leadership than any single person in this labour dispute. I’m very impressed, personally. I know he has a great future as an ultraconservative politician.

  183. Yorkie


    Yeah, one of my profs seems to think the strike is very close to an end to… Does this mean that York is prepared to pull out government intervention at any tim then? ~_~

  184. limewire

    Thanks Kazza and B!

    Kazza, I noticed that your prof. is still making your class present on the first day back. I wasn’t sure about this, because isn’t a presentation an “assignment”? It’s good to know what to expect. Can anyone clarify?

  185. anon

    @kazzaa: the person emailing you that must of been guessing that the strike would be over soon…after what happened tonight the end seems just a bit further than what we had thought this morning or a few days ago

  186. KAZZA

    I am sure that students who as supposed to present the first class will invoke their senate right not to

  187. Dray the CUPE Member

    If York Admin succeeds in getting the Province to legislate CUPE back to work, it would be as much a slap in York’s face as it would be in CUPE’s.

    It would show that York, in it’s 50th year, is unable to operate with complete autonomy. (i.e. it needs help from its parent in managing its labour relations.) It would be humiliating for York. People would lose their jobs over it.

  188. Pally Wally

    what departments do is cap funding.
    Let’s say you get a $17, 500 scholarship from CGS – pretty awesome, you’re probably thinking, ok, great, now I get my TA money, and I’m gonna be ballin!

    But you don’t get both; fortunately, it isn’t one or the other, what ends up happening is that you’re capped at around 22K, so you end up keeping about 20-25% (or more if your scholarship was smaller obviously) That is what you’re supposed to live on.
    It could be worse, and there are a lot of people that wouldn’t mind if it was – it isn’t bad money, but as inflation goes up – I think at least maintaining award winners at poverty level is reasonable, when many might not have the means to pay otherwise. I’m not saying let’s let everyone keep both, or whatever – but let’s at least have departments not be dependent on student’s scholarship money as a huge part of their budget. Budgets increasingly beholden to provincial mandates.

  189. anon

    BTWL will not occur…its too risky for the liberals too even get into it..cmon everybody lets be a little more realistic

  190. KAZZA

    @ anon
    I would agree with you if the email was not time stamped for 11pm. I am not sure if the profs know something we dont or what but many things were being “implied” when I was speaking with people and I am very sure that there are many people who are going to make sure we are treated fairly.

  191. Dray the CUPE Member

    In my department, external scholarships replace TA and RA funds to ensure that students don’t go over their minimum guarantee. This even happens with York Entrance Scholarships.

    Imagine winning a $4000 scholarship and not actually seeing a difference in how much money you get at the end of the day!

    I won a $10,000 scholarship and didn’t get a penny more than if I hadn’t won the scholarship!

  192. KAZZA

    you are right maybe if we still lived in the good old Harris days BTWL would has seemed possible but not with a liberal government. The liberals not only support unions that is where most of their support comes from

  193. anon

    @kazaa…i mean it is possible the profs know something that we dont but wouldnt other profs be sending such emails out as well? i mean im in 6 classes and neither my colleagues nor i have received any emails even stating the strike is near over nor to be continuing work nothing…and also how can you be sure the prof new what had happened at tonights gmm…and once again there have been other people who have posted in the past that there profs made similar comments however it turned out to be a LIE!!!

  194. aguyuno

    Andrew – Same rep I have, mate. I don’t shine up the truths just so that people will accept it better. You can spray your terd with all the deodorizers and make up in the world but in the end, it’s still just a terd.

    I’m the same with books as well. The people in my class always try to “impress” the TAs with these indepth answers, when really, they forget the TAs are as human as we are; they’re going to prefer an actual answer over a wiki’d one any day. So they always look so shocked when I give one, but then they realise the TA is completely digging my answer and are like “…Oh.”

    Ironically, they never seem to learn and continue trying with the same long winded bullshit every time. Ah, well.

    Point is, you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. If CUPE gave a fuck about what the students thought, I can assure you that they’d be damn sure to be telling their people exactly what you and I are saying right now, Andrew. CUPE has had power for decades now, hell possibly even a century I’m unsure how far they date back; they’re not new to this song and dance. So really, it’s just hilarious when I see people come in here with those types of copy and pasted answers – all it does is assert my previous notion that CUPE is in this for themselves and only themselves, and no matter how much they might pretend they strike for “future generations” as well, they clearly are not.

    But perhaps I’m being unfair, as I’m only picking on CUPE here – that, of course, comes from the fact that I come from a family who despises unions and thinks that, while they were needed in the 1920s, we sure as hell don’t need them NOW. So just to clarify, I’m well aware people that york isn’t exactly better. Releasing press statements about how “their only worry is getting us students back in our classes”. Yeah, okay. Your only “worry” may be to get us back in classes, guys, but that isn’t for those pure reasons you pretend they’re for – it’s so that you can continue seeing dollar signs whenever you look at us, and not the flaming, circled A so many of us are considering following the more we listen to these idiots argue back and forth.

    I’m gonna have a hard time keeping my mouth shut when this is all over. My only hope is I that I don’t fail my classes due to my TAs getting pissed off at me speaking my mind… but I’m sure it’ll happen in at least ONE class. Let’s just hope it’s something I don’t care about, like the sociology intro course.

  195. Pally Wally

    free jobs,

    I am not sure that debt is inevitable. Dalton McGuinty’s law degree cost so little that a summer job paying minimum wage would have seen him be able to graduate with only a few hundreds of dollars in debt. If he worked one or two shifts during the year, he would have a cozy little lifestyle going on. That’s only about 20-25 years ago, and that is coming out of a recession.

    I think the idea of more socialized spending on education will has another turn in the spotlight

  196. V!

    @ Pally & Dray: Thanks for the clarification. I agree that totally sucks.

    But then why’d you choose york? That certainly doesn’t happen at ALL universities! I know it doesn’t happen at UofT! You can hold an NSERC, be a TA, AND work at second cup on the side…..

  197. pass/fail

    hey my organic prof also seemed to think that the strike would be over soon and he even sent us emails yesterday and early today about how we must get ready and about how he will teach us everything we were suppose to learn in the normal course period..however after tonight’s latest updates i highly doubt that we will be back soon

  198. Dray the CUPE Member


    It was a bait-and-switch. I didn’t know they could do this. Plus, they at first weren’t doing it and then changed their policy.

  199. KAZZA

    I see where you are coming from. I to have a 21 credit course load all F semester classes. I have some profs (3) that have been very good about forwarding info they receive as well as telling us what to keep up on. The rest of my profs are not responding to emails, phone calls ect, and today was the first time I had any communication which is why I decided to share it. I dont know what these emails mean, and I dont begin to understand where in the process they are.
    I went to the school to voice my opinion expecting to be stone walled and shut out. Instead the school was open to my questions wanted my input and discussed concerns that I had (one prof had stated they were not going to teach or test anything after midterm)
    I only give this info to assist people I figure if we all share we might get through this.

  200. Yorkie


    Ya it was my Organic Chem prof that sent me that email too.

  201. KAZZA

    My emails are coming from profs in the BAS program

  202. Bottled Water

    I cant believe Pally Wally thinks he is right. I think its just a troll. I refuse to believe anyone could have such ridiculous opinions.

  203. anon

    @kazaa…believe me i appreciate the information im in no way condeming u for posting it…

  204. AndrewB

    Yeah, aguyuno I am going to have a hard time as well keeping my mouth shut. Hell I told a TA last year (who transfered at the start of this year, lucky him) when he was getting cocky about holding up traffic that I’d run him down. lol Said the same thing to a teacher in my class and she didn’t seem to pleased. I guess my humor wasn’t that good. lol I don’t even own a car so I guess I could on my roller blades. Over the years my body checking has improved!

  205. Pally Wally

    I did a BA at the UofT, I came to York for the faculty and the program – which are both the best in the country. The way that certain people here feel about the radical element of the union is the way that I feel about a lot of people at more conservative schools which I happen to be familiar with. So, yes, the politics drew me in as well.

  206. Pally Wally

    Bottled water,

    I was half-joking earlier; I probably should have tried to change my name if i was going to do an extensive satire/troll, but it was a monster that just kind of took a life of its own.
    Like I said before – it is hard to read these comments from outside observers that are so ridiculously anti-union; I was amusing myself posting equally ignorant stuff from a pro-union standpoint.
    Without regular forums of papers – this is the form my creativity took today. Sacre bleu!

  207. KAZZA

    There is nothing wrong with being one sided in your views and opinions so long as you can defend them with vaild arguments which I dont believe you did.
    I know this is a legal strike, that does not make it right. I know the University is not perfect, however I pay them, and I hold them accountable (which is to say they are the ones I will seek refunds from). If you truly believe that the union members deserve to be paid even more then the average rate for other t.a’s then tell me what they do that the other t.a’s at other schools dont do.
    Tell me why the deserve benifits. If you work for McDonalds and you dont meet 40 hours a week average a month you loose you benifit coverage. You are paid between 9-12 dollars an hour and at the end of the day there is no child care benifits or scholarships to assist with tuition.
    So if there is anyone that can answer these questions please help……..

  208. jacky

    i have a question
    how long do you think it will take until we start heading back to school
    im from another country and i still need to book my tickets and etc…
    can you please let me know?

  209. aguyuno

    Haha@Andrew. Body checking a cupe tool on roller skates whilst yelling GIT OUTTA MA WAY or some such thing. Yeah – I’d definitely pay to see that.

    Tell me when you intend on doing it. I’ll get my bike ready. We’ll have ourselves a destruction derby in their picket lines.

  210. KAZZA

    @ jacky
    If you need tickets to come back to school I would book them soon. Either way we should be back within two weeks, either to finish the fall or start the winter. If there is forced arbitration or a forced vote at a gmm you might not have 2 weeks but nobody will be able to tell you 4 sure thus it sux

  211. aguyuno

    Note: I mean bike bike. Not motorbike xP.

  212. Unfortunately

    Part of what the union is fighting for is adequate pay for graduates which would help in paying the increasingly high costs of tuition – which is fine and ideally education would be free, but by doing so they are getting in the way of those trying to get undergraduate degree’s and paying an equally high amount.

    The only difference, undergraduates don’t get paid by the university, they have even less rights in terms of working conditions (minimum wage jobs don’t exactly come with great benefits and unions), and have to suffer while their TA’s preach about how everyone should be able to enter graduate school without amassing huge amounts of debt.

    You want system thats more fair, start at the bottom. Undergraduate students are the future graduates and doctorates and while it may seem nice to ‘pave the way’ for us in reality your only making it more difficult.

    Lets say the university, ideally, grants the union everything it wants. The semester is pushed back, which means that gives undergraduates less time to work during the summer months, less income makes it harder to pay for tuition, books, rent, food & if you don’t qualify for OSAP then its an extra cherry on top of the cake. I’ve already loss a good 2000$ from this strike based on what i’ll have to pay and the money I could be making.

    Not to mention that since i DO want to attend graduate school, see I had the great idea of starting to save ahead of time, but now that means I have to dip into that as well.

    Its nice that you want to make the graduate system better but in the process you made the undergraduate one a nightmare.

  213. ahhhh

    Thanks Kazza. That is rather interesting. From what I have been reading.. it seems very likely we will not be having classes next week. But at the same time, with regards to your 2nd post from one of your professors… Is s/he on the bargaining team? Under what circumstances would s/he believe that the strike will be over soon? As s/he wrote him/herself, you can e-mail her any questions. Can you ask him/her when s/he thinks it will actually be over soon then? It is rather weird for a professor to be so ‘certain’ when clearly the admin and CUPE are so far apart on MAJOR issues.

    With regards to Kazza’s first post.. I did hear from one of my friends at work that he is CERTAIN that the strike will end next Wednesday.. but at the same time I hear from other people that it is impossible. It is so hard to choose who to believe.

    I was also wondering, Kazza, who your first e-mail post was from. It’s not the same professor is it? It’s rather interesting that you get TWO e-mails that are at the exact opposite ends! Which one do you believe as a more plausible case?

    Good luck to all! Do you work if you haven’t started because even if the strike doesn’t end next week, it will end soon enough because the deadline is coming up. And for all of those that are worried about losing the year… its simply IMPOSSIBLE. I don’t think the CUPE members would want that either. That means they wont be getting any money AT ALL. I don’t think the CUPE members are that s***id. York on the other hand is not that stupid to let the year to go waste as well. That’s a lot of money their going to be losing if they let such thing slide. York in general is just trying to look good and make CUPE look so bad. Cupe on the other hand have some issues too but I don’t think they have as many sources like York admins do to play out their “i look good…if not that good, at least better than CUPE” in front of the general public. Therefore, I don’t think students should be worried about losing the year. You should be worried about what will happen when school WILL resume and what will happen (as senate bulletin states).

    Lastly… can people stop “chatting” about how they “talk” on this forum. This forum is for people who want information and for those who can’t get information to ask for information. It is hard to follow the posts when there are so many useless posts… Either way, i hope no one will be “hurt” by this because my intentions are not to hurt someone else.

    Study hard and party hard everyone!!!

  214. KAZZA

    Hey yeah the frist post in from a business contract and tort law class and the second email is from a marketing prof. I have sent a follow up email and will let you know as I get more info.
    As for being so sure they would not cancel the year, nothing is for sure. Ten years ago people would have said that Citi bank would never go under but as we have seen in the last year anything is possible. I am just being a realist. We could loose the year and the University would take a hit and the government will give them money to help get through so either way we will pay for this.
    Also I dont think that the school in communicating very well internally or externally with this in mind some profs maybe getting info late and inturn are “behind” in whats going on. This is like playing one big game of telephone except a new message is always starting so you can never catch up lol

  215. Yorkie

    Um, where exactly is this negociations deadline coming from? Is it actually legit?

  216. KAZZA

    all of my info is coming from emails from profs and a meeting with admin

  217. Pally Wally


    I agree with you – it would be best to start from the bottom up. That’s what Marx thought would happen, unfortunately, communism and free tuition, while good juju, are bad medicine for the State. (Does that even make sense?)

    CUPE are playing politics – they are using their power, make no bones about that – but York as equally as culpable, both for failing to negotiate until this week, and for creating a situation where CUPE have so much power and so much to gripe about.

    What is Cuh-RAZY is that undergrads, because they do pay the bills- literally and metaphorically (with the hostage thing…ugh!) – actually have EVEN MORE power.

    Can you imagine an undergraduate strike to drop tuition fees? What about a province-wide one? Imagine in september 2010, with a Graduate student strike looming – that undergraduates refused to pay their tuition fees to go through this kind of hassle?

    That truly would be something. It is unfair that the gains of this strike will be downloaded onto the students. I’m not saying students don’t need, or shouldn’t work summer jobs, but the debt load is growing at an astronomical rate. It isn’t unfair, and it isn’t lazy to ask society to help us out. I’m done my BA, but that is something I will gladly pay taxes for the rest of my life- ensuring that people have equal or better opportunities than I had myself.

    Maybe that is to be expected, after all, I am stupid enough to be going to graduate school – it only makes sense that I would support something that I obviously care about. But, that’s the question – is post-secondary education a kind of consumer item, in the same way that someone who likes hockey might start a charity to help poor afford to play – or is it something essential to the functioning of a free, democratic and just society?

  218. bottledevian

    shut up brent

  219. ahhhh

    Hey kazza! Thanks for actually taking the time to respond! I will be checking back to see if you post another e-mail. Unfortunately, I do agree with you somewhat about “anything is possible”. It is true what you said about Citibank. I have to admit I never thought about this part of it though:

    “We could loose the year and the UNIVERSITY WOULD TAKE A HIT AND THE GOVERNMENT WILL GIVE THEM MONEY TO HELP THEM GET THROUGH so either way we will pay for this.”

    That is crazy! Never would I have thought of that possibility. The POSSIBILITY of the government giving basically “relief funds” to the SCHOOL that is “in NEED” (are they really??) *sigh*. sadly, it is out of our hands what they will do. I am not going to lie.. it does scare me to read about that rumor you wrote of how york “successfully convinced” the government of the back to work legislation. When i read that, the first thing that came to mind was what my peer told me at work. Apparently he has some kind of “insider” information .. but part where he is able to pinpoint the DATE of our return scares us. Most people say “we will probably go back sometime next week.. or early next week” or something along those lines. It is so rare for someone to say a specific DATE of our return.. saying that next WEDNESDAY will be the date and being so CERTAIN/CONFIDENT about it… scared me. Maybe that rumor is the truth and back to work legislation may be passed sometime early next week. That’s the only way i see it possible for us to return to school anytime soon… and for my peer to have such CONFIDENCE in saying next Wednesday will be the return. If that is not the case… I don’t understand how he is able to say that. All i know is that he knows people on the bargaining team too… EITHER WAY. we will just have to wait it out because obviously the union and admin are too far apart at this point with regards to the union’s major issues.

    BTW Kazza, which prof do you believe more? Do you think we will have school next week? I am thinking next week will be impossible at this point… but who knows? I may be wrong.

    As I said before,

  220. MR Two

    If they do pass back to work legislation, oh man, I’m not looking forward to going back to school and having angry TA’s marking my papers…

  221. Worried

    Do the math people why are we letting 500 people approx. decide out of 3400 Cupe members that they must go back to the bargaining table?? Why didn’t more members show up at the meeting last night. These are the people that are deciding the fate of this strike.

  222. sam

    I have had it…I don’t think I could possibly be more frustrated..I am trying to find a way for reimbursement for at least the unused rez, meal plan, fall term books…anyone help??
    2 months going into 3 is ridiculous. I cannot believe our government is allowing this…and at 15,000. for the first year…well, you can imagine how our views of York have been tarnished…someone advise if I can pull out now, get money back so that we can continue education in a facility that gives a damn about the students as individuals……..

  223. Frank


  224. JMac

    Anyone who thinks that the 85% of CUPE members who “missed” last night’s meeting would somehow side with the students in this mess, is mistaken.

    At this point, they are likely thinking “we’ve gone this far, why stop now when it will be all over in a couple of weeks anyway?”.

    Or they might be thinking “I agree 100% with what my executive is doing, so I don’t need to waste time at a silly meeting.”

    But I am sure they weren’t thinking “I sure would like to go there and force the executive to hold a ratification vote to end this thing but I just can’t get to a meeting at dinner time (even though I am usually doing course at that time during the semester). That is way too inconvenient.

  225. Update

    This is somewhat unrelated to the current post, but I thought some of you would find the following NEW CUPE videos interesting. Should raise a new topic to debate at very least.

  226. Q for CUPE members

    Question for CUPE members:

    Are you guys having fun with this strike, at the cost of 50,000 students?

    F*ck you

  227. B

    “We could loose the year and the UNIVERSITY WOULD TAKE A HIT AND THE GOVERNMENT WILL GIVE THEM MONEY TO HELP THEM GET THROUGH so either way we will pay for this.”

    Where did you read that bullshit? The Government won’t legislate YorkU back to work, they certainly aren’t about to bail it out should – remotest of possibilities – the year be canceled. Exact opposite actually. The Government would pull funding.

  228. JMac

    I may be wrong, but maybe you are underestimating the interest that the government has in what goes on here at York.

    It could be that York has the government’s blessing to string this out right to the end, and even beyond.

    Think about 2010 and whether the government wants a 50,000 student university included in that big province-wide CUPE negotiating plan.

    There are alot of CUPE members who have the view that its only a matter of time before York caves because they can’t afford to cancel a semester.

    Don’t be so sure … you may get a big surprise.

  229. Cupe GA

    In response to Q for CUPE members:

    Believe me, in my ‘particular situation’ as a GA I am suffering much MORE than undergrads.

    I did not wish to strike, and actually only had one month left on my contract. And since my master’s program goes through summer, my graduation date has likely been moved from Oct 2009, to June 2010, with the added cost of an extra semester.

    I do not make $63hr, I was granted $20,000 over two years, most of which I have been expected to work for – fair enough…but after tuition, that is only $4000/yr to live on – so I also have loans. I acknowledge the $ is still better than nothing, and was one of the main reasons I decided to pursue a masters degree, opposed to some other post-grad program.

    But yes, I have had my own problems with York, that make me slightly sympathetic to this strike. For instance, despite finding a summer research position outside my faculty that was willing to pay me from their own budget, either the entire pay, or just ‘top up’ my funding (as I was required to work many more than 10hrs a week), York threatened to eliminate all my funding.

    York does not have ANY students best interest.
    And this strike is effecting GAs and TAs more than you could imagine.

  230. B

    If the Government had vested interest in York, they would have stepped in with legislation by now instead of the “we are monitoring the situation” nonsense they keep spewing.

  231. Gabby

    I know this is quite a bit up in the conversation but comparing an apprenticeship with a university education is retarded. Apprentices actually work on things for a company which they then work for after.. University – you sit in a room listening to someone speak and do some research. After that you go off and work for some other company. Why would the University pay for you to be trained and educated just so you can work somewhere else? University if offering you a service, nothing in this world is free. I really wish people would stop b****ing about this.

    PS I hate CUPE…

  232. Commuter

    Oh joy, on Sunday they’re having a “Special Super-Fun Strike Committee Picket Captain Debrief/ Welcome”.

    I was wish I was having as much fun as they are.

  233. Commuter

    *I wish

  234. Commuted


    I think that “Special Super-Fun” is meant to be ironic.

  235. JMac

    You are naive to think the government doesn’t have a huge interest in this strike.

    I believe they feel there is a time and a place to enact and enforce legislation. Enact it too soon and you have a bunch of angry union people all over you. Wait until there is enough public sympathy for the students and you lose less votes that way.

  236. Commuted


    “Apprentices actually work on things for a company which they then work for after.. University – you sit in a room listening to someone speak and do some research”

    Graduate students actually do work — original research — for the university. They don’t just sit around, learning stuff for themselves.

    You know, whenever you read about newly published research, e.g. a medical study, or a psychology study, or a public policy study, or a new technology developed at a university? Well, that’s what graduate students do. They do ORIGINAL research. They CREATE knowledge.

    Universities build their reputation through research. Sometimes universities make money on it, too, by selling it.

    That’s why Graduate Students are given financial support.

  237. JMac

    I feel for Cupe GA. Things like that happen in every labour dispute and it is not right.

    He/she is getting screwed but I wouldn’t be surprised to find that there might be 5,000 or more stories like that amongst the innocent undergrads (or their parents/sponsors) who are getting screwed in this.

    Some students will end up having to throw in the towel and maybe try it all over again at some other time in some other university.

    Some students will have visa problems and may never come back to Canada.

    Moderate income parents or single parents who are helping put their kids through school may end up having to work another 6 months in their lives just because of this strike.

    And for what? So TAs who actually think they deserve a full wage for going to school can get an extra 200 bucks a year? Pretty pathetic.

  238. Commuted

    … and to be clear, at York, a TAship is the total financial support most graduate students receive in order to do original research that builds the university’s reputation.

    That’s right. Graduate students are rewarded for the privilege for working 80 hour weeks on research projects by being allowed to earn money as a TA for the university.

    It really is a form of exploitation. And, nobody denies this fact.

  239. Gabby

    They are still learning and gaining experience, and usually (correct me if I’m wrong) under the supervision of a professor. If they stayed to work at the University I could see them getting paid like it is a full time job. I agree that they should get some financial support but it is still an education, not a job.

  240. Commuted

    .. and remember this. How often do you see the names of graduate students in newspaper and television reports of York University research? Almost never — even though they do most of the work towards that research.

  241. Commuted


    In many other countries, it’s actually treated as a job. In Germany, for example, graduate students in engineering and sciences are paid like employees and are protected by labour law.

    What a graduate student does, day-to-day, in the laboratory is exactly what you would identify as “work.”

  242. B

    It’s absurd to think the will step in.

    The talk of Government involvement stem from two things: the Tory who introduced legislation (Liberals immediately said they would not support it) and an NDP leak.

    The last time the Government stepped in a post-secondary dispute? Over 20 years ago with a College strike.

  243. Commuted

    … and a graduate student’s supervisor is their boss. The supervisor gives directions (e.g.run this experiment 100 times), and the student executes it.

  244. Commuted

    … and, in Canadian universities, Research Associates who are not graduate students do the same research work as graduate students and receive proper pay and benefits — like a full time job.

    The only reason why graduate students stick around once they start a project is because if the quit before they finish, they lose 100% of their progress towards their degree. Graduate students can’t transfer their research to another university.

    That’s why universities like York bait prospective graduate students by promising them the moon and then switch to something far worse. You can’t get out of it easily.

  245. B

    Additionally, during the College strike just a few short years ago, the Government didn’t step in. A semester was lost.

  246. Gabby

    Ok, let’s say it’s a full time job. The form of payment is that little piece of paper saying you have another degree so you can go get better job (as well as the bit they pay now). If they were getting paid full time and it’s a job then why should they give you anything else? And if you really want money so badly then skip the grad studies and get a job.

  247. Commuted

    “The form of payment is that little piece of paper saying you have another degree so you can go get better job (as well as the bit they pay now)”

    A diploma is not a form of payment. Especially when you pay tuition to get it.

    “And if you really want money so badly then skip the grad studies and get a job.”

    Or, better yet, maybe York should be more honest when trying to woo prospective graduate students with claims of financial support.

  248. Commuted

    … and, of course, a degree is never a ticket to a job. In graduate school, it’s the work experience you’ve accumulated in the lab that gets you your next job — be it researcher, post-doc, etc..

    Nobody is asking to get rich, here. Just for York to deliver on their promises of commitment to financial support (which appears in their Graduate Studies policies).

  249. JMac

    @ B
    “It’s absurd to think the will step in. ”

    We obviously disagree but my point is it is ABSURD in this day and age, and in these economic times, for anyone to utter the words “they would never ….”.

    The college strike was then, this is now.

    There is a bigger picture here that includes the provincial government, 50,000 young voters, a selfish group of workers, and a union planning to “really stick it to the man” in 2010.

  250. KAZZA

    Good Morning some more good news I got another email today which I will post below. As to which prof I believe more I think that at this point our profs are upset (some are supposed to be on research projects, some are just frustrated how behind they are), either way at least they are letting us now what they believe to be true (it is is an email from them after all I dont think they would lie)
    Here is the email below:
    Dear ,

    Thank you both for taking the time to inform us of the lack of clarity regarding remediation for weekend courses. The remediation information has been adjusted to address weekend courses and is now available on the web.

    We plan to hold information sessions for students on “moving forward” once the labour dispute has been settled. I would appreciate if you would forward to my attention any questions you feel need to be answered that we can address in the sessions.


  251. KAZZA

    if other countries treat this position as a full time job, then maybe people should go to those countries if that is what they want. Just because someone else does it, does not mean we have to.

  252. Lola


    I think you raise some excellent points.

    This strike is not just about York, it is about whether or not we get a province wide strike in 2010. York can interrupt the unions plans or let it happen, either way York plays an integral role.

    This is just about job security and wage increases.
    And that is what’s really making me concerned at this point.

  253. B

    Then was 2006 – better economic picture.

    Now – Queens Park enjoying a nice cushy vacation till February. 300 million dollar deficit, manufacturing sector tanking, unemployment rate rising. Job losses are the absolute worse in Ontario. In a province of 11 million, there are far bigger issues to deal with then the plight of 50,00 students at the moment.

    Yes, it might be absurd to say never…which is why the Government won’t say anything more then We’re keeping an eye on it.

    And Lola, if this is about avoiding 2010, why would the Government step in now? They would have to legislate every single union back to work separately in an effort to prevent this and it isn’t even a province wide issue at the moment. Why not wait till 2010, when they all strike simultaneously crippling Ontario wide Universities, and legislate them back in one shot?

  254. AndrewB

    The only thing is, the government could send a message to CUPE-O by ordering BTWL that, yes we believe in fair union deals, and we believe in your ability to strike, but if it gets out of hand and if you are being unrealistic and unwilling to negotiate fairly, you will be put back to work.

    Since we care so much about the economy, every major University in Ontario shutting down would be a massive hit to an already hurting, bleeding economy.

  255. Unfortunately

    Pally Wally,

    I agree if undergrads were to strike or protest in some form or just refuse to pay tuition fee’s we might get some results. I wouldn’t count on it though. The idea has been ingrained that higher education isn’t a right but a privilege – the graduate students have gotten a lot of negative comments regarding this.

    That being said it would require a majority of students to be okay with the possibility of loosing a semester or a year. Money may be a problem but so is time and not a lot of people are willing to sacrifice it.

    It’d be nicer if the government woke up one day and just said “alright, so we’ll make it free” – Europe seems to be ahead of us in this regard (i’m not sure how they attained it though, maybe it was always free?) Anyways makes me wish I was born Scottish.

  256. AndrewB

    European’s pay much more taxes. 24%+ in some places, but a lot of stuff is done by the state. It is like how we here in Canada pay higher taxes then America does and we have more to show for that. Free health care is a product of taxes. So if Canadian’s didn’t mind paying 24% plus taxes, we could think about free schooling.

    Just think, Canada’s population is about 33million. If each person spent one dollar with a 24% tax, that would be $7.9million going to the government to spend on programs. Times that by how many dollars each Canadian spends and you see a massive influx of money. The GST of 5% now only would yeild $1.65million if every Canadian spent one dollar. That extra $6.25million would be a massive amount and would get us amazing programs.

    But then we would have to basically be state controlled and people would have to accept paying 24%. We can’t educate people on politics now in this country so good luck trying to get people to understand why them being taxed is better off.

  257. Frustrated

    wow, what are the sources for the last post?!

  258. Unfortunately

    Do I hear a possible advertising / marketing assignment – “Make getting taxed for education seem appealing”.

    They should charge 1$ more for beer & cigarettes and take that surplus to pay for education, we’d be walking on golden campuses. But then it’d just be university students paying for themselves again, wouldn’t it?

    When the money is taken from you unwillingly for the benefit of everyone its “ridiculous” but if your getting charged a little extra for some commodity that you want to buy then no-biggie, you deal with it.

    Anyways, your always going to have people whining and complaining about getting taxed they should just enforce it.

  259. Anon

    The TA’s need to just accept the offer.

  260. Teju

    This is bad when why will this peoples agree to offers given by york?

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