Supervised Forced Ratification

York University initiates Supervised Vote on Offers for Settlement


Membership vote could get students back to class 


TORONTO, January 9, 2009 – In light of the refusal by the CUPE 3903 bargaining team to take the University’s last offer to their membership for a vote as requested two days ago, York University has requested that the Minister of Labour direct a supervised vote on the comprehensive offers for settlement made by the University on January 7 to its employees represented by CUPE 3903.


At a meeting between the two parties today, CUPE 3903 did not bring forward any modifications to its existing positions, nor did it bring forward a counter-offer.


A separate vote will be required for each of the three bargaining units of CUPE 3903 which represent approximately 950 contract faculty, 1,850 TAs and 550 GAs.  The votes will be conducted as soon as they can be arranged by the Ministry of Labour.  A simple majority vote in favour of each contract offer would mean the end of the strike and have students back in class as quickly as possible.


“After five months of unsuccessful negotiations, we see this as a necessary step because it will give employees in each bargaining unit a chance to vote on our settlement offers, end this strike and get our students back to class,” said Alex Bilyk, spokesperson for the University.


Talks between the University and CUPE 3903 resumed on January 3 and after 5 days of renewed bargaining the University tabled enhanced settlement offers for all three units. The total value of the University’s offer now stands at 10.7% over 3 years.


Bilyk said there are few options left to end the strike: “The union still has some 75 outstanding demands totalling 15.8% over 2 years that would cost the University $9.9 million annually.” 


The union has previously refused to take all outstanding contract issues to binding arbitration, which would also end the strike.


The University has recently successfully negotiated 3-year contracts with other campus unions, including CUPE 1356, which overwhelmingly ratified a 3-year contract with a 9.25 percent wage increase plus other contract improvements.


Under Ontario’s labour relations laws, employers can ask for a secret-ballot vote of union members on a contract offer. The vote is conducted and supervised by the Ministry of Labour, with the voting location and days allocated for voting to be decided by the Ministry of Labour, after input from both the employer and the union.


Full details of the University’s comprehensive offers for settlement have been posted on the York website.



CUPE’s Side:

Employer Forces Ratification Vote 

January 9, 2009 (3PM)

Yesterday (Thursday, January 8th) at a general membership meeting, the bargaining team and executive presented the employer’s latest offer to the membership. The offer was resoundingly rejected by the membership, with 90% of members in attendance voting to refrain from sending the offer to ratification. In response, instead of bargaining at the table, the employer has notified CUPE 3903 that it has begun the process of holding a forced ratification vote.

What is a forced ratification vote? A forced ratification vote (what they refer to as a “supervised vote”) is, essentially, a loophole in the labour laws that gives the employer the power to circumvent the bargaining process—to contact striking members directly and compel them to vote on a deal of the employer’s own choosing.

The employer is only legally allowed to use it once. The forced vote is a powerful instrument that the employer uses in order to maximize confusion and minimize the need to make meaningful movements at the table.

Needless to say, the union is disappointed that the employer has once again walked away from the bargaining process. This disappointment is compounded by the fact that the deal does not adequately address our three main priorities:

  • Job Security (Unit 2)
  • Graduate Funding (Units 1 and 3), and
  • Funding (All Units).
    The union is encouraging all members to reject this offer by voting no. The employer is counting on our members settling for a concessionary offer.

    Unions that are able to beat a forced ratification find that they are able to put the bargaining team in an immensely strong position. Your no vote will signal to the employer that the offer is not adequate, and as such, they will need to table an offer that addresses our three main priorities. In future negotiations, their forced offer becomes the floor for a settlement, as they cannot avoid bargaining at the table any longer.


    Please check for further updates as further details will be posted regularly. Union members will receive packages that give more specific information on the employer’s offer.





    Filed under Uncategorized

    248 responses to “Supervised Forced Ratification



    2. Pally Wally

      Selfish – only thinking of themselves? That’s some straight-up common sense capitalism, innit?

    3. random

      is this forced ratification?

    4. B

      No it’s not. That title is an outright lie!

    5. B

      …it seems a lot of people live under rocks and not pay attention to what goes on in the media.

    6. Tired of reading these blogs

      Why does the heading say Supervised *Forced* Ratification if its not forced…..?


      So..exactly whats happening now? Sorry, I haven’t really been keeping up lately..I’m over seas at the moment..and I’m wondering if I should extend my stay..any suggestions?

    8. Saddi

      ok so basically this is NOT forced rat…they are just taking a vote? c’monnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn…

    9. Yorkie

      Isn’t that what forced ratification is? Taking a vote, just with more Cupe members. Cupe certainly seems to think it is…

    10. yorkstrike2008

      This is forced ratification. The Ministry of Labour will be holding a vote in a neutral location for all CUPE members to vote on the proposed settlement from the University.

    11. AndrewB

      We are again becoming to tied up with the language here people. Just live with the fact that it is a vote all cupe members have to vote on. Forced or not, it really doesn’t change what it is.

    12. yorkstrike2008


      Agreed. This is what it is:

      This is forced ratification. The Ministry of Labour will be holding a vote in a neutral location for all CUPE members to vote on the proposed settlement from the University.

      The University is effectively circumventing the Union bargaining team and bringing the proposed contract to the Union to vote on.

    13. Yorkie

      So it is ALL the Cupe members,or do they still have a choice to not come and vote, for whatever reason?

    14. H

      I think they will vote no and the university will be in very bad position.

      either way I really don’t care anymore it is rally pain in a** I hope they just try to really solve the problem instead of playing dirty.

      I really hate both york and union both of them are greedy and one of them is really stupid (the loser).
      we will see who soon. 😀

    15. wat-duh-eff


      CUPE wasnt the ones who cancelled classes. Just like anyone else, they’re fighting for something fair. Shame on you people for saying that theyre selfish. Put yourselves in their shoes for one day. See how hard it is to fight for your rights. Its sick that York is being so selfish.

      I just think its sad how everyones getting mad at CUPE and really sick how a 3rd party has to come in and intervene. Whats the point of a union then? whats the point of democracy….?

    16. H

      I really don’t care whose fault is it.

      the only thing I know we as students are screwed and we are the only losers

      even if we come back now we are really screwed with the 13 days of classes and 12 days of exams it is just BS.

    17. fracas


      members have a right not to vote. For the deal to be accepted, 50+1 members of the relevant unit WHO VOTED must vote yes. It is highly unlikely that all members will come out to vote, but there probably will be higher turnout than at GMMs, because the voting time will be over several hours, and may even be on more than one day.

    18. PISSED OFF

      [edited by moderator]

    19. flushafleshfarm

      FWIW, I just changed my reading week flights to Florida to this Wednesday, returning Monday the 19th. This is out of our hands. More so than ever before. No class for at least two more weeks. Go with that. Do what you do. All this banter, unchanging, always maddening, is how we do ourselves a true mental disservice. Take a break guys. We will be back in school.

    20. annoyed

      this is ridiculous. people need to calm down. to begin with going back to school and finishing the year is much better than nothing! yea – it will be a little cramped and we will lose 5 days of classes from this semester OOOooOo. how bad is that? it’s better than staying in school longer into the summer. how much will you learn in 1 extra class? plus some people have full-time jobs that start in the summer and will lose the contract if they can’t start!!

      and with regards to the voting…i think it is good that cupe members will now have to vote. to begin with only 22% of the members voted and only 75% said they wanted the strike. hopefully they will vote yes to end this strike if more of the members come out. from what i hear a lot of the members are also fed up with the strike and want to go back to class. this has been dragged on way too long and i personally don’t think they are going to get much more out of york. york is not being selfish – times are bad and they have a specific budget to work with. there is only so much they can do.

      50,000 students are out of school and this has reached a point where it is just ridiculous. i want to graduate and have a summer before i begin working full-time.

    21. AndrewB

      We need to get something else straight here as well.

      I get really tired of hearing “CUPE didn’t cancel classes, York did” and people using that as a point against York. Lets just be honest, York had to close. I myself have 6 classes this semester, 3 of which (for sure) are taught by CUPE member. 2 of which I am unsure since one is a prof at UofT who teaches one course here, and one does internet courses all over. So considering that, there is no way to possibly run classes when studets, such as myself, would have over half their classes cut. PLUS as we know, CUPE would block the roads causing students to be late to the classes they have left.

      I would like to see CUPE members try and tell us how they care about the students if the school was still open when they are blocking them from coming into the University.

    22. adam

      @ wat-duh-eff

      your right, Cupe isnt the one who cancelled classes, York did. but like Cupe looves to remind us all: they do 50% of the teaching at York. so did the school have a choice… no!

    23. adam

      @ wat-duh-eff

      york had no choice but to bring in a 3rd party. they presented an offer, the union flat out refused to even allow its members to vote on it. does that seem democratic to you? york is asking for a VOTE = democratic. CUPE is the one who rejected the vote

    24. Yorkie


      Well, Cupe did vote at the GMM, they din’t refuse to vote. Mind you not all of them did. So they will vote again, whenever they set the date.

    25. Kelso

      bah i dont know who to believe.. York says that CUPE hasnt said anything to modify the offer York made wednesday night (making CUPE look bad) and CUPE says that York is walking away from the bargaining table through this vote (making York look bad)..

      Im leaning more towards York on this one… at least they are trying to put an end to this to get the 50,000 students back in the class room… so try all you want CUPE but I think you still come out looking like the villain.

    26. AndrewB

      No they didn’t reject the vote, they just didn’t both to ask ALL of the cupe members, just the ones that showed up to the GMM whom they KNEW were all the people that would say no anyway.

      They will try and pass it off and say “Well they could have showed up” and so on, but that still doesn’t answer the original question of why won’t you put it to a vote for ALL the members. I didn’t know 600 spoke for 3400.

    27. adam

      york walked away because the union presented no counter offer
      there was no reason to stay

    28. V!

      A forced ratification will hopefully allow more members to vote and be heard.

      According to the agenda for 3903’s GMM on Thursday, there was nothing that mentioned that there would be a vote, and it was not guaranteed that the offer or the “pass” would even be made an agenda item. Why would people with evening commitments show up at a GMM when it’s not guaranteed that they would be able to vote on the offer?

      At least for a forced ratification, they know that if they are there at a certain time, for sure they will be able to vote. Also takes less time.

      I just hope that all members will vote! THis is your one chance to make your opinion count and not have to sit through 4 hours of meetings for a vote that may or may not occur.

    29. Kelso


      Ya i know thats why york walked away, i just thought it was funny how CUPE portrayed it trying to make York look bad when York is the one making offers, and giving the people and opportunity to vote..

      CUPE now seems like a child who throws a tantrum and just says NO NO NO! until they get what they want.
      Sorry CUPE thats not how life works… You dont always get what you want. Better to learn that now or you will be really dissapointed later…

    30. AndrewB

      The snowball of cupe hate continues.

      See this is the thing. When is a victory a victory? If 3400 people “win” yet are hated by millions, is that a victory? Does CUPE not realize that they are hurting themselves for 2010, and that it wouldn’t surprise me in the least bit if government ordered them all back to work in 2010 because of what happened at York. Government won’t push BTWL for 50,000, how about 500,000 students across Ontario?

      I don’t think I would hate on CUPE as much as I do, which isn’t much, and you’ll never see me telling them to die, if they would just come out and say “we are doing this for us” and not pulling the “we are doing this for students and to fight this and that.” Your fight is lost. The government doesn’t back you fully, the media hates you, and the people of Ontario would be happy if you were all let go and replaced.

      So how is this a victory? You arn’t fighting a political power, your helping to cripple a province.

    31. D

      CUPE indirectly did cancel classes. Who is blocking the entrances to York? Who got into a hissy fit when Osgoode and Schulich resumed? I don’t see CUPE going, “in the interest of the students, we won’t block entrances”. It would be a nightmare if York tried to reopen all the classes.

    32. Kelso


      Great Article Find!!!

      Its nice to hear a 3rd party say that the universities offer is fair, that the statements CUPE is making hurts them and its hard to see coming from a higher educated group of people…

      Nice one!

    33. AndrewB

      See that is the thing that bothers me. Many experts in the field, and people who understand what is happening have come forward and said what is being offered is a fair deal. Are we to believe that CUPE members whom the majority probably have never been involved in a strike before, have more experience in this then experts who have been doing this sort of thing for years?

    34. away and looking for answers

      does anyone know a timeline for this vote to take place? any articles/media releases saying so?

    35. aaaaaaaaahhh

      When do you guys think we can expect to hear new updates..?

    36. @ away and looking for answers

      “The ball is now in McGuinty’s court. His Minister of Labour should be working this weekend and pay whatever overtime expenses are necessary in order to announce details of the vote Monday morning and to conduct it early next week.”


    37. Don’t expect to be at school any time next week. Maybe the week after that.

    38. someone

      AndrewB, you’re REALLY bad at hiding the fact that you most likely are part of CUPE.

    39. aaaaaaaaahhh

      thanks for the info vino

    40. ram

      can any one say what might happen supposing that the forced ratification is a failure for the university.? In that case, when can we be back in class?

    41. ram

      i would not blame the union for jeopardizing our school year. It was york that canceled the classes because it cannot function when the union does not.
      So, york should bow a little bit when it is needy. I would not be surprised even if the ratification was a failure!!

    42. CUPE member with child

      Some irony here:

      Some students are blasting CUPE for being “selfish”, and yet in the same breath they are also saying “I don’t care who’s right or wrong I just care about me and my education”. Why should ‘care’ only be a one-way street? If that’s how most undergrads think then I have no problem saying that I’m voting ‘no’ on the forced ratification for me and my interests.

    43. reality_bites

      CUPE needs to take a look at what’s happening in the real economy right now. Universities in Canada like York are government regulated not for profit institutions which generate operating capital through a combination of government funding, tuition and earnings on retail services provided by the university. Obviously, this represents a real constraint on operating costs that must be managed by a responsible employer working in this environment. From what I can see, the wage increases being offered are reasonable maybe even generous in an environment where employees are being laid off in the companies that generate government tax revenue and help fund student tuition and expenses that allow Canadian universities to operate at a very affordable rate.

      Time for a reality check CUPE members, check out todays jobless numbers and be thankful for an employer like YorkU or compete for a better job elsewhere

    44. CUPE member with child


      If york loses the forced ratification then we will likely see York come back to the bargaining table and increase their offer significantly. In the 2000 strike the resolution was reached at the bargaining table 3 days after the forced rat was shot down.

      So, depending on when exactly the forced ratification is held (I assume late next week?) I would expect to be back in class within a week of a ‘no’ vote.

    45. H

      any way I think the university should just give more and don’t waste more time it is its fault it took so long

    46. CUPE member with child

      @ reality_bites:

      the economic recession is an erroneous argument. York projects that it’s enrollment will increase significantly between now and 2010. This means increases in its operating budget as well as government transfers. Since 2005 York has accumulated a financial surplus of $150.1 million dollars. The university is doing very well financially, thank you very much.

    47. CUPE member with child

      I project that we’ll all be back in class on Monday, January 19th.

    48. Sourcer


      Forced rat. will not work. Even York knew before going for it. They just wanted to gey more public exposure and force on CUPE.

      Don’t play this dirty game.

    49. CUPE member with child

      Correction, the employer is requesting that the forced ratification vote occur on Jan 19th and 20th (wasting 10 days in the meantime). I therefore project that we’ll be back on class after a ‘no’ vote by Monday, January 26th, 2009.

    50. Sourcer

      @ CUPE member with child

      wrong. The voting will take place during the week 19 since they have to decide on date and mail every memebr and allow 2-3 days before actual voting.

    51. Sourcer

      Good timing.

      I am told IF students are going to be back, it will be in Feb.

    52. Yorkie

      @CUPE member with child

      You really think the forced rat. vote will happen on the 19-20th? You sure about that?

    53. CUPE member with child

      I’m not sure that it will happen then (19th and/or 20th), but that’s when York is requesting that it be held.

    54. AndrewB

      Did someone actually call me a member of cupe? lol

      OMG that is to funny.

      @ someone

      no, I am not a member of cupe, I am a 4th year student at York. I’ve only said that about 100 times on this blog. I also don’t know why you would think I’m a member, since I’m fairly against what they are doing.

    55. Sshmr

      To CUPE member with child:

      You know, I’ve heard that brought up so many times… yet never seen an explanation for why York is reducing its university-wide operating budget by 2% next year?

      You’re also not accounting for the fact that while York did make 150.1 million over the last 4 years, it only made 1.7 million dollars last year. It’s also seen salaries jump from 428.1 million to 554 million (125.9 million increase), whereas the government endowment only increased by 60.7 million (315.8 to 376.5) Likewise, income from student fees increased from 287.6 to 331.7 million, or an 44.1 million dollar increase.

      When you put those two together, you get 104.8 million – or a 21.1 million dollar DEFICIT when compared with salary hikes over the same period.

      Looking at trends over the last 4 years, York has seen its profit margin eroding away at a rather alarming rate – and that was prior to the recession. So the argument that York has money does not hold true. Yes, York can easily manage the funds to give CUPE what they are demanding… but it would have to cut back from somewhere else.

    56. Here

      Source or just misinformation? I thought TAs new better…

      It’s fun trying to see who is on what side. Examining biases is the key to understanding any issue.

    57. away and looking for answers

      @ vino


    58. Sshmr

      We’re also getting two different versions of what happened last time.

      The CUPE Doll version is that Unit 2 accepted forced ratification, and that hampered the Union’s position to some degree and resulted in a more concilatory bargaining session than previously, resulting in the quick deal post-ratification vote.

      From what I can see from CUPE MWC’s tone and language (and I may be completely off base with this one – so I apologize in advance), the defining factor was not Unit 2’s acceptance, but rather, Unit 1 and 3’s rejection, which forced the Administration to the table with a better offer?

      So… uh, what happened?

    59. Sourcer


      The week of 19 for voting is confirmed.

    60. Yorkie


      It is? There a link or anything to coroborate your story? Lol

    61. Sourcer

      Indeed, CUPE is happy with the forced rat. b/c they know it will put York in a very bad situtation, for both baragaining and in public.

    62. Sourcer

      @ Yorkie:

      It will be officially announced on Monday. In the meantime, keep checking the CUPE site. They will perhaps unofficially announce it.

    63. CUPE member with child


      Ha, nice wizardry with those numbers. But if you pay attention to your own figures you will see thatt the only “deficit” is in the rate of increase of the surplus. Even without York’s own projected increase in enrollment, York will still be operating at a surplus.

    64. Yorkie


      Hope you’re right…

    65. CUPE member with child

      What happened after the 2000 forced rat vote was that the university returned to the bargaining table with significantly better offers – why else would people be arguing that we have the best package in the province, other than U of T?

    66. AndrewB

      Umm Cupe with child, I really wish you would take off the cupe-cute glasses they hand out at your meetings and actually understand why students are “selfish” in this.

      You see, you had a chance to get your undergrad, to look for work or continue your education. Your degree could be hanging on the wall or in a closet, I don’t know, but the thing is, you have it. You also have a paying job. You also have a voice in this strike. I on the other hand, do not have a degree yet because I am waiting for this strike, and I also cannot get the job I want until I am finished said degree. And I don’t have a voice at the table, I have to sit by and let other people talk things out. And as much as people say we have a voice, as shown recently when students call for an end of the strike by a certain date, they were tossed aside and told “we don’t know what is going on.”

      So pardon me for saying, I think I have every right to be a little selfish right now, because I don’t seem to have anything. Oh wait, I do! I have an apartment in Toronto that I haven’t lived in for 2 months and yet I still have to pay rent for. I don’t get anything out of this strike besides more work in the future, I don’t get money returned to me because my side won, I don’t get a pay increase, I don’t get security, I don’t, for lack of a better term, jack shit. The only thing I do have is my education and that is being taken away from me because a group of people have a agenda they want to beat into the heads of everyone before they are willing to pull their heads out of their asses. So sorry if I sound a little pissy, or just a tad bit selfish, but I think after spending 2 months at home, having to listen to the rantings and ravings of complete idiots who try and scare students with fancy language and elitist talk, I have a good reason to be.

      I think when they designed the cupe-cute glasses, they put way to much tint in them and you can’t see out of them. Because if you did, you would hear the public, and not just students, saying to you “with the way the economy is going, be greatful you have a job right now.” Of course I forgot, you don’t really care, you haven’t cared about the students since day one, and this is all about what you can do for yourself.

      Was it really that hard to admit that. It took 2 months for you to finally admit you were in it for yourself.

      Students of York we better be careful. CUPE members are starting to be honest now!

    67. fracas


      what did happen is that before the forced ratification, York was rejecting the demand for tuition indexation for grad students (THE issue during that strike), days after the rat vote York agreed to and both parties signed off on tuition indexation.

      Given that tuition indexation was a clause in unit 1 and unit 3 collective agreements only, and that units and 3 rejected the offer without it, i’d say that CMWC’s take on who had the upper hand after the forced vote results were in is more accurate.

      it is bears repeating that unit 2s did not go back to work even though they ratified their agreement (both legally, and technically since classes were allowed to continue for those who were not on strike, they could have).

    68. Here

      So it’s unconfirmed.

      The only group that will announce in Ministry of Labour based on the submissions of both parties.

    69. reality_bites

      @ CUPE member with child

      Thanks for your comment. I had a quick look at a finacial statement for 2005 and surplus seemed more like $22M on revenue of $616M (about 3.5%). But I’m not informed so lets assume your numbers are correct and York has accumulated $150M “surplus” over 4 fiscal years (since 2005). This would assume that revenue increased (due to enrollment) by about $37M per year (maybe 7500 additional students a year) with no increase in capital and operating expenses (no additional classes, no wage increases, no additional buildings/parking, etc..). This doesn’t seem reasonable to me. In any case, a small operating surplus is needed to build a management reserve to take care of unexpected expenses in an instituation that has no means of significantly increasing revenue through other sources in a heavily regulated environment such as publicly funded schools.

    70. fracas

      @ all,

      apologies about my typos – i really will try to re-read my posts before i write something again, i swear:)

    71. flushafleshfarm

      @CUPE member with a child

      That seems a bit too soon. I think the following Monday is far more likely.

      Anyway. It would just be bad business for CUPE to vote yes on forced rat. After two months on strike, wouldn’t you hold out one last time if it virtually guaranteed you a better deal?

      From what CUPE M w/ C is saying, they can vote ‘yes’ and go back to work right away with no significant contract improvements, or vote ‘no’ and go back a few days later with a much better deal.

    72. Yorkie


      Sorry, what were you trying to say was unconfirmed? Your wording was just a little strange…

    73. Sshmr

      To CUPEMWC:

      You (and I – I had to reread it) are forgetting something though:

      “As summarized on the Balance Sheet, the University’s deficit has decreased from $37 million in 2007 to $35 million in 2008.”

      York was operating with a deficit this whole time. So it doesn’t have 150 million in savings to spare.

      It, and the rest of Ontario, are also facing some issues with endowment funding being lost (I assume in the market).

      None of this is CUPE’s fault, but you can’t say that York is just spiteing CUPE when it actually doesn’t have the money.

    74. CUPE member with child

      Hey, if everyone’s only out for themselves then by all means I will fight for my own interests within the legal framework of my relations with my employer. Why should anybody expect less of me? Why should the onus only be on me to look out for the interests of sweetening York’s bottom line, the pay of it’s administration and faculty, the fees and feelings of undergrad students and what they want out of their York education, etc. etc., all who have no problems telling me what they’re interests are and that I should be a philanthropist and only look out for them. You think for a moment that York is looking out for undergrads? They’ve already got your money for the whole term. I’ve only got the portion of it for the services I rendered in Sept and Oct.

      Somebody might say, ‘because you’re a teacher, it’s your job, this is the real world, etc. etc.’

      Well I have news for those people. The contract expired. In the real world, people don’t work without contracts for very long. And when they do negotiate contracts, they do so with their own interests in mind. Which sector do you NOT expect to see negotiating according to its own interests?

      This is what happens in the REAL world. Welcome to it.

    75. Here

      @ Yorkie and all:

      The date of the vote.

      If the MoL got the notice of forced ratification at approx 3:00pm today, it is far too soon for the MoL to set a date until Monday. That’s only if the ministry works on the weekend. As far as I’m concerned, any mention of the date will only be speculation until they announce it. I would recommend to all that they rely on that information. Not on what is posted here.

    76. AndrewB

      Just watched CBC. Just said Canada has lost 70,000 jobs.

      So yeah, job security eh?

    77. Here


      If that’s the case – and I agree with you that’s the real world – why did CUPE 3903 just say that instead of saying “it’s about the students”?

    78. aaaaaaaaahhh

      I agree with Andrew, York students have every right to be angry right now. especially because we have no say in this.

      Even if this forced rat somehow works. CUPE dont get what they want but atleast they get something.

    79. blahblah

      Hey, can someone please answer this quick question?

      Is it too late to drop/leave york without the courses counting as failures? Perhaps a delete? or atleast just dropped no-mark courses?

      (Did york make any agreements to let students leave without failure because of this strike?) Or are we basically stuck in this hell-hole?

      Thanks in advance to whoever that is kind enough to answer (intelligently) lol.

    80. AndrewB

      I’m not asking you to think of everyone else. I would like you to think about yourself. The problem is, you are thinking unrealistically. If I was to think “I should get free education, free room and board, and the school should pay me to show to class” well people would say I am unrealistic.

      I have no issue for you thinking about yourself. Hell I’m happy you finally told the truth for once and didn’t follow your CUPE bullshit of “we’re working to get this done for you!” But you’re like a Toronto Maple Leaf fan who thinks this is the year they will win the Cup. It isn’t realistic, but you’ll still find the yo-yo’s at the ACC painted in White and Blue. That’s the image I get of CUPE members! Much like how the Maple Leafs have been the Joke of the NHL for the last 41 years, you’ve been the joke of this strike since the start. And it isn’t just students who think that, as has been shown in many media sources. But you’ll still be cheering for your team because that is all you know, and no matter what anyone says you will live or die by them.

      It still doesn’t change the fact that what you are asking for is unrealistic.

    81. CUPE member with child

      I think that indirectly, if CUPE succeeds, it will improve the lot for undergrads.

      Basic supply and demand.

      If York teachers are given better contracts then it will attract better teachers. As some have suggested thatt if the teachers don’t like the offers then they should quit and get “real” jobs. Well, as it stands over 50% of the phD students (who are your TAs and contract faculty) do quit and go get real jobs. Many of them probably do so because they can earn more money elsewhere. I know I could and am seriously considering it if the strike doesn’t work out in my favour.

      While we do get a better lot than most universities in Canada (although not ALL, as falsely rumoured), graduate funding pales in comparison to what is offered in the United States. So, think of how many really good teachers are not even at York but might have been.

      While there are also things in the contract that would help undergrads that CUPE fights for, known as ‘class size triggers’, and that the university opposes, I think the first reason is just as valid.

      So, yes, I do think CUPEs position is also beneficial to students in the long run. I strike mostly though because it’s in my own interests to strike, and I choose not to sign a contract that I’m not willing to offer my services for. I’m very open to taking a different job that would probably start out around 2-3 times the pay.

    82. AndrewB

      @ blahblah

      I believe you can still drop out of classes. You will not get full payment back, as that date passed in October (before the strike started) but you will get a partial refund.

    83. CUPE member with child

      Actually I’m quite confident that we will succeed in this strike. If forced rat is shot down (and yesterday’ GMM is a good indication that it will be shott down) I think we’ll end up with a remarkably better contract.

    84. AndrewB

      “I’m very open to taking a different job that would probably start out around 2-3 times the pay.”

      And now you see why people are pissed. YOU HAVE THAT OPTION! I DO NOT! I am stuck here waiting for your union to go back to work so that I can have the option to go get a job. I’m in limbo all for a bunch of people who may not even want to stay at the school and teach in the future.

    85. Here

      @ blahblah.

      I believe Andrew is partially correct. You can still drop the courses for Fall but not get any refund (that date has passed). If you drop Winter courses and have paid for them you will get that money back.

    86. Cupe Doll

      Point of clarification 🙂

      York’s press release begins with: “In light of the refusal by the CUPE 3903 bargaining team to take the University’s last offer to their membership…”

      Whereas our 3903 press release declares: “The offer was resoundingly rejected by the membership, with 90% of members in attendance voting to refrain from sending the offer to ratification.”

      Notice, though — the 3903 release is only talking about the “members in attendance” at yesterday’s GMM. Not talking the entire membership — as in York’s release. So there’s no contradiction.

      However. 90% of the members in attendance yesterday’s GMM never voted on the offer. Not 1 member in attendance got to vote on that offer.

      Nobody voted that offer. However. There was a motion for members to at least get to paper-vote on any future offers. But nobody got to vote on that motion either. Why not? Near as I could make out, because membership had already voted at an earlier GMM that 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 vote from an earlier GMM. And besides — this offer by York? It wasn’t even an offer. It was only a “pass”. Since York had by-passed the 3903 bargaining team and executive when making the offer.

      So, of course, the person that brought the motion revised it. So that members should at least get to paper-vote on future “passes”. But nobody got to vote on the revised motion either. Since the revised motion was out of order. Because we only allow paper-voting for ratifications, elections and impeachments.

      Get it? We in 3903 have decided voting is allowed for ratifications — but we’ve also decided we don’t get to vote on ratifications unless the executive and bargaining team want us to. Lol. Had I known this in advance I wouldn’t have gone calling for more regular membership to come out. I would just have booked myself passage to the people’s paradise of North Korea.

      Personally, I think it was a serious 3903 error not to vote — or at least straw-poll — York’s offer. Just at the GMM. Since attendance at yesterday’s GMM was 90% radical. The vote would certainly have gone 90% against York’s offer. And 3903 would have come across all earnest and democratic to uninitiated media and public. But, instead, York gets to advertise how 3903 didn’t present the offer to the membership. Not the whole membership, not even the membership attending the GMM. And that’s a pretty good note to start forcing ratification on. Sounds like a note of liberation.

      If so, if it was a silly mistake? Why would 3903 make a mistake so silly? Well, an email that got forwarded to me shortly before yesterday’s GMM explains it perfectly. It — the email — in part reads:

      “Let’s not shoot ourselves in the foot here by taking either too conservative a line (calling to ratify the current offer) or by taking too radical a line (preventing the bargaining team from negotiating). Let’s give the BT a continued mandate like the one it has – flexibility. We’re not going to have too many more opportunities like the one presented to us at today’s GMM – let’s
      not waste it.”

      See? Some of us in 3903 have figured out that not letting our own bargaining team bargain is too radical. Even for us. But letting the membership vote on an offer? Whoa. Nellie. That’s “conservative”. Lol. Downright “neo-liberal”, even.

    87. Here

      @ CMWC:

      Careful to confuse 90% of 500 at a GMM with 50% +1 of 3400 in a secret vote. I’m still looking for the 35% of people that voted Tory in the recent election. Secret ballots can change everything.

    88. CUPE member with child

      What’s stopping you from going and getting a job? Are you worried that York won’t refund you all of your tuition back? Do you need an extra $800 bucks to go and find a job.

      I took a minimum wage at a particular time, and even managed to save aboutt 10k over a number of years working. Then, I took time off.

      After a number of months off, I went to the bank machine one day and took out my last 20 bucks. By 3pm the next day I had a job.

      So what’s stopping you?

    89. CUPE member with child

      Cupe doll, that’s such tripe.

      @Cupedoll – Everybody at that meeting knew what they were voting for. Changing the language a bit wouldn’t have swayed a single vote.

      If people decide not to come to meetings for whatever variety of reasons, we can’t magically project how we think they’d vote.

      So stop spreading irrelevant scare-mongering aboutt people being fooled into thinking this or that by some big bad scary union.

    90. CUPE member with child


      By no means do I guarantee that the forced rat will be shot down. However, I’m a gambling person, care to make a wager?

    91. Cupe Doll


      What are you even talking about? Have you read what you’re replying to?

    92. CUPE member with child

      Cupe Doll, I’m talking about your statements such as, “Not 1 member in attendance got to vote on that offer [the university’s offer]”, and how you would have preferred to book a flight to North Korea, yada yada yada.

      Nothing but tripe. We held the vote. Your side lost. I strongly suspect your side will also lose the forced rat.

    93. Here


      Sadly, I am not. What I’m glad you realize that you too cannot guarantee a result. I’ve had 40 years of living in a trade union household with a father who bleeds NDP orange and would vote Communist if he thought it would make a difference. That said, even he shook his head when he heard of CUPE’s demands given the state of the economy.

      Unfortunately, you struck at the wrong time. If that would have made a difference.

    94. blahblah

      @ AndrewB
      @ Here

      Okay honestly guys, sorry you missed the point.
      I don’t care about the monetary aspect; however, i would like to know if anyone knows if it would count as a failure? Do you happen to have any insight on that topic? Would it count as a WDN or delete because of this strike, or would it be a “fail”.

      Thanking you in advance,


    95. Cupe Doll


      Let me help. You know how our release says “”The offer was resoundingly rejected by the membership, with 90% of members in attendance voting to refrain from sending the offer to ratification”?

      My point was, first, that we didn’t 90% vote to refrain. Nobody voted that offer to refrain or any other wise. Second, that we were tactically mistake not voting the offer at the GMM. And third, what that tactical mistakes means and says about us.

      Now — go ahead and yell at me 🙂

    96. “Basic supply and demand. If York teachers are given better contracts then it will attract better teachers.”

      That’s a good one. That’s basically what I learned in my microeconomics class…well at least that’s what I learned in the two months that I was in York before the strike started. Shes actually very convincing there. If York does give better contracts, it will be better for the students and York itself in the long run. Better contracts will attract better teachers and the students will benefit. Also, having better teachers will be more reputable for York. But then again, that will happen in the long run…long after I graduate.

    97. CUPE member with child

      Cupe doll,

      you’re wrong on several points:

      a) we did vote on York’s offer and deemed it inadequate.
      b) I’m not yelling at you, never have been, and never will. But I you do make me laugh a lot.

    98. Here


      From the Registrar’s Office:

      The last date for dropping courses without receiving a grade has not been determined. So, if you drop them now, you will not receive a grade. I hope that answers you question. 🙂

    99. CUPE member with child


      Actually in the next 4 years you can expect many phDs to leave York before completion and many contract faculty to go elsewhere. But if CUPE gets a better contract then it will attract better TAs and contract faculty while you’re still here.

    100. Commuter

      Why is the YFS saying we will lose the fall term by January 21?

      Is this true?!?

      Because if the forced vote is on the 19th/20th we won’t be back by the 21st!


      Post #16

      Jeremy Salter (Toronto, ON) wrote on January 5, 2009 at 6:56pm

      I didn’t miss lead students. That would men that I did it intentionally. Wow it really doesn’t matter what i put i am always in the wrong… So I will try to answer Nancy but if someone corrects me or disagrees please know that I am only trying to give you information. From what I understand, if an agreement is not reach by January 21, 2009 the semester would be cancelled. because it is January 5, and the day is over, it really only leaves 15 day for n agreement to be reached. I believe that the chances for the government to be recalled is slim, but yes i guess possible. Because the two groups have been meeting for three days and things seem to be going well we are advocating that they continue to bargain in good faith so that the strike will end soon.


    101. blahblah

      @ Here

      Thanks very much, funny thing is that I visited that same page the other day, I just didn’t notice that there was more to the page haha.


    102. @ cupe mwc

      Lets hope so….”knock on wood.”

    103. CUPE member with child


      I don’t know why he would be saying that there is a pre-defined date that the semester would be ‘lost’. As far as I understand, such a date isn’t written in stone.

      What I am certain is that the longer the strike goes, the more difficult it becomes to convince all students (undergrad and grad alike) that whatever means of making up the term are adequate. While the university does have flexibility in extending term dates, cancelling reading week, compressing schedules and course-work, etc, this flexibility is not infinite. At some point (yet to be determined) the chances of ‘saving the term’ becomes such a difficult endeavor that it would be wiser to refund a portion of student tuitions and cancel the first term. Nobody can say with any certainty what that hypothetical date would be.

      What I can say I firmly believe is that the university will not allow that to happen and will sooner capitulate to most of CUPEs demands before deciding to refund mass amounts of money and cancelling a term.

    104. Cupe Doll

      @Cmwc: “we did vote on York’s offer and deemed it inadequate.”

      Nope. We didn’t. You either were not there or are lying.

      What we voted (almost) 90% in favour of was the motion by the 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, because York’s offer was said to bypass our executive and BT? Therefore, supposedly, it wasn’t even an offer. It was just a “pass”. Which *of course* we didn’t vote on.

      Anyhow. I haven’t got the time to recount what happened at the GMM to everyone that wasn’t there. Check my 7:55 message in the “Latest York Offer Criticized by Union” thread for my more complete account of it.

    105. AndrewB

      @ CMWC

      What’s stopping me from getting a job? Nothing. But I don’t want a McJob. (funny how a union member called being a TA a McJob)

      Maybe I should make myself clear. I want a career. I cannot get the career that I want without my degree finished. (I am learning a vital piece of my career in school right now) I’m not going to drop out of class in my final year of school, take a mcjob that I’ll make $9/hr to save up money, then go back to school to finish what I should already be finished in 4 months.

      I thought it was fairly obvious what kind of job I wanted after I said I “wanted to finish my degree to get a job” but I guess it flew over your head.

    106. Dray, looking forward to end of strike.

      Hi, all. I’m a CUPE member but I’m not paid to be a “virtual picketer”. Indeed, I am not acting in support of my union.

      Having said this, here’s food for thought. On our listserve, there was discussion about why the Admin wants to hold the vote as late as the 19th. Why not hold it sooner? Here’s a note that appeared:

      “they can ask for any day they want but the ministry also asks forinput from us. the union has requested that the forced rat vote be held on january 15 and 16. we couldnt request that the vote be held sooner for two main reasons: 1) the ministry needs 5 business days to get the vote organized (in terms of getting people to work the vote, getting ballots prepared, etc; and 2) because we need time to be able to mail information out to members. the mail out is
      happening in the hq tomorrow starting at 12:30.

      CUPE may be bad, but the Admin is worse.

    107. Joe

      Thank God Cupe doll is still around for clarification.

    108. Dray, looking forward to end of strike.

      CUPEdoll’s account of the GMM is completely accurate. I was there. I spoke with a dissenting voice (did she?).

    109. Dray, looking forward to end of strike.

      If the vote takes place on the 19th, as the Admin has allegedly requested, and CUPE accepts the offer, expect to be back to class on the 22nd or so.

    110. Andrew

      @CUPE Member with Child

      Unfortunately, any improvements to applicant quality that arise from increased pay will be offset by restricting the applicant pool for many new full-time positions to existing contract faculty, as demanded by CUPE.

    111. Cupe Doll


      Don’t get baited. Us 3903s have 2 stock lines for student complaints about this year getting academically ruined.

      1) Students should understand because it’s for a good cause (maybe even for students’ own future good)

      2) Students aren’t harmed that bad — deal with it already.

      Here’s the stock slogan I use in response to false 3903 rationalizations:

      “We 3903s ruin the education students already paid for just because we don’t want students having to pay for their education.”

    112. Davey

      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?)

    113. Stef

      Dammit dammit dammit.
      The timing of this strike has been so incredibly horrible to me.
      I had a great academic groove on in November – Strike Hits.
      I don’t take a full time job because I don’t want to COMMIT TO SOMETHING THEN STOP HALFWAY THROUGH! (That’s right, I’m talking to you, York and Cupe!) – Strike Lingers.
      My sister is getting married on January 23rd…
      And what happens???
      Forced Ratification is looming just 2 weeks prior to that date!!!!

      Why? Why?

    114. CUPE member with child

      @ Cupe doll,

      Here’s the first part of the motion:

      “BIRT we deem the employer’s latest pass to be inadequate.”

      What part of that don’t you understand and accuse me of being a lier about?


      I also would like the job of my choice and have decided that it is better to carry on with this course of action to achieve that. The university has also made a choice not to settle up to this point. And you have also decided to wait and see how this unfolds so far. We’ve all made our choices according to our perceived interests. In your case it is both cupe and the university that is witholding you from achieving your preferred goals right now in your most preferred manner. Am I wrong on this?

    115. AndrewB

      Wait CMWC was changing the facts around to fit her opinion? -gasp-

      Least it hasn’t happened before…..

    116. CUPE member with child


      you are free to post what you like, as am I. I have no control over how the site operates. Best of luck to you!

    117. AndrewB

      Yes you are wrong because your union is acting in an unrealistic way and you agree with it. How many more times does that need to be told. Does Obama need to say it before you guys finally get it through your head? Every major newspaper and magazine in this country has basically said you guys are nuts and unrealistic in your goals, and yet you still are trying to justify it.

      Seriously, this is turning into a joke with you.

    118. loulou

      @ cupe doll

      so do you think that the CUPE members will vote for or against the offer? You must have a better idea than anyone else. And approximately how long will it take for the voting to take place?

    119. Davey

      Just trying to help you out. Amazingly, you feel beyond reproach. Good luck to you!

    120. CUPE member with child

      @Cupe doll,

      It’s in my own interests to vote against York’s offer, as I did yesterday and will do again at the forced ratification. Do I think that winning our position indirectly helps undergrads? I’ve already explained my ideas on that above in my post on ‘supply and demand’. Check it out if you’re so inclined. But whatever that answer may be, I negotiate contracts and sign them when and how they suit my interests to do so. Who doesn’t do that? You?

    121. J

      @ AndrewB
      I totally agree with you……

    122. ahhhh

      it’s actually quite funny reading CUPE member with child and CUPE doll argue on here. LOL. Stop taking it so personally and just talk about the issues. Everyone has a different opinion. There really is no point arguing about who heard what and said what. You can believe whatever you believe is right.

      For myself, I agree with CUPE member with child because I spoke to another TA and what she/he has said so far was what I heard personally as well. NOTE: THIS IS WHAT I BELIEVE, theres no need to try to argue with me over this now.

      I am sure many students are wondering this though.. and I”ll ask for those that are too lazy to type:


      thank you all.

      study hard and party hard peepz! school will start very soon!! =]

    123. CUPE member with child

      @Andrew B,

      I’m confident that if the union rejects York’s current offer at the forced ratification vote then their offer will substantially improve very shortly afterwards.

    124. AndrewB

      *shakes head and watches as what I just said flies right over CMWC head*

      I guess it was unrealistic of me to think they would understand. Maybe I should grab a dictionary and copy and paste my answers.

    125. Cupe Doll


      Complete text of the motion.

      “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.”

      Now then. You construe that as (in our release): “The offer was resoundingly rejected by the membership, with 90% of members in attendance voting to refrain from sending the offer to ratification”?

      As if we had voted against sending the offer to ratification?

      What we did vote on, Cmwc, in that motion you so conveniently quote merely the first part of, was what I paraphrased as: “.. 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.”

      The executive’s motion can honestly be described as the “Spit on York” motion. It can *not* honestly be described as the “Against Sending York’s Offer to Ratification” motion.

      Now. I don’t care if you’re honest or not. I don’t know if this terminological wrangling turns your crank. And I don’t care if you’re getting strike-paid to troll here. Nothing personal, ok? You’re wasting my time.

    126. Cupe Doll

      @loulou: “so do you think that the CUPE members will vote for or against the offer?”

      Wish I knew, loulou. But I don’t. Too many variables to even guess. In (only) my opinion, the main variable will be how many the silent 3903 majority (about 2000 members?) even bothers voting.

      We’ll know in about 2 weeks.

    127. one love

      @ york and cupe re.: the strike

      as it was in the beginning, so shall it be in the end. let’s get together and feel alright.

    128. CUPE member with child

      I’ll try and address those questions as best I can. I’ve changed their order, and condensed two questions into one.


      The forced rat vote itself will take one or two days, but it will take time to ‘set it up’. From what I understand, the union is requesting that the rat vote occur on the 16th and the university is requesting that it happen on the 21st. So, we are probably correct to assume that we will know the results no later than the 23rd.


      I think the chances are high that the forced rat will result in a “no”. I base this on the vote that was held at the unions GMM (general meeting of the membership) yesterday, which was a membership vote on the university’s current offer. The members who attended this meeting overwhelmingly voted in favor of rejected the university’s offer. Here is the result of the vote:
      For: 429 (89.9%)
      Against: 48 (10.1%)
      Abstentions: 28

      Those who criticise this vote as an indication of what will happen at the forced rat generally do so on the grounds that only a little over 500 members attended/voted at the meeting (out of approximately 3,350 members). While it may be the case that a higher proportion of people who didn’t attend the meeting would vote to accept the offer in forced rat, it may also not be the case. Even if it is the case, will those who vote to accept turn out significantly enough to outweigh those who would strike it down? Personally, I’m of the strong opinion that it will be struck down.


      I think it’s very likely that school will start again the week after the forced rat vote is struck down (or several days after it is passed). In the former scenario, this will give time for the university and union bargaining teams to meet and come to a final agreement and give 24 hours of school resumption to everybody. I therefore predict that school will likely resume on Jan 26th, 2009.

    129. CUPE member with child

      @Cupe doll,

      err, ok, so we voted to “spit on york” but really we wanted to accept their offer and had it really been a vote on the offer then we would have accepted it? Is that your position??? Seriously, who believes this tripe?

    130. CUPE member with child

      @Cupe doll,

      Don’t quote anybody other than me and claim they are my words. k sweety?

    131. AndrewB

      Yeah CMWC is getting paid to do this, because how many more times do we need to hear the results of last nights GMM vote that clearly wasn’t a vote on the offer?

      Yet if we just used some common sense, we would see that
      a) The vote was 500 people of 3400 members. (that is a valid point sorry to say. 15% isn’t amazing by any standards)
      b) The people who show up to these GMM’s are the “radical” type. As has been well publiced by many union members.
      c) This was not a secret ballot, but seemingly a show of hands.

      Oh well, you guys finally got a PR tool you can run with. Just funny though that every time it is said by CUPE, they always seem to leave out the part about the union being 3400 members and only 500 showing up. lol

    132. V!

      @ AndrewB:

      Also it wasn’t guaranteed that there would be any vote of any kind relating the offer/pass. Had there been an item in the agenda that the offer would have been voted on, I wonder how many more members would have shown up?

    133. jacky

      hello everyone
      so there is a rat vote at the moment
      may i know when we will get a result from it and
      when we wil get bcak to class? like a week ? 2 ? or late jan?
      cause im still out of country and i need to know when i should book the flight and come back
      thank you

      as cupe with child said
      we should know the results by 23rd? and the rat vote take place on the 16 ? or 21st?
      is it true?

    134. AndrewB

      Yeah exactly. Plus, as has been stated, I don’t expect a bunch of people to want to sit through 3 hours of the grabage CMWC spews at us all day (I sure as hell wouldn’t) only to then vote on the offer in what wasn’t even on the agdena, nor would it have been in in a proper voting structure. As has been said, in order for a proper ratification vote to happen, the union would have had to set up polls and conduct a proper poll/secret voting. Not “ok, everyone stand up and all get in a circle” and show hands.

    135. AndrewB

      @ jacky

      Please don’t take this wrong, but I am getting tired of answering this question. It has been answered more then once, and saying “I don’t want to go through it” is not a good answer for me. I went through it, so everyone else can.

      But to be nice and answer your question, the rat vote is not on at the moment and will not happen for about a week or so (government has to set up, give notice and so on) then the vote happens, if it goes through, then we start back within a day or two, if it doesn’t, well we are back to where we are now.

      Time: 2 weeks give or a take a few days either way. Stay tuned to media. Google “York Strike” and go to the news section to find fast answers when they appear.

    136. jacky

      @ andrew b

      thank you very muchhh
      well , let say at least 21st onwards?

      thank you

    137. AndrewB

      Probably not a bad guess.

    138. Did anyone just get an e-mail from YFS? I am so angry. Basically, they are saying that we shoud threaten to not pay our tuition fees until CUPE3903 gets all of their demands. Pardon my language, but this is such bulshit. I do not pay into the YFS so they can go and represent another union. I pay into YFS so they can represent me. The way to end this strike is to get every single CUPE3903 member out to vote for the forced rat. Not send an empty threat tot he York administration.

      Only in a school like York could an idiot like Osmond become class president.

    139. Woot

      @ Cupe Doll & CMWC

      Thanks for sharing your views, and keeping us updated!

    140. Seriously, you need to have an IQ of 12 to actually think that sending standard e-mails saying that we are going to not pay our tuition will actually do anything.
      First of all, most York students already have paid their tuition.
      Second of all, if you don’t pay your tuition, you’ll just get kicked out of your classes. Yeah, York will loose money in the short term. But, they’ll be fine. They just need to hire less contract profs and TA’s next year and cut down on grad funding.

      One of the reasons why I always attempted to give York the benefit of the doubt was that they gave me the benefit of the doubt. York was the only school that I applied to that accepted me. I applied after one year of college and got in. All other schools just dinged me right away. As a thank you, I worked my ass off and obtained a 7.8 GPA in the three years that I have been here. If these kids just drop out, that’ll simply mean less profs and less spots for the so-called rejects like me.

      But like I said above, York won’t suffer. The students will suffer.

      [edited by moderator]

    141. The Man With The Plan

      I want my money back, NOW!

    142. AndrewB

      Why don’t I ever get any of these emails? lol I miss out on all the fun!

    143. Dear York Student:

      Strike Update:

      Currently both parties are in bargaining, and the York University Administration requested a forced ratification vote for CUPE 3903 members on their latest offer. However, there is no guarantee that this recent move will end the eight week old strike. There is no guarantee that students will be able to resume their studies and get back into their classrooms.

      Take Action:

      In order to put much needed pressure on the Administration to end the strike, the York Federation of Students (YFS) is urging students to get involved with the “Don’t Pay A Cent” campaign until the strike is over. We are calling on students to withhold their fees to York University for the Winter semester until the strike is over. The University is currently not charging interest on outstanding tuition fees. Below is an example of an e-mail that you can send to the York Administration expressing your frustration over the strike, and communicating that you will not be paying any additional fees until the strike is over. Please use the space provided to add your personal grievance regarding the strike. E-mail addresses for the appropriate senior administrators have also been provided.

      Sample E-mail Communication:

      Subject: Refusing to Pay Tuition Fees

      Dear York University Administration,

      My name is [Insert Name] and I am a [year of study] year student in the [Insert Program of Study] program at York University. I am writing to convey my frustrations and grievances about the current labour dispute between CUPE 3903 and the York Administration.

      [Please insert your grievances here]

      I lived up to my end of the deal when I paid my tuition fees, but York University failed to live up to its end of the deal and to provide me with an education. You failed to provide me with the education I paid my hard-earned money for. That is why I refuse to pay any additional money to York University until the strike ends.

      With Regrets,

      [Insert name and student number]

      Administrators E-mail Addresses:

      Mamdouh Shoukri, President and Vice-Chancellor

      Robert J. Tiffin, Vice-President Students

      Ken Fasciano, Manager, Communications

      Barry Miller, Executive Director, Employee Relations


      Hamid Osman

    144. CUPE member with child

      I don’t see that ‘don’t pay a cent event’ as being biased towards either side. It simply says that we’ve paid the university for a service that isn’t being delivered. We will not pay any more until services resume.

      And I say ‘we’ because I am also a student and pay tuition…

    145. Tree

      @ AndrewB

      ya i dont get these emails either lol

    146. Kelso

      Im cringing at a lot of these comments LOL…

      I left and all was calm, went out to see a movie (revoluntionary road for those who are interested), came back here to find more info and it has turned into a war zone.

      Soon they will be making a TV movie about this whole thing!

    147. student

      I don’t understand why YFS is sending emails to try to get students to withhold their winter tuition payment until the strike is over. I thought the University already clarified that the due date for tuition payment for the winter term will not be determined until the strike is over and that no interest will be charged on the outstanding amount.

      “To assist you with financial planning, your student account statement now reflects the outstanding balance for both your Fall and Winter courses. Normally, payment would be due on January 10; however, due to the strike, the tuition payment deadline for the Winter 2009 term will be determined once classes resume. Interest charges on outstanding balances will not accrue for the duration of the strike.”

      email from York Registrar

    148. Soraya

      ahahahaha @ Kelso – love it! Anyhoo, bed time. Good night and good luck.

    149. Kelso


      thanks, but the only remaining question is.. who will they get to play me??

      Scarlet Johansson no doubt…

    150. AndrewB

      No no no, wait a minute CUPE with child. We have had your union members on here the last couple days claiming they are not students, that they are employees. When we kept putting the student word out, they got pissy about it and went on their rants as normal.

      So now you’re a student? You guys really need to get your stories straight.

      As for that email, that guy can flake. I’d put money on him being dropped as soon as we go back. The guy was bashed at the start for supporting the union because the student council voted it, and then when you think he understood the message, he pulls this. Maybe we should run a CUPE type GMM for a new YFS leader.

      I would like to announce my candidacy!

    151. Cupe Doll

      @YorkIsAwesome: “Only in a school like York could an idiot like Osmond become class president.”

      We all get the governance we deserve, don’t we. Student apathy leaves your YFS with Osmond in charge. 3903 apathy leaves everyone with an academically ruined year — or worse.

      And the funniest thing? People get used to their own apathy. It’s like a sort of helplessness training. Because students could stage a huge counter-strike anytime. And we 3903s could have us a special GMM to impeach our executive for not following our strike mandate. Anytime. It would only take 50 signatures.

      Instead? Complaints. Thing is, if we won’t fight for ourselves — why should anyone else?

    152. CUPE member with child

      I am both a student and employee, I’ve never claimed otherwise.

    153. CUPE member with child

      Some cupe members are not students so those who told you that they are not, AndrewB, may have been correct.

    154. HH

      Going to Miami this weekend yeyyy!!!

    155. Flying J

      I sure hope the forced rat vote brings an end to this whole debacle. I think that the University administration and CUPE leaders should be tarred and feathered once this comes to an end. I will gladly lead the angry mob! Let’s burn Osmond at the stake while we are at it. What say ye?

    156. Kelso

      Flying J sounds like a history major…

    157. CUPE member with child

      lol, while that’s a funny post, I wonder if the moderator finds it threatening and will report it to the authorities as he’s threatened. I doubt it. Lots of threats flying that are fairly empty.

    158. amy doan

      i shouldnt have left US by Jan5 *sigh*

    159. Here

      Yes, I got the 100% unsolicited email too.

      Disgusting that our student government has to resort to using spam. I do hope that this mobilizes our student body to oust the current party and replace it with one that will respect the majority of the student population.

      I suggest that everyone call YFS offices send an email/call/fax or communicate how you wish and tell them what bullcrap this is. YFS has not cared one bit about what our undergrads are going through. Standing on the picket lines really does show where they stand.

      As I said, disgusting.

    160. Bobert

      @CUPE member with child

      I am going to have to agree with vino’s earlier post

      when he said:

      “If York does give better contracts, it will be better for the students and York itself in the long run. Better contracts will attract better teachers and the students will benefit. Also, having better teachers will be more reputable for York. But then again, that will happen in the long run…long after I graduate.

      though I add a few economical points to add

      so you you’d like to shrink class sizes, while simultaneously increase salaries to keep and attract better and brighter academics at York (which to be sure would be a fantastic thing for our university)

      however…. there’s still the issue of how to pay for all of this naturally you’ll need need to increase tuition fees but you can’t do that because people like you seem to think we shouldn’t be paying so much for tuition.

      The alternative then is to increase enrollment, but oh yeah we want smaller class sizes, which means York will have to spend even more capital to expand or renovate and permanently maintain all these buildings in order to accommodate this influx…. so what then? Find more endowments and ask for increases in government funding that doesn’t exist?

      …. or do you know happen to know someone that’ll sell us magic beans to fund this Utopian world of yours that most of us seem to agree at the present moment?

    161. Bobert

      while we’re all petitioning to tar and feather Osman in a public square, can we put him in a barrel or lock him in a block too?

    162. CUPE member with child

      The university has posted a $150.1 million surplus since CUPEs last contract signing in 2005. Our total contract is approximately $62 million and we are asking for $6.7 million increase over 2 years. No magic beans needed.

    163. Bobert


      yeah once again the wonderfully useless rusty toolshed that is the YFS proposes another boneheadedly ineffective action

      students: Screw You admin I am not going to give you your money until you let us back into class

      admin: the joke’s on you we’re not taking your money right now anyways

      students: oh right…. well I am still withholding it hah! …. oh wait didn’t I pay you for full year courses already?

    164. Sourcer

      I got the email too and plan to join them.

    165. B

      I want my YFS fees back. Anyone else think we should turn this absurd letter writting campaign around on Osman?

    166. B

      “That is why I refuse to pay any additional money to York University until the strike ends.”

      York will likely reply that they are completely fine with that. Considering they won’t be requesting winter tuition fees till the winter semester actually starts. Do the boneheads at the YFS not read the university updates? Are students far more informed then the people who are supposed to be the leadership?

    167. Sourcer


      Guys you might be a grad student in a fe years and will regret giving up…

    168. B

      Sourcer – are you flipping insane? why the hell should we support the idiotic organization that threw their support behind cupe to begin with instead of the undergrads they actually represent?

    169. tester

      Let’s change the title to “We are not paying our tuition until Hamid Osman resigns or is impeached from his position as YFS president

    170. forreal?

      york could offer the union a baby panda, a lifetime supply of adult diapers, free lotto tickets and a trip to disneyland and they would say “um, s’cuse, this panda is not as cute as THAT panda”.

      this is getting seriously ridiculous.

      way to make me lose complete faith in the university system, one that i waited many a year to get myself into. while i pay off my student debt for the next 10 years, i’ll be sure to thank the union for the ‘quality’ education they are providing me with right now.

    171. iatis

      i’m an international student…
      if i book my flight for the 25th is it safe to say i won’t miss any classes?

    172. CUPE member with child

      iatis, i’m betting that classes will start around the 26th so, while I can’t make any guarantees, your date seems reasonable with what we can expect so far.

    173. B

      Subject: Demanding YFS fee refund.

      Dear York Federation of Students,

      My name is [Insert Name] and I am a [year of study] year student in the [Insert Program of Study] program at York University. I am writing to convey my frustrations and grievances about the current labour dispute between CUPE 3903 and the York Administration.

      [Please insert your grievances here]

      I lived up to my end of the deal when I paid my YFS fees, but the YFS failed to live up to its end of the deal in providing representation and a voice for the Undergraduate student body. It seems you have forgotten that you were elected to represent Undergraduates. You failed to seek out and protect my best interest as a student and the thousands of other undergraduates. That is why I demand you refund my 64 cents per credit. Your efforts to date are not even worth 64 cents all together.

      Without an ounce of regret,

      [Insert name and student number]

      Contact info for the YFS Exec:

      Hamid Osman, President
      Phone Number: 416-736-2100 ext 33627
      Phone Number: 647-448-2823
      Email Address:

      Gilary Massa, VP External
      Phone Number: 416-736-2100 ext 77679
      Phone Number: 647-869-2101 Email Address:

      Loveleen Kang, VP Operations
      Phone Number: 416-736-2100 ext 40536
      Phone Number: 647-895-2102
      Email Address:

      Nila Zameni, VP Campus Life
      Phone Number: 416-736-2100 ext 77675
      Phone Number: 647-330-3306
      Email Address:

      Krisna Saravanamuttu, VP Equity
      Phone Number: 416-736-2100 ext 20253
      Phone Number: 647-448-0576
      Email Address:

    174. Here

      @ B:

      Thank you sir/madam. I will send and hopefully their boxes overflow.

    175. Artem


    176. tom

      @B, awesome, emails sent!

    177. AndrewB


      Seriously, who wouldn’t like pressing York political matters expressed in hockey examples? lol

    178. Tropic

      A strike in 2010/2011 is almost inevitable at this point and again its us students who stand to loose the most. I think we desperately need a YFS which can push forward proposals/processes and systems in the Senate to give greater protection to students in the case of a labour dispute. We need a YFS that is constantly in communication with various stakeholders, not just to organise events (or the farce that we have called drop tuition..etc) but to really prepare the student body for the next strike.

      I also think that the YFS needs to move away from the policy that they will support anybody in anything as long as its against York admin. I mean YFS’ initial reason for supporting the strike was because they suggested that TAs are students. But then again, the TAs are not striking as students….they are striking as employees. The focus is not academic workload, research opportunities. etc but wages, job security and the rest. Why does YFS need to support them in this case when its primary interest is student welfare?

      I dont know what pressures Hamid Osman is under but thats why we elected him….to face the music and make the right decision….

    179. Hamid Osman

      I am sorry if our email offended anyone. We are only trying to help all of us. We are all in it.


      Hamid Osman

      YFS President

    180. Delicia

      @ Cupe Doll

      i know its impossible to tell when the strike would end – but i am an international Student and i want to know

      Can i book for the 25th Jan to return?

      Since I here that it could take a week before the vote and then a couple of days (depending on result) – that we MAY be back in school..?

    181. york's bitches

      hamid osman hah .

    182. Delicia

      @ CPMWC

      You have the right to fight for ur interests – and therefore i have the right for mine.

      Bear in mind however – that time is irreplaceable – for both you and me. Wasting it for whatever the reason is a crime to anybody – including yourself. You can always make money -but never time.

      If the year is canceled – and i know that’s not likely – but anything seems to be possible atm – then I Lose not only time – but 15,000 dollars of educations i never received.

      When I have no say in the matter – and two other parties have control over my future – then do u blame me for being angry and selfish?

      See the reason people are calling CUPE and York selfish is because the are costing 50,000 other people in a way – but most importantly we have no say in the matter.

    183. QUESTION (I know this seems like a silly question especially being that we have yet to resume classes, which now stresses me out since it’s going to be like summer school but worse).

      I wanted to know what everyone’s thought are about – in terms of our Tait McKenzie memberships, our parking passes – whether York would do anything about them.

      In addition, what about those who now live in residence? Any thoughts, as to what will happen when school resumes again? Do you think York will make any modifications to remedy the fact that all of these have not really but utilized because of the strike?

    184. Confused and Exasperated

      @ CUPE member with child

      “The university has posted a $150.1 million surplus since CUPEs last contract signing in 2005.”

      Care to site your sources please?

    185. Sshmr

      @ Confused and Exasperated

      York’s finances are public and can be found here:

      But as I’ve already stated, all that 150.1 million in surplus has done is bring York’s debt to 35 million.

      By the way Mr. Osman. I got that email and I’m a CUPE member.

    186. JMac

      @ vino and @ CMwc

      “Basic supply and demand. If York teachers are given better contracts then it will attract better teachers.”

      “That’s a good one. That’s basically what I learned in my microeconomics class…well at least that’s what I learned in the two months that I was in York before the strike started. Shes actually very convincing there. If York does give better contracts, it will be better for the students and York itself in the long run. Better contracts will attract better teachers and the students will benefit. Also, having better teachers will be more reputable for York. But then again, that will happen in the long run…long after I graduate.”

      For anyone else buying this load of crap, consider this:

      If CUPE gets their 2 year contract, which they are very sure they will, York will be one of several Ontario universities that will be struck again in – 22 months.

      All CUPE locals will bargain as a group, and first and foremost they will bargain with the province for the same wages – across the province.

      So please don’t be sucked in by the old “…better contracts will attract better teachers and the students will benefit at York…” line.

      They are fighting to get paid the same wage no matter what school they work at. In 2010/11 there won’t be a better contract at York, just a few minor differences from the standard provincial one.

    187. Pally Wally

      I feel like I pay too much for dental work, even though my dentist has less schooling than Unit2s she takes $300 of my dollars for about 10 minutes of face time, and then the hygienist does all the work.

      Dental work is a lot like assembly line work. I feel it is over valued, and controlled by a powerful trade guild that is so greedy given the economic times. After all, the british empire wasn’t built on its excellence in oral hygiene.

    188. Andrew


      CUPE’s alleged concerns about the quality of education are starkly at odds with their demands for Unit 2 job security. In particular, CUPE is demanding 68 new full-time faculty positions, where the only eligible candidates for these positions would be existing CUPE contract faculty. I’m all in favor of more full-time faculty, but if you’re concerned about quality, why not demand that those positions be subject to open, international competition? If CUPE’s members are as excellent as the union claims they are, wouldn’t they win the jobs anyway? And if they wouldn’t win the jobs in open competition, then why do they deserve full-time academic employment?

    189. Dd

      Pally Wally – and how is a DMD less exactly?

    190. Teach


      Hope part of your job (when you return to work) is not calculating grades and percentages, you are quite a bit off:

      YES — 429/505 = 84.9%
      No — 48/505 = 9.5%
      Abstain — 28/505 = 5.5%

      The members who abstained still get a percentage of the votes. If this is a bit confusing, use a calculator, or even a spreadsheet to help you!

    191. RS

      The situation speaks for itself; both parties are greedy. CUPE wants money and so does York, simply said. It is not a question that we should get our money back, but don’t forget that in a way, York is also making money off of the strike. If any of you (like me – I’m an idiot) paid your full tuition, it is sitting now in a high-interest account allowing York to collect on some extra dough. Even though it isn’t significant in terms of their $35 million debt, it pays enough for the employees; basically, I don’t think this is hurtin the university at all, aside from their rep. But, it’s York, you really think that its rep is irrepairable? All it takes is some dough… 50,000 students at more than $10,000 each. Do the math… that’s a lot of interest.

    192. AB

      Guys, just go have some sex. Let out the frustration in a positive manner 🙂

      Sex. The solution to life’s problems.


    193. Jim

      Does anyone have any idea when classes will begin if the voters agree with york’s demands? or is that a secret that we have to wait to know

    194. Pally Wally

      Let’s say for argument’s sake that they are on par – after all Profs and Dentists are both “doctors”. Why is one paid more?
      I’m arguing that the discrepancy in pay is largely a product that the province isn’t flooding the market with dentists – or forcing dentists to take substantive pay cuts or cap their fees. No one is saying that dental students need to drop out in droves and get ‘real jobs’ instead of their pie in the sky dreams of becoming ‘doctors’. There is a recession and yet dentists are still charging the same thing. It is disgusting to me how much it costs even when there isn’t a recession.

    195. Jimmy

      WHEN is this vote supposed to happen?

      I need to know the earliest time we would be back in school please.

      Thank you

    196. RS

      @ Jimmy

      They don’t communicate anything because it is in their belief that it may interrupt the bargaining process. Basically, they like us in the dark. If you had plans or the like, don’t wait around and just go for it.

      @ AB

      DAMN STRAIGHT.. ultimate mode of relaxation…

    197. Dd

      Pally Wally – there is no public funding tied up in dental health, what authority would the province have in asking dentists to cap or drop fees? Additionally, with the job losses, people lose such things like their dental insurance, their means to cover dental work. There are dentists who are sympathetic to their patients lack of insurance and are dropping fees here and there. You can’t generalize this point to that profession as a whole. This comparison is way out of left field and there are marked differences that do not make this the same thing.

    198. Dd

      What I meant is that you can’t generalize your point of dentists not dropping fees to the this profession as a whole.

    199. Andrew

      @Pally Wally

      Not to get off topic, but I think the situation is more complicated than you make it sound. Yes, dental services are provided by a “cartel”, but they are counterbalanced by an arguably even more powerful cartel: the insurance companies that pay most peoples’ dental bills, in the form of employee benefits. Those companies can exert an impressive level of control on prices.

      Could it be that dentists get paid more because they provide a service that is more directly valuable to the public than, say, a Ph.D. in English? Between teeth and the New York Review of Books, which do you need to live?

      Also I’m curious about your “flooding the market” comment. Are you suggesting that the government should restrict Ph.D. spots? To what level?

    200. Right

      Of course it is way out in left field.

      Pally Wally just wanted to illustrate for you why his CUPE group shouldn’t be expecting to receive pie-in-the-sky wages. It’s all about supply and demand.

      When he gets his PhD in Left Field Studies he will dream of getting that dentist’s salary. One of the things they take in “Left Field” courses is how to bitch and whine when you feel you are underpaid even though you are sure you are “smarter” than those other guys.

    201. Commuter

      Can we petition the Senate to get them to release our examination schedule now? I mean, they know it’s 12 days, so why can’t they just tell us when each exam is so we have a rough idea? I know they are waiting to give us actual dates, but that’s kind of unfair having to wait at least a week or two from now to know when our exams are.

      I’d just like to know if my exam is on day 3 of the exam period or day 5 or day 12. That’s all I want. Why can’t they do that?

    202. Bobert


      additionally (and this should be directed at Cupe mother with child, if she actually read York’s financial statements and not simply regurgitate CUPE talking points) you’ll notice in the financial statements that York’s overall expenses have been rising over that 4 year period, in fact York’s anual surplus for 2008 was a significant drop than previous surpluses, combined with a presently uncertainly and difficult market conditions in general and York’s endowments from investment will no doubt take a huge hit in the next 2 year period which is the same period CUPE would like contracts to cover

    203. SLB

      Dear Moderator,

      I’d like to ask you to delete the above comment from

      F*#( Hamid Osman
      January 10, 2009 at 5:41 am

      That sort of violence in language and homophobic diatribe do nothing to elevate this discussion.

    204. Flying J

      I think that the metaphor is appropriate re: Hamid Osman. Find me a better one…

    205. jeee


      They can not release an exam schedule without knowing when we will be back in school. If we are not back, how are they supposed to gage when we write an exam, or what class has it on what date. You will most likely get it the week school goes back.

    206. student

      Why are we talking about dental costs? This site is getting way off track.

    207. aaaaaaaaahhh

      agreed with student

    208. Commuter

      @ jee

      They said it would be over 12 days regardless of when we go back. And exams would be 7 days a week. So I don’t see what the harm is saying “you have a social science exam on day 1 of the exam period.”

    209. AndrewB

      I think cupe is starting to lose it. As in their minds, as we got one person trying to compare dentists to teachers which is an extremely poor example as they are nothing a like (though I’d say he is just mad because after he gets his PhD, no one is going to call him doctor every day).

      And then on the other hand we have another member saying that this contract will bring in better quality teachers, yet if CUPE gets what they want, 68 members become full time teachers without any open competition to see who the better teacher is really. In all facts, and what many already full time teachers are saying is, it won’t come down to the best quality of teacher, it will come down to who has been in CUPE the longest. So it is who has more seniority, not who can offer better quality.

      I wonder if you guys are even educated to begin with. Your examples are poor, and the things you put out that are “great for everyone” are easily seen for what they are; only great for you. I know you’re getting paid to post this, and you’re probably picking things out of the CUPE handbook and copying them here word for word, but come on now. Put at least a little thought into this stuff and think about it first before you hit the submit button. It is sad when undergrads are pointing out all the holes in everything you say, yet it is fairly obvious that you come here with an elitist attitude.

    210. AndrewB

      I can see what Commuter wants, and yeah it seems like a good idea. Day 1 to day 13, and just plug exams in during any of those days. The only thing is, which is probably the case of why they can’t do it, they would have to design an entire seach function for this, because they can’t use the calendar system and put exam scheduals into our Yorku accounts. Of course I am not 100% sure on how their system works, and there may be nothing stopping them from adding “Day 1, Day 6” the only thing I see is, we know how students overreact to everything (see this thread and how many people are screaming “When do we go back, do we got back monday”).

    211. CUPE member with child

      Several points to respond to:

      1) some students who admit to being ‘selfish’ in looking out for their own interests yet decry that cupe is selfish for looking out for theirs and excercising their legal right to strike have now explained that argument by saying that the students have a right to be selfish because nobody is looking out for their interests while cupe is able to look out for its own interests. So, if you advocate taking away cupes right to look after its own interests in order to fulfill the interests of the students, who’s going to look after the rights of cupe? cupe won’t be able to because you’ve taken away that right. While I don’t like that students don’t have any as of yet significant power in this labour dispute, and are right to consider their own interests foremost, it is not convincing to me that I should forego my legal power AND my interests so that the interests, but not power, of the undergrad students can be advanced. When you are seeking a contract with an employer, you have the right to accept or refuse it according to your interests.

      2) The university administration has indicated that enrollment will increase next year and the year after. This will increase the revenue for the university from tuition fees and government transfer payments. Also, the federal government earmarked an additional $28 million dollars to be dumped into York starting this year 2008-2009. The provincial gov’t is also committed to making substantial investments in Ontario university infrastructure (a report was published in June 2008) so as to prepare for great student enrollment. These are all financial surpluses with which York can afford to pay cupe a small portion.

      3) The unit 2 job security proposals are for those members who have aready been rehired every 4 or 8 months (depending on class length) consistently for the past 10 years. If York doesn’t want them to teach, why keep rehire them for so long? Instead, York would like to maintain a “flexibility” that is nothing less than the absolute envy of the private sector. Microsoft attempted a stunt like this, and guess what? They lost a class action lawsuit by all those employees that has now made all of those employees millionaires.

      4) The percentage numbers concerning the vote. I’m absolutely in favour of counting the percentages to include those who abstain (as the poster calculated) – I agree that its a more accurate representation and I thank you for doing the calculation. I also think that universities should include in “class averages” those who scored less than 50%. You probably didn’t know it, but if there were a class of 20 students in which 3 of them scored 80% and the other 17 failed the class, the “class average” is reported as being… 80%.

      5) Again, to those that are asking when we are likely to be back in class and want to book travel tickets – I estimate we will return to class on Jan. 26th.

    212. CUPE member with child

      Last, I don’t know if anybody else is getting paid to post here or not. I know for a fact that I’m not. To be honest I don’t really care if you believe me or not, but I will state it for the record – I have not and will not ever get paid for posting here.

      Thank you kindly.

    213. Basil El-Salviti

      @ CMWC

      I think most of us who are not complete idiots will appreciate your critique of the situation. Indeed, I too see this strike ending towards the end of January….so I guess it’s time to begin working on previous work assigned prior to the strike!

    214. loulou

      Do TAs get paid during the strike?

    215. Basil El-Salviti

      @ loulou

      If they picket, then yes.

    216. Commuter

      @ AndrewB

      That’s true.

      How radical do you think the new schedule will be? A complete overhaul of the old one?

      As long as I don’t have an exam on February 15th, I’m happy. I would be one depressed NASCAR fan if I missed the Daytona 500 for an exam I was supposed to have months ago.

      That was the one thing I was looking forward to for a long, long time.

      Now all I have to look forward to is uncertainty, crammed remediation, a crappy exam schedule, a lower GPA, missed summer job opportunities, and a potential future strike when I’m graduating.

      Does the school have counsellors? 😦

    217. ram

      @ CUPE mwc
      Well said! I support you. If york can trust these contract professors for their credibility for the past 10 – 15 years, why not they trust in the future years keeping in mind the estimated increase in the enrollment.? Everybody in this world is selfish and it is quite but natural for everyone to be so. And that comes from the basic survival instincts. If it goes beyond the desired/optimum level, that is when it becomes abnormal. I do not see any abnormality in the CUPE ‘s so called selfish acts. To be honest, york is not giving more because it is selfish in its own way to save more to safeguard themselves in the future. I think the ratification will yield us the result we are looking for.. Again i am not a supporter of any party here. But wants to play the third umpire appreciating both and criticizing both..

    218. Mike Oxbig

      okay so whats happening right now..

      no school this week then obviously, right?

      and even if that vote goes through on the 19th…we may not even have school until like the 24th? or whatever?

    219. CUPE member with child

      Thanks ram and Basil. I have to go out for the day, so will not be able to respond to any posts until much later. Good luck on getting back into the groove of studying in prep for getting back to class!

    220. Commuter

      That’s right Mike.

      If they have the vote this week, we could be back on the 19th, but if it is held on the 19th-20th like has been mentioned, we might not be back until the 22nd-26th depending on the outcome of the vote.

    221. Mike Oxbig

      well there’s obviously not going to be much movement in terms of negotiations…

      so if that vote is in favour of the union…then what?

    222. Basil El-Salviti

      @ Mike

      Then you’ll see this labour disruption very quickly settled. The university would give up a lot to ensure that they don’t lose summer school, as could very well be the case if this strike extends further…

    223. theowne

      If CUPE had accepted the offer they would have been the highest paid TAs in the province.

    224. Commuter

      Then York either has to present them with something better at the last minute, or the government will have to legislate them back to work. Are either likely? Who knows.

    225. Dd

      Mike it depends on who responds to that question.

      The union will tell you that if the vote is in their favor, York will capitulate to all their demands.

      The other answers is that York will begin pressuring for Back to Work Legislation or they already have something up their sleeve.

    226. V!

      @ Pally Wally above re: dental services

      There are many reasons as to why dentists are paid a lot more.

      1) A big chunk of their salary goes to medical malpractice insurance
      2) They have to pay rent or purchase their own buildings.
      3) dentists are generally self-employed and don’t have a benefits package at all. They have to buy one for themselves.
      4) any dental assistant or secretaries are paid out of the money that the dentist makes.

    227. j

      I’m sorry if this has already been addressed, but it’s incredibly hard to filter through the 219 comments.

      Why has the University asked for the ratification vote to be on the 19th/20th? Why delay the process?

      Or, does it actually take a week to organize?

    228. Disillusioned

      @J – I think someone above said they need time to mail all of the CUPE members. CUPE requested it for the 15th/16th and the University for the 19th/20th. So the latest it will be is then.

      I have been so anxious over forgetting all the stuff I learned in the first couple of months, staying on top of my readings and financial struggles these past couple of months, but today I realized there is absolutely NOTHING we can do about this so I am going to try to not log into this blog every 20 minutes and just try to enjoy this last week or so off without stressing myself out. I wish I could afford a mini-vacation but it’s just not possible, so I am just going to enjoy being with my kids and relaxing.

    229. Chris F

      I think it’s telling that CUPE is telling its members to reject the university’s offer not because it’s not a good offer, but because doing so would help Stick It To The Man.

      Hmm. Isn’t there a way to get the union dissolved if it won’t bargain in good faith? Going for a month without talking because your demands for a 30-40% increase were rebuffed isn’t a sound bargaining tactic, it’s a publicity stunt. I’m starting to think I should start learning Ontario labor laws… or just transfer to a different university.

    230. Pally Wally

      Pally Wally – there is no public funding tied up in dental health, what authority would the province have in asking dentists to cap or drop fees?

      But there is public funding ‘tied up’ in their training (ie. post-secondary schooling) and to some extent the province, in the same way it can ‘increase’ graduate funding, could equally increase professional school funding.

      While there are low-fee dentists out there, many of them are straight out of dental school. You may be right that some dentists drop their fees in tough times, but I think it is possible to generalize that all in all, that isn’t happening, and in cases where it does, it is more motivated by market factors (loss of clients) than it is out of warm-fuzzy sympathy for the clients who are out of work.

      While the comparison is strange, I think it is a valuable thought experiment. Being a dentist is apparently rough – highest professional suicide rate of any job rough, but there is an acquaintance of mine from a single income family whose father is a dentist and I can tell you – their cottage in Muskoka was not the purchased on lottery winnings. I am interested in why that is, that is all. If the public has the right to tell PhDs what they should be making, then, why can’t the public ask questions about what others make?

      Re Vino:

      “1) A big chunk of their salary goes to medical malpractice insurance”
      I don’t really know how insurance companies operate – and I have no idea how much this would cost, nor am I familiar with many dental malpractice suits.
      “2) They have to pay rent or purchase their own buildings.
      3) dentists are generally self-employed and don’t have a benefits package at all. They have to buy one for themselves.
      4) any dental assistant or secretaries are paid out of the money that the dentist makes.”
      Again, I’m interested in how over and above this, they are still among the highest paid regardless of their proficiency. I’ve never heard of a bad dentist – I’m sure they probably exist in the states somewhere, and that some of this has to do with either professional regulations, or even something done by the State.

      “Could it be that dentists get paid more because they provide a service that is more directly valuable to the public than, say, a Ph.D. in English? Between teeth and the New York Review of Books, which do you need to live?

      Also I’m curious about your “flooding the market” comment. Are you suggesting that the government should restrict Ph.D. spots? To what level”

      I honestly don’t think you really need either to live. My question is: if dentists are more valuable to the public, and apparently they are because they cost more – why isn’t the government subsidizing more spots for training new dentists instead of subsidizing all these allegedly lazy and useless PhD candidates?

      I don’t think the government needs to ‘restrict’ enrollment, but by expanding enrollment and then dictating what research will be funded – they are quite clearly doing something that I’m not a fan of.

      Again, I’m not saying that PhDs deserve the sun and the moon – I’m just trying to demystify this idea that doctors, or dentists, or whomever have jobs in the ‘real world’ when clearly their salaries or wages are protected from competition by trade guilds and credentials via publicly funded education and so on.

    231. Bobert

      @Pally Wally

      Your comment about complaining why dentists get paid so much when “hygienists do all the work” is both misleading insulting to both dentists and hygienists because it shows a profound ignorance about what both do in an dental office.

      When you go to a dentist office to do a cleaning, its a hygienist’s job to clean your teeth and help the dentist do his job, but id be hard pressed to find one that can do things like a root canal or fillings or perform other complicated dental procedures.

      They’re differently for completely different jobs with completely different responsibilities no the two have a very symbiotic professional relationship but one by no means can replace the other.

      I’d rather have a hygienist cleaning my teeth but I don’t want them going anywhere near me with a drill.

    232. caitron

      @ annie
      i was enrolled in a dance class at the gym during the fall semester, which continued as scheduled. luckily, i live close enough to york that i was able to continue attending. i’m not sure what happened to students who paid but couldn’t attend. i went by the gym yesterday (it was supposed to be demo week) and everything’s been put on hold for now. in terms of the regular pass for the fitness centre, it’s only $10 for the whole year, so if the year is extended i’m sure they won’t reimburse anyone for that.

    233. Dd

      Pally Wally: your argument is absurd on many, many levels and continuing down this road is entirely a waste of time.

    234. b

      this is so frustrating. why do the students have to get stuck in the middle? why can’t we have classes without the ta’s and contract faculty?

    235. lisa

      why is york already planning another strike in 2010?

    236. @ caitron

      oh no, I agree…I was just speaking in terms of the locker purchases since i don’t live near school grounds and transportation is not exactly ideal.

      and then of course Don’s contracts that expire on May 1st prove to be difficult.

    237. Pally Wally


      My dentist is actually a female, believe it or not! Aside from that, I’ve never had my teeth drilled. So I don’t know what you’re doing wrong, maybe your dentist likes charging you for unnecessary work, he probably knows my mechanic!

      Why not have hygienists have their own practices; if you have a hole, they can send you to a “specialist”?

      On the other point, if it is absurd to ask why someone makes so much more than someone else, I’m sorry. I just don’t get it and need someone to explain it to me. I think sometimes we take things to be obvious when they aren’t. Like: why do dentists make SO much more than everyone, even people with doctoral degrees?

      How absurd is that? If there is a lack in dentists, then train more and get costs down, and give more young and bright Canadians “good” jobs; that or put dental work under OHIP.

    238. B

      Who the fuck cares about dentists? Get back on point. York, strike, cupe, forced ratifications.

    239. Pally Wally

      I don’t think you own this thread, forum or the internet.

    240. Bobert

      @Pally Wally

      “Why not have hygienists have their own practices; if you have a hole, they can send you to a “specialist”?”

      Hygienists don’t have their own practices because, fundamentally that’s not their job, nor do they have any actual training to assess serious dental problems, their job is primarily preventative care.

      “On the other point, if it is absurd to ask why someone makes so much more than someone else, I’m sorry. I just don’t get it and need someone to explain it to me. I think sometimes we take things to be obvious when they aren’t. Like: why do dentists make SO much more than everyone, even people with doctoral degrees?”

      Dentists do have a Doctoral Degree, hygienists on the other hand do not

      “How absurd is that? If there is a lack in dentists, then train more and get costs down, and give more young and bright Canadians “good” jobs; that or put dental work under OHIP.”

      It’s just too expensive to cover dental work under OHIP, its not deemed as something that’s medically necessary to live (unless of course you require dental surgery in a licensed hospital which is covered), at any rate some municipalities do provide limited dental coverage Toronto for instance provides it to seniors and up to high school aged children in low income families.

      Future reference as a side-note, please learn to distinguish literal phrases from metaphors or figures of speech, (i.e saying he does not always mean he it can also be a she, and generally a dentist wielding a drill can be interpreted as a number of other instruments too!)

      This advise will save you from allot of misunderstandings and embarrassments in future correspondences with other people


      Thanks for attacking my dental hygiene, and insulting the competency of my dentist. Surprisingly I’ve never had my teeth ‘drilled’

    241. Bobert

      to add, Pally Wally if you are interested in actually talking about the article titled “Superivsed Forced Ratification” which most of us are interested in commenting on instead of proving you right or wrong

    242. Bobert

      … you are more than welcome to do so

    243. Pally Wally

      My point is precisely that hygienists COULD have their own practices. I would go to one if I didn’t have a dental plan.

      You know who also has Doctoral Degrees and don’t make NEARLY as much as dentists? Doctors! Oh, and Professors (for the most part). I’m just trying to figure out why that is. I guess dentistry sucks, as indicated by the suicide rate…but I dunno.

      Doctors do tend to be thought of as people that do things that are ‘medically necessary to live’ and yet are paid less. What’s the deal with that?

      It isn’t nearly the same in the US where there is no healthcare system; there, doctors and dentists make much closer to the same amount. I find this interesting.

      “Future reference as a side-note, please learn to distinguish literal phrases from metaphors or figures of speech, (i.e saying he does not always mean he it can also be a she, and generally a dentist wielding a drill can be ”

      “He” is generally (read: across the University) not considered gender neutral. Aren’t you one of the people that said anti-oppression and diversity training was ‘a joke’ and a ‘waste of money’ – I could be mistaken, but it looks like you could use some yourself.

      You aren’t the arbiter of topics and you are more than free to ignore me. I’m not being vicious towards you, I’m just asking questions you don’t like. If you want, go back and see who threw the first stone – unless you’re a dentist, I’m going with: it wasn’t me.

      There is no limit on the # of comments people can make – so by all means ignore what I write but don’t try to suggest that I shouldn’t post something.

      To answer Chris F; there is no legal way to dissolve a union. Back in the ‘good olde days’ the premier would walk across queen’s park to trinity college – [that’s at the uoft and YOU can’t go there even if you wanted to (which is to say; unless you went to UCC another select private school the chances are pretty bad)] – round up some of the burlier looking ‘Young Conservatives’ (or whatever they were called in the day) and truck them down to beat heads. A couple weeks later the UAW was recognized by GM in Canada.

    244. Pally Wally

      That’s actually an illegal way to entrench unions…

      I would suggest that the easiest way to get rid of unions would be to give people no reason to want to form unions.

      Unfortunately, the higher educated people are, the more they are likely to expect higher returns on investment on things like education; otherwise how will anyone know how much better my PhD makes me than them? (I don’t think this for the record, but those lousy Dentists sure do! Anti-Dentites UNITE!)

    245. Bobert

      @Pally Wally

      “He” is generally (read: across the University) not considered gender neutral. Aren’t you one of the people that said anti-oppression and diversity training was ‘a joke’ and a ‘waste of money’ – I could be mistaken, but it looks like you could use some yourself.”

      I would appreciate it if you’d stop making continued sweeping assumptions regarding my personal character, my political beliefs, and my philosophical views based on how I used a pronoun in a single comment posting. If you were careful enough to use the search function where such comments were made you’ll find I’ve never said anything of that sort

      “You aren’t the arbiter of topics and you are more than free to ignore me. I’m not being vicious towards you, I’m just asking questions you don’t like. If you want, go back and see who threw the first stone – unless you’re a dentist, I’m going with: it wasn’t me.”

      No I am not the arbiter of topics, I never claimed that I was, but I really don’t see how this has anything to do with a ratification vote do you? I haven’t ‘thrown’ any stone you’ve been consistently engaging in aggressive character assassination. I am not the one engaging in personal attacks on someone and I am simply defending myself.

      Other than that I have nothing else to say regarding this matter

    246. Pally Wally

      “I haven’t ‘thrown’ any stone you’ve been consistently engaging in aggressive character assassination. I am not the one engaging in personal attacks on someone and I am simply defending myself.”
      In your first response to me; (I never singled you out) you say that I demonstrate “a profound ignorance” and that my pondering is “both misleading (and) insulting”.

      So, I would say that was the first shot fired.
      “If you were careful enough to use the search function where such comments were made you’ll find I’ve never said anything of that sort”
      Fair enough – you’ll note that I qualified everything I said. I think we both believe each other to have cast the first stone, when both of us could probably make that case. I’d rather have nice discussions, just because we are anonymous to each other does not mean that we need be uncivil towards each other. I think the continued confusion that we have shared over why exactly dentists make more than doctors in Canada demonstrates that the situation has more contours than may first appear, rather than any one person’s “profound ignorance.”
      “No I am not the arbiter of topics, I never claimed that I was, but I really don’t see how this has anything to do with a ratification vote do you? Other than that I have nothing else to say regarding this matter”
      I didn’t want to create the Anti-Dentite Topic, I think YorkStrike2008 would delete that anyway – after all, who wants that popping up in their RSS feed eater? The debate was winding down anyway and most of it amounted to merely substantive questions and baseless speculation – as usual. I happen to be a fan of off-topic rhetoric – what can I say?

    247. Cassa

      @Pally Wally,

      Quit trolling. It has become increasingly annoying to have to sift through your posts to find anything actually relevant to the articles. It seems most of the union believes it is entitled to be recognized and paid as professionals – I suggest you start acting like professionals first.

      That is all.

    248. Pally Wally

      “That is all.”

      Seacrest: OUT!

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


    Connecting to %s