If York strike ends next week, the year is not lost

York says if union accepts its offer, the 2008-09 academic year will resume. But if strike goes on longer…

If striking teaching assistants and contract faculty accept York University’s contract offer in a vote next week, the 2008-09 academic year will be quickly restarted, according to a senior York official. By immediately returning to work and holding classes without a break until May, the university says it can end the 2008-09 academic year on time.

Bob Drummond, Dean of York University’s Faculty of Arts, tells Maclean’s the university “will not cancel the Fall or Winter terms” unless absolutely necessary and only after it has cancelled summer classes first. He says that is not something the university is close to doing at this point.

However, a look at the calendar shows that if the strike continues for several more weeks, it may only be possible to complete the regular fall/winter, 2008-09 academic year by extending it into June or even July. That could mean the cancellation of the summer term.

The ongoing strike threatens to damage summer employment opportunities and interfere with professional certification exams for the university’s 50,000 students. The 10-week-old labour dispute is on the verge of breaking the York record for longest work stoppage, set when CUPE 3903 hit the picket lines for 11 weeks in 2001.

Striking TAs and contract faculty will cast their ballots next Monday and Tuesday on a contract offer from the university in a vote requested by the university and supervised by the Ministry of Labour.

Depending on the results of that vote, classes at the suburban Toronto campus could resume “as early as Thursday or the following Monday, depending on the decision of the [York] Senate Executive Committee,” says Drummond.

If classes resume, “there will be 13 teaching days to finish the first term and 10 days of exams prior to the beginning of the second term.”

He said the winter term will begin immediately following first term exams, without any break. The term will be 11 weeks long, followed by 10 to 12-day exam period. The university will begin summer courses “as soon as possible” following the completion of the regular academic year, according to Drummond.






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288 responses to “If York strike ends next week, the year is not lost

  1. B

    Well, the admin certainly seems to be stepping up efforts to create panic.

  2. AndrewB

    How are they creating panic? If anything, it puts some peoples nerves to rest. Hopefully questions of “will we lose the year” will end. I feel bad for those who have not done anything since they have went home. I’ve done a good amount, but I’m tempted to go back to school this weekend and have 2 weeks to work on stuff without distractions.

  3. B

    It all hinges on the big IF next week.

    Meant panic in terms of Union members who may be on the fence with their decision.

  4. So. If the vote goes York’s way then the school year gets saved. But if the vote goes 3903’s way, then the school year may well be lost. Because York won’t capitulate even if the vote goes against it. That’s what Drummond suggests in this article. How the strike will go on if 3903 defeats the rat.

  5. tired

    Well then hope the vote goes against york. (i want to see what york will do then) just the curiosity whether york will capitulate or uphold its present offer till whenever this ends. Its so surprising that the other side to this coin( vote being a failure) is not discussed clearly.. So i really pray that the vote fails.

  6. lazy

    @ AndrewB

    I’m one of those people. I haven’t done anything yet. I havent studied, completed any pending essays. So i’m really screwed…and if this strike finishes next week, then i’ll have 13 days of sleepless nights.

  7. yushky

    this is all bullshit!!!

  8. Pally Wally


    Did you happen to see the film “The Wristcutters”? Patrick Fugit commits suicide only to find out that the afterlife is eerily similar to the one he was trying to escape- only slightly more mundane. I highly recommend this film to everyone with an internet connection and a couple hours to kill (ie. everyone here).

  9. …………..time to release the penguins…..

  10. k - FEd

    I agree with tired, not a lot is being written about what happens if the vote (inevitably, in my opinion) fails. Not even in regards to speculating what will happen to the terms, i am more concerned as to how quickly the union and university will react if the vote doesn’t pass. I wonder if York has already come up with a back up offer…?

    Let’s just say it fails, York would have to come up with a fantastic offer quite quickly I would think to maintain what they have been saying about finishing on, or near on time. (And how can July even be an option? I feel like as students we entered into our own contract with the university that our education would go from sept-may, unless York is willing to pay my rent for June/July that is not an option)

  11. dsd

    I still don’t understand why only 13 days to finish up first term. I still need to write 2 Midterms, and cover A LOT for my accounting course before the final exam. What the fcuk York.

  12. Yorkie

    I hate how York is beng such a snake in the grass about this. All this lying, they’re really playing dirty with these scare tactics, trying to wear the union out, instead of just bargaining in good faith like they were just doing. York didn’t learn the lesson last time, they sure as hell better get it if this vote fails.

  13. Joyees

    …this article does not make me feel better…

    ugh…I do NOT want to stay at school when it’s June.

  14. dsd

    I’d rather be in school when it’s June than now, when it’s fricking cold and traffic barely moves. That’s probably the only positive thing I see in this situation we’re all in.

  15. someone

    sooo if we go back..are all of our assigments and essays that were due in mid nov going to be due when we go back or within those 13 days, or are they going to come up with something else???:S

  16. JMAS

    This article from the conclusion of the 2000\2001 strike might give an indication of where things will go: Rat rejected, suddenly after 10 weeks York gets serious, back to school in 4 days.
    Let’s hope so, because the rat offer probably won’t be accepted.


  17. CUPE member with child


    You say: “York won’t capitulate even if the vote goes against it.”

    How do you know that?

  18. B

    It’s that expectation that York will capitulate when the vote doesn’t go it’s way that’s ruining this whole bargaining process. At least one of the reasons.

  19. jacky

    so will the york or 3903 win this time?
    like the possibity
    like what do you guys think, what most likely would happen

  20. 4th year student

    what are the chances that the vote will work?

    is it possible that we will have school next week?

    I thought that they will be scrapping a lot of the assignments/tests to adjust the courses to the new timeline..

  21. 4th year student

    What is CUPE saying at this point? is it possible that they will vote YES?

  22. Commuter

    Oh, so the exam period has decreased now to 10 days? Nice. 😦

  23. 4th year student

    10 days??
    how can they do this??

    its not fair

  24. ShaunnyB

    So as nauseated as I am STILL reading about the strike, I’ll ask the question everybody’s asking but no one seems to know for sure:

    What (if any) is THE date that York scraps the year???

    Because look where we’re sitting now! If the vote goes through, we go back, but if it fails, they go back to the negotiating table, but they STILL haven’t made much headway on the two major issues, so if negotiations fail, and the government has already decided not to step in, what’s the story?

    I’m starting to think there’s a VERY real possibility of us losing the year, and I haven’t exactly been assured otherwise by a trustworthy source

  25. Commuter

    In one of my classes, we were a couple weeks behind in our lectures (due to unexpected things like fire alarms & longer question periods in class).

    So I’m gonna have to make up 7 weeks of missed material in 2, then have an exam on it immediately after with no time to study in between.

    And don’t say I haven’t been studying during the strike. I have. A lot. But to learn 7 weeks of material in 2 weeks, then be tested on it during a 44% shorter exam period when everything else is crammed in, is unrealistic.

    So first it’s CUPE, and now it’s York that’s “demanding the impossible”, this time from us, the students?

  26. tyred

    Did you ever say to yourself – ” this prof has no clue what students have to go through to get this stupid assignment done, doesn’t he realize we have to sleep some time?”.

    Those are the profs I’d worry about because it will appear that they have been living in a dream world and had no idea what students had to go through over the past 11 or 12 weeks.

    They will assume you have had all that time to get your work done and be fully prepared to do all the work you would have done. After all, to them you will have only missed 1 week.

  27. Commuter

    I think I’m gonna email all my profs today and ask them what they are planning to do.

  28. demarche

    I’d like to suggest an alternate interpretation of what happened in the last CUPE strike, that is relevant to the ratification vote next week.

    In 2001, three units voted. Unit #2 (contract instructors), which is most important to restarting classes, accepted the offer. That means they accepted and ratified their contract, and after this, any Unit #2 instructor who wasn’t in class when York restarted classes would be fired. This gave York the power to continue and finish the academic year whenever they wanted.

    After this, Units #1 and #3 (graduate students) had greatly diminished power. In many courses, TA’s are a great help, but not absolutely necessary, and both profs and TA’s know that. So Units #1 and #3 were much more willing to accept the next offers that York came up with, and so the strike ended within days.

    I bring this up because the CUPE line is that if they vote no in the ratification vote next week, York will be so desperate that they will capitulate and give CUPE whatever they want. This is a dangerous misconception, and I worry it could lead rank-and-file CUPE members into something that they do not expect and do not want want, such as another month added to the strike, back-to-work legislation, or even a lost year.

    I’m not saying this to scare monger. I think that if CUPE members vote no, they should know what an awful, unpredictable situation they’re moving into, and not think that this is a direct line to everything their leadership has promised them.

  29. Yuggoth

    All I know is that it’s going to be about minus 30 degrees (with windchill) outside. Happy picketing people. I’m going to curl up with a nice textbook and pretend this ALL NEVER HAPPENED.

  30. Commuter

    @ demarche

    I remember you mentioning earlier that you are a professor. What are your thoughts on the extremely compacted remediation/exam period?

  31. Hate York

    Do you really think york will give in to Cupe??? No way ….all the other universities in ONTARIO are watching this thing go down….and if York gives in to Cupe’s demands then they will all worry about Unions doing the same to their University. Whatever York does is very important to all universities in Ontario. I really feel like there IS a possibility of losing the year, although i know it would be the last resort but if it was between york giving in and losing the year, we will lose the year because Cupe’s demands this time is beyond ridiculous….unless binding arbitration sends their asses all back to work and gives Cupe a slap in the face.

    If we do go back ….i am truly upset at how condensed the year will be. Are you kidding me …10 day exam period? York is definitely demanding the impossible now. Just incredible. Instead of giving back to all these students who have had to pay for all of this we now get slapped in the face. I’m soooooo beyond ANGRY! I will go to school hating it for the rest of the entire year. How’s that for a great learning environment!!!!
    York can F itself!

  32. Hate York

    I agree Demarche !

  33. vik

    good call commuter. thats not a bad idea.

    if u could share with us their response that would be great. im 2nd yr in BAS and have been thinking the same thing…i was wondering what the profs would do….2 of my courses are full year and we havent done jack, so whats the deal?


  34. demarche

    @ commuter, re remediation and exams

    All the courses I’m teaching are in the winter and summer terms, so I haven’t followed the fall-term remediation/exam issue very closely.

    There’s a Senate rule that academic terms can only be shortened by one week, so that’s an upper limit on how much compression there can be. The exam period will be shortened, which is bad of course.

    My general advice is this. Your profs know what you’ve been going through, and the vast majority of them will be sympathetic to the problems you’ve had. So I would not worry that you’re going to be set up in some kind of impossible study marathon.

    I think that the only people who have something to worry about are the ones posting here who say they haven’t looked at a textbook since November. When classes restart, they will restart fast, and you need to be ready. I strongly suggest looking over course material from the fall term for, say, an hour (or more) per day, starting now. If you’re two months out of it when classes restart, that will be bad. If you’re generally up to speed on what happened last term, you will be fine. What is *not* going to happen is that all students’ grades in the fall term suddenly drop a letter level. I think that knowing this and acting on it is much more important than fixating on the finer details of how remediation and exams will be implemented.

  35. B

    For goodness sake. Drummond didn’t say 10 days for sure, he said 10-12 days. The Senate has already said 12 days. Drummond can’t just change that on his own.

    There was also what? 3 or 4 weeks left of the semester before exam period? Meaning each class had 3-4 lectures left before exam period. The Senate has said 13 days of instruction time. Meaning 2-3 lectures per classes.

    Is it going to be smooth sailing when we get back? No. But missing 1-2 lectures won’t make for a horrendously compressed year and compromised degrees.

  36. @B

    Amen. I laugh at the amount of people here that can’t do math. We are not loosing 7 weeks of our fall term. We are loosing 1 or 2 max.

  37. whatsgoing on

    this is absolute b.s. …..they cant go into our summer, i need to work to make money- school is supposed to be from september to april….i hope they cancel the school year..its going to be so messed up going back, everyone is going to be pissed because things have been compressed and summer is being ruined, and its going to screw over everyone who needs to graduate too….I think this forced rat vote is going to fail and york will not just give in, meaning strike goes on for longer….really, does york have the right to extend our school year into june and july? you guys keep talking about contracts, how can we use those to our advantage….id rather have a supre compressed school year than have to go to school in the summer- i need my summer vacation!

  38. Confused....

    @ demarche

    Thank you for your 5:55am post! Very helpful.

  39. ShaunnyB

    Does anybody find it ironic that they’re fighting to make more money this year and as a result we won’t be able to make nearly as much, if any, this summer?

    GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH (the sound of me tearing my hair out)

  40. Kelso

    If they cancel the year.. doesnt that mean there is no way CUPE can get paid for HOURS that got cancelled… does that also mean their job security that they were fighting for went down the drain and there is no gaurantee they will get the same job come FALL.. i don’t know how all that works officially.. but if it’s true i would say they wasted their time and oh look they are even poorer than before?

  41. Drop-out Boogie

    I, for one, started off the semester with a real bang… i doubt any english major actually reads all the billions of books assigned to them, but i did just that. I was enjoying it, and learning alot, and now i’ve lost all my fucking motivation to finish the semester.

    Asking for them to just give us all A’s and move on to the winter term with a fresh start would be rational compared to what CUPE wants out of all this, haha. maybe something to think about, seriously.


  42. Commuter

    @ demarche

    Thank you for your insightful post.

    @ YorkIsAwesome – “I laugh at the amount of people here that can’t do math. We are not loosing 7 weeks of our fall term. We are loosing 1 or 2 max.”

    I can do math. But you seem to have misunderstood me.

    My class was 3 weeks behind in terms of lecture material according to the syllabus when we went on strike. Add 4 weeks of actual missed classes = 7 weeks behind in terms of what our syllabus said we would cover.

  43. aguyuno

    @Commuter – Don’t bother responding to YorkIsAwesome. If you can’t figure it out yourself, he’s either a cupe e-picketer, or a york media attendee (as in, comes to places like this to calm down anyone who’s been effected by cupe e-picketers). Because let’s face it – no undergrad would have that name right now. It’s about as believable as a name like “Cupe member with child” NOT being used to get emotional pity.

    @Kelso – They get paid for the hours they picket, the TAs that is. Yeah – figure that one out.

  44. Kelso

    are all TA’s required to picket?? or do they put a request in to do so… are they paid more or less than their usual duties

  45. 4th year student

    @ Drop-out Boogie

    haha i’ll take an A for all my fall classes

  46. Drop-out Boogie

    it’s not so much to ask, after all.

  47. oh really...

    @ commuter

    I have a class like that…we missed out like 3 lectures because of those stupid fire alarm days, and before the strike my prof was really worried about how far behind we are. NOW we are completely screwed because we have a ton of material to cover, an assignment that wasn’t even assigned yet (not that I would have done it anyways) ANNNND a final exam worth however many percent (I forget).

    @ whatsgoing on
    I agree

  48. Dray, with information.

    The following came out on the cupe listserve on this topic. Analyse and decide for yourself.

    “With everything going on I don’t know if anyone has noticed why the employer may have chosen the 20th for the vote. If you look at the January 9th academic remediation notice from the senate ( http://www.yorku.ca/secretariat/Strike2008/Bulletin6Revised090108.pdf) you might see something interesting. Namely this:

    “Fall Term = 13 Days
    Fall Exams = 12 Days
    Winter Term = 55 Days
    Winter Exams = 12 days
    Total= 92 days

    “In order for the current year to end in MAY (May 29th) we would have to return to classes on January 22 exactly. Hence the plan for a vote on the 20th, ratification on the 21st, classes on the 22. Even one day later under the current guidelines and the semester runs into June. This puts the summer semester in jeopardy.”

    I don’t know why nobody noticed this before. (Not even CUPE.)

  49. Kelso

    I guess the people of CUPE don’t really need summer jobs… they must be rolling in it… hmmm *note sarcasm*

  50. Ridiculous

    Question: If the Unit 2’s (or whatever unit the contract faculty are in) vote yes on Monday and the other two units vote no, will that mean the unit 2’s will be required to be at work teaching immediately?

  51. CUPE member with child


    That’s just more scare tactics aimed at directing the votes of 3903 members.

    YUFA recently unanimously voted in favour of a resolution calling on their members not to attempt to influence the votes of CUPE members.

    Did you attend this meeting? After all, many are blaming this strike on those who do not attend the meetings of their unions.

    If you did attend, and the vote count is correct, why did you vote in favour and then come on here and do the opposite?

    The date I predict that we’ll be back to school: Jan 26th.

  52. Kelso


    what is this resolution you are talking about??

  53. @CUPE member with child: “You say: “York won’t capitulate even if the vote goes against it.” How do you know that?”

    The next thing I said after “York won’t capitulate even if the vote goes against it” was “That’s what Drummond suggests in this article”.

    Did you mean to ask what I think? Whether I believe York won’t capitulate even if the vote goes against it — and why? Well.. I don’t think Drummond intentionally set out to mislead readers. But I couldn’t hazard even guessing. There’s no way I can see York surviving capitulating to us. And there’s no way I can see York surviving allowing the year to be not only academically ruined but completely lost.

    If I were to bet — which I don’t — I’d say York has further contingencies planned.

  54. Dray


    “YUFA recently unanimously voted in favour of a resolution calling on their members not to attempt to influence the votes of CUPE members.”

    No. The YUFA *EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE* unanimously voted in favour of this.

    In my department, all hell’s broken loose. Faculty seem to hate this resolution, for some reason. I wonder why.

  55. Dray


    “The following motions were passed unanimously at the YUFA Executive meeting of 12 January 2009:

    ” 1. YUFA Executive re-affirms its support of free collective bargaining and does not endorse aratification vote of CUPE 3903 members as forced by the Employer.

    “2. YUFA Executive strongly urges all YUFA members to respect individual CUPE 3903 members’ rights in the forced ratification vote to vote freely and according to their conscience. We urge all YUFA members to respect CUPE members’ rights to vote freely.

    “3. YUFA Executive, recognizing the power relations implicit in the roles of YUFA members and CUPE 3903 members, does not endorse any YUFA member attempting to influence how a CUPE 3903 member might vote in the forced ratification vote.”

    This motion is most unpopular, it seems, at least in my department.

  56. Dray


    “That’s what Drummond suggests in this article”

    And … how does Drummond suggest this in this article?

  57. Kelso


    Thanks… whats the word in your department??

  58. dray


    Suffice it to say they disagree with the motion.

  59. “As the strike by CUPE 3903 is now entering its tenth week and with the two sides still very far apart, the University has decided to move to a Supervised Vote (please see the Negotiations Update document) with a view to returning our students and teachers to the classroom as soon as possible. The University recognizes that this strike has deeply affected students’ lives and is taking this initiative in the hope of ending it.

    A Supervised Vote gives the Union membership the right to vote to accept or reject the University’s last offer. The Supervised Votes (one for each CUPE unit) is a secret ballot at a neutral location. The vote is administered by the Ministry of Labour.

    If the membership votes to accept the University’s offer, classes could begin as early as 24 hours after the vote.”

    source: email from york

  60. So we can expect to be back at school 24 hrs after the vote has taken place. If they vote yes that is.

  61. @Dray: “.. how does Drummond suggest this in this article?”

    Lol. Love to help your reading (in)comprehension, Dray. Unfortunately, I’m on strike 🙂

  62. Ridiculous

    @ vino (or anyone who can answer)

    But what if unit 2 votes yes and the other two units vote no? Does that mean the unit 2 will go back to work the next day and the other two units won’t?

  63. elle

    @ dray with information

    while i agree that we will have 92 days of school to complete when we come back, I do not agree with those calculations. By my own calculations, if we were to come back on the 22nd, we would be finishing the winter exam period on may the 12th. I calculated this based on the 13 days in the fall semester being monday to friday (thus, 2.5 weeks) and then the fall exam period being 12 days immediately afterwards and going over weekends. The same goes for the winter semester and the winter exam period. I don’t think it was taken into account that the exam periods are going to go over weekends. So I’m not quite sure how a start date of january 22nd would lead us right to may 29th.

  64. elle


    completion on may 21st.

  65. AndrewB

    It amazes me how so nonchalantly some students are asking for the year to be cancelled. And it tells me right there they haven’t put much thought into it. The most ‘well thought out’ reply so far has been for a few weeks now, I need more summers to work to make money for school. In which case I ask, if you are not even in school why do you need to work for school?

    Has the logic train fallen off the tracks with students? If York cancelled the year, you would get your money returned to you, thus you wouldn’t need to work in the summer. And even now, students are willing to give up a YEAR or school for ONE MONTH of work? Where is the logic in this? How people can so nonchalantly say they would be fine with giving up a year of their life, just so they can get a summer job on time amazes me. I’m a little biased, I’m 4th year, but I am 100% sure I would be saying the same thing if I was 1st, 2nd or 3rd year. A year of classes is well more important to me then one month of working.

    I understand it isn’t all peachy clean like that, and there are some people who really do need that month, such as people with families. But unlike CUPE, I like to say I am a student first, an employee second. My main goal is my education, and yes sometimes you do have to give some things up to get that education.

    This is why I say, if you are so worried about the “rush” when we go back, or that you are going to miss the summer months to work, you should just drop out now. And I say that so nonchalantly because it is probably the best thing for you.

    You need to deal with the reality now that we are going to be in school till May and possibly June. I have to now come up with extra rent money for those months, so I am in a tough situation as well.

    Students just never stop amazing me. It actually makes me wonder if some of these people actually care about their education, because though I am not a high activist type person, I’d be fighting tooth and nail to keep my year going at all costs. Yes it will be a set back for some students who will now have to take on larger loans to pay for school. But tell me, would you rather work at your summer job for an extra month or have a full year of your school completed so you can be a step closer to the career you want? Again, this just seems like simple logic to me, but then again, I’ve always thought much different then the common student.

  66. @ Ridiculous

    I believe all three units have to say yes. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  67. @vino: “So we can expect to be back at school 24 hrs after the vote has taken place. If they vote yes that is.”

    No, not in 24 hours. But for sure under a week.

    Also, if we 3903s vote no and York capitulates — classes could still resume within a week.

    But if we vote no and York does not capitulate — then the strike could continue several more weeks. Longer even. And then the year could become jeopardized.

    How likely is it we’ll vote no *and* York won’t just capitulate? I’d put the chances at 25%.

  68. YS

    WTF…….if I don’t get atleast 2 months of summer break I’m going to FUC*IN SNAP!

  69. E

    If you care about students, then you will vote yes CUPE…

    If you vote no, then we will see the truth.

    Sorry if not all things will go your way but it’s too late now to negotiate…
    You should have thought of this back in November when you called “cooling off periods”.
    Whatever the hell that means?
    And also in December, when you enjoyed your extended Christmas holiday.

    You’ve had enough time….it’s too late.
    Show your students you actually give two shits and end this thing!

  70. AndrewB

    @ YS
    4 months of summer – 2 months they will need (maybe) to make things up = 2 months of summer at least.

    Seriously, this is another case of a not needed freak out.

  71. @vino: “.. all three units have to say yes. Correct me if I’m wrong.”

    Good question. On (only) my view it would be ideal if not all units vote either yes or no. If some vote yes and others vote no.

    Why do I think that would be the best possible outcome? Because it would weaken both sides sufficiently to motivate them reaching a genuine compromise at the table. Which is what bargaining means and is all about. Which is what happened at the end of last strike. Which is what they ought to have been doing all along. Which is what they would have been doing — bargaining realistically to mutually (dis)satisfactory compromise — if only my loco local weren’t quite so ideologically “intransigent”.

  72. Mike Oxbig

    just woke up…i had a dream last night…

    i was weird…i went to sleep as usual…strike was still going strong and everything…then in the dream i wake up the next morning…and i’m told school has started out of nowhere..

    then the dream fast forwards to me walking through curtis and walking to class…and everyone was at school too…

    so weird…

  73. Mike Oxbig

    there was no warning or anything either

  74. Andrew


    It is an executive motion that was never discussed by the general membership. It’s highly unpopular in my department as well. (I don’t think we’re in the same department, given your past descriptions.)

    Why? Many things, some having to do with internal union politics. But my biggest beef with the statement is that seems to be internally inconsistent. Part 1 condemns the ratification vote, which may be read as an inducement to vote “no”. Part 3 then says professors should not be expressing an opinion on the vote (remembering that the YUFA executive consists entirely of professors).

    Not to mention the fact that YUFA has endorsed a support committee (I can’t remember the exact name right now) that has consistently expressed direct support for the strikers and their negotiating goals. So Part 3 would not seem to apply to professors supporting the aims of the strike, but only those opposed.

  75. mooo

    @ cupe doll
    holy moley- you’re a cupe member who works at the university and are therefore obviously educated. given this education you would think you could come up with another word than ‘capitulate’ JEEZE! break out a thesaurus maybe?

  76. 4th year student

    how likely is it that the vote will work and class will resume?

  77. Dray


    Thanks for the summary of the disagreement regarding that motion.


    It’s entirely possible weekends were missed. Don’t forget Easter, Family Day, and Victoria Day, though.


    “Lol. Love to help your reading (in)comprehension, Dray. Unfortunately, I’m on strike”

    Great. So, drive home the point of how stupid I am and point out what the correct reading is.

    Come on. I *dare* you. SCARED?

    (The truth is that Drummond did *not* suggest in any way that “York won’t capitulate even if the vote goes against [the offer].” His language is defiant, obviously, but you’re jumping to conclusions.)

    p.s. I’m not at the GMM today. Waste of time.

  78. Dray to Mooo

    “Given this education you would think you could come up with another word than ‘capitulate’ JEEZE! break out a thesaurus maybe?”

    How else do you think she came up with ‘capitulate’?


  79. KJN27

    @ Mike Oxbig

    I had a dream like that about a month into the strike. The strike was over and classes were starting the next day…and all my teachers emailed me telling me that all my exams would be on Monday.

    haha it was scary.

  80. sizzurr

    andrewb is the snottiest 4th year student york has ever had… really dude….. really.

  81. AndrewB

    @ sizzurr

    Why, because I think with logic and because I’m tired of hearing these kids whine about how they want to drop this year so they can work their summer job?

    Sorry, I got more at stake then most do in this. It is my graduation year, and I’d like to be finished. If you want to waste another year of your life in school, by all means go right ahead and drop your classes and do it. But if wanting to finish what I started 6 years ago, and not spend another year wondering what could have been had I actually finished my degree on time makes me a snotty 4th year, well then fine.

  82. AndrewB is not snotty, he is just thinking about what is best for him, which is fine. With that said, to some people it actually would be a lot better if the year was canceled, and don’t for a second say that each and every one of them are ‘lazy York students’.

    Some people just really can’t afford to have one month off of work in the summer time and then go back next year. Sorry if you don’t see that.

    With that said, my offer to Western Law is conditional on my finishing up my year, so if this year gets canned something going to get hurt real bad.

  83. theowne

    I completely agree with AndrewB. And I am a first year.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I under no circumstances want to waste an year of my life. I can borrow money to pay off the extra rent. I’ll cram hard in the remaining time. I’ll do anything before I want to lose an year.

  84. SlovchetovMike

    Who hates Coconuts here?

  85. AndrewB

    And here are some more insightful thoughts for you.

    If the year is cancelled, students just gave up September to January for nothing. They got nothing out of it, except debt from bills.

    Say you make $10/hr. 40 hour weeks, 5 months, you would have made $8000 by the end of January (before tax).

    So if you quit school you are not only
    A) Giving up 3 months of education and 2 months of study time during the strike
    But you are also giving up
    B) $8000 of income you would have had staying home and working.

    I’m big on return on investment (ROI). In this case, my investment is my time. When you pick school, you pick to invest your time into education, rather then working a job. That investment should lead you to a better job down the road.

    If you want the school year scrapped, you are basically saying
    A) I don’t care about the 5 months of my life I have just wasted.
    B) I don’t care about the $8000 I could have made in that time.

    It is a lose/lose situation. You are getting NOTHING out of this year. NOTHING. I can say I am in the red from my apartment costs and food costs and so on, but I’d be in the black because I feel education outweighs my bills. Thus it was a good ROI. But to give up my year, and basically get nothing out of it, no education, no money I could have been working for, I basically have the worst possible ROI. I in fact am so far in the red, it is insane. Because OSAP does cover some of my rent, and York will not refund that to me, so I will have to pay that back in my loans ON TOP OF having the pay for more rent next year.

    I’m not going to pretend to not be biased, and for me, this is a horrible situation. If the year is cancelled I just spent close to $10,000 (between my girlfriend and I) to live in Toronto for a year, which I didn’t need to be here for. I could have gone home, found a nice $10/hr job and made money. I have to think about my well being, but I am also think about the well being of the countless thousands who are not 4th years but 1-3 years, but yet will suffer the same fate as me. Having to find another $10,000 to live in Toronto, or add it to your OSAP debt.

    So my apologize if I come of mean or snotty, it is not my intention. But it bothers me to no limits when students so easily say they are willing to give up the year and not get anything in return. No money(getting back tuition is not included), no GPA, no education, nothing. It scares me not only as a student, but as a person looking at our education system; that students are to the point that they will throw a year away as if it was nothing.

  86. AndrewB


    To be fair though, as you said “some people can’t afford to be off for a month”, well I can’t afford to be off for a year. There is always two sides to it. The money it will cost me to return for another year would trump what it would cost me to not work for a month. (if I was in fact returning as if I was say a 2nd year student).

  87. blackflame28

    @ AndrewB

    You are taking a very one sided view of this situation. Yes, it would suck if York cancelled the year but I don’t think things are as you say they are.

    For me, I almost want the school year to be cancelled. Why?
    (1) The rush of work- yes, that is a part of university but not everyone can just go to school. Some people have to work at the same time so they can afford school. It’s not just tuition they need to afford, what about rent? food? utilities? Not everyone can live with mom and dad and not everyone has someone they can rely on to help pay them through.
    Also people need a break. We can’t do school work all the time. It puts our education into further jeopardy.

    (2) Summer work- if I waited until I had four years worth of tution saved, I would have never returned to school. I count on those four summer months to work. My other option? Tons and tons of student loans and even then I know OSAP won’t cover all my expenses.

    You say ” In which case I ask, if you are not even in school why do you need to work for school?” That doesn’t even make sense. The only answer I have is money.

    The call for the cancellation of the school year is all about money. You say you are a TA, but have you ever just worked a job outside of school? And not be in school? In other words- have you joined the real world yet?

    I have and, especially in this sort of economy, it’s all about money. If students lose their opportunity to work in the summer (which may happen- if we have a late start, who do you think the employers will hire? someone who can start in May or someone who can start in July?) how will students afford the next year?

    This whole strike is stupid. It puts the students at a disadvantage. When the colleges when on strike a couple of years ago (and, sadly, I was in college then too…) at least it only when on for three weeks and that just RUINED the course load we had. We lost out on so much information. My husband had to do 10 months of school in 6 months. His marks were terrible that year because of the rush.

    I’ve rambled a lot here. In short, don’t say that students who want the school year cancelled are silly or foolish. They may have a very good reason for it. Just because it doesn’t make sense to you, doesn’t make it invalid.

  88. Tofu Hell

    prestia, be my little baby.

  89. B

    Canceling the school year cannot be justified at all at this point. This whole debate is pointless. As it stands we are only losing 1-2 weeks for Fall/Winter.

    Summer semester is first up on the chopping block should it come to that.

  90. B

    Financial woes cannot be generalized to the entire 50,000 students at York. You’ve got to assess your own situation and then decide what’s the best move for you. Yeah, it’s not ideal but what is in life?

    At best – if the problem isn’t solved and we are back in classes by February, maybe York will consider a Refund or Credits option. It’s be done before just not at the University level.

    We’re getting shafted either way with this strike.

  91. AnonymousTA

    Of course TAs need summer jobs as TAs! CUPE doesn’t want the summer semester scrapped anymore than you do. We all need to go to school, finnish our degree and work in order to be able to afford to do so.

    Maybe we need to think about York’s idea of “bargaining”– Why has York waited this long to request a ratification vote? the deal they are offering this time around is not much better that what they were offering in Decemeber…why not offer this deal earlier or push for a rat vote earlier if the admin is sooo concerned over its students?

    And once again, TA can only earn a maximum amount of $200 a week by picketing 20 hours! we all want to go back to school and work, no one wants to keep striking but this strike is important for both current grad students and future ones.

    TAs do not get paid 63$, they get FUNDING from the university to teach, learn and produce for the university by doing research and getting grants. We are also not allowed to work outside of our TA job (it’s in our contracts)…Which means that we need to subsist on anywhere between $10-22,000/ year alone. And we need to pay full tuition every semester regardless of whether we are taking any courses our entire degree (5-7 years average).

    Did you know that the attrition rate for York PhD is 50%! That’s a ridiculously low rate for a university to have. Maybe if more PhD students got funding that put them above the poverty line, York’s attrition rate would go up because people wouldn’t have to choose between starving and learning! (this would also mean more research done, more grants gotten and more $ flowing into the university).

  92. B

    ^did you mean retention rate?

  93. E.

    All i know is, if we get back to school in the next week or so, the first few days are going to be chaos. Each class will be a question period to clarify how and what will be done to make up for lost time. And of course students will be freaking about the exam period.

  94. theowne


    York’s TAs are the highest paid in the province, aren’t they?

  95. blackflame28

    @ B

    “Canceling the school year cannot be justified at all at this point. This whole debate is pointless. As it stands we are only losing 1-2 weeks for Fall/Winter. ”

    You’re right. My point is that let’s not say those who think it’s best to are silly or dumb. You (general you) don’t know their story, only yours.

    This strike is hard on everyone.

  96. Monica

    Unfortunately this is a bad time to be striking. With the economic crisis going on, when thousands and thousands of people are losing their jobs right now, hundreds of companies are shutting down or being bought out, CEO’s and Presidents are being canned, do you all actually think you’re going to receive everything you are asking for?? There are thousands of families where the parents are out of work with no job openings to pursue. You all have chosen a really bad time to negotiate your “wants.” You WILL NOT get everything you are demanding, and that is a fact. Not because you don’t deserve it, but because it is unrealistic at this time. We are all struggling – deal it with. Accept the offer they are giving you and go back to work. I’m not sure if you realize that with everything else that is going on right now, your strike is just the icing on the cake. It’s creating more stress, misery and pain to people. Here’s a thought ya’ll – wait until the economy is stable again – then go ahead and throw your tantrums.

  97. tyred

    Maybe the retention/attrition rate is so high because TAs are paid too much. Life is too easy and there isn’t enough incentive to finish up!

  98. demarche

    @ cupe mother with child

    – “That’s just more scare tactics aimed at directing the votes of 3903 members.”

    Well, no. It’s just what I see as the facts, based on my experience, and what CUPE members need to know to make an informed vote.

    Over the past few weeks, as part of everyday activities in my job, I’ve spoken with several senior people at York (deans, etc.), and of course the strike comes up. There is *no* sense that York is anywhere near being willing or able to give CUPE what it’s demanding. Rather, the view is that there is nothing more that York can give, and if CUPE votes no to ratification, then we are at a complete impasse. Informed people talk about it as a complete unknown, and speculate on the strike going on for another month or more. They try to weigh the costs of losing an academic year, which would be horrible for 50,000 students and damage York’s reputation indefinitely, against the costs of having TA’s and contract instructors telling us who we’re going to hire and setting us up for this all over again in 2010 and then at regular three-year intervals after that.

    This is scary, but it’s not scare mongering. It’s the way it is. This is what you get when you “demand the impossible”.

    – “YUFA recently unanimously voted in favour of a resolution calling on their members not to attempt to influence the votes of CUPE members.
    Did you attend this meeting? After all, many are blaming this strike on those who do not attend the meetings of their unions.
    If you did attend, and the vote count is correct, why did you vote in favour and then come on here and do the opposite?”

    As has been pointed out by others here, that was just a vote of the YUFA executive (around 10 people). Furthermore, it has attracted a LOT of flack from professors for its unrepresentative stance.

  99. Paul

    What are the chances of this vote passing?

  100. mature student

    @ Demarche

    Well said! thank you for your postings.

  101. Ms Doan

    I rather woking my ass up for Fall n Winter semesters than losing any of them out. Time won’t wait any of us. And i really dont want to stay here till 2010. Period.

  102. Kelso


    We don’t need to think about what is in the past and why York did not do something (forced rat vote in dec)… we can’t control that now… what you can do is vote on the upcoming Mon Tues

  103. G

    @AndrewB I understand what you mean most people don’t want to lose their year because they cannot afford it while others can and also have their valid reasons. In a perfect world york would give back the money to those who don’t want to continue with this year or keep their money but allow them to take the same courses next year. While those that want to finish the year would go ahead. But this is not going to happen so we all just have to deal with being screwed by both York and Cupe at this point. Good luck to everyone with their courses whenever we do go back.

  104. Disappointed

    to me, this article gives comfort rather than fear. at least in comparison to all the fear mongering about losing our year.
    I need some clarification. i read somewhere they’re going to add a maximum of 13 days to the fall semester. does that mean weekdays or does it include weekends?

  105. Commuter

    We should produce a reality show called “CUPE’d” much like Ashton Kutcher’s show “Punk’d”.

  106. Commuter

    @ Disappointed

    13 Monday-Friday classes.

  107. AnonymousTA

    theowne: so living below poverty line is okay as long as other TAs are also living below poverty?

    Kelso: yes we do. because instead of always blaming cupe and TAs for wanting too much money, people need to realize that york admin is not an innocent party in these negotiations and they do not and have never had students best interests in mind.
    As for how we vote: voting yes on monday will mean that this entire strike was a complete waste in every way for both current and future students/TAs. Voting NO at least means a better deal will be achieved.

  108. Nathan

    sorry i didn’t really pay enough attention to this strike…can anyone tell me that if our school year IS cancelled will we get some of our money back or do we lose all of that…I hope school begins as soon as possible i really didn’t keep up with school since I’ve been working a lot but rather cram in the time remaining than waste a year of school…

  109. Flying J

    Thank you so much for your informed posts. I think SOMEONE needs to get through to the e-picketers (TAs) that there will be serious consequences if the ratification vote fails to generate an end to the strike. I, for one, agree with CUPE doll in that I am hoping for a split vote much like the one that took place back in the 2000- ’01 strike. Hopefully this will force both sides to come to the table and COMPROMISE. If all three units vote no, then we are really in trouble. That is a fact.

  110. Gabby

    Ok, for everyone either worried about losing the year or hopeful for it; here’s what I’m thinking.

    Say the strike goes on long enough that they have to cancel something – like the article says they will first cancel the summer term. If that happens, lets just say the latest the university can end the winter term would be August 28 (just in time for the next year to start).. that means that they will not have to cancel anything until mid to late April.

    Hence when the university says that canceling the school year is far away at this point, they definitely mean it. I stand to be corrected on this but that is how I would see the University doing it if the strike went that long. I’m thinking the strike won’t go on that long but anything is possible. It would really suck because it would mean no summer but we would also be getting a little over 5 months off so you really can’t complain about not getting time off or having time to make money.

    Best advice would be to just start looking for a job now so that you don’t have to worry about making money in the summer.

  111. Gabby

    @ Nathan

    if they did cancel the year, York would have to give us at least a partial refund, although I’m betting they could find a way to get around the full refund since we had 2 months of classes

  112. DUN DUN DUN

    @ Gabby

    your right..looking for a job now is good advice..but at the same time..it’s totally different..when you have a job now compared to having a job in the summertime…i mean..for me anyways..like for instance..i do have a part-time job right now..but that money is going towards paying my tuition..but when summer comes around..that money is for me to go out..party and what not…

    sure some may say to save up now and use it later…but with all honesty do you think that would happen with students?..

    anyways…i just wanted to say.. THIS STRIKE IS RIDICULOUS..

    hope it ends soon 🙂

  113. whatsgoing on

    cant believe andrewb…first off, stop thinking your soo smart because your first year an stop using the word unchalantly- you sound like a loser….people (like me) who would rather lose the year have their reasons the same way you want to stay….I first of all have been out of school so long now that i cant even imagine just getting back full swing into things…and the reality is, without any clue that we are going back soon or any real incentive that we are, i aint gonna start studying now for it, and i doubt any normal person will…Also, one month of work in the summer is important to people…i want my summer to make money, and to enjoy my time off- dont forget those who need summer school too..with the strike going on this long, i could have worked full time and made up for that one month i would lose, but how was i supposed to predict that we werent gonna be in school this long? so screwed either way now…and to the t.a.’s- bottom line is you guys are idiots…period! you are the highest paid in province, you think anyone is going to sympathize for you? i hope one of you schmucks gets some sort of sickness from picketing in the cold weather- you complain that you dont like strike pay? then go back to your stinkin jobs- you remind me of spoiled rich brats who need a slap in the face because they are always asking for more, when they already have more than enough

  114. Andrew


    Maybe the time spent on the strike is “wasted”. But it’s a sunk cost. The time to worry about whether a sunk cost is “wasted” or not is BEFORE the sunk cost is incurred, because you can’t do anything about it now: either way the vote goes, you’re not getting the last two months back.

    Sunk costs are dangerous in decision making because they are a self-justification. In your example, should you invest more time on strike because otherwise the time already invested would be a waste? If so, it seems like you never have a reason to stop “wasting”, if the deal never improves.

    So I respectfully suggest that you disregard the time invested when you decide which way to vote.

  115. @whatsgoing on

    Well said. All except for the fact that most people who are going to go somewhere with their lives are still studying and havent stopped, because once we go back more than half the people who havent been studying will fail and the other half will just barely pass

  116. David Allan


    I understand your point on the 5 months, and your point on the $8000.00.

    Let me address a point you made earlier though. That you are giving this up for one months worth of work. Which simply isn’t true. If the school year is cancelled now, you can safely go to work now.

    But more importantly. You are able to apply for summer jobs that start in Late April and Early May.
    Those student only jobs tend to be better work experience, and more applicable to the career path you would be taking after school.
    Also those jobs tend to pay more. Lets say $14/hour instead of $10.

    At 40 hours a week, it’s $160/week. Or $560 a week instead of $400.

    $2240/month instead of $1600.

    May, June, July, August – $8960
    June, July, August – $4800

    You want to compare the numbers there they are, it will cost you approx $4000 and is the difference between a job that can help you further your goals, and just taking a job because it pays.

    You know how I know?

    My first year at York University was 2000-2001. I know first hand the experience that these students will face if the school year is extended.

  117. Artem

    HEY, I went to York today… there are no more picketers 🙂 !!!

  118. theowne


    You folks need to can it with the stupid “poverty line” garbage. You are graduate students supplementing your income by TAing. It is NOT a full time job and you CANNOT compare your income to a full time job then whine that it’s under the poverty line. Hey, I earn less with my McDonalds part-time job too. I’m under the poverty line!

    Maybe you folks don’t realize what your role as graduate students and TAs is.

  119. MR Two

    Instead of whining about money, go out and find a job for now. Complaining about monetary problems isn’t going to sway the strike in your favour, it’ll just end up frustrating you more (and waste your time on top of it all). It may not be the easiest thing to do at the moment, but best case would be to find one you don’t really care about, and just leave when you have to. I really needed all the hours I could get to pay some things off, so after the first week of the strike passed, I took a gamble and started working. Been working full time hours ever since, doing as much overtime as possible. Now, after working countless hours, I’ve more than covered a semester’s tuition, and with the leftover $$ I’m able to add enough to my savings to comfortably buy the car I want flat out.

    School, work… they’re the same to me. Take advantage of everything you have in a situation to get yourself ahead, and chances are it’ll help.

  120. MR Two

    If the vote is against forced rat, and York truthfully can’t give the union anymore than what they’re already offering, that’s a good sign to look for a job. Given the stubbornness of CUPE, I’d gamble on a few extra weeks of the strike if York doesn’t cave. Use that time to make $$.

  121. B

    Artem – there is a GMM today. The Union has taken down picket lines today for it. Someone mentioned it on the YorkU livejournal.

  122. Sho

    I got an email from student loan (not osap, im out of province) saying their records indicate my classes have started and they have not receieved my confirmation of enrollment and cannot give me the money untill they get it from my school
    is york not sending it to them untill classes resume??
    Should I just wait for classes to start and hope they will start sending them out?

    what should I do about it

  123. RS

    personally, I don’t care anymore; if the drop the year or not. I’m just sick of being treated like a dog and being told what I am going to do. I am a first-year student but please don’t assume that I am fresh out of high-school. I have been in the “real world” and have my opinions about what is going on, but I don’t see why we are all being treated as though we are nothing. I paid for a service and even if I am not getting the full service, I want to know what is going on with it. I think CUPE and York could be doing a better job at communicating their stance.

    In regards to wanting the year to be cancelled or not; everyone has the right to their opinion and no one should put any one else’s opinion down (no matter how logical you may think you are).

    Each person is here surrounding the subject of this strike; is it really possible that year could be cancelled? Yes. Would it be a waste? Yes. If it is not cancelled, is it truly fair? Nothing is fair in life – if you don’t know that… grow up a bit. The whole point here is that we are in this together, whether you work for CUPE or York or just a student – at this point I see no one winning anything… this is no longer a win-lose situation – it’s gone too far.

  124. seriously?!

    You have got to be kidding me..
    I have had enough with this below the poverty line bull! You’re a student.. students generally don’t make a whole lot of money, hence the term “struggling student”. Correct me if I’m mistaken, but you chose to pursue this path right? Did you realise at the time that you would need to rely on this job alone? If so, you have nothing to complain about! You make more than minimum wage (which is what a lot of students live of off), and correct me if I’m wrong, but you have a benefits package? Dream job for a student! You don’t like it, find something else!

  125. RS

    @ seriously?!

    straight up… i fully agree. What they get paid $63/hour… that’s crazy. Plus benefits. Pay me for 20 hours, I’ll work 30

  126. Rob

    a lot of people have been posting on this site claiming to be “up to date” with their readings and assignments, but when this strike started, everything went on hold. All of the readings and assignments that were due during the strike should not be due as soon as we get back, just the classes should be shortened to not to include some readings.
    I have not done any assignments or readings because I have been working to make up for the shortened summer. I am up to date for November 6th, 2008.
    And some professors will not be sympathetic to this situation, because they think that students will have had this time off to do the assigned readings and homework.

  127. anon

    Hey guys listen as time as passed on i feel that it is probably in my best interests to drop this year and do a restart next year…and yes i have put alot of thought into it and financially im ok and so therefore i have the ability to restart…i wanted to kwno if there is anyone out there planning on doing the same thing? and if so what is the process i must go through?

  128. RS

    @ anon

    personally… I wanted to do the same but the university recommended that I stick it out as there is no current way to be refunded… otherwise they won’t stop you from dropping without an academic grade.

  129. flustered

    ok, one of the main reasons why i hate this strike is because we are left in the dark. we have no say, if someone attempts to say something they are considered biased or what not.. I just want some answers. I am turning down summer internships which start in may, simply because I DONT KNOW WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON!!!

    I need answers. If i knew that 2 months ago this strike was going to be this long, did u honestly think I would’ve spent those 2 months checking strike websites? No, I would’ve been out, making money and traveling. And then I planned to do my travels on reading week…but you know thats freaking canceled.

    I dont care about an “expected strike date”, it either ends now or it doesnt. It either goes on for another month, or it doesnt.

  130. Law Student with Child(ren)

    @ everyone who’s worried about assignments!

    I’ve been checking this forum and the many comments daily. Thanks to everyone who’s posting–you have a valuable resource here for information and perspectives on this mess.

    Your assignments will most likely not be due within those thirteen days. York cannot by its own policy suddenly force students to make up all the work they would have done over months in thirteen days. All they would get is alot of students failing classes because they couldn’t feasibly turn everything in.

    They may do something similar to what Osgoode did for us–give people alot more options. We could finish the Fall term now–it was extended over Christmas–and start the Winter term; we could opt to do the Fall term later and begin the Winter term in January; we could opt out of both terms until the strike was over and remediate them both later. The professors will give extensions more easily. The grading curve is a little more relaxed–professors are “encouraged” to use the upward 5% when grading. We have the option of choosing (up to the day before the exam) which classes we want a final grade in and which classes we want just a pass/fail in (this was a HUGE help and I think should definitely be implemented in York’s remediation). We had a meeting with the deans where students could identify particular hardships and suggest solutions themselves–and they did take much of what we said into account. Stuff like that.

    You can bet the administration is going crazy coming up with all different plans for dealing with every possible contingency. The solutions may be more restricted for undergrads than for the law students due to the longer period out of school and the sheer number of undergrads, but they are hopefully not going to be dictating ALL the terms; they may (and should) be willing to take suggestions from you. That’s the thing to mobilize around when this strike is ended–people need to concretely identify what problems the strike has created and propose realistic solutions. Everyone here has to be just as vocal about solutions–if you don’t like the way York handles the remediation at the end of this thing, demand some changes!

  131. Outofschoolfor3months

    In my spare time, i came across the apocryphal quote from the Vietnam War “We had to burn down this village in order to save it” , which supposedly refers to an incident in which the US Army leveled a bunch of straw huts and killed untold civilians in order to prevent the spread of communism in South Vietnam

    CUPE seems to be burning down the university in order to save it from the monster of neoliberalism/negotiations/exploitation of workers/the president salary/whatever narrative and talking point they got from the GMM this week

    Oh CUPE, when did you start taking strategy lessons from the ghost of General Westmoreland?

    PS, the fact that CUPE members seem to think that marxism and marxist analysis is still relevant as a valid ideology today shows how completely and hilariously out of touch they are.

    This aint Paris ’68 kiddies

  132. Hate York

    I so agree flustered !!! It’s being in the dark that has been the absolute worst thing up till now. Had i known it would have gone on this long i would have made better use of my time ! NOT KNOWING WHAT THE HELL IS GOING TO HAPPEN HAS OFFICIALLY RUINED THE START OF 2009 FOR ME AND POSSIBLY ALL OF 2009. Way to go YORK!!!

  133. Prestia

    It’s seriously stuff like this that makes me pray for some sort of zombie apocalypse.

  134. bjmf


    In your opinion, what is the chance of the union voting no to the offer?

  135. G

    I don’t know about the rest of you and what your professors have told you but I would keep up with my readings and assignments. Assignments due before the strike are due after one class that has taken place. Second I just received a revised course outline although nothing is written in stone and there have been no dates assign to the week’s readings. But nothing has been cut from what was due before the strike. All the assignments are still do as well as all the readings. So I would not count on having things cut from the course material. Its better to be safe than sorry. This really sucks I know!

  136. anon

    @RS…so we wont get refunded and we wont get graded for the course correct? because for me the grade is whats important as long as i dont get graded im going to take the year loss? could you clarify this for me!

  137. tired


    This update shows that york will not that easily capitulate and it says that THE ONLY way to end this strike would be an YES vote by the members.

  138. Timothy


    Why would you say that we had to keep up with readings? According to the senate policy we don’t have to do shit. I did not pay $5000 to sit at home and teach myself material that should have been taught by profs. We did not ask for this strike and now we should not allow anyone to screw us over even further. So I encourage students to use their rights. Lectures will have to be cut out, and so will assignments. The syllabus has to be changed, that has been made clear numerous times. You are not responsible for any material that you missed because of this strike.

  139. G


    Don’t get mad at me am just reporting on what the current situtation is with my course. Maybe your professors will be nicer and cut lectures and assignments out of your course but my professor has not. As I said all material has been kept the same and nothing has been cut according to the revise course outline. Its not written in stone and can change if this strike goes on longer. But so far the material has remain the same as prior to the strike and will be cram in a shorter amount of time. Yes we have rights and I urge all of you to use these rights. I just wanted to make clear that assuming things will be cut might not happen and to be prepare to work hard once you go back.

  140. flushafleshfarmFLA

    @JESS = douchenozzle

    way to fight propaganda by pasting the same rant on all current threads.

  141. CUPE member with child



    That’s actually false – the setting of the poverty line has no relation to whether one works part/full time or doesn’t eveb work at all.

    You also write: “The only way to measure if the universitys offer is fair is by comparison with other universities in Canada.”

    No, the only way thus far in my opinnion to assess if it’s fair is whether or not those who are being asked to do that work choose to do so for that pay package. You can’t force people to sign contracts – that would certainly be unfair.

  142. York Student

    OKAY. what are the chances of the strike ending next week? seriously.

  143. Hate York

    G are you from megan’s “The patient” class? Cause i just received the same and she didn’t cut ANYTHING out…uhhhhhh !

  144. CUPE member with child


    Thanks for the information: “This update shows that york will not that easily capitulate and it says that THE ONLY way to end this strike would be an YES vote by the members.”

    I guess if you believe that, and the union votes against the offer, then you believe that the school will be closed for good. Nor will we likely to be seeing you around anymore, as you will have gone off in life and done something else.

    I suppose some people just aren’t university calibre anyways…

  145. RS

    @ anon

    basically yes. You won’t recieve anything in terms of funds. A grade will not be given either. If you are willing to lose the tuition and want a smooth year – I would recommend dropping til next year.

  146. anon

    yea thats my plan RS something i didnt want to do but if my plans are law school i cant afford to take any chances…i rather lose a year and do whats best for me in the long run thanks for the post much appreciated…just for curiosity do you know if i will have to reapply next year to York? thats another issue i dont know of?

  147. RS

    @ anon

    as i understand, you will not need to re-apply as you are a current student (even if you drop). Contact the school for this information to confirm – the registrar’s office should still be open.

    * but * if the year is canned and you do drop out, then you lose on the possibility of compensation. Don’t know about you, but we all put a bit of change in York’s jar.

  148. RS

    apples and oranges both taste good (a common factor between both). don’t use them as a comparison. No one is forced to sign anything – but if you don’t agree with a contract… why are you signing it. If York TA’s didn’t agree to be the highest paid TA’s in the province, then why did they sign in the first place. I think it is a great job and a great wage – the experience that they gain is almost impossible to match at any other institution. I think they should buck-up and be happy with what they have. The economy is crashing and people are loosing jobs, yet CUPE is asking for more…

  149. nuts

    I just got a decrease in hourly wage yesterday at my part time job, maybe I should go on strike

  150. RS

    @ nuts

    STRIKE!!! I’m with you… I get minimum wage… I don’t think it can get any lower

  151. tired

    @ cupe mwc
    i am not sternly believing that york will not capitulate.Instead the probability of strike prolonging for some time IF forced ratification fails is not nil.
    I know that you believe that york will come to a settlement soon (within a week) if the forced rat fails just like they did in 2001. But there is always an other side to everything. The worst case scenario could be when york and union are still bargaining and struggling to reach a deal. So it is just a possibility which seems like could also be true looking at the update…

    What do you mean by ” I suppose some people just aren’t university caliber anyways”?
    If it was quality, then i truly represent the quality looking at my accolades so far.

  152. Pally Wally


    Why don’t you if you think you are being treated unfairly?
    Or did your company not post huge profits in the 3 years leading up to your wage cut?

  153. anon

    ok thanks alot for the information rs

  154. Wheres my motivation?

    I forget who made mention of the idea… but I too was getting fed up and nervous about the outcome of assignments and exams once we go back… so i emailed my profs, and although some gave some general words of advice (read over your notes), others simply would not say anything helpful whatsoever… and instead said that nothing will be done until the strike is resolved. So we are all being kept in the dark… and the end of the strike could very well bring much hardship and unfairness to the students.

  155. your inner consciousness

    Jess, you are a naive little zombie.

  156. UnderGrad Int'l

    Please see the link from the Toronto Star below indicating that classes can resume as early as next week Thursday guys:



    After York University called for a forced vote on their latest offer, which was rejected by the union, striking staff will go to the polls Jan. 19 and 20, 2009. University says classes can start next Thursday if members accept offer; union wants more talks

    January 14, 2009
    Louise Brown

    The strike at York University could end a week from tomorrow if part-time professors and teaching assistants accept the latest offer at a secret-ballot vote on Monday and Tuesday.

    York spokesperson Alex Bilyk said yesterday that if both contract faculty and teaching assistants accept the offer next week, classes could resume as early as Thursday, with the final decision to be made by the executive committee of York’s senate.

    But leaders of the Canadian Union of Public Employees 3903 are urging members to “kill the rat” – the “ratification” vote the province is conducting at a North York hotel among all 3,340 teaching assistants, contract faculty and graduate assistants. Instead, they want to hammer out a deal at the bargaining table.

    “This is a week spent waiting when we could have been at the table negotiating a settlement,” said union spokesperson Tyler Shipley yesterday at a “kill the rat” rally on campus of about 60 strikers. “The good news is, this is the last dirty trick the university has up its sleeve to block a deal reached at the bargaining table.”

    Under Ontario labour law, employers may call on Queen’s Park to hold such a “supervised vote” only once during bargaining, as a way to bypass union leaders and have employees vote directly on an offer.

    Each of the three categories of striking York workers will vote on the deal separately, as happened during the last CUPE strike in 2001, when contract professors accepted the offer but teaching assistants and graduate assistants kept bargaining for a few days before signing a deal. During that last strike, the university did not cancel classes.

    This time, all classes have been cancelled since Nov. 6. It is not yet clear whether York would resume classes if only contract faculty approved the offer.

    The strike has each side pointing the finger at the other for disrupting the academic year for nearly 50,000 undergraduates and almost surely dragging classes into May.

    York has said it is calling the vote on its three-year offer of a 9.25 per cent raise and better benefits because CUPE has refused to put what it calls the perfectly fair and affordable offer to members directly.

    CUPE 3903 leaders say they didn’t bother to call a vote on an offer they know members would reject, partly because they say it reduces the number of contract faculty members promoted each year to tenured professors, even though York is losing dozens of senior professors to retirement each year.

    “Given many of us hope to become faculty members in future, the erosion of tenure is a concern,” said PhD student David Zylverberg, a graduate assistant who says he will vote against the offer next week.

    The York Federation of Students has set up a special $40,000 fund this week for students financially hit by the strike.

    At Queen’s Park yesterday, Progressive Conservative MPP Peter Shurman (Thornhill) said Premier Dalton McGuinty should immediately recall the Legislature to end the strike at York.

    “It is now urgent,” he said.

    With files from Robert Benzie

  157. Timothy


    Sorry I was in no way trying to be rude. I was just telling you that you should stand up for your rights. Don’t let your prof do that. You have the right to ask for a revised syllabus. Your prof MUST make these revisions. I say you get together with other students in your class and protest.

  158. your inner consciousness

    My “valid input” was not very valid at all, please stop using soft language and sarcasm.

    What is there to be discussed, jess?
    We will know when we are supposed to know, and that’s all there is to it.
    All these debates, diaspora and discussions are pointless.

    But lets keep piling the democratic doo-doo higher and higher.

  159. Roon'd

    To the profs/TAs/etc on here;

    The main concern on my mind isn’t when school will return, because I strongly believe it will return and the year will be completed somehow, and I’ve been preparing for it. (To those who want the year to be canceled, finish your homework please.)

    My main concern is WHEN school returns, what type of mood would you guys be in? Are you going to fail us all simply out of an act of retaliation to York failing to meet your demands completely (probably an exaggerated question, but can be possible where angry union members are concerned)? Will you still be fair in marking us, teaching us, and allow for exceptions to be made for students’ plans that would otherwise be compromised?

    I’d appreciate any input.

  160. B

    I wonder if some of you folks ever step back and realize people on here are using the anonymity to needlessly provoke you…

  161. your inner consciousness

    I like to skip around boards like these, it feeds my intellect.
    No, in fact, i do NOT know that the offer is “more than fair”, that’s an awfully black and white statement.
    And holding out? I don’t care about these votes you speak of.
    You cannot fathom a world where your opinion and views are valueless, can you? Self righteousness plagues all.

  162. B

    Roon’d – don’t underestimate the professionalism of Union members. Not all are radicals, nor support the strike. Additionally, I doubt there are those willing to compromise their academic integrity or careers with such pity acts…..or maybe I’m just a naive daydreamer…

  163. Yorkie

    Chances are the union’s been preparing for this moment all a long (knowing how incredibly stubborn York is), in my opinion I highly doubt all three units or more than one unit are going to accept this. This had been done before and I think quite a few union members would rather see the true fruts of their labour rather than stop halfway through. This whole strike would be in vain…

  164. AndrewB

    @David Allan

    We are taking the same example and just using it different ways. When I say “giving up the year for a month of work” I basically am saying, it is that month of work that is causing people to want to make this choice of scrapping the school year in the first place. I totally agree, if the year is lost then start working now. But it is basically a fact that the one month of summer work is causing all this fighting. Students are so upset about not getting one month of work, that they are willing to give up their year for it and start working now. If the year ended when it was suppose to, and students have 4 months of summer work, you would only see the people who really just don’t want to go back for what ever reason, wanting the year to be lost.

    I am just working this out logically, and you can make what ever choice you want. The facts in this are, there is a strike and it will change the outcome of the school year. We will have some faster classes, and have to put a little more stuff into a shorter time. So this is where you pick what you want. Knowing that you can’t change the facts around

    Do you:
    A) Take a year of education and only get 3 months of summer instead of 4.
    B) Stop school now (5 months lost), be behind a year, but gain 7 months of work time.

    That is basically what it comes down to in its simplest form. I am not going to touch students working during the year, students living off loans and all that other stuff, because I don’t want to speak for anyone. That would be up for them to decide. Students would have to weigh the pros and cons of going back vs. not going back. Maybe I am alone on this (I know I’m not) and think I would find another way to pay for school the following year before I just give up this year. (I’m basically putting myself in a 2nd/3rd year students shoes, but using info that I know in my 6th year, in that by that time, you want to be done school. So adding another year hurts)

    The thing is, it this bothers me. I am open about my biased. I have said it since the start that this is my final year and I’ll do the entire semester in 6 weeks if I had to. I do understand many other sides of the tale, and I won’t dare talk for them. But it seems as if I am the only one who is not allowed to be a little one sided, even when I am open about it. Yet I always have to “look from other people’s point of view” such as 2nd/3rd year students, yet the 4th years are thrown under the bus. I’m not asking for an advantage, I am asking people to be fair.

    Because here is the thing, if York put out a vote to all students on the year being lost, are you really going to think about anyone besides yourself when voting? Are 2nd year students going to say “well, I should vote no (on year being lost) because the 4th years will be screwed”. The answer would be no, and they have every right to think that way as well, because everyone has to worry about themselves. You want me to look through your eyes, but have you looked through mine? My career (not a student job) is within my grasp, and it costs me only 5 months more after 6 long years. Is it selfish of me to want to grab it? Of course not. Is it selfish of students wanting to end school now because they need money to live? Of course not. But I have to draw off what I would do in their situation because I can’t speak for what 50,000 would do. And if it were my choice, I’d take the year of school and 3 months and find another way to pay. (this is one situation of course, please do not jump on me for not thinking of 49,999 others)

    Just a note, the $10/hr or $14/hr thing is a matter of where you live. In my city, you would be lucky to earn $14 an hour for a student summer job. My numbers are based on what I know, so of course it will change depending where you live. We can just say, it will fall somewhere in between our numbers.

  165. UnderGrad Int'l

    Does anybody know what time the Commons closes daily?

  166. UnderGrad Int'l

    Sorry, I mean York Lanes.

  167. Caragh

    If the york strike ends next week, what kind of notice are they expecting to give us?
    Sorry about the disruption, alls good, see you in class tomorrow/today.. kind of deal?

  168. scared


  169. AndrewB

    @ Roon’d

    If a teacher fails you and you believe it to be a false fail, you can bring it to them. If they refuse to change it, or even talk to you about it (or if the reason is horrible) then you may bring it to the dean/head of your department. Like if you are a solid B student, always get B’s on your assignments and then you get back and you recieve an F for something you know gets you a B, you may can challenge it.

    But I doubt you will have any issues. They still can be fired if they refuse to do their job properly.

  170. AndrewB


    I’d expect an email in your YorkU account (I check mine daily) and a notice on the website informing students when classes will resume.

    My suggestion is, if you need to book say a flight back to Toronto, get as much information as you can on when the strike “may” end, and get back to Toronto. I am only 3 hours away, but I wouldn’t be able to just get up and go myself, so I would need a weekend. So I am going back either this weekend or next to make sure I am safe.

  171. your inner consciousness

    I am on neither side, i simply came here to incite some playful chaos.
    I apologize if i came across as an asshole. Hopefully everything is worked out as quickly but efficiently as possible (if such a median is possible in our existence) so that i can go back to school and finish what i started. Until then, i will continue to do what it is i have done all my life: Be.
    Thank-you for your time and energy.

  172. Yorkie


    Check the York website, they said the latest we could be back IF there is a YES vote would be the 26th:

    “Only a YES vote is certain to end the strike and restart the Fall term no later than Monday, January 26.”

  173. demarche

    @ caragh, scared, et al.

    If CUPE votes yes next week, classes will resume on Thursday or Friday, or at the latest, the following Monday. I was told this yesterday by one of the university administrators in charge of making this decision, so that’s not just speculation on my part.

    That’s if all three units vote yes. If it’s a split vote, then nobody knows yet what will happen.

  174. Cupe Doll

    @Prestia: “It’s seriously stuff like this that makes me pray for some sort of zombie apocalypse.”

    Not just me. Everyone in the room. Rolling on floor laughing.

    @bjmf: “In your opinion, what is the chance of the union voting no to the offer?”

    Assuredly 50/50. Since I got no clue nor any way to get clues. Seriously, though? Depends if enough silent majority comes out voting. If less than 60% even bother then I expect all units will vote “no”. If over 70% come out then I’d expect at least one unit to vote “yes”.

    @Dray: “.. Drummond did *not* suggest in any way that “York won’t capitulate even if the vote goes against [the offer].” His language is defiant, obviously, but you’re jumping to conclusions.”

    Congrats. You figured it out. Since defiance is consistent with resistance and inconsistent with capitulation, defiant language indeed suffices to suggest resistance and not-capitulation. This does not follow by logical implication, of course — but then I never said Drummond *implies* York won’t capitulate. Drummond only suggests it.

    “Great. So, drive home the point of how stupid I am and point out what the correct reading is.”

    Consider the point driven. Not that I ever thought you stupid. To the contrary. Even if not able to distinguish insinuation and suggestion from implication and entailment, you’re clearly adequately clever. Your problem is, typical of 3903s, what a lazy good-for-nothing T.A. you are.

    Lol. Kidding. Mostly.

  175. CUPE member with child


    The contract that’s being offered to me covers both my work as a TA and my work as a graduate student. Together, these are more than full time.

    Many of the institutions that you wish to compare this offered contract in order to deem that it is “fair” are also poised to go on strike. Under your logic, this would imply that it’s “fairness” is questionable indeed.

    Nevertheless, I will decide for myself if the contract is fair and if I decide that it is then I will gladly vote for it. If I don’t deem it fair then by all means I will not agree to work for it and thus reject it.

  176. M.

    CUPE Member with Child.

    Please. Go complain somewhere else. Your input has become increasingly invective and we – the students – really don’t need your crap.

    Maybe it’s you, the ideological strikers who have lost ability to think rationally, who are no longer “university material.”

  177. Dray, vindicated.


    Your unique modes of reasoning (e.g. “defiance is consistent with resistance ” implies Drummond “suggests” York’s intention is to not “capitulate”.) is why I think you’re positively crackers.

    Seriously, cupedoll, there’s *no way* you can reasonably conclude from anything Drummond said that he’s somehow conveying that York will “not capitulate.”

    You jump to conclusions about everything all the time. It’s as though your mind is untrained.

    Seriously, I honestly think you’re losing your mind. Please. I suggest you take a break from thinking about this strike nonsense and connect with familiar people (not online), like family or friends — and not talk about the stupid strike. It’ll do you good.

    You’ll be able to return here later and make your case more coherently.

    I’m saying this with genuine concern.

  178. I have a question that has been bothering me for long time. Why didn’t CUPE propose their demands to York during the summer? Why did they choose to do so after two months into school? It would of been a lot more easier on students if we were notified earlier.

  179. Yorkie


    They have been talking since the summer. Why York decided to keep it a secret, well that’s beyond me…

  180. Dray to Roon'd

    I’ll answer your questions based on my memory of 3903 members’ behaviour and actions after 2001.

    “My main concern is WHEN school returns, what type of mood would you guys be in?”

    Active picketers will largely feel guilty and deeply sympathetic. Even the assholes are likely to feel guilty. I’ll bet they’ll give you considerable leeway.

    Inactive CUPE members (the vast majority of members) will be sympathetic, as they’ll feel just as you do about the situation, but not guilty.

    A few pricks will have no sympathy. They’ll evaluate you just as they would have had the strike never happened.

    “Are you going to fail us all simply out of an act of retaliation to York failing to meet your demands completely (probably an exaggerated question, but can be possible where angry union members are concerned)?”

    Definitely not. If members wanted to retaliate, they’d give you A+’s.

    If CUPE loses big and the active strikers are angry (again, a minority of CUPE members), they will also be exhausted and demoralized. They won’t take it out on you. They might burst into tears, though. Be nice to them and they won’t let you down.

    “Will you still be fair in marking us, teaching us, and allow for exceptions to be made for students’ plans that would otherwise be compromised?”

    In 2001, many, many exceptions were made for all sorts of people, specifically relating to students’ plans. Lots of examinations, tests, term papers were deferred in order to accomodate student plans.

    If you are treated unfairly, you will need to launch a petition to rectify the situation. Petitions are very likely to be successful if you can argue that the strike somehow played a role in your problem. That will be very easy to do.

  181. @Yorkie

    Oh. Yea, that is f***ed up how York wouldn’t tell us that. They probably wanted us to pay off the tuition first before they announce anything about the strike.

  182. Commuter

    What impact do you think the strike will have, if any, on maintaining marks for scholarships?

    I mean, compressed exam schedules and the like can’t be too beneficial.

  183. Warczaski

    I’m SO HARD…

  184. @ Cupe Member w/ Child

    “Nevertheless, I will decide for myself if the contract is fair and if I decide that it is then I will gladly vote for it. If I don’t deem it fair then by all means I will not agree to work for it and thus reject it.”

    I found it pretty funny. You could of simply said “If I like the contract, I will vote on it. Otherwise I won’t.” Was it really necessary to write that much? I’m not being mean or anything but it funny how a lot of people here write so much more than they need to. Soon, we’ll start seeing essays on this forum!

  185. Roon'd

    Thanks very much to those who answered me, especially to Dray for your detailed response 🙂

  186. bob

    Why Girls Shouldn’t Cheat On Boys

    There once was a guy named Jack who had a girlfriend called Ashley. She was the most popular girl in school. The three most popular guys were Tom, Marcus and Jack. Ashley thought Jack was okay, but she really liked Marcus, who liked her, just like every heterosexual guy at the school. Marcus and Jack were archenemies. Marcus repeatedly stole Ashley away from Jack.

    One warm Friday, Marcus asked Ashley out to the movies. Jack was eavesdropping and knew when and where they were going.

    Later that night, Jack snuck into the seat behind Marcus and Ashley. Jack watched them put arms around each others’ shoulder, then hug… then kiss… then PASH!
    “Do you want to come to my place and skip this boring movie?” said Ashley.
    “Hell yeah!” said Marcus.

    Jack followed the couple home. He watched Marcus and Ashley have sex. Then, Jack ran away home. He didn’t want to see any more.

    On Monday, Jack didn’t come to school. At lunch, all the popular kids at school were having their usual coversation.
    “Where’s Jack?” asked Tom.
    “I dunno, probably crying at home because he didn’t get to go out with Ashley last night!” said Marcus. Everybody laughed. Marcus had a way of making people laugh. Only the three of them were there. It felt really weird. Jack had never been away from school in his entire life according to Tom.
    “Well I never did really break up with him except by text on Saturday!” Ashley added. Both the guys laughed again. It seemed really weird to have such a popular group with only three people in it that day. But that’s because it was no ordinary day.

    The next day, Jack didn’t show up to school either.
    Or the next day…
    Or on Thursday…
    Or that Friday for that matter.

    On Saturday, Tom kept trying to ring Jack to see if he could come over, but his phone was switched off. He walked up to his house and knocked on the door, but there was no answer. Then he remembered that Jack’s parents were commercial airline pilots and they had to work every day so they wouldn’t be there. He knocked again, but there was no answer. So Tom figured that Jack must be out, however there was no answer for the rest of the day.

    He did the same on Sunday, but he wasn’t there all day and he knew that Jack was rarely allowed out at night. Especially when there was school the next day. So Tom sadly rode his bike home at 6 which was his last attempt.

    The next day at assembly, the principal had told them that this week the year 12s had to stay back for a special assembly. It was their last assembly and they had Block Exams to do. Why did they have to stay back? The whole year was shocked when they saw Jack’s mum walk in.
    “Kids,” she sighed. “I have made a special announcement because one of our school members has died 1 week before graduation. Yes, I know. You probably all know Jack Halagey. Yesterday when I came back from a stressful flight to Bangkok and back, I searched for Jack, called the police and found his dead body in his closet. They carbon dated it to be about a week old. There was a note next to it, and I suggest that if you do not like these kind of themes that you leave now.”

    Some people in the assembly left, but only for religious reasons or the fact that they wanted more study time which they should have been doing for the past 2 months.

    “Okay,” said Jack’s mum. “The note said…

    My dearest Ashley,
    I watched you at the movie theatre and at Marcus’s house and I will continue to watch you. I never thought you would do something like this to me.I really loved you, Ashley. I died for you just like Jesus died for the Christians.

    Always with you,

    Then came the usual tears after that story. The principal walked up to the microphone.
    “Thank you Margret Halagey for sharing that sad story with the year 12s. That concludes this week’s assembly, year 12 is now dismissed.”

    Please post this message in 5 places or more, otherwise Jack will haunt you forever. He now watches the mafia as well as Ashley and knows where you all live. He wants you to know about Marcus. He wants you to show you care.

    [in loving memory of’]
    **Jack Halagey**
    Born: 29th December, 1992
    Died: 4th August, 2008

    Still don’t believe me? Well here’s what happened to my friend’s girlfriend. I was at her house one day and we were posting up stupid answers to a blog. Then when she saw this message she blatantly ignored it. The next day during assembly, she was making a speech and she collapsed in front of the whole school. Yes–I know Jack. He was a prefect at my school. I was in Year 8 when I knew him.

    Later on when police investigated, they found poisoning in her sandwich that she ate that day.

    After school that day, my other friend was checking through his e-mail and found this same message. He deleted it thinking it was a stupid forward. He was on a flight to Indonesia the next day. When he got to Jakarta International Airport, they found a form of poisoning inside his bag. When Australian justice found out about this, it was also the same one-of-a-kind poison that was found in that girl’s sandwich. Since he was in Indonesia and she also came from Indonesia, he was put to death.

    Two weeks later, Brisbane International and Sydney International airport security went through the records and found that the poison was in fact snuck into the luggage that went on the flight to Jakarta

  187. vik

    bob. that was crazy. so crazy. wow just crazy.

  188. Pally Wally

    Pally Wally,
    1)how are you being treated unfairly?

    – Well, I guess I’m ‘being held hostage’ by this strike like every other undergrad. However, unlike most, I managed to take responsibility for my education by continuing on with it during the strike. So I guess, I’m really being inconvenienced in order that a labour dispute may be resolved…which actually seems fair to me.

    2)unlike a corporation all universities in Canada are non-profit organizations, their goal is not about being rich. If you think for one second that its in the Yorks best interest to underpay their faculty to increase profits youre dead wrong.

    -to repeat a much-belaboured 3903 talking point, go and take a look at M.Shoukri’s CV and his contract at York. This is the first “not-for-profit” that he’s worked at (prior to serving in a similar capacity as the head of Mac’s med school), and his salary is in not way commensurate with directors of large organizations in the city that actually ARE ‘not-for-profit’s; they are, however closer to what he would be paid in the private sector. Why does a not-for-profit require private sector leadership?

    Second point: funding from the province is now increasingly ‘tied aid’ – in the sense that research that has the promise of being marketable in the private sector (and therefore producing a return on investment) is what is getting funding. York being a school traditionally oriented to the social sciences is seeing this strength wiped away as the ability to play the gadfly is being replaced with external demands for results.
    If there is an injustice, it is this and regardless of whether faculty are or are not underpaid, York will pay the price in the long run as it attempts to be UofT in a city that already has one – one that does it much better, and with a much larger endowment.

  189. Yorkie


    Well for whatever reasons they thought it fair to not tells us about this strike, York will end up paying for their mistakes. Whether it be through lost York applicants and tuition or paying off the Union, they will pay…

  190. Caragh

    I wonder if anyone remembers that the final date to drop a course was postponed due to the strike. I received an email saying that because I wanted to drop one of my courses, it was too much of a load. Anyways, now I’m even more desperate to drop a class since everything will be crammed and hectic when we get back.
    I don’t suppose anyone knows what the final date is anymore. Or if they just said its postponed, and that it was left at that.

  191. Meow Mix

    meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow mooo
    meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow

    okay enuff of this….

    bob: that was a very nice story

    andrew: please stop being mr. smartypants.

    cupe members: get a life, get another job, leave the students alone

    york: never coming back here for next year

    to all the other students who think this strike was messed up: i say we ask for partial refund and still have both semesters along with summer school

    to all others who think school is gna get cancelled: you guys are idiots

    to pple who know school isn’t going to get cancelled: study more/start studying.

    to myself: im out

  192. Hate York

    LMAO meow mix…..good job !

  193. Mass

    @ Carafh
    I’m in the same boat.
    but i doubt it would be anytime soon, but when school starts up again theyd probably feel bad for you and let you drop a course after the deadline with the strike inturruption and all. just dont expect a refund.

    ALSO i doubt were getting our year back. they WONT vote yes…york would have to make a damn incredible offer if cupe is going to accept. b/c if cupe walks out of this strike with little to no change in their contract.. it would be pretty humiliating.
    and how much better can york do? what an amazing time to strike. people are loosing their jobs at this time. its practically a depression, and they want more. ahahaa theyre lucky to have a job AT A TIME LIKE THIS. you know how many full timers i know that went on work share this season!!!!

  194. Cupe Doll

    @Dray, vindicated: “Your unique modes of reasoning…..”

    You would gain much from an intro to logic course, Dray.

    “Seriously, cupedoll, there’s *no way* you can reasonably conclude from anything Drummond said that he’s somehow conveying that York will “not capitulate.””

    Of course I didn’t “conclude”. Since no such conclusion was implied by what Drummond reportedly said. I merely noted — as you did — what his defiant tone suggested. Get it? Suggestion may follow even from tone. As in “defiant” tone. As in, “Drummond’s defiant tone suggests, etc.”

    Logic course, Dray. Just audit it.

    “You jump to conclusions about everything all the time. It’s as though your mind is untrained. Seriously, I honestly think you’re losing your mind.”

    You’ve always got the option to think others lose their minds when you fail understanding what they mean. Particularly when you fail so spectacularly. Might be wiser just remaining silent, though. Lol. Even quietly drooling might be somewhat wiser.

  195. Austin Vigliano

    the drop date will be re-set once a return to school date is set

  196. Bobert

    @Meow Mix

    you forgot: I wan’t Meow Mix, Please Deliverrrrr Meow Meow…. Meow..

  197. All the worst

    I really hope that the vote fails… I want to see what york will do.. i.e whether york will do anything ( by actually capitulating) for its 50000+ students.. Is it as committed in action as it is verbally to its students?

  198. B

    Nothing like anonymity to bring out the crazies.

  199. And

    @ All the worst

    Some of us don’t have the time or even the money to test York’s promises to look after their students. Some of us just want to end this freaking year and transfer the hell out of this S*** hole ASAP. I say let them say YES and resume classes. What are you getting out by testing the York and their words of commitment to its students? Nada!!!

  200. tester

    Cupe Doll (or someone else):

    What happened at todays GMM?
    How many people showed up?

  201. CUPE 3903

    lol..what a joke.

  202. confused


    I was just wondering…do all units have to vote yes for us to go back? Or if one unit votes yes but the other two don’t will school start?

  203. ellen

    I was wondering whether all three units have to vote yes for school to start..or does only 1 unit have to vote yes?

  204. Cupe Doll

    @tester: “What happened at todays GMM?
    How many people showed up?”

    Sorry, didn’t go. Had to deal with real life stuff today. I’ll report if I hear anything interesting …

    @confused: “I was just wondering…do all units have to vote yes for us to go back? Or if one unit votes yes but the other two don’t will school start?”

    Someone else asked this earlier this thread. Short answer: if all units vote yes, classes resume within 1 week. If some but not all units vote yes then classes still resume within one week. Why? See my 7:51 messages way up above.

  205. sam

    I want to travel back to Toronto and get back into rez to study, read etc…Will I meet opposition at the entrance?? will I meet resistance at the entry???

  206. ellen


    what if two out of the three units vote yes? will we still go back?

  207. sam

    wanna get back to rez this Sunday…..

  208. Dray, amused


    Oh, believe me, I’m no stranger to logic and reasoning.

    Sure, babe, sure. I’m no stranger to reasoning and mathematical logic.

    A defiant tone can mean many things, including what you suggest.

    But you inferred that York would not return to the bargaining table with concessions, and there’s nothing in what Drummond said to suggest this to the exclusion of other possible things that could be suggested.

    You only read into Drummond’s statement what you wanted. You’re not thinking clearly about this, and you seem to do the same thing with much of what you post on this forum.

  209. Pally Wally


    I’m familiar with Ayn Rand’s ‘philosophy’ and the tenets of neoliberal economics;
    “The price of any product or service is determined by comparison. This is true universally. Your service is essentially being purchased by the university at a price determined to be fair.”

    Calling education a product is precisely the problem, as many CRAZY idiots in grad school seem to think that a liberal arts education transcends monetary value. Or have you not heard what we in the arts say about business students?

    “Determined to be fair” by whom? Clearly not the union membership who decided to strike. These ‘objective’ notions of what is ‘realistic’ are often problematic to people who have been encultured in a system that has promised one thing, and is delivering quite another. Fortunately, it is not up to you to determine that all of a sudden a graduate degree (ie. a credential) is what is exchanged for graduate work.

  210. Dray, amused

    Now I leave poor cupedoll to have the last word and to continue soapboxing.

  211. AndrewB

    You cupe people seirously need to go have your little “group therapy sessions” somewhere else. You know, like maybe at a GMM or something. Wait, that would require people to show up and union leaders to put it in the agenda.

    My mistake.

  212. @ AndrewB

    I see we have a joker fan.

  213. Pally Wally


    Remind me what GST stands for – and what is the reason that we translate goods and services into dollars and cents, but generally concede that things like ‘happiness’ and ‘wisdom’ are of a different order?

    Well, increasingly – graduate research is aimed at marketability. What you are saying is that instead of giving someone a fair wage and alienating them from the product of their labour (ie. their research/findings) all we need to do is throw them a piece of paper so they can then in turn prove again to another company that they might actually be worth paying in cash? Something tells me if you can find people that smart and stupid at the same time, you’re onto something.

  214. b

    does anyone actually have assignments to do? i wasnt assigned anything just before the strike went on. so pretty much only have reading to do, and final exams. anyone else have the same thing? its too bad that I didnt have a paper to work on, so i could have gotten ahead.

  215. Mike Oxbig

    can i just go to my professors and ask them…just give me an exam worth like 80%

  216. Cupe Doll

    @Dray, amused: “you inferred that York would not return to the bargaining table with concessions”

    Nope. Check Cmwc’s 11:41 message. Where, presumably like you thinking I had drawn whatever inference about York, s/he asked: “You say: “York won’t capitulate even if the vote goes against it.” How do you know that?”

    Now check my 7:02 reply to Cmwc: “The next thing I said after “York won’t capitulate even if the vote goes against it” was “That’s what [i.e., the defiant tone of] Drummond suggests in this article”.” And, “Did you mean to ask what I think? Whether I believe York won’t capitulate even if the vote goes against it — and why?”

    Get it? I inferred nothing about York. Like you did later, I noted how suggestive Drummond’s defiant tone was.

    “I’m no stranger to logic and reasoning” and “I’m no stranger to reasoning and mathematical logic”

    Now *that* is evocative. When your fingers get stuttering like that. What happened? Did you google “entailment” or “implication” and realize you’d better mention mathematical logic? No need. Just a few weeks auditing any elementary standard logic half course and you too can distinguish implication from suggestion every time.

    “Now I leave poor cupedoll to have the last word and to continue soapboxing.”

    See? You are clever. Your however temporary and graceless exit is far wiser than persisting getting public spanked when mistaking your own misunderstanding for insanity in someone else. Perhaps wiser, even, than the quiet corner-drooling I commended to you. However. Nothing personal. You waste my time and have ceased amusing. Henceforth please address yourself other than to me.

  217. Yorkie

    So does it go this way in general? (Sorry if I’m repeating a question, but just making sure):

    2/3 units vote NO to contract= Strike continues
    2/3 units vote YES to contract= Strike ends
    1/3 units votes YES to contract= Strike continues
    1/3 units votes NO to contract= Strike ends

    Correct me if I’m wrong please.

  218. nuts

    @ Pally Wally

    I only feel treated unfairly not because of the work I do but because I’ve worked at this place and seen my pay increase every year and now we are being audited and it was found that we have over spent on our budget. So, here are my options, either employees take the $1.5/hr pay cut or bye bye job as the company wold have to fold.

    So Union…wake up..tough times are ahead and you want more money while everyone including part timers like me are making less to keep a crappy job. You guys have it cushy.

  219. 4th year student

    so when is the earlier we would go back ? assuming that they vote yes

  220. Cupe Doll

    @Yorkie: “2/3 units vote NO to contract= Strike continues
    2/3 units vote YES to contract= Strike ends
    1/3 units votes YES to contract= Strike continues
    1/3 units votes NO to contract= Strike ends”

    Rofl. Creative. But no.

    All units vote YES (kiss the rat) = strike ends

    All units vote NO (kill the rat) = strike continues

    AND if ANY unit votes YES = strike ends. Only if every unit kills the rat can the strike continue.

  221. demarche

    ^ @ cupe doll

    If you mean that’s your guess about how things will go, then OK.

    But just so people know, that’s not any kind of official plan, and York certainly hasn’t endorsed anything like that.

    Obviously all YES = strike ends, all NO = strike continues.

    But in the case of a mixed vote, nobody knows what will happen.

  222. Commuter

    Didn’t the strike continue even though it was a mixed vote last time?

  223. marj

    Isn’t it sad that we are having these ‘discussions’ at all…I have no strong ambition to return although I must-just to get the feeling that my $14,000 going to good use.

    Good to know that rez fees will not be added for additional weeks/months into the summer – or so I did read somewhere..nothing I read is ever confirmed..all speculation…even miss cupe doll… that girl breaks my heart, she must be so lonely…

  224. B

    marj – it’s in the minutes from RO info session post above this post.

    “-Regarding Residence: They believe they will extend residence contracts without additional costs. They can’t assure that this will happen again.”

  225. Flying J

    One more thought concerning graduate work:
    I personally believe that graduate work, especially after the Masters level, serves to isolate the grad student from the rest of society. I mean, how can anyone who spends that much time doing isolated research in the archives actually hope to become properly adjusted to societal norms? Thus, to me it is truly amusing to watch TAs come on here and justify full-time wages for part-time hours as if any dissenting opinion simply lacks logic. Well, keep in mind that these are the same individuals who have never had to work a real full time job to put food on the table. Most York TAs esteem their research to be of such importance that they feel justified for charging an outrageous price for their labour despite the fact that every other grad student in North America receives less money for very similar work. There is absolutely no concept of what determines fair market value to these people.

    Without academia, these are the same individuals that continue to live with their parents well into their 50s because they are too proud to work at Tim Hortons with all of their education. Yet they have no real skills to bring to the table as an employee. Certainly not social skills. So of course grad students need to fight for their life to create ridiculous ‘conversion’ jobs. Because unless they are allowed to become horrible instructors, and make no mistake almost all of them become horrible instructors, with unlimited job security, then they are almost destined to drain our social services such as welfare. Therefore, don’t waste your time trying to reason with these people. Because they cannot and will not be reasonable.

  226. marj

    thanks B..I have read so much, too much, and my mind is mush..should be fun the first week of classes..

  227. Cupe Doll

    @demarche: “Obviously all YES = strike ends, all NO = strike continues. But in the case of a mixed vote, nobody knows what will happen.”

    demarche, your breakdown seems reflective of York’s current update ( http://webapps.yorku.ca/NegotiationsUpdates/doc/Message%20to%20CUPE%20members.pdf ) that “Only a ‘YES’ vote is certain to end the strike”.

    Isn’t this breakdown somewhat misleading, though? Wouldn’t it be more complete to say “Only a ‘YES’ vote is certain to end the strike — most favourably for York”? Since a mixed vote would certainly end the strike too — as in 2000/01 — only not as favourably for York?

    Sadly, the question will likely remain of academic interest only. Practically, the best those of us on the side of students can hope at this point is to avoid an all NO vote. The silent 3903 majority disengaged a long time ago.

  228. nauh


    All units vote YES (kiss the rat) = strike ends

    All units vote NO (kill the rat) = strike continues

    AND if ANY unit votes YES = strike ends. Only if every unit kills the rat can the strike continue.

    How do you know this and where can I find this information? Cause I’ve been told differently.

  229. demarche

    @ cupe doll

    I don’t see why a mixed vote would necessarily end the strike.

    If Unit #2 votes yes and the others vote no, then contract instructors will be back at work, and York might resume classes, depending on how much disruption York is willing to put up with, since TA’s would still be out. But I agree that after that, it seems likely that Units #1 and #3 would settle quickly, though that’s just a guess.

    If Unit #2 votes no and the others vote yes, it would be difficult for York to resume classes. The instructors for half the classes would still be on strike. Conceivably, York’s next move could be to resume all classes taught by YUFA professors, in order to avoid losing even classes whose instructors are prepared to work. But it’s hard to say.

    Maybe your breakdown will turn out to be right. I’m just saying is that at this point it’s a matter of probabilities and educated guesses.

    (Of course York admin has surely worked out what they will do in each case, but they can’t show their hand.)

  230. demarche

    @ cupe doll

    I don’t see why a mixed vote would necessarily end the strike.

    If Unit #2 votes yes and the others vote no, then contract instructors will be back at work, and York might resume classes, depending on how much disruption York is willing to put up with, since TA’s would still be out. But I agree that after that, it seems likely that Units #1 and #3 would settle quickly, though that’s just a guess.

    If Unit #2 votes no and the others vote yes, it would be difficult for York to resume classes. The instructors for half the classes would still be on strike. Conceivably, York’s next move could be to resume all classes taught by YUFA professors, in order to avoid losing even classes whose instructors are prepared to work. But it’s hard to say.

    Maybe your breakdown will turn out to be right. I’m just saying is that at this point it’s a matter of probabilities and educated guesses.

    (Of course York admin has surely worked out what they will do in each case, but they can’t show their hand.)

    [ browser error; this may get posted twice; apologies if it does ]

  231. Mike Oxbig

    all i wanna know is

    are the janitor’s back to work

    so that when i take a huge shit and don’t flush the toilet, there is someone to clean it up?

    i hope cupe fought hard for higher wages for the janitors to clean up a mess like that

  232. Mike Oxbig

    i thought it’s been agreed that this will be a no vote?

  233. Pally Wally

    Flying J,

    I can tell from your characterization of grad students/contract faculty that you don’t respect them, or the work they do and have a poor idea of what it actually is that research contributes to the university and society as a whole; it makes me wonder why it is you have even chosen to pursue a degree when it seems you know everything already.

    Once you get into the ‘real’ world, I think you’ll find how rare it actually is to find someone that can a) write a coherent sentence and b) use that ‘logic’ you are so fond of.
    Don’t take my word for it though.

  234. Prestia

    Truer words have never been spoken.

  235. Jack Stephen

    (Copied Post)
    A proposal by student/public to breakup Cupe 3904 representation would deter both school and union.

    I believe that the only solution to future strikes would be to breakup union 3904 into their tier groups. Designating a separate union for contract professors would create a clearer image of the striking issues facing student/public.

    By having a mixed group of union membership (Tier 1,2,3), both York and the union can slant public opinion and prolong the end of the strike. The fact that York TA’s are the highest paid in the province leaves a platform for the school to argue while ignoring issues facing contract professors. While greater bargaining power is given to the union by grouping TA’s, GA’s and contract professors, their message is convoluted and their own representation fragmented. Neither the school nor union would want a breakup 3904 even though it would be in the best interest of students and those who are considering York or any other university in Ontario.

    How will the school and Cupe 3904 improve their image after the strike? What concessions will they make to the student body? Maybe only time is needed as all who is affected now becomes a forgotten past much like those from the strike of 2000.

    York Student

  236. Commuter

    @ Jack Stephen

    York is on strike, not Ryerson. CUPE 3904 is Ryerson.

  237. Pally Wally

    If I were going to be an undergraduate after this year I’d be asking how YFS could be incorporated into 3903, rather than breaking up the union. Especially with 2010 on the horizon which promises to put a lot of issues of concern to ALL students/teachers in the post-secondary sector on the table.
    As much as undergraduates are perceiving this as an attack on them by 3903 – if they want a voice at the table, they need to act in concert as well.

    “One Big Mob – Oh Yea – Oh Yea”

  238. Cupe Doll

    @demarche: “I don’t see why a mixed vote would necessarily end the strike.”

    Fair enough — not “necessarily”. An all YES vote near-necessarily ends the strike fast — while a mixed vote only very likely ends the strike fast as in 2000/01.

    Seems we could live with that distinction. I’m ok with the strike very likely ending fast even if York doesn’t get to dictate terms. It’s the likelihood of an all NO vote concerning (not only) me.

  239. B

    Pally Wally – That’s irrelevant. The two groups are wholly different.

    YFS fees are already a complete waste as it is. You want to charge undergrads Union dues as well???

    Besides, the CFS would never give up their stake in York.

  240. 4th year student

    @ peice of the pie

    hahahhaa yea lets do that

  241. Pally Wally


    Some might say that contract faculty and research assistants are wholly different – which someone was saying above.

    So, what I’m saying isn’t irrelevant – but, unlikely, for the reasons you cite and the reasons I’ve cited throughout the strike (undergraduate apathy).

    The CFS have limited power so long as undergraduates remain unorganized and ungalvanized to act together. The YFS has become even more unpopular because of the strike, and if someone ran this year on a platform to break with CFS – they might have a good chance of winning just because of how angry so many people are at Osman et al.

  242. B

    Pally Wally – They are wholly different. But splitting contract faculty and TAs would serve a blow to contract faculty who count on the number of Unit 1 and 3 members to help bolster their power.

    In regards to undergrad apathy – it would be interesting to see if the unpopularity and anger at Osman and anyone who runs on the platform you mention would help, even if just a little, raise voter turn out at elections. But, as politicians consistently demonstrate, saying you will break with CFS and actually doing it are two very different things. The CFS also does not seem to play fair when they stand to lose.

  243. Pally Wally


    Exactly my point – Unit2s generally get short shrift due to their relative lack of #s in the union – but if they were to exist outside of 3903 as their own union, their position would be even weaker, and they would stand to lose in the long run.

    Without delving into wider issues of ‘labour casualization’ or however you want to frame it – the bigger the union the more the power; which is why, I’m saying if students want a voice for their concerns the NEXT time this happens it would be in their interest to at least get in a position to have a voice at the table in 2010; I’m not convinced that CFS is that route.

    In all honesty, I don’t pay much attention to undergraduate politics – they upon first glimpse reminded me of high school politics (something to put on a resume) and at best, a bunch of people who had no real experience in any other avenues of social protest/justice, at worst those that did and got far too many kicks from the visibility afforded them in these venues.
    With this in mind, it would be interesting to see if that Koopmans guy runs.

  244. Bobert

    The other CUPE union at york did settle already

  245. B

    But the YFS is powerless because they are more or less the CFS’ bitch. Undergraduate numbers are pretty strong, we just need a more active voice at the top. Because of undergrad numbers though, 3903 might oppose their incorporation. Undergrads would become the majority and what power would graduate students, much less contract faculty, have? Undergrads would have to be incorporated and stripped of rights to vote. What good would that be to us then?

    Koopsman is not qualified to manage or lead the YFS. He started a facebook group and capitalized on that attention. It won’t make him a good candidate. He isn’t media savy whatsoever and has simply created and spread misinformation on a more public level. Stating the Fall term would be canceled at 12 weeks? Ridiculous. He’s no better the Osman and his misinformed tactics in this strike.

  246. Pally Wally


    Admittedly, I had not thought that through. I am grasping at alternatives to Y/CFS – and I have nothing.

    I agree that Koopmans is a poor choice – however the attention he has received has certainly made him more visible than even the lead members of 3903. He also seems to have a poor grasp of the politics and ways of the academy in general, as you are saying – but not many first year students who didn’t grow up in an academic household do.

    Bobert was citing some stats as to what UG pay to YFS and CFS – for what amounts to an ISIC card and a pretty shitty health plan- oh, and a metropass discount which is handy. That money might be better spent creating paid positions. The unfortunate reality is that York’s student body is largely made up of people who work in addition to attending school full time and so on. A small stipend might help, although I suspect it would do more harm than good.

  247. Bobert

    I’ve had some personal experience with a YFS slate a few years back which a few months after winning by a landslide (a real one! not with over 60% of seats acclaimed as we’re used to) toyed with the idea of York leaving the CFS, and considered a referendum as part of their re-election platform. This of course provoked the CFS into sending ‘volunteers’ from other campuses to campaign on behalf of our current slate and the rest is history.

    The CFS is very sensitive about universities leaving them, to the extent of having lawsuits over the matter (To name a few recent ones: Simon Frasier, Cape Breton). This is one of the reasons why the YFS executive was in Ottawa in the middle of a strike, to promote a Yes vote for the University of Ottawa.

  248. Bobert

    anyways despite some of the problems with that slate, they actually did lower tuition fees unlike the CFS by lowering their own salaries, and managed to eliminate one VP position (by shuffling its former duties between other members) of course most people just hear that the VP of Equity was canned

  249. Pally Wally


    That is some interesting stuff – I had no idea. I wonder where these ‘volunteers’ were culled from, and furthermore, who funded them.
    Part of me thinks “that’s politics” – and that once students get fed up they’ll put a stop to it; but most students coming up don’t have the time or inclination to even care who is running the student government, let alone have any opinions on policy or direction.

  250. Yorkie


    So, last strike, when Unit 2 voted YES. The strike continued, is that not a possible case here?

  251. Yorkie

    So it has to be a majority that wins for YES for each unit, to end the strike. When you say a mixed vote, you mean not all units vote YES, right?

  252. york student

    is cupe gonna kiss the rat or kill the rat?

  253. Cupe Doll

    @Pally Wally: “Unit2s generally get short shrift due to their relative lack of #s in the union – but if they were to exist outside of 3903 as their own union, their position would be even weaker, and they would stand to lose in the long run.”

    That is so *NOT* true.

    @Yorkie: “So, last strike, when Unit 2 voted YES. The strike continued, is that not a possible case here?”

    If unit2 votes YES then this strike will continue just like last strike. For 2 more days.

  254. Pally Wally


    I think separating the unions would be a mixed bag at best. I certainly haven’t given this as much thought as you have – as you are a Unit2, and I know that you have experience of what it’s like to be in 3903 as well.

    My concerns, would be in what lengths the university would go to break the union if it were only contract faculty. Given the smaller numbers, it is conceivable that by hiring a certain number of tenured positions, and creating another class of teaching-centric positions – the school could drastically reduce its reliance on contract faculty to the point that it could ask for major concessions. This presumes that teaching-positions would be long term, and therefore not Unit2, based on “market value”.

    What do you think?

  255. Cupe Doll

    What do I think? Honestly? Lol. If we had separate locals with 3903-2 bargaining like reasonably realistic adults and 3903-1 always just ideologically striking out? 3903-1 would get wiped out of the workforce. Grad students would thereafter get funded on purely academic merits. And us 2s would get all the non-YUFA jobs.

  256. Yorkie

    @ Cupedoll

    “If unit2 votes YES then this strike will continue just like last strike. For 2 more days.”

    So what you’re saying is, you’re cetainthat if Unit 2 votes YES that a deal will be reached immediately? Just clarifying…

  257. Cupe Doll

    @Yorkie: “.. you’re cetain that if Unit 2 votes YES that a deal will be reached immediately?”

    Yes, I’m quite sure. Not quite as certain as I am that there are no married bachelors. But for practical purposes…

    Put it this way. If 3903 kept striking without all units for more than the 48-72 hours it would take to settle? That would be like Monty Python’s Black Knight wanting to keep fighting after getting his legs chopped. Who’d be threatened by that? Peeps be too busy laughin’…

  258. All the worst

    @ cupe doll
    But how is that Tyler shipley (union spokesperson) has expressed 100% belief that his union will reject the offer unanimously. who has a better understanding of the union? Definitely i have become exceedingly anxious to know what the result is.

  259. D

    Anyone who is 100% certain of something is not to be trusted 🙂

  260. Pally Wally


    I think a lot of people might point out that Unit2s are not uniform in their merit of full-time positions.

    Right now, the province and university have produced a glut of people with advanced degrees, and are attempting to cull the herd one way or another. Pitting Unit1s and 2s against another would really help out both the university and the province in drastically reducing wages sector wide; i’m not sure it would produce the utopian situation you’re envisioning.

  261. Cupe Doll

    @All the worst: “Tyler shipley (union spokesperson) has expressed 100% belief that his union will reject the offer unanimously.”

    Yeah. Unless the silent majority rocks this vote, chances are Shipley will turn out right.

    York says: “Only a ‘YES’ vote is certain to end the strike”. But for sure there won’t be an all YES vote. That’s alright, though. That’s ok. A mixed YES/NO vote also stops the strike. But if Shipley’s right and it’s all 3903 voting NO? Then, unless York capitulates, the year’s cuped.

  262. Dray, amused


    I’m on an iPhone. Browser trouble … That’s why I rewrote the first part of the message. I have a lot of training in logic. I’m saying you inferred from the text that Drummond suggested York wouldn’t capitulate. Sheesh!

    I’m even more convinced of your mental state, now.

  263. Dray, predicting

    I expect unit 1 will vote slim yes, unit 2 will vote a strong yes and unit 3 will vote a strong no.

    Many unit 1s normally uninvolved are extremely upset with the strike’s duration. They’re mobilized to come out and vote to end the strike. I suspect the numbers are high enough to tip the scale to a yes.

    Unit 2s have always been at odds with 3903. I think they’d rather end the strike than continue participating half heartedly.

    Only unit 3s, the most dissatisfied group, is likely to want to go for a better contract.

  264. Dray, predicting

    Finally, unit 2’s acceptance of their offer is enough to restart classes, even if other units are still on strike.

  265. AndrewB

    Thing is, I don’t think they would restart classes since so many classes rely on TA work for marking and such. I had a class last year which was 3 hours, 1 hour lecture with the prof on Thursday, 2 hour tutorial with the TA on Friday. All test, essay and assignment material would come from tutorial. The 1 hour lecture (only class on Thursday) was a complete waste of time to go to since it was only like an introduction to the poems we were reading that week. The TA brought a lot of his own ideas into it, which is fine, but it made lecture pointless.

    But yeah, they could always just put that threat out there. I really think Universities in general need to rethink this notion of TA work from now own.

  266. Kiara


  267. AndrewB

    Basically as Pie said, it just doesn’t look good in reality. Their rep is ruined, they were named #3 in the Villians of Toronto for 2008, hated by every news paper and magazine in Canada and now even their own co-workers are starting to turn on them.

    They really can’t be any more hated now can they. Unless the liberals change their tune and start to look at BTWL.

  268. Yorkie

    @Dray, predicting

    Is that a fact that if only unit 2 accepts and no others, that classes will restart?

  269. Yorkie

    Technicaly the strike would still be on, just a deal would be reached faster than if all units said NO, right? Is that what you meant, Dray, predicting?

  270. Dray,


    What’s a fact is only that lectures can (not will) resume with unit 2s voting yes.

    If only unit 3 votes no, I’m certain York will restart classes.

  271. Dray,


    I *don’t* mean that York will make concessions to end the strike if all units vote no.

  272. Dray,

    Sorry. Misread. But, no. I mean that the strike will still be on but classes would resume. Indeed, it’s possible unit 1 could be out for longer, with profs covering tutorials (maybe?) and marking put on hold.

  273. Cupe Doll

    @Dray occasionally amusing: “I’m on an iPhone. Browser trouble … That’s why I rewrote the first part of the message.”

    Of course, of course. You’re simply fumble-fingered and thumb-tied. That explains why you can’t distinguish suggestion, on one hand, and implication on the other.

    “I have a lot of training in logic.”

    Sure you do. Haven’t you self-declared being no stranger to reasoning, logic and mathematical logic?

    Being no stranger to rudimentary reasoning, you no doubt appreciate how unique it is to find anyone versed in mathematical logic unable to distinguish inference, implication and entailment from insinuation, suggestion and tonality.

    What a unique conjunction. How could anyone doubt it — or anything else you self-declare?

    Just because you are so versed in mathematical logic, Dray. Would you briefly explain how to perform simple addition in standard logic — without appealing to cardinality and set theory?

  274. unknown

    Honestly, in my opinion, the vote WILL NOT PASS. The unions got nothing to lose. Nobody is gonna blame the union for this but the university is gonna be feeling all the heat. The union and its members all know this and they are probably expecting the university to get desperate and eventually conform to their wants once they vote ‘NO’. However, the university will be really reluctant to conform because its not just about increased wages….its a struggle for power and control over each other. So from what i see…the university will eventually have to conform…its just a matter of when (hopefully within Feb) -_-;

  275. Dray, replying one last time to CUPETroll



    I’ll do better than that. I’ll try one more time to explain what the hell I’m driving at. And I don’t have to appeal to inference rules in some logical system to do it.

    Recall what we’re talking about. You wrote,

    “If the vote goes York’s way then the school year gets saved. But if the vote goes 3903’s way, then the school year may well be lost. Because York won’t capitulate even if the vote goes against it. That’s what Drummond suggests in this article. How the strike will go on if 3903 defeats the rat.”

    I and Cmwc are interested (genuinely so) in knowing why you believe that “if the vote goes 3903’s way, then the school year may well be lost, because York won’t capitulate even if the vote goes against it.” The focus of our attention, here, is on why you think “the school year may well be lost.”

    Our question is, how did you determine that “York won’t capitulate even if the vote goes against it?” The context is *York’s intended next action*. We’re asking about why you think York’s intended next action involves not “capitulating” in the event of a no-vote.

    You said, essentially, that this was suggested by Drummond.

    I did not think Drummond suggested this, and asked you why you thought so. When pressed, you told me that Drummond’s “defiant tone” could not possibly entail that York’s intent is “capitulation”, because you can’t be defiant and capitulate.

    We both agree Drummond’s tone is “defiant,” but we disagree that “defiance” implies that York’s intended next action cannot be anything other than “York won’t capitulate”. My point is, you can have a defiant tone and still give in.

    Now, I used the words “infer from the text” and you picked on my use of the word “infer” because you seem to think that it could only refer to logical inference in a formal logic. But we’re obviously not proving theorems, here. So, the sense of “infer” I’m using is “to involve as a normal outcome of thought” (from Webster — I *did* indeed google *that*).

    Plus, “inference” in formal systems of reasoning don’t have to be logical: Bayesian inference is very much a valid form of inference, but over likelihoods instead of wffs; and Fuzzy inference, over “membership functions” defined for fuzzy sets, (where “set membership” is a function with codomain [0,1] instead of {0,1}). (Both I happen to be *really* familiar with.)

    Going back to the discussion, we need MORE evidence than simply Drummond’s defiant tone to believe that “not capitulating” is the most likely intended action.

    So, Bayesian inference is the kind of “inference” I had in mind, in the end. Perhaps I should’ve just said that. Maybe you should’ve told me which logical system your personal brain-implanted automated theorem prover uses, and I would’ve implemented your logical system as a Theory in PVS to develop a proof of the theorem “Drummond didn’t suggest shit” for you — so that we could finally be on the same level.

    I think I’ve explained this as thoroughly as I can.

    “Would you briefly explain how to perform simple addition in standard logic — without appealing to cardinality and set theory?”

    I don’t think I could succeed in teaching you simple addition even with the help of sock puppets.

    Yet, I get the creepy feeling we’d be great friends if we met in person.

  276. Flying J

    Great post, Dray! Very funny. I find this particular debate between you and Cupe doll to be amusing. It will be interesting to see how Cupe doll responds…

  277. Flying J

    Oh, and I bet you two are probably best friends in real life- you just don’t realize it yet.

  278. Dray,

    I think we’re both having a good time with this, here.

    … And if we aren’t best friends now, we will be! 🙂

  279. Cupe Doll


    Sigh indeed.

    “We both agree Drummond’s tone is “defiant,” but we disagree that “defiance” implies that York’s intended next action cannot be anything other than “York won’t capitulate”. My point is, you can have a defiant tone and still give in.”

    No, we don’t disagree. We never have. You really must work a little harder to succeed disagreeing with me.

    Drummond’s defiance is nothing more than suggestive. It implies nothing about York’s next action or York’s intended next action. It doesn’t even imply anything about Drummond. And while Drummond’s defiant tone could figure as a premise within an argument concluding York won’t capitulate — I never made any such argument.

    Of course you can have a defiant tone and later give in. Question is — why keep reading my original as contradicting that? Especially after me endlessly denying I meant any such thing?

    In a binary universe of discourse — sure. We’d always pick the defiant to not give in — and the not-defiant to always give in. But the universe we live in? Drummond’s defiant tone is merely suggestive. There’s lots more we’d want to know before leaping to concluding anything about York. Or even about Drummond.

    I’m not against canvassing lots more. Such as extent Drummond’s defiant tone speaks for York. Or extent to which Drummond’s tone even speaks for Drummond. Lol. Is Drummond “a Sicillian”? Is Drummond more the sort who sound most defiant before crumpling like their cheap suits?

    But I didn’t address any of that. Maybe should have written “Drummond’s *tone* suggests..” instead of “Drummond [as-if himself] suggests”.. then again, ensuring nobody can conceivably misunderstand what one writes means not writing in the first place. What one does is clarify what one didn’t mean — right? As I did when Cmwc first asked…

    Anywho. How much can we read into and from Drummond’s tone? Don’t know. Never met. But from what I’ve heard said — maybe a fair bit. That said — there’s much more substantial grounds than Drummond’s defiant tone to believe York won’t capitulate in event the voting goes all NO.

  280. disaffected yufite

    I’d suggest that the recent letter from the university’s deans saying that based on the budgetary realities of their respective units, no better offer is likely to be made is a good indication that York will NOT table a significantly better offer if the ratification vote rejects the current one.

  281. Dray, relieved


    I really appreciate your post, and i’m glad you finally agree with me that, in Coleman’s article, Drummond gave us no reason to believe York won’t fold like a house of cards if the union votes with a resounding “no”!

    @disaffected yufite.

    Thanks for your thoughts. must be tough being a powerless, disaffected (tenured?) professor.

    My reading from the letter was that it was coercive. I’ve always been more afraid of retribution from faculty than the union. I and others have experienced quite a bit of abuse from a few faculty members (unrelated to the strike) who have the power to act with impunity.

  282. Cupe Doll

    @Dray, relieved: “.. i’m glad you finally agree with me that, in Coleman’s article, Drummond gave us no reason to believe York won’t fold like a house of cards if the union votes with a resounding “no”!”

    No, no, Dray. I’m glad *you* finally realize there was nothing in my message indicating we can conclude from Drummond that York won’t capitulate in event of an all NO vote.

    Both Drummond’s tone and, as disaffected yufite
    points out, the recent letter from all deans, do give us *some* reason to believe York won’t just fold.

    Whether reasons to believe York won’t fold are negligible or not — that’s actually worthwhile debating.

  283. Dray, relieved


    If you can’t be bothered to *try* to understand what I’m trying to explain to you, then there’s no point in continuing with this discussion.

    Remember. I’ve always accused you of reading into things only what you want to see and ignoring evidence that supports otherwise. As a result, you do this community a disservice by providing incorrect information and invalid interpretations.

  284. Cupe Doll

    @Dray, relieved: “Remember. I’ve always accused you..”

    You expect me to remember your accusations — as if I took them or you personal? We’ve never been introduced, Dray. We’re just aliases to each other.

    Doesn’t mean I don’t respect good honest reasoning when I encounter it.

    Let me make this too easy to not understand, ok?

    In your prior message you thanked me for finally agreeing with you.

    In my prior message I thanked you for finally realizing what I’d originally said wasn’t disagreeing.

    Damn. Even that’s probably too much for clarity with you. You’re glad I’m finally agreeing. I’m just saying we never disagreed like you thought we did.

    Hey — I’ve got an idea. What say we disagree about something. Like — before we bother arguing. What do you think?

  285. Disaffected Yufite

    @ Dray Yes, a tenured faculty member, in one of those departments where – anomalously, I realize – the majority of teaching is done by tenured and tenure-track faculty.

    Even before the strike began, my colleagues were concerned about how to absorb a $1 million budget cut for next year. And CUPE Doll is absolutely right to point out that when enrollments go down, that’s going to directly impact contract faculty. In my area, we’ve been told that there will be almost nothing to fund contract hires next year. Then the next pressure is to reduce the number of elective courses offered for graduate students, since seminars taught to 8-12 students don’t “pay for themselves” (as an administrator told me recently) the way that larger-enrollment courses do.

    The economic downturn that CUPE sees as a disingenuous ploy on the part of York is something that has already had negative effects on what we can offer our students. The fact that these budget cuts and that $55 million dollar loss to the endowment are going to directly impact a lot of CUPE members is a much bigger deal than the possibility of vengeful faculty members making their grad students’ lives miserable.

    In my department even though there’s a strong wish for the strike to be over — and frankly for CUPE to be more realistic about what’s possible in this financial climate — faculty have been very respectful of their students’ and colleagues’ right to strike. Many have continued meeting with their grad students to work on independent research, do advising, etc.

    The other thing I read from these recent faculty communiques that I think it’s important to note: the university is going to take a hard line about the fact that we can’t afford to be right back here in just two years. So if the offer gets voted down, I expect we’ll remain at this impasse for a long time to come. But that’s just my guess.

  286. yorkiee101

    when do we find out if the strike is over / when school will start ??

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