York not returning to bargaining table…


By Michael McKiernan, National Post

School is still out at York University after striking staff rejected a settlement offer from administrators. 

The president of York University, in a rare public appearance, said he does not expect it to return any time soon.

“We’ve reached an impasse,” Mamdouh Shoukri said. “We cannot improve the offer without jeopardizing our academic and economic position.”

A total of 1,466 members of Canadian Union of Public Employees 3903, which represents teaching assistants, graduate assistants and contract faculty, voted no to the university’s offer — a margin of 63%. All three units rejected the deal.

A small group of members erupted in cheers when Tyler Shipley, the union spokesman, announced the results.

“It’s a clear statement to the university that this offer was inadequate and the process was disrespectful. As far as I’m concerned, they’ve wasted 10 days of our time,” he said. “I’m proud of our members for standing up to the pressure they faced from the administration. We’ll be waiting for them at the bargaining table at 1 p.m. tomorrow.”

But York University will not be meeting him there. 

“There will be no negotiations for the sake of appearances,” Dr. Shoukri said. “CUPE members who believed a no vote would cause York University to bow to their demands are mistaken.

He said the summer term is now in serious danger.

The results were announced last night at a hotel in North York, where voters cast their ballots over the last two days. 

The ratification vote, supervised by Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, was forced on the 3,340 members of CUPE 3903 after the union refused to put the offer to a vote. 
University administration used labour laws to request the vote on a settlement they proposed on Jan. 7, four days after negotiations resumed following a month-long break in talks. 

The university claimed the deal, which includes a wage and benefits increase of 10.7%, represented a reasonable offer, especially in light of the current economic situation in Canada and around the world. But CUPE dismissed it, highlighting what they see as inadequate job security for contract faculty, who must reapply for positions at the start of each academic year. 

Under the terms of the offer, in the next three years, the university promised to create 17 new teaching positions with five-year contracts plus five tenure-stream conversions. CUPE asked instead for 15 of the more prestigious and better paid tenure conversions in the next two years.

York University’s 50,000 undergraduates have been shut out of classes since the strike began on Nov. 6. Earlier this week, figures showed a drop of almost 15% in the number of applications to York. 

Hamid Osman, the president of the York Federation of Students, says students are worried about the damage the strike has done to the reputation of the university, as well as the more personal impact it has had on their finances and education.

“We just want to get back to school,” he said. “It’s been so frustrating for all the students. Nobody thought it would ever get into an eleventh week.”




This is going to be settled by government intervention. The University has no more faith in the bargaining process. I do not see another way out of this.



Filed under Uncategorized

150 responses to “York not returning to bargaining table…

  1. Jeff

    I thought York had asked CUPE to come back to the table on the Friday that they asked for the forced ratification vote? Surely they originally had something to say?

  2. Basil El-Salviti

    I’m unsure what’s going on…..I think, personally, that both sides need to bargain again….because, truthfully, they stand to lose a lot more than they bargained for should they dismiss the option of bargaining in the extremely near future.

  3. Cap

    York is in a really bad position. The do not know what they are doing. They ask for the rat vote and then they say we do not negotiate?

    Come on do not make the CUPE the winner of everything.

  4. BigD

    btwl is the only way out of this… email your mpp!


    wow.. i actually feel sorry for york…

    well.. lets say they come up with a new offer

    will there be another ratification vote???/ after each offer from now on

  6. ram


    @ york strike 2008
    You can also have this as a new thread.
    The above article tells us that BTWL is also not in sight. Read it. If you are satisfied with the article, you can include a thread like ” BTWL seems quite far from now!”
    But it is true!!

  7. still doing homework.. well.. not really... it's all done

    I am sad.. disappointed… frustrated…
    I feel that both the administration and cupe are childish, and should sit down and talk like adults should…
    furthermore.. I’m sick and tired of “releases” which are riddled with public-relations language/jargon and really release absolutely no valid information at all..

    They might as well say it simply:

    Yes/No you don’t have school
    We know/don’t know when you’re going back
    Sorry/Actually we don’t give a crap

    Since that’s about as valuable as any relase goes.



    Osman is frustrated?!? He shouldn’t have spoken for us in endorsing it to begin with.

  9. amee

    york is in the third month strike and shoukri finally made his ‘rare appearance’. how sad. maybe he should be fired. the only reason york refuses to go back to bargaining is probably because they are acting like sore losers. they were so sure they would get away with the rat since they spent so much money on fedEx, buses and setting up this vote.

  10. Basil El-Salviti

    @ ‘Mamdouh Shoukri’

    Can you please stop making light of this situation by impersonating someone and causing more frustration?

  11. may

    why would the president comment on here

  12. CUPE member with child

    Yeah right,

    Shoukri’s sleeping tight with his 325,000 base salary, 10k per year base increase, +3% on top of that, an extra 50k forgiveness on his interest free home-loan per year and his personal car and driver.

    Cupe you greedy pigs, get back to work!!!

    And don’t pick on Shoukri, that’s what “the market” had to pay for him to get you into this debacle.

  13. BigD

    BTWL… if neither side is lying this is the only solution.

  14. CUPE member with child


    York has been spoonfeeding you BS since well before this strike began.

  15. may

    btw will only cause more labour strife, thats the problem, how is this log jam going to be removed

  16. may

    I wonder if we can continue classes with just professors

  17. Confused and Exasperated

    … and cupe hasn’t?

  18. Confused and Exasperated

    oops that was at CUPE member with Child

  19. theowne

    Yeah, and Cupetard member with child knows this because she has been working inside York admin and has access to all their financial documents.

  20. Basil El-Salviti

    @ those impersonating CMWC

    You’re being ridiculous.

  21. may

    what disgusting language, this forum should be regulated,

  22. may

    @ YS I agree with completely, that will only cause more problems

  23. may

    Maybe the professors should just teach the courses

  24. CUPE member with child

    Hey Basil,

    Good to see you.

  25. ram

    @ basil
    You are really fragrant amongst these nasty impersonating comments.

  26. TRUTH

    Everyday CUPE gets more email from supportive students who ask CUPE to make sure the year gets canceled and York gets more under pressure. Majority of the students are overwhelmingly positive in their support for their CUPE comrades because they know they are battling for justice, freedom, equality and fairness. Canceling the school is another way of fighting the capitalist monster and reach victory

    And all of you ignorant tools who get paid to come here and post hateful comments and pretend to be students. Time has come to see the light and join this massive movement. Students and TAs are moving hand in hand to make the lines stronger than ever. You’re not students, you are bunch of paid baby capitalists posing as students.

    Demand the Impossible

    Viva la Revolution
    Go CUPE Go

  27. CUPE member with child


    You’re either having a good laugh or posting straight out of Havana. Either way I’m in hysterics. Keep it up. We need some comedy relief other than me apparently dishing out blow jobs in return for baby-sitting. Your humour is a little more creative.

  28. Basil El-Salviti

    @ ram

    I smell good? lol

    I just can’t tolerate people impersonating one another, it’s so ridiculous and incredibly immature.

  29. ram

    I seriously think the moderator has to get into action. It is really crossing the limits. Such comments just digress severely from the main thread.

  30. Basil El-Salviti

    @ ram


  31. ram

    it was actually a metaphor. just how your first name (basil) can add aroma to any thing that it is added to, you also keep going back at those impersonating idiots by just spraying sensible comments.

  32. MR Two

    Man I’m so happy I decided to work… seriously, to anyone who is worried about money, now’s the time to get a job. CUPE nor York look ready to capitulate and BTWL doesn’t seem to be in the plan either. We’re in for a long one, I say get a job now if you haven’t already.

  33. BigD


    I think CUPE has been spoonfeeding you bs… you have no evidence that york can afford you demands yet you accuse me of ignorance.

  34. CUPE member with child

    Zackery knows what shmagma is — that’s actually quite impressive!

  35. CUPE member with child

    York posted a surplus of 150.1 million since our last contract. The Fed. government has decided to give York an extra 28 million starting in 2009. McGuinty has also pledged increased funding.

  36. Dale

    What’s with all the ridiculous trolling here lately? Makes it hard to find any real info in the comments…

    Anyway, this sucks. But will the government intervene? I thought I just recently read that the provincial government said it probably wouldn’t intervene… unless I was mistaken.

  37. Basil El-Salviti

    @ Dale

    I think at the very last minute the government might intervene….I don’t think they’d be big fans of allowing the school year to be completely lost…

  38. ram

    Stop all your DISGUSTING SEXUAL FANTASIES WHEN WE HAVE A SERIOUS ISSUE IN HAND. you can do whatever you want with any body at any place at any time. But this is not a place to discuss such topics. Please understand and your cooperation is appreciated. If still you want to post such fantasies, call some body to your home and keep yourself occupied with your dreams. Really they are not that expensive. I strongly urge the moderator to step in and do some cleansing activity here. There is so much of pest and dirt that have to be dispelled. Please!!!!

  39. aksdfjakdsf

    @beyond pissed:

    thank you for bringing this up, our representation has been terribly inadequate. Honestly I think we’d be better off without collective representation, Osman is a huge fail.

  40. Hamid Osman

    As the article on National post suggests: call it a year off. Simple.

  41. Stef

    This forum has become disgusting. I’m out.

  42. Hamid Osman

    @ Zachary

    Are ou from Zagreb?

  43. Basil El-Salviti

    @ impersonating Hamid Osman

    Please, stop this shit already!

  44. Zoo

    Can’t help it.

  45. ram

    Fine! continue what you are doing. It is your choice. But do not expose them here. No body needs to know what your fantasies are!
    thank you! good luck

  46. Fffffffed up

    Yo CUPE with kids but no job — “York posted a surplus of 150.1 million since our last contract. The Fed. government has decided to give York an extra 28 million starting in 2009. McGuinty has also pledged increased funding.” Yeah what you think they just sed heres free money? Please. That goes to something specific. It’s public money for public body. If they give them money it’s for something in a budget. NOt just hey here’s some cash why don’t you use it for sum greedy CUPIES or whatever you feel like.

  47. The Man With The Plan

    Good Shit Boys And Girls, Told You The Vote Would Not Go Through. Now For All Of You Whining And Crying About Everything, Wake Up Tmw And Do Something With Your Lives, And Make Your Self Useful, And Be Thankful For The Time We Have Off. I Am Pushing For A Refund And A Cancelation Of The Year. Anyways, Enjoy The Time Off, Find Something To Do, And Find Joy In Your Free Time. Oh Yeah, And Stop Fucking Crying You No-Life Bastards.

  48. CUPE member with child

    @ Hamid Osman

    Hi buddy. How are you? Got a cigar?


    @ The Man With The Plan

    i jus love how u talk 😀 awsomeness dude 😀

  50. YAY!!


  51. 4WeeksFromGraduating

    SCREW THE YFS – they supported CUPE from the get go. Time for the impeachment of Sid Ryan and Hamid Osman ASAP!

  52. brutal

    fuck hamid osman!!!!!!!! no support for us

  53. brutal

    WHY IS YORK’S EMAIL SERVER DOWn????? cant even check mail. i have nothingggggggggggg now

  54. The Man With The Plan

    @ York Lover


  55. The Man With The Plan

    is it just me or any one else having trouble logging on to their york e-mail.

    wow… i guess york is going to shitz now. LOL

  56. Imogen

    lol forever tbh
    I will lol when the year gets cancelled because that’s what I think is really going to happen now.

  57. brutal

    @ man with the plantation –

    correction , “fuck all y’all”

  58. Patrick Bateman

    lol @ how this strike is still going on

  59. Cassie

    How many actually voted – when I looked last night at union website they said 1466 but their most recent communication says 2400.


  60. prestia

    Well this board is obviously starting to lose any semblance of professionalism or civility, and frankly, I don’t blame you guys. This strike has progressed from understandable, to mildly annoying, to majorly annoying, and finally, to the realm of surrealist comedy.

  61. FUTURE

    Get us back to class. This is causing too much hardship.

  62. FUTURE

    Yes, we’re all emotional about this but why don’t we try to keep the posts respectful?

    Come on.

  63. Patrick Bateman

    Only York could manage to make us pay upwards $5000 towards a service and have 0 input on our fate/situation

    you get more leaway at a used car dealership

  64. Angry Mom

    FLOOD THE PREMIER!! I urge all students, parents and alumni to write Premier McGuinty real, paper letters demanding that he take action. Here is the letter I sent today. Feel free to use any of the contents.

    Dalton McGuinty, Premier
    Legislative Building
    Queen’s Park
    Toronto, ON
    M7A 1A1

    To Premier McGuinty:

    January 20th was a day of contrasts. For the U.S., a day of hope; for Ontario, a day of despair.

    While our southern neighbours were celebrating a strong leader determined to face current challenges and gather his country together as a team, York University was the site of 50,000 citizens—our future business and community leaders—being abandoned by you and your government. Their education has been hijacked by a small group of irresponsible blinkered union members who are determined to wring their demands out of the administration regardless of the consequences to the students, the university or the economy of the province.

    I demand that you shoulder your responsibility to all Ontarians and take immediate action to get our students back in class.

    Yours sincerely,

    Joanne Mitchell, Parent of First-Year York Student
    Arnprior, Ontario
    K7S 3G9

    cc : John Milloy, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities
    Rm. 343, Main Legislature
    Queen’s Park
    Toronto, ON
    M7A 1A4

  65. Patrick Bateman

    I don’t get it. First im reading articles that if its not over by next week the year is done and now im hearing its just summer?

    wtf is going on

  66. Tyred

    At a time when people are sending e-mails or letters to McGuinty to try to end this, I think Yorkstrike2008 needs to filter some of the crap that people are posting here. Because – if governemnet is actually listening, and if they come here to read students’ concerns as they may have been directed, they are not going to be very impressed.

    If I was McGuinty and I popped on here to get a sense of what students are thinking by reading the first set of comments on the home page, I’d say “these people don’t need my help, they are just a bunch of immature, rude, and obnoxious kids.

  67. Tyred

    Ahhh looks like someone has cleaned out the stupid, obnoxious posts.

  68. Commuter

    CP24 says at 10:15 (in 10 minutes) there will be a press conference with the Premier about the strike, and it will be covered live.

    Make CP24.

  69. Yuggoth


  70. Yuggoth


  71. YAY!!

    i hope McGuinty doesn’t step in…i hope the year gets cancelled..i hope that..the TA’s get fired…here’s hoping for alot in 2009

  72. Yuggoth


  73. Basil El-Salviti

    @ Yuggoth

    Is there a link? I’m a student…can’t afford a TV/cable AND internet……

  74. Yuggoth


  75. Yorkstudent

    The only way to “win” this .. and I say “win” in the sense of having our right to go back to school is by attending to our meeting today at Bethune College (see Cupe and York our win win game is only the one concerning to go back to study). I urge all students to try to show up today because we have been clearly ignored by CUPE, York and the government. The government will not legislate us back. We have to demonstrate our resentments and concerns to both sides: York and Cupe.

  76. Yuggoth

    @ BASIL

  77. Basil El-Salviti

    @ Yorkstudent

    Unfortunately, the meeting is taking place when I have work…..which I unfortunately have to do in order to save up for next year, because inevitably the strike will interfere with the summer….

    Someone HAS to give us information tonight regarding such meeting.

  78. Basil El-Salviti

    @ Yuggoth

    Thanks, I sincerely appreciate it.

  79. Yuggoth


  80. Basil El-Salviti


    I have internet. I can’t afford both internet and cable though…..I’ve chosen internet over cable.

  81. maz

    Please post the outcome of the Mcguilty talks…I am up north and don’t get cable…thanks

  82. Yuggoth

    Shurman is on! McGuinty soon to follow I think

  83. Yuggoth

    Sorry, it was Dwight Duncan! 😉

  84. Commuter

    Haha he looks nothing like Shurman. He’s the Finance Minister. 😉

  85. Yuggoth

    brb guys. I have to drop my sister off at UofT, a school currently NOT on strike! Be back soon with updates!

  86. Commuter

    I’m still here. I’ll update you.

  87. Commuter

    His solution = sending in top mediator.

    – Disappointing result from the vote.
    – Most important thing to do to end it is to send in top mediator.
    – Give him limited amount of time to bring sides together.
    – That will happen hopefully today.
    – Thinks that fastest way to deal with it is to send in top mediator.
    – Hasn’t talked to NDP.
    – See how things unfold.
    – Question about if he was to legislate them back: brushed it off and mentioned the NDP.
    – Knows its been terribly disruptive for years (tuition, apartments, summer session lost, lost job opportunities).
    – Anything we can to bring sides together, and that is to bring in best mediator.
    – Started talking in French to a reporters question (sorry!).
    – We’ll give it one more shot, and fastest way is the new mediator.
    – “We’ll send it to the mediator, and see what happens.”
    – Now he gets all angry to a question.
    – If he set a deadline to negotiate, he says they would just sit and not negotiate.
    – Asked them to “bang heads together”.
    – Why no deadline? He ignored the question.
    – Topic changed to senior’s home fire discussion.

  88. B

    What good it the top mediator if one side is not willing to come back to the bargaining table?

    McGuinty is an inept fool. He is only good for driving up the deficit and breaking promises.

  89. maz

    what a clown he is…………thanks for the update…is there any other news that can be posted here?? I am lost without cable…..

    McGuilty is a fool…a wimp….just look at him…who elected him anyway?????????????????

  90. Nice

    Once again, we’re in limbo…

  91. sam

    This is bull they aren’t going to cancel the year but they keep us in limbo wiating around like idiots. At this point the fall term should be eliminated completly how can they expect us to go back say another month from now and remember stuff from september for those who are in 3.0 courses that is very difficult.

  92. nik

    @CUPE member with child

    How long do you think the strike will carry on given McGuinty’s decision? I ask you because you’re the only one with reasonable responses.

  93. B

    nik – how reasonable of an answer are you going to get from someone who expects the university will capitulate to everything now?

    The sad reality is that no one has answers to how long this will go on for.

  94. annonymous

    stupid McGuinty
    this strike would be over if there were a conservative gov’t

  95. Cassa

    What terrible lack of leadership…still, I wonder what kind of an effect (if any) the mediator will have.

  96. Anybody hear about the punching incident by CUPE?


    sure it’s not an “essential service” but it isn’t fully subsidized either. we entered into a contract to receive a service that we are paying shitloads for and that contract was broken.
    why can only a couple thousand of cupe members have such power and 50,000 of us can’t garner together and do something?

  98. nuts

    I’m renting a dump truck full of manure and going to dump it as soon as they let me pass the barrier. FUCK YOU ALL CUPE. YOUR GONNA GET WHATS COMING TO YOU

  99. B

    kavisolo – yup. there is a video up on the York livejournal apparently.

  100. @nuts

    What’s the point of dumping shit on shit? You’ll just have a bigger pile of shit.

  101. nuts

    haha good one kavisolo.

    I’ve sent some emails to the Premier’s office. What else can we do?

  102. Woot

    YORK is hoping for Back to Work Legislation, what is the Premier’s response? I’ll send another mediator!


  103. fenn

    what about everyone emailing the York President’s office and asking him to go back to the bargaining table – CUPE is willing to start back at bargaining asap…

  104. Commuter

    What will a new “top” mediator do, if York is not willing to (or can’t) bargain any more?

  105. Yorkie

    York, please just go back and bargain!

  106. Tyred

    CUPE member with child has been a dishonest phony on this site for the last 2 months or more.

    You may as well ask Tyler Shipley that question and you’ll get the same party line 0f York can’t afford to cancel anything – they will ‘capitulate’, the union has all the power, oh and they deserve to be above the poverty line and get paid better for 10 hours work than a significant number of citizens get paid for working 40 hours a week.

    The majority of these people are students who have never had to work at a real job in their lives, and the rest work at York part-time and couldn’t even be bothered voting on this. They don’t have time because they work full-time elsewhere.

    And anyway, when they get back to work at York they will be paid almost all of what they would have been paid anyway without a strike. In fact they actually will earn more during this strike.

    There is no incentive for the union to bargain in good faith, they stand to lose very little by being on strike and they DO NOT care one bit about the students at York.

  107. B

    Start petitioning both sides to BARGAIN. Only asking York won’t matter. Yeah, the Union states they are willing to meet, but reasonably bargain?

  108. Tyred

    Expecting York to up its offer when they have already offered an appropriate amount is dreaming.

    This is like a $10 and hour guy negotiating his first contract with a company who expects that if he demands $50 an hour that the company will surely meet in the middle – because that’s how bargaining works eh?

    Instead the company offers him $15 an hour, the best they can do, and the union guy says – nope, I am holding out for $30 because that’s the midpoint. The company says that’s their best offer and they won’t offer more. The union guy says the the company is bargaining in bad faith. Are they really?

    I think its wrong of both sides to have punished students in this way, but at least York has been more truthful than the union. On principle they should not give in to this union because they are simply trying to force York to pay them more than they are worth because they are able to hold the students hostage and they feel the university cannot afford to hold to their principles.

    York should not budge in any way and they should force the government to step in

  109. YorkAlumnus

    I am so angered by the way students have been treated. Seeing the members of CUPE cheering and laughing at the cameras of CP24 last night after the vote was really humiliating. This strike is nothing to cheer or smile about.

    I am a nurse and I am proud to be part of a profession that is not legally allowed to strike or walk out of the job as that would put the public at risk. And yet, nurses have done an excellent job at bargaining with the hospitals, the province and the federal government to guarantee fair wages and job security.

    Leaving 50 000 students in limbo, in the face of the current crisis, is putting the public at risk.
    How are students supposed to be happy to return to classes to their TA’s after they held them hostage as leverage for their outrageous demands?

    How are students supposed to be happy to pay tuition to an organization that has done nothing to guarantee students’ security or defend their interests?

    This strike has left a deep wound in everyone and a lot of healing needs to be done. I see students angered and frustrated in an affair where they don’t have a voice or representation, even though they will probably be the most affected.

    Cupe has already bargained to meet some of their demands, not all, but some. But they call this a slap on the face… Perhaps they wont get all that they want, who knows, perhaps somehow they will. And then classes will resume and they will go back to their jobs and classes having not lost anything. But the students will have lost an entire year, thats one year of rent, books, TTC money, utilities, residence fees, meal plans… Not to mention the psychological strife of being toyed with for months.

    I feel so angered when I hear the CUPE arguing that TA’s dont make enough money to pay rent and earn a decent livelihood…. TAing should not be the job that supports your entire livelihood. TAing is a job for graduate students to get experience in the teaching environment so that they can grow professionally and contribute to their field of study once they actually graduate and seek employment.

    I am sorry if for some people getting their PhD takes them 10 years, I think thats a different issue altogether. In 10 years you have probably started a family or have added bigger financial responsibilities to your load. Whatever the case, the students shouldnt have to be held hostage.

    I had great respect for my TA’s when i went to UofT and when i was at york as well. And I greatly appreciate their work. TA’s serve as inspiration to undergrad students and they are there when your professor is too busy to answer your 3am email with questions about your assignment.

    I say to the TA’s: get off the picket line, go back to the classroom. Your students need you and you need the experience to teach in the future. Dont be mongered by your union; bargaining and guaranteeing job security are important but is it worth hurting 50000 students and their families in the process?

  110. MR Two

    York has come out and said they are not caving on the 2 vs 3 yr thing, so we’re gonna be here for a long time… get a job while you can.

  111. Yuggoth


    What is going to be the difference between this mediator and the other one. What, does he have some mind-bending superpowers to ‘knock those heads together’ as McGuinty puts it? (PS. I love the way he talks tough, it makes me laugh. If Matrix were here, he’d laugh too. [for those unfamiliar, this is a line from the movie Commando]) We do need a John Matrix to go in all oiled up with some turret guns and set it right, lol! Seriously though. this is a ruse to buy the Liberals time and to assuage any doubt from their Liberal, Union supporters/voters.

  112. Yuggoth

    2ND thing:

    York should NOT cave in to this 2yr contract demand. The simple fact that they are standing on this platform makes them heroes for the rest of the Universities. Yes, I said York are HEROES. Do you know how awful and tumultuous it would be if all the University teachers went on strike in 2010? It WILL happen and YORK is in the unfortunate position that they happen to be the ones that are able to take one of the wheels off of what would be a runaway train-wreck.

  113. tester


    very nice words. Please fax/mail/call/email that to the Premier @:

    Hon. Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario

    Rm 281, Main Legislative Building
    Toronto ON M7A 1A4
    Tel : 416-325-1941
    Fax : 416-325-3745

    1795 Kilborn Ave
    Ottawa ON K1H 6N1
    Tel : 613-736-9573
    Fax : 613-736-7374

  114. AndrewB

    Giving into a 2 year means 100% the school will be on strike again. 3 strikes by the same union in 10 years, and this time they will have more power behind them with the rest of CUPE-Ontario backing them. I really do hope I am not the only one who sees a pattern in this, and that it is really hard for anyone to take the unions side on this because it is such a requiring thing. It makes me as a human, not a student, ask the question “if York is so bad, then why are the same people still teaching at the school and not moving on to a better place?”

    I am glad I am at my end of school, and do feel really bad for those who are going to go through this again in 2/3 years. I myself have gone through a strike at every level of my education, twice in public school, once in high school and now in post-secondary. There is a real problem in Ontario with teaching, and it needs to be addressed soon. This year alone, every level of schooling has had some form of labour issue. And with my girlfriend wanting to become a teacher herself, I have this feeling this could become an issue should we become a family. Because I have always told people when looking into a career “look into the job first. Research what you will get paid, what you need to do and if it is in demand.” It is a system that is flawed. Teachers will not be happy till their class sizes are 15 students and they are being paid $80,000-$100,000 a year with 2 months off in the summer.

    I will not curse the union, and I will not curse the school. I’m beyond that point, and I’ll let others do it. It is at this I decide rather then fight a lost cause it is better for me to evaluate myself and my path. No amount of emails I send, rallies I attend or petitions I sign is going to make this move any faster, so I might as well focus on something that I at least control.

  115. Yuggoth

    3RD Thing:

    BOTH parties are responsible for the smear on the Univ’s reputation. This has manifested in less applications to York and disappointment for students (imagine the thoughts racing around the class when the TA’s and students get in the room together again?) It’ll be like the Cold War where students will be wondering ‘did this potzer vote YES or NO?’

    OSAP will benefit from students who can’t save enough for the coming year, but that will just add to students debt and increase defaults for sure. So there’s a loss.

    So, who wins in the end? Well, at this point, if York gives in especially on the 2yr contract point, it’ll be CUPE because
    a) York’s rep is being damaged=lower apps, morale and jobs to go around for CUPE members due to smaller classes.
    b) A strike in 2010 means educational Apocalypse!
    c) CUPE will suffer from layoffs, but that is NOTHING compared to the money York will have lost from less apps.

    I am a student at Glendon, so I am speaking as a student and as objectively as possible. I should mention I am a mature student. If employers are going to give a diploma any value, then for the better of the country, public education should be deemed an essential service. But any dropout who has become a gov’t employee will tell you differently. Educate yourself!

  116. rawr

    “How are students supposed to be happy to return to classes to their TA’s after they held them hostage as leverage for their outrageous demands?

    How are students supposed to be happy to pay tuition to an organization that has done nothing to guarantee students’ security or defend their interests?”

    (above quoting YorkAlumnus)

    Well honestly, you’re right. We’re not going to be happy. Well to some extent we will be happy but if the TA’s and profs think you’re going back to a normal classroom like before, forget it.

    Not to mention, a lot of us have final exams that are worth 50%. If they don’t give us a fairly good option out of this, or maybe a 80% on midterms/ assignments and 20% of the final, just watch. Us students WILL come up with something.

    Our drop dates aren’t going to help us much, our petitions ovoer our grades won’t help us much even if they’re going to be lenient since we already spent our money. We paid, why are we putting nothing or getting a major delay? Let’s be realistic here. Most of us students probably forgot everything we learned by the 3rd week. How are we supposed to relearn everything for 4 or 5 courses within 12 days? and write 4 or 5 exams in 10 days? I mean exam period is stressful enough for us even when its almost one month long.

    I can see the headlines now.
    “Thousands of students faint and suffer trauma 3 weeks after York Strike ends due to stress from finals.”

    CUPE demands for so many things. What about us students? Yes you have the right to strike but you have a responsibility to your students as well. So if people can sue for potential lost income, the 50000 students at york should sue CUPE3903 for 3 months+ worth of potentially lost income.

    Let’s not forget majority of York students work and have an actual income as well. Personally, I’ve been looking for a job since October, its not really completely CUPE’s fault that the economy is going down BUT, when I actually get a shot and have an interview, they ask me, “Now what happens after the strike?” When I tell them my availability will change from available everyday except one evening and a morning, it automatically gives me a NO stamp right on my forhead. And if I was the manager, I’d do exactly the same since this potential employee can not give me a reliable availability. Why are students put in the shadows of their teachers when it is our TEACHERS that are UNRELIABLE?

    And in a way, York can’t do too much. CUPE most likelye won’t give into anything that won’t allow them to strike in 2010, and they won’t settle for a contract that won’t end in 2010.

    This is ridiculous. But really all this doesn’t make me dislike the university, I just dislike its teaching staff. Don’t get me wrong, I like York, but if I had the option to, I’d transfer out, and I’m sure many others are probably working transferring out for summer term right now.

    I think the government really either needs to do a Back to Work Legislation or maybe somehow give York a pardon for firing all the 3903’s (giving the members an option first of course) and just establish another union with members that are actually a little bit more realisitic and responsible.

    If an employee walks out on a job, they can be automatically fired since they obviously are irresponsible and lack commitment.

    I want all the CUPE3903 members out there to ask yourself, do you think you deserve your job during these economic times? Do you think your responsible and are committed to your job? What if you were one of us students and your teachers walked out on you for 3 months? What if your kid’s teachers just walked out on your kids?

  117. Yuggoth

    @ AndrewB

    You are a saint! I have been in the same educational system and it is conducive to encouraging lazy behavior out of those teachers susceptible to it. Think about it. The more benefits you get, the more you will demand AND the lazier you will tend to be. Teachers are HUMAN and if you want an example take a look at Paris Hilton.

  118. danny

    I hate it when people are saying that CUPE is the only side willing to bargain. Your NOT! Sure your willing to show up at the bargaining table but you WILL NOT reduce your demands much, if at all. York has come up with a more than reasonable offer. York has and will come to the bargaining table when CUPE is ready to reduce its demands. I love the program that I am taking at York and it is unfortunate that this situation has happened. But most of my anger goes out to the CUPE members. “We’ll be waiting for them at the bargaining table at 1 p.m. tomorrow.” Exactly. You’ll be waiting for them to up there offer to your outrageous demands. CUPE should be ashamed of themselves.

  119. UofT Student

    I found this on Globe and Mail Website:

    Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty appointed a mediator on Wednesday to attempt to resolve the long-standing strike at York University.

    Mr. McGuinty said he is sending in the province’s top mediator, Reg Pearson, to ”bang a few heads together” after union members rejected the school’s latest offer.

    ”Obviously, we’re going to do everything we can to bring the sides together,” Mr. McGuinty told reporters.

    However, he has not set a deadline for the mediation process. Nor would he comment on what he plans to do if mediation fails.


    Looks like the government is stepping in…

  120. u

    Ha, that’s HARDLY stepping in. Stepping in would be to introduce BTWL…

  121. yorkie

    that is not steping in, that is called the Mcguinty government not caring about education and screwing over 50 000 students!

  122. My Take...

    CUPE feels they are being cheated by YorkU by not being provided their impossible demands. What they need to learn is the theory of relativity, which was discovered by a genius; Albert Einstein. Everyone will be better off if they learned from him.

    These idiots complain that they are being paid below the poverty line. Well for 10 hours (part-time) a week, why would anyone sane enough believe they deserve full-time pay for that many hours? Especially when a significant number of Ontario citizens only get paid full-time by working 40 hours a week.

    These CUPE bastards can tell us that it’s not what they are fighting for. They don’t really want to be paid full-time hours for a 10 hour work shift a week but only want to “go above the poverty line”. Well I say that the only way they will rise above that poverty line, which they decidedly based this strike on, is to be paid such an amount for such little work. Otherwise, if they were rational people, they would realize that YorkU’s latest offer was the best they have been given.

    However, true to their slogan, “demand the impossible”, these self-righteous, greedy, illogical, extreme liberalist hippies feel that our societies, specifically the YorkU community including the students in it, owe them for their “hard-work”. They really do have something going for them and “they definitely don’t deserve to be sent to an asylum”. When really, most of these TA’s aren’t helpful at all! They just exist to mark our papers, and if you belong in an arts program where answers are never absolute, these TA’s produce marks based on their past experiences and biases by SKIMMING through the reports and essays.

    How they will work more efficiently and more effectively with less biases, if and when YorkU does give into their demands; I really don’t know. But I know this, such a result IS impossible.

    They also demand tenure positions, however these positions should only exist for those professors who do research and actually contribute much more to society than just teaching. They demand that such positions be bestowed to 17 of their CUPE members for working more than a specified amount of time; 5 years. But this goes against academic integrity. Tenure positions should be based on the amount of contribution an academic (professor) provides no matter how old they are, and not based on how long they’ve been teaching. Otherwise we’ll only have grumpy teachers sucking up academic resources with not much of a significant return for the overall good of society.

    Moreover, if CUPE members were sane people, they should have gauged their “impossible demands” with the modern economic environment. To continue to demand so much in a time of a recession, which will hopefully not lead to something much more serious such as a depression, aggravates the problem more than it helps the overall good of any society.

    To conclude my rambling, I hope CUPE members go to hell! If you don’t like the pay, don’t be a TA and instead get another part-time/full-time job outside of university. If you give me the reason that you are forced to be a TA because you are required to have teaching experience in order to be accepted in a graduate program of your choice. Well I would tell you to suck it up, take it up the ass for however length you need to in order to attain the experience, and like the rest of us students… hope for a better future after graduation! You selfish FUCKS!

  123. SNAFU

    TAs Are The Enemies Of Students!!!!!

  124. I just booked a trip to Cuba, so fuck this shit.

  125. Just another Yorkie

    ..and society wonders why so many students are with out a post-secondary education.

  126. My Take...

    @ Just another Yorkie

    Well a strike such as this is one of the reasons, but it definitely isn’t the main reason. Laziness and procrastination is the main culprit.

  127. Just another Yorkie

    Why make it difficult for those who want nothing more but a shot at education so they can make something of themselves and get the hell out of this place.

    York took this away from me.
    I have no choice now but to crawl back to my parents and endure another summer of praying I can be closer to an education, closer to a career, closer to control of my life and my future.

    No wonder suicide rates are so high in the West.

  128. My Take...

    @ Just another Yorkie

    Hey man, I feel you… However, you should feel better knowing that it’s a harsher cultural climate in Japan. The suicide rates among students in that country is the highest among all nations in the world. It’s indeed very competitive there. Luckily you live in Canada.

    Take this break as an opportunity to regroup, relax, and have some fun with your buddies. I’m sure everyone is “dying” to begin school again and be finished with it, but fate didn’t favor YorkU students this year. So why not go out, get a job and earn some cash, or learn on your own, or live your life the way you want to with your closest friends. Whatever you do though, life is to precious to just throw it away. Cheers.

  129. I am copy pasting an email I got from my graduate program director :
    Dear Graduate Students,

    I am disappointed in the outcome of the supervised vote. As you likely are aware, each unit voted “No” to the settlement offer.

    At this point, it appears unlikely that a rapid resolution to the strike will be reached.

    The full effects of the strike remain to be seen and may include the following:

    a) extension of the winter term into summer and cancellation of the summer term

    b) delay in graduation of 2nd year Masters students due to extension of courses into summer/potential cancellation of summer course offerings

    c) reduced TA availability next year (and subsequent years) due to lower u

  130. *due to lower undergraduate enrollments.


    if Tyler Shipley says it’s all about the contract faculty, then maybe he wouldn’t mind York making TAs into a volunteer position and then use that money to hire more full-time profs???

    reduce York’s reliance on union members!!

  132. Announcement

    hey, wanted to remind everyone of the town hall happening after the Senate Meeting tomorrow.

    check it: http://www.yorku.ca/secretariat/senate/agenda/2008-2009/090122.html

  133. UnderGrad Int'l

    “….focus on something I atleast control…” as written by Andrew B, struck a chord in me.

    Forget about the strike, petitions, rallies etc for a minute. I’m sure that whatever path you take in life, there WILL come times when the glue seems to be undone and the door unhinged. I don’t want you to think that challenges will not happen – challenges which were not factored into your equation. So I guess it’s safer to say that you don’t and can’t control the circumstances yourself, but you possibly can control how the circumstances affect you based upon your perspective.

  134. Dave

    Hey all. I’m sure someone’s asked this already, but is there a date after which if there is no agreement the school year will be cancelled?

  135. AndrewB


    A saint hardly. lol In fact, I have a feeling many would disagree. But exactly what you said is true. When you get A, and you have A for a few years, you’ll think then you should have B. When you have B for a few years, you want C.

    Where does it end? When they get 15 students, will they say they now need more prep time to make use of the time they have with the 15? Will they demand extra help, more pay? It is an evil evil system in which a group of people hold up the lives of others in search of personal gain.

    It is the way of society. Everyone wants everything now and for less amount of work. Hell even students want it, and sorry I am being fair here, you hear students all the time wanting fall semester given to them, or wanting everything given to them because “they pay for it.” There is too much entitlement in this world and everyone is trying to grab at the pot. The thing is, the pot isn’t that big, and there isn’t enough to go around. Someone has to take the short end.

    Every time a contract comes up in any system, there is always an issue. I use a lot of hockey examples, and the CBA for the NHLPA is coming up this year, and there is already talk that the NHLPA might want to reopen the CBA they agreed upon and make changes. It is part of our society now. When your contract is up, ask for more. Do I blame unions for all this? No, you can’t. But do I blame people, I certainly do. Because if this school is so terrible, and the pay is so bad, and this is your career, why would you stay? You have contract teachers of 10-15 years still at York who hate that they don’t get anything, yet you never hear of them trying to go to another University or how many times they have applied for tenure. Yes, it is spin, because no Union is going to say “well they have applied and got denied for this reason.” But my thinking as a human being is, if I am not getting anywhere in my current job, and I don’t see it happening soon, I go somewhere else. There are other options open to these teachers besides teaching at York. Just like there are other options for accountants if they do not like being the low man on the pole at their firm.

    The sad reality is, you know 100% that in 3 years or 2 years, this is all going to happen again. That even if CUPE was given everything they wanted, and they get a “fair deal” from their view, they will be right back here again, fighting to once again beat York.

    When does it end? When will it all be fair? My answer, it will never be fair because the next group coming in will want more.

  136. maz

    Whatever happened to the adage – it is an honour and privelege to be an educator… – We who used to look up to the respected and untouchable teachers…..yippee..that is a laugh… and TAs?????? spoiled snotty children gimme gimme gimme…so sad…

  137. Dave

    Is it guaranteed that they will be legislated back to work eventually? When would this happen?

  138. AndrewB

    @ UnderGrad Int’l

    Life always has challenges, but you do control a very large amount of what goes on in your life, and in times of chaos, it is best to take control of those things.

    This strike may control me now, leaving me in limbo, but I control how much I study and get myself ready to return. I control how much I will demand of my teachers when I return.

    When the glue comes undone and the door comes off, you can either complain about it (which we all do, myself included) or you can go get some nails and a hammer and put the damn thing back up. Sure the door may not open the same, but at least you control what comes through it now, rather then it being wide open. So rather then sit back and worry about when this ends, I’ll study and work towards goals in the future. School is only 5 more months of my life. Learning is probably another 60+ years. Why should I stop learning on my own just because no one at the school wants to teach me.

    Hence my, taking control of the situation.

  139. AndrewB

    Dave, you really need to get more informed. There is no date in which classes will be scrapped, and no date when they will be put back to work by the government.

  140. Guys i think we should all meet up and go to queens park and make our voices heard. The date is Wednesday Jan. 28th; a week from today. I am fuming over this strike and have reached a point where nothing but the end of this strike would quench my unbearable rage. Please join me my friends and together we will be heard and taken seriously!

  141. Mike Oxbig

    does anyone know where i can find a list of schools that currently have two year contracts and who are pretty much prepared to join the big strike in 2010?

  142. ryerson and u of t have contracts ending in 2010 for sure

  143. Mike Oxbig

    i thought uoft was supposed to have a possible strike in february to get that deal?

  144. u

    Yeah I think they’re voting on the 10th of February or something, but I am probably misinformed about that

  145. go to cp24’s website. On the home page you will see:


  146. UnderGrad Int'l

    Andrew B,

    It’s funny that we’re sayin the same thing – at least in what you explained. this rally or petition, etc, is hence the way the students feel as if they can resume some semblance of control and get the powers that be to “put the door back up”. That’s exactly my point.

    Will it matter? Who knows? Maybe the strike will continue and maybe they rally, petitions will be shunned, but hey, it’s a place to start. I know ppl are saying that historically it didn’t work, but I’m sure we all know that history all around the world is constantly being built on.

    Good luck.

  147. bluelemonade

    McGuinty needs to grow a pair.

  148. M.

    could the cupe members please go start their own blog somewhere and get OFF of here? your input is increasingly redundant, bitter, boring. F-OFF.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google+ photo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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


Connecting to %s