Globe and Mail Update

“As the ‘education premier’ you should be outraged if even one student has to drop out because of the irresponsible actions of York University, CUPE and the government of Ontario,” she said in an open letter to Mr. McGuinty.

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty resisted calls on Wednesday to end a long-running strike at York University by ordering teaching assistants and contract faculty back to work.

He instead brought in veteran labour mediator Reg Pearson to “bang a few heads together” after striking workers rejected the school’s latest offer Tuesday night, leaving in limbo the fate of 50,000 students who have been out of class for 11 weeks.

“This thing has gone on for so long, one could be forgiven for coming up with the impression that the two sides have lost sight of the interests of their students,” Mr. McGuinty told reporters. “We’ll give this thing one more shot. We think it’s the fastest way to bring this home, which is to bring in a mediator to bang a few heads together and ideally lead to a speedy resolution.”

In a forced vote that ended Tuesday evening, 63 per cent of the Canadian Union of Public Employees’ 3,300 striking members rejected the latest offer. In all, 69 per cent of members cast ballots in a vote requested by the university and conducted by the Ontario Ministry of Labour. The outcome left the McGuinty government facing two choices: appoint a mediator in the hopes of reaching a bargaining breakthrough or order union members back to work.

“I think the fastest way for us to deal with this – and I’ve yet to approach the NDP – is to send in a mediator,” Mr. McGuinty said.

The New Democrats are strong believers in settling labour disputes through collective bargaining. Paul Ferreira, a spokesman for the party, said caucus members have not had an opportunity to discuss back-to-work legislation, a scenario he described as a “purely hypothetical” situation.

“It appears that both sides are being encouraged to get back to the table with a new mediator, and we’re hopeful that this bears some fruit and an agreement is reached,” Mr. Ferreira said in an interview.

Mr. McGuinty said he has asked Mr. Pearson, whom he described as the province’s top mediator, to try to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible. But he declined to set a deadline, arguing that doing so would be counterproductive.

“If I say you’ve got a week to get this done, both sides say, ‘fine, we’ll sit on it for a week,’” he said. “Let’s not pretend that that’s not the case.”

Mr. McGuinty also declined to comment on what he plans to do in the event Mr. Pearson fails to end the strike.

“Obviously, we’re going to do everything we can to bring the sides together,” the Premier said.

The government appointed the mediator after York president Mamdouh Shoukri flatly rejected the union’s request that the two sides return to the bargaining table by 1 o’clock this afternoon.

“We are not going back to the bargaining table…York is taking a stand to protect its academic and financial future,” Mr. Shoukri said at a news conference Tuesday evening.

Both Mr. Shoukri and Mr. McGuinty have been criticized for their low profile throughout the strike.

Progressive Conservative MPP Peter Shurman urged the government to introduce back-to-work legislation as early as tomorrow. He said Mr. McGuinty should have intervened much sooner than now.

“I don’t think heads are being banged together,” Mr. Shurman told reporters. “To say he wants a speedy resolution to this dispute at York at the 11-week mark is disingenuous to say the least.”

Students and their parents have also become increasingly frustrated. Several on-line groups have formed, with some urging the province to pass back-to-work legislation. Dagmar Kanzler, a spokesperson for a group of concerned parents, also urged the Premier to recall the legislature and order an end to the strike.



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205 responses to “

  1. Oh my

    Go Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty Go
    End this Strike..please

  2. Banjo Playing d00d

    Oh, I’m so helpless!

    I think of myself as a consumer, and now I’m mad that Nintendo didn’t pay its workers enough and I’m not getting my Wii on time! This is an outrage, the government MUST step in an make sure I get my Nintendo Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii. Waaaaaaaa.

  3. B

    Like the NDP has any true power to oppose anything anymore. They are a shadow of their former self and had to ask for official party status at one point.

  4. Kid from Deliverence

    That’s the problem with consumer GOODs, Banjo – you can’t guarantee their delivery. Supply and demand, i guess. Maybe if York and its students supplied some more cash, they wouldn’t have this problem now, or in the future!

  5. Insider2

    from previous thread

    @ YorkIsAwesome

    Glad some have found my information useful.

    I work at York U and am in touch with several ‘groups’ of people.

    For students who have not been at York for the past 2.5 months, it might seem that nothing is going on at York (aka ghost town).

    But the truth is tha many of the graduate students and employess have been here as usual because they ‘had to’. This has been despite the fact that their monthly income was lower than usual in case they were a CUPE member.

    Back to your question, there were and currently are several (official and unofficial) discussion at York around the strike issue.

    What most people hear from the media (on either side) is one thing but the information you get from being inside the university and very close to some influential people is something else.

    I hoped this strike does go this long but unfortunatelly it did. I just found this website and the amount of misinformation, personal speculations, etc convinced me to shed some light as much as I could without creating peoblems with people’s privacy.

    I will try my best to keep people up-to-date as much as I can.

  6. Johar

    this is bullshit. call this year off already!

  7. Banjo Playing d00d

    Oh, I see what you’re saying – if I press the administration to do something like run a deficit to pay my educators, whom i deeply respect and admire (which is why I feel the need to pay them in the first place) – then, we can go back to class?

    That makes sense. A lot more sense than acting as if Doctors deserve to make less than dishwashers.

  8. schulicher

    Just to let you guys know…schulich students are going back to school next monday!!! we just received the email from the Dean

  9. Rahat Virji


  10. Spawn of Himmler

    Wir mussen die CUPE ausrotten!

    Who’s with me?

  11. Sheizeater

    I am so excited to be going back to business school! I have missed wearing suits on Fridays and making power point presentations about things I know little about.

  12. ram

    @ insider
    please could you tell me how soon york has to reach a settlement to save the year. Please? If your information were true….

  13. anonymous

    as stated at the beginning by “kate Howlett:As the ‘education premier’ you should be outraged if even one student has to drop out because of the irresponsible actions of York University, CUPE and the government of Ontario,” she said in an open letter to Mr. McGuinty.” well i guess he should be outraged because im one student who did dropout and now i am left with no choice but to restart next year

  14. Insider2

    I am not sure why I can not post with myprevious id/email. Anyhow, I will post using this one.

  15. Insider2

    @ ram

    Next week seems to be the very last days York could afford to lose if they want to have students back.

    After that, it would be very difficult to compress both Fall and Winter terms, both financially and logistically.

  16. B

    How would it be difficult? If they were to cancel Summer term that opens up June/July/August.

    As it is, we are going into late May/early June. That leaves 6 additional weeks(July to Mid-August when summer term would normally end).

  17. clarify

    Mr. McGuinty told reporters. “We’ll give this thing one more shot. ”

    which means that after one more negotiation…if that does not work immediate back to work for the TAs will be orchestrated.

    correct me if im wrong

  18. Bro-Down 4 Jayson

    @ anon,

    if you dropped out because of finances blame the province that didn’t fund you, or blame yourself for not getting the marks to get scholarships;
    if you dropped out because you think you’ll get better marks next year: good luck, but that’s got nothing to do with CUPE,
    if you dropped out because of the strike: i don’t understand your reasoning and think you’re lying.


    Mr Boombastic

  19. Insider2

    @ clarify

    Wrong. It is very unlikely.

  20. @clarify

    You are wrong, if that is the case the Admin has no incentive to negotiate. Which means they will continue to come to the table in bad faith because they understand that the government is just going to back them up.

  21. clarify

    Okay, so what McGuinty have just said was in fact a lie?

    What I would expect from politicians

  22. mikael

    surprised this hasnt been shared yet..or maybe i didnt c it:

  23. clarify

    maybe my english is poor but by saying “giving it one more shot” means giving it one more try, and trying a more effective means of getting students back to school ASAP, since negotiations are no longer an effective mean.

  24. @clarify

    The Preem and his Education Minister have been firm on the point that they are going to RESPECT the AUTONOMY of the University.

    MAybe “one more try” simply means, after this, he’s washing his hands of the whole mess.

    York created this mess. Why should the province clean it up?

  25. Insider2

    @ clarify

    I might be wrong ro Mr. McGuinty might have provided false information.

    What I know is that after a certain time and after exhausting all the legal channles, it would be easier for the university to cancel the year altogether. Specically (right or wrong) that they ill have the public support to blame the CUPE for everything.

    I understand that it is very unfortunate for all the students and many employess but you should consider all the facts invloved in this matter.


  26. Insider2

    @ clarify

    You said it the best yourself:

    “York created this mess. Why should the province clean it up?”

  27. ram

    @ B
    you are right. I do not know on what basis insider2 is placing his comments.
    some more clarification is needed to consider the comment
    @ insider2
    If your info were genuine then can you explain why york will not have sufficient time for remediation.?

  28. clarify

    True. York has created this mess and the province is not obligated to clean it up.

    However, the strike is now the 11th week, which is ridiculously long by anyone standards.

    But since McGuinty would not intervene, I guess us [students] just have to “wait it out”

  29. Bro-Down 4 Jayson

    it is entirely possible he was just speaking euphemistically – that he wasn’t being precise with his language.
    When he says “let’s give this one more shot” it doesn’t not necessarily mean “one LAST shot”

  30. Curious Yorkie

    I also thought that McGuinty will enforce BTWL if this doesnt work. So they will prolly give it another week, and try to negotiate. But I am sure that these negotiations will also not work. York will just NOT give into the 2 year deal. And I am sure binding arbitration is the only thing that will put an end to this nonsense, much to CUPE’s dislike.

  31. Chantel

    How long before they cancel?
    The year should be canceled.

  32. clarify

    that was the point I was tryin to make

  33. clarify

    @ curious yorkie

  34. clarify

    cancelling the year would be disastrous

    and you have to understand that the majority of the students do not want to graduate a year later. for obvious reasons.

    however, if negotiations are just going to continue like this. with the two parties disagreeing.

    Cancelling the year would be a likely option

  35. anon

    @bro-Down 4 Jayson: no my dropping out was due to personal reasons and on top of that the strike as well..would you not agree that there is higher chance of getting better marks when the year isnt interrupted by a strike which in the end only means compressed working schedule which in my case would not be a good thing due to my complex courses..additionally my marks are above avg. buddy im sitting at an 8.2…i just dont want to put that at risk due to a strike…by the way there are plenty more students who have dropped out due to the strike for other if not the same reasons

  36. Insider2

    @ ram

    Logistically speaking, after a certain point, it would be very difficult to suffle around the schedule for courses.

    It might be possible for some but many courses also have labs/studios as a part of their course body.

    You can verify this by talking to university professors. In the past few weeks, York has been keeping the faculty on their toes to be prepared for the courses in case strikes ends soon. Everytime, university pressured the faculty more to cut the course time. This simply could not work after a certain point.

  37. clarify

    either way. this strike has certainly ruined York’s rep ( thanks in part to how the media protrayed it).

    The admissions to York will definitely take a big hit.

  38. Senate Executive approvals of classes: More than 5,000 students in four separate areas will be able to resume classes on Monday, Jan. 26 under decisions made by the Executive Committee of York’s Senate. They are:

    students in the School of Administrative Studies in the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies;
    undergraduates in the Schulich School of Business;
    students in the Faculty of Education’s Pre-Service Full Time Consecutive Program, for which the Ontario Teachers’ Federation has lifted its suspension of practica;
    students in the Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law Program in Atkinson

  39. clarify

    considering how much Schulich students pay for their tuition. i am not surprised

  40. Insider2

    @ clarify

    Yes. The two parties are very far apart. That is the preoblem.

    In fact, there was an informal email discussion circulating in one of science departments at York talking about this very issue.

  41. Pally Wally

    Shoukri has said that giving into the demands would mess up the plans for the university. Well, it is widely suspected that those plans include creating a Med School @ York.

    Shoukri was hired on having just led McMaster through a major restructuring of their Med School – very successfully, including introducing a new form of pedagogy into Med Schools which a lot of unis are now introducing themselves.

    It is highly likely that he was brought to York to oversee the planning and construction of a Med SChool here and to attract all the ‘hip’ people to make that a success.

    The problem is, people in the social sciences (York’s traditional area of strength) aren’t blind to the trends going on , NOT JUST at York, but at all schools in Ontario. Budgets shrink and enrollments grow. We’re expected to do more with less and be happy that a prestigious and well regarded liberal arts school is turned into another cookie-cutter degree mill with professional schools attached to it.

  42. Insider2

    @ student101

    That is NOT news. Actually many of the Schulich classes have been on unofficially during the past fe months. You can verify this easily 😉

  43. clarify

    sadly. that is the path York is heading towards

  44. you will not lose your year

    It would be impossible for the government, York, all the companies that provide grants and scholarships to figure out who owes who. They can not give you your money back, osap can not ask for their money back. Which means the year can not be canceled.
    They will cancel summer, they will cancel next fall, if we get back in December of 2009, they will just pickup where we left off.

  45. Insider2

    @ Pally Wally

    It is also widely believed that having a med-school at York is simply not possible.

    I firmly believe that Dr. Shoukri was brought in to enhance the research side of York.


  46. Insider2

    @ you will not lose your year

    It is very possible I am afraid. True, some scholarship will continue no matter what happens but events like strike could affect other types.

  47. Schulicher


    The only unofficial classes that have been running were the study sessions organized by students for students… But you can hardly call that ‘classes’.

  48. yorkishopless

    is it true that business students can go back to york on monday???? please inform me about that news “5000 students can go back to york”

  49. I second insider’s info regarding the internal mail going on between science professors. A friend of mine is a fourth year bio student who is close with a professor, and that is what he told her…..

  50. clarify

    yes, but the majority of the students are still out of classes.

  51. Insider2

    @ Schulicher

    Are you sure? 😉 how about graduate students?

  52. Insider2

    @ YorkIsAwesome

    Glad that several different people can verify what I write here.

  53. clarify

    i think this top-tier mediator is just for show, so it looks like McGuinty is actually trying to stop the strike. I doubt the negotiations will cover much ground.

  54. tester

    An email from Dr. Shoukri at my email address.

  55. samie

    ok ppl… i know how everybody wants to get back to school at this point…but i truely dont understand if it makes any difference at this point, the school had to end on april…even if they decide to extend the school year for another month so that we finish it off on may..still it will be a hug pain in the @** is not fair… we dont have to be stressed out for this stupid thing.. and we certainly do not deserve to be treated in such a situation in a short time to jam everything in 2 month… just call this school year off already, so for those who wish to go back to school on summer or some who are willing to come back for next year september.

  56. B

    Pally Wally – Shoukri was the Dean of Engineering at McMaster. He had nothing to do with the med school.

  57. Insider2

    @ B

    Good point.

  58. ZB

    shoukri can go craddle my ballsack, that ass pounding fool.

  59. Insider2

    @ clarify

    No, it iwll not be a show. The mediator will try to do his job.

    But as the his title says, it will only work if the two sides are willing to talk business. In this case, York does not (and to some degree) CAN NOT.

    Please everybody: if my posts here upsets anyone, I can stop. But this is only information. Verifying it and making decisions is on you.


  60. yorkishopless

    does anybody here from atkinson glad that we have to go back to crap york university on monday???

  61. clarify

    nah ur info is much appreciated here.

    much better than CUPE member with child.

  62. back to the table

    the mediator has absolutely no power. they are equivalent to a counsellor and are only of use if both sides want to try and find a resolution.

  63. YS


    If the school year were to be cancelled, the summer terms would be lost first. The fall and winter terms would consequently be pushed into the summer and school could very possibly end near the end of August if this is the case. I think this is Shoukri’s plan, if any cancellations are to be made. Just my thoughts.

  64. Andy

    Why the hell is McGuinty afraid of the NDP? They’re a third-rate party with all of 10 seats in the legislature.

  65. Is there any hope?

    People….if the fall/winter semester gets cancelled, they would have to cancel the summer semester first!
    Imagine how much tuition they would have to refund if they cancelled the FW terms

  66. Outsider

    @ Insider

    You say “York does not (and to some degree) CAN NOT” talk business. What do you mean by this?

    From Shoukri’s message it seems that York may be open to negotiate. Am I wrong?

    Just hoping there’s a possibility of turning this around…

  67. back to the table

    @ andy
    who says he’s afraid of the ndp?

  68. clarify

    thats why cancelling the year is the very last resort

  69. YS

    I believe that if any reimbursement is to be made in the case of the a cancellation in the year, we wouldn’t even get a total refund in fall and full year courses since we covered a bunch of material from those courses already. pay them money and we still walk away without a proper education and no credits.

  70. Woot

    I’m so confused right now, I’m an atkinson student, how come there was no notification or mass email sent out that our the faculty would resume classes on the 26th.

    According to the release, I will not suffer any penalties if I chose not to go?

  71. confused :s

    will the lectures taking place in stedman and curtis lecture halls continue taking place there or will they be happening in other lecture halls… as i read that due to the strike the stedman and curtis halls r closed

  72. B

    Woot – are you an admin studies student? Because those are the only class resumption in Atkinson.

  73. confused :s

    yes… i m a admin student

  74. Woot

    Yes I am in the admin studies program I think most of people who are at atkinson is in the admin studies. I have a feeling that noone is aware of this in my program, its not released anywhere noticable except to find it here!

  75. Insider2

    @ Outsider

    Dr. Shoukri said:

    “We look forward to Reg Pearson’s involvement in the hope that it will lead to a speedy resolution.”

    But at his yesterday talk he emphasized that Yorkwill not come back to the “negotiation” table. This was further confirmed when York side did not show up at the table at 1 pm today.

    By speedy resolution, York is hoping that CUPE steps back from what they have been askinf for almost three months which is VERY (VERY) unlikely.

  76. Pally Wally

    Having a med school at York, makes a lot of sense depending on what messages Shoukri is receiving re: OHIP, and provincial funding.

    You also have the perception that we need more doctors, so if the province/feds want to increase OHIP spending, York will be well positioned to make sending money their way look even better.

    My point is: if you want ANYONE to be heading up a York MedSchool, it’s Shoukri. He has the experience, he has the connections, Mac’s program is regarded as groundbreaking…etc. If it isn’t in the cards, he’s still a good guy to have, but if it is: then York looks like master tacticians, no?

  77. Insider2

    Contrary to what many think, it is a far better option for York to cancle Fall/Winter terms and begin the summer term with no or minimum CUPE involvement.

    In that case they will have summer term tuition, 70% of Fall and Winter, have not paid the part time faculty and TAs and save a huge amount of money on facilities during the strike.

    On top of that they like to rely on public’s support ti blame the CUPE for everything.

    Try to think about it from a non-student’s point of view (read economically).


  78. Insider2

    @ Pally Wally

    I am afraid that it is very far from reality.

  79. Outsider

    But Insider,

    Does this not imply that they will come to the table to negotiate? : “I want to assure you that we will work closely with the mediator to attempt to achieve a negotiated settlement which will safeguard the quality of the student academic experience and the long-term financial stability of the University.”

  80. Schulicher


    I was under the impression that our graduate classes were completely official… They were able to continue because there was no/hardly any CUPE 3903 members involved in teaching them.

  81. Insider2

    @ Outsider

    Well, that is what everybody is hoping for.

    But if you decompose that sentence to a simple, non-political phrase, it means a settlement that York “Wants” not both the CUPE and York.

    That is the problem.

    Personally I think York ill have a few more shots in politically say things on their website and keeping the students in darkness untill the air the blas next week.

    That way, they will ensure that nobody will accuse them that it was “planned”.

  82. clarify

    Again, is CUPE simply asking for too much.. so that York could not possibly meet those wants during these hard economic times.

    I also agree that CUPE would most likely not back down after what we have witnessed with the vote results.

    seems like cancelling this year may be a great possibly.

    Hopefully they’ll meet half way though: best case scenario

  83. Outsider

    I don’t know, Insider. Maybe I’m desperately hanging on to my last shred of optimism from this situation, but I have to believe that the best thing for York (and obviously all involved) is to resolve this thing at all costs.

    But respect your opinion and appreciate any information you can share from the “inside”.

  84. clarify


    wow my english has taken a toll

  85. B

    Pally Wally – Where is your link between DeGroote School of Medicine (McMaster) and Shoukri? He was the dean of engineering and instrumental to McMaster’s growth in research. The simple fact that he was at McMaster and there so happens to be a med school at McMaster does not mean he was instrumental to the development of DeGroote. He was instrumental to the growth of Innovation Park. McMaster bought out the former Camco business offices and factory and converted it into a research facility to pioneer their research endeavors. McMaster has made a strong push in the last few years to be a research intensive university and has marketed itself based on that.

    Shoukri is an engineer through and through. His academic background from undergrad to PhD is Engineering. His professional expertise is engineering and research. Not medicine, not health sciences.

    McMaster is very well regarded for it’s medical school and its innovative problem based student focused learning methods. Harvard Medical School has even adopted McMaster’s style. But McMaster is also very well regarded in Engineering and Business.

    Additionally, U of T is struggling to add spaces to their med school right now. There have been plans in the works to expand into UTM for years now and every time they inch closer, U of T is forced to put it off for another year. There is dire need for med schools positions but the ability to meet that need is extremely problematic.

  86. Insider2

    @ Outsider

    Totally cool.

    I think everybody is hoping for a “fair” resolution. In this case, like most similar cases, unfortunatelly fair has a different meaning to each side.

    But the general consensus at York among the employees is that York needs to give in to CUPE to save this year. They can later decrease tehir dependence on CUPE (again, if possible) and compensate for what they are losing now (mostly their reputation since they are actually saving money by not having students on campus).


  87. jacky

    how come they dont post the thing on the main site for the people that will be able to go to school on the 26th?

    is it 100% that they could go back to school?
    and what if those ppl chose not to go ?

  88. may

    ya give in and have another strike in 2010, I think not, he made that clear

  89. Insider2

    I double what B said on Dr. Shoukri’s background and reason for being at York: research

    There was a detailed article on that topic when he came to york.

  90. Insider2

    @ may

    Exactly and that is what that makes the to sides very far apart.

  91. may

    I think the president would rather lose more time in this strike, then to give in cupes demands and have yet another strike in 2010

  92. Insider2

    @ jacky

    For students choose not to go back, they ill be accomodated. That is another reason behind the whole disasterous idea of cancelling the year: making it fair to anyone.

  93. Pally Wally

    I guess I heard wrong; I was under the impression he was head of DeGroote, thanks for the clarification though.

  94. may

    cupe has to change this two year thing, apparently they say the major sticking points are job security, wages, and funding, so if york gives them that, then they should let go of this two year thing

  95. Insider2

    @ may

    Well, that is true if you think the president is the main (and only) one who is running the whole York side.

    But the story is far more complex.

  96. may

    compromise on all this job security, wages, and funding.. and scrap the two year deal, have a three year

  97. may

    is this two year contract the deal breaker beucase cupe says its everything else but

  98. Insider2

    @ may

    CUPE will not change that one even if the give up on other (which they will not).

    I can tell you this with confidence. We are talking about a large group of part-time faculty supporting this that know that York NEEDS them to get more students every year.

  99. Insider2

    @ may

    Again, it is more complex.

  100. asdf

    I know that an article from the ylife site states that 5000 students are going back in this direct link – But I don’t see this article from the general index – – was this information not supposed to be released yet?

  101. jacky

    @ insider

    thank youu
    i want to know im in facutly of arts , business society , do i have to go ?

    and it is 100% that

    * students in the School of Administrative Studies in the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies;
    * undergraduates in the Schulich School of Business;
    * students in the Faculty of Education’s Pre-Service Full Time Consecutive Program, for which the Ontario Teachers’ Federation has lifted its suspension of practica;
    * students in the Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law Program in Atkinson.

    all these ppl are able to go back?
    and i dont get what do you mean by choose not to go , they will continue receive the protection and accomdation set out in senate legsialtion

    thank you

  102. confused :s

    my friend just told me that on the news it said only schulic will be resuming on monday… and if atkinson is resuming is it optional to attend the lectures

  103. may

    but the president does not want another strike… also it appears most universities do have the two year deal, except u of t and york which they are waiting for

  104. Pally Wally


    If that were the case, I think we would have seen at least one Unit have voted “Yes” on the deal on the table.
    Unit2 got the SRCs, or some version of that, got some conversions; that should have been enough for many of them. I think that a lot of Unit2s thought the deal on the table was acceptable already. Maybe I’m misreading things though.

  105. may

    I thought they were making progress last negotiations, thats what was told

  106. food

    @Jacky if those who are selected do not attend class, they won’t receive any penalty.

    “Students who choose not to participate in resumed classes will continue to receive the protections and accommodations set out in Senate legislation.”

    Quoted right from the article.

  107. may

    well graham potts said that the vote would of been alot higher, but theadministration were going to cut alot of their wages from back to work protocol, and threatening them etcc, which had alot of voters scared

  108. Woot

    I just an old professor who responds instantly because it goes to his blackberry.

    Atkinson students: Classes start monday 26th. Its optional, but I suggest you go since they will be reviewing!

  109. Pally Wally


    I think the progress they made was enough that the Admin was convinced that Unit2 would cave then, or cave never.
    The forced rat backfired, and now York is hoping that the province steps in, we’ll see tomorrow whether they stick to waiting for the government, or act quickly to end the strike.

  110. Woot

    I just emailed an old professor*

    OMG I’ve been out of school too long!

  111. may

    well the president seems pretty sure that he will not give in, especially the two year thing

  112. Pally Wally

    I speculate that he will, or knows something we don’t.

  113. yorkishopless

    is there a diference between BBA and BAS????

  114. Insider2

    @ Pally Wally

    University will (and can) not give in. I am sorry but can not really say more now.

  115. jacky

    so i want to know

    only these faculties

    * students in the School of Administrative Studies in the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies;
    * undergraduates in the Schulich School of Business;
    * students in the Faculty of Education’s Pre-Service Full Time Consecutive Program, for which the Ontario Teachers’ Federation has lifted its suspension of practica;
    * students in the Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law Program

    has to go on monday?
    what about facualty of arts?

    and if the ppl choose not to go they wont get any penalties? then whats the point of going then?

  116. R

    Hey guys…. the news for atkinson students returning has been removed from the ylife site…. does that mean that the news wasnt verifies or was wrong in some way?? i first got to that article from and its not there anymore!!!

  117. AB

    I must ask: why are Canadians so shit? Why are such a large group of people (the 50,000 students) sitting by idly and letting these circus committees (Liberal GOVT, YU and CUPE) ruin their lives? Where is the rioting? Where are the angry protests? Where is the destruction of property? Where is the frustration? Where are the balls gone?

  118. food

    @ R dang, your right…I checked it too. It’s not there anymore lol…I probably bet having those students go back to class,there would be too many inconsistencies. I could be wrong.

  119. ADMS Student

    This site lists the programs that are now excepted to the strike.

  120. R

    DAMNNNNN!! Its cancelled again!! Shoot man, they dont even know what theyre doing…

  121. stricken

    Perhaps CUPE is hoping to outdo this strike:

  122. food

    @ R actually, hold on..I was actually looking though the replies here. The link apparently still works:

    Still, I’m a little sketchy since I haven’t recivied anything from Aktinson (E-mail wise)

  123. Insider2

    That is true that York administration is not performing very well at the moment.

    As I said, after tomorrow and Friday, many of you should be able to plan for your future 🙂

  124. Insider2

    Tomorrow’s meeting will be at 10 am Hilton Garden Inn, 3201 Highway 7 West.

  125. clarify

    sweet there meeting tmrw =]

  126. annonymous

    you seem very knowledgeable, thank you for sharing the information you have with us, it’s very helpful

    you say the nest 2 days are crucial and will set the tone for the future of this strike

    does that mean that if nothing seems to be going well in the next 2 days that we should expect the year to be cancelled?

    thank you

  127. clarify


  128. meeting student

    I just came back from the meeting in the Bethune college … and I am really happy, many of us showed up and we are organizing now a mass rally that will take place on MONDAY and WEDNESDAY!!

    Spread the word! It is time now to show that we are united and Cupe and York have to stop playing games !!!

    I will announce the rallies later tonight!

  129. clarify

    and CMWC is no where to be seen


  130. R

    @ food
    yes its working but if u check the ylife site, it isnt there anymore…. i guess we do have to wait for a day or 2 to finally figure out whats happening…. theres nothing about this news on any news channels, or is there??

  131. Pally Wally

    meeting student,

    by “many” i assume you mean that number that is generally greater than “3” (ie. ‘a few’); for example: many of us in first year used to get totally stoned and watch DVDs in the common room while eating ice cream and other snacks.

    Good luck convincing kids from union-homes, working-class kids, and in general socially aware and liberal students that union busting is fun and just!

    Maybe try another strategy: telling the admin to give it up.

    Protip: plan to take 2010 off.

  132. annonymous

    pally wally the e-picketer

  133. Insider2

    @ annonymous

    Thanks. Hard to say weather everything will be clear by Friday. But e shoul know a lot.


    Personally I do not hold my breath. I am aware thst York is going to ask CUPE to consider 50000 (now 45000 !) students, drop their demands, etc. But they are NOT going to negotiate (unfortunately).

  134. Insider2

    FYI Just updated the website:

  135. Pally Wally


    I speculate that there is a lot of pressure from the government, and external sources preventing the Admin from giving in. 2010 becomes a whole different ballgame with York on board. 3903 is the MVP of Ontario Post-Secondary Unions.

  136. demarche

    People, insider/insider2 is stringing you along. Do not believe a word that he/she says.

    e.g., “In the past few weeks, York has been keeping the faculty on their toes to be prepared for the courses in case strikes ends soon. Everytime, university pressured the faculty more to cut the course time.”

    That is utterly false.

    And only the absolute top level of York admin would have access to kind of information that he/she is claiming to have. Those people would not be posting it on a blog. Furthermore, you can tell from the way he/she writes that he/she is not an administrator at that level.

    Just ignore. He/she is a better troll than usually shows up here, e.g., mixing in an occasional, publicly available fact with the lies. But a troll just the same.

  137. Pally Wally


    I am not a grad student, or an e-picketer. Sorry!

  138. meeting student

    @ Pally Paranoia

    many = 98 students for a rally organization.

    oH .. Unfortunately we did not occupy ourselves talking about the union – we were too focused on how to go back to school as soon as possible.

    Oh actually, now that you mentioned, there were a few jokes about how the Union official website has copied Obama’s speech…. that was really funny!

    Ms. Paranoia, please we are serious here. We just want to go back to school.

  139. R

    @ Insider2

    Do u know if the atkinson students are going back to school or not… I really have to plan a few things before returning back so I really need to know!!

  140. Pally Wally

    The Prez is getting at LEAST $81,000 as a performance BONUS this year, for how great a job he’s done so far.
    Although he gets more bonuses, this is 33% of his base pay.

    There is a petition for him and the Dean to put their money where their mouths are and accept a wage freeze and ‘be reasonable’ – you can’t be taking 33% raises (or more) every year in this economy.

  141. Insider2

    @ demarche

    Yes, you are correct. A few more day should make some things clear.

  142. Insider2

    @ R

    Sorry. I am not aware. Might know by tomorrow afternoon and will post here.

  143. R

    @ demarche

    Do u know if the atkinson students are going back to school or not… I really have to plan a few things before returning back so I really need to know!! u are a prof at the uni, so u must be more informed about it than anyone here… do u have any feedback to give??

  144. Tyred

    Can anyone verify that many of the TAs/GAs that are supposedly on strike are actually continuing their studies inside the walls of York while this strike continues??

  145. Pally Wally


    Are you suggesting that graduate classes are meeting?
    Or are you asking if people whose lives are dedicated to becoming experts in a certain field are spending their free time pursuing their life’s work?

  146. Insider2

    @ Tyred

    Yes. They have had to becuase their supervisors have been pushing them. However, they have NOT been getting their TA income but have paid York tehir tuition fees.

  147. R

    TAs have been having classes???

  148. Funny

    “Or are you asking if people whose lives are dedicated to becoming experts in a certain field are spending their free time pursuing their life’s work?”

    Gosh … NOW that’s a good joke!

  149. ram

    @ insider2
    So, Does it mean that if negotiations cannot fetch fruits by friday, some serious consequences are to be seen?
    Because personally i do not think there is much scope for movement between the union and university. They are reallt clear about 2 year deal, job security, funding and so on. Nothing which york can accede to. This has been reiterated by york itself several times. So i will not be surprised if the negotiations have to come to a stand still, But i will really be if the outcome was otherwise.

  150. Pally Wally

    If you don’t respect the instructors, why do you come to York?

  151. Pally Wally

    Since the school stands to benefit (couldn’t hurt) if the unions are able to get more provincial money in 2010 – it makes no sense why there is so much resistance to the 2 year deal. Other than: special interest groups and the government being against the idea.

  152. Funny

    I had it. The respect was lost.

  153. Insider2

    @ ram

    Well, again as you said by Friday at least we will all know that this option proposed by the goverment (top mediator) did not work too.

    Personally I will also be surprised too if the two sides move toards a mutual agreement. I can see that York will as the CUPE to give up and then leave the table upon union’s rejection. We will see.

  154. R

    i personally dont think that they would cancel the year that soon when they can extend the fall/winter semester into summer…

  155. Funny

    And I was already at York . .well the rest of the story you know very well.

    For your surprise: Respect is not a right, it has to be earned

  156. Tyred

    On TAs going inside the walls to attend classes during this strike while their CUPE brothers and sisters are blocking others from entering, and preventing innocent students from continuing education…

    “Yes. They have had to becuase their supervisors have been pushing them. However, they have NOT been getting their TA income but have paid York tehir tuition fees.”

    That takes the cake, in fact that is disgusting, whether they get their TA money or not. No wonder these assholes aren’t bothering to show up for meetings or votes, they are too busy continuing classes inside York!!!


  157. Pally Wally

    I think the union has a bad image because there are a few people in high places that are a little ‘too’ into this strike.

    I would encourage you to talk to you TAs and instructors. Most people in the union are more reasonable than they are being painted. At the very least you can confirm your position, or perhaps just come to understand why they feel the way they do. Hey, maybe some of them might agree with you!

  158. Tyred

    That is SOME union brotherhood they have there.

  159. Pally Wally


    I think insider2 is misinforming you. You should hesitate jumping to conclusions one way or another.

  160. jacky

    i have a serious question
    how many more weeks do you think we are gonna be out? cause im an international students and i need to know or around a certain timing to book my flight back .

    thank you all of you

  161. demarche

    @ R, re Atkinson

    I’m not at Atkinson, so if the decision was made just today, I wouldn’t necessarily have been told. Just call Atkinson tomorrow to find out for sure.

  162. Tyred

    I didn’t hear that from Insider2 ……

  163. Pally Wally


    it is impossible to tell. The prez said yesterday school might extend into July! I think he was just trying to scare people – and the strike will be over soon, but we won’t know for sure when class will end until school resumes.
    You won’t be reimbursed if you buy a ticket you can’t use during the strike – so hold off!

  164. Pally Wally

    You heard it somewhere and insider2 confirmed it.

  165. nobody

    @ Pally Wally

    I actually think insider two has been the most knowledgable person so far …

  166. ram

    @ Jacky
    which country are u living in. Because if it is only US, then this one might not affect as much as it would had you come from some eastern country/european. It is too early to tell this as no body here has a crystal ball to look into the future.
    we are in the same ship(sinking?) as you are!!!

  167. haha


  168. Insider2

    I’m sorry if I gave a wrong impression.

    I think all of us wait until 1 p.m. tomorrow. There will be some light then.

    Again, not to scare anyone but cancelling the year is NOT out of question. But it takes some preparation for the university to make it public.


  169. LarryKingdom


  170. jacky

    im live in hong kong
    will our school year extend till july for sho?

  171. may

    @ insider how can they cancel the year, the president made it clear that he will exhaust all avenues, and stated that he will first cancel summer before anything.. so we still have the summer to finish the courses if anything

  172. may

    HOng kong, oh my, well @ jacky, they are commencing bargaining again tomorrow… so we dont know whats going to happen

  173. ram

    @ jacky
    good. i am no different from you. i have to go to India. so i am as anxious as you are.

  174. Ed student


    I’m a faculty of ed student and they told us shit all as well. Some of us found out via the York site and were wondering why the admin couldn’t get off its lazy ass and at least inform the students.
    Consecutive students are back next week. Yes!!!!!!!!!

  175. Pally Wally

    insider2 –

    you are discrediting yourself by saying “canceling the year” is not out of the question. Summer term, perhaps – but even that is a stretch.

    What is the cost of the contract on the table right now?

    What would be the cost of canceling the year and refunding students everything.

    What will the university do with the 3400 workers? Hire 800 tenure-track people?

    What you are saying makes no sense, because what you are inferring is that tomorrow the Admin will announce plans to cancel some or all of the school year.

  176. may

    They still have time, even if we miss another week, we still can go into may, early june

  177. may

    the only head banging is of cupe 3903, I think the university, is counting on the mediator to bang some sense into them

  178. Hassan

    So will we go back to classes tomorrow afternoon?

  179. may

    tomorrow afternooon, no, earliest would be monday

  180. New Yorku marketing manager

    From York website, I decided to change their message at the bottom of the media releases to:

    “York University is the most incompetent interdisciplinary research university in Canada. York offers an archaic, obsolete non-academic experience at the undergraduate and graduate level in Toronto, Canada’s most international city (which we are proudly to have all of them held hostage).

    The first largest university without leadership in the country, York has not offered to the students a dynamic academic community – instead we offer a few thousands of ta’s controll over our 50,000 students.

    This distinctive and irresponsible approach is preparing students for a world without future and bringing fresh insights and solutions to an ideology completely alienated by union and York adm. York University is proudly an autonomous, “not-for-profit” , “not-for-education” and “not-going-to-get-your-degree” corporation.

  181. Insider2

    @ Pally Wally

    They do not have to and will not refund all the tuition fees if they exhaus every LEGAL possibility. They are shooting for 30% max.

    In the meantime, Yorkis thinking about a new contract for next year for part time people. I mean a TOTALLY new contract.

  182. Insider2

    @ Pally Wally

    “what you are inferring is that tomorrow the Admin will announce plans to cancel some or all of the school year.”

    I did not. I said there willbe more light by Friday. senate will decide about the cancellation.


  183. may

    k, im not sure about this info u are getting, they arent going to be thinking of cancelling the year, maybe u meant to say the summer

  184. Insider2

    @ may

    I will be clear by Friday.

  185. may

    so what about these negotiations, maybe they will settle on friday

  186. Reasonable Person


    Here’s the truth of this whole situation that no one likes to admit.

    CUPE is made up of two groups. One is TAs. Being a TA at York isn’t like being an MBA at Schulich or studying Law at Osgoode. York graduate school is second choice for people who didn’t get into UofT. So you have all these people who weren’t bright enough to be accepted into UofT at York. Mostly aimless people who aren’t academically strong, going to York because they have no good career prospects and didn’t get into UofT grad school.

    A large proportion are liberal arts students who are still wandering around unsure of what to do with their lives. Most other TAs see it as a stepping stone to their post grad careers. York TAs think it’s their job. They think they deserve full time pay for part time work. They considering being a TA their label and current career. No other TAs at UofT would strike like this because for them, they are there to get their degrees and TA is a part time thing to supplement their income. Only the York TAs consider it more than that.

    Then we have the contract faculty. The people who are second best to tenured faculty and couldn’t earn the positions on their own, so now they’re supposed to get them automatically without competition.

    Let’s be honest about this strike and CUPE. The reason why York’s CUPE has so many problems while UofT doesn’t is because York’s union is filled with second-best rejects with lower average intellect and academic integrity.


    will this 2010 strike begin in Jan 2010 or September for the 2010-2011 academic year?


    oh man, years ago, we were at a wedding and this stuck-up asshole physician (a uoft grad) told me “york is a socialist school”! at first i thought he was a total asshole, but damn the man had a point.


    I’ve been reading through this blog… Can you guys not see that Insider2 is trying to create panic amogst the undergrads? (Maybe to get us to pressure York???) … I sense a CUPE member disguised under a differnet handle.. (Funny CMWC is nowhere on here)


    We will all be able to tell well in advance when the year will be scrapped.

  190. Pally Wally

    Reasonable Person,

    As a grad of the UofT, I can tell you – there are many reasons to choose York over that school; there are many programs in which York’s faculty and departments are far superior to the UofT. To suggest otherwise is to grossly underestimate the politics of academia.

    The perception you are furthering is one that institutional reputation alone dictates the quality of scholars we produce; which I think should be understood as patently false to any ‘reasonable person’.

    York is not the UofT, and that is something I am quite happy about. UCB is not Princeton; that doesn’t mean that because Princeton is ‘harder’ to get into that UCB is a terrible school full of rejects. The undeniable truth is that York is many students’ first choice.

    Instead of repeating half-truths and misconceptions about graduate school and the quality of graduate students at York I fully encourage you and your ilk to go to the UofT and see for yourself. You might want to familiarize yourself with the ‘canon’ (you know that phallic symbol of a body of knowledge) in your field first.

  191. Honestly!

    People who talk about the year getting scrapped are just fear-mongering. Either that or they lack the ability to think logically. Shoukri has made it clear that, if anything, the summer semester will be the first to go. We still have until August to finish the Fall/Winter term, people!! Cancelling the year would have a devastating impact on York’s already tarnished reputation, not to mention the negative repercussions on its financial well-being. Please stop your speculation until you obtain evidence from a reliable source.

  192. Tawfiq

    Pally Wally does have a point.

    York U has a ton of graduate students who are unshakeably convinced of their brilliance, of their future status as world-leading experts of powerful and earthshaking “critique”, of the fundamental correctness of their view of just about anything, and of their ability to reframe reality to fit deeply-held beliefs.

    And there is an academic niche for some of them. The institutionalization of self-perpetuating mediocrity: ain’t it grand?

  193. Tawfiq

    Oh. Pally Wally. News. “Canon” != “cannon”. Different words, I’m afraid — you will have to seek elsewhere for your phalli. Though, fear not, we will certainly pat you on the head and tell you how clever you are when you find them.

  194. ZB


  195. Bystander

    Not that it is my place to give you an etymological lesson, but a canon can be thought of as a standard of classification – in other words: a rule. Like a ruler, or a measuring rod – which happens to be the root of the word.

    Now, even though the dirtier minds out there might be saying “lol – rulers are measuring RODS, heh” – that isn’t what we’re talking about; a rule is a way of establishing authority, belonging, membership. Perhaps it is no surprise that we variously call Kings and Queens, etc. “Rulers”.

    So, when we say something like the ‘canon’ is phallic, we are not just making a play on the homophone (cannon – which is phallic, and shoots off from time to time) – we are asserting that it is a form of paternal/symbolic law (depending if you read more Freud or Lacan) or what psychoanalysis thinks of as phallic authority (however defined).

  196. me

    @ insider

    putting together what i know, what you say, and common sense, the only logical rationale for what you’re saying to be true would be if somebody big in finance has made some serious boo boos that remain undisclosed to the public so far..(like investing a bunch of money they weren’t supposed to with some “sure thing” in Boston or something?) So that there’s less in the bank/budget than there’s supposed to be.

    Otherwise, I think someone’s stringing you along, if you’re not stringing us. Do you work around a lot of scientists?

  197. Fat Kid on the Playground

    Today’s article in TheStar indicates that in order to enact BTWL because:

    “Senior government officials confide (BTWL) is unlikely in this case because a precedent-setting 2007 Supreme Court ruling in a dispute between British Columbia and unionized health services support workers limits government’s ability to impose back-to-work legislation.”

    Dalton vs. the Supreme Court? Especially when he’s the education preem…i dunno, mang.


    ok but was forcing TTC back to work last year a precedent or had it been done before?

  199. Let's stay together!


    We are holding a demonstration outside John Milloys office. We are demanding answers to why there has been so much inactivity from the government.

    – a QUESTION you would like to ask him
    – an OLD textbook or notebook
    – SIGNS with questions or statments


    And directions to john milloy’s demonstration:

    Closest Subway Stations is Wellesley Station.
    Walk West on Wellesley to Bay Street.
    Go South on Bay Street to Arrive at 900 Bay Street.



    Queen’s Park. This time, we mean business. Come out and support your voice as an undergraduate student. Tell your parents, bring your friends. This rally will only succeed if everybody comes out to show the government that we mean business. We need a united front here!

    The rally will take place on the south lawn of Queen’s Park.

    If you haven’t come out yet, this is your chance and the most important event you can attend!

    – an instrument!!!
    – a personal statement because THERE WILL BE A MIC!
    – signs signs signs!

  200. Fat Kid on the Playground

    They declared TTC an “essential service” – university: not so much.


    no they never declared the TTC an essential service. and essential services aren’t allowed to strike, so BTWL is only for non-essential services anyway.

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