Since November 6th, 2008, York has been effectively shut down. The campus, for those of you who’ve been there, is practically a ghost town. When you walk through the campus, it’s quite common that even your footsteps will echo inside buildings. It’s kind of strange, isn’t it?
We all know what got us to this point. All of us – including myself – began freaking out, and put pressure on one side over the other. Clearly, York had majority support; but, CUPE 3903, with whatever support they had, preservered with the biggest determination.
Last night, as many of you may know, I had reached my breaking point. To that regard, I even broke my position that CUPE Doll was just an e-picketer trying to scare students and prolong this strike. I went as far as suggesting to everyone that it’s by far the most important thing, at this point in time, to strike the strike.
Could still be a good idea, right? Here’s the catch – these ridiculous negotiations have been stalled long enough because one side is waiting for students to potentially wail on CUPE 3903. No need to put names, it’s quite evident. I think they’ve succeeded, and they want us to go and do exactly that – protest the strike, and apply pressure on the union to accept York’s last offer.
Perhaps a motion to march into York is in order – but all in good time. Not yet. Our year isn’t cancelled, folks. Macleans seems to be a right wing magazine that, frankly, hates lefties, like CUPE 3903. I doubt York would ever let this semester go, or this year. There is far too much at stake here.
Look, I know some of you want this year resumed in September. If that’s the case, just drop your courses already before any specific deadline, and request a tuition refund – whatever you’re entitled to. There are other students who absolutely need this year to continue, stop being so selfish. I can almost guarantee that those numbers of students who want the year resumed NOW greatly outnumber those students who wish the year be postponed until September, where we “start fresh”. At this point, of the two sides….I’d say we have more ‘strength’, just as CUPE 3903.
I’m not going to attach a name to this professor….but I emailed him, despite his initial hesitation to ‘cross the picket lines’ and answer student questions. Here is the email as follows:
“Professor, I know you’ve stood hard by your policy against writing to students….but these are difficult times….could you at least give me an idea of what to expect? Am I going back to class at all?”
This, mind you, I wrote quick and on the verge of breaking down. I was absolutely horrified by the news that CUPE 3903 didn’t accept the offer. No one can blame me, right? Well, from my professor, as of 8 o’clock this morning, here’s his long awaited response (and whether he surfs this forum or not, I wish to thank professor no-name [I will protect his privacy] for giving me a strong sense of hope…I hope this gives you all hope, too.)
You are going to go back to class, and we will finish this course off and maintain its academic integrity. I simply cannot predict when the union and university will come to an agreement. My feeling is that it will not be much longer, but that is just a feeling. I know these are difficult times, but you are going to get through this — I promise. **”
I’m not going to reveal his response, but just so you know…brilliant man. This man single handedly, in two months, changed my worldview and inspired an even greater love of Political Science than I’d ever felt. I trust him. He’s ‘been around the block’, shall we say.
Folks, this is becoming long winded, but the point is I’ve realized that a) we’re grossly interfering in these negotiations by placing blame on one particular entity over the other, and 2) that we ARE going back. Whether some of you agree or not, CUPE 3903 does deserve a settlement all of its members can agree with. I’m not going to sit here and spew the inner workings of this union – that’s not my interest. However, I implore upon all of you to respect the bargaining process…this is essentially by protocol, this is how our country works, unions play a pivotal role in maintaining the working environments for their union members. Let’s not cave into ANY propaganda, and let’s try to unaninmously push for further bargaining between the two sides. Indeed, that’s the only way this can be settled.
Also, interesting comments I read from CMWC. Apparently, union members are fearful for their safety once this year does resume. My thinking is….to those students that engage in horseplay and threaten the union once school resumes….well, you’re no better than either of the sides, who have pushed this strike far enough and have now hurt the majority of the undergraduates…indeed, it is the undergraduates who hurt the most, but provided we respect this delicate process….these issues will resolve themselves.
Let’s only hope that this strike ends sooner rather than later, otherwise…well, students will have the final say when we make history and march onto campus in the swarms.