Letter from President Shoukri

Message from President Mamdouh Shoukri
From: Office of the President

Priority: Urgent
Date: Jan. 22, 2009
Expires: Jan. 29, 2009


I am writing to you about the continuation of the current strike by CUPE 3903 and what we see are the next steps in trying to achieve a settlement and bring you back to class.
Let me say from the outset that I deeply regret that this strike has affected your life and studies at York. I want you to know that the University has tried all possible means, including over thirty days of negotiations, offering binding arbitration to prevent a strike and initiating a supervised vote to end this dispute after many weeks of disruption.
The union continues to make demands that the University simply cannot afford both from a financial and an academic standpoint. Nor is it fair to students to settle this strike at any cost now only to set the stage for a province-wide strike next year in 2010.
I am pleased that Premier McGuinty has now appointed Ontario’s most senior mediator in an attempt to bring this strike to a resolution. 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.
We are determined to ensure that students complete their Fall and Winter terms. We also recognize that a Winter academic term that extends into the summer months may have a real impact on students’ ability to earn money for their education. I assure you that we will be working to increase the funds available to assist students in meeting their financial obligations when they return in September.
We will continue to do everything we can to settle this strike and I look forward to welcoming you back to class at the earliest opportunity.
Mamdouh Shoukri
President & Vice-Chancellor


Filed under Uncategorized

185 responses to “Letter from President Shoukri

  1. Yuggoth

    Apparently, the Union and York are meeting today with the new mediator in an effort to resolve the dispute. Well see what happens…

  2. P MacDonald

    What will be done to help the students in their final year? Will their repayment of student loans be extended?

  3. Andrew

    Dear President Shoukri,

    You’re a smart man. So what the hell were you thinking, calling that vote? I knew it would be defeated, and I am not getting paid hundreds of dollars an hour as a labor consultant. You just handed the union a big win and threw away your trump card at the same time.

    Here’s a suggestion. Fire your consultants, because they suck. I will send you my personal home phone number, and the next time you get a bright idea about the strike, call me. I’ve been pretty much right about the entire strike so far.

  4. bored and pissed off

    “We also recognize that a Winter academic term that extends into the summer months may have a real impact on students’ ability to earn money for their education. I assure you that we will be working to increase the funds available to assist students in meeting their financial obligations when they return in September.”

    So it sounds like the summer term will be affected after all.

  5. Just a thought, I do not think that they are going to cancel the summer semester before we end up going back to class. My reasoning is this, suppose they cancel the summer semester mid Feb. Suppose that they trash our term mid to late March. Further suppose that they end up reaching an agreement in May. York will take whatever dollars they can from us. If we can get a half semester of summer in there, I am sure that they will.

    Look, I know it is unlikley that our year gets canned, but anyone who thinks that it is impossible is just fooling themselves. I want to go back, I really do. I am a fourth year student who already got into Western Law for next year. Realistically, if I don’t go back to finish this term, I will have spent four years at York and have no peice of paper to show for it. But prepare for the worse fellows.

    I urge all posters on this blog to at least come up with their own contingency plan in the event that our year gets canned. Again, it is unlikley, but to say it is impossible, is just foolish. We can all hope for the best, but you must plan for the worst.

  6. theowne


    Already have my plan. Applied to transfer to McMaster and UofT already. With my marks so far I should have no problem getting in.

    If York cancels the summer term (which will have the same effect on me as cancelling the year, since I have courses I need pushed to the summer as an engineering student) I am bolting out of this dumb place where academics aren’t a priority and heading for somewhere where the administration simply would never let a three month hiatus on studies happen.

    It’s an embarrassment to the concept of a university.

  7. B

    Got my plan; McMaster how I’ve missed you! Screw this nonesense about a 2nd degree from York.

  8. Tyred

    Don’t be surprised if there is a mass exodus out of York to other universities that many people from York may not be accepted.

    Think about it.

  9. Why Back-To-Work Legislation is Unlikely: OC Transpo

    Ottawa’s transit authority, OC Transpo, has been on strike for forty-four days. The striking union, like CUPE, recently defeated a forced ratification vote.

    But, Harper’s Conservative government has said, flatly, “no” to back-to-work legislation for OC Transpo, even though the Federal government actually has jurisdiction over OC Transpo.

    If any government would legislate workers back to work, surely it would be the Conservatives. Why should we expect McGuinty to do so with CUPE 3903, especially considering that their labour is less essential than that of Ottawa city bus drivers?


  10. Tyred


    York had the card to play, and considering they had no intention of increasing their offer to the union, there was no harm done in playing it.

    You can say, like an armchair quarterback, that you “knew” the union would turn it down, but you didn’t know that – the union didn’t know that!

    This is not a normal strike where people actually lose income while on the picket line, it is simply deferred while they collect extra strike pay in the interim.

    Since the union has this additional power over the school, and they aren’t really suffering much by being off, I can undertsand why York cannot just give in to these extortionists – on principle alone.

    They have made a fair and reasonable offer and there is no reason they should move.

    Not many people will disagreed that 3.6% a year over three years is a bad offer but look at what the union is demanding – 15.7% over 2 years, that’s 3 times the university offer.

    It doesn’t matter that its only 1.5% of York’s budget, that has absolutely no correlation with what a reasonable and fair salary is for the job/position these people hold.

    York cannot give in to these tactics, and neither should anyone.

  11. CUPE GMM Insider

    From internal CUPE listserv, on yesterday’s GMM:

    “The GM passed the following motions:

    — the BT will make a memorandum of settlement to the employer.
    –we will not ask for a wage increase above the employer’s latest offer (3% and 3.25%) with COLA protection.

    The GMM voted against a motion that would have the new offer include our current position + post-residency language (with nominal $ attached) and unit 3 minimum guarantee. “

  12. B

    ^Cupe is still insisting on 2 years?

  13. Tyred

    Oops … should be 2 times the university offer.

  14. M.

    i would rather the year be cancelled than have the university cave on the length of the contract. the one thing i appreciate about shoukri’s letter is that he acknowledges that the union’s bid for a two year contract is a guarantee that there will be a strike in 2010. the university needs to stand strong on this.

  15. CUPE GMM Insider

    i.e. CUPE rejected the university’s offer, which included 3%, 3.25%, and 3%, and subsequently moved to accept the wage-part of the offer.

    CUPE basically agrees with the employer’s wage offer, and is bringing this to the mediator today.

    This means that CUPE’s strike was never about wages.

  16. B

    There’s no guarantee that a 3 year contract will mean no strike in 2011. The admin might just be trying to lengthen the time they have to reduce reliance on 3903.

  17. M.

    no, this strike has been about length of contract. although CUPE picketers on this site have repeatedly said that is NOT what this strike is about, they are being disingenuous about true motives. this has come down to a battle about 2010.

  18. RN

    @cupe Gmm insider

    What exactly does that mean?

  19. M.

    of course a 3yr contract does not guarantee no strike in 2011. however, a 2yr contract means that the next strike will occur in the winter of 2010 – as in, a year and a half from now. and because CUPE unions across Ontario universities will be aligned, that strike would make this one look short and sweet. and if york’s reputation is in danger now, what would two strike in two years do to it?

  20. CUPE GMM Insider

    The two-year contract issue receives almost no attention at GMMs. Suffice it to say that the GM is not generally interested in two years, but there has been inadequate debate around reconsidering the demand.

  21. M.

    general membership might not care about a 2yr contract, but what about your leadership?

  22. CUPE GMM Insider

    What exactly does it mean? That issues (many of them) other than wages are important to CUPE — not only 2010.

  23. M.

    i wish that the CUPE e-picketers would stop insulting our intelligence.

  24. rational

    “I assure you that we will be working to increase the funds available to assist students in meeting their financial obligations when they return in September.”
    What the fuck….what about this fucking year when we have to pay more rent in the summer. This guy is a joke.

  25. CUPE GMM Insider

    What about the leadership? The General Membership collectively directs the bargaining team and executive. There is no ideological leadership within 3903. It’s just the will of the GM that decides detailed direction. All members know this. The one’s who participate in meetings get to steer the union. The “leadership” cannot veto the will of the membership.

  26. noesis

    he claims that there have been “over thirty days of negotiations”, but cupe has claimed the university has come to the table for a total of seven days. anyone know where this discrepancy comes from?

  27. CUPE GMM Insider

    There are no ePicketers insulting your intelligence here, since there are no ePicketers here.

  28. B

    noesis – it’s PR. We’re trying/They aren’t. No, they’re the bad guys type deal.

  29. CUPE GMM Insider

    30 days versus 7 days? There have been thirty days of negotiations since March 2. There have been seven days of negotiations since the strike began.

  30. B

    The union likes to quote 7, the admin 30. It’s all about making one side look good or the other look bad.

  31. M.

    i’m sorry, why are CUPE members here if you are not picketing? you are attempting to influence the opinions of York’s students or you wouldn’t be commenting on a website that has been set up for students to share information and frustration. you would be off sharing information on whatever CUPE websites have been set up, instead of telling us what this strike is really about, and what member really want.

  32. CUPE GMM Insider

    Just giving information. Up to you to believe or not. You’ll find out what’s true eventually.

  33. MR Two

    We’re in for a long one… I’m so happy I got a job, and I urge others to at least apply/keep your options open, you never know what could happen.

  34. CUPE GMM Insider

    Don’t want more information? Okay. Bye.

  35. noesis

    also, has anyone else noticed that McGuinty’s head-banging mediatior can only do his job if the university returns to the bargaining table?

    in this sense, the appointment of the new mediator is a message from the provincial government to the admin to stop refusing to bargain – and it already seems to have worked!

    yesterday cupe’s bargaining team was waiting for the admin to get back to the table, and now with the appointment of a new mediator, the admin has immediately resumed talks.

  36. M.

    what you write here is not actually information. it is not based on facts, it is not verifiable in any way. like cupe member with child and others, you are PICKETING.
    i’ll find out what is true eventually? give me a break! what in the hell is that supposed to mean?
    everything you have written on this thread has insulted my intelligence.

  37. Insider2

    Both sides are still at the meetings.

    Got a text message from one of the people there that the negotiation has NOT been helpful (so far).

    Will post updates.

  38. Yorkstudent

    Hi everyone
    Following up the meeting we had yesterday, here are the latest news. Two events! Please invite family and friends. Let’s proof York and the Union we can 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!

  39. ram

    Hey all
    Here is an article that says why Mcguinty govt is reluctant to pass back to work legislation. Sounds it is very unlikely.

  40. Insider3

    Both sides are still at the meetings.

    Got a text message from one of the people there that the negotiation has NOT been helpful (so far).

    Will post updates.

  41. Second year student

    Just cancel the year. We all have so much resentment towards CUPE and the university, we need a cooling off period. I know that I personally cannot afford to be in school in June and July since I rely on my summer job to pay for school, and I don’t qualify for OSAP (like many other students). We’ve been royally f*cked. =(

  42. noesis

    Thanks CUPE GMM Insider,
    “30 days versus 7 days? There have been thirty days of negotiations since March 2. There have been seven days of negotiations since the strike began.”

    I knew there had to be a straightforward, unspun answer to this question, and I just wasn’t sure what it was.
    Numbers are hard to twist around, but it sounds like that’s what Shoukri’s done here.
    Statistics don’t lie, but liars use statistics.

  43. “oohh look at me I’m the president, I use big words”

    I invited him on, he was not man enough to handle the Mansbridge interrogation.

    Watch me…. Im good.

    10pm, weeknights.

  44. B

    If you read his statement carefully, you’ll notice Shoukri never attributes the 30 days of negotiations to the strike period. Cupe has been without a contract since the semester began. They’ve been trying to work this out for over a year now.

    Both sides are playing the PR game. You use stats to your advantage. It isn’t flat out lying, just good PR.

  45. noesis

    “what you write here is not actually information. it is not based on facts, it is not verifiable in any way…”
    “everything you have written on this thread has insulted my intelligence.”

    you can’t claim to speak for all students who attend this site.
    and given that the gmm we were being told about intimately affects the issue under discussion, i have no idea what your problem is.
    how do you propose to arrive at an informed opinion without knowing what’s at stake?

    also, the union’s acceptance of the wage offer from the administration is definitely ‘information’ and a ‘fact’.



  47. Anyone here applying to the Windsor/Detroit joint llb/jd program next year? In the off chance that you are, just thought I would spread a little peice of information that I just found out. I spoke with the woman from Detroir today, and she told me that in order to attend an ABA approved law school, you NEED a degree. I called her up to ask what would happen in my situation in the off chance that the York strike causes me year to be canned. She told me that they would TRY and get the ABA to let me into their program; however, that is very unlikley. However, she also said that they would defer my decision without hesitation since my lack of a BA is not my fault.

    So if there are any pre-law hopefuls out there, pass this on. Also, I have obtain confirmation from the dean of admissions from Windsor’s straight LLB, Western, Osgoode, and Queen’s that a cancelation of this strike will not hurt my chances of getting into their program in anyway.

  48. noesis

    sorry, but i think i’ve missed your point.

  49. Commuted


    “It isn’t flat out lying, just good PR.”

    If PR is designed to mislead, it’s a lie. Shoukri was trying to mislead us. That’s how Shoukri shows leadership.

  50. B

    But there have been 30 days of negotiation put into this process. He never said 30 days since the strike began. He just stated the fact that makes York look good. Just like the Union states the fact that makes York look bad.

    There’s no lie here. Just PR.

  51. Commuted


    “He just stated the fact that makes York look good. ”

    Agreed, but he stated the fact in such a way as to make us believe that a different fact was true, i.e. that there were 30 days of negotiations since the strike began.

    Even if he didn’t say that explicitly and the reader applied his own assumptions to come to that conclusion, Shoukri’s language was designed to elicit that kind of conclusion.

    It’s not just that Shoukri’s telling half the story. It’s that he’s omitting just enough information to suggest the story is different. That’s intentional.

  52. Yorkster

    Why is there an expiry date on this letter?

  53. B

    @Commuted – “It’s that he’s omitting just enough information to suggest the story is different. That’s intentional.”

    Otherwise known as playing the PR game….

  54. Commuted


    “Why is there an expiry date on this letter?”

    Because Shoukri’s concern for students will have expired on that day. 🙂

  55. noesis

    did you know that the guy who coined the term ‘public relations’ (edward bernaise) was freud’s nephew?
    he was a propagandist (by profession) during the first world war.
    when the war ended, he wanted to sell what he had learned to continue manipulating (or influencing) decisions of masses of people, and made up the term public relations, because propaganda had a bad ring to it.

  56. Commuted


    I think we can agree that, by some definition of “lying”, the PR game involves some modicum lying.

    We can definitely agree that Shoukri aimed to mislead students. That’s all that matters to me about this, really.

  57. Insider3

    Update everyone:

    Apparently today’s negotiations have not reached any results (unfortunately). York is still insisting on its current position.

  58. Yorkster

    @ commuted

    lol probably 🙂

  59. Commuted


    Cool info!

    Now “PR” has a bad ring to it, too, hence “media relations.” 🙂

    I almost prefer “propaganda.” At least its honest.

  60. rawr

    @ commuted

    “Because Shoukri’s concern for students will have expired on that day. ”

    Lol. or maybe the university has some plan to fire him or pull some random stunt after that day..

  61. B

    …a little too honest though. 😉

  62. ram

    @ all
    does anyone know where cupedoll and cupe MWC are now? it is close to 1 pm. By now there should be some news about the negotiations. I really want to see a reliable person either from univ or the union side. Anybody here?
    I know INSIDER(1/2/3) claims himself to have reliable info. But still little hard to believe as there are so many people who try to impersonate others. It creates some difficulty in believing even the original people. SORRY. Just my worries.
    Please do not mind (the original INSIDER!)

  63. Commuted


    But there were no negotiations yet. Both sides met independently with the mediator.

    The mediator is just reviewing both sides’ offers/demands right now, which follows his pattern of behaviour in mediating other high-profile labour disputes in Ontario.

  64. clennis

    there’s a really great documentary about pr available on google video called ‘the century of the self’.

  65. B

    rawr – Shoukri probably has a sweet compensation package. If he gets fired – asides from being jobless in this economy – it won’t be so shabby.

  66. ystudent

    @ insider3
    How do you know about this update?

  67. Commuted

    Insider3 is surely fake.

  68. Commuted

    @clennis .. thanks!!!!

    @b … well, he’d have to start paying back his $750 interest-free mortgage. Plus, with the housing market crashing, the value on his property is going, going, going.. He’s have to pay back the loan from last year’s salary and bonus. That would suck, as he’d have to return to Hamilton. Man .. hard times!

  69. New Yorku

    Hey guys can anyone tell me about the rallies on Monday and Wednesday? Is that going to happen? I really want to show to York that I m pissed with this.

  70. ram

    I think this forum is slowly losing its credibility just because people here are abusive of the anonymity here. Why does not every one have honesty?

  71. There is no expiry date on the letter that I received.

  72. dawn1111

    Does anyone know how long it takes for labor disputes and strikes to get resolved with Reg Pearson as a mediator? I’m thinking this is probably a good way to judge how much longer the strike could last…

  73. B

    ram – that would imply this forum had credibility to begin with.

  74. B

    and by that I mean the speculation and second hand information you are seeking. Not the verifiable posts.

  75. M.

    @ noesis

    first – where in any of my posts did i claim to speak for ALL STUDENTS who read this site?

    second – text messages from inside of meetings are not reliable pieces of information! especially when they come from CUPE members. this is also a type of propaganda – PR that CUPE members on this site (yourself, perhaps?) are spinning their own way in an attempt to influence student opinion. if CUPE members were honest when posting opinion pieces here, instead of trying to make any little piece of “insider information” look like facts, maybe it would be more useful in helping students to form opinions.

    i am tired of CUPE members on this site making statements about what the general membership wants or is interested in – one CUPE member on this site cannot speak for the entire union more than i can for the student body. telling us what the GM wants, like the writer has polled and knows the mind of each member, is disingenuous. thinking that York students can’t figure out for themselves what the main issues are in this strike, is insulting. as is thinking that we should take CUPE information from the “inside” into consideration when forming our opinions. the “inside” – the place where CUPE members make up fairy tales to tell students.

  76. ram

    @ B
    yeah. Not to forget the fact that there were some good resourceful people some times. But recently i am seeing a deluge of personal speculations, hypothesis, allegations which might affect both the goodness of the forum(?) and people who read those comments. In short words, i advocate protection and meaningful use of the freedom provided in this blog.

  77. rawr

    @ B

    probably. I think York has developed a reputation of offering their employees lots.. even maybe a bit too much… or else we wouldn’t be in this mess x.x

    stupid compensation stuff… I better hit the HR books after Chinese New Years =[

  78. Commuter

    Based on the latest events, new mediator, etc. when is the earliest date we could be back to class?

    I know this is pure speculation, but I’m wondering if it’s likely we could be back late next week or if it would be longer than that?

    I know the mediator has to go over the demands, “bang a few heads together” Jack Bauer style, then the union has to have a GMM, ratification vote, and notice to go back.

    How long will this take? And is there any truth to Peter Shurman’s/Lyndon Koopmans’ claims that after 12 weeks (next week) the year is lost?

  79. Lola

    “insider ” is a total fake. no one is negotiating today. like demarche said a while back he/she is simply mixing in facts with lies so you will believe it.

    ” i just got a text message” ya…sure. If you really were on the the inside you wouldn’t be waisting your time on this blog.

  80. DisgruntledYorkStudent

    I’m not one to take sides… so CUPE and York can both eat a dick!

  81. I just received an email from the Director, School of IT saying “For those of you who are enrolled in Fall ADMS courses please note that you will resume those classes starting Monday, January 26, 2009.
    Unfortunately the other courses in your ITEC programs will have to wait for the end of the CUPE strike.”

    Does that mean I will have to attend my ADMS courses? or not?

  82. Chris F

    I think part of the reason that people seem much more trusting of information from the university rather than that from the union is that the university is actually doing things for its students. Most importantly for me, it’s promised to keep rez and the york apartments open for the extended school year without additional cost. CUPE says it has the interests of undergraduates in mind, but what is it actually doing for me?

  83. RN

    I don’t know how legitimate insider 1/2 (3 is most definitely fake) is but according to some of insider’s other previous posts, he claims that the university is going to try to make it seem like they are exausting all their options before they make any decisions regarding the school year. Isn’t that what this letter from president Shoukri is doing. “I want you to know that the University has tried all possible means, including over thirty days of negotiations, offering binding arbitration to prevent a strike and initiating a supervised vote to end this dispute after many weeks of disruption.”

  84. fracas


    i think the dispute is really based on what people understand by ‘negotiate.’ both sides are presenting their packages to the mediator today (ie. meeting with the mediator at the same hotel – no one is disputing that, right?). we don’t know whether either side will present a modified version of any proposal. one poster here suggested that at yesterday’s gmm, members voted to accept the employer’s wage demand. no cupe member on this forum has disputed that claim as yet, so perhaps it is true (i personally think both sides have known for some time that cupe is not getting more in wage increases than any other employee group at york). if that is true, then cupe most likely presented this change to the mediator who would have then taken it to the other side. whether the two sides come together today is unknown, but not really the point. when negotiations are mediated by a third party, there is very little face-to-face meeting time between the two sides. generally, each side works on their proposals or responses to the other side’s proposals in their own hotel rooms, gives it to the mediator when they have something completed, who then presents it to the other side. the two sides meet face-to-face very briefly (could be as little as 15 minutes) for one side to present the rationale for their new language, and the other side to ask questions of clarification on it, or anything else related to it. that’s all. so if they’re in the hotel with the mediator, and are working on contract language, then they are negotiating.

    the only way that today’s meeting will not be negotiations proper is if all they discussed were administrative issues (ie. time and dates of meetings, locations, which side will book it, etc). but we don’t know what happened today, so there is no reason to think that negotiations have not restarted. not to mention, i am pretty sure that reg pearson (who incidentally has worked in the past with cupe university locals so is fairly well versed in the university sector) has been getting up to speed prior to mcguinty’s announcement of his appointment.

  85. CUPE GMM Insider


    “The Bargaining Team has been meeting this morning at the Garden Inn Hotel – 3201 Highway 7 West.

    “We will be addressing the mediators this afternoon to communicate our positions to the employer.

    “There is no detail included here because we’re still planning our strategy for this meeting. “

  86. On the topic of insider, the one who was posting last night. There is really no way that we can confirm whether or not s/he is fake or real. One good way woud be for yorkstrike2008 to cross list their IP address with other trolls who have posted here over the past couple of weeks. Even that is not foolproof.

    With that said, I can attest to some of the information s/he has said. For starters, the way s/he writes seems very non-troll like. Second of her, I can confirm 100% that the internal memo going around the science department regarding the actual possibility of the cancelation of the school year is true. That does not mean that the year is about to be canceled. However, it does mean that the year getting canned is a real and actual possibility.

    As I said in a previous post, ALL York students need to see this as something which could actually happen and generate their own contingency plans.

  87. CUPE GMM Insider

    (p.s. thanks to all those who appreciate my service. I will continue to try to make information available to you as much I can, despite ‘M’s objections.)

  88. ram

    This strike has really addled me. Yesterday i emailed my Prof regarding the actual possibility of canceling the school year.
    I am pasting what my prof had given me.

    “There is no specific deadline. It would be possible, but it has never
    happened at a Canadian university—even when Laval had a four-month
    strike some years ago. This strike will end some day, and I fully
    expect the regular academic year to be completed (maybe well into the summer).”

    This is 100 % true. You can trust me. I am so worried. If they have any of such plans, let them do it sooner than later, when it would be a shock to death situation for every one.

  89. Commuted


    So, what you’re saying is that there is no actual possibility of the term being cancelled?

    Laval’s strike was longer than York’s?

  90. noesis

    i apologize if i misinterpreted your position. it just seemed to me that you were trying to suggest that the info wasn’t welcome.

    but everything hinges on the bargaining position of both parties right now, and i’d like to hear as much as possible.

    we have the letter from the president here, so i don’t see why a few lines from the union are unwelcome.

  91. annonymous

    thanks CUPE GMM Insider!!
    rock on

  92. brutal

    who is actually completing assignments and other work for school? Does anyone not fear that their work will be wasted? I am not doing anything.

  93. I would also like to know how does the whole

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


    Do we have a choice if to go back or not?
    What happens if we do, what happens if we don’t?


  94. ram

    time is 3:17 pm. any news from negotiations. I just talked to a picketer at sentinel. he said they are negotiating today.

  95. ram

    So, there might be some news to munch on, analyze, and delve into. just cannot overcome my anxiety.

  96. fracas

    @check my ride,

    the way it worked during the last strike was that any student who chose not to cross picket lines had to be accomodated after the strike. specifically, this meant that the instructor had to make any material covered during the strike available after the strike (although not necessarily in identical format), had to respect all the deadline extentions that the senate policy established for remediation etc.

    if you don’t want to return during the strike, it probably is best to email your profs to let them know that, so that they can anticipate the additional work they will have to do to accomodate such students. but they do have to – they cannot penalize you in any way for not returning to classes while the strike is still in place.

  97. CUPE GMM Insider

    Sorry. No news on our end, either, I’m afraid. The mediator is meeting each side independently, where each makes presentations to the mediator.

  98. R

    hey guys… does anyone know what the picket lines are like?? i know that GO buses arent entering the uni but where do they drop us off and how much walk do we have to take to get into YU?? n do picketers bug those on foot tooo??

  99. So quiet...

    All quiet on the york wordpress front? What gives?

  100. Kath

    @ R

    I was at York yesterday to pick up OSAP stuff and there were no picketers in sight.

    I’m not sure if that is still the case, but that was my experience.

  101. R

    @ Kath…
    thanks for the info but i want to know that what happens when we get there… i’ve not returned to York since the strike started so I want to be prepared as to what is going to happen… do u knw?

  102. clennis

    the ttc buses are stopping outside the main gate, but i couldn’t say with certainty if GO is doing the same.
    picketers aren’t stopping anyone on foot, and are holding cars for two minutes.

  103. R

    @ clennis

    thats a relief to know!!

  104. ?

    the GO buses are entering the bus loop after 7pm

  105. aaaaaaaaahhh

    GO buses will drop you right outside of the university

  106. mike

    What a fucking joke.
    If i was in my third or fourth year i would consider murder.

  107. FUTURE

    I wonder if my rent will be paid for the summer like residence?

    I was studying for exams and have completed an essay that was due in Jan. on the original schedule. Hopefully not a waste of time.

    So annoyed that am taking the week off studies then starting to read ahead. Sick and tired of studying yet will probably forget everything before I actually get to write an exam.


  108. M.

    @ noesis

    my point is that CUPE members have been publishing more and more comments here that contain NO information, only conjecture. if CUPE insider or member with child actually posted useful information, i would be all for it. but all they have been really doing is posting heresy and that trouble me – because this forum has become a site for their propaganda and a place where CUPE members try to sway student opinion. and that is picketing, whatever they might say.
    any “insider information” is problematic because it’s just that – from the inside and therefore is not verifiable. like CUPE GMM insider making sweeping statements about what the GM really wants, and then claims it is “information.” there is no way for us to know where this information comes from, who is supplying it – and as university students, aren’t we taught to question information such as this? and be careful of forming opinions based on it?

  109. FUTURE

    BTW – What time is the rally????

  110. picketer hunter

    What I dont understand is why CUPE has not released their official demands to the public. York publicly released their offer, so why cant CUPE release their demands so we can see the differences? perhaps something to hide?

  111. may

    because cupe said they will not negotiate through the media

  112. may

    and they think york should respect the bargaining process and do the same

  113. HH

    All buses come to York after 5:30 p.m.

  114. picketer hunter

    I think its just because the dont want the public to know how ridiculous their demands are…there is no other explanation why this info should be discreet

  115. York Undergrad

    We are now on day 78 of the strike. The “Big” 2000-2001 strike ended on day 76.
    I call for a celebration for beating the old record…

  116. Future Fix

    Well What the university has to do is fire them all legally.
    No, they cannot do that now, but the university has to make a statement and not be held hostage again.
    Much like work to rule, the university must work to management rule. Every time one of them messes up, and yes we all do one time or another, which is usually overlooked; just fire the turkey. In todays economy, there are many others out there who would gladly take their place. The university should start the recruitment process now; in particular for the contract profs. TAs should be easier.

  117. ram

    this is really strange why there has not been any information about the negotiations today, nor about the senate meeting in which the president should have been present.
    Any news. I am so anxious to know if there is any progress or standing still at the IMPASSE.

  118. FUTURE

    ram there was a senate bulletin issued.. no real news unless u were going back to school on monday.

  119. B

    For those of you wondering what the remediation will be if you choose not to go to classes that resume on Monday. Here you go:

    Date: Thu, 22 Jan 2009 16:25:11 -0500
    From: ADMS Announce
    Subject: School of Administrative Studies – Classes resume – Monday January 26th, 2009
    On Monday January 26 the School of Administrative Studies will resume ADMS courses and commence remediation for the ongoing CUPE strike.

    We encourage all students to commence their remediation starting Monday January 26. For most students, this will involve coming on campus at the same day and time and in the same lecture room as previously. Please check your course websites frequently for details concerning your particular courses.

    For students who do not wish to resume courses until the strike is over, materials will be made available as alternative remediation. If you choose this alternative remediation, in-class sessions will not be available to you.

    Please continue to be patient and considerate. Our faculty, staff and students depend on all of us working together.

  120. B

    Those of you wondering if you are allowed to head back if you are in a different faculty but have courses resuming. I’m not an Atkinson student but have one ADMS course and they sent me that notice.

  121. UnderGrad Int'l

    I’m trying to understand the logic behind all of these students who are transferring out of York. You are transferiing so that you can work in the summer to earn money to start another school in September? But what happens if York does get the 3 yr contract and the school you transfer to encounters a strike come 2010? I’m not understanding the logic.

    Secondly, I have a hard time understanding the labour laws in Canada. Maybe this is bigger than York versus CUPE 3903. The government needs to amend some of these laws. Bottomline.

  122. What up?

    So what’s going on? Are they done negotiating for the day? Did they negotiate? Are they still negotiating? Information!!! I can’t take it anymore!!!!

  123. Question

    I’m lost, and fed up with york. Plus travelling through jane and finch at 7 in the morning and 10 at night isn’t as glamorous as it sounds…
    Has anybody applied to Ryerson yet? I’m thinking of applying there for biology…good idea?..bad idea?

  124. j

    one of my ADMS teacher’s has chosen to hold the class off-campus until all classes resume – is that even ALLOWED? Because it is going to be a huge pain.

  125. Insider2

    Good evening everybody,

    As most of you may know none of the two sides have provided any updates about their meeting with the mediator.

  126. Insider2

    @ Future Fix

    Indeed, they are some talks to ask some o fthe part-time faculty to live for next september.

    Fortunatelly (or unfortunatelly) that is not possible with TAs and GAs.

  127. RealisT

    I think BTWL is a dead end for us. It will never happen… York is a private institution and quite frankly, the government has no business messing with private institutions.

    Does it suck for us? Fuck ya, this whole situation is borderline insane at this point. But at the same time, lets remember that we do live in a society where the right to strike is a privilege that we have. I honestly believe that if the shoe were on the other foot, that if we were fighting for something better for us the students, or even in our ‘real world jobs’ we would probably say fuck it to everyone to improve our own lives like CUPE is doing right now.Like I said, it sucks that we are the ones being held hostage, but we are stuck.

    Also, has others have said on this forum, we only have ourselves to blame. Lets be honest here. We all complain about the strike and blah blah blah, but who here has honestly done ANYTHING to make their voices heard? Really? We all sit here bitch and complain and hope that SOMEONE else will do it but nothing ever happens, nothing changes. Wrong mentality. If you want change, if WE want change, than we have to go do it ourselves. I think it’s become quite obvious that neither side is fighting for the student in this war; it’s everyone for themselves. And after 3 long months, what have the students done? Have we had a successful petition? rally? demonstration? protest? (key word there is SUCCESSFUL, not this bullshit ones that are floating around).

    So the reality is, until we get off of our asses to make something happen, nothing will. Like someone said, we are 50,000 strong. If only 10% show up to a rally, that’s 5,000 people. York, Cupe and most importantly, the media, will listen to us then; they’ll have to.

    We have to save our own year and ourselves. Fuck York and Cupe.

  128. Insider2

    @ ram

    There were no negotiations today as far as I know. CUPE handed their demands to the mediator but York refused to do so.

    Apparently they want to see the latest list of CUPE demands and come up with something. It is a bit strange for anyone who knows the process.


  129. ram

    @ insider2
    Thanx for the info. Supposing that union gave them the demands that were still on even before the forced vote, Wouldn’t york not develop antipathy for future negotiations?
    Can we say that classes for us will be shut next week too?
    I know i might sound silly, but just like anyone else i have become so weary and tired of this one. This Sunday will be 81st day of the strike.
    Day by day i am becoming weaker and losing my confidence to face fall and winter.
    I really sympathize with myself and every body here.

  130. Commuter

    Petition to change the name on the front page to York Strike 2008-2009, but leave the URL the same.

    Is the motion carried?

  131. picketer hunter

    @ Realist
    Didnt read the whole post, but one point stood out. york is a *public* not for profit institution as are all universities in Canada.

  132. j

    @ Commuter.

    I second the motion.

  133. Insider2

    @ ram

    If I may suggest, please do not lose your hope. I totally understand your situation since I am also one of the affected people myself. But, there are always some good things to look at even in worst cases.

    About your question, I really have no clue where York is going with their latest move but from teh look of things and considering that we only have two more days for negotiations (Friday and Saturday if that take place), it looks a bit unlikely to have classes next week.

    York recent media activity by saying 5000 students can come back on Monday is simply to give the impression that they are working on the issue but as an insider, I should say they are NOT really cooperating.

  134. Commuter

    There is a rally at Queen’s Park on Wednesday organized by YorkNotHostage. It needs to be big this time (that’s the only way this will work).

    Is anyone here planning on coming?

    Maybe we should wear nametags so we can identify the bloggers. 😉

  135. picketer hunter

    lol…Wednesday is too late, and a demonstration @ Queens park is going to do dick all.

  136. Insider2

    @ Commuter

    I really appreciate your efforts but I also encourage you to bring media’s attention to York’s unillingness in solving this matter.

    Good luck

  137. Fat Kid on the Playground

    They keep scheduling these meetings for bargaining at places so far out of the way it takes hours on transit to get to. Then, you hear that today the university doesn’t even show up…gah.
    It’s just a cheap move in my books.

    Shoukri has some gall negotiating his own contract that guarantees him 33% bonuses ($81K) to turn around and not give the people the university is built upon a meager 4% increase.

    Now they’re trying to make out like enrollments are going to be down – this is a situation they could have avoided by a) capitulating to the union already or b) hiring more permanent faculty c) proposing a reasonable solution in another form. If York agreed to the 2 year contract, I bet you could get the union to agree to arbitration tomorrow. This is getting st00pit.

  138. chu

    i think all York students should sign a petition that demands both President Shoukri and Dalton McGuinty resign or be fired

  139. Confused....

    @ Commuter

    Are you going Monday?

  140. HH

    A message posted on WebCt by one of York’s professors…he is an amazing guy:)
    In an attempt to include something educational concerning the strike I would like to introduce a concept to you.

    A number of you have discussed “doing something” to get attention and end this “mess”. Some of your thoughts are turning to
    actions that would be called “Civil disobedience”.

    From Wikipedia: URL http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_disobedience

    Civil disobedience is the active refusal to obey certain laws, demands and commands of a government, or of an occupying power,
    without resorting to physical violence. It is one of the primary tactics of nonviolent resistance. In its most nonviolent form (known as
    ahimsa or satyagraha) it could be said that it is compassion in the form of respectful disagreement.

    Nice words but what are some examples?

    Rosa Parks – 1955 sitting in the “whites only” section of a bus. And now the USA has a non-white prez.

    Mahatma Gandhi – India http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahatma_Gandhi

    And here are a couple of very creative ones for you to consider and then perhaps use to devise your own tactics for getting attention
    and ACTION.

    example 1 – a chain of grocery stores did not want non-whites shopping in their facilities. So, white civil rights protesters went
    shopping at the start of the day and filled their shopping carts with frozen goods like meat, juices, ice cream, etc. They pushed the
    carts around all day and then at closing, just left the carts and walked out of the store. Of course the produce is thawed and ruined
    and the company has lost lots of money. Repeat a few more days and the chain decides it is okay to have non-whites shopping in the
    store. No laws broken but the result is ACTION.

    example 2. – hard to believe but there used to be pay toilets at many public places like airports. Pay a dime, do your business and go
    on your way. A group thought it was ridiculous and set out to change the policy. How? Go to the airport with enough people to take
    every toilet. They paid their dime and sat there all day. You can imagine the chaos created at the airport when no one else could use
    the toilets. Policy changes.

    example 3. – Smoking used to be allowed on aircraft. You would select to sit in the non smoking or smoking area. Solution = all non
    smokers booked smoking seats. So when a plane took off the smoking areas were full of people who did not smoke and the non
    smoking areas were filled with people who wanted to smoke but could not. Result a totally non smoking plane.

    Some neat examples but what can you do? Well I have heard of some interesting suggestions. There are Facebook groups planning
    to “picket the picketers”. Not sure what they hope the outcome will be but lets hope it does not lead to physical confrontation.

    I have also heard of people planning to disrupt traffic in downtown Toronto by walking very slowly across intersections, or standing in
    the middle of them. Others have suggested protesting on highways and the subway. Can you imagine the chaos you could create if
    several thousand of you worked together to very politely disrupt the trip to work for all of Toronto? The goal of course is to get the
    Provincial government to take some ACTION to end this mess. Someone has suggested the slogan: “No School for Us = No Work for

    The purpose of this message was what those in the coaching profession call a “Teachable Moment”. Since you are not learning in the
    classroom I thought I might be able to use this time to provide some knowledge. I don’t want you to think I am suggesting that you
    do anything illegal. However, if you are creative you can probably use the concepts provided here to figure out methods to get the
    attention of others and therefore some ACTION. I would give the mediator a couple more days, perhaps to the end of the weekend
    before you decide upon any activities.

  141. Fearloosingtheyear

    Fat Kid – enrollment is down. York reputation is also down. There is no way to deny this. Every corner in the city what we constantly hear is that the university is a joke.

    A joke not because there is a strike – but because the university doesnt act for more than 3 months due to this strike.

  142. Fearloosingtheyear

    I am so coming to this rally.

    Today crossing the picket lines at York , I told a union member (my ta) that there is a rally coming, his friend came and said : ‘Again… 3 students trying to make noise’

    I am not going to be sitting at home. Hope everyone shows up

  143. Fat Kid on the Playground

    Enrollment can’t be down because undergrads don’t enroll until May/June, and we don’t know the #s until Sept. at the earliest; still, Shoukri’s complete lack of leadership SHOULD be taken into account here – and guaranteed bonuses are just ridiculous in this economy.

  144. Deborah


    We’re 50,000, we can make noise … how dare he says that!
    I am coming too!

  145. Insider2

    True that in the last 3 months, several develpments have been suspended at York. We are talking about some projects that had been waiting for funds for a long time.

  146. Confused....

    Are you guys going Monday, Wednesday or both?

  147. Face of a Closer

    they made me X the line to get my bursary today.
    There were cop cars there – I asked a guy if there had been any trouble; “No, there was supposed to be a rally, so they showed up – but the rally didn’t i guess”

    Undergrads; this whole pressure the government thing isn’t working for me; maybe let’s try pressuring the Admin, since after all, they are the ones who caved last time, after they did the same thing, at the same time….

  148. Insider2

    @ Fat Kid on the Playground

    I know for a fact that York’s negotiating team did not show up today. But they sent someone to meet with the mediator because they had too. They also wanted to announce that they want to hear CUPE’s demands first.

  149. Fat Kid on the Playground


    Don’t give me that infrastructure bull crap – infrastructure is part of the capital budget and has nothing to do with the operating budget.

  150. Fat Kid on the Playground

    Shoukri is being a child, what did he expect? Coming to a school that has specialized in social sciences, trying to further gut them when the union is the strongest in Canada? Looks like your little development and research-oriented plans are going to be delayed somewhat.

  151. CUPE member with child


    The Bargaining Team just concluded its first presentation to the joint mediators from the Ministry of Labour.

    The presentation included a comprehensive walkthrough of our settlement offer for each unit as well as the Union’s back-to-work protocol (an aspect we could not address previously given the Employer’s forced ratification attempt).

    The mediators gave no substantial feedback to the documents. They are currently reviewing them at their own pace and will be contacting us with how they will proceed before the end of the night.

    The documents, and back to work protocols, will be posted shortly.

  152. Insider2

    CUPE is working on an update. Stay tuned.

  153. Insider2

    Such a coincidence 😉

  154. caitron

    @ confused/commuter
    which rally is on monday and which is on wednesday? and where? i haven’t gone to any before, but might try to go to one of these.

  155. ram

    @ Insider2
    what do you mean? that we might be in class on monday?
    Will he indicate to the university of future negotiations only if he is satisfied with their demanded settlement offer?
    what do you think as an insider in york?
    thanks for your replies.

  156. may

    monday, just the business students were called back on monday

  157. Worried

    @Cupe Member with child. Thanks for the info. Will the mediator report back on just Cupe’s presentation before the end of tonight or also on York’s? Any ideas?

  158. Fat Kid on the Playground

    didn’t anyone go to the big rally today?

    didn’t anyone read the big article in how BTWL would have to contravene a 2007 SUPREME Court decision?

  159. Confused....

    @ caitron

    All of the details are on the http://www.yorknothostage.com website.

  160. Confused....

    @ Fat Kid on the Playground

    I had no idea there was a rally planned for today!

  161. Gevon

    I think the year should be canceled at this point.

  162. Insider2


    Persoanlly I do not see classes for another week. Because at this stage both parties want to get the settlement teh way the want. That requires several days of negotiations.

  163. CUPE member with child


    Sorry, I don’t know anything more than what the bargaining team’s update says.

  164. Disappointed

    go to http://www.yorknothostage.com for details about the rallies planned.

  165. Disappointed

    oh did anybody go to the senate meeting today? and the town hall thing after it? i wanted to go, but it was off-campus.. 😦 any Q&A that could be posted would be really helpful.

  166. Insider2

    @ Disappointed

    Surprisingly,nothing about the strike was brought up.

  167. SumbanthHom

    another shit tasting news from the beloved land of China. 2 people. death. through dirty milk scandle.. dirty land.. they are killing the world

  168. student

    hey everyone….we r planning to picket against the picketers at york on tuesday…come out not for the union, not for the administration, but come out for yourself….your career…your future…here is the link to the event…http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=logo#/event.php?eid=50500266575&ref=ts

  169. CUPE GMM Insider

    @Picketer hunter,

    “I think its just because the dont want the public to know how ridiculous their demands are…there is no other explanation why this info should be discreet”

    No, it’s because CUPE National instructed 3903 to “not bargain in the media.”

  170. SumbanthHom

    another shit tasting news from the beloved land of China. 2 people. death. through dirty milk scandle.. dirty land.. they are killing the world

  171. ram

    @ cupe GMM insider
    So according to you, have they come down significantly to make york restart negotiations. ? Is there any big difference according to you? did u happen 2 look at their new ones?

  172. SumbanthHom

    another shit tasting news from the beloved land of China. 2 people. death. through dirty milk scandle.. dirty land.. they are killing the world.

  173. Dave

    Hey everyone. How bad of an idea would it be to go on vacation for the first three weeks of February?

  174. B

    On the off chance that this thing gets resolved in a week, those first three weeks of February would be class time.

  175. Commuter

    @ HH

    I love how your prof cited Wikipedia. 😉

  176. rawr

    @ Question

    You can also take the Steeles West or 196 Rocket from Downsview or Sheppard Station. I have no idea where the 196’s are going to stop but theres a Steeles West Stop across from York’s north entrance near where MAC is is.

  177. ChinaseChickeing

    fcuk you SumbamthHom i will make sure that YOU are the one killed my chinese disease

  178. Deborah

    Guys … I am coming to the both rallies

    Can anyone (CUPE doll or yorkstrike) post that?

    I’m tired of sitting home all day doing nothing

  179. Fat Kid on the Playground

    I can’t believe how radically conservative students are; good thing conservatives don’t do protest well. lol.

  180. That was a very interesting read

  181. Yorker

    to SumbanthHom

    You should really watch your mouth. I think we should focus on the strike issue instead of un-relevant comment.

  182. fallenangel003

    I’am pink elephant -=^_^=- Just smile, some man 🙂

  183. Disappointed

    1. thanks and
    2. are you serious???
    i thought that’s what the whole thing would be about.. well, there’s a founders strike info session coming up, anyone can come to that.

  184. UnderGrad Int'l

    for ppl wondering about the demonstrations on Monday and Wednesday:

    Monday @ 11:30am John Milloy’s office 900 Bay Street . Bring: question to ask him, and.or sign with question on it, an old textbook that will eb left at the scene

    Wednesday @ 10:30 am @ subway station. look for Marshalls with bright coloured bands who will be there to greet you. Students marching through U of T converging on Queenspark lawn where rally will begin. Speakers will speak and so will students …any student can speak. Bring your personal speech (or so ad lib) but keep it personal and heartfelt. bring signs with questions or comments. bring musical instruments to make lots of noise. bring sand (if you can). more information can be found on the facebook link provided in the thread “events students are planning”.

    I’m not sure about the Tuesday event. If someone can inform me that’d be great. I tried to click the link to no avail.


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