NDP Slated to Reject BTWL

Provincial NDP leader Howard Hampton says his party won’t support the back-to-work legislation set to be introduced to Ontario MPPs on Sunday.

The Liberal government-drafted legislation would force striking CUPE members at York University to go back to work, and send the school’s 50,000 students back to school after an 11-week strike.

Hampton, whose party gets significant support from labour unions, says he believes the way to resolve the issue is through a negotiated settlement between the administration and the union that controls 3,300 teaching assistants and contract faculty members.

Premier Dalton McGuinty announced Saturday morning that his government planned to reconvene the legislature on Sunday at 1 p.m. to force an end to the strike that has crippled York University since Nov. 6.

He says the move came after speaking with Reg Pearson, the provincially-appointed mediator in the labour dispute, who said the two sides are much too far apart to come to a negotiated agreement in a reasonable time frame.

While McGuinty asked for all-party support in order to get the bill passed in one day, NDP opposition means it could take up to two weeks to pass the bill.

If it does pass on Sunday, students could be in class as early as Monday morning.

Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory says his party will likely support the bill.

CUPE Local 3903, which represents the striking teaching assistants, contract faculty and graduate students, tabled its most recent counter-offer on Friday. The union has been demanding increased job security and benefits for its 3,300 members.

Union spokesperson Tyler Shipley believes the province is making a big mistake by bypassing the bargaining process and is calling on opposition parties to resist the bill.

“This is a decision that will have long-term effects on education in Ontario,” he says. “It says to employers that if they don’t like what the union is asking for, they can just wait and the province will look after it.”

York is the country’s third largest university, and has experienced lengthy strikes twice in the past nine years.





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240 responses to “NDP Slated to Reject BTWL

  1. ram

    we cannot force NDP to change. After all a coin has two sides. So, if majority is looking at the head, He and his party look at the tail. It is just a difference in perception, which every human being has.
    So if BTWL does not have the fate to be passed soon/for ever then, that is the bitter truth.
    We just have to learn to live with bitterness.

  2. Ayla

    As much as I don’t like being out of school, I don’t think bypassing the bargaining process is a good thing. I’d like to get in to class asap but really, if the gvt just tells everyone to go back to work, all this was for nothing…

  3. Finally

    Ok, I know a lot of us are thinking it but are afraid to say it, at the risk of sounding insensitive and politically incorrect. SO I will say it for us.

    3 months ‘work’ (or lack thereof) down the drain. LOL, LOL, LOL!!

  4. btwl= hope

    i think that it is fair that the NDP is not in fair of BTWL. BTWL does go against some of their fundamental beliefs. Besides, btwl will most likely be passed with or without NDP support. At the end of the day there is always two sides to be represented and the point of the democratic system is that everyone gets represented so it only makes sense that a party will be against BTWL.

  5. ams

    yeah, because if they didnt reach anything in 80 days THEY DEFINITELY WILL DO IT NOW???

    I am so happy Dalton finally grew some balls. Enough is enough.

    NDP just wants some coverage. Let’s not forget that the students and their parents are workers too. They work hard to pay for an education which they have been deprived of.

  6. btwl= hope

    for us students however, i think that the btwl is the only think that can save us

  7. fuck the year

    btwl ok great , now I can I be reimbursed for the lectures etc I paid for. Thanks that would be great

  8. Soraya

    Finally home! I was at work all day and kept gettin different information. Soooo the bill WASN’T passed YET. I just heard from a friend that CP24 reported that the Conservative government is going to ‘wait and see’ ?! So realistically, I’m thinking the earliest we will be back is Tuesday or Wednesday…

  9. CUPE greed fail

    CUPE3903 to McGuinty: “You sunk my battleship.”

  10. CUPE greed fail

    BTWL is 99.9% to be passed. NDP opposition will do NOTHING but stall the process.

  11. Aaron

    Conservatives are against unions and have called for BTWL for weeks now. They will support it.

    Dalton has the support of his party, so they’ll support it too.

    Does anyone know if BTWL can really be delayed by as much as two weeks by the NDP’s opposition? Some are saying it can be stalled until Wednesdays, and others are saying two weeks.

  12. CUPE greed fail

    It wont be delayed for long, I would think less than a week. Liberals in Ontario have a governing majority, they can pretty much do whatever they want.

  13. Nia

    That Shipley guys needs to stop talking. I’m so irritated by him. We don’t have TIME anymore for them to sit down and talk this over. It’s been 11 weeks. How dare they even think of wasting our time any further? Some people need to graduate this year, or get summer jobs so they can afford school next year; we don’t have time to listen to CUPE’s foolishness.
    I support BTWL. I do agree, though, that it might just stall the inevitable in 2010, but possibly by then, things will be reformed a little.

  14. arch

    i get a good feeling that this strike will be over. We ll be back to school by the end of next week or on 2nd feb. I am not telling that someone told me but what i’ve been reading and listening on news. I know its gonna be hard for everbody to resume studies but there will be exceptions, professors will be easy on us. They know that it’s not our fault. I been living in hope that i ll go back to school and complete my year and i will. i already saved enough money during this strike so that way i can go to another school next september. I feel sorry for those who didnt do anything during this strike, but dont wish that year will be cancelled and they can start again in septemeber, think about those students who do wana go back .
    This strike has became a joke, it has become a recipe for media to serve in their kitchen and for politicians it has became a game. Cupe 3903 is a biggest villain of all time.

  15. Disaffected Yufite

    @ Aaron, McGuinty said that the opposition could delay passage of the bill for 1-2 weeks. Then Hampton said NDP opposition would only delay the bill by 3 days. Sounds to me like even they are ambivalent in their support of this strike and only doing what’s politically necessary to maintain their credibility with labour activists.

    Best case scenario: we could be back by Thurs. But there might still be picketers, and at that point I’m not sure whether things would be as peaceful and non-confrontational as they’ve been thus far on the picket lines.

  16. Soraya

    I’m not big on politics so can someone just clarify…

    If the NDP does vote against it, will it be delayed FOR SURE or can is still pass?

    Thanks in advance.

  17. yorkboy

    Everyone watches their own back. That is the number one rule of the real world guys.

  18. white knight (lvl 56)

    Soraya, if NDP votes against it, it means that York year is over, and that York will shut down for good.

  19. Soraya

    I roll my eyes at your answer.

  20. CUPE greed fail

    @ soraya.
    BTWL will have 100% liberal and conservative support; NDP will oppose. This will only delay the process since NDP does not have enough clout to reject the BTWL completely. Most likely to be delayed for about a week.

  21. arch

    this article might give u an explaination of BTWL with information like when it was used in canada and when it failed.

  22. demarche

    If you want to write to the NDP MPP’s to urge them to support back-to-work legislation, here are their email addresses:

    Gilles Bisson
    Cheri DiNovo
    France Gelinas
    Howard Hampton
    Andrea Horwath
    Peter Kormos
    Rosario Marchese
    Paul Miller
    Michael Prue
    Peter Tabuns

    Feedback like this can make a difference, so if you feel strongly about this, do write.

  23. white knight (lvl 56)

    are we sure on 100% liberal support?
    i mean, although mcguinty or w/e is going through with it, but does all mpps have to, no:S?

  24. please

    Please end this strike…i beg u man
    union !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i wanna go back to school and learn!!

  25. demarche

    The addresses were filtered out, so here they are again with at signs removed:

    gbisson [at] ndp.on.ca
    dinovoc-qp [at] ndp.on.ca
    fgelinas-qp [at] ndp.on.ca,
    hhampton-qp [at] ndp.on.ca
    ahorwath-qp [at] ndp.on.ca
    pkormos-qp [at] ndp.on.ca,
    rmarchese-co [at] ndp.on.ca
    pmiller-qp [at] ndp.on.ca
    mprue-qp [at] ndp.on.ca,
    tabunsp-qp [at] ndp.on.ca

  26. UofT Student

    @White Knight

    Please do not give out wrong information.


    It depends, it might delay the bill from being passed for up to 2 weeks. But if they get a clear majority tomorrow you might be in class sometime next week!


  27. arch

    here is the latest article from Globe and mail “Make a call and save your year”.

  28. white knight (lvl 56)

    @ UofT Student

    Go buy a rope to hang yourself?

  29. YS

    most likely school will start feb 2nd. from there we’ll be in class until around end of may and exams will takes us to around mid-june.

  30. CUPE greed fail

    To add to arch:
    Howard Hampton 416-325-8300, hhampton-qp@ndp.on.ca

    Gilles Bisson 416-325-7122, gbisson@ndp.on.ca

    Andrea Horwath 416-325-2777, ahorwath-qp@ndp.on.ca

    Michael Prue 416-325-1303, mprue-qp@ndp.on.ca
    Peter Tabuns 416-325-3250, tabunsp-qp@ndp.on.ca

  31. CUPE greed fail

    Those are the NDP MPPs btw.

  32. epicfail

    Wasn’t the NDP’s focus to gain the attention of young voters?! I understand that they support the union and wish to respect the bargaining process but come on!! They stand to lose 50,000 potential ballots.

  33. Student

    Seriously guys, stop the bashing over political parties. These are political parties, when politics come in don’t expect 100% honest words all the time

    NDP cannot go ahead and accept the bill without any opposition. Their political ideology is based on supporting unions and voters. Majority of their voters come from unions so of course they look out for their interest as well. This is a democracy; people have different interests and the final result is something to make everyone happy

    However I highly doubt NDP will delay the bill for a week or two. They’ll do the three day delay to show their support to unions and then the bill goes through. This way they keep everyone happy. Politics after all

    As for CUPE, well they clearly put themselves in the worst position they could and now they suffer. I’m not anti CUPE or unions, I believe unions are necessary to stop the employers from taking advantage of their employees. But CUPE took advantage of the situation and they pushed it way too far and now they are facing BTWL

  34. @ YS

    hey so ur saying the vote will work?

    like they will all vote for back to work legislation?

  35. Bob Sternman

    I will email Rosario Marchese, MPP-Trinity Spadina and ensure that he is against the strike.

    I can’t believe students believe that undermining the right to strike and the bargaining process is just and fair. I find it equally disturbing, that many of those who graduate MAY end up being in a union, once they get into the “real world”. I keep on wondering, what these students would say, if they weren’t making a fair wage/salary et cetera. I wonder how they would feel, when told you should “quit and find a new job”…Just imagine, after 4 years of education…SLAP IN THE FACE!

  36. arch

    ya most of the timeBTWL was used in past, it worked. I think it only failed once but it was many years ago.

  37. Bob Sternman



  38. arch

    Just assume, if BTWL doesnt work. Then Union will go to Court, but i dont think they will win coz there demands are ridiculous. But by that time we ll be screwed big time. So everbody just cross the fingers and wish that BTWL will work 100%.

  39. The Man With The Plan

    Damn it, i don’t want to go back now…
    ahah and for you that say BTWL is the best answer, wait till you do your 1st assignment back and get 2 grades lower than you expected.

  40. @ Bob Sternman

    Most students would like to just get back to their studies ASAP. Their life is in stall right now.

    BTWL seems to be the only method to bring these students back to class ASAP. It seems that the two parties are too far apart for a negotiation to happen.

    Time is of the essence, and the year may be cancelled if students are not back to classes for assessments within this short time.

  41. Glenn

    @ YS,

    Did the registrar already post the new schedules? I don’t think so, we’ll know for sure once York resumes normally. Seriously, I can’t go to classes in June…..hope that won’t happen

  42. Space Monkey, From Space

    BTWL is a terrible idea. It makes this strike completely and absolutely a waste of time (it already borders on being such a waste), but at least CUPE didn’t stop putting offers on the table (York just stepped back and waited for the government to be its bitch). BTWL should never be a threat at the negotiation table. It just means we all wasted 3 months so that the government could favour the position of the employer, which in turn means, all unions and their strikes are now obsolete. Enjoy living in the new “Canada”, hope no one here ever has a shitty employer (which btw, are a dime a dozen). Honestly as terrible as it has been to be on strike the effects of BTWL in this case are much worse for ALL working residents of Canada, or at least Ontario. At this point: cancel the year, give the student their money back, let them work a nice long summer so there is less student debt, and let the union and the employer work it out on their own time, not ours.

  43. YS

    i don’t think classes will restart this Monday being because the NDP will cause some stalling for the passing of the BTWL since they seem to be against it. But within the next week or possibly 2 weeks, I’m pretty sure we will be back in class since the NDP apparently do not have enough seats to control the vote.

  44. saying BTWL wouldnt happen then...

    What is the likelihood that students will be back within these two weeks?

  45. The Man With The Plan

    @Space Monkey, From Space
    Now thats what i call thinking smart. i been stressing this idea forever.

  46. saying BTWL wouldnt happen then...


  47. The Man With The Plan

    if we do go back because of BTWL i don’t wanna hear any bitching that pissed off TAs are unfair with markings… (coming from an undergrad)

  48. graduating year later

    how many students here don’t mind graduating a year later from uni.

    seeing these posts and some past posts. many seem to not care if they graduate a year later strictly due to this strike

  49. Ms Doan

    on CTV, it said the NDP wont approve BTWL tmr because it needs debating. So the earliest date of class assumption would be WED/ THU.

  50. we waited this long

    waht is one or two days?

  51. YS

    @ Glenn


    The new schedule is under the “changes to sessional dates” heading.

    I know, i don’t want to be in class in June as well. I was planning on taking some summer courses as well, but if I do, my whole summer would probably be lost since they’ll push the summer session dates as well.

  52. The Man With The Plan

    yeah what is a year? frankly i wouldnt mind going to work right now till sept to pay off debt it would result in positivity in the long run (experience, and money)

  53. @ graduating a year later

    i don’t want to spend an extra year in this horrid school, so yes, i do mind.

  54. Gorge

    Joint BT-Exec Statement on Binding Arbitration

    To the members of CUPE 3903:

    Early Saturday morning, January 24, 2009 the Bargaining Team and the Executive of CUPE 3903 held an emergency meeting. We voted, by a substantial majority, to reject binding arbitration and to offer to continue to bargain.

    York University made it clear that they had no intention of bargaining. The mediator indicated that York held their position on the basis of both economic feasibility and principle. Although we significantly lowered our demands, York made no movement and offered the same pass that members rejected by 63% in forced ratification.

    At midnight, the mediator made it clear that if 3903 did not accept binding arbitration, then they would be contacting Premier Dalton McGuinty, and the outcome would be back-to-work legislation.

    We feel that it was inappropriate for the mediator to set us this impossible choice between binding arbitration and back-to-work legislation, with a 7:00am deadline. Although we have no way of knowing how the employer was treated, from our point of view, the responsibility fell on our union to decide between two unpalatable choices.

    The Bargaining Team and the Executive feel that our demands are fair. The mediator asked us to reduce our demands to a few key priorities. We dropped our demands on wage increases in response to feedback from the membership at the January 21 General Membership Meeting. We withdrew over 40 outstanding proposals. We continue to emphasize that minimum guarantees, job security, and child care funds are essential to our members. Because York offered a three-year deal with a two-year funding structure, with poor back-to-work protocol, we were unable to accept their offer. At the same time, York has made it clear that regardless of how often we lower our demands, they dismiss the value of our members, and refuse to give our members the respect they deserve.

    We are convinced that by rejecting binding arbitration, we are keeping members’ best interests in mind. We lose very little by refusing binding arbitration. We have rejected binding arbitration since bargaining began, and it would be inappropriate to accept it now. We considered carefully the larger political implications of our decision. We want to continue to bargain on our own terms. We refuse to undermine the dignity of our members by accepting an offer that our members already rejected.

  55. The Man With The Plan

    Horrid school? you have an option to transfer. There are other Universities in Ontario you know.

  56. ram

    there is this new update on cupe3903 website about their decision to refuse binding arbitration. It seems they are ready to meet the political implications of this.
    It says that the bargaining team was given two choices by the mediator, binding arbitration OR BTWL, both which the union are against.

    I feel that getting back soon is still not in sight and we might witness some political mess around.


  57. york sux

    if btwl gets passed on wed isn’t it most likely that the senate will tell us to go back to school on the coming monday….i know that atkinson students were told on wedesnday that they would resume classes monday

  58. The Man With The Plan


  59. WOOT!

    @ The Man With The Plan

    Most of the TAs in my program were against this strike in the beginning and never supported the union. So I don’t know about the other programs but I’m safe as far as I know.

  60. fuck the year

    get off this blog and enjoy the last few days before we enter HELLLLLLLLL

  61. Gorge

    @ ram


  62. Amanda

    Hey guys,

    I was just wondering if someone could confirm whether or not we could possibly be back monday if this legislation gets passed. I don’t care about the NDP delaying the process, I just want to know if there is a possibility. I figured that they must give us 24 hour notice before we go back, but now people are saying something different.

  63. me

    @ man with plan

    if by living hell you mean multiple choice tests, minimal homework, lectures end early…well get ready for hell.

    why should we CUPE teachers kill ourselves guarding your education and York’s academic integrity when you treat us like shit, lie and cry to us in our offices about how you need us to bump your marks, and give us rotten teaching evaluations if our marking is “too hard.” (insert whinge.) Everyone’s a winner now! A’s for everyone I say!

  64. asfa

    The Man With The Plan
    January 24, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    LMAO- there are gonna be much more pissed off students at school. and a lot of stupid kids that do stupid shit, like fighting TAs perhaps

  65. @ asfa

    hahahaha they gonna need some Blackwater Mercs up in that bitch… for security reasons yeah know

  66. @ The Man With The Plan

    i think all TAs are gonna feel the wrath.. hope not though :S

  67. Power to the students


  68. KH

    if the NDP doesnt end up supporting BTWL what happens next?

  69. The Man With The Plan

    LOL i would pay to see a show like that… LOL





    the TAs

    Gifted And Young
    Fly And Gangster

    reconize real



    the TAs

    Gifted And Young
    Fly And Gangster

    reconize real.

  72. The Man With The Plan

    @ Don’t Mess With TAs

    LOL TAs are over rated. Some of my TAs are actually dumber that they thought out to be. Just because they are TAs doesn’t mean anything really, i can be there in 4 years if i choose.

  73. YorkStudent

    Isn’t BTWL against Canada’s Charter of Rights? Well if the government forces CUPEs back to work wouldn’t ALL universities/employers from now on ignore the demands of their employees and w8 for a BTWL?



    they sure are

    G.ifted A.nd Y.oung
    F.ly A.nd G.angster

  75. YorkStudent

    Isn’t BTWL against Canada’s Charter of Rights? Well if the government forces CUPEs back to work wouldn’t ALL universities/employers from now on ignore the demands of their employees and w8 for a BTWL?

  76. glendonite

    nice pun u got up there =]

  77. Joe

    I just got an email, and it appears that if the BTWL passes, we CAN get back to class on Tuesday. Here it is:

    Dear fellow students,

    Here is the most recent update I received. Senate Executive deems that
    if back-to-work legislation passes than classes will resume “at least
    24 hours” after the end of the labour disruption. Therefore, if
    back-to-work legislation passes tomorrow then we could be in class by
    Tuesday morning; alternatively, if back-to-work legislation passes on
    Tuesday then we can reasonably expect to be back Thursday morning. The
    new update is consistent with the Senate policy on labour disruptions:

    3.1.3 When a Disruption ends, the Senate Executive Committee shall
    declare so and shall give notice to students and course directors of
    the procedures then in effect under this policy.

    As more information becomes available, I will provide you with
    updates. It is our priority to get our fellow undergraduates back into
    their classrooms. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel
    free to contact me personally at 647-448-0576.

    Yours sincerely,
    Krisna Saravanamuttu

  78. zero tolerance

    beating up
    ganging up

    ..TAs is highly discouraged

  79. NooneNooneNoonnnneeeeee

    I cant believe you guys are all for BTWL.

    We are all going to be a part of a union one day and we are all going to demand something from our employers, and then what? all of our hard work will be put down because of BTWL.

    I feel for you CUPE. Seriously, at least you have the NDP on your side.

    This strike has morphed into something much larger, and its out of our hands. If anyone is to blame its york, because CUPE kept on reducing their demands, and York just sits back and says NO. I completely agree with Space monkey, from space.

    ANd you know what. Once this strike is over, theres no need to fear another YorkU strike in the near future. So, if you’re planning on transferring to another uni, check our their union and when their contracts are due to expire. Do your research. Who knows, maybe UofT will go on strike next and you’ll be stuck there saying the magical phrase….”Fuck me”

  80. gldm yrk

    add stalking and egging to that list

  81. lets be realistic

    If everything gets passed realistically to get things in tact and classes set up will take a while before we head back to classes. we cannot just pick up our backpacks and head off to school.
    their apparently setting up weekend classes in order to make up for the ones we have lost. how their going to do that for every class i don’t know.
    But i’m wondering since we’ve lost so many classes and if this continues on till mid feb. i think as a large we much fight in order to get a portion of our tuition back. now the president of york said he’ll set up what not in order to help the meet the needs of students finicially. thats pure B.S he can say whatever he wants now in order to stop the bitching he must be hearing day and night, but come september only 5% of students will actually get grants and burssaries after filling out stupid useless forms.
    by persuing BTWL it’ll only make things worse, Ta’s already don’t give a rats ass, mark so hard, and if this happens it’ll only be worse if they don’t get their way.

  82. The Man With The Plan

    I hate University but it is a must for any good academic career…

  83. jon

    it came to this because of the length of the strike..no one would’ve expected it to extend till now.

    enough time was given for negotiations to take place. i guess they finally went to BTWL as the last resort.

  84. YorkStudent

    I agree with u “NooneNooneNoonnnneeeeee”!

  85. a little late

    @ lets be realistic

    agree 100%. I want some of my tuition back. How can we ensure we are in fact heard?

  86. sroll

    well i guess students will just agree with whatever will bring them back to school ASAP..

    seems to make sense cuz studies is should be their number one priority

  87. heheee

    gonna start bringing my cam to school when it resumes

    gonna be alot of youtube worthy drama take place b./w tas and students


  88. Yorkie

    @York Student

    I totally agree. It really is not fair to the union who made an effort to drop their demands while York did nothing. We need a legislation to audit York financial records. The numbers don’t lie…

  89. lets be realistic

    A little Late

    i think the meida is only seeing 2 sides of the story. from the Cupe and york…where are the students.. the only thing i’ve been hearing is that parents and students are upset..but they don’t realize that there are students out there that work 2 jobs go to school and have a family to bare! their education is the most vital to them!
    i cannot work fulltime because i odn’t know how long this strike is going to last, which means each week i tell them to roughly give me a set number of hours!
    i know many parents that are in york, and i truely feel for them.
    being in the faculty of ed. york constantly preeches equality of all, clearly the students are loosing out and once we head back it’ll be even worse for us!!
    we need to gather students even if we can get a thousand call the media and get our word out for once

  90. shoe

    TA “Well it’s a size 10 shoe, for those who are curious”.

  91. Ms Doan

    errr, im off, will be here tmr at 1pm. by the way, tmr is the last day of the Year of Rat. Happy Year of Buffalo to everyone as we are all fighting against unhappy CUPE’s

  92. @ shoe

    time well spent for tas right now will be honing some matrix-bush-like-agility.

  93. btwl shud b futile.

    I really pray to god that tomorrow NDP’ reject the bill and drag this non-democratic process until when they decide it is no longer fruitful to carry the bill.
    This creates more and more shit around.
    In cp24, tyler shypley said that this BTWL is gonna set a very bad antecedent. So looking at the big picture, no university union could have their demands answered in future strikes. This gives an unprecedented upper hand for the employer. weighing all these pros and cons, I foresee (really want) the BTWL to be a failure so that things do not get serious in future.

  94. rach

    That is funny. I have a wire box myself full of all kinds of useless stuff. I organize it once every couple of years, but I can never bring myself to throwing any away, even the old parallel and COM cables. You just never know if the world might be close to extinction someday, a la Skynet, and the only way to save it is with an old computer disconnected from the net that needs such a cable for a connection.

  95. noah

    I just knew my computer was bugged. I’ve been a secret (ha) horder all my life, but you even knew the box was a “wire box.” Cables, old drives, even 360K, converter plugs, old computers, monitors, mice, backup devices of all sorts and the tapes for them, etc., and that doesn’t even include the audio/tv stuff.

    Does anyone really have an answer? Is it only a “man” thing with computers?

  96. Yorkie

    Exactly, I really hope York gets a final slap in the face with this one. I can’t believe they backed out of another one that should have been handelled by York. It’s shameful, low, lazy and CHEAP.


  97. tivo

    Definitely not a “man” thing. As a female, my shoe collection rivals that of most other women – but my wire box is also quite full. I am proud to say there have been several occasions on which my wire box has, indeed, come to the rescue. Now II’d like to take this opportunity to remind my friends who buy new equipment that does not include cables who call on me, knowing of my almighty cable collection – it’s OK, I got your back!

  98. adv

    Pear of Hearts
    2 oz Belvedere Cytrus
    1 oz Pear Nectar
    1 oz Pineapple juice
    1 oz Pomegrante Grenadine
    Add Grenadine to the bottom of a chilled cocktail glass. Shake other ingredients vigorously with ice. Strain carefully over grenadine. Top with a strawberry heart to garnish.

  99. FartyJones

    Keep the government the fuck out.

  100. yorksta

    A British newspaper is reporting that Prince Harry and his longtime girlfriend have broken up.

  101. cabby

    man some of you are absolutely retarded. if the ndp votes against it, which they almost certainly will, it will stall the process. it could take 2 days or 2 weeks, we don’t know – but it won’t completely STOP the process. if btwl goes through, it will set a terrible standard for striking unions in the future. yeah it sucks, i want my money back too. but the only way they’re going to come to fair terms is if they just suck it up and bargain more. btwl is just going to screw everything up.

  102. Yorkie

    I wish they could do something to incite YORK to make a better deal. York was inciting Cupe to do that for the past 3 months, why not threaten to take something away form York to make them smarten up? I wish the government could do something in terms of making York budge a bit, God forbid… Geeze

  103. Bob Sternman

    I do not agree with BTWL.

    This reason being is, when I graduate in 2010, I may end up being in a union. One day, I may be in a similar situation.

    I would fear this precedent setting political outcome. Yes, for the short term WE WILL go back to school. But, at what cost? In the future, we may end up getting screwed due to this. Oh man…I can’t wait till ~5 (or 10) years when we see the outcome. It is going to be messy.

    YAY to the possibility for school soon…BOO to long term effect this MAY have…

  104. Bob Sternman

    Unbelievable…Everyone is making it look like YorkU has NOTHING to do with this…

    Come on people, YorkU played their role in this mess too..

    This will set a horrible precedent for striking unions in the future….

    If you all really care about your futures, then you would think about long term not only short term. The short term gratification will soon die away…

  105. Bababoeey

    I dont think btwl will end as smooth as everyone is expecting, as stated this has not been done before and if successful will indicate that the cupe 2010 plan might not be as foolproof as advertised however it would be better for the union and york to agree to a 3yr deal so we don’t have to deal with this retarded shit the rest of most our undergraduate degrees.

    As for the idea that TA’s will try to vent on students for being forced to go back to work in case BTWL is successful then they will have to install protective glass widows in the classes.

  106. york sux

    what exactly are these readings that need to happen if the NDP doesn’t support btwl and how long does that take?

  107. Yorkie

    Again, exactly. I just cannot believe how everyone seems to be solely putting the blame on Cupe. I just know I’m more against York in this than Cupe for sure, because I am almost certain I will be a TA there as well. There are bigger forces at work here as well, like the NDP guy said.

  108. Yorkie

    @york sux

    McGuinty said 1-2 weeks.

  109. Keith

    I agree. Although I am sick and tired of the strike, and I want to get back to school (CUPE paying for this disaster would also be a nice addition to the pot) BTWL is just not the way to go. It sets up unions and employees all over the province to be knocked down by their employers when they try to employ a reasonable strike for an ACTUAL cause. BTWL will do more damage than it will do good, and we’re all going to have to pay the price.

    Don’t get me wrong, I want to get back to school, and I am glad to hear that I will likely be in classes by week’s end, but I don’t think that this is the way to do it. Say what you will about CUPE and their terrible “efforts” at ending the strike democratically, at least they were doing it democratically, this is capitalism and Neo-Liberalism at it’s worst.

  110. CUPE greed fail

    You’re right, you may one day be in a union. But on the other hand, you may also be in a management position where striking employees come to the table with very unreasonable demands. There is no doubt with BTWL CUPE will still get a fair deal. This was the only way out since 81 days of negotiations landed us back to square one. I cant see any reasonable person against BTWL in this instance.

    The union has had a hidden agenda(2010) and I truly believe that this was a deciding factor. They fully knew their demands were unreasonable and did this purposely.

    Checkmate CUPE.

  111. york sux

    what exactly are these readings that need to happen if the NDP doesn’t support btwl and how long does that take? i am not all that informed on government and passing bills

  112. me

    @ all afraid of mean TAs

    seriously can i say this cleary enough? undergrads give lousy evaluations when their TAs/contract faculty don’t give them the marks they want. this has been statistically proven – harder markers get lower evaluations. evaluations are actually useful to TA and contract faculty’s future job prospects.

    nevertheless most of us take the hit and give marks we think are reasonable already, facing your wrath and your tears and your “i don’t understand i got As in highschool why doesn’t anyone care about me here?” which actually makes us feel pretty bad ’cause it’s not your fault university’s harder than they prepared you for. so we take extra time and explain basic concepts to you that you should have learned in high school, or we write substantial comments on your papers or we let you rewrite them and remark them etc etc, but some of you still write in our teaching evaluations that we’re bad teachers because you didn’t get an A or you scream at us that you wasted your tuition money or you go over our heads and waste everyone’s time petitioning the grades you earned.

    we do all that because we believe in the integrity of our profession and the protection of york’s protection and the value of your high-priced education. well, there’s nothing in it for us, clearly.

    do whatever you want. cheat. phone it in. work as hard as you want. it’s all the same to me now.

  113. me

    “york’s protection” i meant “reputation”

  114. yorksta

    seems like york TAs are manning up like mad.

    its this their Battle of Thermopylae?

  115. true

    “You’re right, you may one day be in a union. But on the other hand, you may also be in a management position where striking employees come to the table with very unreasonable demands.”

    i second this… you may be in a union but you may also be on the other side in the future.

    you are siding with the union argument because you are in one right now.

  116. recession

    are your demands too excessive in the times of economic turmoil?

  117. tester

    York simply does not have money to give CUPE any more. Plus CUPE must pushing the 2 year contract, which York absolutely could not agree too. As a result, we’ve got a deadlock. Therefore, BTWL is necessary.

  118. glendon @ tester

    i agree with you.

    more than enough time was allotted to negotitations. For the sake of the students, which should be the paramount importance of TAs and York, BTWL is neccessary.

  119. glendon

    Nothing in this world is fair.

  120. caitron

    hey, i don’t understand this “virtual day” concept…. like a class that normally meets on a wednesday might meet on a monday. how is that reasonable? what about other commitments in our schedules that were planned around our original timetables? i guess i have to give those up to go to a class that wasn’t even scheduled at that time?!?

  121. Mike Oxbig

    the 12 seat-NDP said they will reject the bill

    so we probably won’t have school this week right?

  122. Aaron

    York was in a tight spot. Practically speaking, they couldn’t capitulate to CUPE’s demands for a two-year contract and thereby leave students vulnerable to another possible strike in 2010.

    Did York REALLY not have the funds available to meet their other demands? I’m very curious.

  123. Mike Oxbig

    Timothy Dalton, James Bond, the Premier of Ontario, said the house needs to make a unanimous decision for school to pretty much start monday at the earliest…now correct me if i’m wrong…

    but what the hell are the chances of any parliament voting on any matter unanimously…

    there’s no way we have school earlier than wednesday…

    take that from me folks…

  124. Mr48

    What exactly can the BTWL accomplish? The union members are not provincial employees, so all BTWL can do is give York the upper hand in bargaining by removing the union’s right to picket and give York the right to fire them. However, they are not menial labor, the university cant just fire them and replace them in time to save the year, so they will still need to reach some sort of agreement.

  125. tester

    caitron: that is exactly what a virtual day is. sure there will be conflicts, but Profs should have a plan. Ultimately, the full time students who don’t work (majority??) will not have any issues with virtual days

    Mr48: BTWL gets me to class ASAP. The union’s rights should not circumvent the education of 50,000 people

  126. tester

    If the NDP stalls the BTWL, then next Monday is the best bet

  127. NDP Owned.

    It won’t matter if NDP doesn’t agree… they’re such a minority.

  128. ram

    My query is : If NDP’ continue to oppose the bill even during the debates, will it pass?
    What should be the case for this bill to not pass?
    any answer?

  129. Mr48

    @Tester: But how do you imagine that will work? The provincial government cant physically force the strikers back by putting a gun to their heads. All it can do is remove their job protection which they enjoyed as legal strikers, but like I said they are not easily replaceable (within a time-frame which will salvage the academic year) so York is not going to give them a “get back to work or you’re all fired” ultimatum. They still need to reach an agreement, and this BTWL simply gives York a better bargaining position. Face it, even if the BTWL was approved tomorrow there would be no way for either of us to be back in class on Monday.

  130. Mike Oxbig

    @NDP Owned

    Timothy Dalton said UNANIMOUS…which means if every NDP member votes against this…then we’ll probably be in school next monday…that’s when your “they’re in such a minority” factor kicks in…

    12 members can’t hold down the BTWL process forever…

    but they can for a week…

  131. tester

    the bill has to pass. here is a break out of the Ontario seats:

    Total Seats: 107

    * Ontario Liberal Party:71
    * Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario:24
    * New Democratic Party of Ontario:10
    * Independent:1
    * Vacant seat(s):1

    EVERYONE needs to support BTWL for it to pass ON SUNDAY. Without the NDP support, the processes involved (3 readings, royal assent) can drag between 1 week -2 weeks.

    BUT the NDP cannot stop this. Dalton has spoken. He will tell his MPPs what to do, and many of them have been behind BTWL for some time now.

    The bill could not pass if the Liberals vote it down, but they would never vote down a bill that they present.

  132. tester

    Mr48: I figure the legislation will direct all outstanding matters to binding arbitration, and call it a day. I think the time to reach an agreement has passed. Bargaining is done (i think)

  133. Mike Oxbig

    i voted PC last time reluctantly…but i don’t think i will…

    i’ve always preferred the liberals provincially anyways…

    but the PC’s are so against the union and bargaining process it’s weird…

    i think James Bond and the Liberals have handled this well…they let them go at it…but it can’t go any further…

    and they’ve made the decision now…

    there are much worse pragmatic inefficiencies at play if the PC’s or NDP had total control and had their way….

  134. Mike Oxbig

    if the PC’s had total control…the workers would be replaced…wages would be low…pretty much workers get screwed…

    if the NDP had total control…we would lose the school year and we would get no education…york university would go bankrupt…

  135. Bob Sternman

    @ true

    I am in a union right now? I am a student…unless you mean YFS, but I would hardly call that a real union.

  136. question

    What if the BTW legislation passes (regardless of when) and CUPE decides to challenge this motion in court, as per the Supreme Court precedent? Will we still be able to resume classes while the court proceedings take place?

    (Let’s try not to have a debate about the B.C. ruling and its applicability :))

    P.S. I posted this question previously, but didn’t really get an answer. Just curious to know if anyone has any ideas!

  137. Bob Sternman

    February school start anyone?

  138. Mr48

    @Tester: Yeah, thats the most likely outcome, but binding arbitration will also take time, and like I said before, there is no gun for the province to point at CUPE to force them to accept the outcome. If they really want to play hardball they could still reject whatever binding solution the arbitrator gives because they know York cant ring up a hiring agency and have them all replaced within a few days.

    Anyways, I just hope that this vote will drive home the message to CUPE that everyone is sick and tired of their antics and they will accept York’s offer, ending this travesty.

  139. Bob Sternman

    @ question

    It really annoys me when people ask questions that most will obviously NOT know the answer too…

    Do you think anyone really knows?

    Come on, don’t put all Yorkers to shame…Put on your thinking cap lad!

  140. question

    Dude, if you don’t know the answer, then don’t bother posting – if anything, that’s annoying. Again, if anyone has any ideas, your answers would be appreciated.

  141. Bob Sternman

    Hopefully, the people on this forum will not really answer your ridiculous question, once again…

  142. Mr48

    Hey Bob, you dont know what other people here might know. Somebody might have some insight that even you may not, as outrageous as that is. Whats the harm in asking a question? If nobody knows the answer, no harm done.

    Relax buddy.

  143. Dark Knight

    What the fuck is NDP’s problem? Good for nothing leftist pieces of shit! How the hell can you go on talking about allowing for the negotiations between York admin and CUPE to continue. Wake up and smell the fucking stink Howard Hampton! If the negotiations were going smoothly, a mediator wouldn’t have been appointed, nor would the stupid Premier have suggested BTWL in the FIRST place! I hate the fucking NDP…stupid union-supporting pieces of turd! I hope they all go to hell!

  144. tropical sunshine

    I think the general opinion is that if CUPE wants to be on the safe side, they would obey the legislation and get back to work while they contest its validity in court….So yeah, there would be school while they fight it in court which could take weeks if not months

  145. Mike Oxbig

    apparently there was a pool when this strike started…or at least there were rumours of one..

    you could bet either the strike would end before february or on feb.1st…

    looks like it’s boiling down to that line…

  146. Worried

    i dunt see any comments from cupe doll and cupe member with a child !!!!

  147. question

    @ tropical

    Thanks for clarifying. Much appreciated!

  148. Bob Sternman

    @ Mr48

    It is just like the people who don’t read anything and ask the following type of annoying questions…

    1. Should I book a ticket to come back to Toronto tomorrow?
    2. So are we going back tomorrow?
    3. When is school going to start?
    4. What is CUPE?
    5. Why are the TAs, GAs, and Contract Faculty striking?

    My goodness it gets annoying after awhile…

  149. Bob Sternman

    @ tropical sunshine

    Oh gimme a break? How do you know that? Are you doing that just to come across as knowledgeable. You should at least claim that your response is speculation or opinion not the facts…

  150. Mr48

    Its an internet message board Bob, if you dont like somebody’s question, ignore it. Jeez, some people are waaaay too strung-out here. We all want to get back to class, no need to snap at each other.

  151. Keith


    The fact is that it doesn’t matter if the talks are going “smoothly” they should be allowed to take place until a resolution is reached, like I said, I want to go back to school too, and I am pissed off at THIS union, but I’d like to keep living in a country where the workers aren’t powerless against their employers. CUPE 3903 took serious advantageof the situation, and that is the fault of THIS union, but BTWL is going to cause some serious damage. What happens when a workers union in a car parts factory goes on strike because they want more safety equipment? Are the employers going to be able to go to the provincial government and say “we can’t afford that! make them get back to work!”? After the BTWL goes through, maybe not, but before the BTWL there would have been no question.

    We need to look at this in a more broad light. Yes, we are students and we have been fucked out of our education and our money, that sucks, and something needs to be done about it, but there’s a difference between punishing the union responsible and punishing ALL unions, and it’s not going to lead anywhere nice.

  152. ZB


  153. Hullo

    Just relax. let ‘ em ask the questions silly questions. Nothings wrong with that. Just ignore them if you do not want to answer them because someone else might. And it is not fair to say that NDP will not have an effect on things. Hopefully we will be back soon because I would like to go to summer school to pick up those extra credits.

  154. RR

    your getting a little heated here, take your comments down a notch- yes, people asking the same questions are annoying, but deal with it, there are 50000 students affected here- 70% will not be checking this blog all the time like us.
    And as for going after poeple not stating if things are speculation- everything we say here is speculation, if fact there shold be a disclaimer under everyones name that this is all speculation. So stop shutting people up for asking questions, we are all just trying to figure out whats going on, no one is forcing you to answer.

  155. Bob Sternman

    @ Mr48

    I assure you, I am not pulling out my hair over this. Nor, am I personally ranting and swearing to myself. This annoys me, because these are likely the same people that ask stupid questions in class that always wastes everyone’s time. For example…

    1. Do we have an exam in this class?
    2. Where are tutorials being kept (half way through the year)?
    3. What course textbook do we need to read?

    Among other stupid/annoying/nonsensical questions, you too, have likely been subjected to.

  156. Insider2

    Jus a heads up about tomorrows unit-2 meeting, I will be there too:

    “Back-To-Work?! – Unit 2 Meeting

    Published on 24 Jan 2009

    EMERGENCY U2 MEETING called by CUPE EXEC. and BT members

    Where: Concord Cafe, 937 Bloor St. West (near Ossington Subway Station)
    Time: SUNDAY (to-morrow!) 4 to 6pm (after 12pm Rally at Queen’s Park for Liberals’ Back to Work Legislation introduction)

    Food will be available and time will be counted as Alternative Duty/ Strike Pay.


  157. Mr48

    Yes, and I’ve learned to ignore them the sake of my own sanity. If I got upset by all the stupid questions I hear in class I would be in jail for assault by now.

  158. Bob Sternman

    So essentially, everyone wants me to put a sock in it?

    Oh, poor Bob…

  159. Bob Sternman

    I am not upset, but rather voicing my annoyance…I think that is fair game.

  160. Impatient

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but even if the bill is passed tomorrow, do we not need 24 hours of notice before we go back to class?

  161. @ impatient

    yup, so we’ll start on tuesday as indicated by the yfs provided that btwl is passed tomorrow

  162. Serge

    Bob, it is fair game to say the same thing over and over again, and it is fair game for everyone to note that your posts are incredibly irritating and arrogant. Now, enough.

  163. RR

    LOL- no, I don’t want anyone to ever shut up when it comes to their opinions- just respect the right of others to be ignorant and/or uninformed, or plain have a different point of view, in a situation that we have no control over

  164. RR

    stop being so stern, man….lol

  165. Bob Sternman

    @ Serge

    You just ruined everything…

    Thanks a lot…

  166. Yorkie

    I think it only makes sense that BTWL is postponed for a few days, if not then the NDP hasn’t done their job. At least ONE member of the NDP is going to oppose this bill.

  167. Two things:

    1) A pressing question that no one’s really discussed is what legal action, if any (part 2 of the same question), CUPE will bring up. As stated in the news reports about McGuinty NOT enacting BTWL, his reasoning was the 2007 Supreme Court ruling that stated pretty much that non-essential-service workers canNOT be forced back to work.

    I am a card-carrying Liberal and a student who desperately hopes that school will resume…but frankly this BWTL business is just stupid. If there is a lawsuit (and CUPE has the SC-ruling high card), the Liberals will not only look stupid, but they’ll have wasted OUR TAX DOLLARS on legal fees. It’s a shame Dalton caved like this.

    2) @ Bob Sternman, I’m completely anti-union and I hope to God that I’ll never have to be forced into one (though it’s a long-shot). From direct personal experience, unionization does nothing but encourage laziness and unproductiveness. My own father is in a white-collar union (they’re banned from striking), and he could take a shit for eight hours a day on the boss’ desk, then go to the office on the weekend to get double-pay, and STILL keep his job. Fortunately, he’s got better morals than that, but there are some employees who get paid six-digits a year to visit humour sites. And no…he doesn’t work for an American automaker, though those guys get better pay and job security for half the work.

    This is the second millenium, not halfway through the first…we have such things as labour laws, and we don’t live in a third-world country. Get over your naive Marxist views, please, and learn to earn a living for once.

  168. Mike Oxbig

    @ Yorkie

    lol…there’s only 12 of them…every single NDP member that shows up will vote against BTWL…haha

  169. j. king

    @dark knight

    types like you are the reason that I, as cupe member, AND as a women, need to be extra vigilant about being on guard around those who are looking to take out their violent hostility…..

  170. hahaha

    wow. so I totally remember walking through vari hall a while back during the election and how ironic that the majority of york students were supporting NDP. lolololol

  171. Hassan

    So we are back on Monday?

  172. @ hassan

    you might want to ask bob sternman 😉

  173. Hassan

    is bob sternman a CUPE or BTWL or NDP member?

  174. dan

    Hassan, the earliest we can start is on Tuesday. Once back to work legislation is passed, the Senate has to issue a 24 hour notification to students.

  175. Bob Sternman

    @ Angry Chinese Driver

    Based on your logic, your dad must be an unproductive and lazy work…

    You are unfairly categorizing all people who are in unions. Your argument is baseless. Not everyone who is in a union is getting paid to do nothing. I agree, there are people who are have differing perceptions on work ethics. However, this is not limited to only jobs that are unionized. This can happen in the non-unionized jobs as well. And trust me, some people get away with it and are not fired. I have a manager who consistently visits sites like “break.com” or youtube, while he is never anywhere to be found when customer escalations occur etc (I’m in retail)…anyways, he is making a pretty penny and does nothing 90% of the time…Why isn’t he being fired?

    Well, I am only a part-time worker and at school full-time, so I do earn a honest living. I don’t know what you’re getting at…

    Anyways, I think you need to get over yourself…

  176. Bob Sternman

    @ “@ hassan”


    He knows not to ask me such a silly question.


  177. Bob Sternman

    How could I be a “back to work legislation” member?

  178. Mike Oxbig

    @ hahaha


  179. UnderGrad Int'l

    What the heck r u ppl talking about?! @ this will set a bad precedent and affect unions in the future.

    Are we forgetting that near 80 days strike is ALSO a horrible precedent that was set – and moreover, set by a union who has abused the system before on TWO occasions…in 2001 and in 1997!

    I am sure that when the lawmakers of Canada sat down and make it constitutional for unions to bargain with employers, they NEVER expected that there would be 80-day, 78-day standoffs. If these union memebrs DO NOT go back to work, THEN it is continuing a horrible precedent for this country. I’m out.

  180. UnderGrad Int'l

    One more thing, most Canadian unions, I’m sure, will not out to abuse the system in the future, so their REASONABLE interests WILL be heard. And the employer WILL NOT have to press for btwl.

    I also grew up in a democracy and this foolishness could not happen for 80 days. Never! It is unheard of! What do we have governments for, if not to step in when it is necessary – when two sides cannot make an agreement. Are you suggesting we don’t need government? I applaud the government for stepping in in such a situation where labour relations ARE CLEARLY being taken advantage of. Shame on you guys!

  181. Yorkie

    @UnderGrad Int’l

    True, but this is only one institution, a couple of strikes. When you pass BTWL you’re setting a bad precedent for ALL unions and employers in the country. So, BTWL has more negative repercussions.

  182. Yorkie

    For the governement to step in on a strike for a non essential service and pass BTWL puts all unions across Canada in jeoparody when it comes to bargaining their contracts with employers. Employers will continue to sit back and avoid negociating when they know they don’t have to compromise and lose money, they can just wait for the goverment to step in. It’s unacceptable!

  183. ***YorkU Student***

    @ lets be realistic

    and what do you suggest we should voice out exactly?

    @ graduating year later
    I have no problem. I think they should give a choice to either go back to school ASAP or to go in the begining of September. Aswell to get some of our tuition money back.

  184. G

    @ hahaha

    I doubt they voted lol.

  185. ***YorkU Student***

    I would like to know how likely is that this bill will not fall through?

  186. Mike Oxbig

    how bad a precedent is this?

    it’s been two months…more than enough time has been given to reach an agreement…

    but the union has been a little more devious than york because cupe wants all schools to strike together in 2010….i’m not saying both sides don’t have hidden agendas…i;m saying cupe’s agenda is exposed…and that is protecting the union more so than anything…if 2010 is a crucial factor in all of this…

    i think workers should be replaced if strikes go on too long…and two months is too long…

    but still…i completely understand what cupe is saying…that essentially and employer can just wait things out until the government decides to intervene…

    but that means unions need to realize who those in power are and take what you can get from them…you can’t push those in positions of power forever…

    this is a “neoliberal system” they are fighting…you have to acknowledge who the power holders are…and take the most from them..but you can’t push them over the edge…which i think is what they were trying to do in this case…

    if this were a marxist country…then you could push this for however long you want…but we’re a liberal country…

    …you can’t get everything you want.

  187. UnderGrad Int'l


    A nation and its judiciary is, fortunately or unfortunately (depending on who you ask), BUILD on setting precedents. Many of the civil freedoms we enjoy today are the result of some government setting a precedent. That simply can’t be ignored.

    I am actually very weary of thinking about this strike and talking about it. So let’s just agree to disagree, family. 🙂

  188. Bob Sternman

    Unions all over the world are crying today…

    How sad…

  189. york student .. ugh.

    soo likliness of starting school this week issss…………???

  190. @ york student .. ugh.

    again, why don’t you ask bob sternman 😉 (sorry bob.)

  191. UnderGrad Int'l

    I just wonder how many students will be so apathetic when the semesters finally do get started – as if thinking in their minds that there is so much resentment towards York and the union that they just don’t care anymore. 😦 I pray I keep a soft heart about this.

  192. fracas

    @undergrad int’d,

    the strike in 1997 was not by the same union – it was by YUFA (the union for full time faculty at York).

  193. UnderGrad Int'l

    Thanks fracas.

  194. The Man With The Plan


  195. Bob, yes by my logic I AM implying that (though I did say that my dad has “better morals” than to steal from his company like this, but that’s irrelevant). You know why?

    People in my dad’s union are PROHIBITED from working more than a certain limit by the UNION itself. Thus limiting productivity and certainly not boosting efficiency, the essence of business. We’re talking a multi-million (if not billion) dollar company here, and they’re certainly going to take a shit-kicking with the economy in shambles like that (hiring way more workers than necessary and overpaying them). Take a look at the “Big Three” (not so big anymore, suckers!), GM, Ford, and Chrysler: they’re being dragged down by greedy execs and even greedier unions. The “worker” may claim to fight to abuse of power at the top, but his own “people” are equally guilty.

    Of course, there are good-for-nothin’ employees everywhere, but in today’s day and age unions need to be scaled back (and since they’ll never scale back…well throw em out!). There have been recent news reports claiming that a large majority of non-union workers reject the notion of unionizing (too lazy to search for it atm), and it’s no surprise. I know people both working in Japanese auto plants and American ones, and by FAR the former are way happier.

    Undoubtedly, my opinions are very subjective, but it doesn’t stop ME from working to end the power and control of unions.

  196. pv

    Please excuse my poor knowledge in politics, but can it pass without NDP support?

  197. FL

    To those criticizing BTWL: over 80 days of striking and no solution in sight. Enuf said.

    And for those who are acting like the “right” to strike and unionize is absolute, here’s a news flash: even our Charter rights are subject to reasonable limits. Your rights end where the rights of another begin.

  198. Pally Wally

    I too long for the days when working class people could not afford to send their kids to university.

    I can say this because my family has benefited directly from union membership – that’s why my super-hero dad accepts paycheck after paycheck from a shopfloor instead of being a REAL man and getting a REAL job.

  199. Pally Wally

    FL; I hardly think that this is a Section 33 (ie. notwithstanding clause) use.

    I think you’ll see that get show down pretty fucking quick by any SC judge.

  200. Digital Media Student

    Such a joke…
    Clearly, NDP is with the labour that’s why they’re going against/rejecting that idea of the BTWL

    It just really sucks though that this year for both 4th year and 1st year. One will not graduate that year…or move on ahead with masters after and the other will maybe even repeat and get the worst 1st year out of university…sigh.

    It’s just going to be so hectic when the strike is going to be over. Massive workload (for some or a lot…assuming so that maybe only 1/4 of the students actually did work during the strike)…
    Plus, professors will be going nuts with condensing the whole course. Such a frustration for everyone…

  201. Digital Media Student

    Forgot to add this…
    NDP is for the lower/mid class or basically more concerned with the poor…correct me if I’m wrong.

    Also, Jack Layton…funny enough he has a Chinese wife…I feel though that he’s taking advantage of her so she can reach out to the Chinese people of the community to vote for him. I wonder if he really married her for political strategy…

  202. Student

    Jack Layton is for the federal NDP not the provincial one….

  203. Annoyed at York Admin

    It is really sad that we live in a “democratic” country that is forcing PUBLIC employees back to work, when they have the given right to strike! I think its utterlly shameful that the government is not putting pressure on the York Admin who is the employeer to meet CUPE’s basic demands. That is what the employer does and is responsible for. Being a leader and granting basic benefits and meeting the basic demands of their hard working employees. York has all the money and resources in the world to fufill what CUPE is asking for but it simply doesn’t give a shit. It has become a money making institution, not a leading academic institution where the people of tomorrow graduate from. All it cares about is the student ponying up the dough to their University. If York and Dr. Shoukri truley cared for their students and the reputation of York U, we would have been back in classes within 2 weeks. Shame on York.

  204. FL

    @ Pally Wally

    There’s no need to invoke s. 33; in fact the gov is better off if they don’t use it. This legislation can be upheld in court w/out the notwithstanding measure. Facts drive a case, and this is a sympathetic situation. People are tired of unions striking, without any limits, at the expense of parties not involved in the dispute (e.g. ongoing transportation strike in Ottawa). There might be a court case, but hopefully it won’t come down to that. But if there is, the courts may just find that either (a) striking indefinitely is not a protected right in this particular situation (e.g. under freedom of association/speech or the like) or (b) that it is, and the right was infringed by the legislation, BUT it was justifiable under s. 1 as a reasonable limit, and then the court will provide strict guidelines for when such a measure will be acceptable in the future (e.g. “only in exceptional cases of clear deadlock where important interests are at stake…”). Given the public outcry over this situation, and the little-to-none chance of a settlement happening without some government intervention, I think the courts would adopt the latter option (who knows–we may just have a Supreme Court case on our hands). Keep in mind that many of the MPPs supporting this bill are lawyers–they know the legal implications of this action, and so they would never pursue this option unless they believed it had some reasonable chance of withstanding judicial scrutiny.

    But it may not come to any of this; if CUPE was smart, it would capitulate to binding arbitration, save face and prevent a precedent that will have dire implications on the future of their bargaining power. Either way, the bill is in all likelihood going to pass quickly enough, and we will all be back in school very soon.

    And I wouldn’t worry too much about the fury of TAs–they will likely feel bad enough as is for the situation, and if they act inappropriately, the University may be able to fire them for cause (i.e. because they have a good reason to), since the TAs are no longer technically on strike. Since TAs/CUPE members have been working without pay for weeks, I doubt that any would be willing to risk being fired, since wages seem important to them. But I’d have to check into this to be sure. Also, the University will likely institute some kind of review procedure, so students can have their grades reviewed if they feel they have been treated unfairly.

    York survived the last strike, which lasted almost as long as the current one. They redeemed themselves and students were able to move on. I know it doesn’t feel this way now, but things will eventually return to normal guys. York is still a great school, and we’ll get past this.

  205. Do Your part

    As someone said, Students Do your part and e-mail the NDP mpps:
    gbisson@ndp.on.ca, GBisson@ndp.on.ca, dinovoc-qp@ndp.on.ca, dinovoc-co@ndp.on.ca, hhampton-qp@ndp.on.ca, hhampton-co@ndp.on.ca, hhkenora@kmts.ca, ahorwath-qp@ndp.on.ca, ahorwath-co@ndp.on.ca, pkormos-qp@ndp.on.ca, pkormos-co@ndp.on.ca, rmarchese-co@ndp.on.ca, rmarchese-co@ndp.on.ca, pmiller-qp@ndp.on.ca, pmiller-co@ndp.on.ca, mprue-qp@ndp.on.ca, mprue-co@ndp.on.ca, tabunsp-qp@ndp.on.ca, tabunsp-co@ndp.on.ca

    If you like the short and sweet version you can cut and paste the following or come up with your own message:

    I urge you to support students and vote in support of back to work legislation. If you do decide to ignore us in our time of need, please know that you will be insulting new generations of individuals who will be deciding future governments, and ultimately your fate in subsequent elections.

  206. Hassan

    Sorry I’m a bit slow on scientific subjects but what is a NDP?

    Does it help us to be back on Monday?

  207. @ Bob Sternman

    Hey Bob Sternman,

    You SHOULD be in a union, becase I think you’re too butt hole stupid to take care of yourself.

    Seriously. Blah blah blah – lets protect these “poor exploited TAs” that make $60 dollars an hour. They should be making $20. That’s the real shame.

    Get real.

    Unions are going to destroy the automotive industry in North America because of their high demands and high pressure negotiating tactics. In the end, none of them will have jobs anyway, because GM etc won’t be able to make a decent car at a reasonable price. (not that they even can now) That’s how stupid and short sighted unions have become in this day and age. Consuming, EATING themselves to death.

    It’s not the industrial revolution, we don’t have workers loosing fingers in factories, only to get fired for it and starve.

    We have a bunch of whiny grad students that don’t think $60 an hour is enough. “Wa wa wa, for $60, I can only buy 7 venti mochacinos, that’s not enough. Give me more York, give me more! Mmmmm, feeeed me!”

    Sure. Exploited workers. Mr. Bob are you on crack? It’s the York STUDENTS that have been exploited. Where’s our union? Why can’t we stand up and refuse to allow our tuition money (repeat OUR tuition money) to be diverted towards these @$$HOLES that have no regard for our education?

    We don’t even have a student’s union that will support us, THE STUDENTS, because the YFS are NDP obsessed pro-strikers.

  208. Bob Sternman

    @ “@ Bob Sternman”

    I think you are going a bit overboard with regards to what I said…

    I believe that the government should not undermine the bargaining process and the right to strike…

    By introduction Back-to-Work-Legislation it will set a very strong and devastating precedent is my point. It is better that bargaining continue at the bargaining table. Yes, I do recognize that things are at a deadlock. However, the future of unions are at jeopardy…Basically, it is saying that if you strike, the employer can hold out as long as they want until the government intervenes. Despite what you think…This will have a negative affect, especially to those who want a job that may end up being unionized…

    I do not remember saying that I fully agree with the wages that TAs are making and that they deserve more…Also, I think the figure is more around $40-$45/hour….

  209. Bob Sternman

    @ Hassan

    NDP = New Democratic Party

    This is not a scientific subject area, but would rather fall into the political science arena. You must be kidding me, if you did not recognize that. Surely, your YorkU degree is failing you…Demand your money back!

  210. AnObserver

    @ Annoyed at York Admin

    While you’re free to express your displeasure at the administration, and that is absolutely your right… I feel your facts are somewhat skewed.

    1. “Democracy” is working here exactly as intended. The union (3,300) did not elect the government single handedly. The people of Ontario did. And unless I’m grossly mistaken (which I rarely am), there have been numerous calls by both students (50,000), parents (100,000) and many of the general public to pass BTWL and get back to school. So when the government chooses to appease the voters that elected it… well, that’s democracy 101.

    2. You can hardly call CUPE’s demands “BASIC”, seeing as CUPE 3903 currently (before any of the negotiations had even taken place) is the highest paid union in Ontario, and likely Canada. “Basic” needs that must be provided by the employer are workplace safety and a minimum wage. Nothing else. I think York is doing a-okay in both areas.

    3. Contrary to your belief, York is not “rolling” in it, nor is it a money-making institution. In fact, York is a public, not-for-profit institution that relies on government and private funding to get by. That’s right… not only do you pay for school through tuition, you also pay for it through your taxes!

    With a weakening economy, and a collapsed stock market (in which York lost a shit-ton of money), York is poorer than ever. Endowments and donations, how do you think those are fairing with employers currently downsizing 10-30% of their workforce at many large corporations?


    Sigh… information and education is golden, it really is. Get some.

  211. @ Bob Sternman

    There is no bargaining process. CUPE isn’t bargaining.

    It’s time for a precedent to be set. I recognize that the future of unions are in jeopardy. Thank god for it.

    Unions are a distortion in the free market.

    And in CUPE 3903’s case, they’re also @$$holes with an inflated sense of self worth. Even if the figure is $40 to $45 and hour, that’s twice or three times what they’re actually worth. (and probably more than the hourly rate they’ll get at their first real job after graduating)

    I’d love to say “fire them all, and then watch them starve”. The only problem is, most of the TA’s still live at home with mommy and daddy. If they loose their TA position, it just reduces their Starbucks allowance.

  212. Pally Wally


    I think you’re right, at least based on McGuinty’s press conference that they intend to push this as “a clear deadlock” – and an exceptional case; however, I think the union has a strong case to show that they were willing to bargain.

    I agree that the Libs wouldn’t be doing this if they didn’t think they could get away with it, but I can’t see this going through without a fight – in the meantime, I suspect it will accomplish the short-term goal of forcing the union back to work; my concern is with the precedent it sets should it succeed.
    I’m confused as to why the contract length going to binding arbitration would not be up for negotiation. This seems to be, despite the unions’ claims otherwise, what has been most important all along – why is it presumed to be off the table?

  213. Pally Wally

    I should add: the wording in the BTWL regarding taking the financial situation both of the university and the economy in general into consideration and the impact of the strike on future enrollments seems to indicate quite clearly what is in store for the union if and when it passes.

  214. Yorkie

    So the vote itself will happen tomorrow at 1 o’clok right. Then we wait for the results?

  215. Bob Sternman

    I believe it was YorkU that said they wouldn’t bargaining anymore…as they claim they don’t have any money. I do not know if this is true or not.

  216. Rantz

    @ hassan

    NDP has nothing to do with science, it is a political party (New Democratic Party). and if you mean by this monday, I highly doubt it.

    For the rest of you arguing between each other, i’d like to put my opinion forward. you could agree or disagree, i couldn’t care less and wouldn’t wanna know.

    Note, I am a (business) student and although I would be biased to say that BTWL is the right way to go, I’d like to point out unions are partly responsible for a mess in the business world. Unionization was originally for the better of workers who had real unfair wages, hours and what not. If unions can stick to that purpose, it would be great. Push your power, and you deserve to get fucked sooner or later.

    Yeah, we’ve got laws for this and that, but we as humans should know that at times, laws need to be twisted a bit…sometimes subjective thinking is needed to decide what should/could happen. What do u think the jury does in a case? In this case, there were few problems..basically wrong timing…and subjective thought came in – introducing BTWL.

    First of all, demands are there, but they were freakin high. Sure, I feel for you guys, any of us students could be in a union in the future (not me…I’m not in favour of unionization, even if I end up working on the salesfloor or somethin…perhaps because I have ambitions of having my own company(s) one day…but even then, I will be fair as well as keep my costs minimum, without pushing things too far as an employer) and history could repeat itself, but no, this is too far on behalf of unions.

    There has to be a limit somewhere (at least for important services, e.g. transits, universities, etc.) or else there could be losses to a lot. Yeah, university is an important service, because in the long term, you want more educated people in the economy to enable growth…….

    For all of you saying BTWL is unfair, first of all, tell me if ANYTHING IS FAIR. For real?!…those not in favour of BTWL, tell me what other options are left and what is more unfair? Losing proper pay because of strike and keeping 50000 students back, damaging our uni’s reputation (altho it does play poor politics) or some unreasonable demands in this global economic crisis (fuck, even microsoft claimed itself not resistant to this economic climate and cut 5000…that’s more than you cupe members at york).

    Trust me guys, I’m not hating on you. But I feel this is just a play in chess on CUPE’s behalf and something to do with 2010 possible strike..I could be wayyyyyy wrong, but then again. its my opinion.
    You can hate me or love me…I don’t care, I just want to get back to school now, cz it’s been wayyyyy too long for any more negotiations to happen (keep in mind it has been happening, or tryin to happen since before the strike).

    York is to blame as well, sure, the CUPE members kept pushing the limits of their employer, but they’ve played INCREDIBLY POOR politics and now they deserve lack of applications for next year.

    This strike could have been done through summer and yet still not hurt majority of student’s financial, academic and social lives. There could have been other ways of preventing this strike, if not, at least ending this strike…but no, York has to be a stubborn bitch and wait for Papa to come in and play its game for them.

    BTWL is last resort and I think it was well played by McGuinty. He tried ‘banging few heads together’ but that didn’t work. What else could government do? There is no such thing as free market…it’s a mixed economy nowadays. Government has to intervene at some point. Why are they sitting there? To take our taxes to build roads, bridges, hospitals and schools?

    To those saying CUPE is being marxist or whatever, please know that although marxism meant power to the people/workers, you are forgetting the fact that, with marxism, government has almost total control of the economy. They’d pay you shit wages and choose what you do with your life. Unions are not being marxist or whatever. Get that straight please.

    As for fellow students, we didn’t have much say in this, even though we are what makes a university an institution in the first place. We had little and next to nothing in this, and now we pay the costs (financial, time, social) to sit around in other’s hands for instructions. Face the fact that most of us will probably get screwed by exams if you were wasting this time. I didn’t do much either, but at least I tried to make most of my time productive by learning few other things and making some money.

    You yourself will be to blame if you hadn’t done shit. So if uni is going to start, stop crying and go back to studying or drop out and just go work, pointing fingers won’t solve anything. Just chill and move along, cuz guess what?! Shit happens, life goes on. Basically, I mean to say is…good luck for your futures and studies. As for those who have been struck badly cz of this, have families, or can’t afford education anymore, have other responsibilities or simply have a life to get on to, my sympathies are with u and i wish u the best of luck.

    Okay, I’m out. Peace.

  217. Pally Wally

    I’m so sick of people repeating the tired conservative cliche that “unions are outdated” – this is what they said 100 years ago when craft guilds were dying a slow death.
    In the end, labour reorganized around non-skilled workers; but only after decades of exploitation that everyone admits “called for unions to be formed” – hey, let’s just skip the decades of exploitative labour this time, no? Oh, i forgot – somehow business owners are now more ethical and less profit driven than before….uh, right, I buy that.

  218. Confused and Exasperated

    @Pally Wally,

    But you can’t possibly compare turn of the century working conditions in factories under which the labour movement made huge strides and present conditions for TAs and professors. See wherever you stand, CUPE has a good job in this sense that they aren’t expected to work 12 hour days for pittance pay, it seems like you’re trying to compare CUPE’s labour arrangement to a sweat shop arrangement. Sure the University is a business and only interested in money, obviously its profit driven, obviously it isn’t the most pathetically (pathos) ethical institution in the entire world, but by trying to find an equivalency between CUPE and turn of the century unions doesn’t really work, they aren’t working in dire conditions, and the reality is that they can find another job that probably pays significantly better should they decide to.

    I can’t say that I necessarily support either side, I think that it would be very sad if this strike gives big business precedant when it comes to labour laws and btwl in regard to private run labour movements . . . that said, CUPE isn’t innocent when it comes to precipitating this situation. I have felt from the beginning that if they were REALLY serious about making progress and taking a step forward they would have taken whatever York gave them from the get-go and pushed through a 2 year deal. They’re bargaining position would have been far stronger, they would have the support of all the universities, the economy ideally would be starting to recover around that time, all around they’re position would be far stronger, they probably could have made a much better movement. As well, we all have seen how powerful a union CUPE can be, keeping the third largest university shut down for 11 weeks is no small step whatsoever. By effectively taking themselves out of the running by trying to strike just for their own good, they really have hurt the cause of all ontario CUPE members.

    I don’t really see an effective argument for that point, except maybe, that in a large strike CUPE 3903 stands to gain the least being the best paid of all the unions, in which case I have far less sympathy for them, hell I live in an apartment by myself and make 10 dollars an hours, its the path I chose.

  219. Bob Sternman

    YorkU is such a crap university…

    Sadly, they didn’t just cancel the year…

    Reputation? Oh come on now…Only Osgoode and Schulich are recognized and respected.

    When people think of YorkU, they think of…sexual assaults, Jane and Finch, “if you can hold a fork, you can go to york”, striking, cheap and a easy university…

    YorkU will never get the same thoughts like U of T generates…hard, academic excellence, lots of funding, smart students, ivory tower, holy grail, high standards, demanding, and a good reputation…

    Come on, we all know it is true deep down. When it social circles, the U of T students are treated and shown greater respect. When meeting family friends or other adults in general, there is a big difference when my friend says he goes to U of T and I mention I go to York. York is treated as a joke. I know I will get flamed…But I am sorry, it is the public perception that matters. Especially, when potential employers look down on YorkU students as “lazy” and not as hard working…

  220. Pally Wally

    I’m not comparing profs to factory workers in ~1900; you’re making strawmen here, please don’t put words in my mouth.

    I’m saying that the labour movement serves an ongoing function: keeping business in check. If you disagree, then I don’t want to call you naive, but you definitely place more faith in power-holders than I do.

    Experience has taught me otherwise.

  221. Choda

    @The Man With The Plan

    Arlovski hits hard, but he has a glass jaw!!!

    Fedor is overrated though!!!

  222. ram

    @ all
    hey guys
    we are gonna be back at the earliest by Feb 2


  223. jacky

    is the article accurate tho?
    its seems like you know , they are jus saying
    but we still have to wait for the outcome like the actual vote to be done, until we can say anything?
    these kind of news , we’ve seen those since the strike has started

  224. Pally Wally

    Although this is sad to have to write to people in university, and perhaps a waste of breath – the NDP would never vote for this. I won’t bore you with the fundamentals of politics, but you can go to the bank with that.

  225. Student

    What happens if NDP keeps rejecting it?
    How does it go through then?

  226. ram

    No, just heard in cp24.
    The bill will pass in any case. Because after the debate session, It would be dependent on the majority.
    So he can only delay it but not stop.

  227. demarche

    “I believe it was YorkU that said they wouldn’t bargaining anymore…as they claim they don’t have any money. I do not know if this is true or not.”

    York has cancelled virtually all job searches for professors over the next two years and is making funding cuts to practically every department for the next three years. So yes, money is very tight.

    Also, the real problem with CUPE’s most troublesome demands is not financial. It’s that they want to change how the university is run, taking more power for themselves in making key *academic* decisions.

    As is well known, they want tens of tenure-track research positions (i.e., real professorial positions, not contract instructor positions), plus 67 more all-but tenured positions, to distribute among their members based on seniority and without outside competition.

    They also want a guarantee that over time there will be no reduction in the amount of work available for their members. How can York give that guarantee in a time of decreasing applications?

    There has also been talk of CUPE demanding things like no increase in the number of internet courses, which is of course a purely academic decision that should be made by departments and professors, without having to worry about union rules.

    And there’s the two-year contract issue, which is another way of CUPE trying to grab more power.

    So money is a big part of it, but it’s not all about money. It’s about who controls the university.

    Honestly, given what’s at stake, I have to hand it to York for standing their ground. And given how intransigent CUPE has been, I think they’ve done a good job of bringing the strike to an end as quickly as anyone could have expected. As I’ve said before, this is what happens when you “demand the impossible”. That’s my opinion, anyway.


    Alex Bilyk said we’ll go back Feb 2nd and will end on June 2nd! so we missed two months of classes and they’ve added on 2 months. aside from shortened exam periods, we haven’t really lost much school time… although we have lost a month of summer.

    I wonder if they’ll shorten the summer school terms or cut the first one altogether?

    Anyway the Queens Park session commences at 1pm. We can watch it on channel 105!

  229. About time...

    It’s about time that the government steps into this matter and whips the union. This strike was completely ridiculous to begin with because:
    Graduate studies = you’re earning a degree, therefore, you’re paying the university for educating you and a piece of paper that might help you find a better job in the future.
    It’s too damn bad that you ‘don’t get enough pay’, you should have gotten a REAL job instead.
    Second, it is a bad time to ask for a raise. To be frank, it is completely selfish considering the economic crisis that we’re in at the moment.
    Third, the requests by the union are absolutely insane – tenure = based on senority? I don’t think so. It’s about time that the union wakes up and look around the real world…It’s good enough that some professors will become tenured, but giving them out based on the time that you’ve worked for the university??? If this does occur, YORK WILL BECOME the worst university in Ontario.

  230. About time...

    @ Bob Sternman
    I concur with everything that you’ve said.
    The lack of logic and common sense in York’s staff is clearly shown by the existence of this strike.

  231. Serge

    I have been musing about my favourite Pally Wally posts. I kind of liked the ones where he plays lawyer — tell us more about that there notwithstanding clause, bucko — but, I have to admit, I have a soft spot where he makes fun of other folks’ daddies.

  232. Serge

    Pally Wally talks about unions having the role of “keeping business in check”. I hate to break it to him, but the striking union he’s a member of is called CUPE. As in Public Employees. No businesses allowed.

  233. Reasonable Person

    Hahaha. I love watching Pally Wally squirm and make the most idiotic comments I’ve seen from him so far.

  234. Fearful Student

    I will certainly remember the NDP actions in the future.

    WAKE UP … it is NOT anymore about a right!

    This strike has become a game … 3 months and no agreement.

    shame on York ( waiting for this to happen) and shame on CUPE .

  235. Kiara


  236. lion

    NDP and CUPE can go to hell

  237. Pingback: Top Posts « WordPress.com

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