Please Help Us, International Socialism — We Are Being Mediated

by CupeDoll

We 3903s killed the rat. Whooped and hollered victory from tops of our lungs. Partied all over pummeling York symbolically — and Alex Bilyk physically. What, then, has consternated our carousing? Why now do we grind and gnash our teeth?

Seems as if the mediator might have threatened us with legislation pending over our heads. Unless, that is, we get real — fast. And what have we ever done to deserve such vicious mediation? It isn’t even conceivable asking innocent ideologues like us to get real.

Kidding aside. The following 3903 chatter just got forwarded my way. Hinging on personal leaning and inclination, you can read it and laugh — or weep.

I am at a loss to understand the massive drop in our demands, especially in the face of the absolute intransigence of the employer. Our membership has spoken very clearly on rejecting the “ballpark” that the York admin wants us to play in, and it is an outrage that we are moderating our demands in this fashion. I can understand why the BT and even radical rank-and-file members are breaking down at this point, but this kind of capitulation will destroy our union and our capacity to take anything positive out of this strike as it will completely demoralize our activist base — something that has been broadened and deepened in the course of the strike, and which would be massively consolidated if we win. We need to do everything we can to withdraw these proposals if at all possible, and people need to take a break from negotiating and step back from the brink before it is too late!

In my estimation, it would be a far worse thing for us to break our own strike by giving away all of our desperately needed demands (including fighting the science claw back, the unit three minimum guarantee, and of course job security) then for us to get legislated back to work.. It’s one thing for the government to step in and break our strike, and quite another thing for us to break our own strike especially after so many long cold days of sacrifice.

If we organize we can develop the capacity to actually fight back to work legislation on the picket lines. What we need is a massive turnout from unionists and social movement activists to join us on our lines and to hold the lines in defiance of back to work legislation. Yes, that will mean the union being fined and people going to jail, but if we can stress the broader significance of our struggle in the context of fighting neoliberalism we can get those numbers, and we could actually make this strike a key turning point in the fight against the corporatization of our campuses. 3903 has been a key ally to folks in the Palestinian liberation struggle, to the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, to various indigenous struggles, to groups like No One Is Illegal, etc. etc. All of these allies have the capacity to bring out
hundreds of supporters to our lines if we stress how important it is to have them.

If we were to be legislated back to work, and tens of thousands of students came back to campus, but we stood firm and with our allies, and kept our picket lines up even in the face of state repression, we could cause York such a massive PR disaster and so much chaos and confusion on campus, we could force a political crisis that would win our demands. If we organize with this conception, it will also make it much less likely that the Liberals will even consider doing it.

The major problem with this whole issue of back to work legislation is that so many of our members — even the most radical — can’t seem to consider that we could actually organize and mobilize in such a way as to defeat back to work legislation on the picket lines by standing strong. This is how the union movement has historically our major victories, and if we are serious about winning a major victory, then we have to be prepared to do this. This will only happen if we make the political argument to our own members and to our allies across the city that we need their support in order to take this course of action. I think we have 300 to 400 members that would hold the lines in the face of back to work legislation and be willing to get arrested for doing so. I think that we have another 300 members that would watch from the sidelines and be there for moral support but would not be willing or able to be arrested. I think we could get similar numbers of participants and observers from our social movement allies if we start organizing for this now.

Even if we lost in a context of having our lines physically crushed by the state and having hundreds of our members and supporters arrested on the picket lines we would create such a situation of crisis for York that they would for many years in the future seek to appease us by giving us much improved contracts. It would also strengthen and greatly developed the activist base that is so crucial for building union power both in our own local and other workplaces. And we wouldn’t be going back to work accepting a shitty deal that is even worse than the one our membership rejected in the forced ratification, one that we ourselves would have crammed down our own throats.

Can everything this 3903 member calls for happen? Can any of it? Maybe it can. But I highly doubt it will. Because we 3903s still haven’t decided whether to strike for the best interests of our own membership — or whether to ideologically go striking all out against York. Far too many of us still think we can do both. Which is why, despite the horrific damage we’ve done to every aspect of the York community, our strike action remains such a farce. Seriously. It’s funny. And if you don’t get what the joke is, read my Post comment below. Written all the way back on November 14th. I think you’ll get it. What the joke is with why and how striking we 3903s get.

“Talks between York and striking union break down”? Of course they do.

Don’t get me wrong. As a contract faculty member at York I’d love some job security. It’s worse than medieval how York treats contract faculty. Even back in dark ages, after 10 years’ faithful service servants likely received at least some security and recognition from whatever masters they served. Not so at York. Not when it comes to contract faculty.

But can this strike help contract faculty? Help anyone? Of course not. This strike can offer no relief except comic. Comic relief.

Imagine you’re checking out computers at a store. And one computer, price listed $450, catches your eye. So you go to the retail counter and ask to negotiate the price. Because you don’t have $450.

The counter-clerk agrees to negotiate and asks how much you’ve got. You reply: “$39.33.”

The clerk looks you up and down — then directs you leave the store. And don’t come back until you’re prepared to negotiate. Since your absurd offer totally contradicts what you asked in the first place. To negotiate that computer you liked.

And that’s how this strike is. All about impossible demands — not about negotiating or anyhow compromising. The sides are so far apart they might as well be babbling different languages.

This strike is ideological. I’ve heard more than once, within 3903, how we’ll bring the employer to its knees. And you know what? I can get up for a good fight. Lots of us are eager for the good fight. But if we are to strike any blows against exploitation of workers everywhere — then let’s get clear that’s what we’re doing. Let’s let this neo-liberal exploiter know not to bother with offers — since we won’t even try choking them down. This here is a matter of principle. We’ve shut York exploitation down before — this time we’ll do it again and more besides.

Otherwise, if not in pursuit of ideals or ideologies, if it’s about the best pragmatic interests of the membership here and now — then let’s try negotiating like intelligent life forms.

Let’s either negotiate that computer reasonably — or do what needs doing to shut the computer store down. But let’s stop contradicting and humiliating ourselves doing both. Let’s not be offering $39.33 for anything listed $450. No positive relief can result from humiliating ourselves that way. Nothing but comic relief.



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86 responses to “Please Help Us, International Socialism — We Are Being Mediated

  1. Kathy

    Breaking news on the Star, looks like we are going back to class!

  2. tester

    BTWL is coming.

    CUPE should have accepted arbitration.

    ha ha ha

    forget the 6/49…..lets see your happy dance!

  3. B

    Legislature is being recalled for Sunday 1pm. McGuinty is introducing BTWL.

  4. Confused and Exasperated

    If CUPE wants to get themselves arrested I’d wholly approve.

  5. EnoughIsEnough

    I was just going to come on here and post, heard it on 640 news this morning. Here’s another link:

    It’s about bloody time, makes the whole strike a waste of time though…

  6. Yuggoth


  7. B

    posted on YorkU livejournal:

    Attention News Editors:
    Statement by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty

    TORONTO, Jan. 24 /CNW/ –


    On Wednesday, I asked Ontario’s top labour mediator, Reg Pearson, to make
    one final attempt to resolve the ongoing labour dispute at York University.
    Since that time Mr. Pearson has met with both sides and worked to resolve the
    strike through mediation and discussion.
    Earlier today I was advised by Mr. Pearson that there is no reasonable
    prospect of a negotiated settlement between York University and CUPE Local
    3903. The sides are in a clear deadlock, and despite our best efforts to bring
    the sides together, that has not changed.
    The strike is also at the point where the academic year is in jeopardy
    for York students. In challenging economic times, when we need all our people
    at their best, we simply cannot afford to delay the education of 45,000 of our
    best and brightest young people.
    Having exhausted all other options, I will be recalling the legislature
    as of Sunday at 1 pm for the purposes of introducing back to work legislation.
    I am asking MPPs from all parties to provide unanimous consent for immediate
    passage of the bill so that students can get back to school this week.

    Disponible en français

  8. flushafleshfarm

    So, Tuesday then?

  9. Mandy

    Or could this mean Monday?

  10. mike

    Any expert advice on the start day?

  11. Confused and Exasperated

    I dunno, wait till 12. I think thats the best anyone can say, but yeah next week looks likely, unless CUPE actually maintains their picket lines and gets arrested like CUPE Doll’s email encourages

  12. Socks

    This is quite ridiculous, they’ve striked this long and they have yet to settle for an agreement, we already wasted so much time as it is so in the end they should have just went all the way and settle these disputes so at least we can hope for no strike at York in 2010. Now with this BTWL we will most likely be getting a strike in 2010 at York and whats the government gonna do then? Force BTWL on every single university? Hmmm the happiness and satisfication of all profs, ta’s, grads, contract profs etc or the happiness and satisfication of all students….

  13. mordred

    get back to work or get out, you t.a.s held me back from going to all my classes that dont even have t.a.s and the one that does, you wouldnt think they did an hour of work a week nevermind 10

  14. Confused and Exasperated

    nah, with BTWL CUPE will probably get forced to take a 3 year deal, especially because 3903 would be really pivotal with a 2010 strike, so if they’re out of the picture, the whole thing will be a lot less threatening for the government.

  15. scared

    if its tomorrow at 1 pm, what is at 12 pm today?

  16. Yuggoth

    I am just GLAD that an end is in sight. To all you Liberal and Conservative party-members. Vote BACK TO WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Confused and Exasperated

    McGuinty is holding a press conference at Queens park at noon today.

  18. tester

    McGuinty is holding a press conference at 12PM today

  19. Commuter

    How long will this BTWL take to pass, and when will we be back?

  20. ystudent

    Is it possible that we might be back next week?!

  21. yorkie

    i know how long does btwl take place?

  22. tester

    i am sooooo waiting for comments from Cupe Doll and CMWC.

  23. Yuggoth

    Forget CUPE members. Just watch the news!

  24. ram
    mcguinty recalls the legislature to end the strike at 1 pm tomorrow.

  25. JS

    McGuinty To Introduce Back To Work Legislation In York Strike

    Saturday January 24, 2009 Staff

    It’s good news for the 50,000 students who have been kept out of class since November 6: Premier Dalton McGuinty is set to introduce back-to-work legislation, forcing striking staff back to school.

    The move comes after the administration at York University supposedly rejected a counter-offer from the union Friday night.

    “I was advised by [mediator] Reg Pearson that there is no reasonable prospect of a negotiated settlement between York University and CUPE Local 3903. The sides are in a clear deadlock, and despite our best efforts to bring the sides together, that has not changed,” McGuinty outlined in a written statement.

    “Having exhausted all other options, I will be recalling the legislature as of Sunday at 1pm for the purposes of introducing back to work legislation. I am asking MPPs from all parties to provide unanimous consent for immediate passage of the bill so that students can get back to school this week.”

    According to spokesperson Tyler Shipley, members of CUPE 3903 reduced its demands from about 70 to 16, including accepting the wages offered by the school.

    The part-time staff, including teaching assistants, graduate assistants, and contract workers, was also asking for job security.

    University officials did not comment.

    McGuinty will hold a press conference later Saturday.

  26. Disaffected Yufite

    Thank all that’s holy McGuinty is finally willing to take this step! The next challenge, though, will be getting NDP politicians to agree to it, since they were the strongest opponents to BTWL when it was discussed earlier in the strike.

    I’ve written to Jack Layton, Olivia Chow, Cheri DiNovo and other vociferous opponents of BTWL asking them to reconsider their position in this particular instance and take into account the damage to students if this deadlock is allowed to continue. I encourage anyone wanting to influence tomorrow’s vote to write polite, well-reasoned emails to the NDP asking them not to block BTWL. Politicians often assume that for every letter they receive, there are another hundred people who feel the same way, so… let’s make sure those most likely to oppose BTWL hear why they shouldn’t!

  27. B

    Layton is on the Federal level. You need to write Hampton

  28. piece of the pie


    I said from the start this was just a matter of time.
    Well, the time has come you greedy pigs!!!

    Take your bargaining tactics to a garage sale you clowns!

    Shoulda, coulda, woulda- accepted the supervised vote, now you are not even going to get that much.

    And just try to fight this in court, I wish just you would. If you don’t think any 3rd party can see through your ridiculous demands and your hidden agenda youre crazy.

    Time to take down your Che Guevara posters! welcome to capitalism-where the strong survive.

  29. lol pwned

    cupe = pwn3d!!!


  30. Mike Oxbig

    so then what happens…if BTWL kicks in tomorrow…we won’t have school monday right…maybe not even tuesday either?

  31. tester

    can someone wake up Cupe Doll and CMWC?

  32. scared

    yea when is the earliest that we will be back?

  33. lol pwned

    if btwl passes sunday

    24 hour notice

    so back 2 school on tuesday

  34. Mike Oxbig

    can someone explain to me please how BTWL will not pass?

    seat distribution

    Liberals = 71
    PC = 26
    NDP = 10

    are the Liberals split on this issue or something? other wise, how is the possibility of a failed BTWL even being discussed?

  35. ram

    i have a question.
    has cupe 3903 decided to challenge BTWL?
    is it not a big slap on cupe’ face?
    because i do not see any thing on yorks website.
    cupe website is stale too.
    So what next?

  36. Disaffected Yufite

    Finally I believe that we’ll actually be back to classes next week! Today will be spent preparing my classes, the first time I’ve been optimistic enough to actually do it. It looks like our long nightmare might be coming to an end.

    As for threats of a wildcat strike — g’head, knock yourselves out, you fearless, uncompromising radicals! Many of my colleagues have said they’re ready to give their lectures and teach their classes without TA support. And I’m so fed up with this mess that I’ll cross an illegal picket line without a second thought. Just let me do my job and let all our students back to class!

  37. piece of the pie

    It will pass, CUPE will challenge, CUPE will fail.
    Their unwillingness to be reasonable, their ridiculous demands, and their hidden agenda will all be recognized by courts.

    Goodluck CUPE, even though this is over I am still going to slap Tyler Shipley in his pussyface when I see him on campus.

  38. concrete

    BTWL will pass. I don’t even think CUPE is fighting as I heard on 680 news one of the spokesperson say “though we’re happy for the students, this is not the way we wanted things to end”

    IMO, that pretty much confirms they won’t even bother fighting it

  39. Disaffected Yufite

    @ Mike Oxbridge

    Because McGuinty has been saying until now that he wouldn’t call for BTWL, I’m not sure whether anyone has taken the temperature of the Liberals and whether he’ll face any resistance from his own party. So maybe lobbying Liberal MPPs via email today would be a useful thing to do.

    Anybody remember that email list that was posted on this site a while back?

  40. AndrewB

    So how did that fighting neo-liberalism at York go?

    Oh, so sorry. To soon?

  41. Andrew

    “Our allies” … ha. CUPE has gone out of its way to alienate as many potential allies as possible. Should an illegal strike continue, a majority of the university would probably cheer the police as union leaders were hauled off to jail.

  42. Yuggoth


  43. tester

    Now CUPE has to take down their sheds.

  44. Mike Oxbig

    imagine the news headlines…

    “locals near jane and finch praise police for dispute with union”


  45. York Undergrad

    TORONTO — The Ontario government is hiding behind “any excuse” to avoid legislating striking York University workers back on the job, Conservative Leader John Tory says.

    Tory said yesterday the most recent reason given by the Liberals — a Supreme Court ruling that limits the power of governments to legislate a return to work — does not apply in this case.

    “For reasons totally beyond me, (Premier Dalton McGuinty) seems willing to make up any excuse not to act in the case of York University,” he said. “I think for him to keep on with one excuse after another as to why he can’t or shouldn’t or doesn’t want to act is a complete abdication of leadership on his part.”

    When asked about the possibility of back-to-work legislation earlier this week, McGuinty mentioned the NDP — a party that has traditionally balked at such bills.

    The premier said his decision to bring in a top mediator was likely to lead to a much speedier conclusion of the 11-week dispute.

    Without the support of all parties, back-to-work legislation could take up to 10 days to get through the House.

    NDP spokesperson Paul Ferreira said yesterday they have yet to be approached by the McGuinty government on this issue.

    “Mr. McGuinty has a majority government, and with a majority government he can do pretty much whatever he wants,” he said. “And he’s been dragging his heels.”

    The NDP aren’t prepared to comment on back-to-work legislation it has yet to see, and are hopeful that government mediator Reg Pearson will make progress, he said.

    But Ferreira said discussions should begin now on whether students should receive a rebate from the university.

    “You put down your cash in August to pay for classes, for tuition, for the dorm room, for the meal plan, for the books … those are services that have been bought and paid for that many of these students have not been able to access for the past seven weeks,” he said.

  46. miz

    Well here we go…watching the news and imagining back to class…expected to remember what I did earlier in the semester??? hope not..

    Please do not throw tomatoes and eggs at the TAs, no matter how you feel..let’s go forward, get on with the year, and hope that we have not lost much..

    good luck to my peers…… and thanks mom for having wasted huge amounts of money to an institution that doesn’t give a damn….

  47. piece of the pie

    Just gave Dalton a pat on the back via:

    Everyone who is happy with his decision should do the same.

    Good job McGuinty

  48. flushafleshfarm

    “Without the support of all parties, back-to-work legislation could take up to 10 days to get through the House.”

  49. we dont need ta

    id love to see how TA will be treated when school starts again.
    Maybe its unfair to them….NOT

  50. 1styear@york

    Sorry York, Cupe, whoever is responsible for this entire thing, but you have just lost one student. I have just officially applied elsewhere for my second year at University. Too bad I couldn’t leave now, but seen as we haven’t even finished fall term, no one has my marks. In the end it doesn’t even matter who’s fault this is, because York just lost about $30,000 from me (Tuition and Residence for the next 4 years), and I am generously handing it all to Western!

  51. miz

    @piece of pie… sure, a big hug and kiss….why the hell didn’t he step in before??Hundreds of parents emailed him shortly after this crap started..and now he’s going to get the glory? no one wins in this situation and he doesn’t get my vote next time around. He was just standing there….duh….as usual

  52. Victory

    Where is TRUTH now? Where is all those who didn’t believe that the end was a BTWL?
    It is CUPE’s own fault to go through with this. They could have avoided this if they had negotiated with good faith and determined to get realistic results. Instead, they chose the ideological path and got the worst. Now they probably would even get less considering their situation; they could have bargained for more had they negotiated efficiently with York

    I feel bad for TAs; I really do. I know the majority had no intension of this strike dragging so far and I hope students dont blame everyone for a few. They got screwed by their Union in a bad way. Not only they are going to get less now, they also left a very negative image of themselves. They are considered bunch of greedy lazy workers who screwed 500000 students for their gain. I’m surer many of them are not like that

    It was quiet an experience. This trike had its surprises. For the first I realized how University made me productive in my life. For the first time I realized how valuable the education….

    As TRUTH used to say,
    Viva la Revvoltuion …. lol

  53. F-Ed Up

    Alright everyone, turn on CP24… McG’s news conference on BTWL is starting in a couple minutes.

  54. piece of the pie

    agreed he should have stepped in sooner. You also have to take into consideration the political stance of his party.
    This would have been a very tough decision on his part to make. I really think that him sending in the last mediator was to put up a face…he knew it would come to legislation. Now, if court challenged by CUPE, he can say he exhausted all other resources.

    Agreed, he does not get my next vote, but I have always been a Conservative supporter.

  55. AndrewB

    Just so you people know, BTWL should easily pass because normally what ever your party leader votes, you do as well.

  56. Insider2

    To most people that think this will bring an end to the strike soon, I am afraid it will not. Again, this is part of the exhaustation of all the possible solutions available to both the goverment and York university.

  57. Insider2

    @ I think it will not.

    SOmethng similar to the forced. rat and silent majority story 😉

  58. miz

    @Insider2…what do you mean? not bring an end to the strike? enlighten me…I know not what of which you speak

  59. AndrewB

    No insider, it is not just another part. CUPE had a chance, and it got greedy. They took a risk, and it failed. If they continue to strike even after they go back to work, it will not be a PR disaster for York, it will be a PR disaster for CUPE and more then not, hurt its chances in 2010.

  60. YorkStudent

    “Yes, that will mean the union being fined and people going to jail, but if we can stress the broader significance of our struggle in the context of fighting neoliberalism we can get those numbers, and we could actually make this strike a key turning point in the fight against the corporatization of our campuses”

    Are you kidding me? That the sort of ideology and alienation have already hit the union to the point of encouraging violence?

    Gosh … this is getting ridiculous! I cant believe I waited too long for this strike to end and had a little respect for them.

    I had enough of CUPE. I had enough of their unstated food.

  61. FedUpStudent

    Hahaha… ‘win your demands’? More like lose you your jobs.

  62. Just got an e-mail from YFS…..according to them, McGuinty just called back to work legislation:

    Dear fellow students, I have another update. Today Premier McGuinty announced that he will be recalling the Ontario Legislature to introduce back-to-work legislation for the ongoing labour dispute between York University and CUPE 3903. McGuinty stated that both sides are at a deadlock and therefore the province’s top negotiator advised back-to-work legislation. We could potentially be back in our classes by next week. In order for back-to-work legislation to be enacted immediately, it requires the unanimous consent of all political parties. We will have to wait until tomorrow to see if all three parties will agree. I will continue to keep you posted as I attain more updates. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call me at 647-448-0576. Yours sincerely,Krisna SaravanamuttuVP Equity YFS

  63. Hey guys

    Sorry for posting that, did not read through all the other comments. This is fantastic news 🙂

  64. Undergrad

    The NDP is going to fuck us over, just watch. They’ll turn down BTWL…

  65. Cupe Interfering?

    This is really good news but I have a question. Didn’t Premier McGuinty stated that he were to legistrate BTWL, Cupe would interfere with the BTWL because it would deprive them of their rights? Also when is the earliest we can get back if the notion pass?

  66. Commuter

    What did Tyler Shipley just say on CP24? I just missed it.

  67. Insider2

    @ Undergrad

    Count on it plus a significant number of the members from other parties.

  68. Insider2

    @ Cupe Interfering?

    CUPE will inroduce their position and strategies soon. There are two meetings organized for today plus a GMM for Tuesday. As I said, do not count on the fact that it is over soon.

    Mr. McGuinty is simply doing his job like other people who did in this isssue before (negotiators, mediators ,…) but with NO results.

    Actually I think it will make things a bit tougher for York in the long run.

  69. Insider2

    The whole idea of York’s media of thigs are going to start on Monday (5000 students, TTC, etc) without talking about the real issue of baragaining is to prepare the public for some interesting and unfortunate news.

  70. Re: Cupe Interfering?

    Ahh, thanks for the clarification, I was afraid that this might happen that some T.A(s) might have problems teaching which could affect my marks. One of my tutorials depends heavily on discussion and I don’t want any unfortunate actions to be in account.

  71. me

    @ Andrew

    CUPE got greedy? Last night York rejected an offer from CUPE that contained *no* wage demands. Got it? *NO* increase in wages, just more security for Unit 2s and indexing of funds etc.

    And we’re the greedy ones.

  72. @me

    Yes. We certainly are. Just cause we cut and ran when our nerve broke doesn’t mean our demands were not every bit as absurd and impossible as we used to brag.

    Last night was too late. The mediator had already seen, heard and understood what idiots we are. Last night, to avoid getting spanked, we would have had to apologize.

  73. clennis

    the supreme court ruled that the only way btwl could be enacted (relevant to this strike) is in the case of a “clear deadlock” (i.e., no movement on the bargaining table).
    cupe has, however, been decreasing their demands significantly (and especially in the past few days – including last night).
    so, the only sense in which there is a “clear deadlock” is that the administration has been unwilling to accept anything but their own proposal.
    therefore, if btwl passes, the established legal precedent would be as follows:
    employers unwilling to bargain with their employees can force them back to work by not bargaining, and thereby establishing a “clear deadlock”.
    i.e., no collective bargaining
    i.e., accept whatever your employer gives you, with no recourse for unacceptable terms

  74. clennis

    cupe doll,
    what are these absurd and impossible demands?
    i’ll take silence as an indication that you don’t know.

  75. clennis

    another frightening prospect this introduces (counter-intuitively) is of further protracting the time we’re out of school, because york will have no intention of bargaining while this resolves.
    so if it takes two weeks, that’s two weeks the problem could have been (and should have been) solved through bargaining.

  76. clennis

    your silence is deafening

  77. Machinator



  78. mike


    You seem well informed on the issue, what is your best prediction(s)? On the topic of duration I suppose?

  79. @Clennis: “what are these absurd and impossible demands? i’ll take silence as an indication that you don’t know.”

    Doesn’t matter how you take it. The BT and exec capitulated too late — phone call was made. Nor is our BT authorized to bargain — nevermind capitulate. Swallow a deal worse than the dead rat? Maybe you haven’t heard the definition of BT flexibility is Nov. 5th. Before the strike even began. Those hundreds impossible demands.

    You want to go to court? Go ahead. CUPE national won’t be paying the bills, of course. You want to fight BTWL by picket lines? Go ahead. There will be 300 cheering for you — and 30000 cheering for the police.

    Don’t give up, clennis. Please keep fighting.

  80. AndrewB


    “york will have no intention of bargaining while this resolves.
    so if it takes two weeks, that’s two weeks the problem could have been (and should have been) solved through bargaining.”

    Where have you been? Nothing is going to be happen at the table because CUPE’s demands are still to unrealistic. The only people in Ontario who feel CUPE’s demands are reasonable are (no shock here) CUPE MEMBERS. Everyone else know’s what they are asking for is insane, and I’m sure the vast majority of cupe members know it is as well. But they keep pulling this “Demand the impossible” bullshit and now are going to cry in the corner and pout because they are being put back to work.

    Two weeks the problem could have been solved, IT HAS BEEN 11 WEEKS!! Save you’re cupe bullshit that if you just get back to the table everything will be fine. Even Ontario’s best middle man thinks nothing will happen and it is a waste of time. Hence why he reported to McGunity the way he did.

    This just continues to put forth the notion that CUPE members (not all, but most) live in a fantasy world.

  81. Clennis is not the only 3903 wants to keep on fighting. Far from it.

    CUPE3903 ruined our academic year. Totally ruined this year academically. But, finally, with legislation pending like a long-lost sword of Damocles over 3903 heads, chances are now excellent the year will not be lost entirely. And while the damage done the York community — including ourselves — is tragic, the relief is almost comic. Almost. Here’s why.

    Panic wasn’t even thinly veiled in the urgent call to action — to support CUPE3903 — distributed at 4:39 a.m. this morning:

    “… now they are threatening us with legislation. Let’s be clear, this threat serves to stall negotiations. Back-to-work legislation does not occur in our sector. If it should pass it would be a precedent-setting attack on workers in Ontario, an attack on public sector unions, an attack on organized labour.”

    Wrong. Our 3903 local has been so ideologically loco in the way we’ve been striking out — to cripple York rather than benefit our own membership — we have totally distinguished ourselves from other public sector unions. The legislation pending over our heads can be called an attack, honestly enough. But not an attack on workers, unions and labour in general. This attack is targeted most specifically. It is an attack on 3903 only. Our loco 3903 local has so distinguished itself from sane, responsible organized labour — we’ve given organized labour everywhere such a black eye — even CUPE national now participates attacking us.

    Just what public enmity 3903 has incurred from all quarters was fully corroborated by one 3903 member’s eye-witness report, distributed at 5:37 a.m. this morning:

    “The situation is pretty nuts. I was at the hotel from about 11:30pm to three in the morning and it’s clear that the mediator is completely within the pocket of the employer. Both the mediator and the reps from CUPE national (!) tried to pressure us into accepting binding arbitration on all outstanding issues.”

    So — just to get this straight. Everyone has turned on our loco 3903 local. Even CUPE national. And while it’s ever so clear how completely the mediator got bought by York — what about CUPE national? Did York buy CUPE national as well? Did York go out and purchase our entire Liberal government? This is an outrage. The funds York expended purchasing CUPE national ought to have been used to comply with our impossible demands instead.

    None of this means, of course, that our loco 3903 local admits how totally wrong we are. Not for one moment. In the bargaining update issued 5:12 a.m. this morning, the concluding paragraph declares:

    “While it’s still possible that we will be able to extract some miraculous movement from the employer tomorrow, the more prudent final message of the evening should be: Prepare for a mobilization against what appears to be a looming back-to-work legislation! The fight is not finished, folks! In fact, if events do follow this route, then perhaps we have a new chance, a chance at making our long and hard strike meaningful on a more widespread political level…”

    Seriously. Not kidding. Tragic — yet so comic. Because if our loco ideology were either true or even coherent? If there were any institution or government actually practicing “neo-liberalism” in this day and age? We 3903s would be the poster-kids for the young neo-liberals in training. We’d be the neo-liberal youth movement.

    It’s the students that are the powerless, voiceless, alienated, victimized, oppressed here. And far as students are concerned — who are the oppressors? York and, much more so, 3903 — that’s who. The 3903 grad-student leisure class, the 3903 exploiters-in-training, play-acting how to become a niche ruling elite on the backs of students’ labour.

    Had we 3903s not been quite so insanely ideological? We might have puckered, scrunched face and kissed the rat. Ratified what, in all realism, was a tremendously generous offer. We didn’t, though. Now we’ll be reduced to begging for the offer we rejected. We clung to our impossible demands like utter ideologues — and it looks like we’ll finally be getting that back to reality spanking we so richly deserve.

    But do keep fighting, clennis. Never give up, 3903.

  82. JMAS

    @ cupedoll

    Thanks for your admission that you know nothing about the demands and can only call people names.

  83. AndrewB

    @ JMAS

    You basically just have to take every CUPE member with a grain of salt. Every single one of them basically is a copy/paste job. They repeat the same things over and over, and just change a few words every now and then.

  84. @Jmas: “Thanks for your admission that you know nothing about the demands and can only call people names.”

    Nah. It’s not about me. It’s about our loco 3903 local squirming. Latest squirm? BTWL isn’t legal because there was no deadlock since our 3903 BT was so busy capitulating.

    Lol. Hilarious. Our BT only pretended to be capitulating in order to give rise to impression there was no deadlock. BUT. Let’s say our BT was capitulating all wage demands for real? If so, our BT exceeded their authority. Since the flexibility of our BT must be defined consistently with November 5th. That’s what 3903 membership decided — our BT is flexible only to stick with our Nov. 5th impossible demands. *Before* strike even started.

    But why pay so much attention to 3903 sour grapes? According to our latest 3903 bargaining update 5 a.m. this morning), it makes no practical difference any longer whether we get bound by arbitration, legislated out of deadlock or capitulated and spanked over the table we were supposed to bargain over. See? Capitulating moments before or after BTWL makes no practical difference. Because, whether by capitulating or getting legislated or getting arbitrated — we wind up the same place. Losing.

    Here’s how our BT put it this morning’s bargaining update:

    “1) accepting the same offer that we defeated in the forced rat vote, plus “a few thousand dollars”;
    2) go to binding arbitration to resolve a settlement – this would also result in basically the same offer, perhaps with a few minor language changes. Binding arbitration will not generally make any breakthrough changes to a collective agreement, so all of the important improvements for which we have been striking would be lost (along with all the important changes we had painfully dropped while trying in vain and under false pretenses to bargain towards a mutually acceptable settlement);
    3) facing the rule of back-to-work legislation, which would also offer the possibility of small gains, in the same way but potentially even less fruitful as binding arbitration.

    This is a choice between bad , bad, or bad. It seems that the York administration’s complete disregard for negotiating fairly has manipulated the systemic power of the capitalist-biased labour system to put us in a final bind.”

    Bad, bad, bad. See? Either 3 ways — we lose. All this? Just loser sores.

  85. Mike Oxbig

    i dont understand…the ndp only has 12 seats…how can they bring down BTWL?

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