CSSP Update from the Employer

The employer has let the union know that the CSSP Guarantee payments, which were supposed to be received by members by the mutually-agreed-upon-but-not-in-the-CA date of our September pay (the 28th), will not be released to members until the October pay cycle (October 25th). Once the payments are received the local would like to know whether members think the amounts they have been paid are correct, so we can go to battle on this front if necessary.

The employer, in the guise of Rob Lawson, claims to have emailed “all eligible contract faculty members” which by their count are 26 Unit 2 members. 23 of those members have responded to Rob Lawson’s email and will be receiving the payment. Three members have been emailed but have not responded and won’t receive the payment unless they do. CUPE 3903’s Chairperson has asked Rob Lawson to re-contact these three members, or to let the local know who they are so that we can contact them.

If you think you should qualify for this program please check your email to see if you are one of the three who has not responded. If you are not and you still think you qualify please email Rob Lawson (rlawson@yorku.ca) and let him know that you’d like your case reviewed. If you’d like to vent your frustration about the lateness of the payment, or anything else at all, please feel free to email Rob.

Poll Clerks Needed

Poll clerks are needed to staff polling stations during the GO and VPU3 by-elections on September 28-30 and October 3-5.

Poll clerks are paid $15 per hour and may work multiple shifts. Only members of CUPE 3903 may apply. Preference will be given to members with previous poll clerk experience, though all members are encouraged to apply.

As you know, the job of poll clerks is to check the ID of members before they vote, distribute ballots to members, and monitor the ballot box during voting. Each day, polls will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Shifts are usually 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

There will be one polling station at Keele Campus and one at Glendon campus on the following spots:

  • Keele Campus Polling Station: Vari Hall link (between Vari Hall and Central Square)
  • Glendon Campus Polling Station: Outside the Cafeteria (across from York Hall, Room 170)

If you are interested in working as a poll clerk, please email eocupe3903@gmail.com. In your email, please indicate date(s) and time(s) that you can work, your cell phone number, whether you have any experience and can bring a laptop.

September GMM: Tentative Agenda

General Membership Meeting
Wednesday, September 28
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Accolade East 004

Join and share on Facebook

Tentative Agenda:

  1. Roll call of officers (5 mins)
  2. Reading of the Equality Statement (3 mins)
  3. Reading of the Mississauga Land Acknowledgement (2 mins)
  4. Approval of Agenda (5 mins)
  5. Reading and Approval of minutes (15 mins)
  6. Notices (5 mins)
    1. Donation to “CHILE: SEPTEMBER 11TH, 1973– Black Bird Liberation Cinema Film Screenings” (Amount to be determined by the membership)
  7. Anti-o training / political education
  8. Treasurer’s Report
  9. Nominations, Elections or Installations
    1. Committee elections
    2. Conference delegate elections
    3. Electing the CUPE 3903 Delegate on the Regenesis Housing Committee
  10. Unfinished Business
    1. Donation to “York Graduate Conference in Philosophy: Memory & Social Cognition” ($200)
    2. Donation to “International Campaign Against the War on the People of India (Toronto)” ($500)
    3. Donation to “Vision(s) of Politics: The Thought of Sheldon Wolin Conference” ($240)
    4. Donation to “The Grassy Narrows River Run 2016” ($2000)
    5. Donation to the “2nd Tamil Studies Symposium” at York ($1500)
    6. Donation to “the South Asia Research group (SARG) at York Centre for Asian Research for the event “Caste in the Diaspora: Oral Histories of South Asians in Canada” ($1000)
  11. Matters Arising
    1. Motion to destroy the ballots from the April GMM
    2. Donation to Citizen film project ($1000)
    3. Donation to OPIRG at U of T Disorientation 2016
    4. Donation to Justice for Migrant Workers’ Long March
    5. Donation to Regenesis York affordable housing project ($1000)
    6. Donation to 15 Years of War in Afghanistan ($500)
    7. Endorsement for 15 Years of War in Afghanistan
    8. Endorsement for Justice for Migrant Workers Long March
    9. Endorsement for The Real Food Real Jobs Coalition
  12. New Business
  13. Reports of committees and delegates
    1. Approval of Communications Committee budget
    2. Stewards’ Council
    3. TFAC
    4. Strike Hardship Fund Report
  14. Executive Reports
  15. Good of the Union
  16. Adjournment

Please contact Sheila Wilmot at CUPE3903.equity.officer@gmail.com or at 416-736-5154 ext. 3 if you require any of the following: ASL interpretation, reimbursement for childcare/caregiver/attendant care, and/or transportation costs for members who are unable to secure Wheel-Trans, or other requests for accommodation.

By-Election Candidate Statements

The campaigning period for the Grievance Officer and Vice-President Unit 3 by-elections began on September 14. Balloting will begin on September 28 and continue for five days. The available statements for the candidates are below. They will be updated as statements become available.

Grievance Officer Candidates

Brendan Bruce

A picture of Grievance Officer candidate Brendan Bruce

I am running for Grievance Officer because I believe that our local has to be better prepared for next year’s contract negotiations, and to utilize both the legal and direct action methods to help solve grievances.

We need to be prepared for bargaining our new CA in 2017, and last round we did not do enough research. I hope to prepare research on, but not limited to, language on tuition indexation, the Continuing Sessional Standing Program, our transit costs, and the equity hiring language. As an everyday member, I prepared the childcare research for the last round of bargaining, which our fund is based on. Also, in the last two summers, I have help prepare the legal research around the tuition indexation case, and the fellowships model: this has included finding our new legal council, preparing all the documents for the lawyers, and preparing reports to the Executive about the legal opinions we received.

This is my fourth year in 3903, and, in that time, I have been active as a departmental steward in Political Science. As a departmental steward, I have prepared both legal grievances and direct action grievances in our local. For example, in my department the 3903 offices had not been cleaned for years (mold, and other health & safety concerns) and when we asked our department to clean it, nothing ever happened. We collectively wrote up the (legal) grievance, passed around a petition, and then we marched together to give these demands to Faculty Relations. The employer cleaned our offices that weekend! By utilizing the strengthens of our membership together with the legal route, we can win more grievances and help set the terrain for next year’s contract negotiations.

So please vote in the upcoming elections: but even more than that, please get involved. Thank you.

Sarah Hornstein

A picture of Grievance Officer candidate Sarah Hornstein

I have been the pro-tem Grievance Officer since July, 2016, and I am asking for your support to continue in this role. I have 12 years of active experience in the local, including serving as a member of the Bylaws Committee, Unit 1 departmental steward (Sociology), Recording Secretary/Research Officer, and Chief Steward Unit 2.

I am passionate about the enforcement/protection and improvement of our Collective Agreements. Two of my terms on the Executive were bargaining years, so I bring a strong knowledge of our strengths and capacities as a union to the position. As Chief Steward Unit 2, I helped reestablish the Grievance Committee and worked closely with this committee to assess grievances. Since July, I have been using my experience and knowledge, as well as my good working relationship with the Staff and the Grievance Committee, to resolve grievances and fight for members. I also know our Employer. I have sat across the table from them in 3 bargaining rounds, in mediation and grievance meetings and, as a Contract Faculty member, I have faced them concerning my own hiring grievances.

I am a resource for members regarding the Collective Agreements and grievance procedures, and I enjoy working closely with the Collective Agreements. I also enjoy working with members to solve problems and improve our working conditions/experience.

As pro-tem Grievance Officer, I have been working to resolve grievances concerning hiring, postings, access to benefits, and GA work. I have also been compiling issues that we need to address in the upcoming bargaining round. I hope to use my position to inform members about our rights and to work with Stewards Council and use grievances to fight the racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism prevalent at York. Our workplace should be one where we are all treated with respect and where our Collective Agreements are upheld. As Grievance Officer I will work hard to ensure this.

Thank you for your consideration.

Vice-President Unit 3

Tracey J. Mann

Tracey Jastinder Mann is part-time student at York in the MSW program specializing in mental health and addictions. As a community organizer she has focused on wide variety of issues including migrant justice, indigenous sovereignty, environmental justice, transformative justice, prison abolition and anti-violence movements.

Graham Reed

A picture of VP Unit 3 candidate Graham Reeder

My name is Graham Reeder and I am running for the VP of Unit 3 to bring new energy to this position in light of the crushing setback Unit 3 is facing with the new funding model, in which outreach and solidarity will be vital.

I am in my final year as an MES student at the faculty of Environmental Studies. While new to CUPE 3903 involvement, I have been organizing on climate justice and democracy issues for nearly a decade. I have been involved in organizing major local, national, and international campaigns including the cross-Canada mobilizations against Harper’s C-51 anti-terrorism bill and the 2015 march for jobs, justice, and the climate.

As VP of Unit 3, I hope to work on broadening and deepening our relationships with progressive and radical affinity groups on campus, in the city, and across the country. I believe that unions are at their strongest when they have built long-lasting relationships of solidarity both within and outside of their memberships, and that others will show up for us if we show up for them.

Unit 3 suffered a major setback with the rollout of the new graduate funding model. As VP I will work with rank and file union members as well as those who have been excluded from the union to ensure that the hard-earned gains made from the 2015 strike are not swept away by union-busting.

Jeffrey Zavala

No statement

Campaigning Begins in By-Elections

The nomination period for the Grievance Officer and Vice-President Unit 3 vacancies closed on September 14 at 5pm. The candidates who have been nominated for these positions are below.

Grievance Officer

  • Brendan Bruce (Unit 1)
  • Sarah Hornstein (Unit 2)

Vice-President Unit 3

  • Tracey J. Mann
  • Graham Reeder
  • Jeffrey Zavala

The campaigning period is considered open. Statements for each of these candidates will be posted on the evening of Monday, September 19.

Balloting will begin at the September 28 GMM and continue for five days. Polling stations will be available at the Keele and Glendon campuses.

Unit 4 Bargaining Update #12

Over the course of late July and August we met with the employer on several occasions. Nothing was accomplished.

The employer did not acknowledge our concerns and priorities regarding Roles and Responsibilities. While there has been ongoing discussion regarding benefits nothing has been officially agreed upon or ‘signed’. Our efforts to clarify these issues and express our concerns have met with further obfuscation. We also have been unable to reach agreement on the minimum number of weekly hours for contracts. The employer also refused to acknowledge provisions for circumstances unique to the Glendon library.

At the next meeting the bargaining team will submit articles which adhere closely in format, practice, language, and spirit to existing CUPE collective agreements. The employer, however, has argued that since Unit 4 is creating a ‘first contract’ it is not bound by existing precedent and is justified in setting any standard back thirty years or more.

The next bargaining meeting will be held on Thursday, September 23, 2:30-5pm, at N926N Ross.

Apply to the Childcare Fund!

The Childcare Fund is a fund in the amount of $200,000 per year, which was won for 2015-2016 and 2016-2017. It is meant to offset the childcare costs for members with childcare responsibilities.

The deadline for this round of applications is October 14, 2016 with funds being dispersed on October 31, 2016. Since a new committee has taken over the responsibility of adjudicating the fund, the deadlines for this round of applications have been extended. After this term, deadlines will revert to the last day of the first month of the each semester (Jan. 31, May 31).


Members are eligible if they meet the following conditions:

  • Have childcare responsibilities, defined as guardianship or parenting (regardless of custody arrangement or legal standing)
  • Have children under the age of thirteen (under 13 years old) and/or children with disabilities/additional needs (intellectual, psychiatric, physical, social, sensory) under the age of eighteen (under 18 years old).
  • The benefit is per employee regardless of the number of children involved
  • Members may choose to opt out of this benefit; if they opt out the money will be re-allocated to other eligible members.
  • This benefits applies to all members regardless of leave status, including but not limited to parental leave, long or short term disability and research leaves. Neither the union nor the employer shall choose the childcare provision arrangements.

How to Apply

Fill out and return the application form either in person or by mail to the CUPE 3903 office (the form is available as a Word document or PDF). We do not accept applications via email. You will need to provide proof of parental responsibilities by providing documentation such as, but not exclusive to, copies of birth certificates or guardianship papers. Please note that you also need to provide you social insurance number and date of birth.

For children with disabilities/additional needs a letter from a medical care provider shall be submitted.

The union will destroy all personal information with the exceptions of the fact that you have children, the age of your youngest child, and whether any of your children have different abilities.

Forms can be dropped off or mailed to CUPE 3903:

143 Atkinson Building
96 The Pond Road
York University
4700 Keele Street,
Toronto, ON
M3J 1PP3


Childcare benefits will be disbursed each semester. The total amount of the childcare fund will be divided into three (Fall, Winter, Summer). The total amount of the fund will be divided equally among members with childcare responsibilities. The disbursements will be paid out (cheques to be picked up or put in the mail) by the last day of the second month of the semester.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact the committee at 3903childcare@gmail.com.

Committee Vacancies

At the August 31 General Membership Meeting (GMM), quorum was not achieved. Nonetheless, members nominated to open committee positions unopposed were considered acclaimed.

Some committee vacancies remain. They will be elected at the September GMM. In order to nominate yourself, please email Sara at cupe3903vpu1@gmail.com. You may provide a short statement if you choose. Details for the open committee positions are below.

The Accessibility Committee (1 vacancy) was organized in the spring of 2005 to improve the union’s work around accessibility issues on campus and to ensure that union spaces and meetings are accessible. Honorarium: $250 per year.

The Bilingualism Committee (2 vacancies) is responsible for assessing and responding to the needs of the local in terms of translation and French language content and promoting outreach and inclusion for our francophone members. This committee coordinates translation of important documents and resources as well as any other translation projects that may arise. Honorarium: $500 per year.

The Communications Committee (1 vacancy) is responsible for coordinating CUPE 3903 communications, including maintaining and updating the CUPE 3903 website, maintaining a social media presence, and taking on communications projects and campaigns. Honorarium: $750 per year.

The Toronto & York Region Labour Council (1 vacancy) is comprised of all affiliated locals across the labour movement in the Toronto and York region. It meets once per month. CUPE 3903 is entitled to four delegates elected for a one-year term. Honorarium: $250.


Fellowship Flop Continues

A poster that asks "Where is your money?", with a picture of Kaneff Tower in the background.

Late last week, fellowship amounts were posted to student accounts. In the last few days, sifting through the reports from members and multiple students who should have been members, we have managed to gather some information. Bear in mind that this is information we have been able to cobble together, as FGS remains tight-lipped.

What We Know

  • PhD Students should have received $1801 for domestic students and $2822 for international students. Domestic students holding an OGS have received $134, because York has clawed back the $5000 it is responsible for towards the fellowship. International students who started in 2012 and hold an International Tuition Scholarship have also received $1801.
  • Masters students have received a portion of their fellowship ($1739 for domestic students; $6419 for international students). FGS sent out an email on September 7 explaining that the rest of the fellowship for domestic students will follow “at a later date upon confirmation of your teaching assistant/graduate assistant appointment”. Translation: once they have calculated how much of the fellowship they can claw back from the rare Masters students who managed to find work.
  • The fact that a vast majority of fellowships were incorrectly labelled (domestic students getting fellowships labelled international and vice versa) has been confirmed by FGS as a mistake.

What We Still Don’t Know

  • Why FGS waited several days after it had posted the fellowship to explain that they were paying domestic Masters students in installments, which is contrary to what was communicated in the past.
  • How fellowship amounts are impacted for students with large scholarships other than OGS.
  • How fellowship amounts are impacted for Unit 1 members with 0.5 or otherwise partial TAships.
  • How fellowship amounts are impacted for Unit 1 members who hold a Course Directorship.
  • When fellowship amounts in excess of tuition will be refunded.
  • How this model is more simple and transparent.

York started sharing its plan for this new funding model in January; surely it had been in the planning stages for many months prior. Given this much time to plan the details, this haphazard roll-out is an insult to all of us who need to know how much money we can count on to pay our bills.

The most recent email from the Faculty of Graduate Studies makes their contempt for our members’ precarious financial situations clear, when they stated “Please be reminded there will be no additional financial postings to student accounts from October to December, unless to correct an error or to reflect a change in eligibility status. As such, we encourage you to budget for these months accordingly”.

Entreating us to budget when a) many people are still unclear on what amounts to expect, and b) they eliminated payroll deduction, is truly galling.


Next TFAC Meeting – Monday, September 26th @ 12 noon @ Union Office

Next TFAC Meeting – September 26th, 12pm – 2pm, 143 Atkinson

Hi Everyone,

Our next TFAC meeting will be taking place on Monday September 26th, 12pm – 2pm, at the Union office (143 Atkinson).

At this meeting, we will be electing an elections officer to oversee the filling of the TFAC Co-chair 2 by-election. We will also be continuing our discussions on how to proceed with crafting local-specific survivor-centric sexual assault policies, as per the recently passed CUPE Ontario resolution. Please join us!

All trans, woman identified, gender queer and gender variant CUPE 3903 members are members of TFAC and are welcome to join our meetings.

If you have any questions, or would like something on the agenda, please get in touch!

TFAC co-chair,