Victory at the Court of Appeal: York Loses Bid to Repress Dissent


On Friday July 24th, the Court of Appeal released a unanimous decision dismissing York’s appeal of the similarly unanimous judicial review decision from June 2019. Both decisions deny that York has the legal right to punish members through the York-controlled Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities for actions taken during the 2018 strike.

The York administration relied on a number of simply indefensible positions to justify their actions; some of these included the claim that Carol McCaulay, Vice President Finance and Administration, is not an agent of the Employer, or that the Student Code Tribunal had jurisdiction because they themselves decided that the reprised acted as students rather than employees during a strike.

While this outcome was expected, it is still a welcomed victory for our members. We hope that this is  the end of the administration’s attempt to circumvent protections afforded to workers under the Labour Relations Act and other legislation. As university administrators continue to utilize these uncertain pandemic times to justify financial cuts and quell graduate student and contract faculty demands for more just workplaces, we urge the York community as a whole to consider how much money the administration wasted trying to defend a fundamentally untenable position.

This long and arduous episode is yet another example of how the York administration seeks to chill all dissent on campus. We should all rejoice in their continued failure.

CUPE 3903 Anti-Racism Town Hall


Come join your colleagues on August 11th at 11:30am for the CUPE 3903 Anti-Racism Town Hall. This meeting, chaired by Grievance Officer, Parbattie Ramsarran, will be a space to discuss how racism shapes the experiences of racialized members both in their employment at York and in our union, as well as what steps can be taken to put meaningful anti-racism into practice.

As the conversation around systemic discrimination and the complicity of institutions with racism, most blatantly anti-Black racism, continues, there has been a proliferation of statements of solidarity, condemnation, and allyship. What is missing in many of these statements, including our own, is a commitment to looking inwards and taking meaningful, concrete steps. Some of the most insidious forms of white supremacy can be expressed in “performative allyship,” whereby expressing care and understanding are seen to be sufficient, thereby absolving us from taking further action and responsibility.

Real change takes substantive work and the steps to dismantle deeply entrenched structures of white supremacy are not always clear. Whether we are looking to force changes in the University or within our own Union, these processes begin with listening and learning. To push forward with this long overdue process, we will host a town hall in mid-August as the starting point of a fulsome campaign to address systemic discrimination. While CUPE 3903 already has a number of internal bodies and structures that speak to and address these issues, such as the Employment Equity Committee, the Advisory Committee on Race/Ethnic Relations, Discrimination and/or Harassment, and the Anti-Racism Working Group, much of this effort is directed towards defending our members, to hold our Employer accountable. Alongside this work we must equally focus on addressing systemic racism in our own Local and in the wider labour movement. We welcome substantive discussion on greater equity for Black members, and on how to ensure union spaces do not continue to replicate patterns of systemic racism.

Let us be clear: this town hall is a beginning, not an end. Some possible next steps include establishing a BIPOC caucus, reinvigorating the Anti-Racism Working Group, and how we might distribute funds to better align with anti-racist values. Like everything we do, however, we want our actions to be member-led. CUPE 3903 will release a fuller statement after the town hall with a concrete action plan to detail how we intend to move forward. Not only can we do better, we must do better.

Open Committee Positions


Following the committee elections at the AGM, several committees continue to have vacancies. The following positions are open for nominations. Please email Vice President Unit 1 Stacey at by Friday August 7th if you would like to nominate yourself. All committee positions include an honorarium. More information on committees and their honoraria can be found on the Committees page.

  • Accessibility Committee (1 vacancy)
  • Bilingualism Committee (1 vacancy)
  • Communications Committee (2 vacancies)
  • Distribution Committee (2 vacancies)
  • Forum Moderator (1 vacancy)
  • Unit 2 LMC rep (1 vacancy; unit 2 only)
  • Unit 1 Research Costs Fund Committee (1 vacancy; unit 1 only)
  • Senate Representative alternate (1 vacancy)
  • Toronto York Region Labour Council (7 vacancies)
  • Union Trustees Committee – *1 year term due to resignation* (1 vacancy)

General Election Results


Voting in the general election closed on Thursday, July 16th at 4:59pm. The positions up for election were Communications Officer, Grievance Officer, and Unit 2 Bargaining Team member. Congratulations to all new members of the executive committee and bargaining team! Results are below.

Communications Officer

Firoza Elavia: 405 votes — elected
Assya Moustaqim-Barrette: 186 votes
Total ballots cast: 591

Grievance Officer

Parbattie Ramsarran: 307 votes — elected
Sylvia Peacock: 284 votes
Total ballots cast: 591

Unit 2 Bargaining Team

Zoe Newman: 168 votes — elected
Michael Fraschetti: 130 votes — elected
Julian Arend: 122 votes — elected
Christopher Luszczek: 112 votes
Kyle Belozerov: 71 votes (Candidate withdrew nomination)
Total ballots cast: 201

The official results letter from Simply Voting is available here.

Nominations for the Bargaining Research and Preparation Committee Now Open


Nominations for the Bargaining Research and Preparation Committee were opened at the AGM July 9th. Anyone interested in this committee should email their nomination to Stacey, VP Unit 1 at by the end of day Sunday July 19th.

Committee Description

The purpose of this committee is to support the ongoing research and logistical needs of the local in regards to bargaining preparation. Part of the work of this Committee will be surveying the membership regarding potential proposals and ongoing collective agreement concerns, reporting on comparative language in other collective agreements, and further researching matters arising from survey results. The committee consists of three members and is elected annually. Honorarium: $500 per year, per position.


COVID-19: Important Information


Keep track of important updates and information on our COVID-19 Updates Page

We have a Letter of Understanding with York University regarding COVID-19 related issues.

Know your rights during this disruption.

We’ve created several surveys to help gather information and support you better during this time, keep reading for links to them all.

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Committee Election Results from July 9th AGM

Elections for the Employment Equity Committee, Postings Officers, and Teaching Development Fund Committee (Unit 2) were held at the AGM on July 9th. Results were announced in the meeting, and the vote counts can be found below.

Remaining nominations for vacant committee positions were acclaimed and nominations for the Bargaining Research and Preparation Committee are now open.

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General Election FAQ

The Election phase (voting) for all contested Executive Committee and Bargaining Team positions will begin on July 9th, 2020 at 5:00PM EDT and end on July 16th, 2020 at 4:59PM EDT. Voting will take place online through Simply Voting; the election will be fully managed by Simply Voting and overseen by the Local’s Election Officers. Voting credentials will be sent out, via a Simply Voting e-mail blast, to all current and political members on July 9th, 2020 at 5:00PM EDT.

Candidate campaign statements can be found HERE.

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Register for the Annual General Meeting (AGM)!

The much awaited CUPE 3903 2020 AGM will be taking place virtually on July 9th at 1pm! Register here.

Make sure your friends and colleagues are coming! You can join and share the Facebook event here.

This is one of the most important meetings of the year, featuring:

  • Approving the budget for 2020-2021
  • Opening the executive committee general elections and the bargaining team elections – read candidate statements here. For more information about how the elections will take place, see here.
  • Electing members to committee positions – nominations are still open!
  • Updating the membership about what we know (and don’t know) about the next bargaining round

Due to security concerns, members will have to register for the AGM to receive details on how to join the meeting. Please register here

To limit delays between registration and receiving the information on how to join the meeting, members are encouraged to register at least a day before the meeting.

In order to ensure the smooth running of the meeting, we will be enforcing the following rules of engagement:

  1. No recording of the meeting without the consent of all participants.
  2. If you want to speak, use the “raise hand” function on the Participants screen. You will be added to the speaker’s list.
  3. Your microphone and video should be OFF unless you are speaking. Moderators may mute you if needed.
  4. Repeatedly speaking out of turn will cause you to be removed from the meeting.
  5. If you engage in any behaviours that are contrary to our local’s Equity Statement, you will be placed in the waiting room until you are ready to come back to the meeting in a respectful way. If you are unwilling to resolve the problem, you will be removed from the meeting.

There will be CART (speech-to-text transcription). For any other accessibility needs, please contact Maija Duncan, Chairperson at as soon as possible.

CUPE 3903 2020 General Election: Candidates’ Campaign Statements

Candidates for the 2020 General Election have submitted statements for the membership. For candidates who have yet to submit a statement and wish to do so, please contact the Election Officers at

The following positions are contested:

  • Communications Officer
  • Grievance Officer
  • Unit 2 Members of the Bargaining Team

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Nominations Reopened for Vacant Committee Positions

In February, committee nominations were opened for election at the Annual General Meeting, originally scheduled for March 16th. While the meeting was postponed, several committees still had vacancies. In advance of the rescheduled July 9th AGM, the following committee positions are being re-opened for nominations:

  • Bilingualism committee (1 vacancy)
  • Bursaries Committee (1 vacancy)
  • CUPE Toronto District Council (2 vacancies)
  • Distribution Committee (2 vacancies)
  • Employment Equity Committee (2 vacancies)
  • Forum Moderators (1 vacancy)
  • Health and Safety Committee (3 vacancies)
  • International Graduate Student Committee (1 vacancy)
  • Labour Management Committee Unit 2 rep (Unit 2 members only, 1 vacancy)
  • Unit 1 Research Costs Fund Committee (1 vacancy)
  • Teaching Development Fund Committee (Unit 2 members only, 1 vacancy)
  • Toronto York Region Labour Council (10 vacancies)

To nominate yourself for any of the above positions, please email Vice President Unit 1 Stacey Berquist at by 5pm on July 8th.

If you submitted a nomination for a committee position prior to the original March deadline, you do not need to re-nominate yourself, although you are welcome to nominate yourself for any of the above vacancies.