August GMM (Aug 20th) & Tentative Agenda

Our next GMM will be August 20th from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm in 320 Bethune College. Free food and TTC tokens will be available! At this GMM we will be voting on several bylaw amendments and important donation requests. All members are encouraged to attend.

Keep reading for the tentative agenda, accessibility information and more.

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Stewards Council Meeting – August 20th

The next Stewards Council (SC) meeting will be August 20th at 10am just prior to the General Membership Meeting (GMM) on the same day beginning at 11:30am. SC will also meet in the same room as the GMM: Bethune 320.

All departmental Stewards are encouraged to attend and all general members are welcome. We will have coffee, tea and some light breakfast type snacks. We’ll be planning for upcoming orientations and need your support!

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Protect Mauna Kea; York Must Divest!

The Executive Committee of CUPE Local 3903 strongly condemns the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Mauna Kea and further condemns York University’s involvement in this project. The TMT has no free, prior, and informed consent from the Kanaka Maoli Peoples which is in direct violation of Indigenous Peoples’ rights. We stand in solidarity with the Kanaka Maoli and the people of Hawaii who are protecting the sacred site of Mauna Kea from destruction and intrusion of TMT.

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Unit 1, Do You Have the Right of First Refusal? Is Your Contract Late?

Some Unit 1 members with right of first refusal have yet to receive a contract/job offer for the Fall 2019 and/or Fall/Winter 2019-20 term(s), while in previous years, they would already be aware of their employment for the coming academic year. Upon contacting the department in which they have the right of first refusal, they were informed that (1) they did not submit a blanket application or (2) they submitted a Unit 2 blanket application via ARMS (online). Our members believe this is an issue with the ARMS hiring system and we are recommending members check the status of their blanket applications.

We are unsure of how widespread this issue with ARMS is, but the Union recommends that you contact the department(s) to which you submitted blanket applications. Ask them to double-check that a blanket application was received. Should you encounter any issues, please contact your Chief Steward at

Update on Remediation Grievance Arbitration

On July 23rd a meeting was held with York and the appointed arbitrator (Eli Gedalof) at which all parties agreed on the procedures necessary to resolve these grievances. Unfortunately mediation is a lengthy process. Labour arbitration of this type typically takes two or more years, and hearings on most matters will not take place until January/February of 2020.

Following the conclusion of the 2018 strike we began to raise several back to work/remediation issues with York, and were often met with their silence. As soon as a grievance arbitrator was put into place we began filing grievances. We have filed several grievances, representing hundreds of cases, with the arbitrator concerning Unit 1 and 2 remediation pay, Unit 2 hiring, and other issues including missing and/or incorrect vacation pay, and department specific issues.

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Unit 1 – Opt-in/out of Summer Fellowship Payments Notices

If you are in the priority pool you probably received notice to opt in/out of summer fellowship payments. When York introduced the fellowship model many of our members, without notice, were left without any options for year-round funding. The choice to now have your funding distributed throughout the year was a bargaining demand in 2018 and one we successfully won. Now, if you are in the priority pool, you can choose an option that is best for your personal finances. You must opt-in to summer fellowship payments by August 10th.

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Unit 2 SRC Program Information

YUFA, on June 26th, ratified the SRC (Special Renewable Contract) amendment to their collective agreement which would see 18 Unit 2 members appointed to SRCS by July 1, 2020. The final language of the SRC agreement is now available. We are gathering further information for our members on expectations for application content and procedures, and will update members when they are available.

Conversions and Long Service Teaching Appointments for 2019-2020

CUPE 3903 would like to warmly congratulate the following members for their success in the 2019-2020 conversions and Long Service Teaching Appointment exercises:


  • Marc Audette, Glendon
  • Sirvan Karimi, Liberal Arts and Professional Studies (LAPS)

Long Service Teaching Appointments

  • Allan Greenbaum, Social  Science, LAPS
  • Janice Hill, Equity Studies, LAPS
  • Gurbir Jolly, Humanities, LAPS
  • Danny O’Rourke-DiCarlo, SPPA, LAPS
  • Karl Schmid, Anthropology, LAPS
  • Lori Turner, Writing, LAPS

Both sets of the appointments above meet the employment equity hiring requirements as specified in the Unit 2 Collective Agreement. The employer has only appointed six of the seven LSTAs required by the Collective Agreement, and we are following up with the Faculty Relations Office about this issue.

We’re Hiring: Term Staff Representative

CUPE 3903 Staff Representative Job Posting

Employer: CUPE 3903
Position: Staff Representative

Position Type: Term replacement position for 9 months with the possibility of extension. This is a term replacement for a Staff Representative on leave. At least 6 weeks notice will be given for any extension or termination of the contract.

Equity Commitment

CUPE 3903 is strongly committed to employment equity within our workplace, work environment, and broader community. We particularly encourage applications from persons with one or more disabilities, LGBTQ persons, persons from racialized groups, Indigenous persons and women.

Location: York University Campus (Keele Campus), Toronto, Ontario
Salary: $106,027.38 plus benefits/pension plan (pro-rated)

Posting Date: Friday, June 28, 2019
Closing Date: Monday, July 15, 2019
Start Date: Thursday, August 8, 2019 (or soon thereafter)
Interviews: Week of July 22


CUPE 3903 is a radical democratic union at the forefront of the labour movement in Canada, with a commitment to anti-oppression politics, diversity and equity, and supporting our members in achieving some of the best Collective Agreements in the country. Our workplace includes two full-time Staff Representatives, a part-time Equity Officer, a part-time Administrative Coordinator, a 14-person elected Executive Committee, other elected committee members, and an active membership. Our membership is comprised of approximately 3000 contract faculty, teaching assistants, graduate assistants, and part-time librarians and archivists at York University.


The responsibilities of the Staff Representative are governed by the CUPE 1281 Collective Agreement, and include:

  • being a resource person for the local’s Executive Committee
  • being a resource person for members with work-related problems
  • assisting with grievances, preparing and possibly presenting arbitrations and working with legal counsel
  • advising members of their rights and responsibilities under the collective agreement, by-laws and constitution, integrating equity into CA interpretation
  • working with the Steward’s Council and other elected committees of the union
  • acting as a resource person during bargaining for the elected bargaining team;
  • assisting with contract negotiations, drafting of contract proposals, organizing around the bargaining process, conciliation, mediation and preparation for job action (strike)
  • liaising with campus groups including other unions, student groups, associations, etc.
  • assisting with production of local newsletters, posters, ads, bulletins and pamphlets
  • assisting with the efficient operation of the local’s office

Required Skills and Experience

  • union experience, either as an active union member, or as union staff
  • understanding of and commitment to social movement unionism
  • ability to interpret complex Collective Agreement language
  • ability to prepare and follow grievances through the grievance process
  • collective bargaining experience and strategic negotiating skills
  • experience with grassroots political mobilization
  • self-motivated with strong organizational, administration and multi-tasking skills
  • ability to work with a diverse membership in a dynamic work environment
  • ability to take direction from a diverse range of members and committees
  • analytical, problem-solving, conflict resolution and communication skills
  • commitment to and analysis of anti-oppression/equity work and issues
  • experience working with socially marginalized individuals and groups
  • capacity to interrelate and integrate equity, anti-oppression and union work
  • interpersonal skills

Preferred Skills and Experience

  • experience in an academic union
  • arbitration preparation and presentation
  • knowledge of appropriate services to refer members to for support with immigration, Employment Insurance, health, and other issues

How to Apply

Please submit (via mail or email) a cover letter, resume, and two letters of reference by 4:00 p.m., Monday, July 15, 2019 to:

CUPE 3903
Email address:

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview.

CUPE National scheduling Convention over Yom Kippur is unacceptable.

Recently the CUPE 3903 Executive Committee found out that CUPE National would be holding the 2019 Convention (scheduled Oct. 7th – 11th) over Yom Kippur, denying Jewish members celebrating the holiday an opportunity to participate in this important decision making event. The Executive wrote to CUPE National demanding that the dates of Convention be changed. A demand they have denied.

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