Interim Chairperson and VP Unit 3 Pro Temmed

At the February 21 executive committee meeting, the positions of Chairperson and Vice-President Unit 3 were filled pro tem. The positions will be filled in the general elections, for which nominations open on February 22.

There were two nominations for each position, listed below. Devin Lefebvre has been pro temmed as Chairperson, and Michael Laurentius as VP Unit 3.

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February 20 Bargaining Report: Still Waiting

On Tuesday, February 20, the bargaining team for CUPE 3903 Units 1, 2, and 3 met with the employer and the conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour, Greg Long. After the employer declined our request to meet last week, we were hopeful for movement at this meeting. However, the employer had only prepared a package for Unit 1.

Most of the proposal documents which have been tabled so far are available on the Reports page.

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General Election and Unit 4 BT Nominations Open February 22

Nominations for the executive committee general elections will open on February 22 and continue until March 8. Elections for the Unit 4 (part-time librarians and archivists) bargaining team will follow the same schedule. In the event of a strike, nominations are suspended and will re-open once the strike is resolved.

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Nominate Yourself for TFAC Co-Chair!

The TFAC logo, a black cat.

The nomination period for Trans Feminist Action Caucus (TFAC) co-chairs is currently open! The nomination period will remain open until 5pm March 7, 2018. TFAC members of any unit are eligible for this position. All women, trans, gender queer and gender variant members of the local are automatically members of the TFAC whether or not you have ever attended a meeting. Please see below for a full description of the position’s responsibilities.

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Poll Clerks Needed for March 2 Final Offer Meeting

Poll clerks are needed to staff the polling stations during the March 2 ‘Final Offer’ Special General Membership Meeting. These positions are paid $15/hr. Only members of CUPE 3903 can apply. These positions will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis, and only selected poll clerks will be contacted.

The exact timing of this meeting is still to be confirmed, pending room availability, but it would be in the afternoon.

If you can work as a poll clerk, potentially anytime in the afternoon, please email

In your email, please briefly indicate:

  • your cell phone number,
  • whether you can bring a laptop,
  • whether you have any experience

Employer Wastes Time as Strike Deadline Approaches

On Friday, February 16, the bargaining team for Units 1, 2, and 3 met with the conciliator to continue progress on bargaining, despite the employer’s refusal to meet. It is cause for great concern that the bargaining team received a “missive” complaining about a minor supporting document which had been posted as a link on our website a week and a half ago. As the strike deadline approaches, the best spin we could put on the employer’s refusal to meet this week was that they were working among themselves to approach a deal. Instead, we get this petty act, specifically engineered to irritate our bargaining team.

Their missive is not worth quoting at length, making such ridiculous claims as to say that they are not “doubling” tickets, since they are not asking for 40 tickets, but 30 tickets and an additional 10 tickets. Perhaps the most irritating part of their missive was the claim that their numbers on the increase of Teaching Assistants held by Master’s students does not support our position; however, when the bargaining team asked for such numbers, they were told that they are not available. The union has a right to request data in order to inform bargaining. The fact that York has been resistant to sharing this data — forcing the bargaining team to file Freedom of Information requests — is a sign of bad faith, only worsened when they conveniently have the data on hand when it works for their position.

York’s own update says that they have never refused to bargain. This is news to us, as one wonders where they were while our bargaining team met twice this week. These dates and times were shared with the employer some time ago, and our desire to bargain this week was expressed to the employer’s bargaining team in person last week.

Bargaining is scheduled during reading week on Tuesday and Friday. When the employer comes back to the table, we can only hope they do so with the intent to find common ground, rather than wasting everyone’s time with petty arguments.

Bargaining Team Meets to Discuss Nursing, Red Lines

On Monday, February 12, the bargaining team for Units 1, 2, and 3 met to continue working on the union’s position in bargaining. CUPE 3903 is very disappointed that the employer’s bargaining team has refused to meet with us at all this week. York’s advertising has been touting their willingness to bargain “any time, any place, as long as it takes”. It is dispiriting to see that these were empty words.

Nonetheless, our bargaining team continues to take bargaining seriously. The team met with members from the School of Nursing to discuss the six Nursing-specific proposals that are part of our bargaining package. These proposals were drafted by members in Nursing to address issues that have been plaguing their working conditions for years, such as problems over qualifications, clinical class sizes, and notice of assignment. The members from Nursing worked with the bargaining team to develop a nursing-specific bargaining strategy, which will be taken up with the employer on February 28. The bargaining team also took time to strategize around the red line issues identified by the membership at our ‘Red Lines’ General Membership Meeting.

The bargaining team will meet with the conciliator next Friday, beginning at 10 am in 109 Atkinson. We continue to work towards achieving a contract, and ask that York do the same.

CUPE 3903 Requests No Board Report — Tentative Deadline March 2

Following the ‘Red Lines’ General Membership Meeting, it is apparent that the employer’s position is much too distant from what CUPE 3903’s membership needs. Consequently, the CUPE 3903 bargaining team for Units, 1, 2, and 3 have requested that the conciliator file a ‘no board’ report. This report is a further legal step, following the strike mandate vote, toward a legal strike position. After the report is filed, there is a 17-day wait period, throughout which we intend to keep bargaining. Contingent on the report being filed, and the availability of rooms, we are tentatively looking at a final offer meeting on March 2.

On Thursday, February 8, the bargaining team did meet briefly with the employer. We were provided with written passes for three proposals which were discussed last Monday: protection from the application of Grant-in-Aid toward tuition without the Unit 1 member’s permission, equity hiring language for Unit 3, and a statement that proof of practice requirements in Nursing would be “reasonably connected to the duties of the position”.

The union’s bargaining team expressed to the employer that we hope to meet with them next Monday, at which point we will have responses and counter-proposals. Bargaining on Monday February 12 is not yet confirmed.

Report from the ‘Red Lines’ General Membership Meeting

The ‘Red Lines’ GMM took place on Tuesday, February 6. This meeting was designed to give the bargaining team more direction regarding what the membership would accept in a final offer. Overall, the membership reaffirmed their commitment to equity, secure funding and employment for Teaching Assistants and Graduate Assistants, and job security for Contract Faculty. There was also a strong sense of solidarity between all three units. We understand that the employer is trying to remove jobs from all units; it is only by providing a united front that all can be protected.

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