New CUPE 3903 Membership Survey – Bargaining Mobilization

CUPE 3903 Bargaining Mobilization – Membership Survey

This survey is for all members of our local.

Our ability to obtain an improved Collective Agreement (and resist the Employer’s proposals for concessions) is dependent upon membership involvement and mobilization.

Continue reading

Oct. 24 – Tentative GMM Agenda

General Membership Meeting
Tuesday, Oct. 24
Location: Harry Crowe, 109 Atkinson

Join and share the event on Facebook here!


  1. Roll Call of Officers
  2. Reading of the Equity Statement
  3. Reading of the Mississauga Land Acknowledgement
  4. Approval of Agenda
  5. Treasurer’s Report
  6. Committee Updates
  7. Notices of Motion
  8. Matters Arising
    1. Changing the Name of the ‘Miscellaneous Working Groups’ budget line to ‘Anti-Racism Working Group’
  9. Bargaining
    1. Bargaining Update
    2. Bargaining Timeline
    3. Proposals (cont.)
  10. Executive Reports
  11. Adjournment

Please contact Sheila Wilmot at 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.

York Admin Proposes Concessions for All 3 Units: Unacceptable to CUPE 3903

Bargaining Update

On Monday, October 16, the CUPE 3903 and York University bargaining teams met to exchange proposals. Thank you to the several rank-and-file members who attended the meeting. Open bargaining and membership mobilization is the source of our strength. The next meeting will be on Monday, October 30.

Employer Proposals

The employer tabled a number of proposals. Most of these are concessionary in nature, and we hope that their position will come to approach the union’s position as bargaining progresses. Continue reading

Trans Feminist Action Caucus Meeting: Oct 19

Our next TFAC meeting will be taking place on Thursday, Oct 19th, 10am – 12pm, Union office.
A large share of our meeting will be devoted to TFAC usual work and projects. Please join us!

As a reminder, our following meetings will be:
Thursday Nov 2nd at 3pm for a Special Bargaining Mobilization Meeting
Tuesday Nov 14th at 3pm for our November TFAC Meeting
Wednesday Nov 29 at 1pm for a Special Bargaining Mobilization Meeting
Monday Dec 11th at 12pm for our December TFAC Meeting

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 (

York University Cross-Campus Alliance Stands in Solidarity with College Faculty at Seneca College and Across Ontario

The Cross-Campus Alliance at York University stands in solidarity with OPSEU college faculty members at Seneca College and their colleagues across Ontario who are currently bargaining a new province-wide collective agreement, and who have set a strike deadline of 12:01 a.m. on Monday, October 16, 2017.

OPSEU college faculty members are bargaining for a fairer college system that provides good, secure jobs, high quality education for students, and democratic decision making on campuses. We stand side by side with OPSEU in calling for equal treatment for all faculty members by levelling up working conditions of part-time and partial-load contract faculty members to those of their full-time colleagues, providing secure employment for all while enabling faculty to offer the highest quality instruction to students. We also support OPSEU’s position that faculty and students must have a meaningful say in the academic decisions that impact students’ education.

Contract faculty members with OPSEU 560, who work for Seneca @ York, are located on York University’s Keele campus where the majority of our members work and study.

In the event of a strike, we will immediately marshal our resources to support OPSEU 560 members on their picket lines in any way possible. We will announce the picket locations to our members, encourage all our members to attend, and coordinate regular solidarity activities. 

Further, we will vigorously defend OPSEU members’ right to peacefully picket on and/or near York’s Keele campus as they see fit. The Supreme Court of Canada has recognized peaceful picketing in the context of a labour dispute as part and parcel of the constitutionally-protected right to free expression. We firmly reject any attempt by the York University administration to characterize York University’s campuses as private spaces where picketing can be lawfully and legitimately prohibited.

We encourage all our members to show their support for the college faculty by following this link to send a message immediately to 24 Ontario College Presidents. 

The York Cross-Campus Alliance represents tens of thousands of students, staff, and faculty at York University. The Cross-Campus Alliance includes:

Childcare Fund Deadline Extended

Due to the employer delaying on depositing the funds into the Childcare account, the Childcare Fund Committee is extending the deadline for applying for the childcare fund. You must apply for the childcare fund every year, even if you have received funding in the past. The new deadline to apply is October 25th.

All members of the local are eligible for the childcare fund if they have a child under the age of 13 or if they have a child under the age of 18 who has a disability. You can read more details here:

We thank all people who have applied for their patience while we wait for the employer to deposit the funds so we can distribute them ASAP.

Committee Election Results

Committee positions for the Ways and Means Fund and Professional Development Fund Coordinator were contested at the September 27 General Membership Meeting. The results of those elections are below:

Ways and Means Fund (3 positions):

  • Shila Khayambashi
  • Joanna Pearce
  • Gizem Çakmak

Professional Development Fund Coordinator (1 position):

  • Gizem Çakmak

The following positions were filled by acclamation:

Toronto & York Region Labour Council: Firoza Elavia, Charles Carlo Handy, Josh Lalonde
Labour Management Council (Unit 3): Tai Vo
Accessibility Committee: Sarah Sackville McLauchlan
Research Grant Fund and Travel Cost Fund: Steven Pinter, Firoza Elavia
CUPE Toronto District Council: Charles Carlo Handy
Professional Development Fund (PDF Representative): Nasra Smith, Charles Carlo Handy
Childcare Committee: Nasra Smith, Megan Hillman, Joanna Pearce, Harjot Singh

Report from the First Bargaining Meeting

Members of CUPE 3903 stand with a banner reading "York Works Because We Do" at the September 25 bargaining meeting.

On Monday, September 25, the CUPE 3903 bargaining team representing Unit 1 (Teaching Assistants), Unit 2 (Contract Faculty), and Unit 3 (Graduate Assistants) met with the employer for the first bargaining meeting. Prior, the bargaining team (BT) and employer had an introductory meeting on August 29.

Present for the employer were Simon Mortimer (legal counsel), Rob Lawson (Associate Director, Faculty Relations), Noura Shaw (Associate Director, Faculty Relations), Lyndon Martin (Dean, Faculty of Education), Kate McPherson (Associate Dean, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies) and Mario Verrilli (Executive Officer, Faculty of Graduate Studies). The employer appears to have contracted out the role of lead negotiator to the lawyer, Simon Mortimer. This role used to belong to Barry Miller, who is still calling the shots from his new position as Senior Policy Advisor. As of yet, the other members of the employer’s bargaining team do not appear to have much say.

The employer’s team was vastly outnumbered by the approximately 37 CUPE 3903 members in the room. Thank you to everyone who attended! Open bargaining is our biggest strength. All members are encouraged to attend bargaining meetings.

Presentation of Priorities

The BT had prepared a slideshow laying out the results of our bargaining surveys, and the priorities and issues that emerged from them. Some highlights include:

  • A heavy emphasis on the need for job security and its effect on undergraduate educational outcomes.
  • Over 70% of respondents feel that the lack of summer funding causes them hardship. The fellowship funding model must be brought into the collective agreement.
  • Communications between the employer and membership is broken.
  • Unit 3 jobs must be restored to ensure accessible and equitable graduate education.
  • Equity and accessibility must be treated more seriously by the university.
  • Increases to the cost of living have outpaced the salary increases negotiated in the last contract.
  • In the last year, York has posted a surplus of $23.3 Million, and can clearly afford a fair deal.

You can see the full presentation here: CUPE 3903 bargaining opening presentation.

The BT had invited rank-and-file members to help present the slides. We are disappointed that the employer felt that this was inappropriate. As the new contracts will apply to all members, it is a matter of course that all members have a say. We remain committed to the principles of open bargaining and the presentation was delivered by the membership as planned.

Markham Campus

The employer continues to insist that union representation at the planned Markham Campus is not an issue on which we should bargain. We respectfully disagree and the issue will be brought the membership for further planning and discussion.

For a full explanation of the issue surrounding the Markham Campus, please see the report from the August 29 meeting.

Disclosure Requests

As it had been clearly stated at the August 29 introductory meeting, the BT does not feel it can present concrete proposals until the employer has provided the full disclosure request. This information is needed in order to formulate coherent, fact-based bargaining proposals. Therefore, no proposals were presented at this meeting. This should not have been a surprise to the employer, who had been warned back in August that we could not proceed without this information.

Overall, we are disappointed with the aggressive and uncooperative tone that the employer has taken from the outset. While it is no secret that the union and the university’s positions are far apart, and that disagreements will likely be intense, that is no reason to begin by disrespecting rank-and-file membership involvement, talking down to members of the bargaining team, and obfuscating the issue of the Markham Campus and disclosures. We remain hopeful that the next meeting can set a more cooperative tone going forward.

The next bargaining meeting will be Monday, October 16, Location TBA.

‘Who We Are’ Video – Part 2

Meet Makeda Marcali, who speaks about what the union means to part-time librarians and archivists, our newest Unit 4!

Videos meant to inform the broader public and our members about CUPE 3903, bargaining, and the more will be released on a regular schedule. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and please share widely!

Direction and videography by Amin Toyouri