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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Court stops York’s punishment of striking workers!


In an unanimous decision the Superior Court of Ontario rules York does not have jurisdiction to arbitrarily punish workers as students thereby circumventing the Collective Agreement. In a chilling move that endangered the rights of all student-workers, York University used its Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities to circumvent worker protections and punish CUPE 3903 members for participating in lawful conduct during the 2018 strike. 

In a blatant attempt to punish  members for exercising their democratic rights, a senior York administrator filed Student Code complaints against five union members shortly after the end of the 2018 strike. York insisted that the five members charged under the Code were not acting as employees when taking part in actions in support of their strike. This claim was laughable and circumvented the dispute resolution processes laid out in the Collective Agreement, the Back to Class Act (which legislated the end of strike), and the Labour Relations Act. The Superior Court agreed!

York cannot require its employees to engage in its own process so as to enforce discipline on them for acts that fall under the Back to Class Act and within the purview of the arbitrator under the collective agreement and the Labour Relations Act.”  Ball et al. v. Audette et a!. and York University, 2019 par. 54

A flawed Tribunal process, that at times went so far as to deny the members legal representation, decided the outcome of the complaint. Four of the five members faced draconian penalties, including suspension of student status. For one of the members this suspension would lead to the loss of immigration status, a circumstance the courts found compelling despite York’s callous disregard. The court agreed with our claim that York’s process lacked procedural fairness. 

This ruling quashes the decisions of York’s Tribunal and serves as a precedent to protect student-workers in their right to strike and engage in legal protest. We would like to congratulate our members for their courage and perseverance!

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.

Do you have suggestions for resolutions or constitutional amendments for CUPE National?

Members with suggestions for resolutions or amendments can contact the Recording Secretary by July 2nd to submit them. National is encouraging submission of resolutions in clear language format. Each resolution should cover only one main issue and be specific in what you want to see happen. The Recording Secretary can help workshop these elements with members. The Recording Secretary will bring suggestions to the July 3rd Executive Committee meeting where the Executive will be voting on resolutions and proposed constitutional amendments to submit to CUPE National.

River Run 2019: Walk with Grassy Narrows for Mercury Justice!

When: Thursday, June 20th at 12pm
Where: begin at Queen’s Park, march to 655 Bay Street

Grassy Narrows First Nation was polluted with 9 tonnes of mercury in the 1960s and 94% of current residents receive zero support for their ongoing mercury poisoning. Their struggle is one of the clearest examples of what real, tangible Reconciliation means in Canada today.  Walk with Grassy Narrows community members to show that you are with them at this critical moment to achieve mercury justice!

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Was your LSTA not renewed? Let’s make sure York is playing by the rules!

Several Unit 2 members with LSTAs have been notified that their LSTAs will not be renewed. It looks like a very sharp increase in non-renewals. York is using a clause in the Collective Agreement that ties LSTA appointments to “departmental need” to deny our members renewal. If you had an LSTA that will not be renewed we are asking for your help to push back, and collect data on this startling rise in non-renewals.

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Units 1, 2 and 3 LMC Report (Meeting of May 21st)

On Tuesday, May 21st, the union’s Labour-Management Committee met with the employer to discuss a full agenda of issues for Units 1, 2, and 3.

Many of the items that have been on recent agendas were returned to and updates requested. Since our last LMC meeting in April, little progress has been made on PER reporting for Unit 2, putting Work Histories online, making T2200 more accessible for members, and the Joint Committee on Childcare at Glendon. We also continue to wait for responses from EO’s and Associate Deans regarding the new issues we introduced last month regarding regular updating of office computers, office keys, and ensuring Unit 2 representation at department meetings.

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York Changes Parking Enforcement at Keele and Glendon

Members may want to be aware that effective July 15th York University Parking Officers will be licensed under the Provincial Offences Act. This will change some of the ticketing procedures and may leave some vehicles subject to towing to a municipally-licensed impound. We’ve been told further information will be posted to You can also find details in the following Parking Memorandum.