After two weeks away from the table, York University has finally agreed to resume bargaining on Tuesday, March 20.
Considering that our bargaining team provided two counter-proposals that York ignored (February 28 and March 5), we are pleased to see the employer returning to the bargaining table. Their refusal to do so has unnecessarily drawn out the strike and caused students great anxiety.
We want to come to a negotiated settlement in good faith. This means that York must table counter-proposals that address our priorities. We are willing to be flexible, but this commitment must be returned. We are concerned that York’s recent communication fails to acknowledge the key issues members have indicated on numerous occasions. Our membership is keenly aware of the options provided by York, and continue to direct the bargaining team to reaffirm our priority issues to the employer.
As such, the return to the table cannot be a simple matter of optics. It’s time to stop bargaining through the media and come to the table in good faith. We hope York’s latest gesture is a new commitment not only to work with CUPE 3903, but also to do what is best for the 50,000 undergraduate students who have been left in suspense for two weeks as York refused to bargain.
On March 5, 2018, Teaching Assistants (Unit 1), Contract Faculty (Unit 2) and Graduate Assistants (Unit 3) at York University went on strike. The York administration has claimed that there are no real issues on the table for Unit 1. If that were true, why would we be on strike?
The reality is that York has proposed to completely restructure how funding for Teaching Assistants is paid out. They want to do this again, after doing so in September of 2016 resulted in massive chaos, the loss of more than 700 Unit 3 jobs (now more than 800!), loss of summer funding, and increased potential for York to move funding around and apply it to tuition or claw back total funding.
The following letter was sent to York University President Rhonda Lenton in response to the communication ‘The way forward’ which was sent to the York community on March 13. This letter clarifies the misinformation that has been spread by the administration, and reiterates the same request we have extended since York’s offer was rejected: come back to the bargaining table.
Special General Membership Meeting
Thursday March 22, 2018
30 Tangiers Road
UNIFOR local 112
- Roll Call of Officers
- Reading of the Equality Statement
- Reading of the Mississauga Land Acknowledgement
- Report from Executive Committee on the Conduct of the Strike
- Report from Bargaining Team on the Status of Negotiations
- Report by the Strike Committee and Subcommittees on the Conduct of the Strike
- Treasurer’s Report
- Motions from the Floor
Please contact Sheila Wilmot at email@example.com 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.
(1) Bargaining to Resume on Tuesday
(2) Funding for Teaching Assistants is Under Attack
(3) Strike Paycheques and Pay Discrepancies
(4) CUPE 3903 Hotline – Tuesday to Friday 8am – 1pm
(5) Strike School! Learning on the Line
(6) Joint BT-Exec Meeting: March 19
(7) Strike Committee Meetings: March 19 & 21
(8) Executive Committee Meeting: March 21
(9) Special General Membership Meeting: March 22
(1) CUPE 3903 and York Respond to Minister of Advanced Education
(2) Information for Members Considering Going Back to Work
(3) First Strike Payday on Friday
(4) CUPE 3903 Hotline – Live Starting March 15
(5) Solidarity Rally Friday
(6) Communications Committee Meeting: March 15
(7) Special General Membership Meeting: March 15
(8) Strike Committee Call-Around Meeting: March 16
CUPE 3903 Members and York University students seeking information can call the CUPE 3903 Hotline at 416-466-8421 (select hours only).
The first week’s hours will be: Thursday, March 15 and Friday, March 16 – 8:00 am to 12:00 noon.
It is expected this service will be available to members and students Monday to Friday. Exact hours to be confirmed each week.
On Monday, March 12, the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, Mitzie Hunter, contacted CUPE 3903 and the York University administration to encourage the two sides to bargain. She also told us that the provincial government will not introduce back-to-work legislation.
- CUPE 3903’s response: Yes, CUPE 3903 would be happy to bargain. We’ve been waiting to go back to the table.
- York University’s response: No, York University still refuses to bargain.
CUPE 3903 continues to be ready and willing to return to the bargaining table in order to work toward a negotiated settlement. We would be happy to continue to work with the provincially appointed conciliator Greg Long.
Our invitation to return to the bargaining table remains an open one.
The York administration has targeted particular departments and faculties to ask CUPE 3903 members, particularly Teaching Assistants and Contract Faculty, to sign a form indicating that they are willing to return to work.
A strike is a very stressful time for everyone and such an offer may seem appealing. Before you make such a decision, however, you should know that there are financial resources available to you as a member of CUPE 3903, that there might be unintended consequences should you return to work before a new contract is reached, and that such a decision will hurt you and your colleagues.
The following letter was sent to York University President Rhonda Lenton following a call from the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development. The Minister expressed to our Executive Committee and Bargaining Team the desire for bargaining to resume — a desire we have shared from day one.