Update on October 30 Levies Vote


On Tuesday, October 30th, our Local held a Unit-specific secret ballot vote on introducing a 1% 4-month levy (special assessment) to help improve our financial position. The results of this vote can be found here. Pursuant to article B.4.2(a) of the CUPE Constitution, the Executive Committee then submitted the levies, approved by Units 1 and 3, to the National President’s Office (NPO) for approval. Given that any levy would affect the entire Local, the NPO indicated this Unit-specific vote contravened the National Constitution and was ruled out of order. “Any assessment must be approved by a majority of members voting in a referendum or at a regular or special membership meeting” which, in the context of the Article, the NPO maintains means a majority of members of the Local in an all-Units vote.

The Executive Committee has called a Special General Membership Meeting (SGMM) for Tuesday, November 13th, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, in Harry Crowe (109 Atkinson) to address this situation, as well as to address the situation this puts our Local in. Both the Executive Committee and our National Service Representative will be present to answer questions.

Click here to read the full letter

YU Ride Campaign

We urgently need help to save transit at York University. Please click here and sign the petition to restore all YRT/VIVA/GO bus stops on campus.

Please also share this message with family and friends. Together, we can make transit on campus accessible and affordable!


As of September 2, York Regional Transit (YRT) no longer dropped off passengers on campus. Now, the YRT ends their bus routes at Pioneer Village Station at Steeles Avenue.

YRT users will have to spend over $1,000 per year in additional transit fees if they want to take the TTC subway to York University Station. Users who cannot afford these fees will have to travel on foot or by wheelchair to campus, which poses serious accessibility and safety risks.

In addition, on November 6, 2018, York University announced that GO Transit will cease operations from the Keele campus and instead will operate out of the Highway 407 station located at Jane Street and the 407 ETR.

We recognize that many students, staff, faculty, and community members are now being forced to pay double fare. York University is primarily a commuter school and the capacity to access our campuses using various transit providers contributes to that. When the TTC subway extension was announced, we were promised that commuters would have better access to transit. Now we have a longer commute and dramatically increased transit costs. In order to maintain direct and shorter commutes with one fare, we require all transit providers to stay on campus.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. CUPE 3903  is part of a campus-wide campaign to make transit at York University accessible and affordable.

Please sign the petition now!

For more information, visit yuride.ca.

Update On Meeting with Arbitrator

On Saturday, November 3, the CUPE 3903 bargaining team and the union’s legal counsel attended an arbitration hearing led by Jim Hayes to present submissions regarding collective agreements for Units 1, 2, and 3. Several members were in attendance.

The union’s legal counsel presented the outstanding proposals for all three units, providing justifications supported by budget data and comparisons to similar contracts.

Not every issue got the same level of attention, as the arbitrator was also provided with lengthy written submissions. Some of the highlights include:

  • An increase of CUPE 3903 Benefit Funds
  • A strong argument that the Sexual Violence Survivor’s Fund should be controlled by the Trans Feminist Action Caucus (TFAC), using examples from York’s own Sexual Violence Policy to argue that York’s legal obligations prevent them from being truly survivor-centric.
  • The Lee Wiggins Childcare Center’s need for a funding increase in order to continue providing childcare to members and other parents on campus.
  • Clawback protections and other changes to Unit 1 funding that would clarify how much York can take from members’ scholarships
  • The need for improvements to the existing job security programs for Unit 2. The arbitrator seemed especially interested to note that a large portion of Unit 2 is affected under the Continuing Sessional Standing Program. There was also a detailed discussion of the historical success of the conversions program in the context of York’s current tenure-track hiring plan.
  • The removal of barriers preventing the hiring of Graduate Assistants (GAs) in Unit 3 (there were over 800 GAs in 2015; now there are 16 as a result of the fellowship funding model).

After breaking for lunch, the employer’s lawyer, Simon Mortimer, presented York’s submissions. The day ended with time for the union’s response and questions from the arbitrator. The employer’s arguments remain largely unchanged from their position during the strike and the months of bargaining that preceded it. Mortimer took a very aggressive tone from the start and made several statements that ranged from simply wrong to baffling, for example mischaracterizing provisions of the CA or stating that the university is not in the business of funding research. Compared with the collected and evidence-based approach of the union’s legal counsel, we can only hope that the arbitrator will see that our position is reasonable and achievable.

Prior to Saturday’s meeting, the arbitrator had the opportunity to brief with legal counsel for both the union and the employer. Though a second day had been tentatively scheduled for Sunday, November 4, the arbitrator felt he had fully received the required information. Mr. Hayes indicated that his decision, and therefore the collective agreements for Units 1, 2, and 3, would come before the end of the year. We will update the membership once we get more information.



Job Posting: Tenure-Stream Appointment in the Critical Study of Politics

The Department of Politics, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies invites applications for a tenure-track professorial-stream appointment in the critical study of politics at any professorial rank (Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor), to commence July 1, 2019.

A PhD in Political Science or a related discipline is required. Candidates must have significant professional experience, demonstrated excellence in teaching and in scholarly research, and have produced publications appropriate to their stage of career.

To read more about this job post, please click here

Final Vote Count On Levies and Bylaw Amendment

At the September GMM, there was discussion regarding levies (a temporary increase in dues) across all units, for the remainder of this fiscal year. The final vote count on levies was:

Unit 1: 34 yes; 9 no; 2 abstentions

Unit 2: 17 yes; 60 no; 3 abstentions

Unit 3: 2 yes; 0 no; 0 abstentions

Unit 4: no ballots cast

As well, the bylaw amendment on 17.2.f passed with 37 yes; 14 no; 12 abstentions

Meeting with the Arbitrator

Unit 1, 2 and 3 representatives of the CUPE 3903 bargaining team will be meeting with the arbitrator on Saturday and Sunday, November 3 & 4, 2018. The meeting is scheduled to take place at the Chelsea Hotel, Toronto, 33 Gerrard Street West. The meeting is in the Carlisle Room on the 3rd Floor up the red elevators.

On Saturday the arbitrator, Jim Hayes, will be meeting with us from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm, then with the employer from 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm and again with us from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm. 

Members are welcome to attend both Saturday and Sunday’s meetings and participate in bargaining team caucuses, however only the bargaining team and counsel will be able to speak with the arbitrator. The schedule for Sunday’s meeting has not yet been set and will be determined by the arbitrator at Saturday’s meeting

Pay Discrepancy Update

After hundreds of pay discrepancies were recorded and flagged for the employer in the month of September, we are hearing from countless more members who remain underpaid, or unpaid for remediation work, and/or their new contracts. This is unacceptable.

You can find a breakdown of what you were paid on your pay stub through HR Self Serve.

A more details about rates of pay and funding on our PAY DAY FAQ.

If you have not been paid in full for either the remediation period, or your new contract, please fill out the NEW Pay Discrepancy Survey, which will help us to track the status of existing pay discrepancies, and notify the employer of incoming discrepancies.

It is entirely unacceptable that the employer has repeatedly failed to pay our members for contracts that were completed in August, and we will do everything we can to make sure everyone is paid in full for their work.


  • Grant-in-Aid for remediation work should amount to $883.50, however, we received confirmation that GIA was incorrectly prorated to our hours, and we have asked the employer to correct their error immediately.

  • Those of you who completed TUTOR 1 assignments during remediation, you should have been paid at an hourly rate of $40.90/hr, and NOT the $31.51/hour we are seeing on many of our pay stubs.

  • We are noticing that some members who completed the entirety of their 2017-18 Contract (i.e. 270/270 hours), have yet to receive full compensation in the amounts indicated on their offers of appointment. If you are one of these members please complete the updated survey, and contact your Chief Steward.

  • We have learned that a number of members who were not provided with New Contracts until after September 4th have still not been entered onto the employees list, and remain unpaid for September and now October. If you are in this situation please contact your Chief Steward immediately, so we can help resolve the issue.


  • The union will be sending all grievances for improper appointments to arbitration to challenge the employers interpretation of the Unit 2 MoS.

  • Unit 2 members should have received payment for the retroactive salary increase for 2017-18 contracts on their October paycheck.

  • The employer has been notified of the errors in vacation pay for all members with +5 years of experience, but they have yet to remedy the situation.


  • We have heard that some Unit 3 members only received remediation pay for half of the hours they submitted. If you are one of these people, please get in touch with your Chief Steward.

  • The hourly rate for Graduate Assistants is $25.67/hour.

  • The Grant-in-Aid for Unit 3 members is $454.75/month.

If you have any issues with how you were paid (wages, GIA, vacation pay, taxes), you can contact Rob Lawson, at Faculty Relations at rlawson@yorku.ca, as well as your respective Dean’s Office, and CC your Chief Stewards on your correspondence so we can track the discrepancy and help put pressure on the employer to resolve these issues.

If you have any problems with your funding (Grad. Financial Assistance, International Tuition Offset, Fellowship Funding) please contact Mario Verilli at Faculty of Graduate Studies mariov@yorku.ca, or one of the Graduate Funding Advisors, Arun Devdas at gfa.arun@yorku.ca (ext 70255) or Sandra Yiu gfa.sandra@yorku.ca (ext 70203).

You can check your funding at Passport York Account at my.yorku.ca.

October GMM: Tentative Agenda

CUPE 3903 General Membership Meeting
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
320 Bethune College
1:00 – 4:00pm

Tentative Agenda:

  1. Roll call of officers (5 mins)
  2. Reading of the Equality Statement (3 mins)
  3. Reading of the Mississauga Land Acknowledgement (2 mins)
  4. Approval of Agenda (5 mins)
  5. Treasurer’s Report (15 minutes)
    1. Budget Amendments
    2. Discussion: Levies
  6. Trustee Report (Re: Audit of 2016/17)
  7. Reading and Approval of minutes (15 mins)
    1. October 12, 2017 SGMM minutes
    2. December 2017 GMM minutes
    3. January 2018 GMM minutes
  8. Notices (5 mins)
    1. Additional Trustees honoraria for audit of 2017/18 fiscal year
    2. Bylaw Amendment: Article 23.b (Voting of Funds)
    3. Budget Amendments
    4. Donation to the Silence is Violence Legal Defence Fund ($1000)
  9. Matters Arising
    1. Bylaw Amendment: Article 11 (Committees, re: Trans Fund Adjudication Committee)
    2. Bylaw Amendment: Article 17.2.f (Election of Negotiating Teams)
    3. Donation to the Christian Peacemaker Teams ($1500)
    4. Change to the Ways and Means Fund Policy: inclusion of rental arrears
    5. Change to the Ways and Means Fund Policy: infestation documentation
    6. All-Units Working Group for Bylaw Amendment Revisions
  10. New Business
    1. Endorsement request: Action against Steve Bannon
    2. Endorsement request: Resisting Doug Ford
    3. Endorsement request: Human Rights Tribunal Case, Mandi Gray vs. York University
  11. Reports of committees and delegates
    1. EHB Committee Report-back (see package)
  12. Executive Report-backs
  13. Good of the Union
  14. Adjournment

Update on Remediation Pay Meeting with Employer

Members of the CUPE 3903 Executive Committee, as well as the LMC representatives from Units 1, 2, and 3 were present for a meeting with Rob Lawson, Leanne DeFilippis (both from Faculty Relations), and Kate McPherson (Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs of LAPS) to discuss ongoing issues with remediation.

Issues that were raised include:

  • Improper appointments (CUPE 3903 executive members indicated that the employers interpretation of the U2 MoS we will challenge through arbitration)
  • Lack of transparency around the approval of remediation workload forms and the lack of consistency between faculties
  • Cases in which Unit 1 work was completed to 100% but total yearly funding fell below the minimum guarantee
  • Remediation pay that does not match remediation hours
  • Unit 1 Course Directors who have not yet been paid for remediation work
  • remuneration for front-loaded courses
  • Irregular contracts, e.g. double TAships or single-semester ticketed courses that are paid out over 8 months (employer indicated most of these cases should be correctable)
  • Payment for Unit 1 TAs who replaced a CD or TA who did not return (the employer indicated this should be considered an “authorized replacement”)
  • Increases to salary for U2 and increases to vacation pay for members who have 5+ years of service (salary increases should be seen in October pay. Employer still working on how to calculate who gets the extra 2% vacation pay)
  • Wrong amounts of GIA (The Chief Steward for Unit 1 will email employer to follow up)

In regards to the concerns that were flagged in the meeting, the employer has indicated that they will need the specifics of the cases. We have taken note of that and will offer to share the remediation spreadsheet with Faculty Relations. Of particular interest, however, is the employer’s response to the fact that remediation pay did not match remediation hours for many Unit 1s. According to the hours on the paystub, remediation pay was paid out at a rate of around $31/hr. The employer, however, claims that the hours on the paystub are not meant to represent the hours paid. In order to calculate how many hours were paid, take the gross pay and divide it by 40.90, which is the hourly pay for Unit 1. It is important to note that because of this unfortunate mix-up, there may be even more grievances than we originally anticipated. We will be updating the membership once we get more information.