Bargaining update #20

A picket captain reads a copy of The Excalibur, with news of the CUPE 3903 strike on the front page.

A picket captain reads a copy of The Excalibur, with news of the CUPE 3903 strike on the front page.

On Wednesday night, March 11the state-appointed mediator sent word to the Bargaining Team (BT) that the Employer is refusing to come to the bargaining table, and is instead focusing on restarting classes. Shortly thereafter, however, the Employer made an about-face: CUPE 3903 received a subsequent call informing the Union that York University will return to the bargaining table.

The BT met today, March 12, to discuss next steps. In response, CUPE 3903 sent a message to the mediator reemphasizing our priorities: tuition indexation for all members, LGBTQ recognized as an Equity-seeking group, and some reasonable financial relief to Graduate Assistants. York University could end this strike now by granting these provisions, which cost the university almost nothing, but which are vital to keep graduate education accessible. The Union asked to meet Friday morning, as well as Sunday, to move forward. We await a response.

We call on all picket lines to stay strong to support the Bargaining Team and the Union. We call on our Unit 2 comrades to continue to join us.

We are encouraged by the over 4,600 undergraduate students who have expressed their solidarity in this statement. We are also encouraged by roughly 275 members of the York University Faculty Association (YUFA) who have expressed their support, as well as by the countless letters to the Senate Executive from individual departments across campus. We are encouraged by the 188 members of Unit 2 who have signed their names to a letter to the Senate Executive in solidarity with Units 1 and 3. We are encouraged by the 140 law students who signed the letter in support of the CUPE 3903 strike. With our allies, we are strong!

We call on all allies to show up in force to the rallies planned for Monday, March 16 at York, in order to send the message that the York University administration cannot undermine the membership’s will with threats to restart classes and a refusal to negotiate.

We call for the continued support from undergraduate students and YUFA to continue to put pressure on the Senate Executive not to restart classes in support of CUPE 3903.

President Shoukri: Call your negotiating team back to the table, and tell them to give us the University we deserve!