Unit 2 members & the continuation of the Units 1 & 3 strike

The information below has been drafted by our Executive. For an info sheet prepared by our lawyer, see U2 Post-Strike FAQ [corrected version]. CUPE 3903 has also filed a grievance related to the attempted resumption of classes.

Unit 2 members are no longer on strike, but Unit 1 and 3 members remain on strike.

The university has announced its intention to resume classes in all faculties by Monday March 23. However, Unit 1 and Unit 3 picket lines will remain around the campus. These picket lines will result in delays when attempting to enter campus. TTC and GO buses will not cross the picket lines. We do not know how many YUFA members will return to teach their classes.

Unit 1 and Unit 3 members should continue to withdraw their labour, continue with their strike duties and refuse to cross the picket lines. No one (not the administration, not YUFA members and not 3903 members) should be trying to force you back to work while engaged in a legal strike.

Striking members in Units 1 and 3 would appreciate the support and solidarity of Unit 2 members in whatever capacity is possible. Unit 2 members are welcome to join the picket lines whenever it is possible. If you must cross the picket lines to teach, you could consider picketing before and/or after you teach.

The local can’t legally advise Unit 2 members to not cross the picket lines. However, if Unit 2 members refuse to cross the picket lines for health and safety concerns, CUPE 3903 will work to defend any members threatened with discipline.

The York University Senate has stated that Unit 2 CDs have the right to determine if the academic integrity of their classes can be ensured if they are held during the strike (without Unit 1 TAs and without many students). CUPE 3903 believes that the lack of Unit 1 TAs will seriously undermine the academic integrity of courses. Tutorials and seminars that depend on student participation will be seriously undermined by the absence of students who have the right to not cross picket lines.

One thing is very clear, Unit 2 (and YUFA) members must not perform the duties of CUPE 3903 members (Unit 1 and 3) who remain on strike. For example, if you are a Unit 2 course director with Unit 1 teaching assistants, you should not perform their duties (leading tutorials, grading assignments, etc.). It is also highly recommended that you retain the academic integrity of your courses by not cancelling assignments or tests that would have otherwise been graded by a Unit 1 member.

Unit 2 members should remember that, according to Senate policy, students cannot be forced to cross picket lines to attend classes. Students who choose not to cross picket lines “are entitled to immunity from penalty, to reasonable alternative access to materials covered in their absence, to reasonable extensions of deadlines and to such other remedy as Senate deems necessary and consistent with the principle of academic integrity.” Read the full policy here.

CUPE 3903 looks forward to the achievement of fair collective agreements for Units 1 and 3 and the resulting full resumption of courses in the near future.