During the bargaining meeting on October 16, the Bargaining Team (BT) raised a serious concern with the use of the CUPE 3903 logo by the employer to promote their bargaining website. The ads had been allowed to run for more than a week on the LCD screens that line the corridors of the Keele Campus.
This is especially upsetting since the use of our logo seemed to imply that CUPE 3903 endorsed the contents of the site. Nothing could be further from the truth. York’s bargaining webpage is a transparent PR maneuver, and does not reflect the real tone and content of bargaining. For example, nowhere on the site are they honest about their desire to destroy the Conversions Program for contract faculty. The PR might be slick, but it is very light on the truth.
The context in which our logo was used makes this a serious violation. It could be read as an attempt to undermine the credibility of the updates provided by the union. Consequently, the BT, supported by the Executive Committee, requested that a public apology be issued on as many platforms as is feasible, with a clear statement that CUPE 3903 does not endorse the contents of the employer’s bargaining website.
This was a very reasonable request. If York was serious about its stated commitment to respectful dialogue and transparent and accurate reporting, they would have jumped at the opportunity to rectify what they assure us was an honest mistake. Instead, they tucked a short post on their site, did not advertise it, and did not even inform the BT or Executive of its existence. The post does not state that CUPE 3903 does not endorse the contents of the site, which was the single most important element of the request.
York University had a chance to show us their good faith by adding a single line to their “apology” and promoting it a bit more broadly. They chose not to. Do better, York.