85% Strike Mandate for Education Workers at York University

Toronto, Ontario – January 26, 2018 – Contract Faculty, Teaching Assistants, and Graduate Assistants at York University have voted by a margin of 85% in favour of a strike mandate. A record high turnout cast their vote between January 19-26. Full results are available below.

These education workers are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3903 (CUPE 3903).

“The strong mandate delivered by our membership is an indication of how highly they value their role as mentors and front-line educators,” says Julian Arend, CUPE 3903 Vice-President for Contract Faculty. “When instructors are given the resources they need to deliver a quality education, the biggest winners are thousands of undergraduates who rely on them to provide them with the tools they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive world.”

The union’s contract expired on August 31, 2017. While the union has taken bargaining seriously, York’s administration has been unresponsive on issues such as job security for Contract Faculty, protecting funding for Teaching Assistants, and maintaining employment levels for Graduate Assistants.

“We’ve gained a strong strike mandate because graduate student workers are deeply concerned about the massive restructuring of graduate funding,” says Lina Nasr, CUPE 3903 bargaining team spokesperson. “We’re dealing with the effects of unilateral changes York has implemented in the last two years.”

CUPE 3903 and York University have been in bargaining since September. The parties have been meeting with the assistance of a Ministry of Labour-appointed conciliator since January 8.

For further information:

Lina Nasr, bargaining team spokesperson: lina.nasr.elhag@gmail.com
Julian Arend, executive committee spokesperson: cupe3903vpu2@gmail.com
Maija Duncan, French-language media spokesperson: cupe3903comms@gmail.com

More information on CUPE 3903’s current negotiations can be found on the Bargaining tab.

Strike Mandate Vote Results

Unit 1: 86.46%
Unit 2: 83.07%
Unit 3: 84.62%

Total yes vote: 85.34%

Strike Mandate Vote Turnout

Unit 1: 52.67%
Unit 2: 51.57%
Unit 3: 47.27%

Total voter turnout: 52.21%

This turnout breaks our previous known record by 12%, and is unheard of in the academic sector.