On Wednesday, April 4, members of CUPE 3903 and the union’s legal counsel went to the Ontario Labour Relations Board to attend the first hearing of the Unfair Labour Practice (ULP) filed against York University for misleading and dishonest communication.
The hearing was adjourned until a later date because the union was unable to deliver the summons to the owner of CUPE3903.com: Michael Schiff. Schiff is an employee in the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies. Documents reveal that Schiff billed the cost of the fake CUPE 3903 domain to the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS).
CUPE3903.com redirected to York’s labour relations page. York denied having purchased the domain. However, the union was informed on Monday afternoon that Michael Schiff owned the domain, and immediately issued a summons. The Board chose to adjourn the ULP pending the parties being able to contact Schiff.
Regardless of whether this was deliberate or an incompetent oversight by York University, the fact remains that one of their employees — working in an office that includes a member of the employer’s bargaining team — purchased CUPE3903.com and billed it to the university. While the case is yet to be heard at the Labour Relations Board, members of the York community should be alarmed by these recent events, as it contributes to an ongoing pattern of incompetence and misinformation on the part of York University.