CUPE 3903 2020 General Election: Candidates’ Campaign Statements

Candidates for the 2020 General Election have submitted statements for the membership. For candidates who have yet to submit a statement and wish to do so, please contact the Election Officers at

The following positions are contested:

  • Communications Officer
  • Grievance Officer
  • Unit 2 Members of the Bargaining Team

Candidates Running for Communications Officer:


My name is Firoza Elavia and I am running for the position of Communications Officer. I have served on the Communications Committee for the last three years (one year as non-member) and acutely understand the responsibilities and duties of this position. Over the years I have acquired the skills and qualifications necessary to undertake these responsibilities successfully.

In the months leading up to the 2018 strike, I collaborated with the Communications Officer, Maija Duncan, and the Communications Committee, to prepare and organize a multi-pronged approach to 3903’s media campaign. I was involved in strategizing content for videos being commissioned, and for designing posters and pamphlets. Following the strike, I worked with Fardosa Warsame and the Comms. Committee to coordinate and implement the switchover of the CUPE 3903 Newsletter from masses email to the Mail Chimp program, for the local’s weekly bulletin. Along with strategizing ongoing communications via the official website, I also managed the official 3903 Facebook account. Leading up to our current bargaining year, I have served with Tanya Da Sylva to inform the membership via social media, relevant information about the local’s events, deadlines, benefits. I have been advised by Tanya about the structure and organization of the weekly news bulletins, about website maintenance and for the communication and dissemination of bargaining news, information and updates. In addition, the Comms. Committee has initiated and prepared for the first stages of the 2020 media campaign.

Having been on the Communications Committee for several years, I’ve had the benefit of working with members from our local’s four units. I have actively worked on the production of media communications strategies, and know which ones were useful and which ones can be improved. The local’s ongoing struggles over bread and butter issues such as tuition indexation, the Fellowship Funding Model, job security, seniority, wages, and health and safety, will need to be communicated effectively and expediently. As the job of the Communications Officer is not an entry level position, experience with previous approaches will be integral to the development of newer contextual strategies for 2020 bargaining.

As bargaining for our next collective agreement looms before us, I am well situated to utilize my considerable knowledge and experience to organize not only with the Communications Committee, but to also collaborate and coordinate with the Executive, Chief Stewards’ Council and membership. With the aim of informing members of our current Collective Agreements, our bargaining procedures and the membership’s imminent demands, I will operationalize the first stages of our 2020 multimedia campaign strategies over the summer to launch our campaign in September. The direction of the campaign during bargaining will be such that information flows among the various parties are transparent, constructive and productive. I have been active in the local for over two decades and know many of you. I have taken part in three strikes, served as Grievance Officer, worked on numerous committees such as the Employment Equity Committee and the Affordable Housing Committee; I was one of the strike coordinators in 2018, the Elections Officer from 2018-2020, and initiated the Anti-Racism Working Group in 2001. I have worked in various capacities with most of our new 2020 Executive Committee and with the Bargaining Team, and am excited to work together to create a united front on bargaining issues, and to communicate that information effectively and promptly to the membership.

I have been privileged to meet some of the most erudite and engaged activists and intellectuals in this local, and would be honoured and proud to serve the membership and our union in the capacity of Communications Officer. I am very proud to be a long-standing member of CUPE 3903 and I hope you will vote for me.

Thank you!


No written statement provided by candidate.

Candidates Running for Grievance Officer:


No written statement provided by candidate.


My name is Parbattie Ramsarran, and I am a Unit 2 member who is running for Grievance Officer.  As a longtime member of the Local, I am familiar with the unique role of Grievance Officer, (Previously, I was Grievance Officer and Chief Stewart Unit 2) particularly in a bargaining year; the role intensifies and amplifies.  This upcoming bargaining year begins with the unabating pandemic, as a result, the Local is responding to the transition from on campus teaching to zoom/online teaching and the many challenges it presents, not only for students but the Local and its membership.

All members of the Local are impacted by these two situations and it is important in the upcoming bargaining rounds, that we bargain for Articles in all the CA that will protect workers and jobs.  As well, with online teaching, we need discuss, and have the membership, as their home now becomes a university classroom, document the many challenges that they are encountering and bargain the solution into the respective CAs.

In addition to the above 2 situations, as a world, we are at a crossroad with the many structural issues that are ever present but have now come to the forefront.  Our Local is a microcosm of the world and we are not immune from these many challenges, both at the Local level and as workers at York University.  The Local is being presented with an exciting opportunity to make changes that can be documented and bargained into the CAs.

As a Grievance Officer, I have many years of experience being a member of the executive.  I am very familiar with the collective bargaining process; as well as the Grievance process, and the many challenges that members of the Local faces as workers at York University.  As new discourses are emerging, it is important that we bargain for strong language in the CA to protect jobs and to create a non-toxic work environment.  As Grievance Officer I will work tirelessly for the membership.  I believe that I am the best candidate and count on your support.

Thank you, – Parbattie Ramsarran

Candidates Running for Unit 2 Members of the Bargaining Team:

Julian AREND

No written statement provided by candidate.

Kyle BELOZEROV (Withdrawn; name will remain on ballot as ballots have been finalized)

I am interested in serving on the Unit 2 Bargaining Team to prevent another strike from happening next year. The disastrous 2018 strike clearly demonstrated that striking is an outdated and ineffectual tactic in our sector. In my view, Unit 2 will not survive another strike, however short or long.

As a member of the Unit 2 Bargaining Team, I will also strive to convince Unit 2 members that going into negotiations we should have a package of no more than a dozen reasonable proposals that the University can actually consider seriously and perhaps agree to in some modified form. Further, my goal will be to ensure that Unit 2 members are able to decide on their own path through negotiations, and not be unduly influenced by other units, like in 2018.

Vote for me if you DO NOT want another strike, and DO want professional and courteous negotiations with the employer, with the potential of yielding modest and sensible, yet meaningful, gains.


My name is Michael Fraschetti and I am vying for the opportunity to represent Unit 2 as a member of the Bargaining Team. I have extensive bargaining experience in different educational sectors and I believe I bring a unique perspective that will allow us to get the best possible deal.

I have had the opportunity to represent other fellow precarious educators to negotiate better working conditions, health benefits, and job security with multiple organizations. I am currently on the bargaining team with the OSSTF Toronto Occasional Teachers’ Bargaining Unit. In this role, I’ve participated in extensive local discussions and have seen how the current governments cuts to education and bargaining restrictions under Bill 124 have really compromised the negotiation process. Although it has been difficult at the bargaining table because of these restrictions, there are many nuances that are coming out of these negotiations that can help with strategies we can put forward at the bargaining table for CUPE 3903 Unit 2.

I am also wrapping up my position on the CUPE 3904 Benefits Committee where we have discussed and challenged the administration to implement a defined benefits plan for TAs and GAs at Ryerson University during the next round of bargaining.

As a member of the CUPE 3903 Employment Equity Committee (2016-2017) and the Advisory Committee on Race/Ethnic Relations (2015-2017), I worked closely with our highly esteemed retiring Equity Officer to meet and regularly challenge York’s administration on its inequitable policies that do not take into account intersectional approaches to hiring. During this time, I was also a member of Unit 1, which gives me a deep understanding of how we can effectively collaborate with other units in CUPE 3903 to bargain a fair deal for all units.

As a Unit 2 Bargaining Team member, I will be sure to support a positive environment that includes accountability, inclusivity and transparency when communicating specifics about bargaining issues.

I will work hard to fight for a fair deal that will benefit both newer and long-standing members that have served as the backbone of CUPE 3903 and Unit 2 in our future negotiation process.

With love and in solidarity,

Michael Fraschetti

Christopher LUSZCZEK

I have been a CUPE3903 member for over 10 years, beginning as a Unit 1 member in 2008, and as a Unit 2 member since 2016. During this time I have faced many of the employment frustrations common to our membership’s multiple Units and through these struggles I have gained a solid knowledge of our Unit 1 and Unit 2 collective agreements.

As an informal Biology steward, over the years I have made myself helpful and available to both fellow graduate students and Unit 2 coworkers by offering guidance and knowledge whenever they have inevitably found themselves at odds with the employer.

I have been particularly active in my home faculty of science in trying to encourage our members to be informed, active and voting participants in our Union, however, I have also been fortunate to teach in multiple departments in three faculties across the university and as such I have had the privilege to see and better understand the challenges faced by our members across disciplines.

Over the past few years I have worked hard to become more actively involved in the local by taking on work as a Communications Committee Member, Distribution Committee Member, CUPE Toronto District Council Representative, and currently as a CUPE representative on a university Health and Safety Committee.

As a past Unit 1 member and a recent convert to Unit 2, I have a deep appreciation for the uncertain, precarious and challenging work environment faced by our membership and want to do my part to ensure that our next round of negotiations provide a smooth and stable path for our unit and union to move forward. Thank you for considering my candidacy.


I’m running to be one of the Unit 2 representatives on the 3903 Bargaining Team in order to take my turn working on behalf of all the members of our local. If elected, I will work collaboratively with other members of the Bargaining Team to represent the interests I hear from our membership as we prepare for the upcoming bargaining round. I believe that bargaining should be a collective, inclusive, respectful process. My approach to working as part of a team is to ensure equity, facilitate discussion, and foster critical thinking.

Since 2010, I’ve been a CUPE 3903 Unit 2 member teaching in Sociology and in the School of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies. As a contract faculty member both at York and at the University of Toronto, I’ve served on multiple committees and councils related to hiring, undergraduate programming, gender and women’s studies, feminist research, and sexuality studies.

I have also served as the 3903 representative on the joint Research Leave Adjudication Committee. Through my involvement with the Board of Directors of my residents association, I have gained negotiating experience with the University of Toronto administration, particularly around affordable housing. I believe deeply in the power of collective bargaining, organizing, and action. As an active Unit 2 member during the 2018 strike, I was proud to walk the line alongside my colleagues from all Units and to regularly participate in the collective decision-making that is the hallmark of our union.