Congratulations to YUFA for a resounding arbitration victory, confirming that York’s unilateral withdrawal of Graduate Assistant support harmed faculty research at York University.
The rollout of York University’s Fellowship Funding Model in September 2016 resulted in the loss of more than 800 Graduate Assistant jobs in Unit 3. This unilateral decision has since adversely impacted research conducted by members of the York University Faculty Association (YUFA) and has led to workloads that far exceed those outlined in the YUFA collective agreement. In the fall of 2020, Arbitrator Michelle Flaherty ruled in favour of YUFA, averring that York’s years-long union-busting campaign targeting CUPE 3903 Unit 3 GA jobs has impeded faculties to secure graduate assistants who perform an array of supports to faculty and research centres in the form of administrative, clerical, research and technical services.
While this decision is good news, it is part of a larger pattern of York University’s aggressive attempts to decimate our unit 3 bargaining unit. York’s attempt to misappropriate at least $74,000 from the Unit 3 CA is also heading to arbitration, despite undeniable evidence of the employer’s wrongdoings. The employer’s tactics also include the ongoing misclassification of GA work as non-unionized RA positions, depriving graduate students of decent work, including better wages and access to health benefits.
We congratulate our YUFA colleagues on this important victory, and we call on York University to cease its attack on graduate student jobs and research support for faculty, and respect the collective agreements they agreed to with the labour union partners on its campuses.
To read the full text of Flaherty’s decision, click here.