On September 9th, 2021, the Department of Social Science passed a motion affirming the right of course directors and teaching assistants to determine the format and mode of delivery of their courses.
Soon after the motion was passed, members within the Department of Social Science received threatening emails from the University administration warning of penalties and other disciplinary actions should members adhere to this new, democratically approved departmental policy. Through both the emails sent to members of the Department of Social Science and the memos sent to other departments and hiring units (in what will be a failed attempt to prevent similar motions), the University administration continues to pursue a chilling effect and dismantling of collegial governance at York University. The actions taken by the Department of Social Science should be applauded, as they display a clear desire to protect and defend the interests, health, and safety of their colleagues and students.
The CUPE 3903 Executive Committee supports this initiative from the Department of Social Science. It should be up to individual workers and frontline democratic bodies, such as departmental councils, to make health and safety decisions in the best interests of those in our community. We look forward to similar motions being passed in defence of workers’ rights and collegial governance in light of this ongoing abuse of power by the University administration.