Member Supports Against Intimidation and Reprisals from the Employer

Member Supports Against Intimidation and Reprisals from the Employer

Over the past few weeks, we have heard from members, particularly international students and racialized members, who are experiencing significant anxieties around reprisals and harassment from York University over public support for Palestine. These anxieties are warranted, especially in light of President Rhonda Lenton’s demand that three democratically elected student executive committees step down or risk the university withdrawing recognition of the unions as reprisals for issuing a joint Statement of Solidarity with Palestine.

CUPE 3903 supports the rights of academics, students, unionists, and activists to speak out against all forms of violence and oppression without fear of intimidation or reprisal. As stated through the Executive Committee endorsement of the Academic Alliance Against Antisemitism, Racism, Colonialism & Censorship in Canada (ARC) Call To Action, we are committed to supporting and fully representing members who are targeted because of their scholarship, political work and community organizing, as well as holding the employer accountable to its duty to provide a safe workplace.

How CUPE 3903 can support workers

Over the last 30 years, CUPE 3903 has fought for many rights and privileges, which are protected by our Collective Agreements. These include a workplace that is free from discrimination and harassment! If you are facing reprisals, harassment, or discrimination, or believe you might be, get in touch with us as soon as you can. Nadia Kanani, our Equity Officer, can be reached at All conversations with Nadia are strictly confidential and don’t oblige you to take further steps. 

The union can help members with one or more of the following responses to discrimination and harassment: 

  • Filing grievances (i.e. official complaint against the employer) on your behalf
  • Filing complaints with the Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion
  • Representing you in any disciplinary or other meeting in which you are being reprised for your activism or beliefs
  • Supporting you in safety planning
  • Supporting you through the workplace accommodations or paid leaves process if the harassment or discrimination negatively impact your ability to work
  • Connecting you with community-based resources and supports

You don’t need to know what support(s) you need to start a conversation.   

One of the most important things about being in a union is that it’s never just you filing a complaint or facing reprisals alone. We stand in solidarity, and we fight against injustice together.