Strike Hardship Fund 2024

Strike Hardship Fund

Click here for the application form.

2024 Strike Hardship Fund Information

This page sets out the criteria used in adjudicating the Strike Hardship Fund. These criteria were set by the Strike Committee (SC).

What is the Fund?

The Strike Hardship Fund (SHF) is designed to assist CUPE 3903 members who are participating in the strike and is intended to supplement picket/alternate duties pay. The SHF supports members in purchasing items they need for picketing or alternate duty (Section A) and in dealing with financial hardship resulting from reduced income during the strike (Section B). We also administer the Medical Documentation Reimbursement Fund, which reimburses members for medical documentation required to demonstrate eligibility for 8 th line (alternate) strike duties (Section C).

Amount: The maximum amount to be issued per member is $600 for Sections A and B
combined. Leaves are an exception; see “Leaves” below for details. Except in cases of exceptional hardship, members are initially given a portion of the amount they are adjudicated for—80%—to ensure as many members as possible can access the fund. After one month, if there is enough remaining in the fund, first disbursement payments will automatically be topped up to the full approved amount in a second disbursement.

Please request the full amount you need in your original application, even if it exceeds $600, as there is a possibility that we may be able to raise the maximum later if the Fund receives
sufficient donations. If and when that happens, applications that have requested over $600 will be automatically re-adjudicated by the committee to see if they qualify for additional funds
without the need to reapply.

Section C is separate from Sections A and B and does not count towards the $600 maximum. For Section C, there is a $50 maximum per member.

Strike Participation (and Prioritizing Research)

To be eligible for the SHF, there is an expectation of full strike participation: that people either picket at least 20 hours a week or register with the 8th line to arrange alternate duty strike work, unless they have exceptional circumstances.

The SHF Committee understands that people will sometimes miss days picketing or other strike work and that people who do 8th line work may also need reduced hours. Reasons for reduced hours may include illness and injury, as well as other things that may interfere with strike participation, as deemed appropriate by the committee. They exclude conference participation, unpaid strike work, and research-related commitments; people are ineligible for the SHF when they prioritize academic work to the extent that their strike participation is consistently and substantially below 20 hours a week.

In the case of a member who has a high level of strike participation which is less than 20 hours a week, without an included reason (see above), the adjudication will calculate the member’s income as including 20 hours a week’s strike pay, but will treat the member as eligible.

If you are participating less than 20 hours a week (picketing and/or alternate duties) please explain this on your SHF application, accounting for any exceptional circumstances. If you cannot picket and are not registered with 8th line, please explain why not on your application, accounting for any exceptional circumstances.

Income Cut-off

For a Section B claim only (financial hardship), there is a pre-strike monthly household income cut-off of $2550 per member + $1650 per dependent (including a non-CUPE 3903 spouse), barring exceptional circumstances.

Note: Where the household includes two CUPE 3903 members, the cut-off is $5,100 so that, for example, two CUPE members with one child dependent would have a pre-strike income limit of $6,750. (In this case, we will calculate the fund allotment for the applications jointly and
separately and award the amount that is the highest).

Any external funding (SSHRC, OGS, scholarships, fellowships, etc.) is included in the income
calculation, as is Grant-In-Aid.

If your income exceeds the cut-off, you will not usually be eligible for Section B of the SHF.
However, if you are in exceptional circumstances (for example, if you have extraordinary or
unusual expenses), please explain them in your application or contact the SHF directly at to ask questions.

Section A of the SHF (expenses directly related to strike participation, such as extra transportation, clothes for picketing, or expenses related to 8th-line work) does not take income into account; there is no income cut-off for this category.

Section A: Strike-related Costs

If a CUPE 3903 member who is eligible for strike pay requires something to help them fulfill
their strike duties, they can apply for this portion of the fund.

To qualify for funds you will need to provide evidence of:
need: Briefly tell us what you need and why you need it. For example: “My shoes are not
waterproof. I need a good pair of boots to keep my feet dry on the picket lines.”
cost: Provide the receipt for the purchased item. If you cannot afford to purchase the item
in advance, please contact the SHF directly at

For transit costs, provide us evidence of the cost per trip (not necessary for TTC) and the
number of times you attend York to picket, as well as the number of times you usually attended York per week before the strike, to show your strike-related additional transit expenses. If you have other transit or travel expenses directly related to your strike work, please list them and explain on the form. Travel expenses not directly related to your strike work require a Section B application.

Section B: Financial Hardship

This part of the fund is intended for members who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the strike.

Eligibility: Applicants must be a CUPE 3903 strike pay eligible member who either:
has participated in the strike (picket line or 8th line) fully; provides proof of income; AND had a
pre-strike household income of less than $2550/month plus $1650 /month for each dependent (including spouse)


has exceptional circumstances.

Section C: Medical Documentation Reimbursement Fund

This part of the fund is intended for members who have had to pay for medical documentation to qualify for 8th-line (alternate strike work) duties. Members who require medical documentation (i.e. a doctor’s note) to qualify for picket pay for 8th line duties can receive a maximum reimbursement of up to $50 for medical documentation. This fund is capped at $2,500 and is a separate pool from the Strike Hardship Fund pool. Medical documentation reimbursement does not count towards the $600 maximum for Sections A and B.

Eligibility: Applicants must be a CUPE 3903 picket pay eligible member who:

a. Has participated regularly in the strike (picket or 8 th line hours), with the expectation that
members are participating in alternative 8th line duties and/or picketing for at least 20
hours a week unless there is an exceptional circumstance.
b. Has filled out the Accommodations & Alternative Strike Duties Online Form
c. Provides proof of payment for medical documentation. For confidentiality, members
should not provide the doctor’s note to the Strike Hardship Fund Committee. All medical
documentation should be sent to the CUPE 3903 Equity Officer (EO), Nadia Kanani by


Members who would, bar the strike, qualify to begin a Leave (Compassionate Leave,
Bereavement Leave, Sick Leave, Pregnancy Leave, Paid Caregiver Leave, Unpaid Caregiver
Leave, Adoption Leave, Jury Leave or Transgender Transition Leave) that is available to them
under their Unit 1, Unit 2 or Unit 3 Collective Agreement, and who were not pre-approved by
the employer for that Leave before the beginning of the strike, are understood to be in
exceptional circumstances. If you are in this situation, you may be eligible for the Strike
Hardship Fund, with funding of up to $1,000. In some circumstances related to leaves, the Fund can reduce or waive the strike participation requirement.

On your application, please note:
a) the circumstances which would otherwise qualify you for a leave
b) the date when those circumstances began
c) any additional expenses you may be facing as a result of these circumstances, such as travel expenses or supplies.

We will respond with a request for any needed documentation. Please do not send medical documentation with your application. Medical or other confidential documentation will be reviewed only by Nadia Kanani, the CUPE 3903 Equity Officer.

You need to submit an application to be considered for a leave equivalent. Please let us know on the application which type of leave applies.

How to Apply:

Members can fill out the Jotform and submit the necessary supporting documents online.


The Strike Hardship Fund criteria are set by the Strike Committee, and they are applied to all applications using the same set of policies, software, and mathematical formulas. If you would like more information about your rejected application, please email us and we will provide it. If you disagree with the SHF Committee’s decision and would like to appeal it, there are two steps:

1. Please email the SHF Committee using the subject line, “Appeal”. The SHF Committee
will re-review the decision with at least three members to determine if a mistake was
made. We will correct any error we find and contact you with the result.
2. If you disagree with the SHF re-review result, you can then appeal the decision to the
CUPE 3903 Executive for a procedural review. To do this, send an email to the CUPE
3903 Equity Officer, Nadia Kanani, at, with the
subject line, “Strike Hardship Fund Appeal”.

Questions: If you have questions, please contact the SHF Committee at

Criteria for the 2024 Strike Hardship Fund were set by the Strike Committee on March 7 th , 2024.