FAQ for Summer Strike

The following FAQ was prepared by the Extended Strike Preparation Sub-Committee.

  1. Should I register for the summer session? What funding will and will not be paid out?
  2. What about the International Tuition Offset (ITO)? How will I be able to afford my summer tuition?
  3. What about Graduate Financial Assistance (GFA)? How will I be able to afford my summer tuition?
  4. My tuition is paid via payroll deduction. How am I affected?
  5. I will be away for fieldwork this summer, what can I expect?
  6. When will my Record of Employment (ROE) be released?
  7. Will I be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) while on strike?
  8. What is the status of Notices of Recommended Appointments (NRAs)?
  9. I want to negotiate a loan or ask a financial institution for leniency regarding payment/terms, can the Local provide a letter of support?
  10. Are there any additional resources for those of us experiencing hardships?

1. Should I register for the summer session? What funding will and will not be paid out?

  • The Faculty of Graduate Studies has extended the registration deadline for the Summer 2018 session until May 28, but the date is provisional due to the ongoing strike.
  • If you register for the summer session and maintain full-time status, you will receive the following:
    • Fellowship (which will cover the majority of domestic rate tuition fees)
    • Scholarships
    • OSAP
    • Research Assistant (RA) wages
  • As we are currently without a contact, the following will not be received:
    • International Tuition Offset (ITO)
    • Graduate Financial Assistance (GFA)
    • Salary
    • Grant-in-Aid
    • Funds contingent on a current Collective Agreement (CUPE 3903 Unit 1 PhD Completion Fund, CUPE 3903 Unit 1 Masters Bursary Fund, etc.)
  • Whether you should register or not depends on if you require continuous registration. If you don’t, there is no penalty in waiting until the registration deadline.

2. What about the International Tuition Offset (ITO)? How will I be able to afford my summer tuition?

  • As the ITO is in our CA, it will not be paid out during the strike. For those who require continuous registration, we recommend that you register for the Summer 2018 session. You will have an outstanding balance within your student account for the amount typically covered by the ITO. Do not pay it. The Executive Committee has passed a motion saying that any accrued interest, should it amount, will be paid by the Local upon the end of this strike. According to FGS, the ‘late fee date’ remains TBD.
  • If you have external scholarships, you unfortunately do not have the option of not paying, as York will put this scholarship money towards your outstanding tuition. Members in this situation may be eligible for the Strike Hardship Fund.
  • The Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) has agreed to waive the financial block for members who need to enroll in internships and field experience for course credit, as long as the debt is from the summer semester. Members in this situation should contact FGS Financial Officer Juan Arangote (fgsflo@yorku.ca).

3. What about Graduate Financial Assistance (GFA)? How will I be able to afford my summer tuition?

  • As the GFA is in our CA, it will not be paid out during the strike. For those who require continuous registration, we recommend that you register for the Summer 2018 session. You will have an outstanding balance within your student account for the amount typically covered by the GFA. Do not pay it. According to FGS, the ‘late fee date’ remains TBD.
  • If you have external scholarships, you unfortunately do not have the option of not paying, as York will put this scholarship money towards your outstanding tuition. Members in this situation may be eligible for the Strike Hardship Fund.
  • As the summer GFA amounts to approximately $650, an outstanding balance caused by the GFA not being paid out will not trigger a financial block on its own.

4. My tuition is paid via payroll deduction. How am I affected?

  • If your tuition is being paid via a payroll deduction from a TA/GA salary, no action needs to be taken. Your summer tuition will remain as an outstanding balance on your student account. According to FGS, the ‘late fee date’ remains TBD.
  • If your tuition is being paid via a payroll deduction from an RAship, the Executive Committee is currently investigating the best course of action for you to take. This entry will be updated when that information has been received.

5. I will be away for fieldwork this summer, what can I expect?

  • With York’s unilateral implementation of the Fellowship, members who register for the Summer 2018 session will largely receive what they would earn during a summer without a strike: the Fellowship, scholarships, OSAP, and RA wages. Grant-in-Aid is no longer paid out over the summer.

6. When will my Record of Employment (ROE) be released?

  • Records of Employment should be released upon the documented end of contract (Apr. 30). These will be marked with a code to indicate to CRA that the member was on strike at the time the contract ended.
  • If your record of employment is not available through the HR self-serve or does not appear on the CRA website please contact staff.

7. Will I be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) while on strike?

  • Our staff and CUPE National have been advocating for members to be eligible for EI when their Winter and Fall/Winter contracts expire. Normally one is not eligible for EI while on strike, but because of the circumstances, Service Canada and CRA have indicated that members should apply and eligibility will be adjudicated on a case-by-case basis.

8. What is the status of Notices of Recommended Appointments (NRAs)?

  • All NRAs are suspended so long as we are on strike.
  • NRAs released by the employer during the strike are considered on hold; the query/grievance period does not start until the CA is renewed and the strike is over.
  • NRAs released before the strike are also suspended if the query/grievance period intersects with the strike. The query/grievance period stops at the date we went on strike (Mar. 5) and will restart as soon as the CA is renewed.

9. I want to negotiate a loan or ask a financial institution for leniency (loan, mortgage, car payments, etc.) regarding payment/terms, can the Local provide a letter of support?

  • Yes, the Local is able to provide members with a letter of support that can be forwarded to a financial institution, landlord, etc., outlining that the member is in good standing within the Local, is currently on a limited income due to an ongoing labour disruption, can be reasonably expected to return to work after this labour disruption, and that we ask leniency be provided for the time being.
  • To receive a letter, please contact Devin Lefebvre at cupe3903chairperson@gmail.com, using the subject “Hardship – Letter of Support”, and please provide some basic context in order to properly populate the letter (name/institution, reason for request, etc.)

10. Are there any additional resources for those of us experiencing hardships?