A Meeting to Call for Fossil-Free Divestment of York’s Financial Assets

When: Tuesday, November 17, 2:30-4:30 pm (by Zoom)
Who: Full-time faculty, contract faculty, students and staff at York University

Why: Members of the university community — all faculty, students and staff — are invited to a meeting to organize a fossil-free divestment movement at York University.

York’s new university academic plan has committed the university to the United Nation’s sustainable development goals and to climate action — it is time to move from words to action. York holds hundreds of millions of dollars in financial assets, including the York endowment fund and the York pension plan. These financial investments should stop supporting the stranded assets of the fossil fuel industry and instead help build a just and sustainable future.

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November GMM (November 16th, 2020) – Tentative Agenda

Click here for Zoom registration (required to attend meeting).

Our next GMM will be November 16th, 2020 on zoom! At this GMM, we will be voting on bylaw amendments and donation requests, as well as voting on bargaining proposals. All members are encouraged to attend.

Keep reading for the tentative agenda, accessibility information and more.

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Anti-Black Racism Framework – Invitation to Meeting

On September 24th the Executive Committee had sent a letter to President Lenton to welcome her proposed initiatives to hire Black faculty, as outlined in her June 12th and August 31st statements. Although we appreciated these initiatives, we were dismayed to find out that racialized CUPE 3903 contract faculty had been left out of these plans. In our letter we therefore inquired what plans the employer had to ensure equitable hiring practices for our Black contract faculty members.

In response, we have now received a letter from Dr. Sheila Cote-Meek (VP Equity, People and Culture) that she, along with President Lenton, Dr. Carl James (Senior Advisor on Equity and Representation), and Dr. Andrea Davis (Special Advisor on LA&PS Anti-Black Racism Strategy), are inviting CUPE 3903 Contract Faculty members who identify as Black to a Zoom meeting on Thursday, November 19th from 11:15am–12:15pm. The purpose of this meeting is to seek input on the draft Anti-Black Racism Framework.

If you are a 3903 Black Contract Faculty member who wishes to attend this meeting in order to join in on this conversation, please send an email to Alicia Pinter (apinter@yorku.ca). A draft copy of the Anti-Black Racism Framework will be shared in advance of the meeting for review and consideration.

Notice – Short Bargaining Meeting with the Employer on November 16th (4–5pm)

The CUPE 3903 Bargaining Team (BT) and Employer met for the first time on October 30th. Thanks to the rank and file members who attended bargaining to support the team. The report back can be read here.

Following this session, the BT and Employer are scheduled for a short meeting (1 hour) on November 16th at 4pm to discuss the following items:

  • Additional equity proposals
  • Extension agreements to each of the Units 1, 2 and 3 collective agreements and if our local’s membership want to agree or disagree with the extensions
  • Discuss the provisions that do not extend beyond the life of the current collective agreements

Members are welcome and encouraged to attend. You will need to register in advance here: Registration link

Chief Steward Unit 2 Campaign Period from November 7th–20th

The nomination period for the Chief Steward Unit 2 position has ended. We have two candidates: Elena Chou and Christoper Luszczek.

The campaign period will now run from November 7th to November 20th, and will be followed by a 5-day voting period from 9:00am on November 21st to 5:00pm on November 25th. As this position is Unit 2 specific, voting is limited to Unit 2 members.

Unit 2 members will receive their voting link via their email. Digital voting will be carried out by Simply Voting.

Candidate statements can be read here.

Report Back – First Bargaining Meeting with the Employer on October 30th (2–5pm)

On Friday, October 30, the CUPE 3903 Bargaining Team (BT) representing Unit 1 (Teaching Assistants, Marker/Graders, Lab Assistants, Tutors), Unit 2 (Contract Faculty), and Unit 3 (Graduate and Research Assistants) met with the Employer for the first time to discuss bargaining content. The meeting took place online on Zoom between 2pm-5pm. Prior to this meeting with the employer, the BT held a meeting on Zoom between 10am-1pm.

At this first bargaining meeting, present for the employer were Dan Bradshaw, (Assistant Vice-President, Faculty Relations), Diane Pestrin (Senior Advisor, Faculty Relations), Gerald Audette (Professor, Chemistry Department), Lyndon Martin (Vice-Provost Academic, Professor, Faculty of Education), Ran Lewin (Assistant Vice-President, Budgets and Asset Management), Leanne De Filippis (Senior Counsel, Labour & Employment), Kate McPherson (Associate Dean, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies) and Patrick Banville (Executive Officer, Faculty of Graduate Studies). The Employer’s lead negotiator is Dan Bradshaw.

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Notice – First Bargaining Meeting with the Employer on October 30th (2–5pm)

On October 30, the Bargaining Team will meet with the Employer for the first time to discuss bargaining content. The Employer had indicated that they would like to discuss equity and job security, but has not provided further details. The Bargaining Team will be discussing scheduling logistics and other relevant process questions with respect to expedited bargaining.

The meeting with the Employer will be held online on Zoom, between 2-5pm. The Bargaining Team will be meeting at 10am-1pm, prior to the meeting with the Employer. Please come to the bargaining meeting and show support for the Bargaining Team! Members’ presence shows the Employer that we take bargaining seriously.

CUPE 3903 operates under the principle of open bargaining. This means that all members are encouraged to attend any and all bargaining meetings to observe, pass notes to the Bargaining Team, and participate in Bargaining Team caucuses. In order to ensure meeting security, the Zoom link to the meeting will be provided once members register for the meeting.

To register, please use this registration link.

For more information, visit the Bargaining tab. The Bargaining Team can be reached at 3903bargaining@gmail.com.

Self-Care Workshops in Support of Trans Day of Remembrance


Are you someone who can lead a self-care workshop?

The Trans Feminist Action Caucus Group is looking for facilitators to organize and lead a workshop on self-care on the week of November 23rd 2020, following Trans Day of Remembrance (TDOR) (Nov. 20)

What do we mean by self-care?
Self-care: what we do or don’t do to take care of our physical, emotional, & mental well-being. Acknowledging our greatest harms are structural: capitalism, white supremacy, colonialism, & disablism.

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CUPE 3903 Executive Committee Opposes Premier Ford’s Proposed Bill 168

The 3903 Executive Committee has learned that the Ontario Conservative government is quickly and quietly trying to change the current definition of antisemitism to the one adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) in 2016. This new definition of antisemitism is the product of a growing movement that seeks to redefine antisemitism to include criticism of Israel. This definition intentionally conflates antisemitism with legitimate criticism of Israel and Zionism. Bill 168 passed second reading in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario on February 27, 2020 and the Standing Committee on Justice is accepting public hearings this week, in anticipation of what we believe is a move to pass the bill to the third reading.

Bill 168 will not only have a chilling effect on academic freedom for students and faculty whose scholarship is critical of Israel, but it will further erode and delegitimize the rights and claims of Palestinian people. Furthermore, we stress that York University President Lenton reject the adoption of IHRA’s definition of antisemitism, given its unmistakable political character, and acknowledge the continual harassment faced by York students and faculty who support Palestine.

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CUPE 3903 is Co-Sponsoring the 12th Annual Canadian Labour International Film Festival (CLIFF) – November 1st–30th


CUPE 3903 is partnering with Work and Labour Studies @York and the Global Labour Research Centre to co-host CLIFF. There will be a series of films introduced and screened each Monday in November at 7pm, followed by a Q&A. This series will provide an opportunity to discuss labour issues as they affect workers globally and locally.

For the full schedule and registration links, click here.