Chief Steward Unit 1 Run-Off Election Result

Since neither candidate for the position of Chief Steward Unit 1 received more than 50% of the vote during the executive committee general elections, a run-off election was held between Tuesday, March 28 and Thursday, March 30.

The new Chief Steward Unit 1 is Karl Gardner, congratulations!

The results of the vote are as follows:

  • Karl Gardner: 65 votes
  • Harjot S. Deol: 62 votes

Total ballots cast: 127


Reminder: Community Safety Consultation Tomorrow

The Director of Community Safety at York, Samina Sami, is hosting a Community Safety Consultation with CUPE 3903 on Thursday, March 30 from 2-3pm in York Lanes 280A. All members are invited to attend. This meeting came about through a CUPE 3903 Joint Health and Safety meeting where we learned a strategic plan is being developed regarding campus safety at York. We asked for a consultation that is open to all of our members. York says they would like to hear from us about our experiences of safety – or lack of safety – at York. This seems like a good opportunity to ask why our members were not aware of recent bomb threats at Keele and Glendon campuses, and to ask why it took the employer so long to put out a statement condemning the bomb threats and hate graffiti in our workplaces. This is also a space to directly inform York about your experiences of racism, sexism, ableism, transphobia and homophobia on our campuses; to talk about the lack of lighting and the lack of sanding/salting and how that impacts your sense of safety at York; to talk about York’s sexual assault policy – the list goes on. If York wants to know what we think about safety on campus let’s tell them!

What: Community Safety Consultation
When: Thursday, March 20th, 2-3PM
Where: 280A York Lanes
Who: All CUPE members encouraged to attend

Chief Steward Unit 1 Run-Off Election

Voting for the Executive Committee elections closed at 5 pm on Wednesday, March 22. However, once the votes were counted, neither candidate for Chief Steward Unit 1 received over 50% of the vote. Article 14 III. (h) (ii) of the CUPE 3903 bylaws states:

A candidate must obtain a majority of votes cast, i.e. at least 50% plus 1, to be declared elected. When no candidate obtains a majority, the candidate receiving the fewest votes shall be dropped and a second ballot taken. The process shall continue until one candidate has obtained a majority.

While there is no candidate to drop, the bylaws appear clear that a successful candidate must always receive 50%+1 of votes cast.

Consequently, there will three days of voting for the position of Chief Steward Unit 1 only. Polls will be open from 10 am to 4 pm in the Vari Hall link on Keele campus from Tuesday March 28 to Thursday March 30.  Polls will be open from 10 am to 4 pm outside the cafeteria on Glendon campus on Tuesday March 28 only. Candidate statements are below.
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Executive Committee, Unit 2 BT, and TFAC Election Results

Voting for the contested executive committee positions, as well as the Unit 2 bargaining team (BT) run-off, closed at 5 pm on Wednesday, March 22. Voting for the positions of Trans Feminist Action Caucus (TFAC) Co-Chairs closed at 4 pm on Wednesday, March 22. The results of all of these elections are found below. New members of the Executive Committee will take office on April 1. The new BT member will take office immediately.

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CUPE 3903 Condemns Racist Graffiti and Bomb Threats

Over the past three weeks, there have been several incidents at Glendon College where racist threats have been written on the walls, targeting Jewish and Black students. On at least two occasions, York Hall was evacuated due to a bomb threat. Such threats follow from the recent and alarming increase in far-right attacks on Muslim, Jewish, and other marginalized communities. As the union representing graduate student workers, contract faculty, and part-time librarians at York University, including Glendon College, CUPE 3903 stands against all forms of racism and hate and condemns these incidents. We wish to express our solidarity with students, staff, and faculty at the Glendon campus, and especially with the Jewish and Black members of our community that have been the targets of these threats.

We would also like to express disappointment with the response from York’s administration. While these threats have been made over the past three weeks, many of our members at Glendon, as well as the larger Glendon community, were left unaware until the last few days. They also ignored queries from the CUPE 3903 Chair of the Joint Health and Safety Committee. The York administration has an obligation to communicate these hateful incidents with the wider York community in a prompt and open way.

As students, librarians, and teachers at this university, our members can have a role in responding to this racism and generating the solidarity that is urgently needed on our campuses and in our wider community. One concrete way to help, which students at Glendon have requested, is to open the classroom to discussions around these incidents at Glendon and the wider context of racism, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia. This is also an opportunity to inform students of the resources they have (including student government, organization and clubs, residence teams as well as the Wellness, Counselling and Accessibility Centre) should they wish further action or more support. There are also multiple city-wide organizations should members want to organize against racism and islamophobia in the wider community (see list below). In addition, Glendon is hosting a community meeting this Friday at 2:30 to discuss these incidents (more details to come). We encourage our members at Glendon to attend.

In solidarity,
The CUPE 3903 Executive Committee

City-Wide Organizations and Groups*

Are there more groups we should know about? Let us know! (

CUPE Files Unfair Labour Practices Complaint Against York University

A graphic reads "union-busting, it's against the law"

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the parent local of CUPE 3903, has filed an Unfair Labour Practices complaint against York University. This means that CUPE has made submissions to the Ontario Labour Relations Board, alleging that York has violated the Labour Relations Act.

In September 2016, York University rolled out a new funding model for its graduate students. While the university claims that this move was solely for the purposes of improving the graduate student experience, it was clearly designed as a form of union-busting. York eliminated 691 jobs unionized by CUPE 3903, cutting Unit 3 (graduate assistants) by roughly 90%. This occurred right on the heels of victories both in the 2015 strike and in the 2015-16 arbitration case that secured tuition indexation once and for all.

The loss of these jobs have resulted in hundreds of graduate students being denied the best health benefits package on campus. They have also lost access to funds for childcare, extended health care costs, emergencies, support for sexual assault survivors, professional development, and more. Our collective agreements also guarantee extensions for students with disabilities and protection from discrimination and harassment. Furthermore, we must consider the lost opportunities for professional development caused by the loss of good jobs on campus. All of these losses together paint a very clear picture of a graduate student experience which, rather than being improved, is dramatically worsened. York is making graduate education even less accessible for those most vulnerable, and trying to package it as an improvement.

Since this new funding model is not at all an improvement of the graduate student experience, York’s motivations appear clear: the decimation of CUPE 3903’s Unit 3 and correspondingly, our bargaining power. A change of this magnitude should have been discussed in bargaining, not forced through after two “consultation” meetings in which the union made it very clear that it categorically refused to accept this plan. To make matters worse, the roll-out of the new funding model was a disaster of epic proportions. York put off meeting with CUPE 3903 between August and November, and resisted answering emails as much as possible, showing yet more hostility towards the union representing their workers.

A mediation meeting concerning the Unfair Labour Practices complaint is scheduled for April 11, 10:30 am, at 505 University Avenue, 2nd floor. Come show York that you support the right to good, unionized jobs on campus.

Bargaining Surveys – Now Online

As many of our members are aware, our Collective Agreement with York University expires on August 31, 2017. To prepare for bargaining, the bargaining team needs input from as many members as possible. We want to hear from you! Your responses to the bargaining survey will help shape the local’s bargaining proposals and priorities.  All information collected will be treated as strictly confidential by your Bargaining Team. We hope you answer as many questions as possible, but you can skip individual questions if you’d like.

Please complete the survey once you have started it. It should take between 5 to 10 minutes. If you have already filled out a survey in person with a member of the bargaining team or at the AGM you do not have to fill it out again but please feel free to circulate this post with your other union colleagues.

Please also look out for notifications of upcoming meetings and contract workshops run by the bargaining team. If you are interested in having the Unit 1 bargaining team run a contract workshop in your department or faculty please get in contact with us at

The Unit 1 Survey can be found at this link:

The Unit 2 Survey can be found at this link:

The Unit 3 Survey is still being prepared but if you would like to complete a survey for Unit 3 once it is ready, please email the bargaining team at and we will send you a link to the Unit 3 survey once it is completed.

SGMM on Summer Funding and Mobilization

Silhouettes march with banners and flags. SGMM on Summer Funding and Mobilization
Tuesday, March 28
3:30 pm – 5:30 pm
280A York Lanes

Join us for a Special General Membership Meeting on the topic of summer funding and how we can effectively mobilize around the damage done by the fellowship funding model!

As you may know, the fellowship model has resulted in the loss of almost 700 jobs out of Unit 3. However, it has also shuffled our guaranteed summer funding into the Fall and Winter semesters, leaving members of Unit 1 in dire financial straits for the summer months. Some potential solutions are in the works, but the membership needs to discuss and choose the direction of our actions against this erosion of our collective agreements.

SGMMs can only be called to address specific issues. Some of the ways in which the topic of this meeting can be addressed are:

  • Recap on what the fellowship model is and how it affects summer funding.
  • Update on what has been done so far.
  • Discussion of what should be done in future.

Snacks and tokens provided!

Join and share on Facebook

Please contact Sheila Wilmot at or at 416-736-5154 ext. 3 if you require any of the following: ASL interpretation, reimbursement for childcare/caregiver/attendant care, and/or transportation costs for members who are unable to secure Wheel-Trans, or other requests for accommodation.

Committee Elections and Remaining Vacancies

Most committees are filled for the year during the Annual General Meeting, which took place Wednesday, March 15. New committee members begin their duties on April 1.

If you would like to volunteer for one or more of the vacant positions, please email Sara at Except for unit-specific positions, all members of the union can sit on committees.

Committee election results, as well as remaining vacancies and upcoming delegate vacancies for upcoming conventions, are listed below.

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TFAC Co-Chair Nominees 2017-18

The TFAC logo, a graphic image of a black cat.

The TFAC logo, a graphic image of a black cat.

Nominations for the two vacancies for Trans Feminist Action Caucus (TFAC) Co-Chair closed on Sunday March 12 at 5 pm. The campaigning period is now open and will continue until voting opens on Monday March 20 and will continue until Wednesday March 22. TFAC polls will be located in the union office (143 Atkinson) from 10am – 4pm. The list of nominees is below. 

Campaign Guidelines

As the election process unfolds, all candidates are required to adhere to the following campaign regulations:

  1. All campaigning practices and materials must be consistent with our CUPE Equality Statement.
  2. Candidates are not allowed to use the union photocopier or union supplies.
  3. The campaigning phase will continue through until the end of voting. Campaigning during the voting period must respect the following regulations:
    1. No posters, flyers or any campaigning activity within 5 metres of polling stations.
    2. Candidates and their representatives are free to go around the university (including with campaign material) to convince members to vote (“pulling the vote”). This activity cannot take place within 5 metres of any polling station. Intimidation of any kind will not be tolerated.
    3. Candidates can appoint scrutineers to each poll to ensure the impartiality of the process, and ensure that all voters are either on the list or submit a ballot within an envelope. Scrutineers must identify themselves to the poll clerks. But neither candidates nor their representatives will be able to use the voter’s lists for targeted vote-pulling once the polls have opened.
    4. Candidates are free to continue putting up posters, posting on social media, and engaging in other forms of campaigning during the voting period, as long as they respect the 5 metre rule.
  4. The polling station will be equipped with a printed version of the campaign statements from the CUPE 3903 website.
  5. We ask that all members who witness violations of these rules document them as accurately as possible and send the information to the Election Officer. Scrutineers/poll clerks will be briefed on what constitutes a violation. The Elections Officer will then make a presentation on any violations that occurred during the elections at a TFAC Meeting. After the presentation, if members feel that any of the violations were serious enough to warrant further action, it will be up to the membership to pursue.

TFAC Elections Officer:
Annelies Cooper

Candidate statements are posted below.

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