Poll Clerks Needed!

Poll clerks are needed to operate polls at Glendon next week, beginning Monday November 26th, from 11am-3pm. The position is paid at $15/hour, and 2 clerks are needed for each shift. Given the size of Unit 4 and the potential for all known members to have cast their ballots before the end of the week, decisions about continuing polling at Glendon will occur on a daily basis. Therefore poll clerk positions are being offered on a day-to-day basis subject to the needs of the vote. Any member who is interested should contact Stacey, VPU1 at cupe3903vpu1@gmail.com

Unit 4 Bargaining Update

On Saturday, November 17, 2018, the Unit 4 bargaining team met with York University representatives. After 4 hours of negotiations, the university made an offer to Unit 4.

Some gains resulting from this meeting are as follows:

  1. Wage increase (2.3%, 2.2%, and 2.1% respectfully)
  2. Inclusion in the Professional Development Fund
  3. Extension of Health Benefit for 5-month coverage after the end of contract

The Unit 4 bargaining team has recommended this offer to go to ratification. There will be a Special General Membership meeting on Monday, November 26th, 10-11am. The location for the SGMM will be in Harry Crowe, 109 Atkinson. We must applaud the perseverance and hard work of the Unit 4 bargaining team. To read previous bargaining updates, visit the Unit 4 Bargaining page.

Electronic Voting Implementation Working Group

During the most recent strike there was a call to revive the Working Group that had been
established in 2015. The Working Group, as per its name, was primarily intended to investigate the potential for implementing electronic voting within the local. During discussion from the floor at the June 2018 SGMM, members suggested that part of the motivation for reviving the Working Group was to investigate ways of making union spaces and engagement in union issues more accessible, including e-voting. With that in mind, the motion specifies the necessity of keeping our equality statement at the forefront of the Working Group’s work. There was also a suggestion that this Working Group liaise with other relevant committees as appropriate. Please note that there is no record of a report from 2015, and member recollections are that no report was ever completed or circulated. E-voting working group objectives and process.  Continue reading

YU Ride Campaign

We urgently need help to save transit at York University. Please click here and sign the petition to restore all YRT/VIVA/GO bus stops on campus.

Please also share this message with family and friends. Together, we can make transit on campus accessible and affordable!


As of September 2, York Regional Transit (YRT) no longer dropped off passengers on campus. Now, the YRT ends their bus routes at Pioneer Village Station at Steeles Avenue.

YRT users will have to spend over $1,000 per year in additional transit fees if they want to take the TTC subway to York University Station. Users who cannot afford these fees will have to travel on foot or by wheelchair to campus, which poses serious accessibility and safety risks.

In addition, on November 6, 2018, York University announced that GO Transit will cease operations from the Keele campus and instead will operate out of the Highway 407 station located at Jane Street and the 407 ETR.

We recognize that many students, staff, faculty, and community members are now being forced to pay double fare. York University is primarily a commuter school and the capacity to access our campuses using various transit providers contributes to that. When the TTC subway extension was announced, we were promised that commuters would have better access to transit. Now we have a longer commute and dramatically increased transit costs. In order to maintain direct and shorter commutes with one fare, we require all transit providers to stay on campus.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. CUPE 3903  is part of a campus-wide campaign to make transit at York University accessible and affordable.

Please sign the petition now!

For more information, visit yuride.ca.

Update On Meeting with Arbitrator

On Saturday, November 3, the CUPE 3903 bargaining team and the union’s legal counsel attended an arbitration hearing led by Jim Hayes to present submissions regarding collective agreements for Units 1, 2, and 3. Several members were in attendance.

The union’s legal counsel presented the outstanding proposals for all three units, providing justifications supported by budget data and comparisons to similar contracts.

Not every issue got the same level of attention, as the arbitrator was also provided with lengthy written submissions. Some of the highlights include:

  • An increase of CUPE 3903 Benefit Funds
  • A strong argument that the Sexual Violence Survivor’s Fund should be controlled by the Trans Feminist Action Caucus (TFAC), using examples from York’s own Sexual Violence Policy to argue that York’s legal obligations prevent them from being truly survivor-centric.
  • The Lee Wiggins Childcare Center’s need for a funding increase in order to continue providing childcare to members and other parents on campus.
  • Clawback protections and other changes to Unit 1 funding that would clarify how much York can take from members’ scholarships
  • The need for improvements to the existing job security programs for Unit 2. The arbitrator seemed especially interested to note that a large portion of Unit 2 is affected under the Continuing Sessional Standing Program. There was also a detailed discussion of the historical success of the conversions program in the context of York’s current tenure-track hiring plan.
  • The removal of barriers preventing the hiring of Graduate Assistants (GAs) in Unit 3 (there were over 800 GAs in 2015; now there are 16 as a result of the fellowship funding model).

After breaking for lunch, the employer’s lawyer, Simon Mortimer, presented York’s submissions. The day ended with time for the union’s response and questions from the arbitrator. The employer’s arguments remain largely unchanged from their position during the strike and the months of bargaining that preceded it. Mortimer took a very aggressive tone from the start and made several statements that ranged from simply wrong to baffling, for example mischaracterizing provisions of the CA or stating that the university is not in the business of funding research. Compared with the collected and evidence-based approach of the union’s legal counsel, we can only hope that the arbitrator will see that our position is reasonable and achievable.

Prior to Saturday’s meeting, the arbitrator had the opportunity to brief with legal counsel for both the union and the employer. Though a second day had been tentatively scheduled for Sunday, November 4, the arbitrator felt he had fully received the required information. Mr. Hayes indicated that his decision, and therefore the collective agreements for Units 1, 2, and 3, would come before the end of the year. We will update the membership once we get more information.



Job Posting: Tenure-Stream Appointment in the Critical Study of Politics

The Department of Politics, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies invites applications for a tenure-track professorial-stream appointment in the critical study of politics at any professorial rank (Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor), to commence July 1, 2019.

A PhD in Political Science or a related discipline is required. Candidates must have significant professional experience, demonstrated excellence in teaching and in scholarly research, and have produced publications appropriate to their stage of career.

To read more about this job post, please click here

Update on October 30 Levies Vote

On Tuesday, October 30th, our Local held a Unit-specific secret ballot vote on introducing a 1% 4-month levy (special assessment) to help improve our financial position. The results of this vote can be found here. Pursuant to article B.4.2(a) of the CUPE Constitution, the Executive Committee then submitted the levies, approved by Units 1 and 3, to the National President’s Office (NPO) for approval. Given that any levy would affect the entire Local, the NPO indicated this Unit-specific vote contravened the National Constitution and was ruled out of order. “Any assessment must be approved by a majority of members voting in a referendum or at a regular or special membership meeting” which, in the context of the Article, the NPO maintains means a majority of members of the Local in an all-Units vote.

The Executive Committee has called a Special General Membership Meeting (SGMM) for Tuesday, November 13th, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, in Harry Crowe (109 Atkinson) to address this situation, as well as to address the situation this puts our Local in. Both the Executive Committee and our National Service Representative will be present to answer questions.

Click here to read the full letter

Final Vote Count On Levies and Bylaw Amendment

At the September GMM, there was discussion regarding levies (a temporary increase in dues) across all units, for the remainder of this fiscal year. The final vote count on levies was:

Unit 1: 34 yes; 9 no; 2 abstentions

Unit 2: 17 yes; 60 no; 3 abstentions

Unit 3: 2 yes; 0 no; 0 abstentions

Unit 4: no ballots cast

As well, the bylaw amendment on 17.2.f passed with 37 yes; 14 no; 12 abstentions

Meeting with the Arbitrator

Unit 1, 2 and 3 representatives of the CUPE 3903 bargaining team will be meeting with the arbitrator on Saturday and Sunday, November 3 & 4, 2018. The meeting is scheduled to take place at the Chelsea Hotel, Toronto, 33 Gerrard Street West. The meeting is in the Carlisle Room on the 3rd Floor up the red elevators.

On Saturday the arbitrator, Jim Hayes, will be meeting with us from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm, then with the employer from 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm and again with us from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm. 

Members are welcome to attend both Saturday and Sunday’s meetings and participate in bargaining team caucuses, however only the bargaining team and counsel will be able to speak with the arbitrator. The schedule for Sunday’s meeting has not yet been set and will be determined by the arbitrator at Saturday’s meeting