Updated March 16th
On March 15th, York sent an email to Unit 1 and 2 members announcing that they may have to continue their course work beyond April 30th. We consulted legal counsel, and notified York of our objection to extending contracts without compensation. We are pleased to see York’s response addresses our concern.
Keep track of important updates and information on our COVID-19 Updates Page.
Read the summary and FAQ arising from our recent Townhall (May 7th).
Know your rights during this disruption.
We’ve created several surveys to help gather information and support you better during this time, keep reading for links to them all.
On Thursday March 11th, members of the executive and staff from CUPE 3903 met with the employer to discuss the COVID-19 response. While questions relating to pandemic response had been raised in other venues, this was the first time the employer invited the union to discuss these issues.
At this meeting we learned that the university had created an emergency management team in January. This team is responsible for monitoring the situation and providing information to the York Community. It is led by Samina Sami (Executive Director, Community Safety). When asked what would trigger the university to suspend classes, the employer said that it would take a directive from the Public Health Agency, and that the first priority is to complete the term without delay.
As such, we were surprised but pleased to see that York has suspended face-to-face classes and is moving to online delivery as of Monday. While this will present logistical difficulties, it is the right choice to protect students and staff and “flatten the curve” of the spread of COVID-19.
Nonetheless, this move raises many questions for our members, which were raised with the employer. These include:
- What provisions are in place for Nursing Clinical Course Directors who teach in hospitals? The union’s position is that contracts must be upheld and that CCDs should not be penalized as a result of quarantine.
- Whether part-time librarians and archivists (Unit 4) would be penalized as they are hourly employees. As above, the union’s position is that all members should be paid if their work is cancelled due to circumstances out of their control. We contacted the Libraries and Faculty Relations again this morning to emphasize that Unit 4 members need to be treated fairly and protected from exposure.
- The university should follow the University of Toronto’s lead and waive the requirement for sick notes. The communication from the Senate this morning specifies that sick notes are not required for students for deferred standing or petitions. Members of CUPE 3903 do not need sick notes.
- What would be done about the overwork required to move courses online.
The employer did not have clear answers regarding these issues yesterday; we see that some of these are currently evolving. The union made its position clear, and we hope that the employer will see that when it comes to pandemic planning, we need to work together to find reasonable solutions.
Also of note, we learned that York has contracted additional cleaning staff. While they have daily meetings with maintenance and vendors, they were unable to provide more information about how often cleaning of common services occurred. We also discussed the unclear communications from the employer and stressed the importance of clear directives.
Presently, the exact directives for putting courses online are unclear. If you are asked to complete tasks in a way that is unreasonable or violates your medical needs, please get in touch with the union and we will assist you.
Due to increasing concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19 the Executive of CUPE 3903 have made the difficult decision to postpone the Annual General Meeting. We will update members with further information, including how elections will be handled, as soon as we can.
On Thursday, March 12th, the executive committee sent the following letter to the President of Ryerson University. All members are encouraged to defend student government autonomy by supporting the Ryerson Student Union’s fight against the attempt to replace them with a new student government designed by the Ryerson administration.
The CUPE 3903 Office in 143 Atkinson is closed to walk-ins. We are evaluating the response to COVID-19 and update members as soon as possible. Staff and Exec are still available over email and we are discussing additional ways to meet/discuss concerns with members.
The organizers of the annual International Day for the Elimination of Racism (IDER) in the School of Social Work are partnering with the Indigenous YUFA Caucus, the Centre for Aboriginal Student Services, the York University Indigenous Council, and community members, in a day long gathering on March 11th in the Vari Hall Rotunda from 10am to 4pm in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en peoples and their long standing and ongoing struggles for decolonial justice.
Do you use GO Transit and the TTC? Your commute could get $780 more expensive per year starting April 1st, unless your MPP speaks out now. The provincial government is ending the $1.50 discount double fare for GO and TTC trips.
Your MPP will be voting on this issue next week! Please contact your MPP now and ask them to continue funding the GO-TTC discount.
We would like to congratulate Bridget Liang on becoming one of the TFAC Co-Chairs!
Because TFAC is entitled to two positions on the Executive Committee we have decided to extend the nomination period until 5pm Wednesday March 11 in order to ensure this position is filled. Keep reading for more details.
Annual General Meeting
Monday, March 16
11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Second Student Centre – Conference Centre
Conference Centre SSC