Strike Mandate Vote – July 5th to July 9th

From July 5th to July 9th, vote YES in the Strike Mandate Vote for a more equitable York University and a safe return to in-person work!

Since Fall 2020, the bargaining team for CUPE 3903 Units 1, 2, and 3 (teaching assistants, contract faculty, and graduate assistants, respectively) has been bargaining for new collective agreements that will ensure equity and fairness for all members of our union, as well as the York community as a whole. The employer is resisting these attempts by stalling at the bargaining table. To make matters worse, York has now announced that they are planning a return to on-campus work without adequate safety guarantees to protect us all from COVID-19!

Find out more about the current bargaining priorities. 

We have been in conciliation since April 27, 2021. The third-party conciliators are working hard to bring the parties closer together, and yet, York has requested a “no board” report, which means they are working towards a legal lockout position. In order to ensure that movement continues at the bargaining table and avoid a lockout, we need your help. We have already waited for months for York to begin bargaining in good faith as they continue to stall. You can read reports from every bargaining session here.

We believe we can win some real solutions to promote equity at York University and resist a potential unsafe return to in-person work. But we can only do this with a strong strike mandate.


Strike Mandate Vote Special General Membership Meetings

All members are strongly encouraged to attend one or both of these meetings to discuss the latest developments in bargaining and the strike mandate vote. The July 5th SGMM will also be a red lines SGMM.

Be sure to register in advance of these meetings to avoid delays in getting admitted.

What is a “Red lines” Special General Membership Meeting?

A red lines SGMM is one in which the membership collectively identifies and establishes the most important issues in the current bargaining round that are essential to the local as a whole, and to the specific units. A red lines SGMM initiates a mechanism by which the membership holds the Bargaining Team accountable to the union for a successful agreement with the Employer.

Who can vote in the strike mandate vote?

All members who have held a contract in the 2020-2021 academic year are eligible to vote. Please disregard any previous communications on this topic: luckily, the union has been able to work with CUPE National to expand eligibility to vote.

How do I vote?

You will receive an electronic ballot by email on July 5th. You will have until 5:00 PM (EDT) on July 9th to cast your vote. Get in touch with Michael Laurentius,, if you think you are eligible to vote but don’t receive your ballot.

Is a Strike Mandate Vote a vote to go on strike?

A “yes” vote does not automatically mean we are going on strike. It simply means that the membership has given the Executive Committee a mandate to call a strike if necessary. No decision to go on strike will be taken without another vote of the full membership at a Final Offer Special General Membership Meeting, tentatively scheduled for the Fall.

Why a Strike Mandate Vote if there is threat of a lockout?

Because a strong strike mandate often forces the Employer to negotiate seriously, it can help us avert a strike or lockout. The higher the turnout and the stronger the “yes” vote, the more power we have at the bargaining table—and the more likely we can reach a deal. A weak mandate, or no mandate at all, means that the Employer will be emboldened to be aggressive in bargaining, up to and including a lockout.

Related Links

Members Approve Provisional Strike Timeline

Bargaining 2020