Strike Pay, Sabbatical, and Strike Protocols

In response to YUFA’s letter to negotiate a Strike Protocol, York University Vice President McAuley has posted a communication detailing the University’s position, dated 15 March 2022.  

According to our Collective Agreement, our labour is defined as ALL teaching, research, and service to the university. During a strike YUFA members will cease to perform these duties.

This includes Senate and Senate Executive, a majority of whose members are YUFA members, and which therefore require their participation. Without YUFA members, these proceedings lack quorum and no decisions made by these bodies (including Senate Executive) are legitimate or binding. This is defined by both the Collective Agreement and the York Act governing Senate. Therefore, the administration’s decision to assign decision making powers to Senate Executive for the duration of the strike, as announced in VP McAuley’s communication, is illegal.

YUFA has been forced into a strike position largely because our Administration takes a non-normative view of labour, governance and the responsibilities of professors.

The following constitutes YUFA’s clarification of Strike Pay and Strike Protocol:

Strike Pay:

If a strike is called and picket lines are set up, the Employer will no longer pay us.

All members who perform strike duty will receive strike pay for the duration of the strike, based on performance of strike duties 4 hours a day, 4 days a week, with reduced duties for Sabbaticants (see below).

YUFA members on strike will receive a total of $1000/week in exchange for in- person strike duty on the picket line, or alternate strike duties for members who need accommodation on the basis of disability or family status, who are already overburdened in strike organization, or for other reasons subject to Executive direction.

Members are expected to respect the picket line to receive strike pay.

Strike pay is non-taxable.

Members on work visas are entitled to participate in a legal strike without change or threat to work permits.

A final contract agreement will include a BTW (Back to Work) negotiation of remediated salary and research expenses.

Medical Benefits:

Benefit claims will be submitted as usual to Sun Life. YUFA will be supplying the Employer with prepayment of benefits on a monthly basis.

Housing and Mortgages:

YUFA will provide a mortgage deferral letter for members to take to their credit unions or banks.

Because many YUFA colleagues have their mortgages with Alterna, we have been in touch with Alterna and they are prepared for members to contact them regarding mortgage deferrals (which also occurred during the 1997 YUFA trike). Together with the York Alterna branch, YUFA is establishing a Hardship Fund for members who are not home owners (i.e. renters who are housing insecure). Details are forthcoming.


The Employer has posted strike protocols that preclude members from opting out of the strike. This protocol includes members on sabbatical, who will not be paid if a strike is called. This move defines all members including sabbaticants as strikers.

YUFA considers the ER’s interpretation to be a divisive move, calculated to create resentment towards the union. However, all YUFA members will be on strike and the Employer will not issue salaries for the duration of the strike.

YUFA will offer diverse physical and virtual forms of strike duty including reduced duties for sabbaticants so that members on sabbatical can also receive strike pay.

A final Back to Work (BTW) protocol will include negotiation of remediated salary and research expenses.

Teaching & Learning:

All activities of teaching and learning will cease during a disruption. This includes: supervision of practicums, experiential learning and field trips, doctoral, master and undergrad research and activities, and examinations.

The Employer has announced that members will have access to all software except for E-Class. Students will have access to E-Class but faculty will not.

We are trying to confirm that we will have access to our zoom accounts.

YUFA has its own zoom account and will continue to host YUFA zoom meetings where members can participate.

Early submission of grades:

The employer is asking colleagues to submit marks before March 24. This request interferes with the academic integrity of our teaching by demanding that grades be posted before classes are completed and final examinations held. It would not be in the best of interest of students to undermine the quality of courses.

Research & Expenses:

Research staff funded by grants can continue to be paid. Members should attempt to submit research expense claims before March 24.

YUFA is attempting to determine the status of research expenses incurred by sabbaticants during the period of strike action.

Email and online platforms:

The Employer has indicated that YUFA members will continue to have access to York email accounts and online platforms, except for eClass. There is no guaranteed electronic privacy on York email accounts and digital platforms.

Members should ensure that they have downloaded their class lists, grades and course materials as a cautionary measure.

Student placements:

YUFA continues to be concerned about the Administration’s lack of particulars around the university’s duty of care towards international students and students on practicum. We are asking for a plan for how the Employer will take responsibilities for: international students; students on practicums; students on experiential learning trips.

Picket duty:

YUFA will be providing virtual picket duty as well as informational pickets.
Virtual picket duties will be coordinated by virtual picket captains.

A separate advisory on picket duties, virtual picket options, and sabbatical reduced picket duties will be issued soon.

The strike FAQ page for members will be updated with this information. Members may direct students to the updated FAQ page for students and community members.