Pages tagged "post"
YUFA update on governance
In the last round of bargaining, YUFA put forward a number of proposals for reform of governance at York. Our goal, strongly supported as a top priority in the bargaining survey of YUFA members, was to enhance the role of faculty in University decision-making and to protect collegial rights. Our proposals included open searches for senior administrators, a more representative membership of the Board of Governors (BoG), an expanded role for Senate in the approval of strategic plans, and more transparency in University finances.
The Employer declined these proposals, with two partial exceptions.
First, they agreed that the President would take a proposal to Senate that would restrict elected Senate representation on the Board of Governors to full-time faculty. After a delay of seven months, the President has now gone forward with that proposal to Senate.
Second, the Employer agreed to discuss at the Joint Committee on the Administration of the Agreement (JCOAA) the provision that requires faculty members sitting on the Board of Governors to be exempt from YUFA membership. This item was finally discussed at JCOAA on Thursday, May 16. After a one-hour discussion, Provost Lisa Philipps stated that she was not convinced by YUFA’s arguments and that the administration declined the proposal.
What was perhaps most disturbing about the discussion of union membership at this meeting was the administration’s stated reasons for dismissing our proposal. The Employer offered a highly restricted view of academic freedom that, in their view, applies only to teaching and research in our areas of expertise. Apparently, it does not apply to our roles in academic decision-making or to our right to criticize the University, despite the fact that these are covered in Article 10 (academic freedom) of the Collective Agreement. We immediately contested this narrow view and we particularly reject it as an interpretation of Article 10.
At this same meeting of the JCOAA, Maureen Armstrong, University Secretary and General Counsel of York, gave additional historical background on the role of the Board of Governors. She explained that York’s Board is highly independent and autonomous. Because of that, YUFA members cannot serve on the Board while retaining their union membership. There is no logical or empirical connection between these two statements.
In most Ontario universities, faculty members serve on the Board without being asked to give up their union membership. YUFA explained to the administration that, of course, YUFA members serving on the Board would recuse themselves from any discussion of compensation for YUFA members. The administration was, in fact, not able to explain what possible conflicts could arise from YUFA members' retaining their membership while serving on the Board.
One thing is clear: YUFA members who choose to give up their union membership to serve on the Board of Governors are more vulnerable to the discipline of the Employer or to reprisals from the Employer if they challenge or disagree with the administration.
These developments at JCOAA must be read in light of recent proposals from Senate Executive (on which both the President and Provost serve ex-officio) to reduce union representation in Senate and to implement new, highly restrictive time limits on Senate discussion. YUSA, CUPE 3903, and YUFA each have a single representative in Senate. In the event that the representative is unable to attend, all three unions have the right to send an alternate. Senate Executive is now proposing to eliminate the right to an alternate for all three unions. In addition, Senate Executive has proposed a three-minute limit on Senators speaking in Senate. No other Ontario university has limits such as those proposed.
In sum, the administration of York seems unwilling to accord us our appropriate and rightful place in the collegial governance of the University. The administration conveys the impression that it is the sovereign and we are the pleading subjects. Philipps’s statement that she was not convinced of YUFA’s position is telling. Apparently, we must plead before the Provost and President of York for our professional and contractual rights. This administration and the independent Board described by York’s General Counsel are running the University while we do our teaching and research in a heavily restricted zone, symbolized by the proposed three-minute limit in Senate.
YUFA cannot accept this vision of the University. The University is an ancient community, made up of scholars at all stages from undergraduates to emeritus professors. It cannot and should not be bossed by administrators who openly vaunt their independence from the academic stakeholders they serve and who explicitly disavow the collegial rights, decision-making role, and academic freedom of the full-time faculty.
* * *
See earlier governance statements from YUFA:
Governance & collegiality bargaining backgrounder (July 31, 2018)
Faculty representation on the Board of Governors bargaining backgrounder (September 30, 2018)
Collegial governance, not managerialism - Backgrounder for General Membership Meeting on governance (November 9, 2018)
Update on provincial government policy affecting faculty receiving salary and pension
The provincial government is in the process of implementing worrisome policy changes that are likely to impact faculty compensation for senior YUFA members receiving their pensions. Some changes are in legislative process (Bill 100, the 2019 budget implementation bill, is currently in third reading in the Ontario Legislature). Other changes, including new regulations arising from this legislation, are at various stages of discussion.
In this communication, we elaborate our understanding of the Ford government’s proposed legislative changes that concern faculty working past the age of 71 and discuss their implications. (We have discussed other aspects of the Ford government’s policy toward universities elsewhere: here, here, here and here).
Bill 100 (pages 113-17) contains the changes that are already in legislative process. The current draft of the bill states that “The Minister may make regulations governing the reduction, limitation and alteration of compensation due to an individual with respect to whom the following conditions are met: …The individual is employed or otherwise engaged by a post-secondary institution [and] …The individual has …started to receive a pension under a pension plan, or …exercised their entitlement to a transfer in accordance with section 42 of the Pension Benefits Act with respect to a pension or a deferred pension payable under a pension plan” (section 42 refers to transferring an amount equal to the commuted value of the former member’s deferred pension).
Although Bill 100 does not mention a particular age, it is relevant to any member who is planning to work after collecting their pension. For York faculty, this means someone who is 71 or older, or planning to work beyond that age. Federal legislation requires you to start collecting your pension in December of the year in which you turn age 71. Note that Bill 100 does not say that employees of a post-secondary institution will have their salary reduced to a certain level. It says that future government regulation may reduce such compensation. In other words, the legislation permits the government to make regulations governing these matters, but the legislation itself does not make those changes.
In more detail, Bill 100 states that regulations under this legislation may “...establish and govern procedures, rules and methods that a post-secondary institution shall use to reduce, including reducing to zero, limit or alter the amount, form or timing of compensation…; provide that the regulations prevail over any collective agreement, contract of employment or any other contract, including any collective agreement, contract of employment or other contract that existed before the regulation was made… [and] require a post-secondary institution to do or refrain from doing anything relating to or arising from the reduction, limitation or alteration of the compensation.”
In other words, the government plans to introduce future regulations that will specify how much compensation shall be reduced when a member starts to receive their pension, including, potentially, reducing salary to zero, in spite of minimum wage legislation. These regulations may override existing collective agreements and restrict new collective agreements, and prevent the University administration from taking any action that will annul the reduction in faculty compensation. Another clause stipulates the envisaged over-ride of the Employment Standards Act and the Labour Relations Act. Again, Bill 100 enables such regulation but does not yet establish it.
The Minister for Training, Colleges and Universities has said that the intent of the legislation is to end “double-dipping,” suggesting that working faculty should not be permitted to collect their pensions and full salary at the same time. One interpretation might be that an individual’s total income from pension and salary could only equal the amount of salary earned before they began to receive their pension. York faculty who reach 71 while working would have to relinquish the amount of their salary equalling the amount of their pension.
OCUFA Executive Director Michael Conlon provides an example: assume your salary at age 70 is $150K and your pension after age 71 is $75 K. If you do not retire and want to keep working full time, your total salary would be reduced from $150K to $75K. Other media interpretations have gone much further, speculating about the reduction of salary to zero when pension payments commence. Again, these are speculations about the possible form of future regulation, and they are not yet established in the current legislative process.
The rhetorical and political context for these policy changes is particularly disquieting. The framing by the government of faculty working full-time past 71 (the age when one is required by federal law to collect pension) as “double dipping” portrays aging faculty as selfishly bilking the public purse instead of receiving compensation that is appropriate to their expertise, skills, experience, and profession.
Crucially, it is also a misrepresentation to suggest that Ontario taxpayers pay for our faculty pensions when we retire. Pensions are monetary contributions set aside monthly as part of our collectively bargained compensation package, as you know from viewing your pay slip. Those accumulated contributions and plan earnings provide the basis for our pensions, whether we take them before or after the age of 71. The deferred earnings that accumulate have a specific “commuted value”, which one is entitled to receive in many circumstances. For example, if an employee left their job and took another position, their pension account and the moneys it has accumulated would go with them. Furthermore, the University actually saves money with respect to an employee who reaches the age of 71 because it no longer makes pension contributions as part of that faculty member’s compensation.
OCUFA reports (page 3) on a consultation held by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities on February 12 on “employee renewal”, in which YUFA officers participated. The consultation narrowed its focus onto faculty members who continue to work full-time and simultaneously collect a pension. OCUFA’s summary reports the following:
Under the guise of faculty renewal, the budget includes legislation that targets the rights of senior faculty and interferes with university collective agreements. The budget makes a preposterous claim, without any supporting data, that the higher average retirement age is the reason the hiring of junior faculty members is limited…
[The focus on faculty working full-time and collecting a pension] …is an alarming development, as it infringes on collective agreement and bargaining rights and could result in discrimination based on an individual’s age. Further, this ignores and distracts from the real challenges facing the postsecondary sector, including systemic underfunding, an alarming shift towards precarious academic positions, and the absence of an effective faculty renewal strategy.
Mandatory retirement was eliminated in Ontario in 2006 as a step towards ending age discrimination in employment, and senior faculty are invaluable to the strength of collegial governance at their institutions. We believe that a real faculty renewal strategy must ensure that retiring faculty members are replaced with full-time, tenure-stream faculty.
OCUFA is seeking a legal opinion on the proposed policy changes, which are fraught with potential rights infringement such as equal pay for equal work, protection against age discrimination, and the right to collective bargaining. It is safe to assume that the government expects one or more court challenges to the legislation. Apart from the obvious legal questions, it is important that faculty associations and universities address the problematic framing of “double dipping”, the misleading arguments about “faculty renewal”—since there is no assurance that a retired faculty will be replaced by a new tenure track appointment—and public misperceptions about the real challenges universities face together with the rights of university employees.
YUFA has discussed the proposed new pension-related salary restrictions for active members aged 71 and over with the Employer through the Joint Committee on the Administration of the Agreement (JCOAA). The Employer expects that there will be a transition period for the new regulations. YUFA has asked the Employer to communicate proactively with members and, in particular, with the 81 YUFA members who would be immediately affected by the new limitation on faculty compensation. YUFA will continue to follow these issues closely and keep members informed of developments.
If you have any questions about these matters or your own retirement, please email [email protected].
OCUFA statement on troubling developments in post-secondary labour relations
As many of you know, the provincial government has indicated its intention to introduce several troubling changes to post-secondary labour relations that may affect our members. In particular, the Ford government is considering the following measures:
1) Introducing a cap or freeze on compensation increases negotiated by broader public sector unions and employee groups;
2) Making collective bargaining over our terms and conditions of employment subject to direct oversight--and possibly full control--by the Treasury Board instead of university administrations;
3) Reducing the salary of faculty members who have not retired and who are required to start drawing their pension at age 71.
This development comes on the heels of the government's proposal to tie 60% of government grants to university performance metrics, and the already announced budget cuts through uncompensated tuition reduction.
At a consultation held last Friday, YUFA joined with other unions and faculty associations to inform the government that the changes related to compensation restraint and collective bargaining would be ill-advised. In the first place, we reminded the government that it is simply false to assert that Ontario has a fiscal crisis. In fact, Ontario continues to have the country’s lowest level of per capita public spending, the lowest per-student spending on post-secondary education, and the lowest level of per capita revenues. University faculty members like other employees in the public sector are not overpaid.
We also reminded them that collective bargaining is a venue where employee groups at universities help to shape the distinctive character and future of their institutions, and that government control could make that process less constructive and pose a threat to the long recognized internal autonomy of universities.
Regarding the third item above, YUFA emphasizes that our pensions constitute deferred salary we have already earned for work completed prior to the start of receiving our pension. The proposal is not only discriminatory by characterizing older faculty as less worthy, but also on the basis of equal pay for equal work. YUFA is asking the Employer to communicate proactively with those affected by a possible reduction in salary post-age 71.
YUFA will continue to monitor these developments. We will keep members informed about all provincial policy changes, and continue to contest detrimental proposals using all available democratic and legal tools.
We urge you to read the important statement from the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) issued on May 3:
OCUFA expresses concerns about "consultations" on public sector compensation
May 3, 2019
OCUFA is concerned about the motives behind the Ministry of Finance's "consultations" on compensation for workers in the broader public sector. It has become increasingly clear that these consultations are not being conducted in good faith and are, instead, part of the Ford government's political agenda to undermine the rights of workers and unions in Ontario.
At the government's consultation with postsecondary education stakeholders on May 3, OCUFA President Gyllian Phillips made these concerns clear in her opening statement:
"Thank you, my name is Gyllian Phillips, President of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA), representing 17,000 faculty at 29 member associations – most of whom are participating today.
"These are turbulent times for universities in Ontario, starting with the government’s introduction of needless directives on free speech, to the cuts to OSAP for students and the 10% tuition reduction that cut over $350 million from the system, and most recently in the budget the introduction of so-called performance-based funding tied to 60% of the operating budgets of our institutions.
"The clear pattern of all of these measures is government intrusion into the autonomy of our institutions. And that is not merely a budgetary problem or a political annoyance, it is a direct attack on the societal purpose of universities and what makes universities effective and unique social institutions that address the most pressing social, economic, and cultural problems facing the people of Ontario. The principles of tenure, academic freedom, and collegial governance are not job perks but rather the lifeblood of any modern university and the living, breathing guarantee that universities remain autonomous from state and private interests.
"Regrettably, we see these consultations as the latest attack by the government on university autonomy and university faculty. Like much government policy thus far it is, in essence, a manipulative, cynical solution in search of a problem. In addition to our unique legislative and societal mandate, it's important to note that the Government of Ontario currently only funds 35% of our operating budgets. In addition, like many others in the public sector, our monetary settlements have barely kept up with inflation and operating funding for universities has not kept up with inflation. Salaries in our sector have come in well under private sector settlements in recent years and wage legislation would only serve to undermine mature bargaining relationships. Blaming faculty and other public sector workers for Ontario's fiscal challenges is fact-free scapegoating. Both nominally and legally, the Government of Ontario is not our employer and legislated centralized bargaining would not only be counter-productive, it would destabilize labour relations in our sector and undermine flexibility, collaboration, and creativity in collective bargaining in a sector that is varied and complex. The government has offered no substantial rationale for why destabilizing labour relations in a sector that more or less works well, will assist the government with its purported ‘fiscal crisis.’
"In addition to our pragmatic objections, we have a principled objection to the government undermining the right of university faculty to free and fair collective bargaining. In the decisive first move in overturning the prevailing labour trilogy, the Supreme Court elegantly captures the stakes of these consultations:
"The right to bargain collectively with an employer enhances the human dignity, liberty and autonomy of workers by giving them the opportunity to influence the establishment of workplace rules and thereby gain some control over a major aspect of their lives, namely their work… Collective bargaining is not simply an instrument for pursuing external ends…rather [it] is intrinsically valuable as an experience in self-government.
"We are interested in participating in any conversation that makes collective bargaining more efficient and effective. However, our participation today is premised on several fundamental principles:
"1) Sector-wide bargaining is both legislatively and culturally inappropriate for our membership. Each of our member institutions is unique from a regional, pedagogic, research, and resource perspective. A one-size-fits-all approach to bargaining is a destructive non-solution to a problem the government has not articulated;
"2) Our participation today in no way signals our agreement with any of the premises or rationale the government will set out today.
"Like most others who have participated in this process, we assume that these discussions are a mere formality and will form the pretext for legislated constraints on bargaining. I would further note that our participation today in no way constrains our right to legally challenge the legislation once it is introduced. We see little evidence that the current Ontario government has much interest in protecting intrinsically valuable societal values like free and fair collective bargaining; however, we are prepared to be convinced otherwise as these consultations unfold."
Read OCUFA's original post here.
YUFA statement in support of Black faculty hiring
York University has long prided itself on its
commitment to inclusivity, diversity, social justice and equity. This is
regularly affirmed in statements from President Lenton and was most recently
reiterated in the 2015-2020
University Academic Plan. Yet, in York’s most current annual
Employment Equity Survey (2018), only 16 of 1395 of members self-identified as
“Black” – that is barely above 1%! This staggeringly low number, which is well
below national, provincial, and municipal availability statistics for Black
PhDs is all the more shocking because York is one of the most diverse campuses
in Canada and the U.S. It is also situated in an equally diverse city to which
many outstanding Black academics and students are drawn precisely because of
In order to address the dearth of Black faculty at
York, YUFA approached the employer in bargaining to consider including a
targeted hires program for Black faculty, a program not unlike the Indigenous
Hires Program that was implemented in the Memorandum of Settlement for the
2015-18 Collective Agreement and that was renewed this round. Unfortunately,
York was not willing to implement YUFA’s proposal to increase Black faculty,
despite York being in the midst of one of the largest waves of faculty hiring
in recent history. The employer would only agree to a joint task force to
examine whether or not there are significant inequities with respect to the
number of Black faculty at York and to make recommendations to increase the
representation of Black faculty should any meaningful inequity be demonstrated.
York’s most recent Employment Equity Survey clearly shows that YUFA’s position
is well-founded—there are very few Black faculty who are YUFA members at York
and thus there are far too few in whom York’s significant Black student
population is able to see itself reflected.
The urgency to have targeted Black hires is not only a
question of representation. It is also a question of refusing knowledge
production that too often reinforces systemic and antiblack racism that Black
people in Canada and the world experience due to the legacy of chattel slavery
and white supremacy. It is a question of centring the research and teaching of
Black scholars across the disciplines so that all disciplines welcome and speak
to Black students. It is a means of undoing the unequal present of Black
students who lack equivalent access to education, housing, resources, health,
the freedom to move on campus and off due to carding policies, and to halting
institutional failures to retain the data that evidences their marginalization,
all of which is a flipside of a university that does not actively seek Black
urges the Employer not simply to arrive quickly at meaningful recommendations
with YUFA on the Joint Committee for Employment Equity and Inclusivity (JCEEI),
which is about to begin its work, but to act immediately upon those
recommendations once the committee has completed its work. Students, staff and
faculty expect York, not merely to pride itself on equity, diversity and
inclusion, but to realize the commitment it claims is the basis for that pride!
And that calls for a number of strategies: targeted hires, cluster hires, and searches
that mandate that Black faculty be included on the hiring committees.
Vote Underway to Approve 2019-20 YUFA Budget and Faculty/Grad Club Levy
At the Annual General Meeting on April 24th, the 2019-20 YUFA budget was endorsed and recommended for approval by the membership. Voting is underway for members to approve the budget as well as the continuation of the levy in support of Et al., the faculty and grad cafe. Invitations to vote have been sent out via Simply Voting, YUFA's election platform software. If you haven't received an invitation, contact YUFA so that you can mark your ballot.
Voting ends at 1:00 pm on Thursday, May 9, 2019. The view the 2019-20 budget, click here.
OCUFA: Ontario faculty alarmed by proposal to overhaul university funding in provincial budget
The following statement was issued by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) on April 11, 2019, in response to the release of the Ontario government’s budget.
Ontario faculty alarmed by proposal to overhaul university funding in provincial budget
TORONTO – Ontario’s faculty are alarmed by the Doug Ford government’s budget proposal to allocate 60 per cent of university funding based on institutional performance. By design, performance-based funding threatens education quality as it rewards institutions that meet specific performance targets while penalizing those that do not. Faculty are also concerned by signals that the government is considering targeting the rights of senior faculty and interfering with university collective agreements.
The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) has long cautioned against shifting towards performance-based funding. The government’s proposal is especially alarming as it promises to tie university funding to 10 unannounced metrics and ignores the reality that Ontario’s universities already receive the lowest per-student funding in Canada. This approach will likely disadvantage small and northern institutions, which already lack the resources of larger universities. Over all, performance-based funding works against quality improvement and punishes students studying at already cash-strapped institutions facing further funding cuts.
“This government irresponsibility suggests that a system that encourages competition between universities will make Ontario a national leader,” said Gyllian Phillips, President of the OCUFA. “In reality, performance-based university funding will create a system of winners and losers, putting education quality at risk for everyone.”
The 2019 budget is also concerning because it reinforces government signals that it is considering targeting university faculty and staff. This government’s budget and proposed funding model will further incentivize the rise of precarious academic positions on Ontario’s campuses. If this government is serious about faculty renewal, they must ensure that retiring professors are replaced with full-time tenure-stream faculty and not precariously employed instructors. Good jobs are at the heart of our university system and faculty associations across Ontario believe in the importance of hiring more junior faculty members in secure full-time positions.
Faculty members are employed by, and negotiate their contracts with universities, not the provincial government. Any attempt by the Ford government to interfere in university collective agreements would violate university autonomy and the constitutionally protected rights of faculty and staff.
“Instead of coming up with half-baked ways to take money away from universities, students, and faculty, this government should focus on investing in education quality at Ontario's postsecondary institutions,” said Phillips. “The government should be helping to create good jobs for faculty forced to work short-term precarious contracts and support students by reversing their decision to cut OSAP grants and attack student democracy.”
Faculty believe in a postsecondary education strategy that increases university funding, removes barriers to attaining a higher education, and creates good jobs. However, this government continues to make rash decisions about Ontario’s postsecondary education system without consulting the faculty, staff, and students who know the system best. It is time for this government to stop making rushed, politically motivated decisions and start listening to faculty, students, and parents.
Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians in 29 faculty associations across Ontario. For more information, please visit www.ocufa.on.ca.
Trans Health Fund deadline is April 22
The Trans Health Fund is a relatively new entitlement for YUFA members to support transgender health services. It was gained during bargaining in 2015-16 and currently appears as Article 26.11 in the 2018-21 Collective Agreement. In the last round of bargaining, the Fund was increased from $30,000 to $40,000 per annum. Any remaining funds from one year will be carried forward to the next.
For the 2018-19 academic year, the Fund will be disbursed by the end of April 2019. There are no remaining funds from the 2017-18 year, so the value of the 2018-19 fund is $40,000.
The Trans Health Fund Committee understands “trans” to be a broad and inclusive term, which includes genderqueer, transgender, transsexual, gender-variant, and Two-Spirit, among others. All trans members of YUFA are eligible to apply.
The Trans Health Fund application is available here (PDF) and here (Word).
The application form includes instructions on how to complete and submit the application.
The deadline to apply for the 2018-19 academic year is April 22, 2019.
For more information about the Trans Health Fund, please email [email protected].
YUFA expresses concerns regarding search for Vice-President Equity, People and Culture
As many of you will know, there is currently a search underway for a new administrative position at York: a Vice-President, Equity, People and Culture. YUFA's Equity Subcommittee, joined now by the Executive Committee, is concerned about the lack of transparency in the search thus far.
In late February, YUFA President Art Redding wrote to President Lenton and to Provost and Vice-President Academic Philipps to express these concerns in the following letter. YUFA has yet to receive a response from either the President or the Provost.
Dear Rhonda, Dear Lisa,
I am writing formally to share with you YUFA's concerns.
The YUFA Equity Subcommittee and Executive Committee express concern about the lack of transparency in the processes of developing, approving, and hiring for York's new position of Vice-President Equity, People and Culture. The diversity of communities at York University and the importance of addressing Affirmative Action and equity at York mean that wide input and consultation are required.
We urge the administration and the Hiring Committee to:
- provide the York community with statements by the short-listed candidates for this position (with names omitted, if necessary);
- accept feedback from the community on these statements; and
- report on the consultation process and how the Hiring Committee has taken the views of those consulted about this position into account.
York University Faculty Association
Since YUFA initially wrote to the President and to the Provost, YUFA's Race Equity Caucus (REC) would like to request a meeting with each of the candidates for the new Vice-President position, during which community members could meet and engage the candidates. YUFA's Equity Subcommittee and Executive Committee strongly endorse REC's proposal for a meeting. YUFA will shortly send another letter to the President and the Provost to formalize this request.
For more information, please email yu[email protected]
CCA: Unite against hate, Islamophobia, and white supremacy
The following statement was issued earlier today by the York Cross-Campus Alliance, which includes the York University Faculty Association.
We support our Muslim colleagues, students, co-workers, and friends
The York Cross-Campus Alliance (CCA) condemns the horrific terror attack that took place at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15, in which 50 people lost their lives and dozens more were seriously injured. We reject in the strongest terms possible the hate and Islamophobia that motivate attacks like these, as well as the white supremacist ideology and networks that nurture them. We re-commit ourselves to opposing all forms of racism and bigotry.
On behalf of our members, we express our condolences to the families and friends of all those affected by the attack. We also express our solidarity with our Muslim colleagues, students, co-workers, and friends at York University, and with all those communities who are feeling vulnerable in the wake of this terrible crime.
The terror attack in New Zealand is the latest in a number of deadly hate crimes that have been directed at racialized and religious communities in recent years.
On October 28, 2018, a shooting took place at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in which 11 people were killed and seven injured. This was the deadliest attack against the Jewish community in the United States, and is part of an alarming trend of anti-Semitic hate crimes across North America.
On January 29, 2017, a gunman opened fire during evening prayers at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City, killing six and injuring 19. The perpetrator had a history of expressing white nationalist and anti-Muslim views. In the year before the attack, the mosque had been the target of Islamophobic hate crimes.
On June 17, 2015, nine people were killed and three injured in a shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, one of the oldest Black churches in the United States. The shooter was a white supremacist who targeted the church because its parishioners were Black.
The common denominator to these and many other terrorist attacks is the hate for difference that drives them. They have taken place against the backdrop of a rise in far right and white supremacist activity, which has become increasingly visible in many social media platforms, and have been assisted by the inaction of regulators, politicians, and governments in countries around the world, including Canada.
We are heartened by the widespread resistance that has emerged in response to this hate. In the wake of the attacks in Christchurch, there has been an international outpouring of grief, solidarity, and support for New Zealand’s Muslim community, just as the world rallied after the attacks in Pittsburgh, Quebec City, and Charleston. There has also been a drive to unity among diverse communities and a growing global movement to combat hate, racism, bigotry, and all forms of oppression.
The morning after the attacks, members of the CCA distributed single carnations to members of York University’s Muslim community as they departed Friday prayers in the Second Student Centre. This was just one solidarity gesture among untold others that were replicated in locations all over the world, a sign that love is stronger than hate.
We will build on acts like these and strengthen the bonds of solidarity that hold all of our communities together. As we mourn the loss of life in this recent tragedy, we also find comfort in the countless expressions of humanity that followed it and in every opportunity to show support for one another. We strongly believe in the possibility of a world without racism and bigotry, and we continue to organize to make that a reality.
We call for university administrators, politicians, and governments at all levels to take vigorous action to confront far right extremism and hate in all its forms, including the provocative display of hate symbols, and to counteract the business model of social media companies that derives profit from extremism and hate-mongering.
The struggle against hate is a difficult one, but we will never back away from it.
Read CAUT’s Statement of the Terrorist Attacks in New Zealand.
Read past statements by YUFA condemning hate:
* YUFA condemns rise of anti-Semitic incidents
* Unite against hate, racism, and Islamophobia
The York Cross-Campus Alliance includes the following groups:
* CUPE 1356
* CUPE 3903
* OPSEU 560
* OPSEU 578
* York Federation of Students
* York University Faculty Association
* York University Graduate Students' Association
* York University Staff Association
For more information, please email [email protected]
SGMM to discuss MoS for Librarians and Archivists
YUFA will hold a Special General Membership Meeting (SGMM) as follows:
Special General Membership Meeting
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Founders Assembly Hall
152 Founders College
The SGMM agenda and other meeting materials are available here.
Light snacks and lunch will be provided during the SGMM.
One of the issues to be discussed is a Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) regarding Librarians and Archivists. A majority of Librarians and Archivists endorsed the MoS in a non-binding vote that concluded on February 26, 2019. The results of the non-binding vote are below:
Total votes cast: 39
Yes votes: 22 (56.41%)
No votes: 17 (43.59%)
The following two documents represent the diverging views among librarians and archivists with respect to whether the MoS should or should not be ratified.
Vote Yes document
Vote No document
In addition, supplementary materials prepared by the two groups are available here:
Vote Yes supplementary document
Vote No supplementary document
Presentations will be made at the SGMM by the two groups.
Important official disclaimer: These documents, materials, and presentations reflect the personal views of their authors only, and not the official views of YUFA or of YUFA’s Executive.
The MoS alters the YUFA Collective Agreement and must therefore be brought for ratification to all YUFA members according to Article 9.2 in the YUFA Constitution. Following the SGMM, an electronic vote will take place allowing members to vote on the MoS ratification.
The electronic vote will begin on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. and end on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. The results of the vote will be announced shortly thereafter.
Accommodation: Members who require accommodation in order to attend the SGMM should contact YUFA as soon as possible: email [email protected] (subject line: Accommodations).