YUFA memo on CUPE 3903 strike: Week 3

Items in this message:

  1. March Senate meeting at 3pm today 
  2. Chaos, confusion, crisis: Admin's response to the strike has made things worse 
  3. Please sign and share: A fair deal could end the strike
  4. Employer data on course cancellations during the CUPE 3903 strike
  5. FAQ regarding YUFA and the CUPE 3903 strike
  6. Senate motion on Senate authority
  7. Statement to Senate signed by 28 Senators
  8. Weekly Cross-Campus Alliance solidarity visit
  9. YUFA strike office location
  10. YUFA resources about the CUPE 3903 strike

1. March Senate meeting at 3pm today

YUFA is encouraging members and the wider York community to attend today’s Senate meeting, which will discuss the authority of Senate to direct the suspension of classes during a labour disruption.

The meeting takes place today (Thursday, March 22) from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Senate Chamber, N940 Ross Building. While the meeting is open to the entire York community, only Senators have voice and may move and vote on motions. With permission from Senators, guests may speak to the meeting....

Continue reading here.

2. Chaos, confusion, crisis: Admin's response to the strike has made things worse

The following statement was issued by YUFA on March 19, 2018:

The York University senior administration’s actions in the last two weeks have done little to help end the CUPE 3903 strike. Indeed, this response has made the situation worse. Now in its third week, the strike appears at an impasse: until its statement on late Sunday afternoon, the administration has seemed intent on bargaining—and forcing concessions—through a public relations campaign in the media.

YUFA welcomes the decision by the administration to take steps to return to the bargaining table with CUPE 3903, but remains deeply concerned by the University’s approach to labour relations since the strike began. The impact of this approach is increasingly obvious....

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3. Please sign and share: A fair deal could end the strike

The York Federation of Students and the York University Faculty Association have initiated a petition to let the York University administration know that we want them to negotiate a fair deal with CUPE 3903 as quickly as possible.

To sign the petition, please click here. A fair deal could end the strike!


President Lenton: Settle with CUPE 3903!

To President Rhonda Lenton:

We, the undersigned York University students and faculty, together with staff, parents, alumni, and members of the public, urge you to settle now with CUPE 3903.

We are deeply disappointed that it took your administration until week three of the strike to return to the bargaining table with the union representing teaching assistants, graduate assistants, and contract faculty. You have promised to return to bargaining, but we know that this is not enough. We believe that, if the administration bargains in good faith and with no preconditions, and proceeds with the seriousness and urgency demanded by the situation, there will be a swift end to the strike....

Continue reading here.

4. Employer data on course cancellations during the CUPE 3903 strike

Based on under-reported Employer data and limited self-reporting by faculty, the following list indicates the percentage of courses* that have been cancelled in faculties across the University during the CUPE 3903 strike:

  • University-wide: 60%
  • Arts, Media, Performance & Design: 80%
  • Education: 65%
  • Environmental Studies: 89%
  • Glendon College: 83%
  • Graduate Studies: 33% **
  • Health: 49%
  • Lassonde School of Engineering: 7%
  • Liberal Arts & Professional Studies: 78%
  • Osgoode Hall Law School: 5%
  • Schulich School of Business: 1%
  • Science: 33%

Continue reading here.

5. FAQ regarding YUFA and the CUPE 3903 strike

The following are some questions that YUFA members have asked with respect to the current CUPE 3903 strike.

  1. Why is YUFA supporting CUPE 3903 in the strike?

As a faculty association, YUFA defends the central role of collegial governance in assuring quality teaching and learning. As a union, YUFA has a deep commitment to honouring the tradition of solidarity with other unions on campus and in the community, especially when they are on strike.

No one wants to see a strike on campus, especially when it creates major disruptions of academic activities. The University’s poor management of this round of bargaining occurs in the context of a larger crisis of university governance, which has invited the concern of all unions on campus and all faculty associations in the province. In particular, the administration’s actions to disempower collegial bodies and disrespect their responsibility for academic integrity should worry us all. Other faculty associations and academic unions, including the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA), have expressed their concern about these developments and their support for CUPE 3903....

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6. Senate motion on Senate authority

The following motion has been submitted by York University Senator Richard Welland to the Senate Executive Committee in advance of the next meeting of the Senate, scheduled for Thursday, March 22 (see here for agenda).


(submitted by Richard Wellen)

Senate hereby expresses its view that Senate, in conjunction with Senate Executive, has the authority to direct and determine that classes be suspended on the basis of academic integrity.


The above policy statement applies especially to the question of whether Senate, in conjunction with Senate Executive, has jurisdiction to suspend classes during a strike on grounds of academic integrity....

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7. Statement to Senate signed by 28 Senators

Twenty-eight York University Senators signed the following statement and submitted it to the Senate. At the request of some signatories, YUFA has not published the list of signatories.

Statement to Senate

We, the undersigned Senators, would like to address recent statements by the University Counsel and members of the senior administration of the University, which have asserted that York University’s senior administration and/or Board of Governors has authority or veto power regarding decisions to suspend classes during a labour dispute.

It has always been understood (and pursued in practice) that Senate, in conjunction with Senate Executive, has responsibility for decisions to suspend classes during a labour dispute, based on considerations of academic integrity and fairness to students. The advice of the administration and other bodies within the University has always been considered by Senate and Senate Executive, but the decision taken has always been understood as lying within the purview of Senate....

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8. Weekly Cross-Campus Alliance solidarity visit

As part of its ongoing expression of solidarity with CUPE 3903, members of the York Cross-Campus Alliance (CCA) will join a CUPE picket line every Monday at 12:00 p.m. for the duration of the strike:

Weekly CCA solidarity visit
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Location: Main Gate picket line
York Boulevard and Keele Street

Join and share on Facebook.

Please bring banners and placards that show the support of each CCA group.

The York Cross-Campus Alliance represents tens of thousands of students, staff, and faculty at York University. The Cross-Campus Alliance includes:

For more information, please email [email protected].

9. YUFA strike office location

For the duration of the strike, the YUFA office located in York Lanes will be closed. Instead, all YUFA operations will be conducted from a special strike office, which is located at 1315 Finch Avenue West, Suite 400 (TTC: Finch West). The special strike office is accessible.

The office will be staffed during normal business hours. We encourage members to email YUFA at [email protected] if they would like to set up a meeting.

Due to the increased workload that is the result of the strike, we advise you that response times might be longer than usual. Thank you for your understanding.

For more information, please email [email protected].

10. YUFA resources about the CUPE 3903 strike

You can find current information from the Employer about courses that are active and suspended on this page (requires Passport York login). Unfortunately, this list may not be up to date.

YUFA has centralized all its advisories and communiqués regarding the CUPE 3903 strike on this page.

In addition, we encourage members to keep themselves apprised of Senate statements and policies, which are available on this page.