york university strike 2008 2009

York University Breaks its own Record (Again)

In 2001, after 78 days of picketing, York University ended the longest strike at a university in Canadian history. Today, 79 days after York TAs walked out on November 6th, the acclaimed university has broken its own, dubious, record.

The Globe and the National Post both blame the union. Even the liberal New Republic argued in an editorial yesterday that the province should legislate CUPE 3903 back to work (I'm kidding, that link is to the Star). With York announcing yesterday that students in four units have the option of returning to class on Monday, CUPE 3903 tabling what it calls a "comprehensive settlement offer"and Premier McGuinty calling in a top mediator, could this be the beginning of the end? What else is being said?

From The Globe:

The interests of organized labour have overtaken those of students. York University has now been shut down for 11 weeks only because of the needs of striking teaching assistants, graduate assistants and contract workers. Equally relevant are the strategic interests of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, which is trying to strengthen its hand for a show of force in 2010.

From The Post:

York has long suffered a reputation for extremist, flakey politics and labour relations fixed on ideology as much as working conditions. This strike exacerbates that image problem. Classes may stretch to July, keeping students from summer jobs and internships, and preventing graduates from obtaining marks needed for further study.

From The Star:

As was shown last year with the TTC strike, the province can legislate workers back in a matter of hours - if the opposition parties are onside. That's unlikely to be the case this time, however. While the Progressive Conservatives would definitely support back-to-work legislation, the New Democrats would almost certainly prevent speedy passage of the bill. Depending how obstreperous the NDP wants to be, legislation could be delayed for more than a week. This makes it all the more imperative for the process to start now, for the sake of the students and the future of the university.

York University President Mamdouh Shoukri, in a letter:

We are determined to ensure that students complete their Fall and Winter terms. We also recognize that a Winter academic term that extends into the summer months may have a real impact on students' ability to earn money for their education. I assure you that we will be working to increase the funds available to assist students in meeting their financial obligations when they return in September.

Mediator Reg Pearson, in The Star:

It's really an early stage in terms of discussion with the folks here but I'm hopeful. I'm the eternal optimist.

From a sit-in letter to President Shoukri:

As you have certainly noticed, York University was hit by an avalanche on Monday evening. That happens when you upset a bunch of snowflakes bad enough.
This morning you got us back really good, though. You turned out the lights in the hallway outside your office, so now we have to sit in the dark. It's not that nice to sit in the dark. But then it's not that nice to live in your hallway either.

From York University Anti-Strike Group's wall (name withheld):

Even though York has posted the announcement stating that 4 units will resume classes on Monday, it seems that my ADMS 2500 and ADMS 1000 professors have no signs of resuming classes.
It is so weird...... Will ADMS/AK classes really resume on Monday? Everything is so confusing.
Does anyone know about this? thx

From yorknothostage.com:

Due to the university and the union's failure to come to an agreement, and the recent failure of the ratification vote, back-to-work legislation is essential to end the strike as quickly as possible. As such, two demonstrations are being planned

Demonstration Outside the Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities
Date: 26 January 2009
Time: 11:30 - 12:30
Location: 900 Bay street (outside)
(Facebook Event)

Rally at QUEEN'S PARK!
Date: 28 January 2009
Time: 11:00 - 13:00
Location: Queen's Park!!!!
(Facebook Event)

Photo by Jon. from the Student Day of Action - Toronto, Feb 7, 2007.


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

These Toronto neighbourhoods have the highest percentages of positive COVID-19 tests

Doug Ford begs protesters to stop scaring kids in his neighbourhood

Ontario announces plan to move dozens of government services online

These are the adorably weird new delivery vehicles you may be spotting around Toronto

10 fun things to do in Yorkville right now

Doug Ford says Halloween behaviour will determine Christmas restrictions

Police looking for man who said he planned to carry out shooting at Toronto school

Ontario just got its first major snowfall of the season