Why CUPE is striking at York U.

Chris, a new blogger (The Ultimate Ultimatum), gets to the heart of the matter:

CUPE is setting themselves up to essentially take control on Ontario’s universities by having the power to shut down much of Ontario’s post secondary education system. The strike at York isn’t about getting paid better, or ‘ensuring fairness in education’ or any of the other reasons being presented by CUPE as a smokescreen. It is another attempt in a carefully orchestrated campaign by CUPE to consolidate their power…

But always remember what a sweet and reasonable fellow CUPE’s leader is. Disclosure: a contact from Chris led to this post:

“We are the Canadian Forces, and our job is to be able to kill people.”

Mark C.

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9 thoughts on “Why CUPE is striking at York U.

  1. This is a good start in bringing this problem to a head:
    “A Toronto law firm has launched a class-action lawsuit on behalf of York University students who say they are entitled to have their tuition reimbursed after a strike forced them out of school for nearly three months.”
    “The suit is asking York to reimburse students their tuition and other fees paid to the university as well as damages for the losses students have endured.”
    http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20090126/lawsuit_York_090126/20090126/?hub=TorontoNewHome

  2. Today on the John Oakley show at 640 am radio he had the CUPE head from York and she was asked about the numbers for the Tenure issue , she didn’t even know and looked like an idiots by guessing what the problem was.
    Yes folks , 77 days of doing it for the Kids and yet this moron never knew about those oppressed T.A.’s that also want to better the lives of those kids too.
    Unions are starting to die a slow death from being more Political when the cause suits them, plus they have taken sides with some Faiths but only the issues that once again suit them.
    Canada gives people the Right to be stupid , but it also give me the Right to distance myself from these people and not support them or their businesses.
    Remember the Budha statues that were destroyed by the Taliban , during that time I saw a Pro-Taliban group of Muslims in Jack Layton’s riding who were upset that non-Muslim canadians stopped shopping in the stores of these fascist supporters.
    Racism was spewed by these Taliban supporters because canadians respected Human Rights , oddly though, some Mulsims want us to respect their demands for Sharaih Law here so they can feel as if they are back home by living under a quasi-Caliphate here with the freedom to spew hate toward jews and gays.

  3. Not sure if CUPE wants to take over universities but I am sure that CUPE 3903 is the most militant and best organized TA union in the country. Probably the one with the highest amount of solidarity. That makes it very effective when coupled with the general left atmosphere of York.
    In fact, York TAs probably have the best contract in all the university sector in Canada. For the sessional lecturers that might different, don’t know. But this is a union that once had a tuition index in their agreement (where York matched dollar for dollar each increase to tuition in TA salaries), and a Dental Plan. I know that their agreement was always looked to with envy by other TA unions in Ontario.
    Honestly, TAships are for the most part a way of financing post-Grad studies, and while they add a bit of quality to the educational experience of undergrads, they are not as essential as profs or other staff. Not to say they are not needed at all – they are probably most needed in science program labs – but they work for about a couple of weeks in 6 months. That’s if you total 2-3 hrs of class time and 2 hours or so of office time per week, and about a week of marking time.
    So I can’t see how this strike is really worth it from the perspective of the university, the gov’t (and those who pay taxes to keep it open), and, especially, the students.
    But I suspect that York will have fewer and fewer students in the years to come.

  4. You know what, this is NOT all the fault of CUPE. It is really the fault of their members. Their members could have said NO to the union.
    I work at Carleton as a TA, and we voted 51.6% is favor of NOT having a stike. I’ve gotten to know my union quite well, and the executuve are “good” people who are working hard to get a good contract for us. But when they asked us if we wanted to go on strike, we said NO. Now our new contract will still have a pay increase, but we are NOT threatening to go on strike now.
    It is important that union members do go to their union mettings to point out more common sense things such that it may NOT be in their best interest to go on strike.
    Essentially at York the members Had a Choice, They Could have said NO.

  5. Lock ’em out. In my opinion, they’re contract ’employees’, not permanent staff, and shouldn’t even be covered by a Union agreement.
    The whole concept of Profs being paid big bucks to teach, then downloading the obligation onto TAs at the University’s further expense, is just plain fraudulent.
    Student’s are being ripped off when they select (and pay for) a course by the Prof’s reputation, and then are handed over to a no-name TA.

  6. I saw a spokesman for CUPE last night and he was all in favour of the class action suit being successful. He is a master’s level student and a TA. He’d love to get his tuition refunded, even though he is the cause of this mess.

  7. There were a bunch of them marching up University trying to catch Dalton for lunch today.
    Up at the front you could see the professional union leader with the ubiquitous sound system mounted on a pickup truck. All the flag wavers were right behind her but as you got to the back you could see the actual TAs making their union mandated appearance looking like bored students.
    The leader mentioned a bunch of alleged violence from SUVs ramming picket lines to knives being brandished. Apparently some student even wrote menacing blog entries.
    Protesting is getting more popular in TO, it’s been slow since the Harris years. I’d enjoy the spectacle more if it wasn’t a bunch of 905ers tying up traffic and taking up parking spots in my neighbourhood. Even more so than usual.

  8. CUPE 3903 “I was teenage Bolshevik” update:
    RALLY TODAY 9:30AM @ QUEEN’S PARK – Together All the Way
    Published on 29 Jan 2009
    THURSDAY, 29 JANUARY 2009
    The Ontario Legislature will vote on Bill 145: York University Labour Disputes Resolution Act, on Thursday morning at 10:15am. All CUPE Members, friends, and allies are encouraged to come rally, celebrate and honour all that we have done and achieved over 85 days of strike. Please gather at 9:30am.
    CUPE 3903: Together All the Way
    8:00am – Picketing begins at Queen’s Park
    9:30am – Mass Rally at Queen’s Park
    We came together, stood strong, and remained steadfast in the face of a hostile and intransigent Employer who refused to bargain. We took our struggle to the streets and to the legislature when the State stepped in to reward the Employer’s intransigence by legislating us back-to-work. We defied the State’s Security Apparatus when they beat down and arrested our members without provocation or cause. We fought well and we fought hard.
    We fought the good fight. It is now time to close this chapter of the history of our Local, resolute, proud, going out fighting. It is time to begin another chapter anew.
    In solidarity, join us.

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