Feb 27 2009

Upcoming Unit 2 Meetings

Category: Meetingsjonnyj @ 11:52 am

With members now back to work there is a wide range of ability to attend meeting times so we have tried to offer weekend and week night coverage for this schedule. The agenda and focus for each meeting is different, but this does not preclude us from adding agenda items or focus at each meeting. If you cannot attend either time, please free forward to email comments for agenda inclusion etc. As always,  feel free to email us anytime re individual and/ or private matters:

Meeting # 1 : Primarily information sharing

Sat Feb 28, 4-6
room 548

246 Bloor St W (next door to OISE)
exit at Bedford side of St George
light snacks as people had indicated they may want to go to dinner
Agenda: items can be added

  1. Update on class and departmental response to 3903 as  profs and colleagues
  2. Billing York for extra work time: what constitutes extra 3903 work (pre and post strike)? eg excessive assignment for courses new to prof and subsequent development;  student apppeals, class quota
  3. 3903 education in the wider community inside and outside York (eg National Womens Day)
  4. How to access a large U2 voting # for exec and other positions
  5. Steward Council: their role in relation to U2
  6. Mediation and arbitration informal discussion (BT members are NOT available for Feb 28 meeting)
  7. Strike back pay and meeting pay: update from members
  8. Update on Feb 27 strategy planning meeting to challenge York
  9. Other

Meeting # 2: Primarily action planning

Wed. March 4, 6-8
room 548
246 Bloor St W (next door to OISE)
exit at Bedford on St George subway stop

  1. BT U2 reps will share a verbal update (a written email update has been circulated by BT team)
  2. Discussion: How can we assist the arbitration process?
  3. Update on Feb 27 strategy planning meeting to challenge York
  4. U2 steward outreach
  5. Senate activity
  6. Other

Feb 27 2009

Senate Reportback

Category: Newsjonnyj @ 10:31 am

From Ben Nelson:

Senate met today at 3pm. I figured it would be not unhelpful to give a report of the goings-on at Senate to the executive. Distribute as widely or narrowly as you like.

Probably in response to some of our pointed remarks in town hall meetings, Shoukri announced that 10 million dollars has been cut at the administrative level, and that senior administration have voluntarily frozen their salaries at 2008 levels.  They’ve also done cuts to deferred maintenance.

Shoukri also announced that a project was underway to examine the links between the BoG and academic issues. No idea at all what that project entails, except that they intend to compare to other universities, and examine how much of our budget is allocated to academic related matters.

A professor alluded to the fact that many of our current problems (i.e., irresponsible enrollment growth) are the result of our misadventures with Marsden. He also expressed concerns over the present administration’s unresponsive disposition to the problem of the casualization of labor, and expressed concerns over administrative transparency. The prof phrased his critical comments by calling into question Shoukri’s credibility. Other professors re-enforced the point through the meeting, that the lapse in tenured hiring is a major concern. A prof mentioned that the University academic plan (supposedly the thing that the Governors are meant to pay attention to when allocating money) is largely divorced from meaningful participation of departments. I pointed out that it would be nice enough if the Governors were to implement the 2001 UAC at all, since it mentioned the importance of keeping the growth of tenured positions to retirement, which we’re not. (I’ve asked the VP Academic to give more precise figures on the extent to which we’re failing to even tread water on this issue.)

The 180 million raised for York 50’s campaign, according to the admin, has been allocated in the following way: 24% to student access and achievement, 12% to “academic talent”, 35% to infrastructure, and 29%
to “pioneering programs”. 5 million of that will be going to bursaries for students that need it due to the strike.


Feb 21 2009

Bargaining Update, Feb 16th, 2009

Category: News,Post-strike Discussion (2009)jonnyj @ 12:50 pm

From Matthew Hayter:

And now it’s time for everyone’s favourite update… – a bargaining update!

There is not much new to report. The Bargaining Team has met only a few times in the weeks since the State bailed out the capitalist infrastructure and forced us back to work. The main news is that we have a more concrete timeline for arbitration.

The binding arbitration process works like this: We have a “mediated-arbitration” date – where the arbitrator acts like the mediator previously did, trying to get the parties to agree voluntarily on the remaining issues. This mediated-arbitration date is set for February 25th. After that, when/if the parties cannot resolve the remaining issues, we have a month or so to prepare a brief on each of the outstanding issues. These briefs include any and all arguments we can make, comparisons to other sector locals, histories of the situation at York, information about York’s operating procedures and budget, etc. The York administration will do likewise, and then we will trade briefs so that both parties have the opportunity to produce counter-arguments based on what the other has said.We  have tentative dates for this process to be completed around the end-of-March/beginning-of-April. The arbitrator will eventually make a final decision based on this exchange.

The main criteria that the arbitrator will use has been set out in the Back-to-Work Legislation – it basically states, in four or five different manners, that “money” is the determining factor: Can York pay? – What is the climate of the economy? – What is the normative standard for capitalist wage-slavery? – What counts as “acceptable poverty”? – etc… Then next main criteria is based on maintaining the normative standard for equivalent unions in the University sector: If our demands would bring us up to a standard level, then it is much more likely the arbitrator will rule in our favour. Arbitrator apparently are loath to award anything that involves new language or break-through gains – this is at least because they must continue to work in an environment where their jobs depend on perpetuating the status quo, and they don’t want to intrude on the employer-worker determination of their own Collective Agreement. sic: we can see in this process how the labour-relations machinery operates selectively to intrude/not-intrude, depending on whether it supports the capitalist system:

e.g.  intrude when the employer-worker relationship is not reproducing normative standards, as in – The State says: “the strike has gone on long enough…, Collective Bargaining has failed, yada yada yada…”
do-not-intrude when the employer-worker relations are self-perpetuating of the mechanisms of capitalist-reproduction, as in “the Collective Bargaining process is sacred and should be relied upon to resolve the sticky issues, we won’t determine anything for the parties as long as they determine things for themselves within the acceptable boundaries, yada yada yada…”

At some point in the near future we may try to get some research help with creating these briefs. There maybe should be some committee work that we will organize for this.

That’s the update (along with impromptu some op-ed)… yada yada yada…


Feb 20 2009

2009-2010 Elections

Category: Elections (2011)Bob Hanke @ 11:33 am

At the closing of the nomination period for the 2009-2010 executive term (excluding TFAC elections, which are held separately), the following position has been acclaimed: Congatulations to Ian Hussey, our new Chair of CUPE 3903.

Elections will be held for all other positions following a 16 day campaign period. Statements by the candidates will be made at the March 11 GMM and voting will start at the close of the GMM.

Candidates for the 2009/2010 Executive Elections, to be held at the AGM on March 11th (details TBA), are as follows:

Communications Officer
– Cat Ashton
– Jordy Cummings
– Martin Merener

Grievance Officer
– Mary Anne Coffey
– Reza Rahbari
– Cheryl Cowdy Crawford

Recording Secretary
– Greg Flemming
– Graham Potts
– Chris Vance

– Charles Battershill
– Amrit Heer
– Baris Karaagac

Chief Steward 1
– Sebastien Rioux
– Christina Rousseau

Chief Steward 2
– Lykke de la Cour
– Roxanne Power

Chief Steward 3
– Chelsea Flook
– Saad Sayeed

Vice President Unit 1
– Alban Bargain
– Tanya McFadyen

Vice President Unit 2
– Sharon Davidson
– Manuel Luna

Vice President Unit 3
– Sarah Sackville-McLachlan
– Xavier Scott


Feb 18 2009

French University Teachers Strike to Defend Working Conditions

Category: NewsBob Hanke @ 6:01 pm

By Pierre Mabut, February 13 2009 (excerpted from the World Socialist Web Site)

Some 100,000 university teachers and students protested in French cities February 10 seeking to force the withdrawal of the decree issued by the government of President Nicolas Sarkozy on the status of university teachers. The decree forms part of the Liberties and Responsibilities of Universities (LRU) law on university reform against which students battled last year in isolation.

The higher education reform would give autonomy to university governing bodies and open the way for market-oriented policies. The teachers’ determination to continue their fight to defend their working conditions has hardened in spite of an appeal by Minister of Higher Education Valérie Pécresse “to find ways through” the dispute by naming a mediator.

Fifty-seven thousand university teachers have been on strike or have made some form of protest since February 2, when a national coordinating committee of 196 delegates representing 79 institutions met at the Sorbonne in Paris. The delegates rejected the changes in the status of research teachers, teacher training and the content of competitive exams required for teaching in primary and secondary education.

To read the rest of this story and see photos, click here.


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