Jan 15 2009

Kill the Rat-ification

Category: Events,Point of InformationBob Hanke @ 9:52 pm

Coming to a Ministry of Labour polling place January 19 and 20:

Kill the Rat-ification

To see the trailer of the week, click here.

8 Responses to “Kill the Rat-ification”

  1. qwert says:

    Yeah, booyah, kill the dirty ratification, who cares that it would make us the highest paid TAs in the province, who cares about 50’000 students who are near the point where their academic years are ruined, who cares about being realistic and taking the economy and finances into account, forget all the graduating students who are screwed beyond belief. KILL THE RAT! KILL THE RAT! GO CUPE GO!

  2. jonnyj says:

    I find it interesting how some people can continue to scapegoat CUPE for being unreasonable in this strike, when clearly it takes ‘two to tango’ as the expression goes. This strike could have been over long ago, with a mutually satisfactory contract for all units and with which the university could live. Instead of engaging in actual bargaining with the union since November (and earlier), the university has resorted to stall tactics, insisting first on binding arbitration (when it was in their favour to do so), and now forced ratification. Most of the undergraduate students I’ve been in contact with are wise enough to see that CUPE 3903 is not at fault (at least not entirely as some black and white thinkers suggest), that the union’s demands are reasonable, and that at least CUPE 3903 has been trying to engage in bargaining to end the strike.

  3. pepeyork says:

    As a 4th year undergrad, I agree that it takes two to tango. The union is not at fault in the total sense because I must say that the administration has been throwing out some risky, hardball tactics that have seem to have caused discrimination towards the whole collective bargaining process in the first place.

  4. pepeyork says:

    The administration has been saying that they want to solve the strike so that they can have a full summer term. However, they are missing the point that they have professors who have been working contract work for more than ten years, and they deserve to be looked at for the teaching that they have done and grant them full time teaching jobs.

    As for the TAs, for example, I remember this past summer, when I took a sociology class and our TAs in the class were expected to put more than ten hours per week in at the job and only get paid for ten. I do not think it clues into the administration the TAs are the ones at different times in large classes that are the ones responsible for reinforcing the material and teaching it to the students. Our TA in my summer class last year was the one who taught us the material behind the professor lectures.

  5. qwert says:


    I don’t know who your TAs are. When I was aware of the coming strike I wondered what its purpose was, because I have been a TA since last year and I have never once had any problem with the money I earn or the work I put in. The only ones with the issues are those who seem to think that being a TA is a permanent full-time job just like being a doctor or engineer.

    Saying “but the university is a bad boy too” is not an excuse. This strike should never have happened. It is a joke that the highest paid TAs in the province strike for more money during an economic downturn.

    I actually care about the welfare of my students, which is why I guess I’m such a villain for my opinion.

    • jonnyj says:

      Let’s not confuse the difference between Unit 1 (graduate students who work as TAs) and Unit 2 (contract faculty). Unit 1 is striking mainly for improvements to graduate funding (of which their TAship is a part) which has been effectively reduced over recent years. Graduate students are only allowed under normal circumstances to TA for 10 hours per week. Therefore it is not considered (by York or graduate students) to be a full time job. Contract faculty, on the other hand, are often course directors, but some also do TA as well. Many have academic and research qualifications that are equivalent to tenure-track faculty (aka many have doctorates, write scholarly publications and do research). Some contract faculty also hold positions in other professional fields outside the university. The main issue for many contract faculty is obtaining better job security (since they are not students, and require stable incomes to support families, mortgages, etc.) which is definitely desirable in this current economy, and which tenure-track faculty enjoy. It’s ok to disagree about the strike, but at least lets not confuse the issues! I’m not trying to make anyone a villain, I just have my own opinion.

      Lets also not make the mistake of assuming that those who are trying to make gains during this strike do not also care about their students. Remember that some of the undergrads at York will also go on to become graduate students or even professors and the gains made in this strike will benefit them. While this academic year is suffering, there are items being bargained for by CUPE 3903 that will have positive implications for the future of education at York. And every course director is going to be working doubly hard after the strike to ensure that the academic year gets back on track (regardless of how they feel about this strike) for their students.

      • qwert says:

        Yeah, well, I think it’s ridiculous for contract faculty and TAs to be represented by the same union to begin with but that’s a different argument. But as for job security – I think that is a fine thing to wish for but I don’t agree with the whole restrictive tenure conversion process which I think lowers the academic integrity of the university and its professors.

        I know that the strike will benefit the few students who stick around for graduate school, but I just don’t see how it’s worth it to simultaneously ruin the image of the university as well as destroy their academic year. I’m not a CUPE expert and I haven’t read through every inch of the details provided by CUPE, but all I can say to students is that I was a TA and I never noticed any problem that deserved striking. I enjoyed my studies, I enjoyed being a TA, and life was good.

  6. juliaw says:

    Well said qwert!
    As an undergrad student I’d really love to get back to class and actually get the education I’m working my butt off to pay for.
    I understand that you’d appreciate a raise but in these difficult economic times I think what you’re expecting from the university is completely unreasonable and unrealistic. Frankly, I find your disregard for the well being of the 50 000 students who attend York University distasteful.

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