Jan 27 2009

Howard Hampton’s Speech from Provincial Legislature, Jan. 26th

Category: News,Point of Informationjonnyj @ 12:58 pm


Mr. Howard Hampton: I’m pleased to be able to participate in this debate. I want to say at the outset that this is an important debate. This is our job, to ensure that good legislation is passed and to ensure that bad legislation is not passed. There are a number of issues surrounding this legislation that I think the people across Ontario ought to know about.

In contrast, the McGuinty Liberals suddenly, in a sudden mood of panic, are saying, “This legislation should be passed with no debate, no discussion, no examination of the facts, no questions, no answers, no thought, no criticism.” This is, all a sudden, panic. These students were out of the classroom in the fall. What did the McGuinty Liberals do? I remember being in this House and debating material that was, frankly, of little consequence. I remember coming here some mornings and seeing that the House was recessed because the McGuinty Liberals had nothing to present to the Legislature. But now suddenly it’s a panic, and we’re all supposed to forget our brains and we’re all supposed to forget our jobs. We’re not supposed to ask any questions. We’re not supposed to ask about the facts or conduct any examination or demand any answers. Well, I intend to do my job. I intend to ask some questions. If Liberals want to behave like some kinds of mindless automatons, you do that, but there are serious questions that need to be asked here. The government had better come up with some answers.

Continue reading “Howard Hampton’s Speech from Provincial Legislature, Jan. 26th”


Jan 27 2009

An Open Letter to the Premier

Category: Point of InformationBob Hanke @ 11:25 am

An open letter to Premier Dalton McGuinty

Dear Premier McGuinty,

We, the more than 3,000 contract faculty, teaching assistants, and graduate assistants of CUPE 3903, are writing to express our disappointment in your decision to introduce back-to-work legislation.

We want this strike to end as soon as possible but this should happen at the bargaining table, not through legislation.

Back-to-work legislation is unfair and inappropriate; CUPE 3903 has been ready and willing to negotiate since day one of this strike. York administration has not.

Back-to-work legislation sets a dangerous precedent. It tells the York administration and all other employers that if they refuse to bargain, the province will step in and do their work for them.

If you really want to help ensure the integrity and quality of education at York University – and all post-secondary institutions in Ontario –invest in affordable and accessible education for graduate students and stable employment for university contract professors.

Ontario ranks second-last among all provinces in terms of what it spends on post-secondary education. With a willing employer, we can negotiate our collective agreement, but it is up to you to decide to address the underfunding of Ontario’s universities. Let’s work together for a better future for post-secondary education in Ontario.


Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 3903

CUPE 3903 – Still holding the line for quality, accessible education and a fair contract.

Tags: ,

Jan 26 2009

A One-Sided “Deadlock”

Category: Point of Information,Strike Discussion (2008-09)jonnyj @ 4:35 pm

January 7th to January 24th Negotiations Timeline

Wednesday, January 7

The employer gives CUPE 3903 a pass that they call a “comprehensive offer” and asks the CUPE 3903 bargaining team to bring it to the membership for a vote. This “comprehensive offer” fails to respond to the reductions in demands CUPE 3903 made that day, indicating it was likely prepared ahead of time as opposed to as a part of the negotiation process.

Thursday, January 8

At a General Membership Meeting, 85% of the members present vote to deem the Employer’s offer inadequate and send the bargaining team back to the bargaining table.

Friday, January 9

When the employer shows up at the bargaining table, they announce they will be asking the Ministry of Labour to run a forced ratification vote on the January 7th offer. No Movement from Employer

Friday. January 9- Tuesday, January 20

No bargaining because of call for forced ratification. Employer Unwilling to Bargain

Monday, January 19 and Tuesday, January 20

CUPE 3903 membership rejects (once again) the employer’s Jan 7. offer by a 63% vote.

Tuesday, January 20
The employer announces to the media that they will not be negotiating any further.

No Movement from Employer

Wednesday, January 21

Morning Dalton McGuinty announces he is appointing his lead mediator—Reg Pearson—to bring both parties back to the bargaining table.

1:00pm CUPE 3903 bargaining team returns to the bargaining table. Employer’s bargaining team does not show up. CUPE 3903 Ready to Bargain

Thursday, January 22

CUPE 3903 bargaining team gives the employer a memorandum of settlement offer that cuts demands from a 10.8% increase to a 9.4% increase over 2 years. Movement from CUPE 3903

Friday, January 23

1:30am The mediator (after having kept CUPE 3903 waiting at the table for a response) announces that the employer will not have a response until the morning.

10am The employer’s bargaining team sends back its next pass which is identical to the offer from January 7 except that it has a new cover page and changes one word. No Movement from Employer

3pm CUPE 3903 bargaining team communicates to the mediator its willingness to further narrow demands to a few key priority areas, representing a cut of more than fifty proposals and a decrease from a 9.4% increase to an 8.3% increase over 2 years. Movement from CUPE 3903

5pm: The mediator returns with the Employer’s response: they are unwilling to move on any issues. No Movement from Employer

Saturday, January 24

Midnight: The mediator tells CUPE 3903 bargaining team that he will be calling McGuinty at 7am and that he expects to hear from them by 2am whether they will agree to binding arbitration rather than face back to work legislation.

2:30am: CUPE 3903’s executive and bargaining team vote to reject binding arbitration. CUPE 3903’s bargaining team requests, via the mediator, to continue negotiations with the Employer on Saturday. CUPE 3903 Ready to Bargain

3:30am: Mediator informs CUPE 3903 bargaining team that the Employer is only willing to continue negotiations if CUPE 3903 will agree to the Jan. 7 offer made by the Employer. Employer Unwilling to Bargain

Noon: Dalton McGuinty announces that he is calling the legislature back for a 1:00pm Sunday meeting to legislate CUPE 3903 back to work because of deadlocked negotiations. He ignores the fact that the “deadlock” is one-sided and that the employer is being significantly rewarded for refusing to bargain for seventeen days.

Tags: ,

Jan 26 2009

Statement from CUPE 3903 Executive Committee on the Outcome of Negotiations so far

Category: Point of Information,Strike Discussion (2008-09)jonnyj @ 4:01 pm

To the members of CUPE 3903:

Early Saturday morning, January 24, 2009 the Bargaining Team and the Executive of CUPE 3903 held an emergency meeting. We voted, by a substantial majority, to reject binding arbitration and to offer to continue to bargain.

York University made it clear that they had no intention of bargaining. The mediator indicated that York held their position on the basis of both economic feasibility and principle. Although we significantly lowered our demands, York made no movement and offered the same pass that members rejected by 63% in forced ratification.

At midnight, the mediator made it clear that if 3903 did not accept binding arbitration, then they would be contacting Premier Dalton McGuinty, and the outcome would be back-to-work legislation. We feel that it was inappropriate for the mediator to set us this impossible choice between binding arbitration and back-to-work legislation, with a 7:00am deadline. Although we have no way of knowing how the employer was treated, from our point of view, the responsibility fell on our union to decide between two unpalatable choices.

The Bargaining Team and the Executive feel that our demands are fair. The mediator asked us to reduce our demands to a few key priorities. We dropped our demands on wage increases in response to feedback from the membership at the January 21 General Membership Meeting. We withdrew over 40 outstanding proposals. We continue to emphasize that minimum guarantees, job security, and child care funds are essential to our members. Because York offered a three-year deal with a two-year funding structure, with poor back-to-work protocol, we were unable to accept their offer. At the same time, York has made it clear that regardless of how often we lower our demands, they dismiss the value of our members, and refuse to give our members the respect they deserve. We are convinced that by rejecting binding arbitration, we are keeping members’ best interests in mind. We lose very little by refusing binding arbitration. We have rejected binding arbitration since bargaining began, and it would be inappropriate to accept it now. We considered carefully the larger political implications of our decision. We want to continue to bargain on our own terms. We refuse to undermine the dignity of our members by accepting an offer that our members already rejected.

Tags: ,

Jan 25 2009

Click to Send a Letter to your MPP to Support CUPE 3903!

Category: Point of Informationjonnyj @ 12:32 pm

All you do is click, type, click, and the e-mail automatically goes to your MPP, Premier Dalton McGuinty, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities John Milloy and Minister of Labour Peter Fonseca. Here’s the link: http://www.demandastance.com/cupe/

Queen's Park Rally Against Back to Work Legislation


Call for On-Line Action:  Please comment on the following media stories on line. Register an account with each paper and then comment on the stories, also make sure to click on agree/disagree buttons.

Premier’s decision has little downside

York students in limbo

NDP delays Legislation to end York University Strike

NDP stalls back-to-work bill for York University strikers

NDP stall York University back-to-work legislation


Newspaper Editorial of the Day: Why I voted to continue strike by Eric McMillan in VaughanToday.ca


« Previous PageNext Page »