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Open letter to York University: Settle with CUPE 3903 now!

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Image from Her Campus, https://www.hercampus.com/school/york-u/everything-you-need-know-about-potential-strike-york-university

The recent strike at York University is being called the longest labour dispute at the institution, and the longest strike at an English-speaking university in Canada. It has been used by the provincial Liberals to attack the NDP, however the issues are about precarious work and need to be addressed. Instead of taking on these issues, the York University administration has been acting unilaterally and recently walked away from a CUPE 3903 offer which was essentially most of what they wanted.   

Over 300 university full-time or retired professors, librarians and archivists at York University have signed the letter below demanding that the York University President and Board of Governers settle with CUPE 3903 now. They shared this letter with rabble.ca.


Open letter to the President of York University and the Board of Governors: 

Settle with CUPE 3903 now!

We, the undersigned full-time or retired professors, librarians and archivists at York University, are deeply concerned with the unilateral and unproductive approach taken by York’s central administration and Board of Governors to the CUPE 3903 strike. This approach has had serious, detrimental effects on learning, teaching, academic decision-making, and job security for a range of workers at York University. And it undermines public trust in our university.

Months before the strike began, York University’s President and Provost issued calls for binding arbitration. These actions signaled their refusal to bargain with CUPE on major, qualitative bargaining issues such as job security, employment and graduate funding (which arbitrators often deemphasize).  During the strike, central administrators have dedicated their efforts to ending the strike by force, without bargaining; they pushed a forced ratification vote on CUPE members, convinced the province to send a special commissioner, and lobbied for back-to-work legislation.  Each of these efforts failed but wasted weeks of potential bargaining time.  At the same time, York University’s Central Administration has conducted an intense public relations campaign, blaming the union for lack of movement. The Administration’s inept approach has paralyzed talks and created confusion and consternation among students and other members of the University.

As of May 10, the councils of five faculties, ten departments, and more than fifteen graduate and undergraduate student associations, passed motions of non-confidence in President Rhonda Lenton and York’s Board of Governors chaired by Rick Waugh. Comprising programs that represent more than 50% of York’s full-time faculty members and over 70% of undergraduate and graduate students, these motions condemn the Administrations’ refusal to negotiate with CUPE 3903 and its inability to engage in sound and collegial decision-making. For example, the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the York Federation of Students also passed motions of non-confidence. The significance of motions made by these two bodies cannot be under-estimated. The motions indicate that an overwhelming majority of graduate and undergraduate students have no confidence in the present Administration.

Crucially, York University’s Central Administration has also undermined the collegial authority of Senate on academic matters. In doing so the Central Administration risks betraying its fiduciary duties, undermining academic integrity and circumventing the York Act.  Now, in the 14th week of the CUPE 3903 strike, the Central Administration canceled summer term courses taught by members of CUPE 3903, which leaves students few options but to take courses at other universities. At the same time, the Administration has started to assign grades to graduating students based on their grade average, not based on work done in the winter courses that were suspended by the strike. These decisions, which are taken to put pressure on CUPE and YUFA (York University Faculty Association), are deeply troubling and put the educational reputation of the University at risk.

In light of widespread concerns about the future of our university, we seek an immediate end to the labour dispute. We call on the York University Administration and the Board of Governors to (1) respect collegial governance processes, including the role of Senate; and act in the University’s best interest by (2) returning to the bargaining table with CUPE 3903 to reach a settlement. 

Gamal Abdel-Shehid, School of Kinesiology and Health Science

Greg Albo, Department of Politics

Steve Alsop, Facuty of Education

Philipp Sebastian Angermeyer, Department of Languages, Literatures, Linguistics

Pat Armstrong, PhD, FRSC, Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology

Marie-Christine Aubin, School of Translation, Glendon College

Aimé Avolonto, French department, Glendon

Harjeet Kaur Badwall, School of Social Work

Steve Bailey, Department of Humanities and Graduate Program in Communication and Culture

Alison Bain, Department of Geography

Isabella Bakker, Fellow, Royal Society of Canada, York Research Chair, Distinguished Research Professor

Ian Balfour, Department of English

Himani Bannerji, Professor Emerita, Senior Scholar, Sociology

Deb Barndt, Professor Emerita, Environmental Studies

Amélie Barras, Department of Social Science

Tereza Barta, Department of Cinema and Media Arts

Ranu Basu, Department of Geography

Jon Peter Baturin, Professor Emeritus, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design

Paul Baxter, Department of Social Science

Barbara Beardwood, Senior Scholar, Department of Social Science

Shannon Bell, Department of Politics

Richard Bello, Department of Geography

Jody Berland, Department of Humanities

Faisal Bhabha,  Osgoode Hall Law School

Amar Bhatia, Osgoode Hall Law School

Katherine Bischoping, Department of Sociology

Malcolm Blincow, Professor Emeritus, Anthropology

Marcus Boon, Department of English

Philippe Bourdin, French Studies and Lingusitic Program, Glendon

Rob Bowman, Department of Music

Martin Breaugh, Department of Politics

Linda Briskin, Department/School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies

Deborah Brock, Department of Sociology

Heather Campbell, Department of English

Nergis Canefe, Department of Politics and Public Policy and Administration

Eduardo Canel, Department of Social Science

Tuan Cao-Huu, MDS Department, Itec/Computer Science, Glendon

Marc Cauchi, Department of Humanities

Jon Caulfield, Senior Scholar, Division of Social Science

Sheila Cavanagh, Department of Sociology

David Cecchetto, Depeartment of Humanities

Chris Chapman, School of Social Work

Soma Chatterjee, School of Social Work

Claudia Chaufan, School of Health Policy and Management

James Check, Department of Psychology

Lily Cho, Department of English

Sylwia Chrostowska, Department of Humanities

Matthew Clark, Department of Humanities

Colin Coates, Canadian Studies, Glendon College

Elaine Coburn, International Studies, Glendon

Derek Cohen, Senior Scholar, English Department

Sheila Colla, Faculty of Environmental Studies

Bruce Connell, Linguistics and Language, Glendon

Diana Cooper-Clark, Departments of English and Humanities

Marc Couroux, Department of Visual Art and Art History

Cheryl Cowdy, Department of Humanities

Warren Crichlow, Faculty of Education

Alison Crosby, School of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies

Raju J Das, Department of Geography

Tania Das Gupta, Department of Equity Studies

Elizabeth Dauphinee, Department of Politics

Megan Davies, Department of Social Science

Nancy Viva Davis Halifax, Faculty of Health

Lykke de la Cour, Social Science

Kathryn Denning, Department of Anthropology

William Denton, York University Libraries

Gene Desfor, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Environmental Studies

Susan Dion,Faculty of Education

Mario DiPaolantonio, Faculty of Education

Dr Nombuso Dlamini, Director, Youth in Politics (#Yip), Faculty of Education

David Doorey, School of Human Resource Management

Susan Driver, Communication Studies

Lisa Drummond, Department of Social Science

Christo El Morr, School of Health Policy and Management

Denielle Elliott, Department of Social Science and Social Anthropology

Lorna Erwin, Sociology

Barbara Evans, Department of Cinema and Media Arts

Geoffrey Ewen, Canadian Studies and History, Glendon

Sarah Flicker, Faculty of Environmental Studies

Honor Ford-Smith, Faculty of Environmental Studies

Scott Forsyth, Senior Scholar, Cinema and Media Arts/Politics

Jennifer Foster, Faculty of Environmental Studies

Gail Fraser, Faculty of Environmental Studies

Soren Frederiksen, School of Public Policy and Administration

Amber Gazso, Department of Sociology

Liette Gilbert, Faculty of Environmental Studies

Wenona Giles, Professor, Anthropology

Stephen Gill, FRSC, Distinguished Research Professor of Politics, Department of Politics

Rosalind Gill, Senior Scholar, School of Translation, Glendon

Amanda Glasbeek, Department of Social Science

Harry Glasbeek, Professor Emeritus, Osgoode Law School

Luin Goldring, Department of Sociology

Mark Goodman, Sociology

Andil Gosine, Faculty of Environmental Studies

Ted Goossen, Department of Humanities

Laurence Green, Cinema & Media Arts

John Greyson, Department of Cinema and Media Arts

Ricardo Grinspun, Department of Economics

Shubhra Gururani, Department of Anthropology

Ratiba Hadj-Moussa, Department of Sociology

Jan Hadlaw, School of the Arts, Media, Performance, & Design

Laam Hae, Department of Politics

Alison Halsall, Department of Humanities

Barbara Hanson, Department of Sociology

Eve Haque, Department of Languages, Literatures, Linguistics

Jin Haritaworn, Associate Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies

Phillip Harland, Department of Humanities

Douglas Hay FRSC, Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar, Osgoode Hall Law School and Department of History

Sharon Hayashi, Department of Cinema and Media Arts

Lyse Hébert, PhD, School of Translation, Glendon

Judy Hellman, Professor Emerita, Social Science and Politics Departments

Stephen Hellman, Professor Emeritus, Department of Politics

Craig Heron, Professor Emeritus, Department of History

Rob Heynen, Department of Communication Studies

Philip Hoffman, Cinema and Media Arts

Teresa Holmes, Department of Anthropology

Jennifer Hyndman, Department of Geography

Pablo Idahosa, Department of Social Science

Susan Ingram, Department of Humanites

Merle A. Jacobs, Equity Studies

Stanley Jeffers, Associate Professor Emeritus, Department of Physics and Astronomy

William Jenkins, Department of Geography

Jennifer Jenson, Faculty of Education

Sherry Johnson, Department of Music

Jan Kainer, School of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies

Hong Kal, Department of Visual Art and Art History

Ilan Kapoor, Faculty of Environmental Studies

Eva C. Karpinski, School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies.

Ali Kazimi, Department of Cinema and Media Arts

Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston, Program in Theatre and Peformance Studies

Peggy Keall, Dept of Social Science

Patricia Keeney, English, Theatre and Performance Studies (FGS)

Joseph Keeping, Departmetns of Humanities, History

Roger Keil, Faculty of Environmental Studies

Phillip Kelly, Department of Geography

Kamala Kempadoo, Department of Social Science

Didi Khayatt, Faculty of Education

Sean Kheraj, Department of History

Isabel Killoran, Faculty of Education

Stefan Kipfer, Faculty of Environmental Studies

Christina Kraenzle, German Studies

Avron Kulak, Department of Humanities

Abidin Kusno, Faculty of Environmental Studies

Hannes Lacher, Deparment of Politics

Larry Lam, Department of Sociology

Paul Lampert, Department of Theatre

Sam Lanfranco, Professor Emeritus, Economics

Ganaele Langlois, Department of Communication Studies

Suzanne Langlois, Department of History, Glendon College

Nick Lary, Senior Scholar and professor emeritus of Humanities and Graduate English

Frances Latchford, School of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies

Yam Lau, Department of Visual Art and Art History

Bonita Lawrence, Department of Equity Studies

Marie-Elaine Lebel, Language training centre for studies in French

Becky Lee, Professor Emerita, Department of Humanities

Louis Lefeber, Professor Emeritus, Economics and Social and Political Thought

David Lidov, Department of Music, Senior Scholar

Carla Lipsig-Mumme, Department of Social Science

Kenneth Little, Department of Anthropology

Jaime Llambias-Wolff, Senior Scholar, Dept. of Social Science

Brenda Longfellow, Department of Cinema and Media Arts

Libby Lunstrum, Department of Geography

Meg Luxton, School of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies

Willem Maas, Political Science, Glendon

Marcia Macaulay, English, Glendon

Robert MacDermid, Senior Scholar, Department of Political Science

Heather MacRae, Department of Politics

Edelgard Mahant, Professor emerita, Glendon

Terry Maley, Department of Politics

Guida Man, Department of Sociology

Nancy Mandell, Department of Sociology

Joy Mannette, Faculty of Education

Janine Marchessault, Department of Cinema and Media Arts

Jocelyn Martel, Biology, Multidisciplinary Studies, Glendon

Ian Martin, English Department, Glendon

Atsuko Matsuoka, School of Social Work

John Mayberry, Department of Theatre

Patricia Mazepa, Department of Communication Studies

Carlota McAllister, Department of Anthroplogy

Patricia McDermott, Department of Social Science

Gillian McGillivray, History, Glendon

Wendy McKeen, Department of Social Work

David T. McNab, Department of Equity Studies/Humanities

David McNally, Department of Politics

Andrea Medovarski, Department of Humanities

Merouan Mekouar, Department of Social Science

Gertrude Mianda, School of GSWS and GWST program, Glendon College

Jacinthe Michaud, School of GSWS

Aparna Mishra Tarc, Faculty of Education

Allyson Mitchell, School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies

Radhika Mongia, Department of Sociology

Jean Michel Montsion, Canadian Studies, Glendon College

Esteve Morera, Department of Philosophy, Department of Politics

Brian Morgan, Department of English, Glendon

Marina Morrow, Chair, School of Health Policy and Management

Mary Jane Mossman, Professor Emerita, Osgoode Hall Law School

Georges Moyal, Department of Philosophy, Glendon

Arun Mukherjee, Professor Emeritus, Department of English

Nick Mulé, School of Social Work

David Murray, Department of Anthropology

Karen Bridget Murray, Department of Politics

Marcelo Musto, Department of Sociology

Natasha Myers, Department of Anthropology

Eric Mykhalovskiy, Department of Sociology

Taien Ng-Chan, Department of Cinema and Media Arts

Michael Nijhawan, Department of Sociology

Jonathan Nitzan, Department of Politics, Social and Political Thought

Naomi Norquay, Faculty of Education

Liisa North, Professor Emeritus

Anne O'Connell, School of Social Work

Andrea O'Reilly, School of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies

Michael Ornstein, Department of Sociology

Deborah Orr, Department of Humanities

Laurence Packer, Department of Biology

Leo Panitch, Professor Emeritus

Hyun ok Park, Department of Sociology

Viviana Patroni, Department of Social Science

Mark Peacock, Department of Social Science

Linda Peake, Department of Social Science, Director,The City Institute

Muriel Péguret, Dépt. d'études françaises et Faculté d'éducation, Glendon

Elizabeth Pentland, Department of English

Roberto Perin, Department of History, Glendon

Patricia E. (Ellie) Perkins, Faculty of Environmental Studies

Nalini Persram, Department of Social Science

Randolph Peters, Department of Music

Kelly Pike, School of Human Resource Management

Dennis Pilon, Department of Politics

Sergei Plekhanov, Department of Politics

Justin Podur, Faculty of Environmental Studies

Brayton Polka, Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar, Humanities

Ann Porter, Department of Politics

Anna Pratt, Department of Social Science

Valerie Preston, Department of Geography

Norene Pupo, Department of Sociology

Audrey Pyee, Department of History, Glendon College

Roberto Quinlan, Department of Biology

Indhu Rajagopal, Department of Social Science

Dennis Raphael, School of Health Policy and Management

Art Redding, English

Markus Reisenleitner, Department of Humanities

Geoffrey Reaume, Critical Disabilty Studies

Marie Rickard, Department of Cinema and Media Arts

André Robert, Department of Geography

Joanna Robinson, Department of Sociology, Glendon

Ray Rogers, Faculty of Enviromental Studies

Nick Rogers, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus

Wade Rowland, Department of Communications

Don Rubin, Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar, Dept of Theatre

L. Anders Sandberg, Faculty of Environmental Science

Cate Sandilands, Environmental Studies

John. S. Saul, Professor Emeritus, Social Science and Politics

Rachel Schlesinger, Senior Scholar, Dept. of Social Science

Ellen G. Schraa, School of Health Policy & Management

Dayna Scott, Osgoode Hall Law School

Jamie Scott, Department of Humanities

Shirin Shahrokni, Department of Sociology, Glendon

Theresa Shanahan, Faculty of Education

Victor Shea, Department of Humanities

Joel Shore, Department of Biology

Marlene Shore, Department of History

Nicola Short, Department of Politics

John Simoulidis, Department of Social Science

Brian Singer, Sociology, Glendon

David Skinner, Communication Studies

Lisa Sloniowski, York University Libraries

Bruce Smardon, Department of Political Science

Ian Smith, Assoc. Prof. Emeritus, Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics

Brenda Spotton Visano, Department of Economics, School of Public Policy and Administration

Glenn Stalker, Department of Sociology

Jennifer Stephen, Department of History

Penny Stewart, Department of Sociology

Karen Swift, Social Work, Professor Emerita

David Szablowski, Department of Social Science

Laura Taylor, Faculty of Environmental Studies

Patrick Taylor,  Department of Humanities

Thomas Teo, Department of Psychology

Mark Thomas, Department of Sociology

Ozgun Topak, Department of Social Science

Robert Tordoff, Associate Professor, Humanities.

Temenuga Trifonova, Associate Professor, Dept of Cinema and Media Arts

Roopa Desai Trilokekar, Faculty of Education

Eric Tucker, Professor Emeritus, Osgoode Hall Law School

Steven Tufts, Department of Geography

Unnamed (12)

Dorin Uritescu, Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar, French Studies, Glendon

Karen Valihora, Department of English

Peter Vandergeest, Department of Geography

Gail Vanstone Department of Humanities

Jim Vernon, Department of Philosophy

Livy Visano, Professor, Department of Equity Studies

Usha Viswanathan, Glendon

Colleen Wagner, Department of Cinema & Media Arts

Philip Walsh, Department of Sociology

Andy Weaver, Department of English

Richard Weisman, Professor Emeritus, Department of Social Science

Fredric Weizmann, Senior Scholar, Department of Psychology

Richard Wellen, Social Science

Kimberley White, Department of Social Science

Walter Whiteley, Department of Mathematics and Statistics

David L. Wiesenthal, Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar, Department of Psychology

Daphne Winland, Anthropology

Ted Winslow, Department of Social Science

Howard Wiseman, Department of Cinema and Media Arts

Lesley Wood, Department of Sociology

Patricia Wood, Department of Geography

Jenny Wüstenberg, Department of Politics

Douglas Young, Department of Social Science

Lélia Young, Department of French Studies

Anna Zalik, Faculty of Environmental Studies

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