CUPE's sit-in at York "wasn’t officially organized by CUPE" -

CUPE’s sit-in at York “wasn’t officially organized by CUPE”


As everyone is likely aware, CUPE 3903 has decided to hold a sit-in outside the office of the York University president.

CUPE set out a news release the other night entitled “CUPE 3903 and undergrad allies occupy York U president’s office” announcing the sit-in.

The union stated in its release “The sit-in protest launches CUPE 3903’s week of action, which aims to increase pressure on the York administration.”

It would appear from the news release that CUPE 3903, who sent out the release, is behind the sit-in. Turns out, much like the University of Toronto Students’ Union and Always Question in the spring, take CUPE’s news release should not be judged by its content.

CUPE 3903 chief negotiator Graham Potts tells the York student newspaper The Excalibur the sit-in is not “officially organized by CUPE.”

How can it be the launch of CUPE’s “week of action” but not be “officially organized” by CUPE at the same time?


CUPE’s sit-in at York “wasn’t officially organized by CUPE”

  1. They could argue that they endorse it (hence, it launches the week of action), but aren’t officially organizing it (hence, it’s a protest rather than an illegal strike action). It’s pure hair-splitting, of course, but that’s the essence of the law.

  2. Graham Potts’ statement to Excalibur is a fine semantic point that has virtually no meaning. This is not exactly the first time we have seen this. If these are the silly little word games that CUPE 3903’s chief negotiator plays, it is little wonder York is still closed. I think it is time that either the silent majority of CUPE 3903 members stepped up and voted to accept York’s offer, or that York require its full-time profs (non-3903) go back to work and do whatever teaching is required.

  3. They can claim it’s not officially organized by them because they have a group within a group supposedly called the “Flying Squad” which organizes its own demonstrations. It’s a way of saving their own butts if the Flying Squad does something that gets negative attention. So sure they didn’t organize it but doesn’t mean they weren’t a large part of it.

  4. What York offer are you referring to? York has not proposed a collective agreement to CUPE.

  5. Serge — There’s no way that YUFA would allow their members to teach. And remember – TA’s and contract faculty teach 60% of the classes. In my dept. there’s no way the faculty could cover all the work. Nor would they.

    Since they’ve only made one offer to the union (Nov 4) — I think the school was hoping the province would order them back.

    I hope that some real negotiating will happen after Xmas. So far the university hasn’t seemed very interested in negotiating.

    Say what you will about the “flying squad” personally I think it makes the union look like amateur militants.

    But I find the ongoing PR war waged the university offensive too. They keep re-publishing details of the Nov 4 offer making it look as if they’re offering something new. That’s what happens when you hire an expensive PR firm to run communications for this battle and an expensive law firm to negotiate on your behalf.

  6. whoever wrote this article is a despicable creature