Shout out: What answers do you want from the Ont. gov? -

Shout out: What answers do you want from the Ont. gov?

Coleman on Campus poses your York strike questions to the Premier


Tomorrow, following the UToronto CUPE strike vote press conference, I will be heading to Queen’s Park and camping out with the rest of the media to ask questions of the Premier and the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.

I’m going to ask for a response to an expected strike vote at UToronto. I’m expecting an answer along the lines of “it is premature to comment on the situation.”

Then I’ll turn to the situation at York University. I’m not going to ask how the government plans to end the strike, as this will merely result in the Minister repeating his speaking points. (Plus, I’m not the opposition.) Instead, I want to ask the Minister what the government is doing for students as the strike continues with no end in sight.

Therefore, I’m asking you.

As a York undergraduate, what do you want to know from the government?

I expect many of you are wondering about the status of your government loans in January if the strike continues, and what will happen to your loans if the academic year is extended into May. You may also be thinking about government summer jobs that start in May or how you will recover lost summer earnings to pay tuition next September. I’ve already heard from people who have been laid-off from part-time campus jobs who are facing financial difficulty.

Send me your questions and I’ll use them to help formulate the questions I ask the Minister.

With the Legislature adjourning for their winter recess, this is the last chance I have to question the Minister until the House resumes sitting in February.

The question and answer will be posted tomorrow early in the afternoon.


Shout out: What answers do you want from the Ont. gov?

  1. I have a lot of questions, but I’d like to use the opportunity to ask 2 pertinent question for students that have seemingly lost their voice through this debacle: international students and potential graduates

    1. I am not an international student, but how does the goverment intend on handling the quandry that international students have been left in, i.e., renting on residence, exorbitant tuition fees that have gone down the drain, et al?

    2. I AM, however, a potential graduate, so what is to happen with students with a potential graduate status, who have had family plan their schedules around their loved one’s convocation date? What about the job opportunities that have been lost to them? Rent? Work study positions with York?

  2. I have a tax/osap question.
    I am receiving a millennium bursary – which is financial needs based, but I have been working during the strike. I would not have worked or earned this money had the strike not occurred.

    So, my OSAP and Bursary funding are likely going to be re-assessed, although these are wages I would have otherwise been making in May/June…etc. In other words, I would have declared them as part of next year’s osap application.

    Will there be any understanding concerning wages that will be earned during the strike?

  3. Here’s my question for the Ontario government: Why is it fair for you to use a bunch of students as your cannon fodder?

    There have been many strikes at post-secondary schools over the years. This one is different. This one is the first skirmish in a province-wide battle between CUPE Ontario University Sector and the Ontario government. CUPE Ontario wants province-wide bargaining, the Ontario government doesn’t.

    The Battle of York is not an ordinary labour dispute, but rather a battle between CUPE and the Ontario government for the most strategically significant bargaining unit come 2010.

    There’s no way the province wants York to have a 2-year contract. It would mean that the second largest university, the most radical CUPE bargaining unit (the one most likely to take the plunge and lead the charge of Locals going on strike), and the richest collective agreement that sets the bar higher is part of the mix in 2010.

    The stalemate between York and CUPE 3903 is really a stalemate between the Ontario government and CUPE Ontario. Yet, the Ontario government won’t cut students a break and end the strike that means much more for the province than it does for York or even Local 3903.

    Again, to Premier McGuinty and Minister Milloy: Why is it okay to use us as your cannon fodder in your battle with CUPE Ontario?

  4. What is the definition of Quality Education in Canada?

    How can you still grant the right to negotiate when it has been abused by both sides? Neither has taken the process seriously. Talks break down everytime. Negotiation rights are not FUNDAMENTAL OR ABSOLUTE. At what point will you take this right away?

    What is the meaning of my Section 7 Rights if my liberty and security are being tampered with? I have no access to my education and i have no security for my future goals and ambitions.

  5. Why should I continue to go to university in Ontario? This is my second CUPE strike, and apparently there is a third one on the horizon in 2010. What is stopping me from taking my giant brain and earning potential to the United States?

  6. Alex, if you have any choice about it, you shouldn’t. Honestly, with this strike and the promise of another one in 2010, Ontario universities are an effing waste of time. Go elsewhere. I am not joking.

  7. As the full time working husband of a York Bachelor of Nursing student, I want to know who is going to pay for the 5 weeks of full time day care service that we paid for but did not really need and who is going to provide our day care provider with full time work if we continue to not need her services. How is going to help us get our day care arrangements back or set up satisfactory new ones when all of a sudden, this union decides that it wants to go back to work? Finally, class room time is one thing to make-up, what about clinical time? This is much more difficult to schedule.

    Please stop the posturing and and lets get to binding arbitration before this year is lost please…

    What is that slogan again, redefine the frustration..

  8. I would like to know why no one has told the university administrators to sit with CUPE each and every day since this strike started and negotiate till smoke comes out. If they had to sit together in a room for a few hours every single day instead of wasiting their time and our money sitting in their offices, they might have been more pressed to find a solution. If there’s any legislation required, it should force ongoing negotiation from the get go, not arbitration or ratification.

  9. I’m 100% certain CUPE would be willing to do that.

  10. I applied to York for the winter term just days before the strike. I am going to be a visiting student due to a family illness here in Toronto. I’ve taken a leave from my school in the USA. I don’t know what will happen now. Will there be a winter term? Does anyone have the lives of the students in mind?