York students demand one-week deadline for strike deal

Group asks gov’t to pass back-to-work legislation if no agreement is reached


A group representing close to 4,000 York University students is demanding that CUPE 3903 and university administration set a firm deadline for the completion of negotiations designed to end a two-month-long strike at the university.

Update: York offer rejected by striking workers 

“Negotiations do nothing for students unless they end the strike,” says Lyndon Koopmans, an organizer for YorkNotHostage.com. “We cannot accept protracted negotiations that prolong the strike and threaten the school year. There must be an end to the negotiations, and an end to the strike.”

YorkNotHostage.com is proposing that negotiations conclude by Thursday, Jan. 15, at which point the strike will have lasted for 10 weeks. Under the proposal, any issues that have not been resolved in negotiations will be submitted to voluntary binding arbitration. This would result in an immediate end of the strike and permit classes to resume the following week.

The group says that if accepted by both parties, these measures will ensure that classes can resume at York University by Monday, Jan. 19.

Members of CUPE Local 3903 are set to meet at a general members meeting at 5:00 p.m EST today.

YorkNotHostage.com says it has also forwarded its proposal to Premier Dalton McGuinty, asking the premier to recall the legislature and pass back-to-work legislation if the union and the university do not accept their plan.


York students demand one-week deadline for strike deal

  1. Pingback: New settlement offer from York administration : Macleans OnCampus

  2. Brilliant idea! Let’s get back to class, instead of waiting for CUPE to break the strike length record. Hopefully both sides will listen the undergraduate voice, that is the life blood of the university!

  3. When strike ends, I don’t see reason to be happy either. I will have exams after two months out of school. Maybe you like to study this way, me not. In 13 offered days I should make 6 tests, 3 assignments and two exams ( every book in size of bible), between sitting on missed lectures, tutorials and labs that normally take me all day every day. So, I will sleep there to make it all. Next semester will be insane… the same amount in shorter time and no reading week. Its tough enough normally, not what will be now. Especially when I am not rested after Christmas at all, what I would be to have all that stuff done. Its no rest to think about that all every day, check news every day, study, in my case, pretty chaotically, while not able to make any schedule for unknown time.
    OSAP just sent them the rest of my tuition. For my sitting at home like idiot with vision of my totally ruined school year. All that media releases from both sides laugh to my face, still repeating how is important to get me back to school, when so obviously they give it a sh…, including my great teachers that should care to teach me this time. I have no respect for them anymore.
    I just don’t believe this could happen to other people than students. Others would sue institution that stole them money and time, not just cry on internet… we are expected to be happy when allowed to get to school again. And pretend that nothing happened and nobody was harmed. I don’t feel grateful for that… I hate this school.
    Wish you all better mood in next semester.

  4. Slightly misleading headline. Koopmans speaks, at best, for about 8% of the student body. A better headline might have been “Extremely small group of York University students…” &c.

  5. To ADHR,

    And how many people voted in the last YFS election?

    Koopmans’ facebook group has 4011 members. The YFS petition to both York and CUPE released this week had ~4000 signatures. So I guess all the news re: that event should also say “extremely small group of YU students”?

  6. @ADHR: If you want to play numbers games, how’s the picket line attendance these days? I counted all of 16 people at the university’s main entrance at around 10 AM on this sunny, not-too-cold morning. As the bus went by, I counted 5 picketers at The Pond Road.

    This after a personal appeal from Graham Potts on CUPE’s website for a big turnout this week.

  7. I like this idea. Give these guys some space to bargain, but don’t let them take forever.

    Binding arbitration is often used as a “clean-up” to deal with tough unresolved issues. It could work here. There are some issues, like 2-year vs. 3-year contract that might not be resolvable through negotiation. We can’t let them negotiate forever on issues like that while students wait.

  8. To Sshmr and ADHR: A 4000+ (and growing) group of students who are taking action for the benefit of their education, time, and money is still more than the 3350 people represented by CUPE 3903 who only care about themselves, let alone the 50,000+ people that they’re effecting negatively. At least this “small” group has the interest of people outside of themselves.

  9. Sshmr,

    Yes, it should. Your point being?

    All registered students had the option to vote. If they chose not to, then, as far as I can tell, they’re agreeing to the outcome whatever it may be. Who elected Lyndon Koopmans? As far as I can tell, it was Lyndon Koopmans — one man, one vote.


    Your point? The picketers are those members who have decided to picket. All members had the option to picket; some chose not to exercise it. I don’t see how this is supposed to affect Koopmans’ ability to speak for any more than a small fraction of the undergraduate population. This is an obvious non sequitur.


    Are you seriously saying that a group of York undergrads advocating for the interests of York undergrads has the interests of other people at heart? I suppose, in a limited sense, they do: they’re not explicitly saying “put us back in classes and let everyone else go hang”. But given that’s a demand no one would take seriously, I’m not surprised they didn’t go there.

    That said, unions exist to support the interests of their members. Who else should CUPE 3903 speak for but the 3350 who are actually CUPE 3903 members? They don’t care about me as I’m a former member; but, then again, I don’t expect them to.

  10. ADHR: of course this group is advocating for all York students….do you seriously think that 50,000+ students wanted this strike to compress their year or worse lose their year? Don’t you think that these students have had their hard earned money saved by themselves, their relatives, and tax payers wasted? This strike has lasted far too long! There needs to be an end very soon. The proposal for for a one week deadline is a good one.

  11. My point is that these head-counting games are meaningless. But since you seem to attach such meaning to them, I will point out that Koopmans’ group is twice as large as the “Support 3903” group.