CUPE 3903: We’re Winning, and Now Is the Time for Solidarity with International Students

York University is finally back at the bargaining table and addressing some of CUPE 3903’s core demands. Everyone knows the writing is on the wall for York, as rumors swirl of intense pressure for the administration to settle before April 6. However, York appears to still be holding back on some key issues, especially regarding international students.

I spoke at the general membership meeting the other night, where I argued that York administrators have now accepted that they are going to have to meet CUPE’s core demands in order to end this strike. What seems clear, however, is that they are attempting to lose in such a manner that do the most damage to the solidarity politics of our union, which is home to three different units (one for graduate student TAs and course directors, another for contract faculty, and a third for graduate assistants and research assistants). Each of these units has different interests, and the administrators already succeeded earlier in the strike in driving a wedge between the interests of Unit 2 and the rest of the union. (more…)


Strikes Are Not Disasters: On “States of Emergency” and Democratic Processes within University and Union Administrations

As a graduate student and member of CUPE 3903 at York University, I am currently on strike. Our fellow grad students at the University of Toronto, members of CUPE 3902, are also on strike. And as both unions go into our fourth week of withholding our labor, I’m starting to hear one word repeated more and more frequently: “emergency.” (more…)