From: YUFA in solidarity with CUPE 3903 [YUFA-CUPE@YorkU.CA] on behalf
of Walter Whiteley [whiteley@PASCAL.MATH.YORKU.CA]
Sent: November 19, 2000 4:25 PM
Subject: Save the Semester / Save York
>From their (open) meeting on Friday, I believe that
CUPE 3903 and some student groups are planning
a campaign this week with the theme of 'Save the Semester'
and therefore settle now with a fair offer. This will
be coordinated, in part, with groups of undergraduates.
While it is theoretically true that Senate has 'guaranteed'
that the semester will be rescheduled and completed,
there are, indeed, high risks for many of the students,
including a number of the striking students.
We should, of course, support this campaign.
However, it is perhaps also time to dig deeper.
Taking Sunday as a day to reflect on the strike, on Lorna's
reply to the student, and other pieces which have been
floating in my head, I suddenly recalled a conversation
with a colleague from Trent. Here is a paraphrase.
"After the first strike at Trent, very little changed.
After the second strike, everything changed - the
entire administration was changed and structures revised."
We are now well into our second major strike at York
in four years. Perhaps it is time to recognize that
this is not an unfortunate series of individual actions - but a
major failure of the institution, the administration
and their models of 'management'.
Sure the Federal transfer cuts, the provincial government,
etc. have created a hostile environment with limited funds.
That does not explain raising the tuition for
graduate students (then complaining that tuition
indexation for TAs and GAs would only benefit 40%
of the students)! It does not explain the resistance
to a fair offer of security to the long service contract faculty.
If finances WERE the issue there (and they do NOT take a
consistent line of this - sometimes denying that money
is the issue, sometimes complaining about the costs),
they would have welcomed the inclusion of YUFA
in full discussions to wrap up the issue, the YUFA
grievance, the past and future appointments etc.
[They swept this offer from YUFA aside, in a way that
said - you have nothing to contribute to a settlement!]
We should keep the experience of Trent in mind,
and see whether this is the time for a wholesale
change on a scale that did NOT happen after the YUFA strike.
Perhaps, having tried THEIR WAY, and found it wanting,
THIS WAY must be tried!