From: YUFA in solidarity with CUPE 3903 [YUFA-CUPE@YorkU.CA] on behalf
of Walter Whiteley [whiteley@PASCAL.MATH.YORKU.CA]
Sent: November 7, 2000 10:08 PM
Subject: Solidarity - picketing issues (fwd)
From: Walter Whiteley <whiteley>
Subject: Solidarity - picketing issues
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 2000 22:00:36 -0500 (EST)
Tomorrow morning may be an important time in the CUPE strike.
Sadly, I think that 'business as usual' is read by the administration
as support for their positions and actions.
The Admin has torn up the picketing protocal.
They have asserted repeated violations of the protocol.
When I was asked by a YUFA member, leaving campus,
what those were, I could only cite two types:
(a) a couple of picket lines were at different locations.
The one I am familiar with is the Chimney Stack Line.
It was moved to be safer and to be MORE convenient for
all the residents of the Housing Co-op. This shift
was among the proposals that CUPE made, as it made
arrangments for the convocation. It now appears this
was not accepted - but nobody seems to know a good reason
why this shift was a problem.
(b) The speed at which cars passed the picket lines.
I actually do now know the details of this - what
a 'block of cars' was defined to be - or the waiting times.
Certainly, this morning things were a bit faster at
the line - but it appears that had nothing to do
with the decision to say that CUPE was trespassing
if they picketed on University Property. Presumably
that decision had already been made.
The choices of what next will, of course, be made by
CUPE, through their meetings. Today they said that they
WOULD move lines to places that Toronto Police came and
took them to as the new legal places. This had not
happened when I left. Tomorrow morning will be be an important
This will probably be dispute about some of this - people
are even today unsure which streets inside Keele and Steeles
are already city (and public) and which are private property.
[E.g. some fire hydrants are not longer serviced by
York Employees because they are said to be on city streets!
Planning students reported that the City of Toronto
Planning department gave one set of information and York
However, there is clearly an increased possibility of
conflict and it would be helpful to have a maximum
number of people around tomorrow morning for moral support
and as witnesses. I encourage people to come a bit
early tomorrow and spend some time meeting and talking
with people around the lines.
I cannot dismiss the idea that what is happening now
is, in part, a message about a shift in how things
are done at York - and a message to all unions
and all future negotiations. I read it all with the
knowledge that two other unions on campus do NOT have contracts:
the operating engineers - a small group who run the
heating and other high pressure systems on campus,
and the CUPE local representing parking and security.
YUFA also enters negotiations soon (with a contract
that expires at the end of April, 2001).
A specific part of the new structure at York is that
ALL such negotiations are coming under the same structure,
headed by the man who issued the memo to CUPE about picketing
today. I presume they have some common overall plans
(besides just that no union will receive more that 2% raises).
It appears to me that the
critical issue, over which the negotiations will fail
or succeed, is the PRINCIPLE that TA support is indexed
to tuition. It is NOT, at this point, an issue of
major differences in money ON THIS ISSUE. However, in the entire
approach of CUPE as a national union and a local,
this principle is very important. Something which
is in the current contract should not be shed.
I cannot grasp why that principle is so critical to the admin.
I suppose it is because the expect to continue to increase
grad tuition, or do not wish to extend such protection to
other students (e.g. the new Unit III GA group).
If there is other information on this issue I would
be interested in knowing.
I understand that the reason the two parties did NOT
negotiate on the weekend OR this afternoon was that the
outside lawyer heading thier team was not available.
[CUPE asked for negotiations to resume this afternoon - once they
had completed their meeting with members.]
Something to keep in mind when you hear about
'negotiations were broken off'.