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

gave another.]


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'.


Walter Whiteley