Bravo Walter, I support this idea wholeheartedly. Where do we start? Where
do I sign up?!
My mind is so much on our CUPE colleagues tonight. I remember Sunday
evenings during our strike, when after what should have been a weekend off
but was instead a relentless barrage of strike worries, we faced going back
to the picket lines on Monday with an employer who had obviously never heard
of the concept of "bargaining in good faith."
But then, I also remember that in some ways, I was happier on the picket
lines than I'd been in my then 17 years at York, because for the first time,
I'd found good people with whom I shared a common cause.
Let's begin to look at how we can turn this second major York strike into an
advantage -- what do we need to do to do what Trent did? I'm tired of
saying, as I do so often, that "I only have 11 3/4 years till retirement."
It's too long. It's time for a change.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Walter Whiteley" <whiteley@PASCAL.MATH.YORKU.CA>
Sent: Sunday, 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!
> Walter Whiteley